Tulane Outbreak Daily | May 15, 2020

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Monday: Tulane University: The Race for COVID-19 Treatments, Tests and a Vaccine

Featured Headlines

CDC Issues Tools To Guide Reopening Of Schools, Businesses, Transit – NPR

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a set of documents on Thursday designed to provide guidance on how child care centers, schools, restaurants and bars, and other establishments could begin the process of reopening in the face of the coronavirus. The direction comes after calls from lawmakers and state officials mounted for the CDC to weigh in on how regions should reopen their economies. CDC Documents: Workplace, Child Care Centers, Schools, Restaurants and Bars, Youth Camps, Mass Transit

This is what we know so far about how covid-19 affects the rest of the body – MIT Tech Review

Covid-19 is primarily a respiratory infection that attacks the lungs, making it harder for patients to breathe and get enough oxygen to the rest of the body. Pneumonia and other respiratory conditions can quickly set in, eventually leading to death if the body cannot fight off the infection. But after over four months of cases, doctors are getting a more detailed look at some of the unexpected ways the virus hits the human body beyond the nasal cavity, throat, and lungs. Here are a few new things we’ve learned in recent weeks:

COVID-19: First bowel imaging study implicates blood clots – Medical News Today

People with COVID-19 often experience gastrointestinal symptoms. An analysis of abdominal scans suggests that blood clots in small arteries may starve bowel tissue of oxygen in the most severely ill patients. [Related study]

Coronavirus May Pose a New Risk to Younger Patients: Strokes – New York Times

Doctors have reported a flurry of cases in Covid-19 patients — including a healthy 27-year-old emergency medical technician in Queens. After a month in the hospital, he is learning to walk again. [Pre-Print Paper]

Places without social distancing have 35 times more potential coronavirus spread, study finds – Washington Post

For social distancing policies that lasted at least 16 to 20 days, the daily rate of infection dropped by more than 9 percentage points, according to the study. Policies lasting 15 days and less also saw declines in the daily infection rate, researchers found. Such social distancing measures, mandated by 95 percent of the country, include shelter-in-place orders, school closures, bans on large events and the closure of gyms, bars and restaurants.[Related Study]

Images Advance Understanding of SARS-CoV-2 Gut Infection Activity – LabMate

Some of the largest and highest resolution images recorded of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the cause of the Covid-19 pandemic, have been published online by scientists at the University of Dundee and the EMBL’s European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI).

Countries Begin Large-Scale Screening for SARS-CoV-2 in Sewage – The Scientist

cientists in Spain are expecting to begin regularly analyzing sewage for traces of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, The Scientist has learned. Pending budget approval from AXA or national funds in Spain, researchers will carry out the work for at least a whole year, having signed a special agreement with authorities in the Valencian Community, a region on Spain’s eastern coast that is home to nearly 5 million people.

How Sewer Science Could Ease Testing Pressure and Track COVID-19 – NYT

The science of sewage surveillance could be deployed in countries across the world to help monitor the spread of national epidemics of COVID-19 while reducing the need for mass testing, scientists say.

New from the FLARE Team:

Loud talking could leave coronavirus in the air for up to 14 minutes – MIT Tech Review

Thousands of droplets from the mouths of people who are talking loudly can stay in the air for between eight and 14 minutes before disappearing, according to a new study. The research, conducted by a team with the US National Institutes of Health and published in PNAS Wednesday, could have significant impact on our understanding of covid-19 transmission.

The Disproportionate Impact of Covid-19 on Black Health Care Workers in the U.S. – Harvard Business Review

Grieving families, social distancing, economic disruption: In many respects, coronavirus has changed the world. But it also has exposed the startlingly consistent toll that catastrophe exacts from black communities. The old adage that “when white America catches a cold, black America gets pneumonia” has become a chilling reality. [Related data]

Disease modelers are wary of reopening the country. Here’s how they arrive at their verdict. – Washington Post

As governors across the country reopen their states’ economies, policymakers are relying on disease models for help in predicting where new coronavirus cases may surge as stay-at-home orders expire.

Covid-19 update: 2 US pork processors change course – Pig Progress

In the United States in recent weeks, temporary packing plant closures due to Covid-19 outbreaks among workers have caused widespread processing backlogs. Experts put the number of hogs ready for slaughter (but not able to be processed) at the end of April at 1 million. Many hogs had to be euthanised. In the state of Minnesota, reported AgWeek, a large site was created to receive thousands of dead hogs each day for composting.


Official Reporting for May 15, 2020

WHO SITREP #115 ECDC Johns Hopkins
Confirmed Cases 4,248,389 4,405,680 4,500,476
Deaths 292,046 302,115 304,835


Total cases: 1,384,930
Total deaths: 83,947
(Numbers close out at 4 p.m. the day before reporting.)

