Tulane Outbreak Daily | June 9, 2020

Featured Headlines

The W.H.O. walked back an earlier assertion that asymptomatic transmission is ‘very rare.’ – New York Times

The World Health Organization on Tuesday walked back an assertion made a day earlier that transmission of the coronavirus by people who do not have symptoms is “very rare.” Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, who made the original comment at a W.H.O. briefing on Monday, said on Tuesday that it was based on just two or three studies and that it was a “misunderstanding” to say asymptomatic transmission is rare globally. [If link above does not work, try this]

Furious Backlash in Brazil After Ministry Withholds Coronavirus Data – New York Times

President Jair Bolsonaro’s government stopped disclosing comprehensive data on coronavirus cases and deaths as cases continue to soar.

Moscow is recording over 1,000 new cases per day but abruptly ends its stay-at-home order. – New York Times

Moscow’s tough lockdown ended abruptly on Tuesday as a nationwide vote on extending President Vladimir V. Putin’s rule loomed, even as the Russian capital continued to report more than 1,000 daily new coronavirus cases.

Here’s What “Reopening” Looks Like In Some Countries Devastated By Coronavirus – Forbes

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, countries around the world are cautiously embracing the best methods to reopen their economies and borders. However, this process has been unique for each country, especially in regions that have been hardest-hit by the pandemic.

5 Rules to Live By During a Pandemic – NYT

There’s no playbook for living through a pandemic, so the NYT decided to create one. With some basic rules to guide you, everyone can lower risk and live a full life while we wait for the virus to get under control.

Global COVID-19 cases top 7 million, deaths exceed 400,000 – CIDRAP

With cases in Europe declining but numbers quickly growing in the Americas and other hot spots, the global COVID-19 total today passed 7 million cases, with deaths topping 400,000.

A national registry could help defeat sepsis, a big contributor to Covid-19 deaths – STAT

As doctors and paramedics who treat the victims of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have seen firsthand the devastating impact of this disease on our patients, their families, and our communities. The cause of the disease, the SARS-CoV-2 virus, is often called a novel coronavirus, but there is nothing new or novel about what actually kills most Covid-19 patients: sepsis.

Nothing Like SARS: Researchers Warn The Coronavirus Will Not Fade Away Any Time Soon – NPR

Audio file at the link – Health officials expected the coronavirus to decline in the summer heat and fade away soon. But the researchers say the virus is likely to be here year-round — and for years to come.

Jail Cycling Is Significant Predictor of SARS-CoV-2 Infection – Physicians Briefing

Jail cycling is a significant predictor of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, according to a report published online June 4 in Health Affairs.

Clinical Considerations

COVID-19 Infections And Deaths Are Higher Among Those With Intellectual Disabilities – NPR

People With Intellectual Disabilities And Autism Die Of COVID-19 At A Higher Rate. 4-min audio at the link

Advanced Cirrhosis Tied to Much Higher Risk of Death From COVID-19 – Hep Mag

This finding comes from data on COVID-19 cases diagnosed in people with chronic liver disease and reported to international registries.

New study shows possible alternative pathway of SARS-CoV-2 infection in overactive bladder – MedicalNews.net

A new study published on the preprint server bioRxiv*, in June 2020, reports that the condition of overactive bladder (OAB) could be associated with a different route of infection by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent for COVID-19 disease.

Stent Thrombosis May Be Presenting Feature of COVID-19 – TCTMD

The risk is small, but study investigators emphasize the need for potent antiplatelet therapies in high-risk patients with COVID-19. [Related Study]

Official Reporting for June 9, 2020

WHO SITREP #141 ECDC Johns Hopkins
Confirmed Cases 7,039,918 7,069,278 7,172,874
Deaths 404,396 405,587 408,244


Total cases: 1,938,823
Total deaths: 110,375
(Numbers close out at 4 p.m. the day before reporting.)

Surveillance Headlines


Coronavirus Infections Are On The Rise In 21 U.S. States, With Cases Spiking In California, Arizona And North Carolina – Forbes

Texas: Texas Sets New High For Coronavirus Hospitalizations – Forbes

Nevada: Customers Crowd Into Casinos After Las Vegas Reopens – Forbes

Northern California: SARS-CoV-2 Had Multiple Introductions into Northern California – Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News

Alabama: Coronavirus surges in Decatur over last two weeks, as area sees community spread – Alabama News

Arkansas: State of Arkansas reports nearly 1,100 cases of COVID-19 in past 3 days – Arkansas News

Alaska: Outbreak grows at East Anchorage care center, where COVID-19 cases now total 41 – Alaska News

Colorado: Colorado Reports Largest Day-To-Day Increase Of Coronavirus Hospitalizations Since Mid-April – CBS Denver

Chicago, Illiniois: Chicago Tackles COVID-19 Disparities In Hard-Hit Black And Latino Neighborhoods – NPR

Arizona: Is the COVID-19 pandemic getting worse in Arizona? Here’s what we know – AZ Central


