Tulane Outbreak Daily – October 1, 2020

Virtual Events

The Vaccine Race – Bloomberg Webcast

Join us on Thursday, October 8 at 10:30 AM ET for an exclusive webcast with Bloomberg Businessweek’s Joel Weber as he speaks with journalists Drew Armstrong, Riley Griffin, and Robert Langreth about the toughest challenges—and most promising solutions—in developing a coronavirus vaccine. [REGISTER FOR EVENT]

Featured Headlines

Bloomberg Prognosis Podcast: The New York Case Spike
The rate of positive cases topped 3% for the first time in months, and the mayor may shut select schools and businesses in the ZIP codes driving the increase. Drew Armstrong describes the city’s efforts to recover. Get the latest episode here.

Mapping the Disparities That Bred an Unequal Pandemic – Bloomberg

Draw a map of Chicago and shade the areas with more poverty, pollution and coronavirus. It will start to look like being Black is a pre-existing condition.

Op-Ed: Why Are We So Irrational About COVID-19? – MedPageToday

Link to related video – Partial Transcript: I wanna talk about some stuff today. [Producer Logan Stewart] and I, we were recording a bunch of little clips for you guys and we started to notice a theme. And the theme is that we have been behaving like the most irrational species of animal on this planet when it comes to COVID-19. We have been fear-driven, politically driven, empathy-driven, and I’m gonna talk about that, which I think is terrible. I hate empathy so much, Logan, I hate it, and the reason is what we’re gonna talk about.

The ‘bat man’ tackles COVID-19 – Science Magazine

By pure chance, Linfa Wang, one of the world’s foremost experts on emerging viruses, was in the Chinese city of Wuhan in January. The biologist was visiting collaborators at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) just as SARS-CoV-2 was starting to spread from the city to the rest of the world. Even among those experts there was little fear then. “I was mixing with all the lab people,” Wang says. “We would go to a restaurant every night.”

Largest COVID-19 Contact Tracing Study Finds Children Key to Spread of Virus – Pharmacy Times

A new study of more than a half-million people who were exposed to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in India suggests that the continued spread of the virus is driven by a small percentage of those who become infected. Further, children and young adults were found to be potentially much more important to transmitting the virus, specifically within households, according to researchers from the United States and India. [Related Study]

Risk of COVID-19 During Air Travel – JAMA

The risk of contracting coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) during air travel is lower than from an office building, classroom, supermarket, or commuter train.

Clinical Considerations

HCQ Fails as COVID-19 Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis for HCPs – MedPageToday

There was no clinical benefit to hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) as COVID-19 pre-exposure prophylaxis among a small sample of hospital-based healthcare professionals, a randomized trial stopped early for futility found.

Biphasic Variation Over Time in Presenting Features of Patients With COVID-19 – American Academy of Pediatrics

Current data suggest lower rates of severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in children compared with adults.1,2 Although severe respiratory disease has rarely been described,3 new data suggest the emergence of a COVID-19–related multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C).4,5 Describing the temporal variation of pediatric COVID-19 presentations across the course of a high-prevalence outbreak may help elucidate the epidemiology and biology of these manifestations in children.

A case of probable Parkinson’s disease after SARS-CoV-2 infection – The Lancet

Parkinson’s disease or parkinsonism have been described after infections by viruses, such as influenza A, Epstein-Barr virus, varicella zoster, hepatitis C virus, HIV, Japanese encephalitis virus, or West Nile virus.1
We report a patient with probable Parkinson’s disease, who was diagnosed after severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection.

Official Reporting for October 1, 2020

World Health Organization

Weekly Epi Update SEP 28, 2020

Cumulative Cases: 33,842,281
Cumulative Deaths: 1,010,634


Confirmed Cases: 34,029,923
Deaths: 1,015,043

Johns Hopkins

Confirmed Cases: 34,137,200
Deaths: 1,017,083

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Total cases: 7,213,419
Total deaths: 206,402

Surveillance Headlines


Idaho: ER Doc Warns of Second Coronavirus Surge, More Shutdowns – NBC Boston


With Testing Already Low, Mexico Lost 93,803 Covid Lab Results – Bloomberg


North Korea admits ‘faults’ in its fight against Covid-19. – New York Times


Spain: Madrid locks back down as European leaders sound alarm on Covid-19 surges – CNN

UK: Faces Tighter Covid Rules to Bring Outbreak Under Control – Bloomberg

Italy: How Italy has fought back from virus disaster – BBC

Science and Tech

Medical schools, hospitals and plenty of coronavirus: How Texas became a leading COVID-19 research hub – Texas Tribune

Two new trials in the Houston area are recruiting participants to study whether giving people infusions of blood from recovered COVID-19 patients can help treat early-stage infections or even prevent people from catching the disease.

