Searching for this dog beach on line, you will find that the location listed as: 14436 Bonita Beach CSWY. Bonita Springs, FL 34134, or as: 8800 Estero Blvd, Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931, luckily, both searches bring you to the same place.
It is a lovely Dog Beach where your dogs can run and frolic in sand and the gulf of Mexico off a leash.... for FREE! and legally!
The name on the sign is Bonita Beach Dog Park and it is the only Lee county-owned beach, where pets are allowed to run free. But depending on who you talk to, it is refered to by either name. Bonita Beach or Fort Myers Beach ‘dog park’
This is a coastal tideland, therefore the size of the beach will vary on the water level of the tide, when the tide is high, there is very little beach front but the water is very shallow for the dogs to run and play, when the water is low, the sand bars are all exposed and make more room for people, towels blankets and umbrellas.
"Dog Beach" is a strip of beach land on the outside edge of Lover's Key State Park along the Fort Myers Beach/Bonita Springs line.
It is an “off leash” beach to let your dog run free and play in the shallow, calm water of the Gulf of Mexico. There are no fences, leashes or worries required. Just plenty of dogs of all sizes to play with.
Many people visit that don't even have dogs, they come to watch the dogs run and play with their furry friends on land and water. I have met many visitors there who came because they miss their dogs that they were not able to bring with them on vacation.
You can see the sign from the road but the beach itself is not visable from the main road, just follow the signs around the trees and a clearing will open up to Dog Beach.
This is a great place where your dogs may run free in a beautiful beach setting.
Another good point: parking for your vehicle is also free. There is also a Doggie shower station at the edge of the parking lot, provided by a private donor,which allows you to rinse your dog before leaving the park.
Having two Australian Sheppards myself, I have been there many times, this time of year.... in season, I try to go early, and I mean early in the morning, it gets very 'dog crowded' by 9am...and by noon, well, it's hard to keep an eye on your dog among the lot.
As seen below.You can see the Gulf at the far end of the picture, the dog beach is to the right of that. You will notice a path emerging on the right side of the opening long before you reach the open Gulf.
This photo (above) is the low tide look, during high tide, you may have to wade through some water, up to knee high, to get to it so check tides or be prepared to get a little wet.
Please "Paws" and read the rules. No glass containers or alcohol allowed. This is an unsupervised facility. You are responsible for yourself, your dog and its behavior. So Please be responsible for your dog, if your dog is not 'other dog' friendly then this is not the place for you or your dog.
The future of this wonderful facility depends upon our/your ability to self-monitor, so it is very important to clean up after your dog, so remember to bring poop bags, Pet Waste that is left uncollected degrades water quality. With an estimated 134,000 dogs in Lee County, this results in a lot of waste that sometimes washes into our waterways anyways.... we especially don’t want to increase bacteria and bad nutrients at our cool dog beach.
Join us in our ‘Do your Duty’ campaign and pick up the waste you run into... even if your dog didn’t do it!
To learn more visit: DoYourDuty.org and help stop the Slime Monster.
This park does not have a restroom but there is a portable toilet (port-a-potty).
There is no running water so remember to bring lots of water for yourself and for your dogs.
Please follow the rules to make it a safe, clean enjoyable place for all.
For more information visit www.leeparks.org or call 239-533-7275. And have a fun safe day at dog beach!
When Oil Spill First Responders respond to an oil spill, training is not just a good idea, it is the law. According to OSHA, workers who handle oil spills must be trained annually.
The Ostego Bay Oil Spill CO-OP will present the mandatory O.S.H.A CFR1910/120 training at the Ostego Bay Marine Science Center on February 8th, 9th & 11th.
Joanne Semmer, President of the Ostego Bay Oil Spill Co-Op stated "This training is invaluable for both first responders and volunteers. "
The program begins with classroom instruction at the Marine Science Center, 718 Fisherman’s Wharf, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday February 8th and Tuesday February 9th followed by on the water drill day and annual refresher on Thursday February 11th at Salty Sam’s Marina, 2500 Main Street Fort Myers Beach.
