It’s too soon to tell whether a jump in coronavirus infections among young people is holding down the overall mortality rate from Covid-19, a top U.S. health official said on Tuesday.
With Covid-19 being confirmed in nearly 8.5 million cases worldwide, many are asking, “Where did the virus come from?” Conspiracy theories have attempted to link the origin of the virus to a Chinese research laboratory, despite a lack of any evidence to support the claim. Instead, it is the overwhelming opinion of scientific experts that SARS-CoV-2 (the cause of Covid-19) originated like other viruses causing past pandemics – naturally. To gain insight into how this coronavirus emerged to cause one of the most significant pandemics in recorded history, we can examine several examples from the last century.
Bloomberg Podcast: The Next Two Years of the Virus
How do we adjust our thinking from beating the virus, to coexisting with it? Michelle Fay Cortez discusses the next phase of the virus, and what public health professionals say we have to do to survive it.
We know how to slow the spread of the coronavirus. I know it doesn’t always seem that way. And, yes, there is still a great deal we don’t know about the virus. But there is also a consistent set of lessons, from around the world, about how to reduce the number of new cases sharply. You should wear a mask if you’re going to spend time near anybody who is not part of your household. You should minimize your time in indoor spaces with multiple people. You should move as many activities as possible outdoors. You should wash your hands frequently. And you should stay home, away from even your own family members, if you feel sick.
“Testing” was the word of the day at Tuesday’s House Energy & Commerce Committee hearing on the federal government’s COVID-19 response, with committee members on both sides of the aisle agreeing that the current level of testing was not good enough.
A pandemic is hard on everyone. And even though older people face greater risks from the novel coronavirus, a UNICEF report released on Tuesday points to another particularly vulnerable population: youth. The report is titled Lives Upended: How COVID-19 threatens the futures of 600 million South Asian children. [Related Study]
Dr. Anthony Fauci and other top federal health officials have testified Tuesday in the House. The committee is probing the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Critically ill COVID-19 patients were 10 times more likely than hospitalized patients with less severe coronavirus infections to have cardiac arrest or heart rhythm disorders and die, but these conditions are likely not due to infection with the novel coronavirus. [Related Study]
Among Covid-19 patients admitted to a large academic hospital, those admitted to ICUs were 10 times more likely than other patients hospitalized for the novel coronavirus to suffer cardiac arrest or heart rhythm disorders, researchers reported.
UC Davis Health researchers took a critical step in defining the possible paths for the severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) causing COVID-19 to get transmitted from the mother to her newborn baby. The mother to fetal transmission is known as “vertical” transmission.
Evidence is mounting that healthy blood vessels protect children from serious effects of COVID-19, such as stroke.Since the coronavirus outbreak began, scientists have been trying to work out why children are much less likely than adults to experience severe complications from the infection. Now research suggests that the answer might lie in children’s healthy blood vessels.
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused over 9.263 million cases and taken more than 477,000 lives as of June 24, 2020 – just six months after the initial outbreak in Wuhan, China, was reported. The illness, called COVID-19 disease, caused by SARS-CoV-2 is a severe pneumonic illness, caused by the entry of the virus into the type II alveolar cells. [Related Study]
Evidence from tissue studies and some people with COVID-19 shows that the virus damages insulin-producing cells.
Two small studies published recently suggested most men hospitalised with COVID-19 are bald, generating headlines around the world. While this may sound strange, science does offer a plausible explanation. Male pattern baldness is associated with high levels of male sex hormones called androgens. [Related Study 1] [Related Study 2]
Public-health researchers use the infection fatality rate to gauge how to respond to a new disease, but it’s tricky to calculate. One of the most crucial questions about an emerging infectious disease such as the new coronavirus is how deadly it is. After months of collecting data, scientists are getting closer to an answer.
