Readers, today’s edition of the Tulane Outbreak Daily is shorter than usual, but will return tomorrow with updated stats and the latest headlines tomorrow. Headed to my daughter’s High School graduation ceremony with COVID-19 protocols today. It’s a drive through ceremony. 2020 is a certainly a year that will be remembered for many years to come.
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Tuesday, 16 June 2020
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Roughly 1.7 billion people have at least one of the underlying health conditions that can worsen cases of the coronavirus, a new analysis shows. [Related Lancet Study]
As the world approaches the 6-month mark with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, hospitals have begun to organize after-care for survivors of severe COVID-19 even as long-term sequelae are still emerging.
Beijing is ramping up mass testing to determine whether a new coronavirus outbreak in the city warrants the same strict lockdown that shut down large swathes of the world’s second-biggest economy for months.
Covid-19 is on the rise around the country. Texas and Florida, two of the most populous U.S. states, reported record numbers of new infections on Sunday. The recent surge in those states and others has led public-health officials to worry that reopening the economy has come at too grave a cost. What’s clear is that between reopening policies, weariness with staying home, and large protests around the country, Americans are moving around and interacting more than they have in months. Emma Court has been covering what is increasingly looking like a second wave of the virus.
Its new report, “The Virus: What Went Wrong?,” recounts the progress of the disease and asks what America missed. 90-minute installment of PBS’s “Frontline” resurfaces the story of the pandemic that felt like an inescapable catastrophe just three weeks ago. This is the third consecutive “Frontline” film about Covid-19, following “Coronavirus Pandemic” and “Inside Italy’s Covid War.” (They can be streamed at the “Frontline” website.)
Two studies published late last week in The Lancet Infectious Diseases characterize COVID-19 passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, one finding that some infected patients have a lung infection with viral shedding but no symptoms, and the other suggesting that advanced age, severe lung involvement, and reduced lymphocyte count are risk factors for disease progression. [Related Lancet Study] [Another Related Lancet Study]
A specific mutation in the new coronavirus can significantly increase its ability to infect cells, according to a study by U.S. researchers. The research may explain why early outbreaks in some parts of the world did not end up overwhelming health systems as much as other outbreaks in New York and Italy, according to experts at Scripps Research.
Food and agriculture together are one of 16 critical infrastructures, deemed by the U.S. government to be essential to the well-being of both the U.S. people and the U.S. economy. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, food- and agriculture-related employment comprised 11 percent of all U.S. employment, representing 22 million full- and part-time jobs. Overall, agriculture, food, and related industries contributed $1.053 trillion to the U.S. gross domestic product in 2017, or approximately a 5.4-percent share. In 2017, the meat and poultry industry composed the largest segment of U.S. agriculture, with U.S. meat production totaling 52 billion pounds and U.S. poultry production totaling 48 billion pounds (2017).
Earlier this year during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, experts were worried about a potential resurgence of infection rates and positive cases in the form of a “second wave” of the virus. In the last few weeks, many American states and countries worldwide have started the reopening process, easing restrictions on business, travel, and daily life. This has been accompanied with its share of consequences. Some states that are pushing forward with aggressive reopening measures have seen significant spikes in positive cases.
With the increasing number of cases and the continuous enrichment of clinical data, 2019-nCoV–infected patients have received more and more attention regarding myocardial injury related to virus infection besides typical respiratory system manifestations. According to the published data, we summarize the myocardial injury manifestations, characteristics, effects on disease condition, and prognosis of 2019-nCoV–infected patients and discuss the possible injury mechanism, treatment methods, and future research directions.
An extraordinary percentage of people infected by the virus behind the ongoing deadly COVID-19 pandemic—up to 45 percent—are people who never show symptoms of the disease, according to the results of a Scripps Research analysis of public datasets on asymptomatic infections. [Related Study]
Science and Tech
The urgency of finding a solution for the ongoing COVID-19 crisis has led to the sequencing of hundreds of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) genomes, to help understand how the virus invades human cells, how it replicates and causes disease and factors that help it evade immune defenses.
A second experimental Covid-19 vaccine from the U.K. is starting tests in humans this week, relying on cutting-edge technology that scientists hope will allow hundreds of millions of doses to be produced quickly.
China’s Sinovac plots pivotal COVID-19 vaccine trial in Brazil after positive phase 2 – Fierce Pharma
Another Chinese company is touting an early clinical win for its experimental COVID-19 vaccine. Two doses of Sinovac Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, dubbed CoronaVac, induced neutralizing antibodies 14 days after vaccination. More than 90% of the 600 healthy volunteers in the phase 2 part of the phase 1/2 study showed that immune response, the Nasdaq-listed company said Saturday.
The Wyss Institute and the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) have signed an agreement worth up to $16 million over the next year to use Wyss technologies to identify and test FDA-approved drugs that could be repurposed to prevent or treat COVID-19.
Masks sterilized once with chlorine dioxide showed a marked reduction in overall filtration efficiency especially among KN95s and surgical masks, reported Changjie Cai, PhD, and Evan Floyd, PhD, both of the University of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City, in a JAMA Network Open research letter.[Related Study]
Global, regional, and national estimates of the population at increased risk of severe COVID-19 due to underlying health conditions in 2020: a modelling study – The Lancet
Effects of Sterilization With Hydrogen Peroxide and Chlorine Dioxide on the Filtration Efficiency of N95, KN95, and Surgical Face Masks – JAMA
Prevalence of Asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 Infection – Annals of Internal Medicine