You won’t believe the unexpected reason some people have coronavirus immunity – BGR

You won’t believe the unexpected reason some people have coronavirus immunity – BGR

  • August 7, 2020
  • Some people may be immune to COVID-19 for an unexpected reason.
  • A new coronavirus immunity study delivers the same conclusion similar papers have offered in the past few months. They suggest that the immune system might get an unexpected boost from the common cold.
  • Researchers looking to answer questions surrounding COVID-19 immunity discovered that immune responses to other human coronavirus infections generated T cells that are capable of recognizing the COVID-19 virus and mounting a rapid response.
  • These T cells can roam the body for years and provide a prolonged defense against the novel coronavirus. It’s still unknown how long COVID-19 immunity might last, and that’s a crucial detail for future pandemic and vaccination management policies.

Gaining immunity to the novel coronavirus is the ultimate goal for public health officials. This can happen in two ways, via direct infection or immunization. The latter is the preferred means, as extensive vaccination campaigns can deliver the herd immunity phenomenon that will stop the virus from spreading so quickly. With fewer susceptible targets out there, the virus would have a hard time jumping to new hosts. COVID-19 might not disappear entirely, but therapeutics that prevent complications and deaths — and vaccines that might prevent the infection entirely — could make the disease much less dangerous. Before any of that can happen, scientists need to answer a crucial question: how long does COVID-19 immunity last? Regardless of how it’s acquired, we need to know how long people are protected against reinfection so that appropriate strategies can be formulated.

Some of the scientists who are looking to explain and quantify COVID-19 immunity have reached the same interesting conclusion. There may be a third way to become immune to COVID-19 aside from surviving the disease or receiving a vaccine. Previous exposure to the common cold may train the immune system to recognize and neutralize SARS-CoV-2 as well.

Four known human coronaviruses cause the common cold, and a study said a few days ago infection from any of these viruses might teach the immune system to recognize the novel coronavirus and prevent it from causing complications. Researchers from the Duke-NUS Medical School explained that T cells created by the immune system to beat the common cold can boost the immune response against COVID-19. The team found that people who were infected with SARS in 2003 still had circulating T cells some 17 years later.

The T cells are white blood cells that are roaming the body, always in search of a specific pathogen they’ve been trained to remember. Upon secondary contact, they can create more T cells that would then neutralize infected cells. T cells could also recruit B cells that are responsible for the creation of new antibodies.

Researches a few weeks ago said that COVID-19 antibodies might disappear from the bloodstream just three months after an infection. But we learned at the time that the immune system also trains T cells that would linger on. These cells are not detected via antibody tests meant to confirm whether a person survived COVID-19. But they exist and can be identified with more complex tests. Some of the promising vaccine candidates deliver the same dual defense mechanism, raising antibodies that can block the virus as well as T cells that can remember the encounter.

The newest study on the matter was published in Science, and it comes from the La Jolla Institute for Immunology researchers who proved the same phenomenon back in May. Around the same time, a study from Germany’s Charité University Hospital indicated the importance of T cells in COVID-19 immunity.

The La Jolla scientists think that people who have never been exposed to COVID-19 may deliver a better immune response to the virus because of their previous colds. Those episodes trained a generation of T cells that can also identify SARS-CoV-2 and mount a fast response. “This could help explain why some people show milder symptoms of the disease while others get severely sick,” coauthor of the study Alessandro Sette said in a press release. However, it’s unclear how preexisting immunity affects the COVID-19 prognosis.

Sette and his team looked at blood samples collected between 2015 and 2018 from 25 people, at a time when the COVID-19 virus wasn’t circulating in humans. The researchers discovered that T cells in those samples could recognize the new coronavirus as well as the four types of known human coronaviruses that cause the common cold.

While that’s great news for managing COVID-19 patients, more research is needed to determine exactly what sort of protection previous exposure to known coronaviruses offers against COVID-19. More research could also explain whether there’s any correlation between exposure to one of four mild coronaviruses and the evolution of the COVID-19 infection. Additionally, it would be interesting to see whether this cross-reactive T cell response can explain why some people do not develop symptoms and recover faster than others.

Chris Smith started writing about gadgets as a hobby, and before he knew it he was sharing his views on tech stuff with readers around the world. Whenever he’s not writing about gadgets he miserably fails to stay away from them, although he desperately tries. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Boosting The Immune System Could Be A Treatment Strategy For COVID-19

Boosting The Immune System Could Be A Treatment Strategy For COVID-19

  • August 6, 2020

Since the beginning of this outbreak holistic practitioners and the health conscious around the globe have been encouraging people to make better lifestyle choices and boost their immune system , and to be honest they have been for decades. Now Washington University appears to be joining that cause and is suggesting that boosting the immune system could be a treatment strategy for COVID-19. 

