Tulane Outbreak Daily | March 27, 2020

Featured Headlines

The U.S. Now Leads the World in Confirmed Coronavirus Cases – NYT In the United States, at least 81,321 people are known to have been infected with the coronavirus, including more than 1,000 deaths — more cases than China, Italy or any other country has seen.

Prepare For Outbreaks Like New York’s In Other States, Warns Anthony Fauci – NPR  Over a thousand people in the U.S. have died from COVID-19, and over a third of those deaths have taken place in New York. Nearly half the confirmed cases in the United States are in New York. The state has become a coronavirus hot spot — anyone leaving New York City is being asked to self-quarantine for two weeks.

New Orleans Faces a Virus Nightmare, and Mardi Gras May be Why – NYT  Louisiana may be experiencing the world’s fastest growth in new cases. Mardi Gras may have accelerated the crisis. According to one study, Louisiana, with more than 2,300 cases as of Thursday afternoon, is experiencing the fastest growth in new cases in the world; Gov. John Bel Edwards said on Tuesday that the current trajectory of case growth in Louisiana was similar to those in Spain and Italy. This week, President Trump approved the governor’s request for a major disaster declaration, which unlocks additional federal funding to combat the outbreak.Orleans Parish, which shares its borders with the city of New Orleans, has suffered the highest number of deaths per capita of any county in the nation. Of the parish’s 46 deaths — more than two times the death toll of Los Angeles County — 11 are from a single retirement home, where dozens more residents are infected. (If link to NYT does not work, try here)

Warm, humid weather could slow coronavirus, new research finds – Washington Post  Multiple early studies provide evidence of statistical ties between temperature and humidity ranges and the geographic regions where this virus has thrived. While none of these studies has been peer-reviewed, they all point to the same general possibility: The pandemic could ease in parts of North America and Europe during the summer months, although it could then come roaring back in the fall.

72 Hrs Inside a New York City ICU – NYT  [short video] An emergency room doctor in Elmhurst, Queens, gives a rare look inside a hospital at the center of the coronavirus pandemic. “We don’t have the tools that we need.”

The Coronavirus Pandemic May Be Loosening Links In The Supply Chain – NPR Truckers, warehouse workers and cargo handlers, all in a vast network, find themselves one endless day after the next getting food, medicine and, yes, toilet paper to customers.

Men are getting sicker, dying more often of covid-19, Spain data shows – Washington Post Pneumonia cases, hospitalizations, ICU visits, deaths and even basic symptoms were more frequent in males. The data arriving from Spain, combined with similar findings from other countries with large outbreaks, such as Italy, China and France, are increasingly suggesting that the top risk group for the novel coronavirus is not simply older adults, but older men. A Washington Post analysis of U.S. deaths so far also found that nearly 60 percent of deaths, in cases where a gender could be identified, were male. The Spain data, based on an analysis of 20,648 cases so far and 722 deaths by the country’s Institute of Health Carlos III, a national public health agency, delivers a new level of detail. It shows that men are faring worse on multiple metrics for the disease. Among gender-identified disease cases, men make up 60 percent of those that progress to the dangerous pneumonia stage. They make up 59 percent of the hospitalizations, 72 percent of the intensive care unit admissions and 65 percent of the deaths.

A South Korean Covid-19 Czar Has Some Advice – Wired  “We need global cooperation,” says Min Pok-kee, who heads the response in the hard-hit city of Daegu. “Top government leaders don’t seem to get that yet.” When we hit 5,000 confirmed cases in Daegu, we figured Seoul was going to have 30,000. That’s an absolute disaster. The mayor of Daegu, to his credit, really heard me out. To be honest with you, the president of Korea did not do the same. The doctors advising the president, many of us specialists believe, did not do right by him. Their main misstep was saying everything was fine, that there wasn’t any problem.


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 March 27, 2020

  WHO SITREP #66 ECDCCountry Data Johns Hopkins
Confirmed Cases 462,684 46,7710 542,788
Deaths 20,834 20,947 24,361


Total cases: 68,440
Total deaths: 994
Jurisdictions reporting cases: 54 (50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and US Virgin Islands)

Travel Related: 636
Close Contact: 1,074
Under Investigation: 66,730
Total Cases: 68,440

Surveillance Headlines


U.S. State by State Tracker for Cases/Deaths  This link will be posted on our website after today


UK: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tests positive for coronavirus – BBC

UK: Reported 2,128 new cases, 113 more deaths. – CIDRAP

Italy: Reported 6,153 new cases, and 662 more deaths – CIDRAP

Spain: Reported  6,673 new cases, 442 more deaths. The Spanish government extended its lockdown until at least Apr 12. CIDRAP

Germany: 36,508 cases, 44 of them fatal, according to the Robert Koch Institute. CIDRAP 

Russia: Reporting 182 new cases, and announced it would seal all its borders and cancel all international flights, except for ones bringing Russians home. CIDRAP


China: Officials today announced that foreigners will be barred from entering the country, except for diplomats and crew of international airlines and ships CIDRAP 

