Tulane Outbreak Daily | April 13, 2020

Featured Headlines

WHO is investigating reports of recovered COVID patients testing positive again – Reuters

South Korean officials on Friday reported 91 patients thought cleared of the new coronavirus had tested positive again. Jeong Eun-kyeong, director of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told a briefing that the virus may have been “reactivated” rather than the patients being re-infected.

How does the coronavirus affect the heart? – Jerusalem Post

There are two dominant cardiac issues related to COVID-19: heart failure, when the heart muscle doesn’t pump blood as well as it should, and arrhythmias, or abnormal heart rhythms, which can be related to the infection or to the effect of medications used to treat the virus.

Italy And Spain Ease Lockdown Restrictions As The U.S. Watches For Repercussions – Forbes

Italy and Spain have taken tentative steps this week to send certain workers back to their jobs and allow some shops to reopen, an important indication that the world might be beginning to move past life under shutdown.

Swift coronavirus testing needed before reopening country, CDC director says – NBC

The director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday that in order for the country to reopen, swift testing for people who have the virus and for people who might be immune to the virus will need to be available.

In New York, obesity appears to raise COVID-19 risk – CIDRAP

A new letter from researchers at New York University shows that obesity is a risk factor for COVID-19 hospitalization in patients under the age of 60. [Related study]

Routes out of Lockdown – David Nabarro

Many Governments are taking tough decisions: they have decided that their countries should slow down their economies and go into lockdown in order to reduce opportunities for the COVID-19 virus to be transmitted between people. The decisions made on when and how to emerge from lockdown are even more difficult: they are also delicate.

‘Great Influenza’ author talks COVID-19, 1918 flu – CIDRAP

Comparing the current COVID-19 pandemic to the 1918 pandemic has been common in recent weeks. In an interview with CIDRAP News, Barry shares what’s the same, what’s different, and why he’s glad historians don’t have to predict the future.


Editor’s note: Regarding the case counts below, please consider due to limited testing capabilities in some locations, the real number of cases could be considerably higher.

Official Reporting for April 13, 2020

WHO SITREP #83 ECDC | Country Data Johns Hopkins
Confirmed Cases 1,696,588 1,807,308 1,870,076
Deaths 105,952 113,513 116,052


Travel Related: 2,138
Close Contact: 10,956
Under Investigation: 446,071
Total Cases: 459,165

Surveillance Headlines


New York: COVID-19 Hospitalizations Flatten in NY Amid Deadliest Week Yet – NBC News

Oregon: At Least 24 of Oregon’s 51 COVID-19 Deaths Were of Residents or Staff at Long-Term Care Facilities – Williamette Week

Georgia: 13K coronavirus cases confirmed in Georgia as deaths near 500 – Atlanta Journal Constitution



UK: Boris Johnson Leaves Hospital – NBC News

Spain: Spain begins to ease lockdown to revive economy – BBC

Sweden: Sweden sticks to ‘low-scale’ lockdown despite rise in coronavirus deaths – LA Times

Belarus: In Belarus, Covid-19 is a modern-day Chernobyl – CNN


Japan: Emergency Declared In Japanese Prefecture Hit By 2nd Wave Of Coronavirus Infections – NPR

China: Reports 169 New Coronavirus Cases — Highest In 5 Weeks – NPR

India: Race against time to save doctors – BBC

Science and Tech

Genetic Study Identifies Three Variants of SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus – Science News

In a phylogenetic network analysis of the first 160 complete genomes of SARS-CoV-2 to be sequenced from human patients, an international team of scientists found three distinct variants of SARS-CoV-2: A, B and C: the A and C types are found in significant proportions outside East Asia, that is, in Europeans and Americans; in contrast, the B type is the most common type in East Asia, and its ancestral genome appears not to have spread outside East Asia without first mutating into derived B types, pointing to founder effects or immunological or environmental resistance against this type outside Asia.

We need mass surveillance to fight covid-19—but it doesn’t have to be creepy – MIT Tech Review

This is a chance to reinvent the way we collect and share personal data while protecting individual privacy.

Coronavirus Phone Tracking: Apple And Google Just Took Over—Here’s What That Means For You – Forbes

Apple and Google are stepping in to make sure this is done properly is the game-changer. There was some debate beforehand as to which tracking method would win out—network pings, GPS databases or dedicated apps. But now it’s clear that the Bluetooth system adopted in Singapore and then picked up in Europe and elsewhere looks likely to dominate.

Forget Apple And Google—Here’s The Real Challenge For COVID-19 Contact-Tracing – Forbes

The news on Friday (April 10) that Apple and Google are partnering to simplify coronavirus contact-tracing is a big deal. Just like that, read the headlines, more than 3 billion people globally might have an effective warning system if they come into contact with newly diagnosed COVID-19 patients. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Putting aside how many devices actually carry the right Bluetooth technology, there are two critical factors that stand in the way of this being effective.

This is what it will take to get us back outside – MIT Tech Review

At some point covid-19 will be vanquished. By early April some 50 potential vaccines and nearly 100 potential treatment drugs were in development, according to the Milken Institute, and hundreds of clinical trials were already registered with the World Health Organization. Even with all these efforts, a vaccine is expected to take at least 12 to 18 months to bring to market. A treatment may arrive sooner—one company, Regeneron, says it hopes to have an antibody drug in production by August—but making enough of it to help millions of people could take months more.


First Data on Remdesivir: Two-Thirds of COVID-19 Patients Improved – MedPageToday

About two-thirds of severe COVID-19 coronavirus patients treated with the investigational antiviral agent remdesivir showed clinical improvement, researchers found.

One-third did not — including seven who died, out of the first 53 patients receiving remdesivir as “compassionate use” for whom data were analyzed. [Related Study NEJM]


‘Faster Protection with Less Material’ – Harvard Medical School News

Further research and development on a class of molecules called bisphosphonates might turbocharge a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus, and help bring immunity to huge populations more quickly.


Test for Novel Coronavirus Antibodies Developed at Stanford Medicine – SciTechDaily

The new test screens for antibodies to the virus in plasma, the liquid in blood, to provide information about a person’s immune response to an infection.


Supply Chain Impact

USA: Smithfield shutting U.S. pork plant indefinitely, warns of meat shortages during pandemic – Reuters

How COVID-19 Is Impacting The Ethanol And Corn Producers – Forbes

Many ethanol plants have shut down or reduced capacity, and that’s having additional impacts that may not be immediately obvious. For example, many ethanol plants produce and sell carbon dioxide as a byproduct.

Economic Impact



I Used to Run the C.D.C. Here’s What It Can Do to Slow This Pandemic. – New York Times


Coping in Quarantine

This section of the Tulane Outbreak Daily has been wildly popular, please continue sending your contributions for all to enjoy. If you missed the video last Friday on “Quarantine Kitchen” check it out on our website. Worth the click!

The Ultimate Quarantine Self-Care Guide – Wired