Cost to Members of the Ostego Bay Oil Spill Co-Op is $300 per person while non-member is $350. Those that require just the 8-hour yearly recertification meet on Thursday February 11th at Salty Sam’s Marina. The recertification class is $100 for members or $150 for non-members. Registration and payment must be made in advance by contacting Joanne Semmer at 239-470-4993.
In 1991, the state of Florida began requiring local marinas to either maintain first-response capabilities themselves or contract with outside experts to provide those first response services.
The Ostego Bay Environmental Response Co-op was created in 1992 to meet those state requirements and meet the needs of the local maritime community. Learn more about the co-op at www.OstegoBay.org/oil-spill-coop/
Should boaters or marinas encounter an oil or fuel spill, they should contact the U.S. Coast Guard National Response Center at 800-424-8802. he National Response Center (NRC) is not a response agency. It serves as an emergency call center that fields INITIAL reports for pollution and forwards that information to all of the appropriate federal/state agencies for response.
For more information please contact: Joanne Semmer, President Ostego Bay Oil Spill Co-op
On January 23, 1957, machines at the Wham-O toy company roll out the first batch of their aerodynamic plastic discs—now known to millions of fans all over the world as Frisbees.
The story of the Frisbee began in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where William Frisbie opened the Frisbie Pie Company in 1871. Students from nearby universities would throw the empty pie tins to each other, yelling “Frisbie!” as they let go. In 1948, Walter Frederick Morrison and his partner Warren Franscioni invented a plastic version of the disc called the “Flying Saucer” that could fly further and more accurately than the tin pie plates.
After splitting with Franscioni, Morrison made an improved model in 1955 and sold it to the new toy company Wham-O as the “Pluto Platter”–an attempt to cash in on the public craze over space and Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs).
In 1958, a year after the toy’s first release, Wham-O—the company behind such top-sellers as the Hula-Hoop, the Super Ball and the Water Wiggle—changed its name to the Frisbee disc, misspelling the name of the historic pie company.
A company designer, Ed Headrick, patented the design for the modern Frisbee in December 1967, adding a band of raised ridges on the disc’s surface–called the Rings–to stabilize flight. By aggressively marketing Frisbee-playing as a new sport, Wham-O sold over 100 million units of its famous toy by 1977.
High school students in Maplewood, New Jersey, invented Ultimate Frisbee, a cross between football, soccer and basketball, in 1967. In the 1970s, Headrick himself invented Frisbee Golf, in which discs are tossed into metal baskets; there are now hundreds of courses in the U.S., with millions of devotees. There is also Freestyle Frisbee, with choreographed routines set to music and multiple discs in play, and various Frisbee competitions for both humans and dogs–the best natural Frisbee players.
Today, at least 60 manufacturers produce the flying discs—generally made out of plastic and measuring roughly 20-25 centimeters (8-10 inches) in diameter with a curved lip. The official Frisbee is owned by Mattel Toy Manufacturers, who bought the toy from Wham-O in 1994.
The agenda for Town Council’s meeting this week included pivotal decisions on redevelopment plans for the Bay Oaks Recreational Campus.
During public comment, Steve Johnson spoke about re-enforcing his belief in the lighting design project.
Barbara Hill, BORCAB spoke about moving the Bay Oaks Project forward and thanked town council for the opportunity to meet with them earrlier, to discuss the project.
Karen Woodson also representing BORCAB ... asking for the town to work in partnership to create a win win situation. Asking for more detailed plans, seeking to move the project forward and transparency into the planning project.
Lee Melsek BORCAB member asking the town not to move forward with the building project asking about possibilities to redesign the building. After months of discussion with and among members of the Bay Oaks Recreational Campus Advisory Board (BORCAB).
