Tulane Outbreak Daily | April 6, 2020

Featured Headlines

U.S. coronavirus deaths near 10,000 as medical officials warn worst is to come – NBC News

With the number of people killed by the coronavirus in the United States nearing 10,000 on Monday, the country’s top medical officials warned the worst was yet to come. The number of cases has ballooned to 337,752 — nearly three times higher than the second-worst hit country, Spain — with 9,619 people killed as of 5:10 am ET, according to NBC News’ tracker.

The True Impact of Underlying Health Conditions on Coronavirus Severity – Time

Of all of the new terms we’ve had to get accustomed to in the era of COVID-19, few are as powerful—and yet as vague—as “underlying conditions.” If you’re young and you don’t have them, you feel invincible. If you’re old and you do, you feel like a sitting duck for the coronavirus. Death and hospitalization tolls in both Wuhan, China and across Italy had already shown that the most at-risk population is people over 65 with one of a whole range of underlying ills, including cardiovascular disease, chronic lung disease, immunosuppression, diabetes, chronic liver or kidney disease and more. But the extent of the list was always unclear and the exact danger they present was unknown.[Related Study]

Recommendation Regarding the Use of Cloth Face Coverings, Especially in Areas of Significant Community-Based Transmission – CDC

Significant portion of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms (“asymptomatic”) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (“pre-symptomatic”) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms. This means that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity—for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing—even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms. In light of this new evidence, CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. [Related Study]

US braces for tough COVID-19 week; deaths drop in parts of Europe – CIRAP

As of this afternoon, the US total is at 331,151 cases, including about 9,500 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins online dashboard. Globally, the total passed 1,270,000 from 183 countries, including 69,082 deaths. The World Health Organization (WHO) said today in its latest daily situation report that the Falkland Islands, home to about 3,400 people, reported its first cases.

To Beat the Coronavirus, Raise an Army of the Recovered – Wired

MORE THAN 1 in 34,000 humans on the planet have tested positive and then recovered from Covid-19. The actual number of the recovered is much greater and continues to grow. They are a vastly underappreciated resource. Their privileged immune state makes them ideal candidates for a hopeful concept: the CoronaCorps, a civilian army that may be able to fill in gaps in public services, insulate the vulnerable from infection, help map the spread of the virus, and give our medical system room to breathe.

People on steroids for chronic illness may be more at risk of COVID-19 – Medical News Today

People taking a type of corticosteroid may be more likely to contract the virus that is causing COVID-19 and may have worse symptoms if they do.

Hospital Experiences Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic: Results of a National Pulse Survey March 23-27, 2020 – OIG

Hospitals surveyed by HHS’s Office of the Inspector General in late March said they were short of nearly everything needed to treat COVID-19 patients and reported “pressing needs for government assistance.”

Why we still don’t know what the death rate is for covid-19 – MIT Tech Review

What are your chances of dying if you get infected by the new coronavirus? Despite data pouring in from many countries, there is still a wide range of estimates, from as low as 1 in 1000 to as high as 1 in 30. What is clear is that there is no one answer: the risk depends on your age, sex, health and the care you receive if you become severely ill. In other words, death rates will vary from place to place and over the course of the pandemic.


Editor’s note: Regarding the case counts below, please consider due to limited testing capabilities in some locations, the real number of cases could be considerably higher.

Official Reporting for April 6, 2020

WHO SITREP #76 ECDC | Country Data Johns Hopkins
Confirmed Cases 1,133,758 1,244,421 1,280,046
Deaths 45,525 68,976 69,789


CDC is modifying existing surveillance systems to track COVID-19, and posted the first of what will be a weekly surveillance report called, “COVIDView.” The report, updated each Friday, will summarize and interpret key indicators, including information related to COVID-19 outpatient visits, emergency department visits, and hospitalizations and deaths, as well as laboratory data.
Cases of COVID-19 Reported in the US, by Source of Exposure as of April 6, 2020

Travel Related: 1,388
Close Contact: 4,325
Under Investigation: 233,566
Total Cases: 239,279

Surveillance Headlines


Illinois: Coronavirus in Illinois: Map and Case Count – NYT

New York: Reported 7,256 new cases, with a total of 122,031 cases, 4,159 of them fatal.

New York: A tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York has tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. The tiger was tested after several lions and tigers at the zoo showed signs of respiratory illness. Health officials believe the cats got sick after they were exposed to a zoo employee who was actively shedding the virus. – CIDRAP

New Jersey: Reported 3,482 new cases, with a total of 37,505 and 917 deaths. CIDRAP


Spain: Reported 674 more deaths, raising its fatality count to 12,418. CIDRAP

Italy: Reported 525 more deaths today, its lowest daily total in more than 2 weeks CIDRAP

UK: Reported 621 more cases. Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to the hospital today for persistent symptoms, 10 days after testing positive, CIDRAP

Turkey: Reporting 27,069 cases and 574 deaths. CIDRAP

Turkey: Turkey sets strict measures as cases soar – BBC


WHO’s African regional office reported 8,377 total cases. Algeria and Cameroon have reported sharp increases in the past 24 hours. CIDRAP


Japan: Tokyo reported 143 new cases, 92 with no clear links to other cases, and 1,033 cases overall. – CIDRAP

Japan: President to Declare State Of Emergency As Coronavirus Cases Surge – NPR

South Korea: Reported 81 new cases, 40 of them imported. – CIDRAP

China: Reported 30 new cases, 25 imported and five local cases from Guangdong province. Also reported were 47 new asymptomatic cases, 16 of them imported. CIDRAP

