Tulane Outbreak Daily – July 13, 2021

Featured Headlines

Beta Variant May Be Deadlier, South African Hospital Data Suggests – MedPageToday

Case incidence, hospital admissions, and in-hospital mortality all increased during the second wave of COVID-19 in South Africa, when the Beta variant (B.1.351) was predominant, researchers found in a prospective cohort study.

Outdoor Wedding: 6 Fully Vaccinated Infected With Covid-19 Delta Variant – Forbes

A pre-print uploaded to MedRxiv described a Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak involving the Delta variant at an outdoor wedding near Houston, Texas. The outbreak, which occurred in April, showed that while the available Covid-19 vaccines can offer good protection against Covid-19, the protection is not perfect. As long as the pandemic is continuing, it is better to maintain multiple layers of Covid-19 precautions when you can. [link to pre-print]

New Coronavirus Variants Seen as Too Contagious for Hotel Quarantines – Wall Street Journal

Australia and China are building facilities to house international travelers that experts say will be more effective at stopping the virus from leaking out. In early May, two people quarantined in adjacent hotel rooms in the Australian city of Adelaide opened their doors within seconds of each other to collect meals. Health authorities believe that could have been enough for the virus to spread from a man in one of the hotel rooms to a man in the other via airborne transmission.

U.S. Covid Cases Spike Most Since April 2020 – Bloomberg

Social-distancing rules were tightened in Bangkok, Seoul and parts of Vietnam as the more easily transmitted delta variant of the coronavirus continues to spread. Tokyo entered its fourth state of emergency and Sydney had a 45% spike in daily cases. In the U.S., which still leads the world in total infections and deaths, there was another bad sign as confirmed cases soared 47% in one week, the largest such rise since April 2020.

States with low vaccination numbers had Covid-19 case rates last week 3 times higher than others where people are fully vaccinated – CNN

Over the past week, states that have fully vaccinated more than half of their residents have reported an average Covid-19 case rate that is about a third of that in states which have fully vaccinated less than half of their residents, according to a CNN analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A Woman Died Of COVID After Contracting 2 Variants At The Same Time, Researchers Say – NPR

The patient came to the hospital because she was repeatedly falling down. She was breathing fine, and her blood oxygen levels were good. But tests showed that the 90-year-old Belgian woman had COVID-19 — and not just one strain, but two variants of the virus. She died at the hospital in just five days after her respiratory system rapidly deteriorated.

Shipping Chaos Here to Stay With Most Seafarers Unvaccinated – Bloomberg

Global vaccinations of seafarers are going too slowly to prevent outbreaks on ships from causing more trade disruptions, endangering maritime workers and potentially slowing economies trying to pull out of pandemic slowdowns.

Clues to Covid-19’s Origins Include Anonymous Skin Sample in Italy – Wall Street Journal

In the quest to understand how the Covid-19 pandemic began, one persistent mystery is an Italian woman who researchers say they can no longer find. Members of a World Health Organization-led team studying the origins of the virus want to investigate the case of a 25-year-old Milan resident who in November 2019 visited a hospital with a sore throat and skin lesions: symptoms of a disease that wouldn’t be discovered in the city of Wuhan in China for another month. She left behind a skin sample, smaller than a dime, that in two tests conducted more than six months later yielded traces of the Covid-19 virus, according to research published in January by the British Journal of Dermatology.

Vaccine Headlines

The FDA Has Issued A New Warning For Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 Vaccine – NPR

The FDA is requiring vaccine maker Johnson & Johnson to put a new warning label on its COVID-19 vaccine. The warning concerns an increased risk of a rare neurological disorder in the 42 days following vaccination. The single-dose vaccine has experienced production problems. It was also paused in April after a few recipients developed a rare cases of blood clots.

mRNA Vaccines May Pack More Persistent Punch Against COVID-19 Than Thought – NIH

Many people, including me, have experienced a sense of gratitude and relief after receiving the new COVID-19 mRNA vaccines. But all of us are also wondering how long the vaccines will remain protective against SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus responsible for COVID-19.

