Tulane Outbreak Daily – January 6, 2021

Featured Headlines

4 Numbers That Make the Pandemic’s Massive Death Toll Sink In – The Atlantic

It’s difficult to fully comprehend the magnitude of 350,000 deaths. Other metrics can be more illuminating. Over the past month, COVID-19’s death toll in the United States has regularly risen by roughly 2,000 or 3,000 a day. With numbers so large, the pain and heartbreak behind each individual death often doesn’t register.

Math model suggests optimal treatment strategies – Harvard Gazette

Getting control of COVID-19 will take more than widespread vaccination; it will also require better understanding of why the disease causes no apparent symptoms in some people but leads to rapid multi-organ failure and death in others, as well as better insight into what treatments work best and for which patients.

How COVID-19 Attacks The Brain And May Cause Lasting Damage – NPR

Early in the pandemic, people with COVID-19 began reporting an odd symptom: the loss of smell and taste. The reason wasn’t congestion. Somehow, the SARS-CoV-2 virus appeared to be affecting nerves that carry information from the nose to the brain.

Study: US COVID cases, deaths far higher than reported – CIDRAP

An estimated 14.3% of the US population had antibodies against COVID-19 by mid-November 2020, suggesting that that the virus has infected vastly more people than reported—but still not enough to come close to the proportion needed for herd immunity. [Related JAMA Study]

What Will It Take To End The COVID-19 Pandemic? – NPR

Here in the U.S., communities see a light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel. With the vaccinations now occurring across the country, health officials are optimistic that the outbreak could be under control by the end of this year.

Harvard disease expert calls more contagious coronavirus variant a ‘really big deal’ – Boston.com

As a new coronavirus variant forces the United Kingdom into another lockdown, Harvard disease expert Marc Lipsitch says it’s time for officials in the United States to focus on the exceptionally contagious mutation.

Vaccine Headlines

Stanford single-dose nanoparticle vaccine for COVID-19 – Stanford

Before the pandemic, the lab of Stanford University biochemist Peter S. Kim focused on developing vaccines for HIV, Ebola and pandemic influenza. But, within days of closing their campus lab space as part of COVID-19 precautions, they turned their attention to a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Although the coronavirus was outside the lab’s specific area of expertise, they and their collaborators have managed to construct and test a promising vaccine candidate.

How safe is it to switch and space COVID-19 vaccine doses? – Reuters

Britain and other nations are considering ways to stretch scarce supplies of COVID-19 vaccines, including by delaying second doses, reducing dose sizes and switching vaccine types between the first and second shots.

Scientists criticize ‘rushed’ approval of Indian COVID-19 vaccine without efficacy data – Science

India’s drug regulator approved two COVID-19 vaccines on 3 January, a decision Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed on Twitter as “a decisive turning point to strengthen a spirited fight!” against the pandemic and a testament to the Indian scientific community’s self reliance. But some scientists and patient advocates are sharply critical of the move—in particular, the decision to greenlight Covaxin, a vaccine developed in India by Bharat Biotech, without awaiting the results of a phase III trial to determine efficacy and safety.

Clinical Considerations

Invasive Pulmonary Fungal Infection Risk in Severe SARS-CoV-2-Related Pneumonia – Pulmonology Advisor

There appears to be a low risk of invasive fungal secondary infection, especially aspergillosis, in patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-related pneumonia and no underlying immunosuppression, according to study results published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Official Reporting for January 6, 2021

World Health Organization

Weekly Epi Update December 29, 2020

Confirmed Cases: 84 474 195

Deaths: 1 848 704


Confirmed Cases: 80 316 555

Deaths: 1 770 695

Johns Hopkins

Confirmed Cases: 86,364,340
Deaths: 1,866,454

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Total cases: 20,732,404 (+173,915 New Cases)
Total deaths: 352,464 (+1,800 New Deaths)

Surveillance Headlines


Arizona: Arizona hospitals again hit new COVID-19 occupancy records as state adds 5,900 cases and 253 deaths – AZ Central

Southern California: ‘Human disaster’ unfolding in LA will get worse, experts say – CNN


Greece: Greek Church tells priests to ignore pandemic closure order – ABC News

UK: UK daily coronavirus cases top 60,000 for first time – BBC


Egypt: Every COVID Patient in Egyptian ICU Dies When Oxygen Supply Fails – Futurism

Science and Tech

None Today

Psychological and Sociological Impact

What’s the First Thing You Will Do When the Pandemic Ends? – New York Times

We put that question to readers and received more than 800 responses. Here are some of the highlights.

Published Research

Still no great published content out…

Misinformation, Disinformation, and Conspiracy Theories

None Today

Coping in 2020 (and probably most of 2021)

We need to stay home for a while longer, so here are the 50 Best Movies on Netflix Right Now – NYT


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