Tulane Outbreak – November 9, 2021

Featured Headlines

What Dr. Fauci sees coming for the pandemic this winter – NPR

COVID-19 is still killing more than 1,000 people in the U.S. every day. New cases still hover around 72,000 per day — and infections are actually trending up in some pockets of the country, including parts of the Mountain West and the Northeast.

Vermont College Blames Halloween Parties for a Virus Outbreak – NYT

Officials at a college in Colchester, Vt., are blaming Halloween parties for a Covid outbreak, which comes as the state of Vermont has reported a record number of coronavirus cases over the past week.

Colorado hospitals allowed to turn away patients amid Covid-19 surge – NBC News

Hospitals in Colorado are being allowed to turn away patients as the state experiences its worst Covid surge in a year. An order signed Sunday by Gov. Jared Polis gives health care professionals the authority to prioritize crisis care under the direction of the state health department.

Texas Says Over 80% Of September’s Covid Deaths Were Among Unvaccinated – Forbes

Unvaccinated Texans were far more likely to catch Covid-19 or die from the disease than vaccinated residents during the coronavirus’ September spike, state health officials said Monday, as Texas grapples with a larger weekly Covid-19 death toll than any other state — and a lower-than-average vaccination rate.

Israeli Study Shows How COVID-19 Immunity Wanes over Time – NIH Director’s Blog

The winter holidays are approaching, and among the many things to be grateful for this year is that nearly 200 million Americans are fully vaccinated for COVID-19. That will make it safer to spend time with friends and family, though everyone should remain vigilant just to be on the safe side. Though relatively uncommon, breakthrough infections are possible. That’s why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends booster shots for several at-risk groups, including folks 65 years and older, those with underlying medical conditions, and people whose occupations place them at high risk of exposure.

Austria bans the unvaccinated from restaurants as COVID-19 cases surge – Reuters

Austria said on Friday it is barring those not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 from cafes, restaurants and hairdressers as infections approach the record set a year ago and the government struggles to convince holdouts to get the shot.

People ‘unvaccinated by choice’ in Singapore no longer can receive free covid-19 treatment – Washington Post

Eighty-five percent of people in Singapore eligible for coronavirus vaccines are fully vaccinated, and 18 percent have received booster shots.
But the Singaporean government said Monday that it will no longer cover the medical costs of people “unvaccinated by choice,” who make up the bulk of remaining new coronavirus cases and covid-19 hospitalizations in the city-state.

Cruises reported more than 1,350 covid cases since June, CDC report reveals – Washington Post

A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers the first publicly available look at how many coronavirus cases were discovered on cruises in the United States following an industry-wide shutdown. Despite cruise lines’ efforts to impose strict public health rules, covid-19 has still found a way on board. Related: Cruises will no longer be required to follow CDC rules starting in January – Washington Post

Vaccine Headlines

Covid-19 Vaccines and Myocarditis Link Probed by Researchers – WSJ

As U.S. health authorities expand use of the leading Covid-19 vaccines, researchers investigating heart-related risks linked to the shots are exploring several emerging theories, including one centered on the spike protein made in response to vaccination. Researchers aren’t certain why the messenger RNA vaccines, one from Pfizer Inc. and partner BioNTech SE and the other from Moderna Inc., are likely causing the inflammatory heart conditions myocarditis and pericarditis in a small number of cases.

French health authority advises against Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for under 30s – Reuters

France’s public health authority has recommended people under 30 be given Pfizer’s Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine when available instead of Moderna Spikevax jab, which carried comparatively higher risks of heart-related problems.

How Easily Can Vaccinated People Spread COVID? – The Atlantic

Vaccination is the best protection against infection. But when breakthroughs do occur, a very basic question still has an unsatisfying answer. The fear of breakthrough COVID-19 infections spoiled the summer. In the early days of vaccine bliss, many Americans had thought that the shots were a ticket to normalcy—and at least for a while, that’s precisely what public-health experts were telling us: Sure, it was still possible for vaccinated people to get COVID-19, but you wouldn’t have to worry much about spreading it to anyone else. Interim guidance shared by the CDC in March stated that these cases “likely pose little risk of transmission,” and a few weeks later, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said that “vaccinated people do not carry the virus.”

Pfizer-BioNTech expected to seek authorization for coronavirus booster for people 18 and older – Washington Post

Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech are expected to seek authorization for their coronavirus vaccine booster shot for anyone 18 and older, a move that could increase booster rates at a critical moment in the pandemic, according to three officials familiar with the situation.

