Tulane Outbreak Daily – July 30, 2021

Featured Headlines

What’s the Evidence Guiding CDC’s Latest Mask Policy? – MedPageToday

Throughout the pandemic, we learned a lot about which drugs help and which don’t. Steroids are of indisputable benefit when given to hospitalized patients who require oxygen or mechanical ventilation. Hydroxychloroquine does not work in a similar situation. Many things we thought might help, were found to offer no net benefit. We are much better off from having this knowledge.

A CDC Document Gives New Details On Just How Dangerous The Delta Variant Really Is – NPR

An internal slide presentation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention dated Thursday gives new details on how dangerous the delta variant really is. One chart shows that it could be as contagious as chickenpox, which is one of the more transmissible viruses out there. It spreads more easily than the common cold, the 1918 flu and smallpox.

Biden Tells Federal Workers: Get Vaccinated or Submit to Testing – MedPageToday

President Biden announced a directive requiring all federal workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo regular testing and submit to other measures.

Why Does CDC Want the Vaccinated Tested? One Word: Delta – MedPageToday

The change quietly accompanied the agency’s new masking recommendations for areas of substantial and high transmission and K-12 schools, as data continue to accrue about the more transmissible Delta variant and the risk for vaccinated people contracting and spreading the virus.

Wearing Masks Indoors Again? Some States Are a Vehement No. – NYT

After the C.D.C. advised masking indoors in areas with high rates of Covid-19, some locales went back under mask mandates. But there was also defiance and hostility.

COVID Breakthrough Cases Ran the Gamut in Healthcare Workers – MedPageToday

Breakthrough COVID-19 cases in fully vaccinated healthcare workers were rare, and generally were associated with the individual’s immune response to the vaccine in the early days of infection, an Israeli study found.

What’s This About Delta Being 1,000 Times More Infectious? – MedPageToday

You’ve been hearing it a lot lately: the Delta variant is 1,000 times more infectious than the original version of SARS-CoV-2. So where does that figure come from? It’s from a study by the Guangdong CDC in China — published earlier this month as a preprint on both medRxiv and virological.org — that experts are touting for its solid science.

Indonesia’s regional COVID-19 deaths higher than national tally – Reuters

Indonesia’s regional COVID-19 deaths vastly outnumber its national tally, an independent organisation which collects data on the Southeast Asian country’s coronavirus outbreak said in a statement on Thursday.

Britain warns COVID-19 could infect half Myanmar in next two weeks – Reuters

Britain’s U.N. ambassador warned on Thursday that half of Myanmar’s 54 million people could be infected with COVID-19 in the next two weeks as Myanmar’s envoy called for U.N. monitors to ensure an effective delivery of vaccines.

Vaccine Headlines

Bennett calls on Israelis over 60 to get third COVID vaccine dose – Times of Israel

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced on Thursday evening the official rollout of a third COVID vaccine dose for those over 60, and urged eligible Israelis to schedule appointments starting on Sunday.

Could Covid vaccine be taken as a pill? – BBC

Right now, protection against Covid-19 comes via an injection. But in future, those vaccines could come from inhalers or even pills.
In a white, airy laboratory in Medicon Village, one of southern Sweden’s largest science parks, chemist Ingemo Andersson holds up a thin, plastic inhaler, half the size of a matchbox.

All Vaxxed Up and Nowhere to Go – MedPageToday

As tens of thousands of Americans have discovered, getting a pair of COVID-19 vaccination shots isn’t an instant all-access ticket to pandemic freedom. We’re stuck in limbo because we participated in clinical trials of vaccines that haven’t yet been authorized for use in the U.S. Computer systems, foreign nations, universities, and a cruise line refuse to believe we’ve been vaccinated. We’re facing workplace hassles, worrying about international travel, and wondering if we can attend sports events, conferences, and performances. Some of us have even gotten re-vaccinated with authorized vaccines even though no one knows if double-dipping is a good idea.

Will we need booster shots? And other questions about the Delta variant, answered – Popular Science

It’s normal for viruses to make mistakes when they copy themselves, and most of these mutations aren’t cause for concern. However, the SARS-CoV-2 virus has caused nearly 200 million confirmed infections since its emergence in late 2019, so it’s not surprising that over time it has mutated in ways that make it more difficult to deal with.

Clinical Considerations

COVID-19: Persistent Cognitive Effects, Uptick in Alzheimer’s Biomarkers – MedPageToday

Cognitive impairment was correlated with persistent anosmia in older adults recovering from SARS-CoV-2 infection, initial findings from a large international consortium showed.

Official Reporting for July 30, 2021

World Health Organization

Weekly Epi Update July 27, 2021 (latest release)

Confirmed Cases: 195,886,929

Deaths: 4,189,148

Johns Hopkins

Confirmed Cases: 196,847,238
Deaths: 4,203,020

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Total cases: 34,722,631 (+86,058 New Cases)
Total deaths: 608,528 (+45 New Deaths)

Science and Tech

None Today

Psychological and Sociological Impact

Liver Transplants: ‘Collateral Damage’ of Pandemic Drinking – MedPageToday

The number of alcoholic hepatitis patients getting liver transplant more than tripled during the COVID-19 pandemic, a retrospective study found.

Published Research

Covid-19 Breakthrough Infections in Vaccinated Health Care Workers – NEJM

Despite the high efficacy of the BNT162b2 messenger RNA vaccine against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), rare breakthrough infections have been reported, including infections among health care workers. Data are needed to characterize these infections and define correlates of breakthrough and infectivity.

Investigating SARS-CoV-2 persistent contamination in different indoor environments – Science Direct

Environmental contamination caused by COVID-19 patients could be a medium of transmission. Previous reports of SARS-CoV-2 in environmental surfaces were about short-term contamination. This study investigated SARS-CoV-2 RNA existence in room-temperature and low-temperature environments long after exposure (>28 days).

Misinformation, Disinformation, and Conspiracy Theories

The Life Cycle Of A COVID-19 Vaccine Lie – NPR

Misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines can appear almost anywhere: from an uncle’s Facebook post to a well-trusted news commentator. But where does it come from, and why do some myths spread further than others?

Coping with COVID

Not the COVID Delta

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