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- The United States currently has the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and related deaths.
- Two recent studies show the mortality rate for COVID-19 is decreasing.
- Over 41 million COVID-19 cases have been documented in less than a year.
- Globally, there have been more than 41 million confirmed cases and more than 1.1 million associated deaths, according to Johns Hopkins.
- The United States has reported 8.3 million confirmed cases. However, due to a lack of testing, the number of actual cases may be far higher.
- More than 221,000 people in the United States have died from the disease.
Healthline will update this page every weekday. For more information about the virus, go here.
Two new studies have found a sharp drop in mortality among hospitalized COVID-19 patients, reported NPR.
One study looked at a single health system to find that mortality dropped among hospitalized patients by 18 percent since the pandemic began. According to the study, COVID-19 patients had a 25.6 percent chance of dying at the start of the pandemic, which is now only a 7.6 percent chance.
A separate study showed an unadjusted drop in death rates among hospitalized patients of around 20 percent since the height of the pandemic.
However, this doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods, yet.
According to NPR, many more people will die, even though the rate has dropped. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) estimates the total death count in the United States could reach about 390,000 by February.
U.S. COVID-19 cases will increase significantly in about a week, according to a leading health expert, as U.S. daily averages continue climbing toward the summer’s peak and several states set hospitalization records, reported CNN.
According to CNN, 10 states have recorded their highest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations Tuesday. These include Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
A new study based in the United Kingdom will test a potential COVID-19 vaccine by giving volunteers the virus that causes the disease.
Called a human challenge trial, volunteers will be given the experimental vaccine and then exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
The study will be small with no more than 90 volunteers, but it could accelerate vaccine approval if the results find the vaccine is safe and effective.
Over 200 former residents of COVID-19 quarantine facilities in Australia are being urged to get tested for blood-transmitted diseases that include HIV, after authorities admitted that the same blood-testing devices were used for multiple guests, reported CNN.
“Blood glucose level testing devices intended for use by one person were used across multiple residents. This presents a low clinical risk of cross-contamination and blood borne viruses — Hepatitis B and C, and HIV,” Australian health agency, Safer Care Victoria confirmed in a statement.
According to CNN, the agency is contacting 243 people who received a blood glucose level test before August 20, because there was a risk of cross-contamination and bloodborne viruses, including HIV.
According to a recent press release from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, the statewide positivity rate is now 1.21 percent. However, the state’s hot spots stand at just over 3 percent.
“I think the context is important so people know what 1 percent means or what 2 percent means, which means New York has one of the lowest positivity rates in the nation,” said Cuomo.
The Governor emphasized that this is “because we’re very aggressive about it and when we see a flare-up or a hotspot we jump all over it.”
The number of confirmed, worldwide COVID-19 cases has surpassed 40 million, reported the Associated Press (AP).
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, this milestone was reached on the morning of Oct. 19.
The AP also reported that some U.S. states are relying on targeted measures as case numbers continue to rise. For example, in New York’s most recent round of virus shutdowns, the state is focusing on individual neighborhoods of only a few square miles and closing schools and businesses in those ‘hot spots.’
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director Dr. Anthony Fauci, said he’s “absolutely not” surprised President Donald Trump developed COVID-19 after seeing him surrounded by people not following the best public health practices to prevent spread of the disease.
Dr. Fauci said on a recent episode of CBS’ 60 Minutes, “I was worried that he was going to get sick when I saw him in a completely precarious situation of crowded — no separation between people, and almost nobody wearing a mask,” reported USA Today.
In an open letter published Oct. 16 on Pfizer’s website, the drugmaker says they’re close to confirming the effectiveness of their COVID-19 vaccine candidate and expect to apply for an emergency use authorization after the presidential election in mid-November.
“Assuming positive data, Pfizer will apply for Emergency Authorization Use in the U.S. soon after the safety milestone is achieved in the third week of November,” wrote Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla. “All the data contained in our U.S. application would be reviewed not only by the FDA’s own scientists but also by an external panel of independent experts at a publicly held meeting convened by the agency.”
As the United States nears 8 million COVID-19 cases and currently averages more than 50,000 new cases daily, experts say this signals the country is in for a tough winter, reported CNN.
Many U.S. states are currently reporting rising COVID-19 cases, which has “proven in the past to be a very good prediction of a surge in cases, which ultimately leads to a surge in hospitalizations, and then ultimately, in some individuals that will obviously be an increase in deaths,” Fauci said on Good Morning America Oct. 15, according to CNN.
A large trial studying the antiviral drug remdesivir has found that it failed to prevent deaths from COVID-19, according to the New York Times.
A study of more than 11,000 people in 30 countries by the World Health Organization found little evidence that the drug could help treat people severely ill with COVID-19.
The drug has been given emergency approval by the FDA in the United States and was used to treat President Donald Trump when he developed COVID-19. The findings haven’t yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal.
