Initial exposure, strength of virus infection both seen as contributors to illness severity. Cruise ship passengers who embarked from the coast of Argentina in mid-March were unaware that they were living in a COVID-19 hotspot for more than a week after the ship departed.
Tulane has launched a new podcast, On Good Authority, featuring cutting-edge insights from leading experts on global topics. “Is COVID-19 Immunity Possible?” is the first episode and features virologist Robert Garry and immunologist James McLachlan from the School of Medicine.
It is now widely accepted among experts that the United States is primed for a surge in cases at a uniquely perilous moment in our national history. “As we approach the fall and winter months, it is important that we get the baseline level of daily infections much lower than they are right now,” Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told me by email. For the past few weeks, the country has been averaging about 40,000 new infections a day. Fauci said that “we must, over the next few weeks, get that baseline of infections down to 10,000 per day, or even much less if we want to maintain control of this outbreak.”
Today, PLOS Medicine published two large COVID-19 studies, one a meta-analysis of 79 international studies showing that most infected patients eventually have symptoms, and the other a study of 5.8 million US Department of Veterans Affairs patients revealing that blacks and Hispanics were more likely to be infected—but not to die within 30 days—than whites. [Related PLoS Study] [Another PLoS Study]
Ultraviolet-C light kills coronavirus on N95 respirator masks, effectively decontaminating them so they can safely be reused, dermatology researchers at Henry Ford Health System and the University of Michigan announced Tuesday. [Related study]
Two studies published Tuesday shed light on the so-called silent spread of Covid-19. One study, published in the journal Thorax, reports that asymptomatic people can carry as much virus in their noses and throats as people showing symptoms of the illness. The second study, a review published in Plos Medicine, found that while the majority of infected individuals do develop symptoms, they may test positive before those symptoms begin.
Progress in slowing the march of the novel coronavirus has stalled in much of the United States, and the pathogen is spreading at dangerous rates in many states as autumn arrives and colder weather — traditionally congenial to viruses — begins to settle across the nation, public health data shows.
While all life lost during the coronavirus pandemic is invaluable, MedPage Today is highlighting the names of U.S. healthcare workers who have died while working on the front lines.
Official Reporting for September 23, 2020
Cumulative Cases: 31,425,029
Cumulative Deaths: 967,164
Confirmed Cases: 31,658,573
Confirmed Cases: 31,746,219
Total deaths: 200,275
U.S.: Covid-19 will make Halloween more frightful — and less delightful — for millions of U.S. kids – CNBC
Wisconsin: Wisconsin declares public health emergency due to COVID-19 spread on campuses – ABC News
Europe’s Economic Revival Put on Hold by Virus Resurgence – Bloomberg
Scotland: Restricts People From Visiting Other People’s Homes – Bloomberg
Russia: Cases rise in Russia – Moscow Times
Spain: Covid-19 incidence exceeds 1,000 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 16 areas of Madrid with no new restrictions – El Pais
Brazil: A city in Brazil where covid-19 ran amok may be a ‘sentinel’ for the rest of the world – MIT Tech Review
Science and Tech
With COVID-19 vaccines currently in the final phase of study, you’ve probably been wondering how the FDA will decide if a vaccine is safe and effective. Based on the status of the Phase 3 trials currently underway, it is unlikely that the results of these trials will be available before November. But it is likely that not just one but several of the competing COVID-19 vaccines will be shown to be safe and effective by the end of 2020.
Johnson & Johnson said Wednesday it has begun its phase three trial testing its potential coronavirus vaccine. J&J is the fourth drugmaker backed by the Trump administration’s Covid-19 vaccine program Operation Warp Speed to enter late-stage testing. The others are Moderna, Pfizer and AstraZeneca.
Fujifilm Holdings Corp. said it would seek regulatory approval in Japan to market an antiviral drug as a treatment for Covid-19, after a trial showed that it helped patients with mild cases test negative for coronavirus faster.
Psychological and Sociological Impact
Harvard University’s undergraduate enrollment fell almost 20% from last year as the Covid-19 pandemic spurred some students to stay away. The Ivy League school has 5,382 undergrads at Harvard College for the fall semester, compared with 6,716 as of Oct. 15, 2019, spokeswoman Rachael Dane said Tuesday. The freshman class is about 14% smaller, as more than 200 accepted students notified Harvard that they intend to postpone their attendance to the next academic year.
A persistently replicating SARS-CoV-2 variant derived from an asymptomatic individual – Journal of Translational Medicine
Occurrence and transmission potential of asymptomatic and presymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections: A living systematic review and meta-analysis – PLoS
Patterns of COVID-19 testing and mortality by race and ethnicity among United States veterans: A nationwide cohort study – PLoS
The Effect of Ultraviolet C Radiation Against Different N95 Respirators Inoculated with SARS-CoV-2 – International Journal of Infectious Diseases