China: China Thought It Had Beaten Coronavirus, But New And Asymptomatic Cases Are Cropping Up – Forbes

Singapore: Reported 120 new cases, 4 imported and 116 local. Of the local cases, 50 are linked to existing clusters. CIDRAP

Hong Kong: Reported 28 more cases, 25 of them with a travel history. CIDRAP

Middle East

Science and Tech

Clues to COVID-19 coronavirus’s vulnerability emerge from an antibody against SARS – Scripps Research

An antibody recovered from a survivor of the SARS epidemic in the early 2000s has revealed a potential vulnerability of the new coronavirus at the root of COVID-19, according to a study from scientists at Scripps Research. [Related Study]

A New CDC Tool Aims To Close The COVID-19 Knowledge Gap – NPR

[Audio Interview] COVIDView, modeled on a tool used to track seasonal flu, pulls data from an array of sources to provide a better picture of the virus’ spread. But some say it still falls far short of what’s needed.

Early Observations on the Pandemic and Population Density – New Geography

It still too early to draw precise conclusions on the extent to which the spread of the COVID-19 is related to urban population density. But there are important recurring themes. The following observations are made with the caveats that we are largely dealing with data inconsistent across geographies in terms of reporting and testing and preliminary. Rigorous research will have to await final data, which could be months in the future.

These new gadgets were designed to fight COVID-19 – World Economic Forum

COVID-19 may be having a devastating impact on our industries, social lives and personal grooming standards, but it is also prompting an outpouring of creativity in other arenas. From Spiderman-esque wrist-mounted disinfectant sprays, to a wristband that buzzes whenever you’re about to touch your face, a wealth of new prototypes are demonstrating what human ingenuity is capable of in the face of adversity.

Six Unknown Factors in Coronavirus Models – Real Clear Science

Since the global outbreak of COVID-19, researchers have scrambled to develop and share models which can predict how the virus will spread. This is inherently tricky, as we know so little about the disease, and a model is only ever as good as the information you put into it. Researchers at Imperial College London produced a model that predicted there could be more than 510,000 deaths in the UK in the absence of preventative measures by the government, assuming that each person with the virus would give it to between 2 and 2.6 other people. [Related Lancet Study]

Tech for good during COVID-19: Texts for frontline workers, a crisis prevention hotline and more – Tech Crunch

What do a heating filter company, a robotics startup and an architecture startup have in common? Usually, nothing. But right now, as COVID-19 sweeps the world and jeopardizes the lives of millions, companies are shifting operations to make N95 masks and ventilators for healthcare workers. The innovation coming out of the startup world has been breathtaking, and, quite honestly, hard to keep up with. It feels like everyone in Silicon Valley and beyond is rising to the challenge, even if they don’t have pockets as deep as Amazon and Google.

Fighting Coronavirus with Big Data – Harvard Business Review

Amid the daily news churn, policy makers seem to be facing an impossible choice between saving lives and saving livelihoods. A close study of cautionary tales and hopeful examples from across the globe makes clear that social distancing, sheltering in place, and other mitigation efforts are critical to blunting the impact of the pandemic, despite the havoc they wreak on daily routines and markets. However, we know that the sooner we can return to safely congregating, the better.

Antivirals/Drug Therapies

Lab experiments show anti-parasitic drug, Ivermectin, eliminates SARS-CoV-2 in cells in 48 hours – Monash.edu

The Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute’s Dr Kylie Wagstaff, who led the study, said the scientists showed that the drug, Ivermectin, stopped the SARS-CoV-2 virus growing in cell culture within 48 hours. [Related Study]


How you could get your covid-19 test results faster – MIT Tech Review

The messy network of labs rushing to increase testing capacity has some big problems, but they’re fixable.


Published Research

A highly conserved cryptic epitope in the receptor-binding domains of SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV – Science

Pre-Pub (not yet peer reviewed, should not be regarded as conclusive)

Economic Impact

Fed Goes All Out To Keep Economy Alive During Coronavirus Shutdown – NPR

Since the middle of March, the Fed has purchased more than $1.2 trillion in Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities, and the central bank has made it clear that it will continue buying as much as necessary to keep credit markets from seizing up.

European Banks Prepared for a Crisis. But Not This One. – NY Times

The financial impact of the coronavirus surpasses the old worst-case scenarios, threatening a credit crunch or even a new financial crisis.

Opinions & Editorials

What Italians Have Learned from the Coronavirus – New Yorker

[Editorial] he alarm on my mobile rings to wake us at 7 a.m., the same hour at which we awake during the week under normal circumstances. This was the first decision my wife and I made when the quarantine began: we would not forfeit our schedules. With my ten-year-old son suddenly out of school, and our jobs conducted entirely from home, it would have been easy to lose any sense of rhythm. I am a novelist, and my wife is a game designer; we usually work from home anyway. We thought, in the beginning, that we could stand this new way of life more easily than others. We were horribly wrong.


Coping in Quarantine

Lockdown was supposed to be an introvert’s paradise. It’s not. – MIT Tech Review

This was supposed to be the moment for introverts—the disaster preppers of our new, covid-ravaged social lives. Those who cherished their time alone at home were already experts at voluntary self-isolation. Once, backing out of happy hour at a bar to read a book made you a bad friend. Now it’s patriotic.

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