Tuesday’s  high, 60; Overnight low, 48






BFB Headlines (Wednesday October 7, 2020) Cows may help with Covid vaccine…..Cases continue to go up here in the Black Forest Broadcasting Service Area…..Emporium man arrested for drug possession…..Rear-end collision investigated in Elk County.

A researcher in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences is part of a team of scientists working to develop a unique COVID-19 vaccine that uses a bovine adenovirus as a safe and effective delivery vehicle.

With support from a nearly $3.9 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, the team aims to create a vaccine that will protect all segments of the population, especially older adults.

“Adenoviral vectors have emerged as a promising gene-delivery platform for a variety of therapeutic and vaccine purposes during the last two decades,” said Suresh Kuchipudi, clinical professor of veterinary and biomedical sciences and associate director of Penn State’s Animal Diagnostic Laboratory. “Historically, we have used human adenoviruses as platforms for vaccine delivery, but using a delivery system based on an animal adenovirus means that the human population will have no preexisting immunity to the vector, thereby improving its effectiveness.”

Kuchipudi explained that human adenoviruses are widespread and can cause common illnesses such as cold-like symptoms, fever, sore throat, bronchitis, pneumonia, diarrhea and pink eye. As a result, most people may have preexisting immunity that could impact the efficacy of vaccines delivered via a human-adenovirus-based vector.

The team, which is led by Purdue University virologist Suresh Mittal and also includes immunologist Suryaprakash Sambhara from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has adapted an adenovirus typically found in cattle to prevent it from replicating, which enhances safety. The researchers also modified the adenovirus to express a peptide that stimulates a robust immune response to influenza viruses in mice.

“Our preliminary work has revealed that this novel vaccine platform provides significantly higher levels of immunity compared to that of human adenovirus vectors,” Kuchipudi said. “We hypothesize that immunization with this vector expressing relevant antigens of SARS-CoV-2 will strengthen an effective anti-COVID-19 immunity.”

The researchers noted that because SARS-CoV-2 is a newly emerged virus for which humans have no previous immunity, any vaccine will have to be highly immunogenic to provide protection, particularly among older adults, whose immune systems naturally decline with age.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health today confirmed as of 12:00 a.m., October 6, that there were 1,036 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 165,243. All 67 counties in Pennsylvania have cases of COVID-19. Here and the Black Forest Broadcasting service area, the number of cases continues to edge up Tioga County now has 101;  Elk 78; McKean 63; Potter 31 and Cameron 8.  Across the border in New York State Cattaraugus  County, has moved up to 311 cases while Allegheny County has 128

The number of tests administered within the last 7 days between September 29 and October 5 is 187,157 with 7,381 positive cases. There were 23,626 test results reported to the department through 10 p.m., October 5. These results represent the total number of tests administered.

There are 8,244 total deaths attributed to COVID-19, an increase of 17 new deaths reported. County-specific information and a statewide map are available on the COVID-19 Data Dashboard.

Mask-wearing is required in all Pennsylvania businesses and whenever leaving home. Consistent mask-wearing is critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19 according to experts.

There are 1,951,992 patients who have tested negative to date.

Most of the patients hospitalized are ages 65 or older, and most of the deaths have occurred in patients 65 or older..

In nursing and personal care homes, there are 23,380 resident cases of COVID-19, and 5,196 cases among employees, for a total of 28,576 at 992 distinct facilities in 61 counties including Elk and McKean. Out of the  total deaths, 5,497 have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities. Approximately 11,059 of the total cases are among health care workers.

State police at Emporium  have arrested a 41 year old man from that town for drug possession after stopping his 1998 Chevy Blazer on East Allegheny Avenue in the borough on October 1, just before midnight.  Police claim when they investigated, they found a suspected small amount of marijuana and related paraphernalia. The investigation is continuing   but they did not release the name of the suspect.

Troopers at Ridgway have released details about a non- reportable collision occurring Saturday night in Horton Township. Authorities  say that a person driving a Chevy Traverse was following too closely at the intersection of Route 153 and 219 and struck the rear end of a Honda Pilot causing minor damage. Both units could be driven from the scene and no one was hurt so police considered  it a non reportable and did not release the names or homes of those involved, although they say they have cited the driver of the Traverse for following too closely.