Official Reporting for June 24, 2020
|WHO SITREP #155||ECDC||Johns Hopkins|
Total deaths: 120,333
USA: Federal government to scale back testing support even as hospitalizations reach new highs – Washington Post
USA: US Nurses At For-Profit Hospital Chain To Strike Over Cuts And PPE Shortages – Kaiser News
Arizona: Arizona sets COVID-19 records with case, treatment increases – AP
Texas: Texas reports record 5,489 new coronavirus cases, 12th consecutive day of record hospitalizations – KXAN
New Jersey: More Young People Across New Jersey Are Testing Positive for COVID-19, Officials Warn – NBC
Southern California: Inland Empire, state report record high new coronavirus cases – Desert Sun
Minnesota: Amazon warehouse in Minnesota had more than 80 COVID-19 cases – NBC
Washington State: Gov. Inslee orders masks to be worn in public to help stem spread of coronavirus – Seattle Times
Ohio: Coronavirus infections climbing in Ohio – Toledo Blade
Pennsylvania: The First Documented Coronavirus-Related Case In U.S. Was At Pittsburgh Hospital – Pittsburgh CBS Local
Russia: Hit Hard by Coronavirus, Russia Holds a Mostly Mask-Free Victory Parade (with video) – New York Times
UK: UK must prepare for second virus wave – health leaders – BBC
Chile: Celebrated success against the coronavirus, and began to open up. Infections have soared – Washington Post
Science and Tech
A new study by researchers at Strasbourg University Hospital and published on the preprint server medRxiv* in June 2020 shows that COVID-19 antibody responses may sometimes be lacking following exposure to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). This could lead to a significant underestimation of the number of infections and the number of individuals who have achieved immunity. [Related pre-print}
As the world grapples with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a new study suggests that antibodies — the proteins produced by the immune system that can grant protection against reinfection — may fade in as little as two months after infection in certain people who have recovered from the virus. [Related Nature Study]
Approximately 200 COVID-19 vaccines are being actively developed. All vaccines have one main goal: to prepare a person’s immune system to fight off an invading organism should the body encounter it. To accomplish that, a vaccine presents the immune system with something that looks like the invader and is essentially harmless, but nonetheless tricks the body into developing an immune response that would fight off the real virus if it appeared. It’s a bit like showing someone a picture and saying, “If this person shows up at your door, don’t let them in.”
I am a palliative care physician and lead the geriatrics and palliative care service line at RWJBarnabas Health in New Jersey, one of the states hit the hardest by Covid-19 pandemic. Several weeks ago, at the beginning of the surge of cases in our state, an ICU attending physician at one of our system’s hospitals — Newark Beth Israel Medical Center — requested help. He asked me to call the family of a patient with the disease who was in dire condition to discuss his prognosis. I phoned the patient’s wife of 25 years.
People infected with coronavirus were allowed to board aircraft and travel to Hong Kong in recent days, highlighting the challenge of controlling the pandemic while governments seek the safest ways to reopen borders. Hong Kong’s health authority said one infected passenger arrived Sunday from Manila on a Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. flight, and another was on a Cathay Dragon flight from Kuala Lumpur. Both were diagnosed with Covid-19 before they traveled. It also said 45 passengers on Emirates flights from Dubai over the weekend either were confirmed or probable cases. The airline only restarted flights to Hong Kong this month.
School kids don’t appear to transmit the new coronavirus to peers or teachers, a French study found, weighing in on the crucial topic of children’s role in propagating Covid-19. Scientists at Institut Pasteur studied 1,340 people in Crepy-en-Valois, a town northeast of Paris that suffered an outbreak in February and March, including 510 students from six primary schools. They found three probable cases among kids that didn’t lead to more infections among other pupils or teachers.
Brain MRI Findings in Severe COVID-19: A Retrospective Observational Study – Radiology
Vertical Transmission of SARS-CoV-2: What is the Optimal Definition? – Journal of Perinatology
COVID-19 and Cardiac Arrhythmias – Rhythm
Pathological Findings in the Testes of COVID-19 Patients: Clinical Implications – European Urology
COVID-19: ICU delirium management during SARS-CoV-2 pandemic—pharmacological considerations – Critical Care
Androgenetic Alopecia Present in the Majority of Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients – the “Gabrin sign” – JAAD
A preliminary observation: Male pattern hair loss among hospitalized COVID‐19 patients in Spain – A potential clue to the role of androgens in COVID‐19 severity – Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology
Clinical and immunological assessment of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections – Nature
Pre-Pub (not yet peer reviewed, should not be regarded as conclusive)
Intrafamilial Exposure to SARS-CoV-2 Induces Cellular Immune Response without Seroconversion – MedRXiv
Coping in Quarantine
You can keep your family safe and sane by encouraging old-school play, embarking on some D.I.Y. projects and, yes, even embracing boredom.