Tulane Outbreak Daily – July 20, 2020

Featured Headlines

Studies provide glimpse at efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines from Oxford-AstraZeneca and CanSino – Stat

Covid-19 vaccine being developed by Oxford University and the drug giant AstraZeneca generated an immune response in a study of roughly 1,000 patients, according to interim results published Monday. [Related Study] [Another article on AstraZenica vaccine from MIT Tech Review here] [another article from MedPageToday here]

Coronavirus Deaths Are Surging. What Happens Next? – Forbes

As I predicted, a surge in deaths associated with COVID-19 was widely reported last week by the Washington Post, New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, and others. The key question is what happens next? As every statistician and data journalist knows, extrapolation (going outside of the range of observation) is risky, fraught with pitfalls and assumptions. That said, we have some things in our favor.

‘A Wake-Up Call’: States Battle New Surge In Coronavirus Cases – NPR

Several U.S. states reported new record-breaking coronavirus case counts over the weekend as the nationwide death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 140,000 and President Trump insisted again that the virus would “disappear.” States such as Florida, California and Kentucky were reporting record or near-record numbers of new cases, and in Texas a hospital official told NPR that funeral homes and morgues were overflowing from the bodies of COVID-19 victims.

Is there a relationship between blood type and covid-19 infection? – MIT Tech Review

Since early in the pandemic, there’s been an interest in learning whether blood type has anything to do with who is more likely to get infected by the coronavirus or how bad the effects will be. Here’s what we know so far:

Why You Should Trust The Coronavirus Vaccine – Forbes

Let me start by making one thing clear: at the time of this writing, we don’t have a scientifically validated vaccine for COVID-19. But more than 150 vaccines are being developed around the world, and many of them are already in advanced stages of testing.

How Long Does COVID-19 Immunity Last? – The Atlantic

hey were the most depressing headlines I’d read all year. And that’s saying a lot’ ”Immunity to COVID-19 Could Be Lost in Months,” The Guardian declared last week, drawing on a new study from the United Kingdom. Forbes grimly accelerated the timeline: “Study: Immunity to Coronavirus May Fade Away Within Weeks.” And the San Francisco Chronicle took things to a truly dark place: “With Coronavirus Antibodies Fading Fast, Vaccine Hopes Fade, Too.”

Can You Get Covid-19 Coronavirus Twice? Here Is An Update On Reinfection – Forbes

Researchers have been trying to figure out whether you can get infected by the Covid-19 coronavirus more than once. After all, who wants a sequel to a bad experience, like watching Grown Ups 2 after the movie Grown Ups? Plus, the answer to this question can help address so many other things such as whether it’s safe to return to regular activities, how effective a vaccine may be, and how long this stinking pandemic may last.

Half of Baja California’s Coronavirus Patients in Hospitals Are Dying – Bloomberg

Half the Covid-19 patients who go to the hospital in Mexico’s border state of Baja California die, an alarming rate that experts attribute to people waiting too long to seek admission because they fear the poor conditions of hospitals.

The crisis that shocked the world: America’s response to the coronavirus

Kids Get Coronavirus, But Do They Spread It? We’ll Find Out When Schools Reopen – NPR

As scientists study the burden of COVID-19 around the globe, it’s pretty clear that despite some cases of serious illness, kids tend to get infected with the coronavirus less often and have milder symptoms compared to adults.

Clinical Considerations

None Today

Official Reporting for July 20, 2020

World Health Organization


Confirmed Cases: 14,043,176

Deaths: 597,583


Confirmed Cases: 14,476,729

Deaths: 605,979

Johns Hopkins

Confirmed Cases: 14,598,455

Deaths: 608,386

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Total cases: 3,761,362
Total deaths: 140,157

Surveillance Headlines


USA: Florida Virus ‘Out of Control,’ Los Angeles Is on the Brink – Bloomberg

Texas: 85 Infants Test Positive For Covid-19 Coronavirus In Texas County – Forbes

Alaska: 85 crew members aboard factory trawler in Unalaska test positive for COVID-19 – Anchorage News

Kentucky: Kentucky announces single-day high of new coronavirus cases – Kentucky ABC

Los Angeles California: Los Angeles County Reports Highest Daily Coronavirus Hospitalizations, Surge In Cases Among Younger People – Channel 2 News

Los Angeles, California: At least 15 LA County children sickened by inflammatory syndrome related to COVID-19 – ABC News
California: Military teams sent to five California hospitals amid coronavirus staffing shortages – LA Times

Maryland: Maryland reports 925 new coronavirus cases Sunday, its highest total since late May – Baltimore Sun

Florida: For fifth day in a row, Florida logs more than 10,000 coronavirus cases – Tampa Bay Times

Venezuela: As coronavirus explodes in Venezuela, Maduro’s government blames ‘biological weapon’: the country’s returning refugees


Scotland: Scotland sees second daily jump in Covid-19 cases – BBC


Brazil: Health Workers May Have Spread Coronavirus to Indigenous People – NYT


China: Covid-19 outbreak in Xinjiang spreads to second Chinese city – Guardian

Hong Kong: Hong Kong reports biggest one-day rise in cases – BBC

Science and Tech

The Phylogenetic Tree of the SARS-CoV-2 Virus – Medical News

A majority of mutations that have occurred to date have only mild effects on the virus, and none are thought to have led to a novel or more dangerous strain at present. This gives great hope for successful vaccinations and treatments. It is not unexpected, that in the future, the virus will evolve to different strains like influenza.


How COVID-19 could be crippled by an age-old blood thinner – Fierce Biotech

Much of the effort to develop remedies and vaccines to fight COVID-19 has centered around the spike protein that the culprit virus, SARS-CoV-2, uses to invade healthy cells. Scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute believe they’ve found a way to block the spike protein’s ability to infect cells. The drug is heparin, which is widely used to treat and prevent blood clots. The RPI team discovered that SARS-CoV-2 binds tightly to heparin, making the drug a potential “decoy” that could serve as a way to neutralize the virus before it can infect healthy cells. They reported the finding (PDF) in the journal Antiviral Research. [Related Study]

Coronavirus: Protein treatment trial ‘a breakthrough’ – BBC

The treatment from Southampton-based biotech Synairgen uses a protein called interferon beta which the body produces when it gets a viral infection. The protein is inhaled directly into the lungs of patients with coronavirus, using a nebuliser, in the hope that it will stimulate an immune response.

Seeking an Early COVID-19 Drug, Researchers Look to Interferons – The Scientist

These antiviral proteins are produced by the body as a natural defense against viral infections and synthetic interferons might help prevent or treat the beginning stages of SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Published Research

Characterization of heparin and severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike glycoprotein binding interactions – Antiviral Research

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

None Today

Coping in Quarantine

Kids at home for summer? Try this coronavirus coloring book from St Jude

How to talk to conspiracy theorists—and still be kind – MIT Tech Review

On May 4, a slick, 26-minute video was released, alleging that the coronavirus was actually a laboratory-manipulated virus deployed to wreak havoc so that a resulting vaccine could be used for profit. None of that was true, and Plandemic’s claims were thoroughly, repeatedly debunked. Still, it went viral, getting liked on Facebook 2.5 million times. Soon after, another conspiracy theory took hold: Bill Gates’s plan was to control vaccination efforts that would include tracking people via implanted microchips activated by 5G cellular towers. Again, obviously not true.

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