London city officials are implementing more social restrictions in an effort to stop a surge of COVID-19 cases.
People will still be allowed to go to restaurants and bars, but they won’t be able to mix with people from other households.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the rise in cases meant restrictions were needed.
“There are no good options. I know these further restrictions will require Londoners to make yet more sacrifices, but the disastrous failure of the test, trace, and isolate system leaves us with little choice,” he said, according to Business Insider.
United Airlines claims the risk of COVID-19 exposure on its aircrafts is “virtually nonexistent” according to new research findings saying that with mask use, there’s only a 0.003 percent chance particles from one passenger can enter the breathing space of a passenger sitting beside them, reported ABC News.
The study was conducted by the Department of Defense in partnership with United Airlines. A mannequin was used along with an aerosol generator to see how particles moved in the aircraft.
“99.99 percent of those particles left the interior of the aircraft within 6 minutes,” United Airlines Chief Communication Officer Josh Earnest told ABC News. “It indicates that being on board an aircraft is the safest indoor public space, because of the unique configuration inside an aircraft that includes aggressive ventilation, lots of airflow.”
The 14-year-old son of the President tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month according to first lady Melania Trump.
Barron Trump reportedly tested positive days after his parents but is doing well according to a statement posted by the first lady.
“Luckily he is a strong teenager and exhibited no symptoms,” Melania Trump said in the statement. “In one way I was glad the three of us went through this at the same time, so we could take care of one another and spend time together. He has since tested negative.”
A new study published in the medical journal Immunity suggests that people may be immune to SARS-CoV-2 for about 5–7 months after contracting the virus.
The study comes as multiple cases of reinfection have been reported. In the study, researchers found evidence that people who had developed COVID-19 and recovered had neutralizing antibodies for about 5–7 months after.
This may mean they’re immune to another case of COVID-19 during that time.
“In the public square, we’re seeing a higher degree of vigilance and mitigation steps in many jurisdictions,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Robert Redfield said during a call with U.S. governors, reported CNN.
The director emphasized that this holiday season posed a particular risk.
“But what we’re seeing as the increasing threat right now is actually acquisition of infection through small household gatherings,” Redfield said. “Particularly with Thanksgiving coming up, we think it’s really important to stress the vigilance of these continued mitigation steps in the household setting.”
More than 100 COVID-19 vaccine candidates are in some stage of testing, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Of those, 42 are being evaluated in clinical studies, and only 2 could possibly meet the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Emergency Use Authorization guidelines by the end of 2020, reported The Motley Fool, a popular business-focused news service.
Pharma giant, Johnson & Johnson, has paused the clinical trial of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine due to unexplained illness in one of their volunteers.
“Adverse events — illnesses, accidents, etc. — even those that are serious, are an expected part of any clinical study, especially large studies,” said the company in a statement.
They emphasized that “We must respect this participant’s privacy,” and that researchers are “learning more about this participant’s illness, and it’s important to have all the facts before we share additional information.”
A 25-year-old man in Nevada is the first person in the United States to have been contracted SARS-CoV-2 on two separate occasions, reported CNBC. He’s only the fifth patient reported as reinfected with COVID-19 worldwide.
A recently published study in the Lancet showed the patient became seriously ill following the second infection.
A potential COVID-19 treatment that was taken by President Trump appears to be effective at lowering viral load in monkeys, according to a new report.
The antibody cocktail made by Regeneron was tested in both rhesus monkeys and golden hamsters. In their report published in Science, the researchers found that animals given the drug, who were then exposed to the virus, had less viral load in their upper and lower airways.
More research needs to be done before the drug will be approved for widespread use in the United States.
However, these deaths weren’t due directly to COVID-19. Instead, these deaths were likely exacerbated by the pandemic because people delayed medical care or the lockdown lead to emotional crises.
Researchers looked at death certificates and found signs of “excess deaths” in states hit hard by the pandemic.
“There have been some conspiracy theories that the number of deaths from COVID-19 have been exaggerated,” said Dr. Steven Woolf, director emeritus of the Center on Society and Health at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. “The opposite is the case. We’re actually experiencing more death than we thought we were.”
A French report published in August looked at 120 patients who had been hospitalized for COVID-19 to find that 34 percent had memory loss and 27 percent had concentration problems months later, reported the New York Times.
“It is debilitating,” Rick Sullivan, 60, of Brentwood, California, told the Times. He has experienced episodes of brain fog since July after a several week bout with COVID-19 breathing problems and body aches. “I become almost catatonic. It feels as though I am under anesthesia.”
CNN’s White House correspondent, Jeremy Diamond, posted a memorandum from the President’s physician to his social media, which claims he’s no longer “considered a transmission risk to others.”
“By currently recognized standards [the President] is no longer considered a transmission to others,” wrote Dr. Sean Conley in the memo.
