Tulane Outbreak Daily – August 7, 2020

Five simple steps would tame COVID-19 – Harvard Gazette

Just five steps are enough to gain control of the nation’s COVID-19 outbreak and head off a return to the complete lockdowns many states declared in March and April, according to Anthony Fauci, one of the federal government’s top voices on pandemic response.

How Did I Catch the Coronavirus? – The New Yorker

Near the end of March, when friends offered me their home on Long Island—they had gone to stay with relatives in Vermont—I thought that I’d go for a week. I had been quarantining at my partner’s house, in Brooklyn. He lives in a one-room studio, which doubles as his work studio, on the second floor of an old, four-story communal house, which he was sharing with four other people. We formed a pod. No outside contacts. No one left the house after mid-March, except for a rare grocery run, or a bike ride, or to walk the house dog. I promised that, while away, I would continue to social-distance. I’d be joining the experiment in solitude under way across the world.

Largest School System in U.S. Cleared to Reopen – MedPageToday

The state of New York, which includes the nation’s largest school district in New York City, on Friday authorized reopening schools, as long as cases remain stable and schools undertake proper COVID-19 infection control procedures.

The Winter Will Be Worse – The Atlantic

Throughout the pandemic, one lodestar of public-health advice has come down to three words: Do things outside. For nearly five months now, the outdoors has served as a vital social release valve—a space where people can still eat, drink, relax, exercise, and worship together in relative safety.

300,000 Deaths By December? 9 Takeaways From The Newest COVID-19 Projections – NPR

By Dec. 1, the U.S. death toll from COVID-19 could reach nearly 300,000. That’s the grim new projection from researchers at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation — one of the more prominent teams modeling the pandemic. The new forecast, released Thursday, projects that between now and December, 137,000 people will die on top of the roughly 160,000 who have died so far.

COVID-19: Immune system derails – ScienceDirect

Contrary to what has been generally assumed so far, a severe course of COVID-19 does not solely result in a strong immune reaction — rather, the immune response is caught in a continuous loop of activation and inhibition.

The Big Story: How the Virus Won – The Atlantic

“I’ve learned that almost everything that went wrong with America’s response to the pandemic was predictable and preventable,” Yong writes. “The COVID‐19 debacle has also touched—and implicated—nearly every other facet of American society: its shortsighted leadership, its disregard for expertise, its racial inequities, its social-media culture, and its fealty to a dangerous strain of individualism.”

Clinical Considerations

Strong link found between abnormal liver tests and poor COVID-19 outcomes – Yale News

Researchers at the Yale Liver Center found that patients with COVID-19 presented with abnormal liver tests at much higher rates than suggested by earlier studies. They also discovered that higher levels of liver enzymes — proteins released when the liver is damaged — were associated with poorer outcomes for these patients, including ICU admission, mechanical ventilation, and death. [Related study]

Facing the SARS-Cov-2 outbreak: What should Obstetricians and Gynecologists need to do? – Cambridge University

An outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has widely spread worldwide. In this major outbreak, women is a special group, especially pregnant patients. Many problems faced by clinicians are still unclear and need to be solved. As the largest Obstetrics and Gynecology hospital in North China,here we summarized the diagnosis and treatment process and key points of obstetrics and gynecology patients in our hospital during the period of COVID-19 pandemic, hoping to provide available information to inform care of obstetrics and gynecology patients.

Epidemiological and clinical features of pediatric COVID-19 – BMC Medicine

COVID-19 is an extremely severe infectious disease. However, few studies have focused on the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of pediatric COVID-19. This study conducted a retrospective review of the epidemiological and clinical features of COVID-19 in children.

Official Reporting for August 7, 2020

World Health Organization


Confirmed Cases: 18,902,735

Deaths: 709,511


Confirmed Cases: 19,076,745

Deaths: 714,618

Johns Hopkins

Confirmed Cases: 19,176,624

Deaths: 716,400

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Total cases: 4,802,491
Total deaths: 157,631

Surveillance Headlines


Oregon: Oregon passes 20,000 COVID-19 cases, and climbing – opb.org

California: ‘Broken’ coronavirus tracking system leaves California in the dark: ‘We have no idea’ – LA Times

Alaska: Seafood plant on Kodiak Island reports dozens of coronavirus infections – Anchorage Daily News

Ohio: One man with coronavirus attending Ohio church service led to infection of 91 others – NBC


Norway: Clamps Down As Coronavirus Cases Rise, Face Masks A Possibility – Forbes

Spain: Tops U.K. In Coronavirus Cases Amid New Outbreaks – Forbes



Science and Tech

SARS-CoV2 disrupts clinical research – the role of a rare disease-specific trial network – European Respiratory Journal

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has disrupted clinical trials worldwide [1]. This could delay the approval of new medicines and reduce access to investigational treatments via clinical trials. This particularly impacts patients with rare diseases such as cystic fibrosis (CF).

Rogue immune system reactions hint at an early treatment for COVID-19 – ScienceNews

Now researchers have new clues for getting the immune system back on target, before the disease becomes severe. One of the most comprehensive looks to date at the immune system of COVID-19 patients pinpoints where things go awry. The findings suggest that bolstering the body’s first line of defense against the virus using drugs known as interferons may help prevent severe illness.

SARS-CoV-2 In Pigs, Chickens, Fruit Bats, and Ferrets – Physician’s Weekly

There have been several theories indicating the spread of COVID-19 from organisms like bats, chickens, pigs, and ferrets. This study aims to investigate the susceptibility of potential animal hosts and the risk of anthroponotic spill-over infections.


Charting a Rapid Course Toward Better COVID-19 Tests and Treatments – NIH Directors Blog

It is becoming apparent that our country is entering a new and troubling phase of the pandemic as SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, continues to spread across many states and reaches into both urban and rural communities. This growing community spread is hard to track because up to 40 percent of infected people seem to have no symptoms. They can pass the virus quickly and unsuspectingly to friends and family members who might be more vulnerable to becoming seriously ill. That’s why we should all be wearing masks when we go out of the house—none of us can be sure we’re not that asymptomatic carrier of the virus.


The Special Sauce That Makes Some Vaccines Work – NPR

There are many approaches to making a vaccine against COVID-19. Some use genetic material from the coronavirus, some use synthetic proteins that mimic viral proteins and some use disabled versions of the virus itself. But before any of these approaches can generate the antibodies to the coronavirus that scientists say are essential to protecting people from getting sick, the immune system has to be primed to make those antibodies.

Published Research

Abnormal Liver Tests in COVID‐19: A Retrospective Observational Cohort Study of 1827 Patients in a Major U.S. Hospital Network – Hepatology

BMI and Risk for Intubation or Death in SARS-CoV-2 – American College of Cardiology

SARS-CoV-2 viral load predicts COVID-19 mortality – The Lancet

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

Viable SARS-CoV-2 in the air of a hospital room with COVID-19 patients – BioRXIV

Coping in Quarantine

25 Underrated Films That Will Save Your Summer – The Atlantic

Summer blockbusters have started to look the same in recent years: iterations from the same franchises, with comic-book superheroes leading the pack again and again. But because of the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 summer-movie season never really began. With Hollywood’s biggest films delayed for months, or indefinitely, I’ve assembled a list of unconventional and underrated movies with a much more eclectic range of heroes to cheer for or be thrilled by. (This year, I’ve also compiled watchlists of unexpected cinematic masterpieces and utterly singular movies for audiences looking to discover their new favorite film in quarantine.)

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