Tulane Outbreak Daily – August 24, 2020

Featured Articles

First Case of COVID-19 Reinfection Confirmed – MedPageToday

Viral sequence disparity indicates Hong Kong case not simply prolonged infection. A 33-year-old man in Hong Kong may represent the first confirmed case of reinfection, researchers in Hong Kong said. The man was diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26, hospitalized, then recovered. He tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 again on August 15, and whole genome sequencing of viral isolates from the two episodes indicated they were from different clades, reported Kwok-Yung Yuen, MD, of the University of Hong Kong, and colleagues in a manuscript they said had been accepted for publication in Clinical Infectious Diseases, but not yet published.

Study Adds to Evidence That Odor-Sensing Cells in the Nose Are the Key Entry Point for SARS CoV-2 – Technology Networks

Scientists at Johns Hopkins Medicine, experimenting with a small number of human cell samples, report that the “hook” of cells used by SARS-CoV-2 to latch onto and infect cells is up to 700 times more prevalent in the olfactory supporting cells lining the inside of the upper part of the nose than in the lining cells of the rest of the nose and windpipe that leads to the lungs. These supporting cells are necessary for the function/development of odor-sensing cells. [Related Study European Respiratory Journal]

FDA Authorizes Convalescent Plasma As Emergency Treatment For COVID-19 – NPR

President Trump announced on Sunday that the Food and Drug Administration has issued emergency use authorization to treat hospitalized COVID-19 patients with convalescent plasma from people who have recovered from the virus. Joined by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn for what he called a “truly historic” announcement, Trump described the treatment as safe and effective.

Academic Medical Centers Step Up to Treat, Prevent COVID-19 – MedPageToday

During the course of the pandemic, medical centers spun out new treatment protocols on the fly. Now the institutions are racing to develop potential vaccines and therapeutics, and using big data to tailor their treatments to individual patients, physician leaders told The Hill during an online panel discussion Wednesday afternoon, sponsored by the the Association of American Medical Colleges.

The Last Countries On Earth Free From Covid-19 [Infographic] – Forbes

It’s been more than four months since the World Health Organization declared the outbreak of Covid-19 a pandemic and the virus has now spread to all corners of the world, devastating communities and throwing life into a state of previously unimaginable turmoil. Surprisingly, there are still some countries out there that have not reported a single coronavirus case while others, such as New Zealand, thought they had eradicated the spread in their communities until it flared up again a few weeks later. The two most untrustworthy coronavirus-free candidates are Turkmenistan and North Korea, authoritarian states that have not reported a single case of the illness.

Covid-19 Coronavirus Can Survive On Frozen Meat And Fish For Up To 3 Weeks, Study Finds – Forbes

A new study posted on BioRxiv found that SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for Covid-19, can survive on frozen meat and fish for periods up to 3 weeks, as researchers continue to explore the possibility that contaminated food could be the source of new outbreaks in countries which had previously controlled the virus.

A Deadly Coronavirus Was Inevitable. Why Was No One Ready? – WSJ

The pandemic was not only predictable. It was predicted. Yet when Covid-19 arrived, governments, businesses and public-health officials found themselves battling with few resources and little understanding—despite years of work that outlined almost exactly what the virus would look like and how to mitigate its impact.

NPR Podcast: Us. In The Time Of Coronavirus – NPR

Life is changing dramatically for many people in Connecticut due to the Coronavirus. In this special series, Connecticut Public’s Chion Wolf will find out how the Coronavirus is affecting us individually and collectively, and how we struggle and adapt in these tumultuous times.

Clinical Considerations

Another COVID-19 Medical Mystery: Patients Come Off Ventilator But Linger In A Coma – NPR

Leslie Cutitta said yes, twice, when clinicians from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston called asking whether she wanted them to take — and then continue — extreme measures to keep her husband, Frank Cutitta, alive.

The Complicated Ethics of Keeping a COVID-19 Patient Breathing – New Yorker

Step into a New York City ICU, as the New Yorker explores the ethics of “traching” COVID-19 patients.

Mother transmitted COVID-19 to baby during pregnancy, physicians report – Science Daily

A pregnant mother who tested positive for COVID-19 transmitted the virus causing the disease to her prematurely born baby, UT Southwestern physicians report. Both were treated and recovered.

