Tulane Outbreak Daily – October 14, 2020

Featured Headlines

Midwestern States Surge Toward Top of All-Time U.S. Covid Cases – Bloomberg

North Dakota looks poised to become the No. 1 state in the nation by cumulative Covid-19 cases per capita, having surged past Florida and Mississippi with Louisiana just ahead. South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin and Montana are also quickly adding cases.

China Looking at Giving Students Vaccines Still Being Tested – Bloomberg

One of China’s leading vaccine developers is working on a plan to inoculate students going overseas with Covid-19 shots that are yet to get regulatory approval, according to people familiar with the matter, as the country pushes scientific boundaries in the race for a viable immunization.

What is “The Great Barrington Declaration?”

It is a strategy of herd immunity for the COVID-19 issued on Oct. 4. The declaration states,”Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health,” and argues that keeping lockdown measures in place “until a vaccine is available will cause irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed.” On a press call, the White House noted that the declaration — which says it was issued in “Great Barrington, United States” (presumably Great Barrington, Massachusetts) — was signed by “over 8,000 public health officials all over the world as well as thousands of doctors and 300,000 citizens” including some notable public health professionals, as well as “Dr. Person Fakename” and “Dr. Johnny Fartpants.” The website is here.

Coronavirus Reinfections Are Real but Very, Very Rare – New York Times

A case in Nevada has spurred new concerns that people who have recovered from the infection may still be vulnerable. That’s unlikely, experts say.

College Says Students May Have Sought COVID-19 Infection To Boost Plasma Donor Payout – NPR

Administrators at Brigham Young University’s campus in southeastern Idaho say they are “deeply troubled” by reports that students may have intentionally tried to contract COVID-19, lured by blood donation centers that are paying a premium for plasma with COVID-19 antibodies.

Eli Lilly Says Other Antibody Trials Ongoing After NIH Pause – Bloomberg

Eli Lilly said it is reviewing safety data that caused federal researchers to pause a trial of the company’s Covid-19 antibody in hospitalized patients. In the meantime, other trials using lower doses of the drug outside the hospital will continue.

Clinical Considerations

Perspective article from NEJM: Reentry

From March to June 2020, I led a palliative care team embedded in our hospital’s Covid ICU. We spoke to countless families over the phone and by Zoom calls to tell them their loved ones were critically ill, getting sicker, and eventually, dying. When the prognosis seemed dire, we recommended transitioning to comfort-focused care. And in patients’ final hours and days, we held iPads at their bedsides so that family members around the world could say goodbye.

Official Reporting for October 14, 2020

World Health Organization

Weekly Epi Update October 12, 2020 (Last Updated)

Cumulative Cases: 38,002,699
Cumulative Deaths: 1,083,234


Confirmed Cases: 37 875 422
Deaths: 1 081 632

Johns Hopkins

Confirmed Cases: 38,411,907
Deaths: 1,090,579

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Total cases: 7,835,007
Total deaths: 359,835

Surveillance Headlines


A Canadian spin studio followed public health guidelines. But 61 people still caught the coronavirus. – Washington Post


New Jersey: As NJ COVID-19 cases spike, some residents shun hospitals – NJ Local News

New York: Sweet 16 ‘super-spreader’ party in New York leads to 37 coronavirus cases, $12,000 fine – NBC News


Iran: Reported new highs: 4,830 infections and 279 fatalities over the past 24 hours – Washington Post


France: Declares public health state of emergency over COVID-19 – Reuters

Ireland:Tightens COVID-19 curbs in counties bordering Northern Ireland – Reuters

Italy: Hits highest number of new infections: 7,332, with 43 fatalities, over the previous 24 hours – Washington Post

Germany: Reported over 5,000 new infections in 24 hours for the first time since mid-April. – Washington Post

Russia: Hospital bed occupancy almost at 90 percent as coronavirus cases grow – Washington Post

Science and Tech

Regeneron’s Antibodies Prevent and Treat SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Monkeys – Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News

The monoclonal antibodies made by the New York-based company Regeneron, designed to target SARS-CoV-2, are currently the most talked about antibodies in the world. Not only because they are a lead COVID-19 drug candidate, but also because they were the first treatment that President Trump received upon receiving his COVID-19 diagnosis.

Japan supercomputer shows humidity affects aerosol spread of coronavirus – Reuters

A Japanese supercomputer showed that humidity can have a large effect on the dispersion of virus particles, pointing to heightened coronavirus contagion risks in dry, indoor conditions during the winter months. The finding suggests that the use of humidifiers may help limit infections during times when window ventilation is not possible, according to a study released on Tuesday by research giant Riken and Kobe University.


Audio Interview: Vaccinology and Covid-19 – NEJM

The continuing spread of SARS-CoV-2 remains a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. What physicians need to know about transmission, diagnosis, and treatment of Covid-19 is the subject of ongoing updates from infectious disease experts at the Journal.

Psychological and Sociological Impact

A pandemic pod could help you get through winter, experts say. Here’s how to form one – Washington Post

At this point in the coronavirus pandemic, Americans have largely accepted that returning to life pre-2020 is not likely to happen any time soon. But that hasn’t stopped many from trying to reestablish a sense of normalcy by maintaining social connections while still being mindful of the public health guidelines intended to slow the spread of the deadly virus.

The unfolding COVID-19 pandemic: A probability-based, nationally representative study of mental health in the United States – Science Magazine

The COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic is a collective stressor unfolding over time; yet, rigorous empirical studies addressing its mental health consequences among large probability-based national samples are rare. Between 18 March and 18 April 2020, as illness and death escalated in the United States, we assessed acute stress, depressive symptoms, and direct, community, and media-based exposures to COVID-19 in three consecutive representative samples from the U.S. probability-based nationally representative NORC AmeriSpeak panel across three 10-day periods (total N = 6514). Acute stress and depressive symptoms increased significantly over time as COVID-19 deaths increased across the United States.

Sharp Rise In Drug Overdose Deaths Seen During 1st Few Months Of Pandemic – NPR

Drug overdose deaths rose in the first three months of this year, according to preliminary numbers released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Published Research

SARS-CoV-2 immunity: review and applications to phase 3 – The Lancet

Antibody-like proteins that capture and neutralize SARS-CoV-2 – Science Magazine

Safety and Immunogenicity of Two RNA-Based Covid-19 Vaccine Candidates – NEJM

Pre-Print Studies

None Today

Misinformation, Disinformation, and Conspiracy Theories

COVID Misinformation Is Killing People – Scientific American

The confluence of misinformation and infectious disease isn’t unique to COVID-19. Misinformation contributed to the spread of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, and it plagues efforts to educate the public on the importance of vaccinating against measles. But when it comes to COVID-19, the pandemic has come to be defined by a tsunami of persistent misinformation to the public on everything from the utility of masks and the efficacy of school closures, to the wisdom behind social distancing, and even the promise of untested remedies. According to a study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, areas of the country exposed to television programming that downplayed the severity of the pandemic saw greater numbers of cases and deaths—because people didn’t follow public health precautions.

Coping in 2020

How 3 Women From Wuhan Cope With COVID-19: Rap, Poetry And Mooncakes – NPR

How have women from Wuhan, China, the former epicenter of the coronavirus crisis, been faring over the past few months? In some ways, they were the first guinea pigs of the pandemic. As the world watched in shock while the city locked itself down to stop the spread of disease, not knowing that this extreme measure would soon be their own fate, these women faced unprecedented mental, physical and emotional hurdles.

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