Tulane Outbreak Daily – September 15, 2020

Featured Headlines

Bridging the Gap at Warp Speed — Delivering Options for Preventing and Treating Covid-19 – NEJM

Effective therapeutics could reduce disease severity and hospitalization rates, shorten hospital stays, and reduce mortality, lightening the burden on patients, families, and the health care system. If therapeutics are used for prophylaxis in at-risk populations, they could also prevent disease and reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2.

Hospitals Failed to Fully Contain Covid-19 Inside Their Walls – Wall Street Journal

An average of 120 patients a day became infected with the new coronavirus inside U.S. hospitals as the pandemic ebbed from its spring peak and rebounded into the summer, according to previously unpublished federal data.

If You See Someone Not Wearing a Mask, Do You Say Something? – New York Times

Clearly, masks are crucial in protecting us and others from Covid-19, but no one likes wearing them. They’re hot and uncomfortable, impede breathing, steam up eyeglasses, cloak facial expressions, hamper communication and are inconvenient.

COVID-19’s Other Unnecessary Death Toll – Scientific American

“We need to learn to live with it.” That, essentially, is the current response being put forward by the United States government and many state governments, as COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, continues to wreak devastation around the country. At the time of this writing, the U.S. has over six million cases of COVID-19, with over 180,000 deaths.

We can’t stop covid-19 if we don’t know where and why it’s spreading – Washington Post

An increasing number of documented novel coronavirus outbreaks have helped us understand when, where, how and why this disease is spreading. At a wedding in Jordan in March, the father of the bride, who had fever and cough a few days before the event, greeted his guests with hugs, cheek-kisses and handshakes. In the process, he unknowingly infected 76 of the 360 attendees. In China, a Buddhist — who was infected but had no symptoms at the time — rode to a religious event with their congregation on a bus where the air was recirculated but not exchanged. Over a third of the passengers on the bus were infected, though only one person sitting next to a window developed the disease, covid-19. In a restaurant in China, three families sitting across from an air conditioner were infected, while others sitting to the side of it were not.

Twin disasters: How the West Coast fires might impact the COVID-19 pandemic – ABC News

As the California wildfires and the COVID-19 pandemic rage on in tandem, they may pose a serious double threat. “Now we’re battling two public health crises,” Panagis Galiatsatos, M.D., M.H.S., a pulmonologist at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and volunteer medical spokesperson for the American Lung Association, told ABC News.

The Carnival Cruise Ship That Spread Coronavirus Around the World – Bloomberg

How were hundreds of infected Ruby Princess passengers allowed to disembark in Sydney and return to homes from Tasmania to Florida?

More cities and states are opening bars and restaurants despite mounting evidence of potential danger – Washington Post

In New York City, diners will be able to have a meal inside a restaurant at the end of the month, something that hasn’t happened there since the coronavirus pandemic began. In some parts of Florida, bars reopened Monday for the first time since late June.

Bloomberg Prognosis Podcast: A Slim Chance of Cure – Bloomberg

Prevention with vaccines has been far more successful than treatment with drugs. In fact, modern medicine has come up with a true cure for only one viral infection. Michelle Fay Cortez reports.

Editorial: COVID-19: All the wrong moves in all the wrong places – Science

In this Editorial, Barrett and Yaffe highlight shortcomings in our collective response to the COVID-19 pandemic and underscore the need for more basic research into this new disease.



Clinical Considerations

As evidence builds that COVID-19 can damage the heart, doctors are racing to understand it – Science Magazine

This fall, cardiologist Sam Mohiddin will embrace a new role—that of research subject. MRI scans of his heart at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in London, where he works, will help answer a pressing question: Do people who suffered a mild or moderate bout of COVID-19 months ago, as he did, need to worry about their heart health?

How COVID-19 can damage the brain – Nature

Some people who become ill with the coronavirus develop neurological symptoms. Scientists are struggling to understand why.

