Yesterday 1,499 Americans died from the novel coronavirus, the highest number since mid-May, and 1,000 Americans each day have succumbed to COVID-19 for the last 17 days, per 7-day rolling averages analyzed by the Washington Post. Across the Southern half of the country, states continue to report record death tolls, with Georgia recording 105 deaths yesterday, the second day with more than 100 fatalities in a row. In Texas, 324 people died from the disease—a new single-day record.
The novel coronavirus is surging back into U.S. nursing homes, where it killed tens of thousands at the start of the pandemic and now once again threatens some of the people most vulnerable to covid-19, the disease caused by the virus.
Areas with high case loads ‘have a choice. You can either close the bars or close the schools’ While the nation’s goal should be getting children back to school, there’s a “big ‘however’ there,” NIAID Director Anthony Fauci, MD, told Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) during a Facebook Live event Thursday.
The U.S. now has more than 5 million cases and 166,700 deaths from the coronavirus. And with flu season approaching, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned this week that things could get a lot more grim. Robert Redfield said in an interview Wednesday with WebMD that if Americans don’t follow public health guidance, the country could be facing “the worst fall, from a public health perspective, we’ve ever had.”
The coronavirus pandemic is likely to be a challenge for years to come even with a vaccine, according to pharmaceutical and public-health experts. While a vaccine will provide some measure of protection to societies around the globe, the virus is likely to flare up from time to time and be constantly battled, much like the flu and other pathogens.
A sample of frozen chicken wings transported from Brazil to China tested positive for COVID-19, Chinese officials announced Thursday. But there is no evidence that shows the coronavirus can be transmitted by eating or handling food, according to health experts.
Reports that the virus was detected in a trans-continental shipment of frozen chicken wings sparked concerns online. But experts aren’t worried. Amid a flurry of concern over reports that frozen chicken wings imported to China from Brazil had tested positive for the coronavirus, experts said on Thursday that the likelihood of catching the virus from food — especially frozen, packaged food — is exceedingly low.
Scientists warned of a pandemic for decades, yet when Covid-19 arrived, the world had few resources and little understanding. Hunkered around conference tables at the World Health Organization’s Geneva headquarters, a group of scientists debated which of the world’s most frightening epidemic diseases deserved the greatest attention.
ne of the bigger riddles of the global pandemic lies in South-East Asia. Despite being close to the source of covid-19, in China, and to one of the current hotspots of the outbreak, India, the partly or largely Buddhist countries of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam have scarcely sneezed.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Thursday that temperature checks are unreliable for detecting coronavirus symptoms in people entering businesses and other establishments as infrared thermometers have been embraced as part of safety protocol for reopenings.
Infusing hospitalized Covid-19 patients with blood plasma from people who recovered from the disease appeared to show a benefit in a nationwide study, but the study’s lack of a placebo group left several experts struggling to interpret the data.
This short communication evaluated the importance of the oral cavity in disease transmission and the possible impact of using oral antiseptics to reduce the transmission and pathogenicity of SARS-CoV-2. A literature review approach was used to address the relevance of the oral cavity in the transmission and pathogenicity of SARS-CoV-2, and whether oral antiseptics have an impact. The increased concentration of ACE2 receptors in the oral epithelium and salivary glands explains the high viral load in the oral cavity and saliva of infected individuals.
SARS-CoV-2 particles and associated inflammation were seen in the olfactory nervous system of patients who had severe COVID-19, a report from Italy showed. Minimally invasive autopsy with nasal endoscopic dissection showed viral particles and CD163-positive microglial cells in the olfactory complex of two COVID patients, reported Patrizia Morbini, MD, PhD, of University of Pavia, and co-authors in JAMA Otolaryngology. [Related study JAMA]
Risk of myocarditis — a heart condition with potentially permanent consequences — associated with COVID-19 may be the biggest obstacle to the fall football season. At a Thursday telebriefing hosted by the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) chief medical officer said he was aware of 12 recent myocarditis cases affecting NCAA athletes. Brian Hainline, MD, said previous NCAA guidance around cardiac health — a longstanding and important topic in the college sports world, as congenital anomalies have killed dozens of athletes over the years — has become “more rigid” during the pandemic.
Official Reporting for August 14, 2020
World Health Organization
Confirmed Cases: 20,730,456
Confirmed Cases: 20,900,763
Confirmed Cases: 20,950,402
Total deaths: 166,317
California: As California’s hospitalizations decline, COVID-19 deaths persist at a staggering rate – Mercury News
Georgia: Late to shut down, first to reopen, Georgia reports its highest daily death toll – USA Today
USA: 13 States Make Contact Tracing Data Public. Here’s What They’re Learning – NPR
Germany: German coronavirus tests backlog: 900 positive not yet told – ABC News
14 new Covid-19 cases reported – BBC
Science and Tech
Let’s face it, if you’ve been staying home a lot, you’re probably pretty tired of looking at the same faces. Love them as we do, it feels like well past time to start seeing other people, to visit or host relatives and dear friends. So how can you do this without unknowingly spreading the virus or getting exposed?
Designed and assembled by experts from across the Institute, the facility should enable testing of up to 1,500 people a day. In mid-March, in response to the unfolding Covid-19 pandemic, MIT Medical quickly set up testing tents where essential workers and others who remained on campus could be safely screened for the novel coronavirus. In the tents, nurses and physicians administered nasal swabs while dressed in full personal protective equipment, or PPE.
Israeli hospital trials super-quick saliva test for COVID-19 – Reuters
A newly developed saliva test aims to determine in less than a second whether or not you are infected with the novel coronavirus, Israel’s largest medical center said on Thursday.
On Tuesday, it said a vaccine had been given regulatory approval after less than two months of testing on humans. But experts were quick to raise concerns about the speed of Russia’s work, and a growing list of countries have expressed scepticism. Scientists in Germany, France, Spain and the US have all urged caution.
Psychological & Sociological Impact
The Covid-19 crisis has brought with it a mental health crisis in the United States, and new data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show just how broad the pandemic’s impact on mental health might be. A new CDC survey found that almost 41% of respondents are struggling with mental health issues stemming from the pandemic — both related to the coronavirus pandemic itself and the measures put in place to contain it, including physical distancing and stay-at-home orders.
COVID-19 in children: analysis of the first pandemic peak in England – BMJ
Pre-Pub (not yet peer reviewed, should not be regarded as conclusive)