“We think if we can make our immune systems stronger, we’ll be better able to fight off this coronavirus, as well as other viral and bacterial pathogens”

A large portion of research into this virus is focused on the immune system’s role in those who became seriously ill. One of the emerging theories suggests that the immune system works so hard at fighting off this virus that it can result in fatal organ damage, particularly in the lungs. 

Researchers from Washington University St.Louis are pointing to another theory that is getting overlooked which suggests that patients become ill because their immune system is not able to do enough to protect them from the virus, and as such the team is suggesting that boosting the immune system could be a potential treatment strategy. The team has also been investigating a similar approach with sepsis, according to a release. 

“People around the world have been treating patients seriously ill with COVID-19 using drugs that do very different things,” said Richard S. Hotchkiss, professor of anesthesiology, of medicine and of surgery. “Some drugs tamp down the immune response, while others enhance it. Everybody seems to be throwing the kitchen sink at the illness. It may be true that some people die from a hyperinflammatory response, but it appears more likely to us that if you block the immune system too much, you’re not going to be able to control the virus.”

Autopsy studies were used to show large amounts of the virus present in the organs of those who had lost their battle with the virus, which suggests that their immune system was not working well enough to fight the virus off leading to death. 

“But when we actually looked closely at these patients, we found that their tires, so to speak, were underinflated or immune-suppressed,” said Kenneth Remy, assistant professor of pediatrics, of medicine and of anesthesiology at WashU. “To go and poke holes in them with anti-inflammatory drugs because you think they are hyperinflated or hyperinflamed will only make the suppression and the disease worse.

Blood samples were gathered from 20 COVID-19 patients to test the activity of immune cells in the blood; the team compared those samples with blood of 26 hospitalized sepsis patients and 18 others who were very ill but did not have sepsis or COVID-19. Those with COVID-19 were found to have far fewer circulating immune cells than what is typical and the immune cells present did not secrete normal levels of cytokines. Cytokine molecules are suspected to be the cause of organ damage in death in COVID-19 patients. 

Similar trials and studies focused on boosting immunity are underway in Europe and America which includes Washington University. According to the team finding ways to boost immune responses should help COVID-19 patients, and should also be helpful in avoiding another similar pandemic. 

We should have been geared up and more ready when this pathogen appeared,” said Hotchkiss. “But what Ken [Remy] and I and our colleagues are working on now is finding ways to boost the immune system that may help people during future pandemics. We think if we can make our immune systems stronger, we’ll be better able to fight off this coronavirus, as well as other viral and bacterial pathogens that may be unleashed in the future.

For anyone interested in boosting your immune system, while it is not guaranteed to prevent you from becoming ill, it could help to give you a better chance of recovery. According to Harvard Health the first line of defense when it comes to the immune system is choosing a health lifestyle. Every part of the body functions better when it is protected from environmental assaults and is bolstered by healthy living strategies, such as what is promoted by here at WHN and the A4M.

Healthy lifestyle choices include:

  • Not smoking
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Keep levels of stress in check/minimized 
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Avoiding being sedentary
  • Going outside more
  • Eating a healthy balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables
  • Avoiding processed foods
  • Regular exercise
  • Avoiding alcohol, and if you drink only do it in moderation
  • Being socially active face to face in person when possible
  • Proper hygiene
  • Thoroughly cooking meats
  • Limiting added sugars
  • Staying hydrated
  • Supplementing wisely as needed 

Sandra Darling, DO who is a preventive medicine physician and wellness expert at the Cleveland Clinic says that while there is no magic pill, there are tried and true ways to take your immunity up a notch: 

“Let’s start with the basics: Wash your hands for 20 seconds, don’t touch your face and take distancing seriously,” says Dr. Darling. “If you only do these three things, you’ll be well on your way to staying healthy.”

Dr. Darling prescribes 4 stay healthy strategies. “I believe in the power of immune-boosting foods,” says Dr. Darling. “Choosing whole, unprocessed foods does wonders for overall health.” She recommends garlic, prebiotics, vitamin C rich foods, antioxidants and natural immunity aids as immunity boosters in the focus on food. 

She also recommends simple lifestyle improvements like managing stress, getting enough sleep, meditation, and exercise. “Exercise increases your resilience so you can fight off infection,” says Dr. Darling. “Our bodies function better when we’re physically active every day.”

Like many others Dr. Darling also suggests that a positive mindset is key to health and well being. Positive thoughts have been shown to reduce stress and inflammation while increasing resilience to infection. “The COVID-19 pandemic is scary, so it’s easy to spiral down in negative thoughts,” says Dr. Darling. “The story we tell ourselves is crucial. Change it from ‘It’s not going to be OK’ to ‘I am safe at home with the people I love.’ Start your day with a positive thought or even a mantra such as, ‘I am well.’

