Is Remdesivir a Potential Drug Against Covid-19? - Virus 11

Tuesday, May 5, 2020
A potential drug to combat Corona Virus
(credit to Daily Mail)

At previous posted, we discussed about the time length to produce possible vaccine of Covid-19 (When Will Vaccine for Covid-19 Available? - Virus 4 | Tanza Erlambang Update).

We just listening and watching “good news” about prospect to combat SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes Covid-19 in recent days.

Drug called “Remdesivir” was designated to control the Ebola virus, but the effect “not so good.”

Since its able to block “the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase” enzyme which is used by virus to replicate itself (by helping from human cells), the “Remdesivir” then applied to combat SARS and MERS viruses.

Remdesivir ables to control both SARS and MERS viruses in the laboratory and animal experiments.

In case of Covid-19, the drug has been given to 1,063 patients in 22 countries, include:
- China
- Japan
- UK and other several European countries.

Reported from several resources showed that drugs have positive effects on:
- shorten recovery from 15 days to 11 days.
- reducing mortality rate from 11% to 8%.

Yes, the result was “promising,” but not significant statistically, thus it needs to be further analyzed, and the trial might be expanded.

However, CEO of Gilead Sciences, the company which produced “Remdesivir,” has planned to supply the drugs to hospitals in the USA by next week.

The drugs will be used to treat about 200,000 infected patients. If success, the drugs will be developed into three forms:
- administered through IV
- by injection
- pills

We wait and pray for the best, hope, Covid-19 disappears soon.

Do You Know this Kind of Animal? - Greater Vogelkop Superb Bird of Paradise - part 2

Sunday, May 3, 2020
You can see the feet (credit to YouTube)

From previous post (Do You Know this Kind of Animal? - part 1 | Tanza Erlambang Update), you may see its feet now.

Yes, two prominent characters of birds are able to dance in addition to sing to attract females for mates.

Its English name quite strange for me, “Vogelkop Superb Bird of Paradise,” but recently called as “Greater Vogelkop Superb Bird of Paradise,” and Lophorina niedda as a scientific name.

The fact, birds of paradise inhabit two countries:
- New Guinea (Papua New Guinea)
- Papua, Indonesia.

In Papua, Indonesia, the paradise bird is well known as member of “Cendrawasih,” distributes mainly in the mountains and rain forest, West Part of Papua island. 

Greater Vogelkop Superb Bird of Paradise”
(credit to Telengana Today).

Both two pictures display of mating dance, where blue eyes mean attractive smiling to a female.

Female usually produces eggs 1 to 3 eggs, then lay them in the nest. The time for hatching is about 2 to 4 weeks.

Many paradise birds in the endanger species list, luckily “Greater Vogelkop Superb Bird of Paradise” considered as population stable.

Effect of Drink Chia Seeds for Diabetes Patients – Diabetes 23

Thursday, April 30, 2020
Chia seed in a glass of water

Some friends told me that Chia seed is good for health. The seeds are from plant includes in mint family.

Two species of plants, Salvia hispanica and Salvia columbariae could be found in the areas of:
- the southwestern United States
- Mexico
- Central America

Chia seeds are quite small, 1 mm in diameter with color tend to dark gray. We found white and black spots on these oval seeds.

We may consume seed with water. 10 gram of Chia seed is good enough for one glass of water. Some flavors such as orange, mango and lime may be added to the drink.

In term of diabetes, seeds are believed to benefit for type 2 diabetes patients. Few studies have shown that Chia seeds:

- improve insulin sensitivity
- control blood sugar
- lower blood sugar level after eating foods.

Do you know Chia seeds? Have you consume it?

Other posts relate to diabetes:

Do You Know this Kind of Animal? - part 1

Tuesday, April 28, 2020
Eyes and bright color (credit to News Nation)

The above image shows black thing with sections of two small spots and the blue section. You may guess what group of this animal? Few choices in vertebrate classification:

- fish
- amphibian
- reptile
- birds
- mammals

Just for hints that this animal live the tropical country, endemic to New Guinea. Ernst Mayr, Germany evolutionary biologist discovered this animal in 1930

First, this animal was described as sub species. Then, the animal included as very new species in 2018.