India: Delhi coronavirus cases set to explode, hospitals running out of beds – Reuters


Furious Backlash in Brazil After Ministry Withholds Coronavirus Data – New York Times

Science and Tech

Two Genetic Regions Linked with Severe COVID-19 – The Scientist

It’s not yet clear why some people infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, get really sick, while others have only mild symptoms. There’s some evidence that chronic health conditions—such as hypertension and diabetes can play a role, and scientists know that people’s genes can influence how their bodies react to other viruses. In a preprint posted to medRxiv on June 2, researchers describe a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of samples from 1,610 hospitalized patients with COVID-19 and 2,205 healthy controls. The authors identified variants in two regions—the locus that encodes blood type and a multi-gene cluster on chromosome 3—that were linked to respiratory failure during SARS-CoV-2 infection. [PrePrint Study]

Scientists Identify Targets for COVID-19 Vaccine Using Cancer Immunotherapy Tools – Delaware Times

Cancer researchers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) have harnessed tools used for the development of cancer immunotherapies and adapted them to identify regions of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to target with a vaccine, employing the same approach used to elicit an immune response against cancer cells to stimulate an immune response against the virus. Using this strategy, the researchers believe a resulting vaccine would provide protection across the human population and drive a long-term immune response. [Related Study in Cell]


BARDA offers Moderna opportunity to expand domestic manufacturing of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine – Homeland Preparedness News

As part of an expansion to their existing partnership, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and MODERNATX, Inc. will increase the domestic manufacturing capacity of the mRNA-1273 vaccine, a candidate to stop the spread of COVID-19.

COVID-19 vaccine development pipeline gears up – Lancet

Vaccine makers are racing to develop COVID-19 vaccines, and have advanced ten candidates into clinical trials. But challenges remain. Asher Mullard reports.


People are paying as much as $10,000 for an unlicensed remdesivir variant for their cats, in a thriving black market linked to Facebook groups – Business Insider

A variant of remdesivir, one of the most promising treatments for COVID-19, has for more than a year been sold as a treatment for sick cats via a black market connected to big Facebook groups.


AstraZeneca aims to get COVID-19 therapy into clinic in 2 months – Fierce Biotech

AstraZeneca is planning to start a phase 1 clinical trial of a COVID-19 antibody therapy within two months. The commitment follows the signing of a deal that grants AstraZeneca an exclusive license to six anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies identified by researchers at Vanderbilt University.

Bloomberg Podcast: The Truth About Hydroxychloroquine

The controversial drug is back in the news. In the early days of the pandemic, President Trump and some doctors touted it as an effective treatment. But studies soon discredited the treatment. Now, in an unexpected twist, some research papers dismissing the drug have also been thrown in doubt. So how useful is Hydroxychloroquine and how reliable are the reviews we rely on to assess a drug’s safety? Laura Carlson speaks to Bloomberg reporters Michelle Cortez and Robert Langreth for answers.

Infection Prevention

The Office Elevator In COVID-19 Times: Experts Weigh In On Safer Ups And Downs – NPR

When the American Medical Association moved its headquarters to a famous Chicago skyscraper in 2013, the floor-to-ceiling views from the 47th-floor conference space were a spectacular selling point.

Here’s what WHO says your mask should have to prevent COVID-19 spread – ARS Technica

The World Health Organization on Friday updated its guidance on the use of masks amid the COVID-19 pandemic, making several changes and additions. Most notably, the agency is now recommending that governments encourage healthy members of the general public to wear masks in specific situations as part of comprehensive prevention efforts.


Published Research

Clinical benefit of remdesivir in rhesus macaques infected with SARS-CoV-2 – Nature

SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases in northeast Italy: A cross-sectional study on 916 patients – Journal of Autoimmunity

Characteristics and outcomes of pregnant women admitted to hospital with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection in UK: national population based cohort study – BMJ

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

Rapid whole genome sequence typing reveals multiple waves of SARS-CoV-2 spread – BioRXiv

SARS-CoV-2 placental infection and inflammation leading to fetal distress and neonatal multi-organ failure in an asymptomatic woman – MedRXiv

Coping in Quarantine

When 511 Epidemiologists Expect to Fly, Hug and Do 18 Other Everyday Activities Again – NYT

Many epidemiologists are already comfortable going to the doctor, socializing with small groups outside or bringing in mail, despite the coronavirus. But unless there’s an effective vaccine or treatment first, it will be more than a year before many say they will be willing to go to concerts, sporting events or religious services. And some may never greet people with hugs or handshakes again. [if the link above does not work, try this]

The best of Coronavirus Confessions: Good sex, bad teachers and secret smokes – Los Angeles Times

Early last month, when we asked readers to anonymously submit the shame-inducing, rule-flouting behavior they were less than proud of engaging in since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, we expected to receive maybe a couple dozen responses total — a tiny handful of genuine, heartfelt confessions that we could publish and a whole lot of snarky trolling that we could not. The result was quite the opposite.

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