Dan writes:

From time to time I have mild inflammation in my sinuses, probably caused by some unknown allergy, and in the past I’ve had good luck using flonase (recommended by my doctor) to help reduce the inflammation when the symptoms pop up.

However, ever since early April when you mentioned in TWIV #600 that taking an inhaled steroid might not be the best thing for your body’s defenses against sars-cov-2, I’ve stopped using it completely.  My periodic sinus discomfort is mild enough that I don’t need to use the flonase, and certainly not if it potentially makes me more prone to getting COVID, but it would be nice to use.

I’m wondering if you have an update on your recommendation from April, or whether this issue is still ambiguous.  internet today gives every manner of advice about flonase and COVID, often conflicting, out of date,



PS:  I know flonase is the brand name but damn it’s a lot easier to type than fluticasone propionate

David writes:

Paul Sax, Contributing Editor, NEJM JOURNAL WATCH, INFECTIOUS DISEASES has an article in that journal “Bamlanivimab for COVID-19 — Hard to Pronounce, Even Harder to Give“.  

The article describes his view of a number of barriers to widespread use of monoclonals like bamlanivimab, such as what he says is a 3 hour treatment time, and serious side effects, etc.  The way Dr. Griffin talks on TWiV, these barriers can all be overcome.  

Robert writes:

Thanks to Prof Racaniello and the other TWiVers for your great work. A particular thanks to Daniel Griffin. This 78 year Emeritus Prof of Microbiology is scheduled to teach a microbial physiology lab in-person starting January 11. The lecture will be remote.

We will be masked and well spaced in the lab (12 students/lab). However, the numbers in Boise and the rest of Idaho continue to surge. Do you folks have any thoughts on running the lab in the safest way? I could press to go remote with the lab. I suspect I am not alone in my concerns. BTW, I nearly died from Covid-19 in Dec/Jan. While I may have some risk, I am more concerned about the students.

thank you.

Robert C. Rychert, Ph.D.
Boise State University

David writes:

I am a big TWIV fan who never misses an episode.

I wanted to send you a quick note thanking you, not just for your enjoyable and informative podcasts, but because TWIV recently helped me and my family during a difficult time.

On Thanksgiving morning, we learned that our nanny had tested positive for COVID. As a result, my wife, 2 young kids and I all wanted to get tested. However, it was Thanksgiving and many places, including our doctors’ offices were closed. 

But this is where TWIV came to the rescue. Earlier in the fall, Daniel Griffin had mentioned on the podcast that his ProHealth organization was partnering with schools in the New York area to help with testing. After hearing this, I connected my school with ProHealth and they formed a partnership. And as a result of that partnership, my whole family was able to get tested on Thanksgiving morning. We all tested negative on the rapid test and are awaiting PCR results. However, it’s still relatively early in the process so we will get tested again this weekend.

If it weren’t for Dr. Griffin’s appearances, I never would have been able to get my family tested. And if it weren’t for the knowledge I have learned on TWIV, I would be a lot less prepared for my current COVID scare.

As a sign of my thanks, I made a donation to Parasites Without Borders. Thanks to all you and your team do!