Town Council approved the current 30 percent plans prepared by DRMP, Inc., to build a new facility at Bay Oaks. The facility will include space for a variety of youth programs and activities, including an amphitheater and other new recreational amenities. Town Council requested that a site plan be updated to depict the location available for a future active recreation facility and a standalone amphitheater.
Also related to the redevelopment of Bay Oaks, authorization was given for staff to apply for a Land and Water Conservation Fund Program Grant to help in financing the project.
That grant application is due in early February and the decision to move forward with the current design plan was necessary to apply.
Other agenda items pertaining to Bay Oaks included the adoption of an interlocal agreement with Lee County Schools for an after school program, and an agreement with FMB Little League that includes wording about the League’s assumption of risk related to the possibility of contracting COVID.
In other business, Town Council gave the Town Manager the green light to negotiate with a consultant to implement a safety lighting project for Estero Boulevard. Three qualified companies responded to the bid, and, last week, a selection committee reviewed and ranked them. A representative from Florida Power & Light (FP&L) is scheduled to attend the February 16 meeting to brief Council on FPL’s efforts to balance safety and environmentally appropriate lighting. (continued on Page 2) The Town of Fort Myers Beach is on Estero Island off the southwest Florida coast of the Gulf of Mexico. The beach stretches for seven miles and the Town has a variety of unique parks, recreation, cultural facilities, shops, and restaurants. The Town has been incorporated since 1995.
Town Council also discussed the COVID-19 emergency declaration of April 27, 2020. Discussion resulted in continuing the mask requirement and continuing the prohibition of the community’s special event permits unless permit applicants wish to attend a Council meeting to seek Town Council authorization. (An updated order with this wording will be put on an upcoming Town Council meeting agenda.)
Mayor Ray Murphy was excused for the last half of the meeting to attend the funeral of Cape Coral Mayor Joseph Coviello. He was asked to express Town Council’s condolences to Mayor Coviello’s family, friends and fellow residents and officials of the City of Cape Coral. Other agenda or discussion items:
• Presentation by David Savarege, Ph.D, to request for the Town to join the Southwest Florida Regional Resiliency Company - this item will be brought to a future meeting for action
• Adoption of amendments in Ordinance 20-17 regarding special events
• Adoption of amendments in Ordinance 20-19 regarding height and setback requirements
• Delay of Times Square redevelopment project for a year at request of merchants
• FDOT is scheduled for the March 1 meeting to discuss the Matanzas Pass Bridge Project
The next regularly scheduled Town Council meeting will be on Monday, February 1, 2021, at 9 a.m. in Council Chambers at Town Hall, 2525 Estero Boulevard. In keeping with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about COVID-19, Council meetings are adhering to standards of social distancing and have reduced capacity for an audience. Masks or other face-coverings are mandatory.
Council meetings are broadcast live on the Town’s YouTube channel and Comcast Channel 98. Visit www.fmbgov.com, click on the title Mayor and Council, then go to Meetings & Agendas. Agendas and minutes of meetings are also available at that link. To find out when Council meetings are scheduled, visit the Town’s website at www.fmbgov.com and scroll down the homepage to the calendar.
People were responsible for most of the 22 Florida panthers deaths in 2020.
According to data from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, one was hit by a train Another was killed by a panther. One person killed one panther intentionallyon March 7th. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a $5,000 reward in conjunction with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for information leading to a suspect. Purposefully killing a panther, can land a person in federal prison for one year and fined as much as $100,000.
Cars killed the other 19 panthers found dead last year. The toll for 2020 finish lower than recent years — 27 in 2019 and 30 the year before.
The FWC estimates there are between 120-230 adult panthers living in the state. The subspecies of cougar was down to about 30 panthers in the early 1990s.
“We typically say the number of panther fatalities and roadkill are increased with the increase in panther population size,” said Dave Onorato, a panther biologist with the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Under that logic, a lower death count might spell a bad turn for the endangered species. “It’s plausible. We don’t want to make too much of it yet, but it certainly gets our attention,” Onorato said.