“A lot of people are deficient (or low) in vitamin D, and a deficiency may increase your susceptibility to infection,” says Dr. Darling. “Get outside for fresh air and sunshine, but I also recommend taking a daily supplement of 1,000 to 2,000 IUs of vitamin D.

According to healthline some studies indicate the following supplements may help to strengthen the body’s general immune response: vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, elderberry, echinacea, and garlic. 

  • According to a review in over 11,000 people, taking 1,000–2,000 mg of vitamin C per day reduced the duration of colds by 8% in adults and 14% in children. Yet, supplementing did not prevent the cold to begin with.
  • Vitamin D deficiency may increase your chances of getting sick, so supplementing may counteract this effect.
  • In a review in 575 people with the common cold, supplementing with more than 75 mg of zinc per day reduced the duration of the cold by 33%.
  • One small review found that elderberries could reduce the symptoms of viral upper respiratory infections, but more research is needed.
  • A study in over 700 people found that those who took echinacea recovered from colds slightly more quickly than those who received a placebo or no treatment.
  • A high quality, 12-week study in 146 people found that supplementing with garlic reduced the incidence of the common cold by about 30%. However, more research is needed. 
Bishop: Our Bodies Are Designed to Fight Off Viruses – And They Do It Every Day

Bishop: Our Bodies Are Designed to Fight Off Viruses – And They Do It Every Day

  • August 6, 2020

By Dr. Kristen Bishop

Valley residents are continuing to work through the slight declining trend of COVID-19, many are still concerned about the safety of themselves and their families. With Maricopa County schools beginning the year with online learning, parents, teachers and students are experiencing overwhelming concerns for how and when in-person learning begins. As these health worries weigh heavily on everyone’s minds, our team at the Keystone Natural Family Medicine Clinic is hoping to provide clarity on how our bodies fight viruses and ways to improve our immune systems to stay healthy.

The human body has a highly sophisticated, well-orchestrated system with many mechanisms to deal with bacteria, viruses, fungi and other pathogens. Schools were made for social interaction, not social distancing. Our immune systems are very able to defend the body against viruses.

To assure people that our bodies are designed to fight off many viruses, there are two main parts of our immune system: the innate and adaptive responses. These will work in tandem to ward off infections.

When a virus enters the body, the innate immune system is triggered. Your body will send white blood cells to meet the virus in an almost immediate response. These first responder cells will attack the pathogen and provide barriers to keep it from spreading through the whole body. This type of defense is happening all the time as we come in contact with countless viruses, oftentimes without us ever knowing it.

When the white blood cells aren’t enough, the immune system will signal its adaptive response to form antibodies, so that the next time your body encounters that virus, it can recognize and respond more efficiently.

Regardless when schools open, and the expectation of a harsh cold and flu season, my Keystone team and I continue to stress that one of the most important things you can do to protect against various pathogens is to boost your immune system to keep it running effectively. There are a few ways you and your families can easily do this:

  • Eat healthy: The best way to boost your immune system is by eating nutrient-dense foods, such as fruits and vegetables.
  • Sleep: Getting a healthy amount of sleep is one of the best ways you can support a healthy immune system.
  • Exercise regularly: To keep all your bodily systems functioning normally, getting a healthy amount of regular exercise is extremely important.
  • Disinfect your hands: Our hands are full of bacteria that we then introduce to our bodies. By washing or disinfecting our hands frequently we can ensure that we are keeping our immune system from fighting off too many viruses at once.

As you can see, our immune systems are designed to fight off viruses. I want to remind everyone to wash your hands regularly, wear a mask or practice social distancing, and stay home if you or a member of your family is sick. However, I want to assure you that our immune systems are ready and able to defend against any viruses they might encounter this fall.

Editor’s Note: Dr. Kristen Bishop is Keystone Natural Family Medicine’s Lead Doctor and Medical Advisor, overseeing all care, its residency program and sees patients as well. As the legislative committee chair for the Arizona Naturopathic Medical Association and an Arizona delegate for the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, Dr. Bishop is focused on quality care for all patients at Keystone Natural Family Medicine and strives to bring innovation to Naturopathic Medicine.

10 Ways To Boost Your Immune System In Times Of COVID-19, According To SHA Wellness Clinic

10 Ways To Boost Your Immune System In Times Of COVID-19, According To SHA Wellness Clinic

  • August 6, 2020

Set on Spain’s Costa Blanca, SHA Wellness Clinic is one of the world’s premier wellness destinations. This health resort has been known to attract everyone from elite athletes, to Hollywood celebrities and Victoria’s Secret models, as well as assorted oligarchs and billionaires. They come to lose weight, detox, or participate in SHA’s Healthy Aging program. Others want to reset their minds and bodies, adopt new healthy habits, or simply get away from it all. 