White House coronavirus task force member, Dr. Deborah Birx, said she’s concerned about the rise in COVID-19 cases in the Northeastern United States, also noting that more people are contracting the virus because of indoor family gatherings and social events, reported the Associated Press.
“The spread of the virus now is not occurring so much in the workplace as people have taken precautions,” said Birx. “It’s happening in homes and social occasions and people gathering and taking their mask off and letting down their guard and not physically distancing.”
Thousands of farmed minks in Utah have died of COVID-19, forcing affected sites to quarantine as the state veterinarian investigates the outbreak, reported NBC News.
The virus was discovered among the animals in the United States earlier in August, shortly after ranch workers tested positive.
The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) released a blistering editorial calling for political change due to the failure to control the COVID-19 pandemic.
The prestigious medical journal didn’t call politicians out by name or party, but emphasized a lack of federal response in fighting the deadly disease.
“Our current leaders have undercut trust in science and in government, causing damage that will certainly outlast them,” the editors wrote. “Instead of relying on expertise, the administration has turned to uninformed ‘opinion leaders’ and charlatans who obscure the truth and facilitate the promulgation of outright lies.”
The editors also said “at least tens of thousands” of American lives have been lost due to “weak and inappropriate government policies.”
The pharmaceutical company Regeneron is seeking emergency FDA approval for an experimental antibody cocktail that was given to President Trump.
The company submitted an application to the FDA asking for emergency use approval, meaning the treatment could be used before it gets a full FDA approval due to the lack of treatments for COVID-19.
The treatment is still in clinical trials and it’s unclear how effective it is and what potential safety issues there are.
They also said that only about 50,000 doses would be currently available.
In a video, President Trump referred to an unproven “antibody cocktail” being developed by drugmaker Regeneron as a miracle cure, reported the New York Times. The president said he planned to make this treatment, which hasn’t yet been government approved, free to anyone who needs it.
Trump received the drug combination under something known as a “compassionate use” request, reported the Associated Press. He was given the experimental treatment at the White House, before being taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
A certain type of flu vaccine might offer some protection against COVID-19, virologist Robert Gallo, director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and chairman of the Global Virus Network, told NPR.
Gallo said he believes it’s possible that “live attenuated” flu vaccines, where the virus isn’t fully killed, may help protect people against both the flu and COVID-19.
Gallo explained that in the past these vaccines have protected against other respiratory diseases, not just the seasonal flu.
“You watch,” said Gallo. “People who get the live flu vaccine will also be protected against COVID-19. That’s the hypothesis.”
With flu season starting this month, getting the flu vaccine is still a good idea even if it won’t protect you from COVID-19.
Dr. Sean Conley, physician to the President, announced that Trump “reports no symptoms” of COVID-19 after he was discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday, according to Fox News.
Fox also reported that Stephen Miller, senior adviser to the President, announced that following the outbreak at the White House that transmitted the virus to Trump and others, he has now tested positive, too.
As he recovers for a second day at the White House, President Donald Trump remains out of sight and his administration offers few details about his health, reported The Denver Post.
Dr. Rick Bright, one of the federal government’s top vaccine officials, resigned from his position at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) after accusing his superiors of politically motivated retaliation for his criticism of the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic, reported the Washington Post.
According to his whistleblower complaint, “Dr. Bright sounded the alarm about the shortage of critical supplies, such as masks, respirators, swabs, and syringes that were necessary to combat COVID-19.”
Pharmaceutical company Eli Lily is seeking emergency use approval for their monoclonal antibody cocktail to be used as a COVID-19 treatment.
According to STAT news, the company issued a press release explaining that patients who took the monoclonal antibody cocktail were less likely to need hospitalization. But this information hasn’t yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal.
Monoclonal antibodies are synthetic versions of the antibodies found in our blood stream. Researchers hope synthetic antibodies can help fight off viral infections.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff, our nation’s top military leaders, are in quarantine after coming in contact with a senior officer who developed COVID-19, a Defense Department official told USA Today.
The official who tested positive is identified as the second highest officer at the Coast Guard, Admiral Charles Ray.
According to USA Today, the leaders now quarantined include Admiral Mark Miller, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and Admiral Michael Gilday, chief of naval operations.
A vaccine against COVID-19 may be ready by year-end, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Oct. 6, reported Reuters.
“We will need vaccines and there is hope that by the end of this year we may have a vaccine. There is hope,” Tedros said in closing remarks to the WHO’s executive board meeting that examined the global response to the pandemic, reported the Washington Times.
An official from the FDA reportedly told the Associated Press that the White House blocked the publication of new safety guidelines for COVID-19 vaccines.
However, the FDA did release the guidelines in a memo posted before a key meeting by the vaccine advisory panel scheduled for later this month.
Under the guidelines, pharmaceutical companies would need to follow people who received the vaccine for at least 2 months to ensure there are no associated long-term medical risks.
After weeks of controversy, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said that SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19, is airborne.
