Tulane Outbreak Daily | June 5, 2020

Featured Headlines

The biggest mystery: what it will take to trace the coronavirus source – Nature

SARS-CoV-2 came from an animal but finding which one will be tricky, as will laying to rest speculation of a lab escape.

Bloomberg Podcast: Will Protests Spread the Virus?
Social distancing has been the guiding principle in how to open up the U.S. amid the pandemic. But no one could have foreseen the densely-packed protests after George Floyd’s death in police custody. Could the protests now set off a new wave of infections? Bloomberg’s Michelle Cortez spoke to scientists about that possibility. What they have to say is not reassuring.

Fauci, Virus Task Force Sidelined With Trump All-In on Reopening – Bloomberg

The White House’s coronavirus task force has all but vanished from public view as President Donald Trump pushes Americans to put the outbreak behind them and resume normal social and economic life. The task force was once a staple of Trump’s response to the pandemic. From March 4 until late April, the panel held nearly daily, televised briefings at the White House, many headlined by Trump. Its medical experts fanned out across TV networks to share guidance on curbing the spread of the virus.

Lessons from Chinese Companies’ Response to Covid-19 – Harvard Business Review

China was weeks ahead of the rest of the world in dealing with the pandemic and its fallout, so their experience is of interest. We conducted a series of 20 in-depth, in-person interviews, as well as a large-scale survey of more than 350 senior executives, to ascertain how the Chinese corporate world has adapted, innovated, survived — and even thrived — through this uncertain time.

COVID-19 Studies with Surgisphere Data Retracted – MedPageToday

Two papers related to COVID-19 appearing in major journals that relied on data from Surgisphere Corp. were retracted on Thursday. One was the large study in The Lancet published May 22 that found mortality and arrhythmia risks with hydroxychloroquine (HCQ); the other was in the New England Journal of Medicine on May 1 and purported to show that certain antihypertensive drugs did not worsen COVID-19 risk.

An Industry Look At Healthcare In The Time Of COVID-19 – Forbes

Everyone has been impacted by COVID-19. There has been press coverage on the multitude of downstream implications on our health, finances, and the way we live. However, there has not been in-depth coverage of the long-standing impacts of the Coronavirus on our healthcare industry. There are numerous implications that may not be widely known and understood.

A few superspreaders transmit the majority of coronavirus cases – The Conversation

During any disease outbreak, epidemiologists want to quickly figure out whether superspreaders are part of the picture. Their existence can accelerate the rate of new infections or substantially expand the geographic distribution of the disease.Whether someone is a superspreader or not will depend on some combination of the pathogen, the patient’s biology and their environment or behavior.

Clinical Considerations

Cardiac Arrest and COVID-19 – FLARE

In-hospital cardiac arrest (IHCA) during the COVID-19 pandemic presents a unique set of resuscitation challenges such as exposure risk to clinical providers and obstacles to family communication. In this FLARE, we provide a brief review of IHCA in the pre-COVID-19 era and then discuss emerging evidence regarding IHCA during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Don’t Skip Opiates for ‘Air Hunger’ From COVID-19 Ventilation – MedPageToday

Other drugs don’t cut it to ease the traumatic sensation, group argues

Quantifying additional COVID-19 symptoms will save lives – The Lancet

Public health authorities across the world have been trying to contain the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) via public awareness and contact tracing—ie, by identifying and isolating individuals at high risk of being positive.1
In many countries, regular mass swab testing is still inadequate. To reduce the number of infectious people in the community, it is therefore crucial to use the symptom combinations that can identify them.

RAAS Inhibitors in COVID-19: A Signal of Benefit? – Med Page Today

No indication that ACE inhibitors, ARBs cause harm in Wuhan data

Patients with high blood pressure have twice the risk of dying from coronavirus, study finds – CNN

Coronavirus patients with high blood pressure have twice the risk of dying from the infection, an international study has found.
High blood pressure has been known to worsen the risk of serious symptoms, but the study, published Thursday in the European Heart Journal, shows just how bad the risk is. [Related Study]

AUDIO COVID-19 mortality risk factors (in English) – Lancet
The Asia Executive Editor of The Lancet, Helena Hui Wang, chats with Bin Cao about clinical course and risk factors for mortality of adult inpatients with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China.