Serious GI Consequences in COVID-19: Case Report – MedPageToday

A previously healthy 38-year-old man presents to an emergency department in Patchogue, New York. He has a fever and is suffering from severe stomach pain, accompanied by nausea and vomiting. He explains that his symptoms have come on quite suddenly, and he has not experienced any similar symptoms in the past. However, he reports that one week ago, he attended a local testing center and tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.

Low Vitamin D Tied to COVID-19 Severity – MedPageToday

Patients hospitalized with COVID-19 who were vitamin D deficient experienced worse outcomes than those with normal levels of the vitamin, a researcher reported. Low levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] in hospitalized COVID-19 patients were inversely associated with the development of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) requiring admission to the ICU. [Related JAMA Study]

Official Reporting for September 15, 2020

World Health Organization

Weekly Epi Update SEP 14, 2020 (Last Updated)

Cumulative Cases: 29,155,581

Cumulative Deaths: 926,544


Confirmed Cases: 29,309,546

Deaths: 928,890

Johns Hopkins

Confirmed Cases: 29,412,696

Deaths: 931,272

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Total cases: 6,537,627
Total deaths: 194,092

Surveillance Headlines


New Mexico: How New Mexico Controlled the Spread of COVID-19 – Scientific American

Colorado: Colorado health officials sound alarm about “very substantial increases” in coronavirus cases among college-age population – Colorado Sun


Even as Cases Rise, Europe Is Learning to Live With the Coronavirus – New York Times

Science and Tech


Researchers highlight ‘questionable’ data in Russian coronavirus vaccine trial results – Nature

Open letter flags results that appear to be duplicated and calls for access to the underlying data on the first COVID-19 vaccine to be approved for widespread use.

Social and Psychological Impact

COVID-19 Dreams, Synchronicity and Visitors from Another Solar System – Scientific American

Have you been sleeping well this year? If not, you’re not alone. Nightmares about COVID-19—fears of being in crowded spaces, touching germy surfaces, feeling exposed without a mask—have been disturbing the sleep of people around the world. The pandemic seems to have introduced a new shared unreality, with dreams that are as alarming as that one about being late for a final exam you haven’t studied for. Our cover story this month is from psychiatrist and dream researcher Tore Nielsen, who is busy studying the largest inadvertent sleep-disruption experiment in history.

The COVID-19 Pandemic Is Changing Our Dreams – Scientific American

For many of us, living in a COVID-19 world feels as if we have been thrown into an alternative reality. We live day and night inside the same walls. We fear touching groceries that arrive at our doorstep. If we venture into town we wear masks, and we get anxious if we pass someone who is not. We have trouble discerning faces. It’s like living in a dream.

Published Research

SARS-CoV-2–Associated Deaths Among Persons Aged <21 Years — United States, February 12–July 31, 2020 – CDC

Coping in Quarantine

Man boards bus in Britain wearing live snake as a face mask – Washington Post

A man traveling on a bus in Manchester, England, astonished fellow passengers Monday when his mandatory face covering turned out to be a live snake. “He had it wrapped around his face like a mask getting on the bus,” one woman, who did not want to be named, told the Manchester Evening News, adding that the spectacle was “definitely entertaining.”The 46-year-old said she initially believed the unidentified man “had a really funky mask on,” but noticed it was a large snake when “he let it crawl around the handrails.” Photos taken of the incident show a male dressed in jeans and a T-shirt accompanied by what appears to be a boa constrictor, which serves as both a face mask and a scarf during the bus ride from Swinton to Manchester. On social media, some expressed alarm at the passenger’s apparent bid to keep in line with government restrictions, while others applauded the man for his creativity. “Imagine someone this time last year telling us this would be an actual situation. 2020 really is something else,” wrote one user. Many Twitter users said they would have remained two meters away from the man, but the passenger who witnessed the incident said others on the bus “weren’t really bothered.” The novel coronavirus has claimed more than 41,000 lives in Britain, and Manchester is one of the country’s hot spots for transmission, although many residents are struggling to obtain tests. At least 91 schools have confirmed coronavirus cases across the Greater Manchester region, according to local media.


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