The CDC now posted
Early on in the outbreak, experts and health agencies had been uncertain if the virus was able to spread via very small aerosols that could travel further than 6 feet. Now medical experts say it’s clear the virus can be spread via these small aerosols.
“Some infections can be spread by exposure to virus in small droplets and particles that can linger in the air for minutes to hours,” CDC officials wrote on the website. “These viruses may be able to infect people who are further than 6 feet away from the person who is infected or after that person has left the space.”
The CDC had initially posted similar information last month but then took it down, leading to criticism.
An inflammatory syndrome previously seen mainly in children has now been found in adults, according to a recent CDC report.
According to the report, 16 patients ranging from ages 21 to 50 have been found to have multisystem inflammatory syndrome.
Symptoms include heart damage and other signs of inflammation in the body.
President Donald Trump may be able to return to the White House later today [Oct. 5], despite being on multiple COVID-19 medications.
The president tweeted today that he will leave Walter Reed Medical Center Monday evening.
On Sunday, doctors reported that over the course of Trump’s COVID-19 symptoms, he had previously experienced two episodes of ‘transient drops’ in his oxygen levels, indicating he may have been positive for the virus earlier than reported.
For the first time since easing coronavirus restrictions, New York City seeks to reverse course in some neighborhoods, reported CBS2 New York.
An alarming increase in cases experienced in certain neighborhoods means nonessential businesses and public and private schools in those areas could be shut down later this week.
“In some parts of our city, in Brooklyn and Queens, we’re having an extraordinary problem — something we haven’t seen since the spring,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told CBS2.
President Donald Trump was taken to Walter Reed Medical Center one day after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
According to a statement from the White House, Trump was taken for tests as a precaution.
“Out of an abundance of caution, and at the recommendation of his physician and medical experts, the President will be working from the presidential offices at Walter Reed for the next few days,” the White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said according to USA Today.
The president was given an antibody cocktail developed by the pharmaceutical company Regeneron.
Trump is being given experimental treatment after being diagnosed with COVID-19, according to a letter from his physician.
In addition to the antibody cocktail, he’s also taking zinc, vitamin D, melatonin, daily aspirin, and famotidine, a heartburn medication under the brand name Pepcid AC.
On Thursday, Amazon released data showing that 19,816 presumed or confirmed COVID-19 cases have been detected across approximately 1.37 million Amazon and Whole Foods Market frontline employees in the United States.
“Testing regularly and broadly will help identify people who have contracted the coronavirus but are asymptomatic and therefore might not otherwise be tested. Identifying asymptomatic carriers means catching the virus earlier, before it spreads, which will have real benefits for our communities,” said Amazon in a statement.
The company added that Amazon employees are regularly screened for symptoms and increasingly being tested at work, whether or not they show symptoms, in order to identify asymptomatic cases.
Both Joe Biden and Vice President Mike Pence have tested negative for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
The news comes after the revelation that President Donald Trump has tested positive for the disease.
While Biden and Pence have initially tested negative, they may need to be monitored and tested in the future. The virus can incubate for up to 14 days and may not be detectable by tests soon after exposure.
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump have tested positive for COVID-19.
Trump tweeted Oct. 1 that he and his wife tested positive and will be in quarantine. They were tested after his close aide Hope Hicks had tested positive for COVID-19 earlier that day.
The president’s physician Sean P. Conley released a letter that was posted by CNN, which addressed Trump’s condition. Conley said both the president and first lady are both “well at this time.”
“I expect the President to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering,” Conley wrote.
First lady Melania Trump posted on Twitter that she and her husband are “feeling good” and have postponed upcoming events.
Leaders in many U.S. states are warning about rising COVID-19 cases that experts say could foreshadow a new surge, reported CNN.
In New York, concern began with 6 zip codes in Brooklyn and Queens, and positivity rates within many of them continue to grow on a daily basis, reported NBC New York.
“All of this is a stark reminder that we need to stay smart and vigilant — wear a mask, socially distance, follow the public health guidance — because this thing is not over,” said NY Governor Andrew Cuomo in a statement.
Wisconsin reported its highest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations on record, with hospitalized patients nearly doubling in the state since September 18. At least 27 states have reported additional new cases since the previous week, with only 9 reporting a decline, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
“As we see an uptick in cases, we can expect an uptick in more severe outcomes, like death,” the Wisconsin Department of Health Services recently posted on social media.
The CEO of Moderna pharmaceutical company said that the company would not seek FDA approval for a COVID-19 vaccine until after the election.
According to CBS News, CEO Stéphane Bancel said Wednesday that the earliest they would seek approval for their experimental vaccine is November 25 and that next year is more likely.
Additionally, even if the vaccine is approved, it will take months before it can be distributed, so it would not be widely available until spring or summer next year.
An op-ed published in the Washington Post claims political interference from the Trump administration undermines the credibility of U.S. public health agencies during the pandemic.
