Russia is the first country to approve a vaccine, and its announcement raises fears that the country is rushing for political purposes. The number of virus cases worldwide has now passed 20 million. [Related NPR article] [Related Bloomberg Article]
Russia’s president Vladimir Putin announced on 11 August that the country’s health regulator had become the world’s first to approve a coronavirus vaccine for widespread use — but scientists worldwide have condemned the decision as dangerously rushed. Russia hasn’t completed large trials to test its safety and efficacy, and rolling out an inadequately vetted vaccine could put at risk people who receive it, researchers say. It could also impede global efforts to develop quality COVID-19 immunizations, they suggest.
In one of the hospital’s I.C.U.s, many patients or their families gave the Times journalists Sheri Fink, Emily Rhyne and Erin Schaff permission to follow their care. The 24-bed unit, where more than 60 percent of the patients who were there in mid-July identified as Hispanic, is a microcosm for a country where the pandemic has disproportionately affected Latinos.
It’s now clear the United States has failed to contain its Covid-19 epidemic, with case counts far ahead of other developed nations and more than 1,000 deaths reported a day for over two weeks and counting.
Last week, HIV/AIDS research pioneer David Ho, MD, joined HCPLive® and the American Lung Association (ALA) on Lungcast, to discuss the up-to-date burden of COVID-19, and what future optimal response would look like—from vaccines to public health practices. Being a world-leading virology expert, Ho also made note of a trio of past viruses in which he sees similarities, and stark differences, within COVID-19.
The first doses will likely be reserved for health workers and others at high risk. Even if the most optimistic projections hold true and a Covid-19 vaccine is cleared for U.S. use in November, the vast majority of Americans won’t be able to get the shots until spring or summer next year at the earliest.
The heterogeneous expression of headache associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) indicates various underlying pathophysiological mechanisms, according to results of a survey published in Headache. Though headaches have been shown to be a symptom of COVID-19 in up to 60% of cases, no study has yet been done to analyze the characteristics of headaches in these patients.
Since the novel coronavirus caught the world’s attention in December 2019, doctors have been trying to determine how the virus damages the body — and trying innovative treatments to stop it in its tracks. Now, they may have found one solution for treating COVID-19 patients in critical condition. Some of the most serious cases of COVID-19 require long periods of time in the intensive care unit, on ventilators. Out of options, a group of doctors at Northwell Health’s North Shore University in Manhasset, New York, took a step back and wondered if they could stop the virus from causing further damage by introducing freezing temperatures.
Data collected in May shows that teenagers and young adults who vape face a much higher risk of COVID-19 than their peers who do not vape, Stanford researchers found.
rne Duncan, the former US secretary of education, recently warned a House panel against opening schools prematurely. He’s one of a growing chorus of voices sounding the alarm about opening schools without properly funding safety measures. The schools, they say, simply don’t have the money they need to make their buildings safe for students and teachers. At that same house panel, witnesses said public schools would need $200 billion in federal aid to open safely with the virus continuing to circulate. Skylar Woodhouse reports on costs, and challenges, of creating safe classrooms.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is commonly associated with kidney damage, and the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor for SARS-CoV-2 is highly expressed in the proximal tubule cells. Whether patients with COVID-19 present specific manifestations of proximal tubule dysfunction remains unknown. To test this, we examined a cohort of 49 patients requiring hospitalization in a large academic hospital in Brussels, Belgium. There was evidence of proximal tubule dysfunction in a subset of patients with COVID-19, as attested by low-molecular-weight proteinuria (70-80%), neutral aminoaciduria (46%), and defective handling of uric acid (46%) or phosphate (19%). None of the patients had normoglycemic glucosuria.
Parinita Dherange, MBBS, et al., highlight the potential mechanisms of arrhythmias in this setting and management of arrhythmias to provide a resource for clinicians during the pandemic. The paper also suggests strategies to minimize exposure to COVID-19. Arrhythmias are more common in critically ill COVID-19 patients, and the increased risk of arrhythmias in COVID-19 patients likely is due to systemic illness rather than a direct effect of the virus, the authors note. [Related Study in Clinical Electrophysiology]
Official Reporting for August 11, 2020
World Health Organization
Confirmed Cases: 19.936,210
Confirmed Cases: 20,075,600
Confirmed Cases: 20,166,415
Total deaths: 162,407
Georgia: 9 Test Positive For Coronavirus After In-Person Classes Resume At Georgia High School – NPR
Alaska: Officials confirm 70 new COVID-19 cases across Alaska; State ferry system reports positive crew member – Anchorage News
Lousiana: 4th Louisiana child dies from coronavirus-linked illness – NOLA
Finaland: Forces Quarantine on Travelers From Most of World – Bloomberg
Nursing Home Outbreaks Lift Death Rates in Hong Kong, Australia – Bloomberg
South Korea: What South Korea can teach the world about containing COVID-19 – WEFORUM
Coronavirus breaks out again in New Zealand after 102 days – ABC News
Science and Tech
Northwestern University researchers have uncovered a new vulnerability in the novel coronavirus’ infamous spike protein — illuminating a relatively simple, potential treatment pathway.
The novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has recently emerged, causing COVID-19 outbreaks and significant societal/global disruption. Importantly, COVID-19 infection resembles SARS-like complications. However, the lack of knowledge about the underlying genetic mechanisms of COVID-19 warrants the development of prospective control measures. In this study, we employed whole-genome alignment and digital DNA–DNA hybridization analyses to assess genomic linkage between 2019-nCoV and other coronaviruses.
Inspired by a unique kind of infection-fighting antibody found in llamas, alpacas, and other camelids, a research team at the University of California, San Francisco, has synthesized a molecule that they say is among the most potent anti-coronavirus compounds tested in a lab to date.
Covid-19 does much more to the human body than a typical respiratory virus. In addition to neurological problems ranging from a loss of sense of smell to outright seizures, surprising gastrointestinal symptoms and kidney damage, and a potentially fatal haywire immune response, the disease also messes with a person’s blood. The sickest people start forming clots, potentially leading to stroke, heart attack, lung damage … it’s a mess. Physicians started noticing all this early in the pandemic, of course. The question was—and remains—what to do about it all.
America’s top vaccine maker has kept a low profile during the pandemic but says convenience will be its advantage.
Applications of predictive modelling early in the COVID-19 epidemic – The Lancet
Patient-reported outcomes: central to the management of COVID-19 – The Lancet
Pre-Pub (not yet peer reviewed, should not be regarded as conclusive)
Coping in Quarantine
The pandemic could change unexpected parts of our lives for years to come, experts say.