Second infections raise questions about long-term immunity to COVID-19 and the prospects for a vaccine.
Anthony Fauci, the U.S.’s top infectious disease expert, said that seven states that have seen upticks in Covid-19 cases should be particularly vigilant over the Labor Day holiday, and warned that if Americans are “careless” there could be another jump in cases this fall.
Experts have questioned shortcomings and lack of clarity in vital registration, testing practices, and classification of COVID-19 deaths. Patralekha Chatterjee reports from New Delhi. India has had 3·6 million cases of COVID-19, the third most in the world after the USA and Brazil, with 65 288 officially confirmed deaths from the disease as of Sept 1, 2020.
This class uses some other infectious virus, but with its original genetic material removed. In its place goes genetic instructions to make coronavirus proteins, and when your infected cells do that, these proteins will set off an immune response. Note that this is different than being infected with a “real” virus, whose instructions are (naturally enough) to produce more virus, which go off and infect more cells.
Previously, I wrote about the evidence for airborne transmission of Covid-19. Here I want to consider how to protect against airborne transmission and what airborne transmission might mean for the epidemiology of Covid-19.
4 min audio at the link – With the annual flu season about to start, it’s still unclear exactly how influenza virus will interact with the coronavirus if a person has both viruses. Doctors around the world have seen some patients who tested positive for both influenza virus and the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. At least a couple of dozen cases have been reported — although that’s not a lot, given that over 26 million people have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
A growing number of studies suggest many COVID-19 survivors experience some type of heart damage, even if they didn’t have underlying heart disease and weren’t sick enough to be hospitalized. This latest twist has health care experts worried about a potential increase in heart failure. “Very early into the pandemic, it was clear that many patients who were hospitalized were showing evidence of cardiac injury,” said Dr. Gregg Fonarow, chief of the division of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles. “More recently, there is recognition that even some of those COVID-19 patients not hospitalized are experiencing cardiac injury. This raises concerns that there may be individuals who get through the initial infection, but are left with cardiovascular damage and complications.”
Maybe we should think of Covid-19 as a heart disease. When SARS-CoV-2 virus was added to human heart cells grown in lab dishes, the long muscle fibers that keep hearts beating were diced into short bits, alarming scientists at the San Francisco-based Gladstone Institutes, especially after they saw a similar phenomenon in heart tissue from Covid-19 patients’ autopsies.
The stairs have become my daily Everest. Just six months ago, the steep climb to my fourth-floor walk-up in Brooklyn was a nuisance only when I was carrying bags of groceries. Now, every time I mount those 53 steps, no matter how slowly, even if I’m empty-handed, my heart rate shoots up to marathon-level. I can actually feel the thud-thud in my throat. Sometimes I have to pause between landings to lie on the floor and stick my feet up in the air to avoid passing out.
An infection with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 can affect multiple organs. With this in mind, researchers of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and Cornell University in the US have investigated cellular factors that could be significant for an infection. To this end, they analyzed the activity of 28 specific genes in a wide range of human tissues. Their findings, which provide a map of potentially disease-relevant factors across the human body, are published in the journal Cell Reports. [Related study in Cell]
Official Reporting for September 4, 2020
Cumulative Cases: 26,171,112
Cumulative Deaths: 865,154
Confirmed Cases: 26,335,685
Confirmed Cases: 26,493,914
Total deaths: 186,173
Maryland: 800+ New Cases Reported Friday, Hospitalizations Up – CBS Baltimore
Maine: Coronavirus cases tied to a Maine wedding reception more than double in a week – CNN
Brazil: Brazil Hits 4 Million Covid Cases While Life Gets Back to Normal – Bloomberg
Denmark: Schoolchildren in Denmark Return to Classes in Museums, Graveyards – Bloomberg
Science and Tech
In The Lancet, Denis Y Logunov and colleagues from the N F Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Russia present findings from two phase 1/2, non-randomised, open-label studies of a heterologous, replication-deficient, recombinant adenovirus vector-based vaccine in both frozen and lyophilised formulations.1 The researchers enrolled 76 healthy adult volunteers (aged 18–60 years) into the two studies (38 people in each study); 53 (70%) participants were men and 23 (30%) were women. The primary outcome measures of the studies were safety and immunogenicity (antigen-specific humoral immunity).
Novo Nordisk A/S, the Danish drugmaker, is exploring whether a new class of medicines that helps people lose weight and control diabetes also has potential in fighting Covid-19.
Social and Psychological Impact
COVID-19 has tripled the rate of depression in US adults in all demographic groups—especially in those with financial worries—and the rise is much higher than after previous major traumatic events, according to a study published yesterday in JAMA Network Open. [Related JAMA Study]
SARS-CoV-2 reinfection in two patients who have recovered from COVID-19 – Precision Clinical Medicine
Prevalence of Depression Symptoms in US Adults Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic – JAMA
Coping in Quarantine