Written by 7 former commissioners of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the op-ed warns this can undermine the FDA’s credibility at a critical time — when a vaccine against COVID-19 will soon be rolled out.
“This came in the wake of acknowledged acts of political influence on the FDA’s coronavirus communications, significant misstatements by the secretary and other political leaders about the benefits of hydroxychloroquine and convalescent plasma, and the overruling of FDA scientists on the regulation of COVID-19 laboratory tests. At risk is the FDA’s ability to make the independent, science-based decisions that are key to combating the pandemic and so much more,” wrote the former FDA commissioners.
According to a recent Pew Research poll, roughly half of U.S. adults (51 percent) either would definitely, or probably, get vaccinated against COVID-19 if a vaccine were immediately available. However, 49 percent said they would definitely or probably not choose vaccination at this time.
According to Pew Research’s new national survey conducted from September 8–13, intent to get a COVID-19 vaccine has declined across all major political and demographic groups.
The Moderna pharmaceutical company released results of a small phase 1 COVID-19 vaccine study that focused on older adults.
The results found that the vaccine appeared to be well tolerated and may elicit some immune response.
The results published in the New England Journal of Medicine looked at 40 adults over age 56. They found the side effects were mild or moderate with fatigue, chills, headache, muscle aches, and pain among the most common symptoms.
Researchers also detected antibodies in the people who were given the experimental vaccine. More testing will need to be done to determine if the vaccine is effective against SARS-CoV-2.
Less than a year after SARS-CoV-2 was first detected in China, more than 1 million people have died due to the virus.
The WHO also said that the actual situation is likely worse than the recorded numbers. A WHO official said that the fatality count is likely higher than what’s recorded.
The pandemic still shows no sign of slowing, with another surge reported in the United States.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s leading infectious disease expert, called for intensified public health measures as the cold weather season begins.
“We really need to intensify the public health measures that we talk about all the time,” he told Good Morning America (GMA).
Fauci cautioned that going into fall and winter, “You really want community spread to be as low as you can possibly get it.”
He added that: “There are states that are showing [an] uptick in cases and increase in hospitalizations in some states, and I hope not, but we very well might start seeing increases in death.”
Two rapid COVID-19 tests that show results in 15 to 30 minutes will soon be distributed worldwide, reported The Guardian.
One test has already received emergency approval from the WHO, while the other is expected to get it shortly.
Catharina Boehme, CEO of the nonprofit Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), a key player in the initiative, told The Guardian they had quickly placed bulk orders for these tests, so low and middle income countries wouldn’t “lose out in the global scramble for rapid tests.”
She emphasized that FIND needed to secure tests for low and middle income countries, “before all the other countries place their orders and the poor populations again lose out.”
We could see an explosion of COVID-19 cases this fall and winter, reported CNN.
“First, as case counts have come down in some states, we tend to see that people become less careful, they tend to have more contact,” said Murray. “But then the most important effect is the seasonality of the virus, that people go indoors, transmission happens more.”
The IHME, an independent global health research center at the University of Washington, has been projecting COVID-19 deaths and cases through the end of the year.
The IHME model indicates that the United States currently sees about 765 daily deaths from COVID-19, but the number of daily deaths could rise to 3,000 by late December.
The number of positive tests for COVID-19 is surging past 25 percent in several Midwestern states as hospitalizations also surge in the region, reported Reuters.
According to the report, although increased testing might explain some of the rise, hospitalizations are also surging, something not influenced by the number of tests performed.
The United States remains in the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic since cases never declined significantly to a good baseline, according to National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director, Dr. Anthony Fauci.
“Rather than say, ‘A second wave,’ why don’t we say, ‘Are we prepared for the challenge of the fall and the winter?’” Fauci told CNN reporters.
“A majority of Americans are still susceptible to this virus,” he said Wednesday.
Two recently published studies found that a significant minority of patients with serious COVID-19 have an immune response “crippled by genetic flaws or by rogue antibodies,” reported Science.
According to experts, these findings may be a red flag for plasma donations from recovered patients.
“You should eliminate these patients from the pool of donors,” Elina Zuniga, PhD, an immunologist who studies interferons (proteins that protect against infection), at the University of California, San Diego told Science. “You definitely don’t want to be transferring these autoantibodies into another person.”
The report published this week in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report focused on cases from North Carolina and found that 48 percent of people with COVID-19 didn’t report their close contacts.
Without that information, contact tracers have difficulty tracking where outbreaks are likely to occur.
President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that he may override new COVID-19 vaccine regulations by the FDA, according to CNN.
The FDA is expected to announce stricter guidelines for vaccine approval as multiple COVID-19 vaccine candidates are in phase 3 testing.
New guidelines mean that an approval for a COVID-19 vaccine before election day is extremely unlikely.
