Tulane Outbreak Daily | April 27, 2020

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Featured Headlines

CDC Adds 6 New Coronavirus Symptoms – Forbes
CDC officially added these six symptoms to its list: chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, in addition to previously known symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.

New York clinical trial quietly tests heartburn remedy against coronavirus – Science
As of Saturday, 187 COVID-19 patients in critical status, including many on ventilators, have been enrolled in the trial, which aims for a total of 1174 people. Reports from China and molecular modeling results suggest that the drug, which seems to bind to a key enzyme in the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), could make a difference. But the hype surrounding hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine—the unproven antimalarial drugs touted by President Donald Trump and some physicians and scientists—has made Tracey wary of sparking premature enthusiasm. He is tight-lipped about famotidine’s prospects, at least until interim results from the first 391 patients are in. “If it does work, we’ll know in a few weeks,” he says.

Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) and COVID-19 – FLARE

The FLARE team investigates the use of MSCs as immunomodulatory therapy for COVID-19.

‘No evidence’ that recovered COVID-19 patients cannot be reinfected, says WHO

As part of its guidance on adjusting public health and social measures for the next phase of the COVID-19 response, WHO stressed that it continues to review the evidence on antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection.Coronavirus can apparently live for days in your eye – BGRThe virus was apparently able to be detected in the patient’s eye for up to 20 days. At that point, it seemed to go away, but then it made a reappearance a week later. [Related Study]

Antimalarials widely used against COVID-19 heighten risk of cardiac arrest. How can doctors minimize the danger? – Science

Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, he knows, have a potentially fatal side effect: They can cause a type of irregular heart rhythm that sometimes leads to cardiac arrest.[Related Pre-Pub Study] [Related Pre-Pub Study]

How the new coronavirus gets into respiratory tissue — and may exploit one of our defenses – Boston Children’s Hospital
What makes SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind COVID-19, such a threat? A new study, led by Jose Ordovas-Montanes, PhD, at Boston Children’s Hospital and Alex K. Shalek, PhD, at MIT, pinpoints the likely cell types the virus infects. Unexpectedly, it also shows that one of the body’s main defenses against viral infections may actually help the virus infect those very cells. Findings were published this week by the journal Cell. – [Related Study]

‘The food supply chain is breaking’: Tyson Foods raises coronavirus alarm in full-page ads, defends safety efforts

The company warned that shuttering processing plants would cause “millions of pounds of meat” to disappear from the markets, reducing what’s available on grocery store shelves and raising prices. Farmers may have to kill and dispose of cows, pigs and chickens that were bred for the closed slaughterhouses, the company claimed, and those animals’ meat would go to waste.

As they rushed to maintain U.S. meat supply, big processors saw plants become covid-19 hot spots, worker illnesses spike – Washington Post

Three of the nation’s largest meat processors failed to provide protective gear to all workers, and some employees say they were told to continue working in crowded plants even while sick as the coronavirus spread around the country and turned the facilities into infection hot spots, a Washington Post investigation has found.
Meatpacking workers in Texas Panhandle have little power to avoid the coronavirus – Texas Tribune

A workforce of immigrants has long powered the massive JBS meatpacking plant in Cactus, where a cluster of coronavirus cases is under investigation. They’re risking their lives each shift in the county with the state’s highest known infection rate.

How Are Supply Chains Adapting to the New Reality? – Industry Week

While supply chains are generally quite flexible, no one was prepared for this pandemic.

Whose coronavirus strategy worked best? Scientists hunt most effective policies – Nature

Researchers sift through data to compare nations’ vastly different containment measures.

Surveillance

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 27, 2020

WHO SITREP #97 ECDC | Country Data Johns Hopkins
Confirmed Cases 2,804,796 2,916,338 3,002,303
Deaths 193,710 205,923 208,131

 

Total cases: 928,619
Total deaths: 52,459
(Numbers close out at 4 p.m. the day before reporting.)

Surveillance Headlines

USA

Maryland:815 newly confirmed coronavirus cases and 30 more deaths resulting from disease – Baltimore Sun

Alaska: Confirmed COVID-19 cases climbed for six weeks. On Friday, they stopped. – Alaska Public Media

Oregon: 8 workers test positive for COVID-19 at Oregon frozen food plant – KOMO News

South Carolina: 15 employees at prison in Columbia test positive for coronavirus, SC officials say – The State

EUROPE

Europe: As many as half of Europe’s COVID-19 deaths were people in long-term care facilities – Business Insider

Italy: Italy’s PM outlines lockdown easing measures – BBC

Spain: Spain Records lowest daily death toll as lockdown eases – BBC

Germany: Germans don compulsory masks as lockdown eases – BBC

Belarus: Orphanage seeks help amid ‘critical’ outbreak – BBC

Turkey: Turkey’s coronavirus death toll rises to 2,900, new cases 2,131 -health minister – The Star

Sweden: Coronavirus exceptionalism will not be remembered favourably by Europe – EuroNews

ASIA

Thailand: To Extend State of Emergency and Gradually Restart Businesses – Bloomberg

China: Wuhan declared free of Covid-19 as last patients leave hospital after months-long struggle against coronavirus – SCMP

MIDDLE EAST

UAE announces 490 new coronavirus cases, 6 deaths and 112 recoveries – Gulf News

NEW ZEALAND

New Zealand Says It Has Won ‘Battle’ Against COVID-19 – NPR

Science and Tech

The tech industry turns to mask diplomacy – MIT Tech Review

As the coronavirus spread from China across the world earlier this year, two friends in Sydney watched in horror. Milton Zhou is a cofounder of a renewable energy company called the Maoneng Group, which developed some of Australia’s largest solar farms. Saul Khan is a former partner in an energy efficiency consultancy. They met in a Facebook group for startups, where they bonded over a discussion about using blockchain to track goods as they’re shipped internationally. They had experience buying solar panels and other products from China, and they expected the medical supply chain to work, at least in the early stage of the outbreak. Instead, they watched as health-care workers ran out of respirators and other critical supplies. “We realized, okay, something is really wrong here,” says Khan. “People aren’t able to source things quickly.” Then it occurred to them that maybe they could help.

Covid-19 has blown apart the myth of Silicon Valley innovation – MIT Tech Review

The pandemic shows that the US is no longer much good at coming up with technologies relevant to our most basic needs.

Vaccine

Unsolved issues and huge investments in COVID vaccine manufacturing – ABC News

Vaccine technologies being tested today won’t be easy to scale, thanks to the complex nature of vaccines.

Diagnostics

DiaSorin Obtains FDA Emergency Use Authorization and BARDA Funding for SARS-CoV-2 IgG Serology Kit for COVID-19 Testing in the U.S.- PR Newswire

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