COVID-19 Thread 3/30/2020 (FDA FDA Issues Emergency Use Authorization for Donated Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate, Chloroquine Phosphate)

There has been a lot of discussion about the use of hydrochlorquine/chloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19, and many physicians around the world have been using it in treating patients, some reporting significant success. In some countries this has had approval from health authorities, in other countries, physicians have been using it in ‘off-label’ use.

Now in the United States, a Department of Health and Human Services press release announces that the Food and Drug Administration has issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for these drugs.

An Excerpt:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to BARDA to allow hydroxychloroquine sulfate and chloroquine phosphate products donated to the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) to be distributed and prescribed by doctors to hospitalized teen and adult patients with COVID-19, as appropriate, when a clinical trial is not available or feasible.

The EUA requires that fact sheets that provide important information about using chloroquine phosphate and hydroxychloroquine sulfate in treating COVID-19 be made available to health care providers and patients, including the known risks and drug interactions.

The SNS, managed by ASPR, will work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to ship donated doses to states. The SNS does not regularly stock either drug.

COVID-19 Thread 3/29/2020 (Should We All be Wearing Masks?)

Thanks to Engineer48 for bringing my attention to the following video from South Korea which features an interview with Professor Kim Woo-Ju, Professor of Infectious Diseases at the Korea University College of Medicine. He talks about the various ways that COVID-19 can be passed on from person to person and emphasizes the importance of wearing masks to limit the spread of the disease. He says that the disease is spread by virus-containing droplets coming from the mouths and noses of infected persons. Masks can help limit the spread of those droplets.

He notes that in Asian countries like Korea, everyone wears masks, and this helps prevent the spread of infection, whereas in European countries and the United States, wearing masks by the general public is not common, and COVID-19 has been spreading rapidly.

World Health Organization advice at this time is “If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected 2019-nCoV infection,” and that advice seems to have been echoed by health authorities in various countries. Bob Greenyer has informed us that this is not the case in the Czech Republic, where mask-wearing is mandatory for all persons in public places.

So maybe it is time to rethink our mask-wearing habits. However, I have read that there is a shortage of PPE (personal protective equipment) in many countries at the moment, so some people are coming up with creative ways to make masks at home out of commonly available materials.

Rossi: Third Party Testers are “Clients”

Here are some interesting questions from Gerard McEk on the Journal of Nuclear Physics yesterday, and Andrea Rossi’s responses:
Gerard McEk

Dear Andrea,
If I understand it right, there are two parties testing the E-Cat SKL.

AR: There are more than two parties examining the SKL.

Some questions about that, if I may:
1. Does each party have a separate E-cat for testing?
AR: no

2. Is/Are this/both E-cat(s) at your lab?
AR: yes

3. Have both parties started testing?
AR: some has

4. You said there is an ‘independent third party’ test entity, that is not payed by you. What makes them testing it anyway:
A. Payed by another party
B. Because they are curious
C. Some other reason
AR: C (Clients)

5. Are these 3rd party tests be done by a company specialized in this and doing this?
AR: obviously

6. Will the test/certification results be presented at the same time when both parties are finished or are they be presented separately?
AR:  the certifications will be presented when the product will be for sale, the tests are under NDA, eventually it will depend on the situations

7. What is roughly the current estimate when both are finished?
AR: with the corona virus restrictions nobody can schedule anything

Thank you for answering our questions.
Kind regards, all the best and good health, Gerard

Andrea Rossi had said in another recent comment that product certification and third party testing were two completely different things:

Andrea Rossi
March 27, 2020 at 6:12 PM
Frank Acland:
The two things are completely independent from each other.
The certification entity is paid by us to make the product certification, while the independent third party is not paid by us.

The most interesting thing to me here is that Rossi states the third party testing is being paid for and carried out by “clients”, which implies that they are potential future customers who feel they need to know for sure whether the E-Cat is the real deal by putting it to the test.

Also, true to form, Rossi is not sending E-Cats out for testing, as always they stay in his possession, under his control.

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COVID-19 Thread 3/28/2020 (French Follow-up Study of Hydrochloroquine Treatment, Plasma Treatment Study Published)

There has been a new study published by the French group of researchers studying the use of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin to treat COVID-19 patients:

“Clinical and microbiological effect of a combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin in 80 COVID-19 patients with at least a six-day follow up: an observational study”

From the abstract:

We need an effective treatment to cure COVID-19 patients and to decrease the virus carriage duration. In 80 in-patients receiving a combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin we noted a clinical improvement in all but one 86 year-old patient who died, and one 74 year-old patient still in intensive care unit. A rapid fall of nasopharyngeal viral load tested by qPCR was noted, with 83% negative at Day7, and 93% at Day8. Virus cultures from patient respiratory samples were negative in 97.5% patients at Day5. This allowed patients to rapidly de discharge from highly contagious wards with a mean length of stay of five days.