The global COVID-19 vaccine development process has reached unprecedented speed. If a vaccine is approved within the next few weeks or even months, it would be the fastest vaccine to ever be developed and approved. The previous record is held by the mumps vaccine, which took 4 years to be released.
Houston-based researchers have released a new study, which hasn’t yet been peer-reviewed, of over 5,000 coronavirus genetic sequences to analyze the virus’s continued mutations. They found one of them may make it more contagious, reported the Washington Post.
“The genomes were from viruses recovered in the earliest recognized phase of the pandemic in Houston, and an ongoing massive second wave of infections,” study authors wrote.
Researchers emphasized that this doesn’t mean the virus has become more dangerous.
“We found little evidence of a significant relationship between 77 virus genotypes and altered virulence,” said the study.
In a pilot testing program United Airlines plans to extend to other destinations, the airline will offer COVID-19 testing for Hawaii-bound passengers leaving San Francisco beginning October 15, reported CNN.
“Both visitors and Hawaiian residents returning home who tests negative on either test would not be subjected to the state’s current 14-day quarantine requirement,” United said in a statement.
They added that customers traveling on United from San Francisco International Airport to Hawaii can choose between a rapid test at the airport or a self-collected, mail-in test before they travel.
Yesterday, German airline Lufthansa announced they would also start rapid COVID-19 testing for first class and business class passengers.
Johnson & Johnson has announced that a fourth COVID-19 vaccine candidate will begin phase 3 clinical trials on Wednesday, reported NBC News. This trial isn’t expected to yield results for at least 2 months.
Although the previous three vaccine candidates require 2 doses, Johnson & Johnson’s drug will be studied as a single-dose solution.
However, Johnson & Johnson plans to run a separate phase 3 trial in collaboration with the U.K. government to examine the effectiveness of 2 doses, according to a recent press release.
“With our vaccine candidate now in our global phase 3 trial, we are one step closer to finding a solution for COVID-19,” said Mathai Mammen, MD, PhD, global head, Janssen Research & Development, LLC, Johnson & Johnson, in a statement.
The COVID-19 pandemic shows no sign of stopping in the United States, with the total number of related deaths now topping 200,000.
The pandemic response now varies widely from state to state with some local governments ordering mask mandates and a shutdown of restaurants and bars, while other areas haven’t pushed for shutdowns or wearing masks.
The highest positivity rates — the number of people who test positive for COVID-19 — are currently in the Midwest and Plains states.
States with more than a 16 percent positivity rate include Idaho, Wisconsin, South Dakota, and Iowa, according to Reuters.
It’s expected that a CDC committee will delay voting on how to prioritize who will receive a coronavirus vaccine first, reported Reuters.
The vote had been scheduled for Sept. 22, but an Agency spokesperson told Reuters that no voting is planned for that session.
However, according to the
“Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Halloween, Día de los Muertos, Navratri, Diwali, Thanksgiving, Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, and New Year’s, typically include large gatherings of families and friends, crowded parties, and travel that may put people at increased risk for COVID-19,” cautioned the CDC.
The CDC also advises that you should assess current COVID-19 levels in your community to determine whether to postpone, cancel, or limit guests attending any planned festivities.
The CDC has drawn criticism after posting and then deleting information about COVID-19.
On Friday, Sept. 18, the agency posted on their website a warning that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, could be spread by airborne particles, reported Reuters.
Today, the CDC removed that information from their website saying it hadn’t been reviewed properly.
“Unfortunately an early draft of a revision went up without any technical review,” CDC spokesman Jay Bulter told the Washington Post.
Initially, the CDC had posted that according to initial guidance, virus particles can remain suspended in the air and travel beyond 6 feet.
“There is growing evidence that droplets and airborne particles can remain suspended in the air and be breathed in by others, and travel distances beyond 6 feet,” reads the CDC website.
They had emphasized that, “In general, indoor environments without good ventilation increase this risk.”
Mulitple studies have found that COVID-19 is likely airborne and spread by aerosols. The World Health Organization posted
The news that the guidance on COVID-19 aerosolization was taken down led to some health experts expressing worries that the agency had bowed to political pressure.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates said that while he expects vaccine approvals to come by early next year and the United States to start returning to normal by summer 2021, he believes we won’t see the end of the pandemic until 2022, reported CNN.
“The end of the epidemic, best case is probably 2022. But during 2021, the numbers, we should be able to drive them down, if we take the global approach,” Gates told Fox News. “So, you know, thank goodness vaccine technology was there, that the funding came up, that the companies put their best people on it.”
It’s been over 9 months since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and there’s no sign the outbreak will end anytime soon.
There are now over 30.2 million people who have contracted SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Global deaths are currently just under 950,000.
While gains have been made in slowing the spread in certain countries, some areas are seeing a resurgence. Europe is seeing COVID-19 case numbers close to their former peak last spring.
India is also seeing a dramatic surge in cases that puts it just below the United States with over 5.2 million cases.
