As new coronavirus cases surge in several states across the American South and West, the hardest-hit areas are now “on the cusp of losing control,” former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC on Thursday.
Chinese scientists have cast doubt over whether we have long-lasting immunity to the coronavirus in two studies released this week, prompting them to question the use of immunity certificates. [Related pre-pub study]
Most experts believe a vaccine won’t be ready until next year. It’s time to reset our expectations and change our behavior.
Global coronavirus cases now top 8.5 million, having added another 1 million cases in just over a week. Hot spots in Latin America and the Middle East have contributed to the rise, with cases still ticking higher in the U.S. and cases in Europe hitting a relative plateau.
DNA tests show an increase in the number of animals with positive tests for some coronaviruses from the time they are trapped until they arrive on someone’s dinner plate. (Dr. W., I’m always on the lookout for zoonotic headlines)
The minks on Dutch fur farms first got sick in mid-April, showing symptoms ranging from runny noses to severe respiratory distress. They had caught the novel coronavirus from human handlers, the government later said, and soon farmed minks appeared to have passed it back to two other people, in the world’s first reports of animal-to-human transmission since the pandemic began.
The case for chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, as treatment of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, has been voiced not only in medical journals1 but also in the popular press.2 Not only is the efficacy of these antimalarial and anti-inflammatory compounds as antiviral drugs uncertain, but there is also an ongoing debate about their safety.
Asymptomatic individuals carrying SARS-CoV-2 shed the virus longer than those with COVID-19 symptoms, with other lab findings suggesting the symptomatic patients mounted more robust immune responses. [Related Nature Study]
A SARS-CoV-2 infection can result in a wide spectrum of symptoms, from asymptomatic to gravely ill. The majority of people infected with SARS-CoV-2 experience a mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms that include fever, cough, and shortness of breath—appearing 2–14 days after exposure. However, other infections remain asymptomatic. Neither the clinical features nor the immune responses of asymptomatic cases have been well described.
COVID-19 patients can shed high loads of the novel coronavirus into the air and onto surfaces in their first week of illness, irrespective of their symptoms, according to a recent Singapore study published by the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID).
According to the CDC, 45% of Americans have hypertension or are taking medications for this condition. Concerns that angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), also known as RAAS inhibitors, increase susceptibility to COVID-19 and the likelihood of severe disease are based on considerations of biological plausibility and the observation that there is an overrepresentation of patients with hypertension and other cardiovascular comorbidities among patients with COVID-19 who have poor outcomes.
Official Reporting for June 19, 2020
|WHO SITREP #151||ECDC||Johns Hopkins|
Total deaths: 118,365
California: Gets tougher with mask requirements – Bay Area news
Florida: Florida shatters daily record with 3,207 new coronavirus cases – Tallahasee.com
South Carolina: SC sets single-day record for new COVID-19 cases with 987, four more deaths reported – WISTV
Chicago, Illinois: Northwestern Medicine finds 3 versions of COVID-19 in Chicago – WGNTV
Italy: Coronavirus was already in Italy by December, waste water study shows – The Local
UK: UK’s Covid-19 alert level reduced from four to three – BBC
South Korea: Coronavirus still spreading in 2nd S Korea wave – ABC News
Mexico: Mexico posts record 5,662 new coronavirus cases in one day – ABC News
Science and Tech
Potential weapons against covid-19 include manufactured antibodies, serum transfusions from survivors, antivirals, steroids, and more than 100 vaccine candidates, some now advancing toward decisive tests in volunteers.
A combination of two existing drugs is highly effective against SARS-CoV-2 in cell cultures, researchers in Norway and Estonia have found.
Gilenya (fingolimod), which works to modulate immune system activity in multiple sclerosis (MS), may benefit people with severe respiratory disease associated with COVID-19, a case report highlights.
With many governments loosening travel restrictions to restart economies, airlines have begun restoring flights that were put on hold as the coronavirus pandemic spread. Business is slow, as would-be passengers worry about being stuck in a cabin for an extended time with possibly infectious strangers. The record shows the risks aren’t negligible.
Several studies using genetic tests have previously detected the SARS-CoV-2 virus in stool samples, and at least one investigation shows that the coronaviruses in these feces can be infectious. When a person infected with COVID-19 defecates, the germ at first settles into the toilet bowl. But then “the flushing process can lift the virus out of the toilet and cause cross-infection among people,” says Ji-Xiang Wang, a physicist at Yangzhou University in China and coauthor on the paper published June 16 in the journal Physics of Fluids.
Tocilizumab treatment for Cytokine Release Syndrome in hospitalized COVID-19 patients: survival and clinical outcomes – Chest Journal
Clinical and immunological assessment of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections – Nature
A Comparison Between Chinese Children Infected with COVID-19 and with SARS – Journal of Pediatrics
Pre-Pub (not yet peer reviewed, should not be regarded as conclusive)
Prevalence of IgG antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in Wuhan – implications for the ability to produce long-lasting protective antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 – MedRXiv
Coping in Quarantine
How about a break from COVID-19 related anything! Always looking for fun and interesting things for the end of Friday’s Tulane Outbreak Daily, so here are my current finds… please share yours. and I’ll post in future editions.
My personal recommendation… BMW Driving Experience
I did this with my son and good friends in Germany. They have many locations! Money well spent, great experience an valuable training. We spent 5 hours doing skids, slides, drifts, and ended by learning how to do an “agent turn”.
We gave our car to my son when we left Germany late last year, it’s a standard transmission. He’s a little apprehensive on hills and the autobahn, but getting it. For his BD, we signed him up with a professional driver, a BMW, and a race track in Munich. I wish I could be there to watch. Buckle up son!