Florida panthers are the only puma still roaming east of the Mississippi River. Their former range across the American Southeast has shrunk to a corner of the lower Florida peninsula. Scientists estimate between 120 and 230 adults live in the wild.
“For the most part we think the population is holding steady and stable,” Onorato said. “Signs don’t seem to show that it’s increasing at the moment.”
Environmentalists say the low numbers, and variability in the population estimate, mean the panther remains extremely at-risk.
One concerning factor for the 2020 figures is that biologists have tracked fewer panthers with radio collars than usual, according to Onorato. Their work, he said, has been hampered in part by the pandemic. Scientists have documented infections of the coronavirus in large cats. “We don’t want to be the ones responsible for transmitting (a disease) to panthers,” Onorato said.
Kittens are sometimes left to fend for themselves when parents are
killed. Florida panther kittens have blue eyes, and a spotted coat,
which helps to camouflage them better from potential predators.
The spots gradually fade as the kittens grow older.
Among researchers’ current focus is a mysterious neurological disorder in panthers, which is visible in animals hobbled by weak back legs. Onorato said biologists don’t know what causes “FLM.” feline leukomyelopathy. At least one animal with evidence of symptoms was recently spotted around the Big Cypress National Preserve, he said, researchers have positioned more cameras on public land in hopes of documenting the disorder’s prevalence.
The greatest challenge for panthers, environmentalists say, is the squeeze of development. “We’re heading toward a habitat that’s just too small to sustain a big cat,” said Matthew Schwartz, director of the South Florida Wildlands Association.
He and other advocates spent much of 2020 fighting a proposed toll road expansion known as M-CORES, which could bring a new highway near panther habitat. The leader of The Nature Conservancy in Florida called it an “existential threat.” A section of the three-part project, the Southwest-Central Connector, would run from Collier County to PolkCounty through prime Florida panther habitat.
Proponents of the toll road say it would spur development in rural Florida. But those rural areas, environmentalists say, offer crucial habitat for animals like the panther. Committees studying different segments of the road project suggested the state avoid environmentally sensitive areas.
“It really would open up the spine of Florida,” said Lopez, of the Center for Biological Diversity. “Frankly there’s no additional space for the panther to go. ... Each panther needs a ton of habitat to hunt and reproduce successfully.”
Some nature advocates say they are skeptical of the idea that more panther deaths in the past have been a sign of a growing population. They wonder if lower death numbers in 2020 might show what would happen with fewer drivers in panther territory. People, they say, could have stayed at home more during the pandemic.
Bradley Cornell, a Southwest Florida policy associate for Audubon Florida, said panther deaths are a reminder of the importance of preserving conservation land and big ranches as habitat in the middle of the state where the animals could expand.
The Florida Wildlife Federation campaigns to secure wildlife crossings in Southwest Florida. The organization’s local field representative, Meredith Budd said “FWF has opposed the toll roads since the idea manifested during the legislative session in 2019,”
“If the roads do move forward, crossings would be critical. They need to be considered and implemented across the board for roadways that bisect wildlife habitat — and land acquisition is also going to be essential” stating additional habitat surrounding crossings will be needed for them to function properly so wildlife may move through as intended.
I hate to start off in such a negative way, but I'm positive it's essential to your well-being: If you don't make a special effort to take care of your brain, your brain may stop taking care of you.
Alzheimer's disease is on the rise and now considered the third-leading cause of death in America. One-third of all seniors will develop it, and it's not just older people who are suffering from alarming cognitive decline. Younger people are also showing unexpected signs of brain dysfunction including memory loss, an inability to focus and a tendency to prefer violent video games over a quiet walk in the woods.
No doubt you've heard about many ways to wake up, juice up and help you rewire for a happier, healthier brain. Learn a new language, get eight hours of sleep, swear off processed foods, meditate daily ... and the magical elixir that I champion above all, enjoy exercise.