Devised by wellness guru Alfredo Bataller, the immensely successful SHA method is based on a holistic approach to wellness that combines the latest advances in Western medicine and progressive natural therapies, with a particular focus on healthy, balanced nutrition and exercise.

Since reopening in July, SHA has introduced a series of new services specially designed for the COVID-19 era. Immunotherapy and lymphocyte profile consultations have been added to all bookings to assess the state of the guest’s immune system, while a new immune system strengthening pack has also been developed. A comprehensive “SHA insurance” covers medical and related expenses in the event of positive COVID-19 test on arrival. 

So, how can we apply the SHA method to our everyday lives to give our immune systems an extra boost in times of COVID-19? Here are some tips from Alfredo Bataller and his team of experts at SHA Wellness Clinic:

1. Choose seasonal fruit and vegetables

Alfredo Bataller, founder of SHA Wellness Clinic: A balanced diet that includes plenty of fruit and vegetables, vitamin C and antioxidants helps reinforce the immune system and prevent disease. It’s highly recommended to choose fruit and vegetables that are in season to ensure that they are as fresh and nutritious as possible.

2. Enjoy immune-boosting superfoods

Melanie Waxman, healthy nutrition expert: To keep the immune system in perfect working order, we should enjoy a diet based on fresh food that helps to maintain the balance of the intestinal microbiota. It should include whole grains, beans, seaweed (spirulina), nuts, seeds, green leafy vegetables, such as kale, onions, garlic, leeks and asparagus, and fruit, such as apples.

3. Take moderate exercise

Luis Ganso, personal trainer: Moderate exercise, such as 30 minutes of fast-paced walking, has been shown to improve the function of the immune system. This type of exercise strengthens our respiratory capacity, mobilizing antibodies and white blood cells to circulate more quickly, and detect and neutralize external attacks. Meanwhile, raising the body temperature helps to prevent the development of infection.

4. Exercise outdoors if possible…

Alfredo Bataller: It’s always a good idea to spend some time during the day walking outdoors—preferably in nature. Spending time outdoors is important for breathing fresh air and absorbing the vitamin D provided by the sun, which is so crucial to support calcium absorption and the proper functioning of the immune system.

5. …Even when you don’t feel like it

Alfredo Bataller: Exercise is always good, even if we may have lost motivation during lockdown or if we feel tired or low on energy. Exercise strengthens the immune system and makes our bodies secrete “happy” hormones, or endorphins, while reducing the level of the stress hormone, cortisol. Stress is harmful to the body, and, having less of it actually strengthens the immune system.

6. Use deep breathing to stimulate lymph flow

Rachel Rose, body and mind expert and yoga coach: Stable mental health is basic to managing stress, which, in turn, impacts the immune system. Lymphocytes are found in lymph nodes and organs, and in the blood. Lymph nodes are the body’s first line of defense against disease. Breathing is directly related to lymph flow, and lymph flow is directly related to immunity. 

The diaphragm muscle, located between the lungs and the abdomen moves down when we inhale and up when we exhale. This movement causes a series of pressure differences that generate movement in the body. Lymph flow, or the mechanism that transports the lymph containing our infection-fighting white blood cells throughout the body, is one of the most crucial movements supported by deep breathing. 

7. Get enough rest

Alfredo Bataller: Getting quality sleep is essential to reinforcing our immune system, while not getting enough sleep can cause our immunity to decline, making us more prone to infectious diseases. Adults should sleep at least seven to eight hours a day.

8. Rethink breakfast

Maria Romeralo, healthy nutrition expert: When we start the day with sugary coffee and a pastry, we instantly feel good and full of energy. However, after a while, our energy levels drop and our bodies demand more sugar. This is why it’s important to avoid refined sugar, artificial sweeteners and honey at breakfast. 

At SHA, we serve miso soup for breakfast. Miso soup is a great source of protein, vitamins, minerals and enzymes. You can make it even richer by adding wakame seaweed, onions, tofu, carrots or pumpkin. It’s a wonderful way to cleanse the body while providing quality nutrients. Miso is a fermented food and therefore a source of probiotics that also help strengthen our immune systems.

9. Keep in touch with friends and family

Alfredo Bataller: Confinement can lead to loneliness, sedentariness and depression, all of which are detrimental to the proper functioning of the immune system. Contact with our loved ones helps calm the mind, enables us to cope with the stress of these uncertain times, and also reduces the risk of obesity and alcohol and tobacco abuse.

