Tulane Outbreak Daily – February 19, 2021

Featured Headlines

New rules in a vaccinated society – New York Times

Israel’s vaccination campaign is the fastest in the world, and in the coming days it will reach a milestone, inoculating half of its population with at least one dose. The rapid rollout is giving the rest of the world a first glimpse into the rules that may govern a vaccinated society — and they’re raising thorny questions.

COVID-19 Response Team Warns of Rise in Variants – MedPageToday

There are now 1,277 cases of the B.1.17 variant in 42 states, including one case of the E484K escape mutation first identified in the U.K., which was previously seen on the so-called South African variant, which has been shown to impact certain COVID-19 treatments, such as convalescent plasma.

Will Kids Be Safe When They Return to School? Will Everyone Else? – UCSF

The science suggests yes, but proper planning and protocols must be part of the equation.

The Good News of COVID-19 Is Sticking, For Now – The Atlantic

All major indicators of COVID-19 transmission in the United States continue to fall rapidly. Weekly new cases have fallen from 1.7 million at the national peak in early January to fewer than 600,000 this week, and cases have declined in every state. As we’ve seen at many points in the pandemic, case numbers are changing most quickly, with hospitalizations and deaths declining after a delay: Cases have been falling sharply for five weeks, hospitalizations for four, and deaths for two. In this week’s numbers from nursing homes and other long-term-care facilities, we are now seeing solid declines in deaths correlated with COVID-19 vaccinations in this most vulnerable population.

Audio Interview: Viral Variants 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.

UK COVID-19 swab study highlights lockdown impact – CIDRAP

The latest results from an ongoing study from Imperial College London to track COVID-19 patterns in Britain show that infections have fallen by more than two-thirds since January, likely due to lockdowns.

South Africa Study Shows Power of Genomic Surveillance Amid COVID-19 Pandemic – NIH Director’s Blog

Considerable research is underway around the world to monitor the spread of new variants of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. That includes the variant B.1.351 (also known as 501Y.V2), which emerged in South Africa towards the end of 2020 [1, 2]. Public health officials in South Africa have been busy tracing the spread of this genomic variant and others across their country. And a new analysis of such data reveals that dozens of distinct coronavirus variants were already circulating in South Africa well before the appearance of B.1.351.

Vaccine Headlines

A U.S. Vaccine Surge Is Coming, With Millions of Doses Promised – Bloomberg

The U.S. vaccine supply is poised to double in the coming weeks and months, according to an analysis by Bloomberg, allowing a broad expansion of doses administered across the country.

Chinese Covid Vaccine Secretly Given to VIPs – Wall Street Journal

In Peru and elsewhere, some politicians and the well-connected got China’s Sinopharm shot months ahead of health workers and other vulnerable groups

Delayed Second Dose versus Standard Regimen for Covid-19 Vaccination – NEJM

You chair the Governor’s task force on rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine. Given concerns about the limited availability of the two-dose mRNA vaccine, you have been asked to weigh in on the debate regarding the most effective use of the currently available doses. Should people who have already received a first dose of vaccine have their second dose delayed by a number of months until there is a greater supply, so that more people can receive a first dose? Or should those who have gotten the first dose receive the second dose according to the standard schedule, 3 to 4 weeks after the first dose, as recommended by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)? You must consider the benefits and risks of the two approaches, on both individual and population levels, and decide what to recommend to the task force.

In Hunt for Covid-19 Origin, WHO Team Focuses on Two Animal Types in China – Wall Street Journal

World Health Organization investigators are honing their search for animals that could have spread the new coronavirus to humans, identifying two—ferret badgers and rabbits—that can carry the virus and were sold at a Chinese market where many early cases emerged.

Single Pfizer Shot Reduced Illness in Israeli Health Workers – Bloomberg

A single dose of the vaccine from Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE significantly reduced Covid-19 symptoms in the first four weeks after injection, according to an analysis that gives early support to efforts to extend scarce doses.

The Philippines Has Vaccinated Zero Health-Care Workers So Far – NPR

Willy Pulia, who turned 58 this week, is scared of getting COVID-19 – and for good reason. He’s a nursing assistant at a hospital in Manila, which means he inevitably comes in contact with patients who’ve contracted the virus. He lives with his 96-year-old father. And he’s not been vaccinated.

Clinical Considerations

Cystic Fibrosis and COVID-19 – Harvard Medicine

People with cystic fibrosis, or CF, don’t appear to be especially susceptible to COVID-19, and when they do get infected, they don’t seem to get sicker, based on clinical data so far.

Official Reporting for February 19, 2021

World Health Organization

Weekly Epi Update February 16, 2020

Confirmed Cases: 109 217 366

Deaths: 2 413 912

Johns Hopkins

Confirmed Cases: 110,289,988
Deaths: 2,441,112

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Total cases: 27,669,556 (+69,165 New Cases)
Total deaths: 489,067 (+2,601 New Deaths)

Science and Tech

None Today

Psychological and Sociological Impact

None Today

Published Research

Analysis of SARS-CoV-2 mutations in the United States suggests presence of four substrains and novel variants – Nature

Misinformation, Disinformation, and Conspiracy Theories

‘Latino Anti-Disinformation Lab’ aims to combat false Covid vaccine messaging – NBC News


Coping in 2020 (and probably most of 2021)

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