In the United States, COVID-19 cases continue to decline from a peak of over 75,000 daily cases in July. But daily cases remain high, jumping between 30,000 to over 40,000 in recent days.
Officials from the CDC have now changed testing guidelines for COVID-19 after news reports that officials rebuffed CDC scientists.
The CDC now
Last month, the guidelines said that people without symptoms of COVID-19 may not need a test even if they were exposed to the new coronavirus. Health experts widely disagreed with those recommendations.
Yesterday, the New York Times reported that the controversial testing recommendations was published by officials from the Department of Health and Human Services over the objections of scientists at the CDC.
As COVID-19 cases spike to record numbers, European governments are imposing strict local measures and considering further lockdowns to halt a second wave of the pandemic, reported CNN.
“Last week, the region’s weekly tally exceeded 300,000 patients,” said World Health Organization (WHO) regional director Hans Kluge. He also warned that the increase in cases should serve as a warning of what’s to come.
“Weekly cases have now exceeded those reported when the pandemic first peaked in Europe in March,” Kluge said in a conference.
Even if a COVID-19 vaccine is approved, it will take time before hundreds of millions of doses can be manufactured and distributed.
CDC director, Dr. Robert Redfield said yesterday that most Americans would not be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine till mid-to-late 2021.
Redfield spoke at a congressional hearing yesterday on the state of the COVID-19 pandemic and said that a COVID-19 vaccine may be initially available to select groups in November or December.
But he clarified that most Americans will likely not have access to a vaccine until mid-to-late 2021.
While multiple COVID-19 vaccines are in phase 3 testing, they haven’t yet been approved for use or been found to be safe and effective.
The federal government has outlined a sweeping plan Sept. 16 to make COVID-19 vaccines available free for all Americans, reported the Associated Press.
In a report to Congress and accompanying “playbook,” federal health agencies and the Defense Department outlined plans for a free vaccination campaign that could begin in January or even later this year.
According to the Press, while the Pentagon will be involved with distribution, civilian health workers will be responsible for administering the shots.
An investigation by USA Today finds the CDC failed to provide sufficient guidance and consistent information about the pandemic to local public health authorities in order to save lives.
“They are incapable of responding to the emergency,” Dr. Pierre Rollin, former deputy chief of a CDC branch on viral pathogens, told USA Today.
Since people with COVID-19 can spread the disease even without symptoms, healthcare experts are turning to an unexpected tool to track the disease: wastewater.
Last month, the CDC announced a national wastewater surveillance system in order to help identify where the virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading.
The University of Idaho was able to identify 6 students with COVID-19 after testing wastewater at the dorms.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates, having long warned against pandemic risks, is “dumbfounded” by the Trump administration’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, reported STAT news.
“You know, this has been a mismanaged situation every step of the way,” said Gates in a wide-ranging interview with STAT. “It’s shocking. It’s unbelievable — the fact that we would be among the worst in the world.”
Gates especially criticized FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, whom Gates said mischaracterized findings from a Mayo Clinic study on COVID-19.
Officials from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have said they’re very concerned over a lack of information given from a COVID-19 vaccine trial.
The AstraZeneca phase 3 trial was halted in the UK after one person was hospitalized with symptoms associated with transverse myelitis. The trial was allowed to resume in the UK, but NIH officials say they’re worried they don’t have enough information.
According to CNN, Dr. Avindra Nath, intramural clinical director and a leader of viral research at the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke, said the pharmaceutical company needs to be more transparent about a potential complication.
“The highest levels of NIH are very concerned,” Nath told CNN. “Everyone’s hopes are on a vaccine, and if you have a major complication the whole thing could get derailed.”
Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has restarted its phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial a week after pausing the study. The trial is only restarting in the UK at this point. Other trials taking place in Brazil and the United States remain on hold.
The phase 3 trial was stopped last week after a participant was hospitalized with symptoms associated with transverse myelitis — inflammation around the spine.
The stoppage gave researchers time to investigate if the vaccine is the likely cause of the symptoms.
A preliminary study finds that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, may attack certain brain cells.
Researchers examined tissue from 3 people who died from COVID-19 and also used mouse models to see how the disease can affect the brain.
They found evidence that the disease can take over brain cells called neurons. They could also affect other neurons leading to these cells dying off.
The study has not yet been printed in a peer-reviewed journal.
Experts are still learning how COVID-19 affects the body. The new study may shed light on why some people experience brain fog or delirium after developing COVID-19.
China has begun human testing of a COVID-19 vaccine that’s sprayed in the nose rather than injected, reported Bloomberg.
The nasal spray contains weakened flu virus carrying segments of coronavirus’ spike protein, in hopes that it will stimulate an immune response against COVID-19.
A new analysis suggests that COVID-19 may have been in California as early as last December.
Researchers from UCLA analyzed 10 million health records and found a sudden spike in people with coughs and respiratory failure that started in December 2019 in Los Angeles.
