Tulane Outbreak Daily – January 14, 2021

n January 6, 202, the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) of Japan detected a new variant isolate of SARS-CoV-2 from four travelers who arrived in Tokyo from Amazonas, Brazil, on January 2, 2021 at the airport screening. The isolate has some mutations found in previously reported variant isolates of concern from the UK and South Africa.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced a new order effective Jan 26: All air travelers arriving in the United States are required to produce a negative COVID-19 test within 3 days of departure. In addition to the negative test, travelers will need to quarantine for 7 days upon arrival, and take a second COVID-19 test within 3 to 5 days of landing in the US.
If you’re like most Americans, there’s a good chance you’re going to wear a cloth mask today. Doing so makes sense. It remains the official recommendation in the United States, and it is something we’ve both advocated since the beginning of the pandemic. Both of us wrote articles as far back as March urging people to wear homemade cloth masks. We’re also the authors (along with 17 other experts) of a paper titled “An Evidence Review of Face Masks Against COVID,” which was just published in peer-reviewed form in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. But it’s past time for better solutions to be available to the public.

Vaccine Headlines

Moderna CEO says the world will have to live with Covid ‘forever’ – CNBC

The CEO of Covid-19 vaccine maker Moderna warned Wednesday that the coronavirus that has brought world economies to a standstill and overwhelmed hospitals will be around “forever.”

Jokowi Gets Chinese Vaccine on Live TV to Kick Off Southeast Asia’s Largest Rollout – Bloomberg

Indonesia kicked off its mass inoculation drive using a vaccine made by Sinovac Biotech Ltd. in a key test for the Chinese-developed shot amid questions over its efficacy.

J&J’s one-shot Covid vaccine is safe and generates promising immune response in early trial – NBC

Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose coronavirus vaccine is safe and appears to generate a promising immune response in both young and elderly volunteers, according to trial data published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Clinical Considerations

Mechanisms Underlying SARS-CoV-2 Neuroinvasion Discovered – Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News

Just when we thought the SARS-CoV-2 virus couldn’t get any more insidious, a new study from investigators at the Yale School of Medicine describes the mechanisms that allow the coronavirus to directly infect the central nervous system. The new study was performed using both mouse and human brain tissue, and the results were published recently in the Journal of Experimental Medicine through an article entitled “Neuroinvasion of SARS-CoV-2 in human and mouse brain.” The study authors are optimistic that their findings may help other researchers develop treatments for the various neurological symptoms associated with COVID-19.

Another life-saving treatment is found for covid-19 – The Economist

GOOD NEWS from covid-19 wards is hard to come by these days. A relentless surge in infections is overwhelming hospitals around the world. But the results from clinical trials of two drugs announced today just improved the prognosis, for both patients and hospitals.

Traitorous COVID antibodies and fast-spreading variant – Nature

Antibodies normally attack pathogens, but sometimes rogue antibodies instead besiege bodily components such as immune cells. Now, a new study adds to the growing body of research tying these ‘autoantibodies’ to poor outcomes in people with COVID-19.

Saliva could hold clues to how sick you will get from COVID-19 – Science

To the known risk factors for developing severe COVID-19—age, male sex, or any of a series of underlying conditions—a new study adds one more: high levels of the virus in your saliva. Standard COVID-19 tests sample the nasal passage. But several new tests look for SARS-CoV-2, the pandemic coronavirus, in saliva, and the new work finds a striking correlation between high virus levels there and later hospitalization or death. If the results are confirmed, saliva tests could help doctors prioritize which patients in the early stages of the disease should receive medicines that drive down levels of the virus.

(A Little) Clarity on Convalescent Plasma for Covid-19 – NEJM

Passive immunotherapy has been used since the late 19th century, and in 1901, the first Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded for serum therapy for patients with diphtheria. During the 1918 pandemic, serum from convalescent patients was used to treat influenza, with some apparent success.1 Today, the use of immunoglobulins has been established for the prophylaxis and treatment of a variety of infections, including those with respiratory syncytial virus, cytomegalovirus, and hepatitis B or hepatitis A virus. More recently, passive immunotherapy has been evaluated for severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Middle East respiratory syndrome, and Ebola virus disease. Intravenous human immunoglobulin has revolutionized the management of immunoglobulin deficiency states.

Official Reporting for January 14, 2021

World Health Organization

Weekly Epi Update January 12, 2020

Confirmed Cases: 90 335 008

Deaths: 1 954 336


Confirmed Cases: 84 532 824

Deaths: 1 845 597

Johns Hopkins

Confirmed Cases: 92,272,647
Deaths: 1,976,192

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Total cases: 22,740,142 (+217,393 New Cases)
Total deaths: 379,255 (+4,131 New Deaths)

Science and Tech

None Today

Psychological and Sociological Impact

None Today

Published Research

Elevated plasma IL-6 and CRP levels are associated with adverse clinical outcomes and death in critically ill SARS-CoV-2 patients: inflammatory response of SARS-CoV-2 patients – Annals of Intensive Care

Convalescent Plasma Antibody Levels and the Risk of Death from Covid-19 – NEJM

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2): a Systemic Infection – Clinical Microbiology Reviews

Misinformation, Disinformation, and Conspiracy Theories

Why COVID Vaccines are Falsely Linked to Infertility

There’s no evidence that the new vaccines against COVID-19 cause infertility, yet that’s a worry that’s been cited by some health care workers as a reason they’re reluctant to be first in line to get the shots.

Coping in 2020 (and probably most of 2021)

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