Tulane Outbreak Daily – August 19, 2020

Progress report on the coronavirus pandemic – Nature

In the first of a series of editorials, we look back at some of the key findings from scientists’ race to demystify SARS-CoV-2.

What Derailed America’s Covid Testing: Three Lost Weeks – Wall Street Journal

Alex Azar’s face reddened when he heard the news: The only federally authorized tests to detect whether Americans were infected with the new coronavirus were flawed, and officials couldn’t identify what was causing the problem.

Officials in Wuhan and Hubei Province tried to hide information from China’s central leadership, a U.S. report finds. – NYT

Trump administration officials have tried taking a political sledgehammer to China over the coronavirus pandemic, asserting that the Chinese Communist Party covered up the initial outbreak and allowed the virus to spread around the globe.

Mystery Grows Over Virus Spread Via Contaminated Food Packaging – Bloomberg

Evidence shows that food is an unlikely route of transmitting the coronavirus across borders, but contaminated items continue to grab the spotlight, deepening the uncertainty over whether the $220 billion cold chain industry could be implicated in the spread of Covid-19.

COVID-19 immunity, scorching temperatures and telescope accident – Nature

A COVID-19 outbreak on a US fishing boat has provided what scientists say is the first direct evidence that antibodies against the new coronavirus protect people from reinfection.

Long-Haulers Are Redefining COVID-19 – The Atlantic

Lauren nichols has been sick with COVID-19 since March 10, shortly before Tom Hanks announced his diagnosis and the NBA temporarily canceled its season. She has lived through one month of hand tremors, three of fever, and four of night sweats. When we spoke on day 150, she was on her fifth month of gastrointestinal problems and severe morning nausea. She still has extreme fatigue, bulging veins, excessive bruising, an erratic heartbeat, short-term memory loss, gynecological problems, sensitivity to light and sounds, and brain fog. Even writing an email can be hard, she told me, “because the words I think I’m writing are not the words coming out.” She wakes up gasping for air twice a month. It still hurts to inhale.

Encouraging News About Coronavirus Immunity – Science

We’ve had some good news on coronavirus immunity recently – good because it gives us some more clarity on the whole situation, and because it suggests that both people who have already recovered from the infection and people who will be getting vaccinated can have good protection.

Why You Should Avoid Hotel Elevators During The Pandemic – Forbes

Next time you book a hotel, consider asking for a room on a lower floor. Taking the stairs may be good for your health in more ways than one. There’s a growing body of evidence that using an elevator can increase the risk of contracting COVID-19, including research indicating that the virus can linger in an elevator after an infected person has gotten off.

Clinical Considerations

High school QB, homecoming king contracts COVID-19 twice, doctors find hole in heart – Local News

A 19-year-old California teen thought he was healthy until a second diagnosis of COVID-19 revealed a hole in his heart. The last two months have been some of the most excruciating for Desiree Cady, whose son William “Ikaika” Bailey has been going through the fight of his life.

COVID-19 and a loss of smell: Why the virus may hinder this sense – NBC

A study published Tuesday sheds light on one of the more curious symptoms of COVID-19: the loss of smell. The coronavirus infects cells by binding to a receptor found on their outer surface, called ACE2. Cells in the nose that help us detect smells are particularly rich in this receptor, according to the research released in the European Respiratory Journal — and that could make them a clear target for the virus.

Trail of bubbles leads scientists to new coronavirus clue – KSAT

A doctor checking comatose COVID-19 patients for signs of a stroke instead stumbled onto a new clue about how the virus may harm the lungs — thanks to a test that used tiny air bubbles and a robot.

Official Reporting for August 19, 2020

World Health Organization

Weekly Epi Update 1

(last updated 8/16)


Confirmed Cases: 20,730,456

Deaths: 751,154


Confirmed Cases: 22,151,281

Deaths: 781,123

Johns Hopkins

Confirmed Cases: 22,244,179

Deaths: 783,525

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Total cases: 5,460,429
Total deaths: 171,012

Surveillance Headlines



Wuhan China: Crowds return as fears fade – Washington Post


Iran: Iran surpasses 20,000 confirmed deaths from the coronavirus – ABC

Science and Tech

Researchers Created a Virus That Mimics SARS-CoV-2, the COVID-19 Coronavirus – Here’s Why – SciTechDaily

Airborne and potentially deadly, the virus that causes COVID-19 can only be studied safely under high-level biosafety conditions. Scientists handling the infectious virus must wear full-body biohazard suits with pressurized respirators, and work inside laboratories with multiple containment levels and specialized ventilation systems. While necessary to protect laboratory workers, these safety precautions slow down efforts to find drugs and vaccines for COVID-19 since many scientists lack access to the required biosafety facilities.


More Evidence Heartburn Drug May Help COVID-19 Patients – MedPageToday

More data from observational studies, this time in hospitalized patients, indicated that famotidine (Pepcid AC), which is used to treat heartburn, was associated with improved clinical outcomes in COVID-19 patients.

Psychological & Sociological Impact

None Today

Published Research

None Today

Coping in Quarantine

18 Photos Of Disastrous Quarantine Haircuts You Need To See

Some technical difficulties today with the InterWebs. Hoping for a much faster news gathering day tomorrow!

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