Tulane Outbreak Daily | May 8, 2020

Featured Headlines

Why It’s Important To Push Back On ‘Plandemic’—And How To Do It – Forbes

By now you’ve probably heard about or even seen the video “Plandemic” that’s been spreading like wildfire through social media networks. This article is not the one you should give to your friend or relative or coworker who shared the video.

COVID-19 in Brazil: “So what?” – The Lancet

Brazil has the most cases and deaths in Latin America (105 222 cases and 7288 deaths as of May 4), and these are probably substantial underestimates. Even more worryingly, the doubling of the rate of deaths is estimated at only 5 days and a recent study by Imperial College (London, UK), which analysed the active transmission rate of COVID-19 in 48 countries, showed that Brazil is the country with the highest rate of transmission (R0 of 2·81).

COVID-19 Found in Semen — What Does That Mean? – Med Page Today

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, was found in the semen of a minority of men with COVID-19 infection in China, including recovering patients, researchers found. [Related Study]

Autopsy slowdown hinders quest to determine how coronavirus kills – Nature

Strained health-care systems, lockdowns and safety requirements have hampered efforts to collect tissue from patients that is crucial to research.

Administration buries detailed CDC advice on reopening – AP

The 17-page report by a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention team, titled “Guidance for Implementing the Opening Up America Again Framework,” was researched and written to help faith leaders, business owners, educators and state and local officials as they begin to reopen.

Androgens May Explain Male Vulnerability to COVID-19 – EurekaAlert

A study of 4532 men in the Veneto region of Italy has found that those who were being treated for prostate cancer with androgen-deprivation therapies (ADT) were less likely to develop the coronavirus COVID-19 and, if they were infected, the disease was less severe. [Related pre-print]

Projections Suggest Potential Late May COVID-19 Rebound – Columbia University

The latest data modeling projections by Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health scientists estimate that, nationally, new COVID-19 cases and deaths will rebound in late May, as states ease stay-at-home orders and social contacts increase. By June 1, one projection scenario gives median estimates of 43,353 cases per day and 1,841 deaths per day in the United States. A second scenario with a greater progressive loosening of restrictions projects median estimates of 63,330 cases per day and 2,443 deaths per day by June 1. [Related Paper]

The art of medicine – Has COVID-19 subverted global health? – The Lancet

For the first time in the post-war history of epidemics, there is a reversal of which countries are most heavily affected by a disease pandemic. By early May, 2020, more than 90% of all reported deaths from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have been in the world’s richest countries; if China, Brazil, and Iran are included in this group, then that number rises to 96%.

Johns Hopkins expert: We will know if plasma with coronavirus antibodies is working ‘very soon’ – Boston Herald

Blood plasma rich in coronavirus antibodies could help prevent severe illness in others or improve the condition of sick patients, and thousands of Americans are already being treated, a Johns Hopkins University expert said.

The Unusual Symptoms of COVID-19 – The Scientist

Scientists document a growing list of atypical coronavirus infection symptoms, giving doctors more insight into the emerging disease.

University of Hong Kong study finds eyes are ‘important route’ for coronavirus, up to 100 times more infectious than Sars – South China Morning Post

Researchers from HKU’s school of public health reveal the coronavirus is up to 100 times more infectious through the eyes and airways than Sars. Study in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine says that explains ‘higher transmissibility’ of Covid-19, compared with the 2003 contagion

Blood thinners show promise for boosting the survival chances of the sickest covid patients – Washington Post

Treating coronavirus patients with blood thinners could help boost their prospects for survival, according to preliminary findings from physicians at New York City’s largest hospital system that offer another clue about treating the deadly condition. [Related Study Posted yesterday also]

“Super Immunity” of Bats May Explain How They Carry Coronavirus – Technology Networks

A University of Saskatchewan (USask) research team has uncovered how bats can carry the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus without getting sick—research that could shed light on how coronaviruses make the jump to humans and other animals. [Related Study]

Tobacco smoking increases lung entry points for COVID-19 virus – Science Daily

Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine, the University of South Carolina and other institutions have identified tobacco smoking as a potential risk factor for infection of the COVID-19 virus. [Related Research]

An investigation of transmission control measures during the first 50 days of the COVID-19 epidemic in China – Science

By 23 February 2020, China had imposed a national emergency response to restrict travel and impose social distancing measures on its populace in an attempt to inhibit the transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome–coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). However, which measures were most effective is uncertain.

