Tulane Outbreak Daily | April 15, 2020

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Featured Headlines

Coronavirus Survivors Hope for Immunity — The Reality Is More Complicated – Bloomberg

When it comes to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, little is known yet about the body’s immune response to an infection. Understanding the level of viral immunity in survivors of Covid-19 will prove key in making decisions about how and when to lift restrictions.

Skin Rashes: An Emerging Symptom of COVID-19 – Cleveland Clinic

What clinicians need to know about cutaneous manifestations of COVID-19

More than 9,000 U.S. health-care workers have been infected with the coronavirus – Washington Post

CDC report details how a Solano County, Calif., patient exposed 121 hospital staff, kicking off one of first-known cases of workplace transmission in the country [Related Study]

Antibody Tests For Coronavirus Can Miss The Mark – NPR

Sweden’s relatively relaxed approach to controlling the spread of the coronavirus has come under fire in international media and from many locals in the capital Stockholm, where more than half the country’s deaths have been recorded. Now, 22 researchers have publicly criticized the strategy and called on politicians to make changes.

Underreporting Of COVID-19 Coronavirus Deaths In The U.S. And Europe – Forbes

In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state, county, and municipal authorities report cases and deaths in which the presence of the novel coronavirus is confirmed in a laboratory test. However, many people who died and had COVID-19 symptoms – at home, in a nursing home, or a long-term care facility – are not being tested.

WHO Sets 6 Conditions For Ending A Coronavirus Lockdown – NPR

For the billions of people now living under some form of stay-at-home or lockdown orders, experts from the World Health Organization have new guidance: We should be ready to “change our behaviors for the foreseeable future,” they say, as the agency updates its advice on when to lift COVID-19 lockdown orders.

Some coronavirus social distancing may be needed into 2022, study says – C|Net

Sociologists have suggested that some social distancing methods, like avoiding hugs and handshakes, could persist beyond the end of the pandemic, but the paper published Tuesday in the journal Science notes that even after the spread of the virus appears to wane, a resurgence in contagion could be possible as late as 2024. [Related Study]

Ending coronavirus lockdowns will be a dangerous process of trial and error – Science

Governments around the world must triangulate the health of their citizens, the freedoms of their population, and economic constraints. Could schools be reopened? Restaurants? Bars? Can people go back to their offices?

New model looks at what might happen if SARS-CoV-2 is here to stay – ARS Technica

Most of the optimistic ideas about what to do about SARS-CoV-2 involve engineering the virus’s extinction. We could ramp up testing and isolate anyone who has been in contact with an infected individual. We could carefully manage infections to build up herd immunity without exceeding our hospital capacity. Or, in an ideal world, we could develop herd immunity using an effective vaccine. [Related Study]

Vaccines, Antibodies and Drug Libraries. The Possible COVID-19 Treatments Researchers Are Excited About – Time

n early April, about four months after a new, highly infectious coronavirus was first identified in China, an international group of scientists reported encouraging results from a study of an experimental drug for treating the viral disease known as COVID-19.

Coronavirus destroys lungs. But doctors are finding its damage in kidneys, hearts and elsewhere – Washington Post

Clinicians around the world are seeing evidence that suggests the virus also may be causing heart inflammation, acute kidney disease, neurological malfunction, blood clots, intestinal damage and liver problems. That development has complicated treatment for the most severe cases of covid-19, the illness caused by the virus, and makes the course of recovery less certain, they said.


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 15, 2020

WHO SITREP #85 ECDC | Country Data Johns Hopkins
Confirmed Cases 1,914,916 1,948,511 2,006,513
Deaths 123,010 125,966 129,045


Travel Related: 6,515
Close Contact: 13,341
Under Investigation: 534,993
Total Cases: 554,849

Surveillance Headlines


California: California sees single-day high in COVID-19 deaths – Mercury News

Virginia: Half Of Virginia’s Coronavirus Outbreaks Are In Long-Term Care Facilities – NPR

Boston, Massachusetts: Testing Reveals ‘Stunning’ Asymptomatic Coronavirus Spread Among Boston’s Homeless – WBUR

