Tulane Outbreak Daily | June 4, 2020

Upcoming Virtual Events

Today! COVID-19 Open Online Briefings with Dr David Nabarro

Dr. Anthony Fauci says there’s a chance coronavirus vaccine may not provide immunity for very long – CNBC

If Covid-19 acts like other coronaviruses, “it likely isn’t going to be a long duration of immunity,” Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said during an interview Tuesday evening with JAMA Editor Howard Bauchner.

With emergency visits down 42%, US hospitals reeling from COVID-19 – CIDRAP

In April, 42% less people visited emergency departments (EDs) across the United States than in April last year, according to data published today in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. [Link to CDC MMWR]

Early projections of covid-19 in America underestimated its severity – The Economist

Some 80 days have now passed since the first death from covid-19 occurred on America’s shores. Since then over 90,000 people in the country have succumbed to the virus. That toll is greater than America’s combat deaths in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq combined. Whereas governments do not release their forecasts of how many people will be killed in wars, predictions of covid-19 deaths in America have been published and are widely scrutinised.

Summer Heat Won’t Kill the Coronavirus, New Study Says – EcoWatch

Researchers have found that warm temperatures in the U.S. this summer are unlikely to stop the coronavirus that causes the infectious disease COVID-19. [Related Study]

Cases Worldwide Multiply at Fastest Pace Yet – NYT

The geography of the illness is changing, and new infections top 100,000 a day. Israel’s Parliament is shut down after a lawmaker contracted the virus. The U.S. Labor Department reports 1.9 million Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week.

Mass Mink Cull Ordered on Dutch Farms to Stem Coronavirus Spread – Bloomberg

The Netherlands ordered a mass mink cull to extinguish a coronavirus outbreak linked to at least two human cases, hastening the demise of an industry ordered to cease by 2024.

Reopening schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic: Your questions, our answers – Brookings.edu

With the arrival of summer break, school systems across the country have mostly signed off of their remote teaching, and school leaders’ focus now shifts to reopening schools for live instruction in the next academic year. On May 21, the Brown Center on Education Policy at Brookings hosted a webinar that addressed how schools in the United States should approach questions around reopening in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Brown Center Director Michael Hansen led the discussion among three panelists: Heather Hough (executive director of Policy Analysis for California Education, PACE), Daniel Domenech (executive director of The School Superintendents Association, AASA), and Emiliana Vegas (co-director of Brookings’s Center for Universal Education). You can watch video of the event here.

How SARS-CoV-2 causes disease and death in covid-19 – The Economist

The first set of lungs felt like rubber, says Rainer Claus, so damaged that it was impossible to imagine how any amount of oxygen could get through them. The lungs in the rest of the ten covid-19 victims that he and his colleagues at the University Medical Centre Augsburg, in Germany, autopsied in early April were in similarly awful condition. [If the first link does not work, try this one]

What parents need to know about kids in the summer of COVID-19 – Science News

There isn’t a satisfactory answer, because there’s still so much unknown about the coronavirus in regards to children. While studies from China to Italy to the United States have reported fewer confirmed cases of COVID-19 in children than adults and fewer seriously ill children than adults, recent reports of a dangerous inflammatory condition (SN: 5/12/20) illustrate that harms may still emerge.

Clinical Considerations

Are Black Kids More Likely to Get Kawasaki-Like Syndrome? – MedPageToday

Findings from Paris suggest excess risk for COVID-19-associated multisystem inflammatory syndrome. Only 14% of the 21 patients had a parent born in Asia, whereas the high-risk population for Kawasaki disease is typically of Asian descent. [Related BMJ Study]

COVID-19 research: Postoperative death, Pulmonary embolism – Outbreak News Today

Patients undergoing surgery after contracting coronavirus are at greatly increased risk of postoperative death, a new global study published in The Lancet reveals. Researchers found that amongst SARS-CoV-2 infected patients who underwent surgery, mortality rates approach those of the sickest patients admitted to intensive care after contracting the virus in the community. [Related Study Lancet]

Official Reporting for June 4, 2020

WHO SITREP #135 ECDC Johns Hopkins
Confirmed Cases 6,287,771 6,475,644 6,563,099
Deaths 379,941 386,544 387,568


Total cases: 1,842,101
Total deaths: 107,029
(Numbers close out at 4 p.m. the day before reporting.)