10. Look for lasting lifestyle change, not quick fixes 

Melanie Waxman, healthy nutrition expert: It’s important to transition to a healthy lifestyle gradually, with a view to maintaining it long term. At SHA, we give our guests the necessary tools to start leading that lifestyle once they leave: healthy cooking classes, yoga classes, outdoor exercise, nutrition and medical advice on everything from quitting smoking, to sleeping, and strengthening the cognition. Once back in their routine, they’re encouraged to adopt these activities until they become habits.

Boosting immune system a potential treatment strategy for COVID

Boosting immune system a potential treatment strategy for COVID

  • August 5, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to claim lives around the world, much research has focused on the immune system’s role in patients who become seriously ill. A popular theory has it that the immune system gets so revved up fighting the virus that, after several days, it produces a so-called cytokine storm that results in potentially fatal organ damage, particularly to the lungs.

But new findings from a team of researchers led by scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis point to another theory and suggest that patients become ill because their immune systems can’t do enough to protect them from the virus, landing them in intensive care units. They suggest that boosting immunity could be a potential treatment strategy for COVID-19.

Such a strategy has been proposed in two recently published papers, one published online in JAMA Network Open and the other published online in the journal JCI Insight.

“People around the world have been treating patients seriously ill with COVID-19 using drugs that do very different things,” said senior investigator Richard S. Hotchkiss, MD, professor of anesthesiology, of medicine and of surgery. “Some drugs tamp down the immune response, while others enhance it. Everybody seems to be throwing the kitchen sink at the illness. It may be true that some people die from a hyperinflammatory response, but it appears more likely to us that if you block the immune system too much, you’re not going to be able to control the virus.”

The Washington University researchers have been investigating a similar approach in treating sepsis, a potentially fatal condition that also involves patients who simultaneously seem to have overactive and weakened immune systems.

Hotchkiss points to autopsy studies performed by other groups showing large amounts of coronavirus present in the organs of people who died from COVID-19, suggesting that their immune systems were not working well enough to fight the virus. His colleague, Kenneth E. Remy, MD, the JCI Insight study’s first author, compares efforts to inhibit the immune system to fixing a flat tire by letting more air out.

“But when we actually looked closely at these patients, we found that their tires, so to speak, were underinflated or immune-suppressed,” said Remy, assistant professor of pediatrics, of medicine and of anesthesiology at Washington University. “To go and poke holes in them with anti-inflammatory drugs because you think they are hyperinflated or hyperinflamed will only make the suppression and the disease worse.”

After gathering blood samples from 20 COVID-19 patients at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Missouri Baptist Medical Center in St. Louis, the researchers employed a test to measure the activity of immune cells in the blood. They compared the blood of those patients to 26 hospitalized sepsis patients and 18 others who were very sick but had neither sepsis nor COVID-19.

They found that the COVID-19 patients often had far fewer circulating immune cells than is typical. Further, the immune cells that were present did not secrete normal levels of cytokines – the molecules many have proposed as a cause of organ damage and death in COVID-19 patients.

Instead of trying to fight the infection by further interfering with the production of cytokines, they tried a strategy that has been successful in previous studies they have conducted in sepsis patients.

Hotchkiss and Remy collaborated with researchers in a small study conducted in seriously ill COVID-19 patients who were hospitalized in Belgium. In that study, which was reported on in the JAMA Network Open paper, the COVID-19 patients were treated with a substance called interleukin-7 (IL-7), a cytokine that is required for the healthy development of immune cells.

In those patients, the researchers found that IL-7 helped restore balance to the immune system by increasing the number of immune cells and helping those cells make more cytokines to fight infection.

The research did not demonstrate, however, that treatment with IL-7 improved mortality in COVID-19 patients.

“This was a compassionate trial and not a randomized, controlled trial of IL-7,” Remy explained. “We were attempting to learn whether we could get these immune cells working again – and we could – as well as whether we could do it without causing harmful effects in these very sick patients – and there were none. As this was an observational study involving a small number of patients who already were on ventilators, it wasn’t really designed to evaluate IL-7’s impact on mortality.”

Studies focused on boosting immunity and improving outcomes among the sickest COVID-19 patients are just getting underway in Europe, and similar trials are starting in the U.S., including at Washington University.

Hotchkiss said that finding ways to boost the immune response should help not only in COVID-19 patients but when the next pandemic arises.

“We should have been geared up and more ready when this pathogen appeared,” he said. “But what Ken and I and our colleagues are working on now is finding ways to boost the immune system that may help people during future pandemics. We think if we can make our immune systems stronger, we’ll be better able to fight off this coronavirus, as well as other viral and bacterial pathogens that may be unleashed in the future.”