Earlier this year, clinical trials of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines indicated that both immunizations appeared to protect for at least six months. Now, a study in the journal Nature provides some hopeful news that these mRNA vaccines may be protective even longer [1].

Guillain-Barré and Vaccines: What You Need to Know – New York Times

The link between the rare neurological disorder and the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine may be real, but the risk appears to be very small.

FDA To Warn About Post-COVID Vax Guillain-Barré Syndrome – MedPageToday

Of the 12.5 million Americans who received this vaccine, about 100 people reported having GBS in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Of these reports, 95 of them were serious and required hospitalization, and there was one reported death, an FDA official said.

U.S. Officials Push Back on Pfizer’s Request for Booster Shot Approval – New York Times

After meeting with company representatives, officials said the decision would depend partly on data on infections in vaccinated people that cause serious disease or hospitalization.

U.S. NIH Turbo Charges India’s COVID-19 Vaccine – Precision Vaccinations

An adjuvant developed with funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has contributed to the success of the Covaxin COVID-19 vaccine, which roughly 25 million people have already received in India and elsewhere.

Thailand To Mix Sinovac And AstraZeneca Shots As Concerns Over Chinese Vaccine Escalate – Forbes

Thailand will use AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine as a second dose for those who received a first dose of China’s Sinovac shot after hundreds of fully vaccinated medical workers caught the disease, the country’s health minister announcedMonday, marking another country to move away from the Chinese-made shot as concerns over its efficacy continue to grow.

World’s Top Vaccine Maker to Boost Delayed Sputnik V Rollout – Bloomberg

Russia signed a deal with the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer to boost annual production of Sputnik V coronavirus shots by 300 million doses in India, as the South Asian nation struggles with supplies.

Clinical Considerations

Which Came First: Low Testosterone Levels or Severe COVID-19? – MedPageToday

Low testosterone levels in men with symptomatic COVID-19 were associated with a greater risk of severe illness or death, according to Italian researchers. Their case-control study found that, among men admitted to the emergency department of a Milan Hospital during the first wave of the pandemic, the lower the level of testosterone the higher the likelihood they would need intensive care, intubation, and long hospital stays.

Official Reporting for July 13, 2021

World Health Organization

Weekly Epi Update July 12, 2021 (latest release)

Confirmed Cases: 186,821,815

Deaths: 4,038,342

Johns Hopkins

Confirmed Cases: 187,438,000
Deaths: 4,043,497

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Total cases: 33,672,474 (+4,035 New Cases)
Total deaths: 604,710 (+37 New Deaths)

Science and Tech

Scientists repurpose cancer and seizure medications to aid in the fight against COVID-19 – Argonne National Lab

In two recent studies, researchers using the Advanced Photon Source have identified existing drugs that may inhibit the virus that causes COVID-19.

Psychological and Sociological Impact

How Working From Home Has Changed Employees – Wall Street Journal

They are used to far greater independence. And they may value personal time more. Bosses better be ready to adapt.

How We’ll Know When The COVID-19 Crisis Is Over – NPR

In many ways, American life is returning to normalcy: Masks are no longer required in many locations, schools and universities are slated to reopen and the days of social distancing have begun to fade as concerts and sporting events bring spectators back.

Published Research

Predicted dominance of variant Delta of SARS-CoV-2 before Tokyo Olympic Games, Japan, July 2021 – Eurosurveillance

Persistent symptoms in adult patients one year after COVID-19: a prospective cohort study – Clinical Infectious Diseases

Misinformation, Disinformation, and Conspiracy Theories

Sick of Facebook Health Misinformation? Take the FACTS Pledge – MedPageToday

For a sterling example of Facebook-induced ire, I direct your attention to this recent MedPage Today essay by Dr. Vinay Prasad. In his piece, Dr. Prasad takes issue with Facebook’s selection of scientific advisors of HealthFeedback.org for fact-checking COVID-19 information.

Coping with COVID

What Item Is Giving You Joy In A Pandemic? … Beautiful And Quirky Answers – NPR

Last week, NPR wrote about a global photo project from anthropologist Paula Zuccotti. She asked people to send her photos of the items that are helping them cope during the pandemic. Their responses offer a quick, deep dive into their lives.


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