Tulane Outbreak Daily – July 6, 2021

Featured Headlines

What Doctors Should Know About Delta – MedPageToday

The Delta variant, or B.1.617.2, first emerged in India, with the earliest samples dating to October 2020. However, it didn’t raise alarms until India faced down a major COVID-19 surge this spring, when it became a variant of concern, according to both the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO).

You had the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine. Should you try to get a booster dose of Pfizer or Moderna? – Washington Post

The J&J vaccine is robustly protective, and new data suggest it defends against the delta variant, too

Indonesia Has Another Deadliest Day Amid Oxygen Shortfall – Bloomberg

Indonesia reported another deadliest day in the coronavirus pandemic as hospitals become overwhelmed and local oxygen supply struggles to keep up with surging demand.

Fiji’s Covid Cases Hit Record as Virus Threatens Once-Safe Pacific Islands – Bloomberg

Fiji is at the frontline of the battle against Covid-19 in the Pacific Islands as the nation faces its biggest challenge since the pandemic began and races to vaccinate its 900,000-strong population.

The Gamma Variant’s Rise in Washington State – MedPageToday

On top of a historic heat wave, the Pacific Northwest has been hit with a rise in COVID-19 cases caused by the Alpha, Delta, and Gamma variants. And while much of the world is focused on Delta, or B.1.617.2, government officials in Washington state are particularly wary of Gamma (P.1).

Hospital in Springfield, Missouri, runs out of ventilators as COVID cases ravage the area – Kansas City Star

A hospital in Springfield, Missouri, ran out of ventilators for its patients over the Fourth of July weekend as the area, right in the middle of a COVID-19 hot spot, deals with a rise in cases.

‘Cause for alarm’: COVID-19 hospitalizations worsen for Black L.A. County residents – Los Angeles Times

Between mid-May and mid-June, the COVID-19 case rate over a two-week-period rose 18% among Black residents but declined 4% for Latino residents, 6% for white residents and 25% for Asian Americans. And the hospitalization rate for Black residents — who are less likely than other racial and ethnic groups to be vaccinated — grew by 11% while declining for Asian American residents by 12%, Latino residents by 29% and white residents by 37%.

England to Lift Most Virus Restrictions, Including Those for Masks – NYT

Critics dismissed as “absolutely ridiculous” the idea that people will continue to wear masks voluntarily on trains and in crowded indoor spaces.

Asia’s Covid Surges Should Worry Us All – Bloomberg

India’s cataclysm shows the urgent danger of overlooking a crisis in the early stages. Asia has several.

First social distancing, now vaccines: How zoos are preventing coronavirus outbreaks among animals – Washington Post

There have been 383.1 million doses of coronavirus vaccines administered in the United States, and 157.3 million people have been fully vaccinated. As an incentive to get the shots, West Virginians have received $100 savings bonds. In New Jersey, the governor offered free beer. For some of the animals at the Oakland Zoo, there was a refreshing spritz of water and, for at least one bear, a bit of whipped cream.

Scientists who dismissed coronavirus lab leak theory say evidence points to natural origin – Washington Post

There is no scientific evidence supporting the theory that the coronavirus leaked from a Chinese lab, and more recent, peer-reviewed studies strongly suggest that the virus evolved in nature, a group of scientists wrote in the Lancet on Monday.

Vaccine Headlines

Pfizer Shot Halts Severe Illness in Israel as Delta Spreads – Bloomberg

Pfizer Inc.’s vaccine was less effective at keeping people from getting the coronavirus in Israel in recent weeks, but it continues to provide a strong shield against severe Covid-19, according to government data.

Singapore Advises Avoiding Exercise for Longer After Vaccination – Bloomberg

Singapore’s government recommended that vaccinated people avoid strenuous physical activity for a week after getting the shots, as a few cases surfaced of mostly young men experiencing heart problems from receiving jabs while a teenager suffered from cardiac arrest.

Mounting evidence suggests Sputnik COVID vaccine is safe and effective – Nature

Russia’s vaccine is in use in nearly 70 nations, but its adoption has been slowed by controversies and questions over rare side effects, and it has yet to garner World Health Organization approval.

MRNA Vaccine Benefits Outweigh Heart Risks, CDC Reports – Bloomberg

The benefits of messenger RNA Covid-19 vaccines clearly outweigh the risks despite heart complications seen in a relatively small number of mostly young men, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Clinical Considerations

Our Narrow Understanding of Myocarditis After COVID Vaccines – MedPageToday

As the wave of vaccination to protect against COVID-19 spreads across the world, surveillance for possible vaccine-related adverse events remains active. So far, no data have emerged to definitively link the mRNA vaccines manufactured by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna with serious adverse events other than rare episodes of anaphylaxis, and the vaccines are performing well in their intended goal of reducing COVID-19 morbidity and mortality in vaccinated populations. Overall, the vaccines have been an unparalleled scientific success — a source of light in the relentless storm of the COVID-19 pandemic.

One GI Symptom Stuck Around Months After Severe COVID – MedPageToday

While most gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms resolved for patients hospitalized with COVID-19, inability to gain weight persisted for months, researchers found in a retrospective study.

Official Reporting for July 6, 2021

World Health Organization

Weekly Epi Update July 5, 2021 (latest release)

Confirmed Cases: 183,934,913

Deaths: 3,985,022

Johns Hopkins

Confirmed Cases: 184,359,115
Deaths: 3,987,555

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Total cases: 33,530,880 (+15,555 New Cases)
Total deaths: 603,018 (+287 New Deaths)

Science and Tech

Scientists Uncover Features of T Cells That Predict Recovery From Severe COVID-19 – Technology Networks

While vaccines are doing a remarkable job of slowing the COVID-19 pandemic, infected people can still die from severe illness and new medications to treat them have been slow to arise. What kills these patients in the end doesn’t seem to be the virus itself, but an over-reaction of their immune system that leads to massive inflammation and tissue damage.

Psychological and Sociological Impact

Will the post-Covid world include a 4-day workweek? As Kickstarter tests it out, some predict it will catch on – NBC

The coronavirus pandemic is breathing new life into the argument for a four-day workweek. As employees report burnout and many are refusing to return to the office post-pandemic, employers are rethinking workplace flexibility. For New York-based crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, one way to address that is the four-day workweek, which it is testing out next year. Despite the reduced hours, workers will still receive the same pay. The idea is that in those four days, there will be fewer interruptions and more focus on work.

Published Research

Gastrointestinal sequelae three and six months after hospitalization for Coronavirus Disease 2019 – Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Misinformation, Disinformation, and Conspiracy Theories

Their neighbors called covid-19 a hoax. Can these ICU nurses forgive them? – Washington Post

For the nurses in the Appalachian highlands who risked their lives during the pandemic, it is as if they fought in a war no one acknowledges.

Vaccine Hesitancy

Who Are the COVID Vaccine ‘Holdouts’? – MedPageToday

As the U.S. faces down the threat of the more transmissible Delta variant, experts are working harder than ever to understand the concerns of vaccine “holdouts.” In interviews with public health experts, several key themes behind remaining hesitancy emerged — including misinformation, mistrust in the medical establishment, and specific concerns among those newly eligible, such as an impact on fertility.

Coping in 2020 (and probably most of 2021)

A fun story that has nothing to do with COVID!

A diver found a message in a bottle dated 1926. Then the hunt began for the family of the man who wrote it. – Washington Post

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