Novavax reports promising early trial results of COVID-19 vaccine

Novavax reports promising early trial results of COVID-19 vaccine – World

  • August 5, 2020

US biotech company Novavax on Tuesday announced its experimental COVID-19 vaccine elicited a robust immune response, producing more antibodies than are present in recovered patients, and with generally tolerable side-effects in its early-stage trial.

The company was given $1.6 billion by the US government last month to develop and fund the drug under Operation Warp Speed — but in terms of timeline it is behind other firms including Moderna and AstraZeneca which have entered the final stages of their trials.

It reported in a press release that the phase one stage of its placebo-controlled trial involved 131 healthy adults aged 18-59 and two dose groups of five and 25 micrograms.

Side effects included soreness at the site of injection, headache, fatigue and muscle pain. These were classified as mild to moderate, and none were severe.

After the first dose, all subjects who got the vaccine developed antibodies that block SARS-CoV-2’s “spike protein,” which it uses to latch on to human cells.

Most also developed “neutralizing antibodies” which are more potent and prevent viruses from infecting cells.

After a second dose given 28 days later, all participants had the more powerful neutralizing antibodies.

Novavax reported that the lower dose performed comparably with the higher dose, which is important when it comes to mass production and because lower doses generally elicit fewer side effects.

Antibodies are infection-fighting proteins made by the immune system. 

Another part of the immune response comes in the form of T cells, types of white blood cells that have the capability to kill infected cells and which are increasingly thought to play an important role against COVID-19.

Novavax said it looked for these cells in a subset of participants and found they were present.

The trial was supported by funding from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and was conducted at two sites in  Australia.

Novavax has not yet shared the detailed findings but said it was submitting the research for publication in a peer-reviewed journal and to medical preprint site 

The final stage Phase 3 trial of its vaccine, called NVX-CoV2373, is set to take place this fall.

The Maryland-based company grows synthesized pieces of the SARS-CoV-2’s “spike protein,” which triggers an immune response, inside insect cells in order to help scale up production.

It also uses an “adjuvant,” a compound that boosts the production of neutralizing antibodies.

The company says the drug, which is a liquid formulation, can be stored at two degrees celsius to eight degrees celsius, refrigerator temperature.

In the spring, the company said it had proven the efficacy of a seasonal flu vaccine it had developed using the same technology.

Florida school districts, staffing agencies need to hire hundreds of substitute teachers

Florida school districts, staffing agencies need to hire hundreds of substitute teachers

  • August 3, 2020

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — Education leaders are in a mad dash working to get ready for the start of the school year. Among the preparations, school districts statewide still need to hire hundreds of substitute teachers.

Kelly Education Services, which partners with school districts across Florida, says they need to hire more than 100 teachers a week to fill vacancies.


Tina Mosley, the Regional Vice President of Florida’s Division of Kelly Education, says substitute teachers were already in high demand, with fewer college students choosing education as a career.

Now, COVID-19 is making matters worse with some teachers choosing to retire or quit over COVID-19 concerns.

“If this is something that you’ve thought about then maybe, pushed aside, this is the time. This is the opportunity,” Mosley said, adding that they are constantly hiring more substitute teachers.

“We’re in unprecedented times as you know and there’s been a teacher shortage for the last 10 years, which is now leading to a substitute teacher shortage,” she said.

ABC Action News checked with every local school district in Tampa Bay and they all tell us they’re currently hiring subs, though many don’t have a final count on how many they will need as they wait to see how many teachers will report back to the classroom.

Pinellas and Pasco counties, which hire subs through district administration, are planning to assign every school with one or two substitutes to show up daily to their assigned campus to cover any vacancies.

Pinellas County says by having school-based substitutes, it will eliminate the number of new people entering into school buildings. The district also plans to use non-classroom instructional staff, which work for the school or district, to cover vacancies.

Pasco County says their priority subs system will provide for two subs to report daily to each school. Some larger schools will have more than two, according to district public information officer Steve Hegarty.

Hillsborough County Substitute teacher Debi Klimon says she has concerns about returning to school, but she’s committed to returning to the classroom especially to fill in for educators with compromised immune systems.

“I really feel like this year, especially, is going to be making the biggest impact being a substitute teacher,” Klimon explained.

Klimon says to stay safe, she plans on sticking with two to three schools this year and boosting her immune system with vitamins.

“I am concerned about getting the kids to social distance, keep their masks on and trying to determine if this child coughing or sneezing because he has fall allergies or is something else going on?” she said.

Klimon knows this year will provide a lot of challenges, but she says the reward of knowing she’s making a difference is worth it.

“It’s so cool to know you had a part in that building block and stepping stone in their education,” Klimon said with a smile.