Clinical Considerations

Covid’s Long, Scary Tail – Bloomberg (Podcast part 4)

The loss of the sense of smell affects almost one in every two people who get Covid-19. Usually it resolves within a week or two. But for some, like Dr. Alex Beachamp, smell and taste distortions persist for a year, leaving an invisible illness that disrupts daily life. Scientists like Leah Beauchamp are learning that its significance doesn’t end there. In this episode, Bloomberg’s Jason Gale meets two best friends who are exploring long Covid’s potentially scary, lifelong consequences.

Could long covid unlock clues to chronic fatigue and other poorly understood conditions? – Washington Post

In early 2020, Alison Sbrana watched the coronavirus skip from China across continents with a sense of impending doom. Sbrana, plagued by fatigue and brain fog since being diagnosed with mononucleosis six years earlier, was convinced that the pernicious new virus would wreak similar havoc in some of those who contracted it.


Official Reporting for November 9, 2021

World Health Organization

Weekly Epi Update November 8th (latest release)

New Cases: 317,865

Confirmed Cases: 249,743,428

Deaths: 5,047,652

Johns Hopkins

Confirmed Cases: 250,640,822
Deaths: 5,060,994

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Total cases: 46,405,253 (+79,820 New Cases)
Total deaths: 752,196 (+129 New Deaths)

Science and Tech

Regeneron’s antibody drug shows protection against Covid for up to 8 months – NBC News

A single dose of the therapy reduced risk of contracting Covid by 81.6 percent in a late-stage trial. The drug could be used for immunocompromised people.

The United States has stopped funding virus research it defines as risky – Science

Two controversial influenza projects approved under 2017 policy have ended. A debate over whether the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded unacceptably risky virus research in China has cast a spotlight on federal funding of what are known as gain-of-function (GOF) virology experiments. But ScienceInsider has learned that the only GOF experiments the United States approved and funded under a 2017 policy—two influenza studies that kicked off controversy over GOF research 10 years ago—have ended.

Gene linked to doubling risk of COVID-19 death found by UK scientists – Reuters

British scientists have identified a version of a gene that may be associated with double the risk of lung failure from COVID-19, a finding that provides new insights into why some people are more susceptible than others to severe illness and which opens possibilities for targeted medicine.

White-tailed deer found to be huge reservoir of coronavirus infection – Jerusalem Post

Human-to-deer and deer-to-deer transmission are believed to be driving the rapid spread of the disease within white-tailed deer populations across the US. This is particularly apparent during the early months of 2021 when COVID infections were spiking in the human population. Previous studies have shown that SARS-CoV-2 can be passed from humans to domestic and captive animals including cats, dogs, zoo animals and, most notably, farmed mink. But, until now, the disease had not been shown to spread in wildlife species.

Psychological and Sociological Impact

Is ‘Long COVID’ All in Your Head? – MedPageToday

French study found belief in COVID infection versus testing positive tied to persistent symptoms

Published Research

Parkinsonism and neurological manifestations of influenza throughout the 20th and 21st centuries – Journal on Parkinsons

Association of Self-reported COVID-19 Infection and SARS-CoV-2 Serology Test Results With Persistent Physical Symptoms Among French Adults During the COVID-19 Pandemic – JAMA

Misinformation, Disinformation, and Conspiracy Theories

Scientists confront a new source of vaccine misinformation: Aaron Rodgers. – NYT

When news broke that Aaron Rodgers, the Green Bay Packers quarterback, had tested positive for the coronavirus last week and was unvaccinated, Mr. Rodgers justified his decision to not get inoculated by speaking out against the highly effective vaccines and spewing a stream of misinformation and junk science.

No, Aluminum in Vaccines Doesn’t Cause Type 1 Diabetes – MedPageToday

There was no association between cumulative antigen exposure or average days unvaccinated and type 1 diabetes. Moreover, cumulative exposure to aluminum greater than 3 mg — aluminum being a common adjuvant used to elicit stronger immune responses to vaccines — was associated with decreased incidence of type 1 diabetes (adjusted HR 0.77, 95% CI 0.60-0.99), according to Jason Glanz, PhD, of Kaiser Permanente Colorado, Denver, and University of Colorado, Aurora, and colleagues.

Coping with COVID


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