Tulane Outbreak Daily – August 26, 2020

Featured Articles

CDC reverses COVID-19 guidance, says testing may not be needed after exposure – NBC News

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention quietly tweaked its guidance on COVID-19 testing Monday, making a change that could result in fewer people being tested and hinder contact tracing efforts.

Why Did CDC Change Its Covid-19 Coronavirus Testing Guidance If You Have No Symptoms? – Forbes

What’s going on, in the words of Marvin Gaye? If you regularly check the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website on Covid-19 testing, you may have noticed a change. The “Overview of Testing for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19)” web page now includes updated guidance on what to do about testing, “If you have been in close contact (within 6 feet) of a person with a COVID-19 infection for at least 15 minutes but do not have symptoms.” That’s staying within one Denzel (because Denzel Washington is about six feet tall) of someone who is contagious for longer than it would take to microwave seven Hot Pockets in sequential order.

Top U.S. Officials Instructed the C.D.C. to Change Testing Guidelines – NYT

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was instructed by higher-ups in the Trump administration to modify its coronavirus testing guidelines this week to exclude people who do not have symptoms of Covid-19 — even if they have been recently exposed to the virus, according to two federal health officials.

Humidity (not temperature) influences SARS‐CoV‐2 transmission – Medical News

A recent study conducted in New South Wales, Australia, demonstrates that there is an inverse relationship between relative humidity and transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). [Related Study in Transboundary and Emerging Diseases]

One Meeting in Boston Seeded Tens of Thousands of Infections, Study Finds – NYT

A February meeting of biotech executives became a coronavirus “superspreading” event with a transmission chain across the globe.

What Happened in Room 10? – California Sunday Magazine

Forty-six people associated with the nursing home died, exposing how ill-prepared we were for the pandemic — and how we take care of our elderly.

In Southern Hemisphere, COVID-19 lockdowns blocked flu. Will that work in the North? – NBC News

Countries where flu season is ending are watching to see if the Northern Hemisphere heeds their lessons learned.

Dr. Robert R. Redfield Statement on “Preventing and Mitigating SARS-CoV-2 Transmission — Four Overnight Camps, Maine, June–August 2020” – CDC

Today’s MMWR, which highlights the thoughtful and prudent public health practices used during overnight summer camps in Maine, reinforces how powerful everyday preventive actions are in reducing and keeping COVID-19 transmission low. Despite more than 1,000 campers and staff from nearly every state and 7 countries, only three people tested positive for COVID-19 during the camp and no additional campers or staff were known to be infected. Using a combination of proven public health strategies to slow the spread of COVID-19, campers and staff were able to enjoy a traditional summer pastime amid a global pandemic. As communities work together to get us back to where we used to be, it is essential that everyone – for their own good and that of their family’s – follow CDC and the federal government’s recommendations to protect against COVID-19. This includes wearing masks, practicing social distancing and good hand hygiene, and staying home when you are sick. I want to thank everyone who is already following this guidance, as well as encourage others to understand that their actions help others as much as they help them.

Influenza Season and COVID-19 – What Should We Expect? – Infection Control Today

The topic of influenza season has been forefront on the minds of healthcare and public personnel. Will it be a severe flu season? Will SARS-CoV-2/coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) surges occur this winter? How will this compound the stresses of COVID-19? The truth is that we’re in uncharted territory and that means planning for the worst and hoping for the best.

Clinical Considerations

A dilemma for ‘long-haulers’: Many can’t prove they ever had Covid-19 – STAT News

As the coronavirus pandemic rolls on, an unknown number of seemingly recovered patients are experiencing what is being called post-Covid syndrome — weeks or months of profound fatigue, fevers, problems with concentration and memory, dizzy spells, hair loss, and many other troubling symptoms. Among these “long-haulers,” as they have become known, a significant number face a very specific challenge: convincing others they had Covid-19 in the first place.

Official Reporting for August 26, 2020

World Health Organization

Weekly Epi Update 2

(last updated 8/24)

Cumulative Cases: 23,057,288

Cumulative Deaths: 800,906


Confirmed Cases: 23,928,539

Deaths: 819,756

Johns Hopkins

Confirmed Cases: 24,016,679

Deaths: 822,167

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Total cases: 5,752,653
Total deaths: 177,759

Surveillance Headlines


USA: Prognosis for rural hospitals worsens with coronavirus pandemic – Denver Post

Alabama: 6 days after reopening, the University of Alabama has over 500 coronavirus cases – Business Insider

Florida: Florida adds 3,220 coronavirus cases, 155 deaths Wednesday – Tampa Times

Maryland: Coronavirus In Maryland: Hospitalizations, ICU Cases, Positivity Rate Up – CBS News

California: ‘Disaster inside a disaster’: California wildfires and COVID-19 form twin crises – NBC

Alaska: 4 Yukon-Kuskokwim villages on lockdown in response to COVID-19 cases – Alaska News

Massachusetts: Mayor Says East Boston COVID Spike Could Prompt Curfew, Other Restrictions – Boston News


Germany: In Germany, early results of school reopenings are hopeful, but it’s ‘messy and imperfect.’ – NYT

Spain: Ready to send in troops to trace resurging coronavirus – Reuters

Greece battles coronavirus resurgence after early success – ABC News


China: Calls It A ‘Wartime Mode’ COVID-19 Lockdown. And Residents Are Protesting – NPR


Sierra Leone: SARS-CoV-2 genomic epidemiology in Sierra Leone – Virological

Science and Tech

Modeling Study Flags Species Susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 – The Scientist

An international team of scientists has assessed the fit for the main cellular attachment point of SARS-CoV-2 in 410 species of vertebrates, including 252 mammals, to categorize those most susceptible to viral entry. The computational study, published in PNAS Monday (August 24), predicts that several critically endangered primate species are at very high risk of the virus, although the results need to be confirmed with further experiments or surveillance.