This new species, actually part of 50 species exist in the world. Many species are very rare, and live in certain areas only.

Since, females are very low in number, the males attract a female by distinctive dance. The competitions are very intensely fierce among males to get attention from a female.

Now, can you guess (what kind of animal it is)?

I will post the answer in the part 2.

Old post:

Should We Get Covid-19 Antibody Test to Avoid Lock-down? - Virus 10

Saturday, April 25, 2020
Fig 01- Machine to detect virus infection and measure antibody concentration 
in the blood (credit to Abbot)

As of previous post, we talked about method to half spreading of Covid-19 is better by lock down or physical (social) distant than herd immunity:

We might intend to avoid “lock down or physical (social) distant” rule. How? Should We Get Covid-19 Antibody Test to Avoid Lock-down?

Antibody test also called as:
- immunity titer
- antibody titer
- serological test.

It is a test to measure IgG and IgM antibodies where they are detected in the blood after exposing to the virus, in this case SARS-CoV-2 virus.

IgM refers to antibody caused by recently infection, whereas IgG antibody is formed after 7 to 10 days infection. IgG antibody may include currently and past infections.

Fig 02- A yellow bell pepper. Illustration.

We have success to conduct similar titer tests to following communicable diseases:
- mumps
- rubella
- varicella
- measles
- hepatisis B

Fig 03- Red and yellow bell peppers

Moreover, New York state have recorded that 13.9% of 3,000 tested residents are positive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies.

What is it mean?

If this percentage hold to the whole nation, there are projected of 46 million of USA citizens have IgG and IgM antibodies to protect them from Covid-19 infection in the future.

These people may avoid stay at home order or even doing:
- normal job in the offices as usual.
- high risk jobs to take care Covid-19 patients
- customers services

Do you think antibody test is useful? Do you want to be tested?

Is Herd Immunity without Vaccine the Worst Strategy? - Virus 9

Thursday, April 23, 2020
Herd Immunity to halt diseases spreading
(credit to USA Today).

Originally, Herd Immunity is an idea to stop spreading infection from human to human by vaccinations.

It is proved that if 70% to 90% of people injected by vaccine, the herd immunity is achieved to contain following diseases, just for some examples:

- chickenpox
- mumps
- polio
- measles

In respect to SARS-CoV-2 virus which responsible to COVID-19 pandemic, we do not have vaccine yet. So, how do we reach herd immunity?

Previously, one America bio statistician, then followed by some British scientists to propose to let at least 60% population exposes to virus.

It is mean, just for illustration purposes that number of people infected to virus will be:
- 60% x 68 million = 40.8 million in the United Kingdom
- 60% x 328 million = 197 million in the USA

Wild flower in the yard. Illustration only.

Let’s say fatality rate was 2.3%, the dead toll is going to unbelievable number:
- 938,400 people dead in the UK
- 4.5 million people dead in the USA

Thus, the idea to have “herd immunity” without vaccine is not only very bad idea, but also crazy or insane.

Physical distance or lock down seems work well in several countries. 

The countries that are able to at least “reduce” spreading of virus by this method include Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and China.

We hope that other countries replicate the success of these nations, and Covid-19 disappears soon.

How many Sand Dunes in the USA?

Tuesday, April 21, 2020
Great Sand Dunes National Park

By seeing at above image you might think it is a Middle East country scenery or Sahara Desert or other tropical countries view.

No, it is a Colorado image, the state I consider as one of northern part of USA with colder temperature.

The dunes called as “Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve” with area size is 603.1 km2 (232.9 mile2).

Many people come there to explore this desert, about a half million (500,000) visitors to explore the area every year.

What they have done in the desert? Some activities are:
- watching sky in the night
- observing cranes migration during Spring and Fall
- Sledding and Sand boarding
- Riding horse
- Hiking
- many mores

Then, How many Sand Dunes in the USA? At least, there are seven sand dunes include in Colorado. Other 6 sand deserts are:

- Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, Death Valley, California
- Dumont Dunes, California
- Oregon Sand Dunes National Recreation Area, Oregon
- Algodones Dunes, California
- The Outer Banks, North Carolina and Virginia.
- White Sands National Monument, New Mexico.

Have your state or country own sand dunes and deserts?