Japan: Reported 71 new cases and 4 asymptomatic carriers, raising the total to 1,387, with 46 deaths. CIDRAP

Hong Kong: Reported 43 more cases, 29 of them with recent travel history, raising its total to 454. CIDRAP 

Singapore:  Reported 52 new cases, 28 of them imported, boosting its total to 683. CIDRAP 


South Africa: First COVID-19 Deaths, Goes Into 3-Week Lockdown – NPR

Travel Advisories

Look up current travel advisories at US Department of State

U.S. CDC Travel Advisories

Infection Prevention

Cleaning Products Can Kill The COVID-19 Virus. Here’s What to Use in Your House – The conversation  COVID-19 has only been around for a few months, so at this point scientists don’t know that much about it. But more is being learned every day. We now know, for example, it can live on surfaces for up to nine days and survives in the air for a few hours. We also now know that the virus particles are shed through saliva and fluids coughed up from the lungs. And that the virus can also be shed from our faeces.

Science and Tech

How Monoclonal Antibodies Might Prove Useful Against The Coronavirus – NPR  Scientists working to quell the COVID-19 pandemic think it will be possible to figure out which antibodies are most potent in quashing a coronavirus infection, and then make vast quantities of identical copies of these proteins synthetically. This approach — using infusions of what are known as monoclonal antibodies – has already proved to be effective in fighting a variety of diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and some cancers.

Pfizer reports safety data of azithromycin in Covid-19 trial – Clinical Trials Arena  Pfizer has announced positive data for the use of its azithromycin (Zithromax) drug, along with hydroxychloroquine, in a coronavirus (Covid-19) clinical trial performed in France. The trial was conducted to assess anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine in 20 patients, six of which were also administered with azithromycin.

James Dyson designed a new ventilator in 10 days. He’s making 15,000 for the pandemic fight – CNN   Dyson has received an order from the UK government for 10,000 ventilators to support efforts by the country’s National Health Service to treat coronavirus patients.

CPAP Machines Were Seen As Ventilator Alternatives, But Could Spread COVID-19 – NPR  The limited supply of ventilators is one of the chief concerns facing hospitals as they prepare for more COVID-19 cases. In Italy, where hospitals have been overwhelmed with patients in respiratory failure, doctors have had to make difficult life-or-death decisions about who gets a ventilator and who does not.


Sanofi and Translate Bio to develop mRNA vaccine for Covid-19 – Pharmaceutical Technology  Translate Bio has already started the production of several mRNA constructs. The company will leverage its mRNA platform for the discovery, design and manufacture of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidates.


Published Research

SARS-CoV-2 viral load and the severity of COVID-19 – CEBM

Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine: Current evidence for their effectiveness in treating COVID-19 – CEBM

Management of Critically Ill Adults With COVID-19 – JAMA

Antibodies in Infants Born to Mothers With COVID-19 Pneumonia – JAMA

Temperature, Humidity and Latitude Analysis to Predict Potential Spread and Seasonality for COVID-19 – SSRN DB

With COVID-19, modeling takes on life and death importance – Science

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

Policy & Guidance

Coronavirus Is Widening the Corporate Digital Divide – Harvard Business Review  As workplaces mandate that employees work from home, universities shift fully to online teaching, restaurants transition to online ordering and delivery, and automakers shut down their plants, we’re seeing the most rapid organizational transformation in the history of the modern firm.

Economic Impact

It was the worst week for the economy in decades. The pain is just beginning – Washington Post  The record 3.3 million jobless claims reported Thursday mark the beginning of an economic crisis facing American workers and businesses — a slump, experts say, that will only end when the coronavirus pandemic is contained.

G.M. Suspends Production Indefinitely and Cuts Paychecks – NYT  General Motors said on Thursday it would suspend production at its North American factories indefinitely, lay off 6,500 salaried employees and cut executive pay, signaling that the automaker believes that coronavirus will take a serious toll on its business.

The Coronavirus Economy: When Washington Takes Over Business – NYT  The $2 trillion aid package is expected to save jobs and bail out companies, but it reorders the relationship between government and private industry.

Coping in Quarantine

The Contagion We Can Control – Harvard Business Review  You are scared. Your family is scared. Everyone you seem to know on social media is scared. And with good reason: Things are uncertain. We don’t feel in control. Everything is shifting, and fast. We don’t know what the rules are. We aren’t sure what will happen to us, our livelihoods, our families. And it doesn’t necessarily feel short-term. So what do you do?

We are all humanitarian negotiators now: 3 steps for planning your ‘please take social distancing seriously’ conversation – The Conversation

See if this sounds familiar. You have an older relative whom you believe to be at a serious health risk if they catch the coronavirus. You call, try to persuade them to take social distancing seriously. But your arguments fail to resonate. You both get angry and hang up, locked in a stalemate. The bad news is that these conversations are as important to get right as they are frustrating. The good news is that you – perhaps without realizing it – have stepped into a field that has already generated a great deal of useful wisdom.