How quieting ‘blood storms’ (cytokine) could be key to treating severe COVID-19 – National Geographic

While essential for defending against pathogens, the immune system can be a blunt and potent weapon that sometimes harms healthy cells. One version of a runaway immune response, called a “blood storm” or cytokine storm, causes excessive inflammation. It’s suspected to play a major role in some of the most critical COVID-19 cases—including those that land patients in the ICU or saddle them with ventilators.

The Coronavirus Is Mutating. That’s Normal. Does That Mean It’s More Dangerous? – NPR

This week, the question of mutation has been front and center in coverage of the coronavirus — from controversial claims about changes that make the virus more contagious to reassurances that any mutations are not yet consequential. Here are some of the questions being raised — and what the specialists can (and can


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 May 8, 2020

WHO SITREP #108 ECDC Johns Hopkins
Confirmed Cases 3,672,238 3,807,852 3,889,841
Deaths 254,045 269,068 271,732


Total cases: 1,219,066
Total deaths: 73,297
(Numbers close out at 4 p.m. the day before reporting.)

Surveillance Headlines


Boston, Massachusetts: Photos: One day inside a Boston hospital’s response to Covid-19 – Stat

New Orleans, Louisiana: How widespread has COVID-19 been in Orleans, Jefferson? New study will try to find out – Local News

Washington DC: White House Rattled by a Military Aide’s Positive Coronavirus Test – NY Times

New York: New York investigates coronavirus in children after 5-year-old NYC boy dies from complications – NBC


Mexico: Ignores wave of coronavirus deaths in it’s capitol – NYT



Germany: New Coronavirus Cases Rise the Most in a Week – Blooomberg


Coronavirus could kill up to 190,000 in Africa in first year if not contained, WHO says – NBC


Science and Tech


Moderna eyes ‘early summer’ start for phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial – Fierce Biotech

Moderna is finalizing the protocol for a phase 3 trial of its COVID-19 vaccine with a view to starting the study early in the summer. The establishment of the timeline, which follows FDA clearance to run a phase 2 trial, puts Moderna on track to win approval for its mRNA vaccine mRNA-1273 next year.

Published Research

Population flow drives spatio-temporal distribution of COVID-19 in China – Nature/Tulane

Clinical Characteristics and Results of Semen Tests Among Men With Coronavirus Disease 2019 – JAMA Network

Androgen-deprivation therapies for prostate cancer and risk of infection by SARSCoV-2: a population-based study (n=4532) – Annals of Oncology

Understanding pathways to death in patients with COVID-19 – The Lancet

Hyperinflammatory shock in children during COVID-19 pandemic – The Lancet

Tobacco Smoking Increases the Lung Gene Expression of ACE2, the Receptor of SARS-CoV-2 – American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine

An infant with a mild SARS-CoV-2 infection detected only by anal swabs: a case report – The Brazilian Journal of Infectious Diseases

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


Coping in Quarantine

30 Times Quarantined People Tried Grooming Their Dogs And Realized What The Professionals Are For



Due to the extended lockdown situation, we have some 80’s hairband looking dogs in the house. I ordered a “professional dog clipper” on Amazon the other day, going to give it a go this weekend on this fluffy mess in the photo. This is Ivan, one of three fluff balls in our home. Good thing I have research job, DIY dog grooming did not go well last time I attempted. See the second pic, this is Buddy, he had no idea how ridiculous he looked. When this photo of Buddy (he is a Collie if you couldn’t tell in the photo) was taken, he had just returned from a few years in Haiti. He lived there with his human while on a UN mission. Buddy return Stateside with dreadlocks. As you can see in the photo of Buddy, I should not be allowed to have dog clippers.



Because it’s Friday, here is another edition of Pandemic Kitchen featuring Make Supper Club Cocktails! Have a great weekend, keep ‘er movin.