Also, a study has been published about treating COVID-19 patients with plasma from patients who have recovered from the disease:

“Treatment of 5 Critically Ill Patients With COVID-19 With Convalescent Plasma”
JAMA. Published online March 27, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.4783

From the Results section of the study:

All 5 patients (age range, 36-65 years; 2 women) were receiving mechanical ventilation at the time of treatment and all had received antiviral agents and methylprednisolone. Following plasma transfusion, body temperature normalized within 3 days in 4 of 5 patients, the SOFA score decreased, and Pao2/Fio2 increased within 12 days (range, 172-276 before and 284-366 after). Viral loads also decreased and became negative within 12 days after the transfusion, and SARS-CoV-2–specific ELISA and neutralizing antibody titers increased following the transfusion (range, 40-60 before and 80-320 on day 7). ARDS resolved in 4 patients at 12 days after transfusion, and 3 patients were weaned from mechanical ventilation within 2 weeks of treatment. Of the 5 patients, 3 have been discharged from the hospital (length of stay: 53, 51, and 55 days), and 2 are in stable condition at 37 days after transfusion.



COVID-19 Thread 3/26/2020 (Mats Lewan on the Case of Sweden)

Mats Lewan has written a blog post about the growth rate of COVID-19 infections and looks at it particularly from the Swedish perspective. Sweden is an interesting case because they are one of the few western countries that has not as yet introduced mandatory lockdown restrictions. Schools, restaurants and other public places are still open at this point.

He writes that in order to avoid overwhelming the health care services of countres, the growth rates of deaths (which he considers the most relevant statistic) needs to be kept below 10 per cent.

Here is an excerpt:

Now, the question is, will the mild measures in Sweden be enough to push down the spread of the disease, also pushing down the daily growth of deaths below 10 percent?

A number of favourable aspects have already helped us to keep the growth down initially (as we can see on the thin blue growth curve for Sweden):

Culturally, Swedish people have a tendency to do what they are asked to do for the common good, and we started relatively early with these behavioural recommendations, warned by Italy: Wash your hands, stay at home when you have symptoms, work from home if it is possible (and in Sweden it often is possible thanks to stable internet connections), avoid social contexts (some would claim that this comes naturally to us in Sweden…), protect the elderly by not meeting them etc.

We are reasonably helped by younger demographics compared to Southern Europe, and it probably also helps us that there is less daily contact between generations, traditionally.

BUT will this be enough to keep pushing down the daily growth below ten percent? Or will we need a lockdown too?

COVID-19 data for Sweden can be found here:


COVID-19 Thread 3/26/2020 (Bahrain Health Chief Claims Hydroxychloroquine Treatment is Effective; UK Epidemiologist Believes NHS Will Cope)

News is inevitably focused on coronavirus throughout the world these days. It seems that we are all held hostage to it to one degree of another, and it’s a problem that needs solving in order for life to progress. We have one thread that is getting very bulky with comments so I thought I would add new threads more regularly and include up-to-date stories that focus on possible solutions to the COVID-19 problem.

Thanks to Bob Greenyer for reporting on this first

Bahrain Health Chief Claims Hydroxychloroquine Treatment Effective in Treating COVID-19 Symptoms

“President of the Supreme Council of Health (SCH) Lt. General Dr. Shaikh Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, the Head of the National Taskforce to Combat Coronavirus (COVID-19), has affirmed that the therapeutic protocol of the Kingdom of Bahrain which uses Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) medication in treating COVID-19-infected cases has proved its effectiveness. He said the kingdom is one of the first countries that used the medication, pointing out its success in alleviating the symptoms of the virus and reducing its complications.”

Top epidemiologist predicts that the UK health system will be able to cope with COVID-19 cases.

“[Neil Ferguson, Imperial College London] said that expected increases in National Health Service capacity and ongoing restrictions to people’s movements make him “reasonably confident” the health service can cope when the predicted peak of the epidemic arrives in two or three weeks. UK deaths from the disease are now unlikely to exceed 20,000, he said, and could be much lower.”