Georgia: Health officials can’t track COVID-19 spread in Middle Georgia – The Telegraph

Hawaii: Volunteers Needed for the Medical Reserve Corps – KHON


Ecuador: As Bodies Accumulate, So Do Fears of a High Coronavirus Toll in Ecuador – NYT


Iran: Virus deaths nearly double reported figures – AP


Sweden: 22 Scientists Say Coronavirus Strategy Has Failed As Deaths Top 1,000 – Forbes


Algeria Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, and South Africa have reported increased cases and deaths. Six of the countries with high case loads have high case-fatality rates, ranging from Algeria at 15% to Niger at 2.7%. Most countries are experiencing local transmission with the virus spreading from country capitals to rural areas. The WHO said rigorous efforts are needed to control the situation, such as stepped-up surveillance and other preparedness actions. – CIDRAP

‘Starve or get sick’: Africa’s COVID-19 lockdown dilemma – Gulf News

Nigeria: 373 confirmed cases, 99 discharged, 11 deaths recorded – Vanguard

Science and Tech

How Digital Contact Tracing Slowed Covid-19 in East Asia – Harvard Business Review

As Covid-19 steamrolls across international boundaries, public health officials are paying close attention to countries that are flattening the curve, slowing the spread of infection. Can other countries emulate their success? Top of mind has been whether authoritarian regimes have an edge over democracies, because they can mandate top-down measures like lockdowns and digital tracking of infected people’s movements and contacts.

MIT developed a wireless box that can detect COVID-19 patients’ movement and breathing at home – Tech Crunch

For many who have already tested positive, home stays are the best option to avoid an already massively overtaxed hospital system in many areas and to avoid further infecting others. The question, then, is how doctors and nurses can continue to provide treatment remotely with the pronounced limitations of telemedicine.

How to manage a pandemic – MIT Tech Review

Coronavirus was a test, and many of the world’s most advanced nations have all too visibly failed. What can we do better?


Researchers in Spain Use Biotech to Produce SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine in Plants – Crop BioTech

Researchers María Coca and Juan José López-Moya from the Spanish Research Council (CSIC) at the Centre for Research in Agricultural Genomics (CRAG) are using their expertise in plant biotechnology and virology to produce SARS-CoV-2 antigens to be used in vaccine development. The researchers will experiment with different expression systems from plants and have formed a team including an immunologist expert in coronavirus.


BARDA, DiaSorin enter public-private partnership to create fully automated serology test for SARS-CoV-2 – HomelandPrepNews

The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) will pump approximately $180,000 into a new partnership with DiaSorin, Inc. to create a clinical lab test capable of identifying people infected with and recovered from the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Published Research

Projecting the transmission dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 through the postpandemic period – Science

High Prevalence of Concurrent Gastrointestinal Manifestations in Patients with SARS-CoV-2: Early Experience from California. – Gastroenterology

Remdesivir is a direct-acting antiviral that inhibits RNA-dependent RNA polymerase from severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 with high potency – Journal of Biological Chemistry

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

The global population of SARS-CoV-2 is composed of six major subtypes – BioXiv

A rapid and quantitative serum test for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies with portable surface plasmon resonance sensing – ChemRxiv

A New Features of SARS-CoV-2 Infection in a City of China – BMC Infectious Disease

Infection Prevention

Does Widespread Disinfecting Kill the Coronavirus? It’s Under Debate – New York Times

Spraying streets and inside buildings might calm a worried public, but it’s too early to know whether such efforts reduce transmission.

COVID-19 Respiratory Protection Commentaries – CIDRAP

Recent commentaries on optimizing respiratory protection against the COVID-19 virus and on modes of transmission that were written by Lisa M. Brosseau, ScD, and Margaret Sietsema, PhD, or by Dr. Brosseau alone. Select the title to go to the full commentary.

Studies: Hand sanitizers kill COVID-19 virus, e-consults appropriate – CIDRAP

In a study today in Emerging Infectious Diseases, Swiss and German researchers found that alcohol-based hand sanitizers recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) are effective in killing the novel coronavirus.

Coping in Quarantine

Virtual meetings with colleagues boring? Try this.

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