There's overwhelming evidence of the importance of physical activity when it comes to protecting, maintaining and improving the health of your brain, which is what makes you ... you.
Indulge me briefly as I summarize just one factor among many: Exercise stimulates the production of a protein called FNDC5, and that triggers the flow of BDNF -- brain-derived neurotrophic factor. BDNF has a huge impact on brain rejuvenation. It preserves the brain cells you already have, and it promotes neurogenesis, the growth of new neurons, especially in the hippocampus, the precious area of your brain associated with memory.
Don't worry. None of this is on your final exam. But before I lose you to glazed-eye syndrome, I want to tell you about two evidence-backed ways to boost brain health that you probably haven't heard much about -- yet. Even if you decide not to pursue them, you've goosed up your brain health a bit just by learning something new. Win-win.
All exercise is good for the brain. Physical activity increases cerebral blood flow, reduces brain-damaging plaques and works to promote brain health at a cellular level. But it turns out that strong legs are super important for brain function, especially as we grow older.
According to a 10-year British study reported in the journal Gerontology, leg strength was a better predictor of brain health than any other lifestyle factor they researched.
So! How are you going to build your leg strength? Walking helps, but focused, functional leg strengthening should be calling to you, too -- leg extension machines in a gym, lunges at home, whatever you decide.
My favorite way to build leg strength is through yoga postures. If it becomes yours, too, your brain will last longer and be stronger than you can imagine.
The newest twist in brain training -- research led by Sarah McEwen, Ph.D., at the Pacific Brain Health Center -- involves combining physical exercise with mental exercises, done at the same time. It's called "effortful learning" or "dual tasking" -- linking a cognitive task to a physical task -- and McEwen and her colleagues feel this kind of training is crucial if people want to protect themselves from Alzheimer's and dementia.
For instance, a brain health coach -- and I believe every home should have one -- will ask a client to work out math problems while doing bench presses, or recite poetry while riding a stationary bike.
"I am going to say a sequence of four numbers," brain trainer Ryan Glatt tells his clients, "and I want you to step on those numbers in the reverse order I say them with your right foot."
What? Yes, it's a challenge, and that's just the point of effortful learning, because when the brain and the heart are challenged simultaneously, the brain's overall brain function improves.
That's not true of playing brain game apps. Surprise.
"A brain game app makes you better at playing the game but doesn't improve overall brain functions," reports Dr. Cody Sipe in the January Fitness Journal. "Exercise, by contrast, affects multiple domains of cognitive ability -- especially when we do effortful activities that challenge the brain and the body simultaneously."
Please chew on this while reciting the alphabet from Z to A.
"Do not call for black power or for green power. Call for brain power."
- Barbara Jordan
Florida Lawmakers have been busy, here are a number of bills related to
Education.These bills have
already been introduced and are in commitee at this time.
Feminine Hygiene Products in Public Schools
Citing this act as the
"Learning with Dignity Act";
defining the terms "feminine hygiene products" and "school building"; requiring school districts to make feminine
hygiene products available,
at no charge, in female
restroom facilities of public school buildings, etc.
Requiring specified teachers to have received, at a
minimum, a bachelor's
degree; requiring private schools to provide specified students with a certain amount of time for recess; requiring private school students to
participate in the statewide
requiring private schools to comply with the State
Requirements for Educational Facilities of the Florida Building Code, etc.
Internship Tax Credit Program
Designating the "Florida
Internship Tax Credit
Program"; providing a
corporate income tax credit for qualified businesses
employing degree-seeking student interns if certain
criteria are met; specifying the amount of the credit a qualified business may claim per student intern, etc.
Requiring the State Board of Education to require each Florida College System
institution to conduct an
annual assessment related
to intellectual freedom and viewpoint diversity at that institution; prohibiting the State Board of Education from shielding Florida
College System institution students from certain speech; requiring the Board of Governors to require each state university to conduct an annual assessment
related to intellectual
freedom and viewpoint
diversity at that institution; prohibiting the Board of Governors from shielding state university students from certain speech, etc.
