Tulane Outbreak Daily – September 2, 2020

Featured Articles

C.D.C. Halts Evictions, Citing Covid-19 Risks – NYT

The agency said it wanted to keep renters out of shelters. Apple and Google are making it easier for states to adopt contact tracing apps. Australia’s economy fell into recession.

While Covid-19 cases spike among children, Fauci says colleges shouldn’t send infected students home – CNN

New Covid-19 hot spots keep popping up across the US, with worrying trends in the Midwest and at colleges nationwide. More than 25,000 cases of Covid-19 have been reported from colleges and universities in 37 states, according to a CNN tally through Wednesday.

Heart Warning From FDA Deals New Blow to Hyped Covid Therapy – Bloomberg

The Food and Drug Administration warned of potential serious heart risks from malaria drugs touted by President Donald Trump for Covid-19, becoming the latest U.S. agency to dial back hopes of a quick pharmaceutical solution to the coronavirus pandemic.

How a Bus Ride Turned Into a Coronavirus Superspreader Event
One-third of passengers aboard a bus were infected by a fellow passenger, scientists reported.

The first death tied to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is reported in Minnesota. – NYT

A Minnesota man is the first person known to have died of Covid-19 after attending the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota last month, a 10-day event where hundreds of thousands of people gathered, many showing little attention to social distancing or mask wearing, and health officials worried it could become a superspreader event.

Out of Eastern Europe, a Window Into the Post-Pandemic Office – Bloomberg

Special quarantine rooms. Floor-to-ceiling walls in bathroom stalls. Touchless entrances that take your temperature. This is what telecommunications company Ericsson’s office building in Bucharest looks like after coronavirus. The space has become the pilot for a 100-prong coronavirus standard that a real estate investor in Eastern Europe is pitching as a new global “immune” building standard.

Hard numbers reveal risk of death from coronavirus – Nature

Age is the biggest predictor of who will die from COVID-19. Plus: A checklist for reproducible code and Africa is declared free from wild polio.

NIH continues to boost national COVID-19 testing capacity – NIH

The National Institutes of Health today announced $129.3 million in scale-up and manufacturing support for a new set of COVID-19 testing technologies as part of its Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) initiative. NIH is awarding contracts to nine companies for technologies that include portable point-of-care tests for immediate results and high-throughput laboratories that can return results within 24 hours. These tests add to initial awards made to seven companies on July 31, 2020.

Covid-19 Antibodies Last For At Least Four Months, Study Finds – Forbes

Antibodies developed as a response to Covid-19 remain with a person for at least four months, according to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Tuesday, results that bolster hopes for an effective vaccine against the coronavirus.

How many people has the coronavirus killed? – Nature

Researchers are struggling to tally mortality statistics as the pandemic rages. Here’s how they gauge the true toll of the coronavirus outbreak.

Clinical Considerations

Steroids Can Be Lifesaving for Sickest Patients, Studies Show – NYT

International clinical trials confirm the hope that the cheap, widely available drugs can help seriously ill patients survive. The World Health Organization is expected to release new guidelines encouraging their use.

Virus in the blood can predict severe COVID-19, researchers find – Science Direct

A blood test on hospital admission showing the presence or absence of SARS-CoV-2 can identify patients at a high risk of severe COVID-19, according to researchers. Admitted patients without virus in their blood have a good chance of rapid recovery.

Link found between metabolic syndrome and worse COVID-19 outcomes – MedNewsToday

New research has linked metabolic syndrome with an increased risk of worse outcomes in people with COVID-19. [Related Study Diabetes Care]

Doctors Chase Treatment for Kids Threatened by Dangerous COVID-19 Syndrome – Scientific American

On a warm, mid-June afternoon a concerned mother brought her 11-year-old daughter, who had a high fever and a severe bellyache, to the emergency room at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence, R.I. After doctors ruled out the usual suspects for the symptoms, such as bacterial infections and appendicitis, they started to seriously consider a diagnosis that would have been inconceivable two months prior: an emergent and potentially fatal inflammatory condition that occurs in children about four weeks after they are exposed to the new coronavirus.

Official Reporting for August 31, 2020

World Health Organization

Weekly Epi Update 3

Cumulative Cases: 25,602,665

Cumulative Deaths: 852,758


Confirmed Cases: 25,776,601

Deaths: 857,448

Johns Hopkins

Confirmed Cases: 25,860,475

Deaths: 859,378

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Total cases: 6,047,692
Total deaths: 184,083

Surveillance Headlines


The Power of Antibody-Based Surveillance – NEJM


30 cases of Covid-19 have been linked to a karaoke bar in Canada – CNN


South Korea: New Covid-19 Outbreaks Test South Korea’s Strategy – NYT

China: COVID positive person infects 23 bus passengers in China – Times


Spain: Europe’s Second Wave Is Cresting in Spain – NYT

Science and Tech

Face Shields and Masks With Exhalation Valves Ineffective at Preventing SARS-CoV-2 Spread – Technology Networks

Increasingly people are using clear plastic face shields and masks with exhalation valves instead of regular cloth or surgical masks, since they can be more comfortable. In a paper published in Physics of Fluids, by AIP Publishing, researchers investigate whether they are as effective. [Related Study]

Covid-19 and Immunity in Aging Populations — A New Research Agenda – NEJM

The race is on throughout the world to develop Covid-19 vaccines and therapeutics and end a pandemic that threatens to infect a substantial portion of the planet’s population and perhaps kill millions of people, especially older adults. As billions of dollars flow into research and development efforts aimed at controlling the virus, the pandemic response remains hamstrung by our limited understanding of how to generate effective immunity, particularly in the elderly.


Fauci Dishes on COVID-19 Antibody Therapies – MedPageToday

NIAID director talks to MedPage Today about a treatment approach mostly flying under the media radar. Podcast at the link.

All the pros—and cons—of convalescent plasma therapy for COVID-19 – Popular Science

Since coronavirus cases started to climb back in March, scientists have been struggling to identify drugs and other therapies that can treat COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel virus. Unlike many bacterial invaders that are thwarted by antibiotics, there aren’t many pharmaceuticals that help us beat viral infections. Last week, the FDA issued an emergency use authorization for a treatment called convalescent plasma. The therapy isn’t new—in fact, it was used in the 1918 flu pandemic. Here’s everything you need to know about the treatment, what it does, and how well it works.


Fauci predicts ‘safe and effective’ coronavirus vaccine by end of year – NBC News

Fauci also urged caution over the Labor Day weekend. “We have seen after Fourth of July, we saw after Memorial Day, a surge in cases. Wear a mask. Keep social distancing. Avoid crowds.”

Social and Psychological Impact

Covid-19 death skepticism, explained by a cognitive scientist – Vox

As the US Covid-19 death toll continues to rise (more than 183,000 as of September 1), so has the number of people who believe that the official death count is vastly inflated. According to a July Axios-Ipsos poll, almost one in three people surveyed in the US thought the number of Covid-19 deaths was lower than what was being reported.

Published Research

Visualizing droplet dispersal for face shields and masks with exhalation valves – Physics of Fluids

Metabolic Syndrome and COVID-19 Mortality Among Adult Black Patients in New Orleans – Diabetes Care


Quantitative SARS-CoV-2 Serology in Children With Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C) – American Academy of Pediatrics

Coping in Quarantine

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