Official Reporting for June 5, 2020

WHO SITREP #136 ECDC Johns Hopkins
Confirmed Cases 6,416,828 6,603,329 6,694,512
Deaths 382,867 391,372 392,940


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

Surveillance Headlines


Florida: Florida passes 60,000 recorded coronavirus cases as it heads toward Phase 2 – Tampa Bay News

Washington (State): American Seafoods has 25 new cases of COVID-19 among crew aboard 2 factory trawlers – Seattle Times

North Carolina: NC COVID-19 Update: Total number of cases jump by 1,189 in 24 hour period – Local news


England has a new face mask rule. Many are asking why it took so long – Washington Post

Russia: Salient lessons from Russia’s COVID-19 outbreak – Lancet


India & Pakistan: India, Pakistan Record Big Jump In Coronavirus Cases – NPR


Yemen: Experts fear Yemen could suffer one of the world’s worst coronavirus outbreaks – CNN


Brazil: Brazil overtakes Italy in deaths, now third highest behind U.S. and U.K. – Washington Post

Science and Tech

SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19: between pathophysiology complexity and therapeutic uncertainty – Physiology

First isolated in China in early 2020, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the novel coronavirus responsible for the ongoing pandemic of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The disease has been spreading rapidly across the globe, with the largest burden falling on China, Europe and the United States. COVID-19 is a new clinical syndrome characterized by respiratory symptoms with variable degrees of severity, from mild upper respiratory illness to severe interstitial pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome aggravated by thrombosis in pulmonary microcirculation. Three main phases of disease progression have been proposed for COVID-19: the early infection phase, the pulmonary phase and the hyperinflammation phase.

Serology assays to manage COVID-19 – Science

In late 2019, China reported a cluster of atypical pneumonia cases of unknown etiology in Wuhan. The causative agent was identified as a new betacoronavirus, called severe acute respiratory syndrome–coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) (1). The virus rapidly spread across the globe and caused a pandemic. Sequencing of the viral genome allowed for the development of nucleic acid–based tests that have since been widely used for the diagnosis of acute (current) SARS-CoV-2 infections (2). Development of serological assays, which measure the antibody responses induced by SARS-CoV-2 infection (past but not current infections), took longer. This is in part due to bottlenecks with availability of positive control sera and the need for extensive specificity and sensitivity testing in the context of preexisting immunity to seasonal coronaviruses. Serological assays are important for understanding the prevalence of and immunity to SARS-CoV-2.


The Untold Story of Moderna’s Race for a COVID-19 Vaccine – Boston Magazine

Since early January, this Cambridge biotech has been chasing a vaccine and breaking records for speed. Will it be the first across the finish line?

Moderna Hires New CFO Amid Race To Develop Coronavirus Treatment – Forbes

Biotech company Moderna, which is among the leaders in the race to develop a coronavirus vaccine, on Thursday named a sector veteran its new finance chief, as it gears up to launch commercial operations and potentially oversee explosive growth if it releases a successful treatment.


Common Heartburn Drug for COVID-19 Symptoms? – MedPageToday

In case series, non-hospitalized patients felt better within 1-2 days of starting famotidine

No benefit of convalescent plasma in COVID-19 patients, study finds – CIDRAP

Infection Prevention

SARS-CoV-2 and dentistry – SpringerLink

The identification that the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a virus transmitted through airways or by direct contact with the mucosas [2] has prompted the dental community to become alert. The sensation was that dentistry would face an even greater challenge since this profession not only exposes the practitioner to extremely close contact with the patient’s airways but also uses dental procedures causing the production of aerosols, which can potentially contaminate several surfaces in the dental office.

“Is It Safe for Me to Go to Work?” Risk Stratification for Workers during the Covid-19 Pandemic – NEJM

Apprehensively, I dialed Mr. M. for an update. Weeks earlier, he and his wife had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. A few days before this call, Mr. M. had been discharged from the hospital, since his cough and fever were improving. Unfortunately, Ms. M. had developed worsening breathing, needed more oxygen, and was at that point being transferred to the ICU. Mr. M. picked up the phone, quiet and tearful. “How are you?” I asked. “Terrible, doctor,” he replied. “Maria died last night.” She had died, alone, in an ICU. Mr. M. was now mourning her loss, alone, at home. Their children and grandchildren, who live in Europe, mourned at a distance much greater than the recommended 6 feet. As similar scenes play out repeatedly, I find myself saddened and outraged by the inadequacy of our response, which failed to prevent this tragedy for Ms. M. and thousands of patients like her.

Published Research

Two-meter distancing might halve infection risk compared to one meter – MIT Tech Review

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

Coping in Quarantine

History Suggests the Handshake Will Survive the Pandemic – Bloomberg

Although kissing and other physical forms of greeting have experienced periods of decline in the past, they don’t tend to last. Human contact is enduring.

Something NOT COVID related

Exactly When And Where You Can See Friday’s ‘Strawberry Moon Eclipse’ And A Weird ‘Moon Illusion’ – Forbes
Tonight! The full “Strawberry Moon” will rise on the evening of Friday, June 5, 2020.

How do you make watching the “strawberry Moon Eclipse” even better? Make some donuts, and watch with a friend.

*stay six feet apart, put your mask back on after the donuts, wash your hands.

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