School Safety Funding
Revising certain allocations to school districts;
specifying uses and
distribution requirements for certain safe schools
allocation funds for the 2021-2022 fiscal year;
requiring each district school superintendent to remit
specified unused funds from the 2020-2021 fiscal year to the Department of Education by a specified date;
authorizing the department, upon request, to
redistribute such funds to certain school districts for a specified purpose, etc.
Public School Transportation
Revising the requirement that district school boards provide transportation for certain students; requiring
a district school
superintendent to request a review of a hazardous
walking condition upon
receipt of a written request from a parent of a student; requiring, rather than
authorizing, a district school board to initiate a specified proceeding relating to
Solar Energy Systems Located On the Property of an Educational Facility
Prohibiting costs associated with such systems from being included in the
calculation of total cost per student station for the
purpose of a limit imposed on such costs for certain
new construction, etc
Required Instruction of African American History
Beginning in a specified school year, requiring the Department of Education to annually verify that school districts, charter schools, and specified private schools
implement certain instruction relating to the history of African Americans;
specifying requirements for school districts, charter schools, and specified
private schools relating to such instruction; requiring certain statewide, standardized assessments to include, when appropriate, curricula content from
the history of African
Students With Disabilities in Public Schools
Requiring school districts to prohibit the use of seclusion on students with disabilities in public schools; requiring school districts to adopt
positive behavior interventions and supports and certain policies and procedures; creating the Video Cameras in Public School Classrooms Pilot Program; requiring
continuing education and inservice training for instructional personnel teaching students with
emotional or behavioral disabilities, etc
Retaining Students Back a year/Promoting to higher grade in mid-year
Authorizing a parent to
request that his or her
student be retained in a grade level for a specified school year; requiring school district superintendents to grant such requests if they are timely received;
requiring school districts to administer a certain
assessment to specified students; clarifying that specified students may qualify for midyear promotion; authorizing a parent to request such promotion or to request that his or her student continue to be retained, etc.
Standard High School Diploma Award Requirements
Adding a new requirement for the award of a standard high school diploma to
Academically Challenging Curriculum to Enhance Learning students; requiring certain students to submit a Free Application for
Federal Student Aid in order to be awarded a standard high school diploma, etc.
Public Records and Public Meetings
Providing an exemption from public records
requirements for any
information of an applicant for president of a state
university or a Florida
College System institution; specifying that personal identifying information of applicants who are in the final group of applicants is no longer confidential and exempt at a time certain; specifying that certain
meetings are not exempt from public meeting
requirements; providing for future legislative review and repeal of the exemptions; providing a statement of public necessity, etc.
Florida Talent Development Council
Requiring the council, by a specified date, to submit to specified entities a report that includes recommendations on the feasibility of
establishing and implementing the Pathways in
Technology Early College High School (P-TECH)
program or a similar
program; providing requirements for the report, etc
Requiring the Commissioner of Education to develop minimum criteria for a
nonpartisan civic literacy practicum for high school students, beginning with a specified school year; authorizing students to apply the hours they devote to practicum activities to certain community service requirements; requiring school districts accept nonpartisan civic literacy practicum activities and hours in requirements for certain awards; requiring the State Board of Education to designate certain high schools as Freedom Schools, etc.
The Center Square
Commentary on dating apps follows a familiar theme, presenting them as encouraging shallowness, objectification, and STIs while creating a generation incapable of intimacy. Depending on just how judgmental the author is, these features may be presented as civilization-ending threats or merely sad. Unfortunately for the authors of these articles, these claims bear little relationship to the truth, at least in Switzerland – although that's unlikely to stop them being written.