Read more:

Rossi: Working With Third Party on Skype During Coronavirus Restrictions

We don’t know who the third party E-Cat SKL testers are yet, but Andrea Rossi has stated on the Journal of Nuclear Physics that he has been interacting with them over Skype during this period of disruption due to the coronavirus outbreak. I tried to get a little better picture of what has been going on by asking Rossi some questions:

Frank Acland
March 26, 2020 at 2:53 AM
Dear Andrea,

1. Do I understand correctly that you are interacting with third party testers via Skype?
2. Are you running tests on the E-Cat SKL in your lab that they are able to observe?
3. Are they compiling data about their observations?
4. When they are able, will they visit your lab, or will you go to them?
5. Will a report be written about this Skype testing, or is it more informal?

Thank you, and best wishes,

Frank Acland

Andrea Rossi
March 26, 2020 at 5:36 AM
Frank Acland:
1 yes
2 yes
3 yes
4 both
5 it is more informal, for obvious reasons
Warm Regards,

So obviously this is not the ideal situation, nor could this be considered third party testing. A true third party test would require the testers to have hands-on contact with the E-Cat and be able to run their own experiments. But it sounds like Rossi is trying to do something to move his project along, and like most meetings these days it has to be done remotely.

I asked Rossi yesterday how productive and useful this Skype activity has been, he replied: “Very much, in preparation of the real stuff.”

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Rossi: E-Cat Testing Affected by Coronavirus, Doing “Something in Skype”

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic seems to have perfectly coincided with Andrea Rossi’s plans for third party testing of the E-Cat SKL, which I am sure has been a frustrating situation for Rossi and his team to be in. He had said that there was a firm date for testing to start in the second half of March, but it’s hard to imagine that things could go on without interruption in the current environment.

I asked him about this today on the Journal of Nuclear Physics:

Frank Acland
March 20, 2020 at 4:50 PM
Dear Andrea,

Has the third party testing of the E-Cat SKL has started yet?

If not, has it been delayed by the CV?

His reply:

Andrea Rossi
March 21, 2020 at 4:43 AM
Frank Acland:
The C.V. obviously is limiting the tests. I will give information about the tests when they will have been terminated. We can do something by Skype in this moment, waiting for the end of this sanitary tsunami
Warm Regards,

It’s hard to imagine how one can carry out a third party test over Skype. Perhaps they are having some kind of videoconferencing with the testers, but it would seem that they will have to just wait for more favorable conditions in order to carry out the planned testing.

In another comment, Andrea Rossi wanted to make something very clear in response to a question about using the E-Cat to fight the coronavirus:

Andrea Rossi
March 21, 2020 at 6:02 AM
Khashayar Shatti:

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Rossi: E-Cat SKL has Improved over Early Model

Andrea Rossi has mentioned recently on the Journal of Nuclear Physics that he has been able to make further improvements on the E-Cat SKL. Today he provided a little more information about the nature of the improvements. So apparently the power density has been improved, along with amount of electricity generated.

Frank Acland
March 18, 2020 at 9:48 AM
Dear Andrea,

1. Do I understand correctly that the E-Cat SKL is smaller than when you announced it was a 10 cm cube?
2. If it is smaller, is the power output the same as in previous versions?
3. Has the ratio of electricity to heat produced increased over recent weeks?

Andrea Rossi
March 18, 2020 at 11:47 AM
Frank Acland:
1- yes
2- yes
3- yes, the heat is less in percentage
Warm Regards,

Another question was asked about how he could carry on his work during the coronavirus restrictions:

Giuseppe Mantegazza
March 18, 2020 at 11:47 AM
Dr Rossi,
I suppose that wherever you are in Europe in this period you are confined in house for the corona virus:
1- how can you work ?

Andrea Rossi
March 18, 2020 at 12:08 PM
Giuseppe Mantegazza:
1- Yes, also here the movements have been limited, but I have my laboratory adjacent to where I stay, so I work full time also with my collaborators in full respect of the given rules

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MFMP Live Mizuno Analogue Experiment Running Now

Thanks to Bob Greenyer for the following post:

Live Mizuno analogue running now @ Magic Sound Lab in California

Chat is on, so post your questions and comments there.

Alan Goldwater, who is running the test, has updated the live document here:

He adds

“This morning I pumped out the cell again, then loaded 1010 Pa of D2 using 10 mg of LiAlD2 in a small stainless steel ampoule.

Once the temperture is raised, any substantial excess heat will be shown by comparison with the master calibration curve in the Live Document”

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