Surveillance Headlines


Orange County, California: Reports its highest daily coronavirus case count – LA Times

Michigan: Reports more than 1,000 coronavirus cases in day for first time in 2 weeks – Detroit Free Press

Michigan: Inflammatory syndrome linked to COVID-19 sickens more than 20 Michigan kids – Local news

Texas: Coronavirus in Texas: State reports largest daily increases in cases and deaths – Texas Tribune


Russia: Why Moscow didn’t count 60% of suspected Covid-19 deaths – CNN

France: About 4.4% of French population had been infected with SARS-CoV-2, suggests study – Medical News

Italy: Kawasaki-like COVID-19 complication found in Italian kids – CIDRAP



Mexico:Plans To Reopen Even As Officials Say COVID-19 Cases Are Near Peak – NPR


China: COVID-19 Has Arrived In Rohingya Refugee Camps And Aid Workers Fear The Worst – NPR

Science and Tech

Images Advance Understanding of SARS-CoV-2 Gut Infection Activity – Labmate

Using mass spectrometry, researchers have shown how human cells are changed by infection from SARS-CoV-2, allowing the team to identify drug targets to prevent viral reproduction. [Related Study]

Scientists call for urgent research on potential for mouthwash to reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission – Cardiff University

The researchers from Cardiff University’s School of Medicine, along with the universities of Nottingham, Colorado, Ottawa, Barcelona and Cambridge’s Babraham Institute included virologists, lipid specialists, microbicide and healthcare experts, while industry partners provided global formulation information. [Related Paper]

T cells found in COVID-19 patients ‘bode well’ for long-term immunity – Science Magazine

Immune warriors known as T cells help us fight some viruses, but their importance for battling SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has been unclear. Now, two studies reveal infected people harbor T cells that target the virus—and may help them recover. Both studies also found some people never infected with SARS-CoV-2 have these cellular defenses, most likely because they were previously infected with other coronaviruses.

From Hamsters to Baboons: The Animals Helping Scientists Understand the Coronavirus – Scientific American

Different species are helping answer different questions about COVID-19 in humans in order to develop vaccines and treatments


Sorrento finds a coronavirus antibody that blocks viral infection 100% in preclinical lab experiments – Tech Crunch

Therapeutics company Sorrento has made what it believes cold be a breakthrough in potential treatment of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that leads to COVID-19. The company released details its preclinical research on Friday, announcing that it has found an antibody that provides “100% inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 virus infection of healthy cells after four days incubation.” These results are from a preclinical study that still has to undergo peer review, and in an in vitro laboratory study (meaning not in an actual human being) but still a promising development as the company continues to work on production of an antibody “cocktail” that could provide protection against SARS-CoV-2 even in case of mutations in the virus.


The Antiviral Drug Remdesivir Can Help Fight the Coronavirus, But Can Patients Get It? – UCSF

Doctors on the frontlines still lack a proven treatment for the disease as researchers race to develop a vaccine. No drug is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for COVID-19, although dozens of candidates – including drugs used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, parasites, cancer, and HIV – have been proposed and many are currently in clinical trials.


Reasons to hope and reasons to keep perspective on a vaccine – World Economic Forum

In the face of an immense burden of disease and an unfathomable death toll from COVID-19, the world today has an intense need for hope. A degree of hope does come in some regions from diminishing numbers of cases, hospitalizations and deaths, caused by extreme restrictions on commerce, travel and social interaction.


Why History Urges Caution on Coronavirus Immunity Testing – Scientific American

Being immune was once a status symbol—and another way to segregate and divide humanity

Economic Impact


Published Research

Proteomics of SARS-CoV-2-infected host cells reveals therapy targets – Nature

Rapid risk assessment: Paediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome and SARS -CoV-2 infection in children – ECDC

Potential role of oral rinses targeting the viral lipid envelope in SARS-CoV-2 infection – Function

Assessment of Deaths From COVID-19 and From Seasonal Influenza – JAMA

Clinical efficacy of hydroxychloroquine in patients with covid-19 pneumonia who require oxygen: observational comparative study using routine care data – BMJ

The airborne lifetime of small speech droplets and their potential importance in SARS-CoV-2 transmission – PNAS

Strong Social Distancing Measures In The United States Reduced The COVID-19 Growth Rate – Health Affairs

SARS-CoV-2 pandemic : Time to revive the cyclophilin inhibitor alisporivir – Clinical Infectious Diseases

Assessing risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients presenting with symptoms in Shanghai, China: a multicentre, observational cohort study – The Lancet

Estimating the burden of SARS-CoV-2 in France – Science Magazine

Abdominal Imaging Findings in COVID-19: Preliminary Observations – Radiology

Pre-Pub (not yet peer reviewed, should not be regarded as conclusive)

Significant Relaxation of SARS-CoV-2-Targeted Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions Will Result in Profound Mortality: A New York State Modelling Study – MedRXiv

Etiologic Subtypes of Ischemic Stroke in SARS-COV-2 Virus patients – MedRxiv

Coping in Quarantine

Technology Defeats COVID-19 Coronavirus Social Isolation – Forbes

Pathogenesis and transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in golden hamsters (this is a real paper) (this is a meme)

Neighbors in Quarantine (Wisconsin edition)