Mitochondria – in the crossfire of SARS-CoV-2 and immunity – Science Direct

The pathophysiology, immune reaction, differential vulnerability of different population groups and viral host immune system evasion strategies of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection are not yet well understood. Here, we reviewed the multitude of known strategies of coronaviruses and other viruses to usurp mitochondria-associated mechanisms involved in the host innate immune response and put them in context with the current knowledge on SARS-CoV-2.


Researchers race to develop in-home testing for COVID-19, a potential game changer – PNAS

For most people, COVID-19 test entails a swab up the nose in a doctor’s office or at a drive-in site. The sample then goes out to a lab. Results come back within a few days to a week—a waiting period that’s simply too long to stop the spread of the virus on a wide scale.

Can The U.S. Use Its Growing Supply Of Rapid Tests To Stop The Virus? – NPR

3 minute audio at the link – A new generation of faster, cheaper coronavirus tests is starting to hit the market. And some experts say these technologies could finally give the U.S. the ability to adopt a new, more effective testing strategy.

Split Pool Testing Ups Efficiency for SARS-CoV-2 Detection – Medscape

A “split pool” strategy for detecting SARS-CoV-2 in multiple samples could generate results faster than single test assays. The approach could also reduce the number of false positives and false negatives compared with currently approved pooled testing, new evidence suggests. “It’s not too good to be true,” Eugene Litvak, PhD, lead author of an editorial outlining the new strategy, told Medscape Medical News. “This protocol requires far fewer tests and results in 10 times fewer false positives and false negatives” compared with single assays and FDA-approved pooled testing.


UCSF testing promising new treatment that could lessen COVID-19 symptoms – San Francisco Chronicle

UCSF researchers are testing a promising COVID-19 drug that could lessen symptoms and keep people out of the hospital.

‘Provocative results’ boost hopes of antibody treatment for COVID-19 – Science Magazine

A second company has now produced strong hints that monoclonal antibodies, synthetically produced versions of proteins made by the immune system, can work as treatments in people who are infected with the pandemic coronavirus but are not yet seriously ill.


Get Ready for the Covid-19 Vaccine Mix-and-Match Dilemma – Bloomberg

An impromptu chat between a few reporters and editors recently imagined a hopefully not-so-distant future with multiple, safe, functional coronavirus vaccines—and some potential dilemmas.

Psychological and Sociological Impact

Patients With Psych Disorders at Elevated Risk of COVID-19 Death – MedPageToday

Among 1,685 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, those with a prior psychiatric diagnosis had a significantly higher risk of death compared with patients without a diagnosis after controlling for demographic characteristics, comorbidities, and hospital location (HR 1.5, 95% CI 1.1-1.9, P=0.003), reported Luming Li, MD, of the Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut.

Women Hit the Bottle Hard During COVID-19 – MedPageToday

Adults started drinking more alcohol during the COVID-19 pandemic, but women not only drank more frequently, but also reported significant increases in heavy drinking and alcohol-related problems, a national survey found.

Want to reduce your COVID-19 risk? You need to sleep more. – National Geographic

Aristotle’s publication On Sleep and Sleeplessness in 350 B.C. suggested that digestion in the stomach produces hot vapors that lead to sleep, and that people with fevers experience something similar, driving them to snooze to help the healing process.

Published Research

A Cytokine Circus with a Viral Ringleader: SARS-CoV-2-Associated Cytokine Storm Syndromes – Cell

Neurological consequences of COVID-19: what have we learned and where do we go from here? – Journal of Neuroinflammation

SARS-CoV-2 infection and its association with thrombosis and ischemic stroke: A review COVID-19, thrombosis, and ischemic stroke – Journal of Emergency Medicine

Misinformation, Disinformation, and Conspiracy Theories

Definition of Terms:

Misinformation: False or inaccurate information. Not always intended to be deceptive, but factually inaccurate.

Disinformation: False information spread deliberately to deceive. Closely related to the Russian word “dezinformatsiya.” Russian use of the word began with a “special disinformation office” in 1923 with the mission of using false information with the intention to deceive public opinion.

Propaganda: Persuasion in the service of an agenda. Most commonly uses reinforcement of cultural myths, and stereotypes deeply embedded in culture. The ultimate goal of propaganda is subversion.


Web Of ‘Wellness’ Doctors Promote Injections Of Unproven Coronavirus Treatment – NPR

Published Research

Coronavirus misinformation: Quantifying Sources and Themes in the COVID-19‘ Infodemic – Cornell University


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