Immune Alterations in a Patient with SARS-CoV-2-Related Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome – DocWire

We report a longitudinal analysis of the immune response associated with a fatal case of COVID-19 in Europe. This patient exhibited a rapid evolution towards multiorgan failure. SARS-CoV-2 was detected in multiple nasopharyngeal, blood, and pleural samples, despite antiviral and immunomodulator treatment. Clinical evolution in the blood was marked by an increase (2-3-fold) in differentiated effector T cells expressing exhaustion (PD-1) and senescence (CD57) markers, an expansion of antibody-secreting cells, a 15-fold increase in γδ T cell and proliferating NK-cell populations, and the total disappearance of monocytes, suggesting lung trafficking. In the serum, waves of a pro-inflammatory cytokine storm, Th1 and Th2 activation, and markers of T cell exhaustion, apoptosis, cell cytotoxicity, and endothelial activation were observed until the fatal outcome. This case underscores the need for well-designed studies to investigate complementary approaches to control viral replication, the source of the hyperinflammatory status, and immunomodulation to target the pathophysiological response. The investigation was conducted as part of an overall French clinical cohort assessing patients with COVID-19 and registered in clinicaltrials.gov under the following number: NCT04262921.

Official Reporting for August 24, 2020

World Health Organization

Weekly Epi Update 2

(last updated 8/24)

Cumulative Cases: 23,057,288

Cumulative Deaths: 800,906


Confirmed Cases: 23,441,581

Deaths: 809,422

Johns Hopkins

Confirmed Cases: 23,519,827

Deaths: 810,051

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

CDC Media Telebriefing: Update on COVID-19 – CDC

Total cases: 5,682,491
Total deaths: 176,223

Surveillance Headlines


Covid-19 cases tied to the Sturgis motorcycle rally in South Dakota have reached across state lines – CNN

Montana: 52 new cases of COVID-19 in Montana – NBC Montana

California: Cities appear to be where COVID-19 cases are growing fastest. Here’s the list of cities trending higher – USA Today


Italy Lockdown Success Challenged by New Europe Virus Surge – Bloomberg


Venezuela:Covid Victims Are Forced Into Filthy Warehouses in Venezuela – Bloomberg


South Korea: Capital orders masks on in coronavirus battle – Reuters


Science and Tech

For Quick Coronavirus Testing, Israel Turns to a Clever Algorithm – NYT

Inspired by a mother’s question, the new method will be introduced across Israel this fall, just in time for flu season, and could be coming soon to the U.S.




[editorial] Russian SARS-CoV-2 vaccine – BMJ

The announcement by Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, that the country has developed and approved the world’s first SARS-CoV-2 vaccine1 raises many questions. The global scientific community is concerned that this is a high risk move on the part of the Russian government. The vaccine, named Sputnik V, was developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, based in Moscow and supported by the Russian Ministry of Health. It uses an adenovirus vector to deliver the gene for the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, a similar approach to that being used by the vaccine development team at the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca, albeit with different adenovirus vector.

172 countries and multiple candidate vaccines engaged in COVID-19 vaccine Global Access Facility – WHO

Nine CEPI-supported candidate vaccines are part of the COVAX initiative, with a further nine candidates under evaluation, and procurement conversations on-going with additional producers not currently receiving research and development (R&D) funding through COVAX – giving COVAX the largest and most diverse COVID-19 vaccine portfolio in the world

China’s Vaccine Front-Runner Aims to Beat Covid the Old-Fashioned Way – Bloomberg

Many of the 200-plus Covid-19 vaccine projects under way around the world are focused on new technologies—inoculations based on messenger RNA, for example, or genetically modified cold viruses. The company developing one of China’s leading vaccine candidates, by contrast, is betting that humanity’s best chance may lie with a shot not too different from the kind that’s been in use for hundreds of years.

More People Of Color Needed In COVID-19 Vaccine Trials – NPR

4 min audio at the link – NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro talks to Renee Mahaffey Harris, president of the Center for Closing the Health Gap, about why Blacks and Latinos are not well represented in clinical vaccine trials.


Published Research

Elevated ACE2 expression in the olfactory neuroepithelium: implications for anosmia and upper respiratory SARS-CoV-2 entry and replication – European Respiratory Journal

Coping in Quarantine

12 Pandemic Dating Tips, How To Do Romance With The Covid-19 Coronavirus – Forbes

Nowadays, is it more likely for you to swipe right with a disinfectant wipe on a table than your finger on Tinder? After all, even though bad boys or bad girls may be your thing, badly infected with the Covid-19 coronavirus should be no one’s thing. So, how do you date safely with the pandemic continuing. Or do you forsake dating, and stick with romantic dinners with statues constructed out of toilet paper rolls?

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