Dr Gina Potarca of the University of Geneva examined a study of Swiss couples who met in the last ten years. Relevant questions included how they met, their plans for the future, and their satisfaction with the relationship. As noted in PLOS ONE, this fills a gap in knowledge on the topic since previously; “Surveys that measured where couples met have been scarce, and when such data existed, the sample of couples formed through dating apps was usually small.”
Dr Potarca distinguishes between traditional online dating sites – even if they now have app versions – and pure apps like Tinder and Grindr. Websites have users provide extensive information about themselves and show matches largely on that basis, while apps are based on proximity, with users showing initial interest largely based on photographs with much less detailed information in text form.
It's certainly plausible that a medium where photographs, rather than biographies, dominate the decision on whether to initiate contact wouldn't be great for long-term compatibility. However, that is not what Potarca found.
After controlling for factors such as age, religious belief, previous relationships, and urban/rural location, Potarca found no significant difference in relationship satisfaction between those who met their partner on or offline. Dating websites that match for compatibility did come out ahead of other ways of meeting on this measure, be they apps or through friends or hobbies. Nevertheless, apps were not significantly worse than any of the other main alternatives.
Nor was there any sign those who met via app were looking for something shorter term. The app contingent were just as likely to express an intention to marry as their counterparts, and were actually keener to move in together.
In an even bigger blow to stereotypes, women who met their partner via app were more likely to say they planned to have a child in the near future than those who met through any other method, although the fact their male partners were less keen might signal trouble down the track.
One big difference between app-forged relationships and those initiated in other ways emerged, however. Apps create much more social mixing, for example between partners of different levels of education. This is one of the few features revealed by previous studies on the topic, which have also shown apps lead to more interracial couples.
"Knowing that dating apps have likely become even more popular during this year's periods of lockdown and social distancing, it is reassuring to dismiss alarming concerns about the long-term effects of using these tools," Potarca said in a statement.
Potarca didn't look at how often matches lead to long-term relationships, or what proportion of users wanted that. Naturally a study restricted to one country isn't necessarily globally representative, but it's probably more indicative of the situation in another country than an author's three app-using friends.
New data suggest that nearly all COVID-19 survivors have the immune cells necessary to fight
re-infection for 8 months or more!
The findings, based on analyses of blood samples from 188 COVID-19 patients, suggest that responses to the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, from all major players in the "adaptive" immune system, which learns to fight specific pathogens, can last for at least eight months after the onset of symptoms from the initial infection.
"Our data suggest that the immune response is there -- and it stays," LJI Professor Alessandro Sette, Dr. Biol. Sci., who co-led the study with LJI Professor Shane Crotty, Ph.D., and LJI Research Assistant Professor Daniela Weiskopf, Ph.D. "We measured antibodies, memory B cells, helper T cells and killer T cells all at the same time," says Crotty. "As far as we know, this is the largest study ever, for any acute infection, that has measured all four of those components of immune memory."
The findings, published in the January 6, 2021, online edition of Science, could mean that COVID-19 survivors have protective immunity against serious disease from the SARS-CoV-2 virus for months, perhaps years after infection.
The new study helps clarify some concerning COVID-19 data from other labs, which showed a dramatic drop-off of COVID-fighting antibodies in the months following infection. Some feared that this decline in antibodies meant that the body wouldn't be equipped to defend itself against reinfection.
Sette explains that a decline in antibodies is very normal. "Of course, the immune response decreases over time to a certain extent, but that's normal. That's what immune responses do. They have a first phase of ramping up, and after that fantastic expansion, eventually the immune response contracts somewhat and gets to a steady state," Sette says.
The researchers found that virus-specific antibodies do persist in the bloodstream months after infection. Importantly the body also has immune cells called memory B cells at the ready. If a person encounters SARS-CoV-2 again, these memory B cells could reactivate and produce SARS-CoV-2 antibodies to fight re-infection.
The SARS-CoV-2 virus uses its "spike" protein to initiate infection of human cells, so the researchers looked for memory B cells specific for the SARS-CoV-2 spike. They found that spike-specific memory B cells actually increased in the blood six months after infection.
