Tulane Outbreak Daily – January 7, 2021

Featured Headlines

Viral mutations may cause another ‘very, very bad’ COVID-19 wave, scientists warn – Science

For COVID-19 researchers, the new year brings a strong sense of déjà vu. As in early 2020, the world is anxiously watching a virus spread in one country and trying to parse the risk for everyone else. This time it is not a completely new threat, but a rapidly spreading variant of SARS-CoV-2. In southeastern England, where the B.1.1.7 variant first caught scientists’ attention last month, it has quickly replaced other variants, and it may be the harbinger of a new, particularly perilous phase of the pandemic.

Vaccine Headlines

How Did COVID Vaccine Development Move at Warp Speed? – MedPageToday

As vaccine distribution ramps up across the U.S., and globally, skepticism remains. Many cite the speed at which vaccines have rolled out as one of their main concerns. In this episode we explore how we got here, how the biopharmaceutical industry readied for this very moment that allowed them to move at warp speed.

Studies to see if Moderna COVID-19 vaccine doses can be halved may take two months – Reuters

Scientists at the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc may take about two months to determine whether doses of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine can be halved to double the supply of the shots in the U.S., according to the agency.

These states are the most behind in giving COVID-19 vaccines. Is yours on the list? – USA Today

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released data Monday tracking the progress made by states to administer COVID-19 vaccine.

Moderna Vaccine Wins EU Approval in Struggle Against Virus – Bloomberg

Moderna Inc.’s Covid-19 vaccine won European Union approval, opening the way for a second weapon in the bloc’s battle against a resurgent virus. The European Commission granted conditional marketing authorization to the vaccine on Wednesday, hours after a signoff by the EU’s medicines regulator. Deliveries will start next week, Moderna said.

Clinical Considerations

Study finds new evidence of SARS-CoV-2 damaging brain blood vessels – Medical News Today

Scientists have found no trace of SARS-CoV-2 in the brains of people with the infection. However, they have observed blood vessel damage caused by the body’s inflammatory response in the post-mortem brains of patients who tested positive for COVID-19, which suggests the virus may indirectly attack the organ. [Related study NEJM]

Official Reporting for January 7, 2021

World Health Organization

Weekly Epi Update January 5, 2020

Confirmed Cases: 85 091 012

Deaths: 1 861 005


Confirmed Cases: 80 316 555

Deaths: 1 770 695

Johns Hopkins

Confirmed Cases: 87,108,902
Deaths: 1,880,321

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Total cases: 20,960,096 (+227,692 New Cases)
Total deaths: 356,005 (+3,541 New Deaths)

Surveillance Headlines


Boston, Massachusetts: With the pandemic still raging, Boston extends restrictions for another 3 weeks – Boston.com

Southern California: Los Angeles is running out of oxygen for patients as covid hospitalizations hit record highs nationwide – Washington Post

Florida: Florida breaks daily coronavirus record for second time in a week – Tampa Bay Times


Chile: Chilean lawmakers propose making coronavirus vaccine mandatory – NBC News


Germany: Germany Urges Patience With Covid Vaccine Rollout Under Fire – Bloomberg

UK: Swamped Hospitals Expose Depth of Britain’s Unfolding Crisis – Bloomberg


India: Delays Over Pricing Holds Back India’s Vital Vaccine Rollout – Bloomberg

China: China steps up COVID-19 curbs near Beijing as infections rise – Reuters

Japan: Japan calls for limited emergency declaration as COVID-19 cases surge – Reuters

Science and Tech


Doctors Encouraged By Antibody Treatments For COVID-19 – NPR

Many doses of the monoclonal antibody drugs that treat mild to moderate COVID-19 are sitting unused around the country. There are logistical problems with providing these drugs and skepticism over whether they work. But two major health systems have had good success in deploying these medications, and they’re reporting hopeful results.

Chemo Drug Potentially More Potent than Remdesivir Against Coronavirus – BioSpace

Researchers with Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology in China used a variety of computational techniques to simulate drug-virus interactions. They then screened 1,906 existing drugs to evaluate which ones might inhibit replication of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Psychological and Sociological Impact

None Today

Published Research

Microvascular Injury in the Brains of Patients with Covid-19 – NEJM

Open Schools, Covid-19, and Child and Teacher Morbidity in Sweden – NEJM

Misinformation, Disinformation, and Conspiracy Theories

‘America’s Frontline Doctors’ Continue to Misinform on COVID – MedPageToday

America’s Frontline Doctors, an organization that claims to provide uncensored, accurate information about the pandemic, became infamous in July after a viral press conference that protested government lockdown restrictions and spread inaccuracies ranging from the ineffectiveness of masks to claims that hydroxychloroquine could “cure” COVID-19.

Coping in 2020 (and probably most of 2021)

Remember the series Dexter? Dexter is apparently coming back in 2021, and he has a band called “Princess Goes to the Butterfly Museum” as well. Reminds me of David Bowie… Today was weird, so enjoy this escape for a moment. Full article at the Daily Beast.





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