Surveillance Headlines


Mexico issues highest daily tally of coronavirus deaths, more than 1,000 – Washington Post


Russia: St Petersburg City issues 1,552 more death certificates in May than last year, but Covid-19 toll was reported at 171 – Guardian


Bangladesh: 55,000 known cases, the first death from Covid-19 in a refugee camp: A 71-year-old Rohingya man died May 31 while receiving treatment in an isolation center. His death raised fears about the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees who, after fleeing Myanmar, live in camps with tightly packed tents and shacks. NYT


Egypt: recently the number of cases there has been rising significantly, reaching 27,536 on Tuesday. NYT


Latin America Becomes A New Epicenter Of The Coronavirus Pandemic – NPR

Peru: more than 170,000 confirmed cases, despite taking the virus seriously early on. The president, Martín Vizcarra, ordered one of the first national lockdowns in South America. A growing number of people are dying at home as hospitals struggle to handle a flood of cases. NYT


Science and Tech

Scientists Link Covid-19 Risk to Genetic Variations – New York Times

Geneticists have been scouring our DNA for clues. Now, a study by European scientists is the first to document a strong statistical link between genetic variations and Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. [Related pre-print study]

Amazon Helps World Health Organization Launch Covid-19 App 12 Months Early – Forbes

The World Health Organization (WHO) and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have exclusively told me how they have teamed up to create an app that helps health workers respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Role of Radiology-Related Diagnostic AI Solutions During the COVID-19 Pandemic – Harvard Buisness Review

The COVID-19 pandemic continues, confronting health care professionals around the world with unprecedented clinical and operational challenges. Along with struggling to deal with this extraordinary situation, they need to ensure care for other patients at the same time.

How long does the coronavirus last inside the body? – National Geographic

Researchers are narrowing down how long the virus persists inside the body and whether people can be quickly re-infected. [If the first link does not work, try this one]


Pfizer, Merck, AZ, J&J and Moderna selected as ‘Warp Speed’ finalists – Fierce Pharma

The Trump administration has selected its COVID-19 vaccine finalists for Operation Warp Speed, which aims to deliver safe and effective coronavirus vaccines to Americans by the end of the year.

Army Targets COVID-19 Vaccine by End of Year, Human Testing in Summer – Department of Defense

If all goes as planned, human testing will begin in late summer, Army Brig. Gen. Michael Talley, commander of the Army Medical Research and Development Command, told reporters yesterday. He added that he anticipates widespread distribution of a vaccine next year.

Vaccine Access, Hesitancy Amid COVID-19 – MedPageToday

Overcoming vaccine hesitancy and access issues has become even more critical because of the COVID-19 pandemic, public health experts argued at a recent webinar hosted by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. [Link here for webinar]


Sanofi to run consultations over restart of hydroxychloroquine trials – Reuters

Sanofi said on Wednesday it would review available information and run consultations before deciding whether to enroll patients again for its COVID-19-related hydroxychloroquine trials.

Mixed Results from Chinese Convalescent Plasma Trial – MedPageToday

Hospitalized patients with COVID-19 receiving convalescent plasma did not gain a statistically significant benefit in time to clinical improvement in a small randomized trial conducted in Wuhan, China. [Related JAMA Study]

A drug that cools the body’s reaction to Covid-19 appears to save lives – MIT Tech Review
Doctors at the University of Michigan set out to control the haywire immune reaction that pushes some covid-19 patients into a death spiral. To do it, they gave 78 patients on ventilators the drug tocilizumab, which blocks IL-6, a molecule in the body that sets off a reaction to an infection. (The drug is sold by Roche under the trade name Acterma.)


Infection Prevention

Could a novel UV light device inactivate SARS-CoV-2 on surfaces? – Medical News Today

Physicists have found a way to make powerful UV LEDs that they believe manufacturers could incorporate into lightweight devices for destroying pathogens such as the new coronavirus.

Published Research

Effect of Convalescent Plasma Therapy on Time to Clinical Improvement in Patients With Severe and Life-threatening COVID-19 – JAMA

Kawasaki-like multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children during the covid-19 pandemic in Paris, France: prospective observational study – BMJ

Social network-based distancing strategies to flatten the COVID-19 curve in a post-lockdown world – Nature

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


Coping in Quarantine

3 Ways Covid-19 Will Permanently Change The Future Of Work – Forbes

Covid-19 has changed the future of work—permanently. In early May, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella reflected, “We have seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.” Without a doubt, the post-Covid-19 workplace will operate differently than the pre-pandemic workplace. Here are three aspects of the “workplace” that are slated to change.

Social bubbles may be the best way for societies to emerge from lockdown – MIT Tech Review

Holing up with groups of friends or neighbors or other families during lockdown has given many people, especially those stuck home alone, a way to relieve isolation without spreading covid-19. These groups are known as bubbles, and new computer simulations described in Nature today show they may really work. [Related Nature paper]

Last, but not least HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my son Jarod (living in Germany!) Why did I link a Polish language lesson? Because my kid learned Polish for fun, and likes to visit Poland with his beautiful girlfriend Kasia to see her family. He also subscribes to this email and is a science and public health nerd like his mom. If you are reading this, get a haircut, and call your mom.

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