Women have appeared protected from COVID-19 in some way compared with men, but how the thrombotic risk shakes out for those on contraceptives, hormone therapy, and in pregnancy remains an important question. Combined oral contraceptives carry a two- to six-fold increased risk for venous thromboembolic events (VTEs), with similar risks seen with oral hormone replacement therapy for menopause and other indications. Pregnancy increases the risk four- to five-fold.
The masks were called muzzles, germ shields and dirt traps. They gave people a “pig-like snout.” Some people snipped holes in their masks to smoke cigars. Others fastened them to dogs in mockery. Bandits used them to rob banks. More than a century ago, as the 1918 influenza pandemic raged in the United States, masks of gauze and cheesecloth became the facial front lines in the battle against the virus. But as they have now, the masks also stoked political division. Then, as now, medical authorities urged the wearing of masks to help slow the spread of disease. And then, as now, some people resisted.
Many schools in Indiana started on Thursday. On Saturday, the superintendent of the Elwood Community School Corporation in the central part of the state sent a note thanking students and parents for “a great first two days of school!” But the optimistic tone quickly gave way: Staff members had tested positive, and the high school was forced to close its doors and move all students in seventh through 12th grades to online learning for at least a week.
How did it come to this? A virus a thousand times smaller than a dust mote has humbled and humiliated the planet’s most powerful nation. America has failed to protect its people, leaving them with illness and financial ruin. It has lost its status as a global leader. It has careened between inaction and ineptitude. The breadth and magnitude of its errors are difficult, in the moment, to truly fathom.
With the Trump administration aiming to deliver 300 million doses of vaccine against the coronavirus as early as January, state officials and health experts say they remain in the dark about key details and, therefore, are inadequately prepared for what is expected to be the largest single vaccination campaign ever undertaken.
Dropping antibody counts aren’t a sign that our immune system is failing against the coronavirus, nor an omen that we can’t develop a viable vaccine.
SARS-CoV-2 is the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. It is currently not known why some individuals develop only mild or no symptoms when infected, whilst others experience severe, life-threatening forms of the disease. However, it is known that the risk of COVID-19 becoming severe increases with age and is higher in males than in females. Many severe COVID-19 cases are characterised by increased blood clotting and thrombosis formation. Out of more than 200 candidate factors, researchers identified a glycoprotein called transferrin to be a procoagulant (a cause of blood clotting) that increases with age, is higher in males than in females, and is higher in SARS-CoV-2-infected cells. Hence, transferrin may have potential as a biomarker for the early identification of COVID-19 patients at high risk of severe disease. [Related Study]
Covid-19 patients and ventilator-associated pneumonia Preliminary studies and anecdotal evidence from high-burden Covid-19 areas suggest that superinfections are common, and more particularly, VAP.1 Critically ill patients intubated with Covid-19 are at higher risk for developing VAP and other infections typical for all critically ill patients (e.g. central line or urinary tract infections).1 This is most likely due to high viral burden causing immunosuppression as well as the total length of their illness.
Official Reporting for August 3, 2020
World Health Organization
Confirmed Cases: 17,918,582
Confirmed Cases: 18,056,310
Confirmed Cases: 18,149,860
Total deaths: 154,471
Nevada: Reports 1,131 more coronavirus cases, passes 50K mark – Local News
California: Spread slows in California after deadliest day on record – Mercury News
Tennessee – Active coronavirus cases grow the least in more than 2 months as hospitalizations stabilize – The Independent Herald
Norway: 36 crew on Norwegian cruise ship test positive for Covid-19 – CNN
A Latin Leader Copes With Covid-19 – Wall Street Journal
Iran: cover-up of deaths revealed by data leak – BBC
Japan: Minister Says Higher ‘Cultural Standard’ Helped Beat Virus – Bloomberg
China: Sends first Covid-19 medical testing team to Hong Kong – BBC
Science and Tech
Scientists need to show us the data. And that’s exactly what they’re working on.
The “on-the-spot” swab and DNA tests will help distinguish between Covid-19 and other seasonal illnesses, the government said. The health secretary said this would be “hugely beneficial” over the winter.
Finding the right solution for your coronavirus testing needs can be a difficult decision. In this article, we address the critical factors that organizations should consider when incorporating a new SARS-CoV-2 testing workflow into their lab.
But not everyone has the means to hire private tutors or the space to host classes in their homes. Homeschooling, this is not. As local and federal governments continue to squabble over the risks of sending kids back to school, parents are frantically gathering groups of similar-age kids to be taught at home. The idea is that they band together to pay for private tuition or delegate supervision to one parent, allowing the rest to get back to work. Pods should also supply some of the social aspect of school without the infection risk inherent in cramming dozens of kids in a room together.
Social and Psychological Impact
How to Evaluate COVID-19 News without Freaking Out – Scientific American
Disinformation expert Carl Bergstrom gives tips on how to stay calm and make sense of pandemic news. Carl Bergstrom, a professor of biology at the University of Washington, is an expert on how information flows in science and society. He and his University of Washington colleague Jevin West teach a course on data reasoning in the digital world (its materials are available online). They have also written a book based on the course, Calling Bullshit: The Art of Skepticism in a Data-Driven World, which is set to be published this Tuesday.
Risk of COVID-19 among front-line health-care workers and the general community: a prospective cohort study – The Lancet
Risk of COVID-19 in health-care workers in Denmark: an observational cohort study – The Lancet
Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies Among Healthcare Workers With Differing Levels of COVID-19 Patient Exposure – Cambridge Press
Immune complement and coagulation dysfunction in adverse outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 infection – Nature
Pre-Pub (not yet peer reviewed, should not be regarded as conclusive)
Coping in Quarantine
The pandemic has inspired a flurry of new and novel items — and given ordinary ones new meanings.