COVID-19 survivors also had an army of T cells ready to fight reinfection. Memory CD4+ "helper" T cells lingered, ready to trigger an immune response if they saw SARS-CoV-2 again. Many memory CB8+ "killer" T cells also remained, ready to destroy infected cells and halt a reinfection.
The different parts of the adaptive immune system work together, so seeing COVID-fighting antibodies, memory B cells, memory CD4+ T cells and memory CD8+ T cells in the blood more than eight months following infection is a good sign.
"This implies that there's a good chance people would have protective immunity, at least against serious disease, for that period of time, and probably well beyond that," says Crotty.
The team cautions that protective immunity does vary dramatically from person to person. In fact, the researchers saw a 100-fold range in the magnitude of immune memory. People with a weak immune memory may be vulnerable to a case of recurrent COVID-19 in the future, or they may be more likely to infect others.
"There are some people that are way down at the bottom of how much immune memory they have, and maybe those people are a lot more susceptible to reinfection," says Crotty.
"It looks like people who have been infected are going to have some degree of protective immunity against re-infection," adds Weiskopf. "How much protection remains to be established."
The fact that immune memory against SARS-CoV-2 is possible is also a good sign for vaccine developers. Weiskopf emphasizes that the study tracked responses to natural SARS-CoV-2 infection, not immune memory after vaccination.
"It is possible that immune memory will be similarly long lasting similar following vaccination, but we will have to wait until the data come in to be able to tell for sure," says Weiskopf. "Several months ago, our studies showed that natural infection induced a strong response, and this study now shows that the responses lasts. The vaccine studies are at the initial stages, and so far have been associated with strong protection. We are hopeful that a similar pattern of responses lasting over time will also emerge for the vaccine-induced responses."
The researchers will continue to analyze samples from COVID-19 patients in the coming months and hope to track their responses 12 to 18 months after the onset of symptoms.
"We are also doing very detailed analyses at a much, much higher granularity on what pieces of the virus are recognized," says Sette. "And we plan to evaluate the immune response not only following natural infection but following vaccination."
The team is also working to understand how immune memory differs across people of different ages and how that may influence COVID-19 case severity.
La Jolla Institute for Immunology
Get ready to experience the best food in Fort Myers!
Voted Best Continental Cuisine in The News-Press Reader's Choice Poll.
Their menu, offering high-quality food served with a beautiful presentation is so varied you are sure to be pleased.
They also have an extensive wine list and a full bar which to accompany your dining choices.
The warm and welcoming lounge is great for Happy Hour, offered daily from 4:00-6:00.
Chef Dale, Betty and Courtney hope to welcome you soon!
Their warm and welcoming bar is great for libations and lots of laughter. Relax in comfort with friends and enjoy discounted drinks and appetizers during happy hour,
4pm – 6pm ... Note: the appetizers are discounted at the bar only.
The Dining Room at Courtney's Continental Cuisine offers an experience you won't forget! If you're an early diner, be sure to check out their Sunset Dining Specials.
They have a catering services, perfect for your next special event. And they'll work with you to define your needs and budget, then customize a menu just for you!
A family run business and at anytime that you stop by either Executive Chef Dale, his wife Betty, or their son Courtney will be there. Always working to make your dining and/or special event exceptional!
Not only is Chef Dale responsible for all of our special dishes from our exceptional menus, he is known for his BEAUTIFUL hand carved ice sculptures too!
He is one of the only chefs in the area that does this intricate work on a block of ice. It is amazing to watch!
Chef Dale doesn't stop there, he also creates unbelievable butter sculptures and does wood carving. When you visit us look around, you will see his wonderful wood carvings on display in the restaurant.
So come on in for a great evening of wining and dining...
Voted Best Continental Cuisine in The News-Press Reader's Choice Poll.
And tell them you saw them on the Sun Bay Paper Website!