Flu Season Could Make Coronavirus Testing Delays Even Worse – NYT

The nation’s testing efforts will be further overwhelmed once influenza, R.S.V. and other seasonal viruses arrive.

Abbott Cleared for Fast $5 Covid Test That Avoids Lab Delay – Bloomberg

A 15-minute Covid test from Abbott Laboratories that will be priced at just $5 has been granted emergency authorization for use in the U.S., a breakthrough that could ease the bottleneck that has crimped much of the nation’s testing capacity.


Drugmaker ramping up production of potential coronavirus vaccine in record time – CBS News

Drugmaker AstraZeneca’s potential coronavirus vaccine is now in advanced trials, and the company says it has the capacity to make 3 billion doses when the vaccine is ready. But even before the final phase of testing and government approval, the vaccine is on a massive manufacturing drive.

Limited legal protection for COVID vaccine makers hampers EU deals – Reuters

The European Union is offering only partial protection to vaccine makers against legal risks from side-effects of their potential COVID-19 shots, European officials said, in a move that is hampering deals and contrasts with U.S. policy.

Alabama research into nasal spray vaccine for coronavirus posts promising results – Alabama News

Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham said a nasal spray vaccine candidate for coronavirus showed promising lab results, triggering an immune response in the nose and lungs that could potentially prevent infection.

Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Shows Immunogenicity in Older Patients – Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News

Moderna today presented Phase I data showing that its closely-watched messenger RNA (mRNA) COVID-19 vaccine candidate mRNA-1273 showed immunogenicity in patients 55 years old and older that was roughly the same or higher than data seen in younger patients at the dosage it is using in its Phase III trial.

CVS And Walgreens Pharmacists Key To Coronavirus Vaccine Distribution – Forbes

The U.S. move to allow pharmacists to administer seasonal flu and certain other shots to children is a precursor to an effort to quickly vaccinate Americans against the Coronavirus strain Covid-19 once a vaccine is approved by the federal government. It wasn’t long ago that pharmacists weren’t allowed to vaccinate Americans for the seasonal flu, let alone the array of shots these drugstore professionals now provide against Shingles, pneumonia and Whooping cough.

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel: “Bottleneck” issues ahead for COVID-19 vaccine – American Medical Association

Everyone is eager to see a safe and effective SARS-CoV-2 vaccine developed, but getting approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be only the first step in a long process to achieve herd immunity. Ezekiel J. Emanuel, MD, chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, outlines what it will take to make this crucial phase of the public health response to the pandemic a success.

Social and Psychological Impact

COVID-19-Era Isolation Is Making Dangerous Eating Disorders Worse – Scientific American

People with anorexia, bulimia or binge-eating disorder report suffering relapses related to the stress of staying at home. Rosey has lived with bulimia for more than a decade. The 31-year-old resident of Melbourne, Australia, started therapy for her eating disorder six years ago. Although she says she had never considered herself “cured,” she had reached a point in her recovery that felt hopeful and manageable. Then along came the novel coronavirus.

Published Research

SARS-CoV-2 infection in the COPD population is associated with increased healthcare utilization: An analysis of Cleveland clinic’s COVID-19 registry – The Lancet

Sex differences in immune responses that underlie COVID-19 disease outcomes – Nature

A growing body of evidence indicates sex differences in the clinical outcomes of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)1–5. However, whether immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 differ between sexes, and whether such differences explain male susceptibility to COVID-19, is currently unknown. In this study, we examined sex differences in viral loads, SARS-CoV-2-specific antibody titers, plasma cytokines, as well as blood cell phenotyping in COVID-19 patients. By focusing our analysis on patients with moderate disease who had not received immunomodulatory medications, our results revealed that male patients had higher plasma levels of innate immune cytokines such as IL-8 and IL-18 along with more robust induction of non-classical monocytes.

Humidity is a consistent climatic factor contributing to SARS‐CoV‐2 transmission – Transboundary and Emerging Diseases

Coping in Quarantine

How to Smize (Smile With Your Eyes) When You’re Wearing a Mask – Wall Street Journal

Restaurant servers typically prepare for shifts by polishing silverware and memorizing the day’s specials. Since the coronavirus pandemic, the staff at Local Jones in the Halcyon Hotel in Denver have embraced an additional ritual: making faces. Teams gather in a circle with their masks on and run through a series of facial-expression drills that involve arching their eyebrows, crinkling their noses and, most important—smizing.

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