Researchers nearly finished with clinical trials for COVID-19 herbal medicines

Researchers nearly finished with clinical trials for COVID-19 herbal medicines – National

  • August 3, 2020

A research team at a temporary COVID-19 hospital at Wisma Atlet Kemayoran in Central Jakarta has reportedly managed to recruit its 90th and final subject for its clinical trials of new herbal medicines for COVID-19 patients. Seventy-two of them have completed the trials so far.

The team, comprising representatives from the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) and the Association of Indonesian Doctors for the Development of Traditional and Herbal Medicine (PDPOTJI), among others, is currently developing two herbal medicines intended to boost the immune systems of COVID-19 patients. 

Both medicines are said to be “immunomodulator drugs” that stimulate or suppress components of the immune system, including both innate and adaptive immune responses. The medicines are not vaccines, nor are they a replacement for adhering to proper COVID-19 health protocol.

Read also: LIPI begins clinical trials of new herbal medicines for COVID-19 patients

“The research team is collecting data that will be handed down to the Food and Drug Monitoring Agency [BPOM] as the regulator,” LIPI said in a statement on Monday.

“We ask for support from the public so that we can make a significant contribution to the COVID-19 response in Indonesia.”

The two medicines being tested are Cordyceps militaris and another product that is made of ginger, gripeweed, green chiretta and Ngai camphor.

Cordyceps militaris is a fungus commonly found in the Himalayas and Tibet, but it has been successfully cultivated and produced in Indonesia. The fungus is widely used in herbal medicines in China, South Korea and Tibet.

Corrections Department Reports 3 COVID Cases at Torrington Prison

Corrections Department Reports 3 COVID Cases at Torrington Prison

  • August 3, 2020

Two staff members and one contract health care worker were reported lab-confirmed positive for COVID-19 at the Wyoming Department of Correction’s prison in Torrington.

The department conducted 935 tests for all inmates, staff and contract staff at the Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution as part of its testing program for all its facilities, according to a news release.

No positive cases were reported for inmates.

So far, the Wyoming Department of Corrections has conducted 2,122 tests at its facilities.

The department previously reported 24 positive test results — 15 inmates, two staff, seven contract staff — at the Wyoming State Penitentiary in Rawlins. Those individuals are currently in recovery.

No positive results were reported at the Wyoming Honor Farm in Riverton.

The department began testing for COVID-19 on Monday at the Wyoming Honor Conservation Camp and Boot Camp in Newcastle.

Those numbers will be reported when all test results are back.

See 25 natural ways to boost your immune system:

Rise in fruit and vegetable ingredients spurred by immunity and health-boosting demands

Rise in fruit and vegetable ingredients spurred by immunity and health-boosting demands

  • August 3, 2020

03 Aug 2020 — As consumers become more aware of the environmental and health implications of their eating habits, consumption of plant-based foods is moving to new heights. This onward trend allows the creative juices of food manufacturers to flow, in a bustling sector ripe for further growth and innovation. New taste sensations are also fuelling interest in the fruit and vegetable sector. Meanwhile, natural ingredients with antioxidant and immunity-boosting credentials are gaining further traction amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

For Maren Döbl, Product Manager at Austria Juice, active nutrition, taste experiences, mindful consumption and premium by nature, are the top driving forces behind fruit and vegetable applications. 

Health and well-being are high on the global value hierarchy of consumers. People are looking for holistic solutions that support them in changing their lifestyle,” she explains. Health is one of the most important topics for consumers. Berries with antioxidant properties and immune system supporting ingredients will play a key role over the coming months, Döbl stresses, noting prevalence in elderberry, blueberry and also haskap berries. 

Meanwhile, Bastian Hörmann, Director Product Management Food at ADM Nutrition, says that fruit and vegetables associated with comfort are expected to take the lead as consumers justify indulgent treats as part of their self-care. Click to EnlargeThe trend for more mindful consumption is growing and consumers are paying closer attention to how food contributes to their health and mood.

“Today’s wellness ideals are characterized by thoughtful, measured pleasure, not by self-restraint. Ashwagandha is an example of an ingredient that is currently meeting consumer demand for relaxation and will arguably drive innovation in the F&B sector,” he explains. “Maca and moringa are also trending as consumers look for more variety in energy-boosting snacks and beverages.”

With the trend for more mindful consumption growing, consumers are paying closer attention to how food and beverages contribute to their health, well-being and mood. Because of this, snacking has seen a real shift, says Hörmann. “The concept of elevated snacking has emerged thanks to the availability of premium options and the prevalence of these products in consumers’ lives.”

Healthy snacking is seen as an essential part of our lives, which can meet the need for nourishment and pleasure. Fruit and vegetable ingredients will play a crucial role in fulfilling this demand, according to Hörmann. 

“When it comes to flavors, colors, proteins and other specialty ingredients derived from nature, it is important to keep food science and supply chains in mind, along with an understanding of formulation challenges and consumer needs,” he asserts. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has recently increased demand for both vitamin-fortified juice products and for products targeted at strengthening the immune system, says Julian Bopp, Product Manager Fruit and Vegetables at Doehler. “Society as a whole is moving towards greater awareness for sustainability in day-to-day life. Consumers demand that raw materials are grown, processed and packaged sustainably, and that social standards are adhered to.”

Click to EnlargeTreatt has seen lots of demand for classic summer flavors – such as watermelon.Fun with flavor
Innovation and trends in fruit and vegetable applications are driven by consumers’ desire for their beverages to come with associated health benefits. “For example, watermelon is very refreshing and hydrating, so when people see a watermelon-flavored beverage on the shelf, they immediately make that association. Similarly, blueberries are full of antioxidants, so anything which contains a blueberry flavor also has those ‘healthier’ connotations,” Julie Barnes, Product Development Specialist at global ingredients manufacturer, Treatt, tells FoodIngredientsFirst

“We’ve seen lots of demand for the classic summer flavors – think watermelon and pineapple. Blueberry is also becoming more popular as a standalone flavor, such as in sparkling water,” she adds. 

“No matter what types of innovation we’re looking at, or the types of beverages that we’re applying them to – whether it’s a juice, hard seltzer, flavored water or smoothie – our focus is always on making sure we preserve the natural flavor profile.” 

Treatt has also noted more requests for tropical flavors such as passionfruit and guava; “Flavors that used to hide in the background are now a standalone or forefront flavor,” Barnes highlights. In the COVID-19 era, the company is also seeing more of a return to flavors like pineapple, cucumber and watermelon, which offer familiarity, comfort and a true-to-fruit profile, she maintains.   

The company’s fruit and vegetable products are made using only water and extracts from the named fruit. “This ensures that our ingredients can be described on labels as being 100 percent natural or containing real fruit extract or essence, rather than describing it as an artificial flavor. This is key with beverage products at the moment, as the demand for clean label products from health-conscious consumers continues to soar,” Barnes notes. 

In previous years, consumers have often consumed a diet of synthetic flavors and ingredients, and Barnes says that sometimes “the real flavor can come as a surprise.” Take cherry, for example. “Many people associate cherry with the artificial taste of benzaldehyde. In reality, although cherries do have some of that flavor profile in them, it’s not as potent when it comes directly from the fruit,”

“Furthermore, consumers want adventure triggered by sensory, visual and haptic experiences. Fancy, spicy or exotic flavor combinations, special ingredients and textures provide taste sensations,” Döbl states.

Meanwhile, Doehler offers a broad range of natural and plant-based ingredients such as botanical extracts, fruit and vegetable ingredients, vitamins and fibers that enable healthy product positionings. 

“As part of the trend towards a healthier diet, fruits that are naturally rich in vitamins and nutrients such as acerola, white guava, dark berries or root juices such as ginger are particularly in demand,” Bopp explains. 

He also notes that the company’s portfolio of natural and plant-based ingredients brings this added value to products in a targeted way and “unlocks healthy growth potential.”

Modern consumption evolvesClick to EnlargeMany consumers are looking for products that are consumable at any time and are as natural as possible and contribute to a healthy diet such as smoothies, for example. 
Today’s consumers are used to on-demand services in their daily lives more than ever before, and this trend is set to continue, Bopp further details. “Consequently, consumers are looking for products that are consumable at any time. These should be as natural as possible and contribute to a healthy diet such as functional smoothies or juice ranges in all colors that appeal to all senses. This is often appreciated as quick energy for the whole day and as a timely boost of nutrients. The connection of easy and intuitive nutrition in to-go formats make especially the chilled shelves bigger and bigger in some European countries,” he outlines.  

Doehler offers natural vegetable ingredients with functional added value that can be used in snacks such as smoothies, cereals or bars for on-the-go and let snacking become much healthier.

Finally, the need for clean label has become increasingly important for manufacturers aiming to gain the trust of the consumers and to create transparency. “These products have a very reduced list of ingredients, which are processed as little as possible, while the natural origin of the products is clearly evident. This means moving away from ingredient lists with ten to 15 fruits to a simple two, three or five fruit mixes. 

To meet consumer demands for transparency, Germany recently introduced the Nutri-Score – a voluntary assessment system for food and beverages, which has already been established in countries like France, Belgium and Spain. Doehler says it is “working closely with its customers in the development and reformulation of recipes to achieve an improved Nutri-Score value,” Bopp concludes. 

By Elizabeth Green

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