The increase was so drastic it accounted for a 50 percent rise in cases as compared to the same time period in the previous 5 years. The cases haven’t been confirmed as being COVID-19 since samples weren’t tested by the researchers.
“We may never truly know if these excess patients represented early and undetected COVID-19 cases in our area,” Dr. Joann Elmore, the study’s lead author and a professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA said.
“But the lessons learned from this pandemic, paired with health care analytics that enable real-time surveillance of disease and symptoms, can potentially help us identify and track emerging outbreaks and future epidemics,” Elmore said.
Over a half-million U.S. children have tested positive for COVID-19, according to a joint report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Children’s Hospital Association (CHA), reported U.S. News and World Report.
According to the report, Aug. 20 through Sept. 3 saw a 16 percent increase in cases for this age group.
As of Sept. 3, at least 513,415 child cases have been documented, which is 10 percent of the total cases in the United States.
“These numbers are a chilling reminder of why we need to take this virus seriously,” said AAP President Sara Goza, MD, FAAP, in a statement. “A disproportionate number of cases are reported in Black and Hispanic children and in places where there is high poverty. We must work harder to address societal inequities that contribute to these disparities.”
Overweight people have a much higher risk for severe COVID-19 symptoms, even if they’re young, for a broad range of reasons, reports the journal Science.
The reasons include:
- abdominal fat can restrict breathing
- obesity increases the risk of blood clots
- a tendency to have high blood pressure
“BMI [body mass index] remains a strong independent risk factor for severe COVID-19, according to several studies that adjusted for age, sex, social class, diabetes, and heart conditions,” Naveed Sattar, an expert in cardiometabolic disease at the University of Glasgow, told Science.
In an open letter, the CEOs of nine pharmaceutical companies said they would pursue FDA approval for a COVID-19 vaccine only if there’s enough data that it’s safe and effective.
The CEOs of AstraZeneca, BioNTech, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Moderna, Novavax, Pfizer, and Sanofi said they would only release a vaccine if they have key scientific data finding that the vaccine will protect against COVID-19 and be safe for a wide swath of the population.
The race to create an effective COVID-19 vaccine has led to more than 200 potential vaccine candidates being researched.
The newly released letter comes as health experts have said they’re worried the FDA may approve a COVID-19 vaccine before they have enough data from critical phase 3 trials.
More than one-third of Americans have said they won’t get a COVID-19 vaccination if offered one free of cost.
Antibody levels held steady for about 4 months after developing COVID-19, finds a new study from Iceland published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Sept. 1.
“Our results indicate that antiviral antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 did not decline within 4 months after diagnosis. We estimate that the risk of death from infection was 0.3%,” wrote the study authors.
The findings are in line with those in a preprint article published last month showing antibody levels were stable for at least 3 months in patients who had recovered from the virus in New York City, reports NBC News.
New research suggests not only that diabetes is a risk factor for severe COVID-19, but the disease may also induce diabetes.
Consequently, Danish drug company Novo Nordisk A/S is investigating the effectiveness of a new class of diabetes treatment called GLP-1 drugs, to fight COVID-19, reports Bloomberg. They include Novo’s Ozempic for diabetes and Saxenda for obesity.
Researchers pooled data from hospitals across 8 countries to find that inexpensive steroid drugs can improve survival rates in patients critically ill with COVID-19.
According to a joint press release from the University of Pittsburgh and Imperial College London, the findings were made through the Randomized Embedded Multifactorial Adaptive Platform-Community Acquired Pneumonia (REMAP-CAP) trial and are published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
“It is relatively rare in medicine that you find drugs where the evidence of their effectiveness in saving lives is so consistent,” said lead author Derek Angus, MD, MPH, professor and chair of the department of critical care medicine at the University of Pittsburgh in a statement.
“This is, in many respects, the single clearest answer we’ve had so far on how to manage terribly ill COVID-19 patients,” he continued.
In a recent memo, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), advised the nation’s health departments to have vaccination plans drafted before October 1, “to coincide with earliest possible release of COVID-19 vaccine.”
The memo also specifies a Vaccine Administration Monitoring System “is in development to facilitate vaccination clinic scheduling, record-keeping for the vaccine recipient, and reporting.”
Health experts have raised concerns that the FDA could approve the COVID-19 vaccine before critical phase 3 trial data is available. That data is crucial in showing that a vaccine is safe and effective.
FDA commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said in an interview with the Financial Times that the FDA may give emergency approval to a COVID-19 vaccine before all phase 3 data is available, but that its approval wouldn’t be based on politics.
Researchers have spotlighted the first confirmed case of COVID-19 reinfection in the United States.
Researchers released a preprint of a medical case study August 27 on the Lancet. A preprint means the study has not been peer-reviewed.
The 25-year-old man from Reno, Nevada initially tested positive for COVID-19 in April. He had mild symptoms and after recovering tested negative on two separate tests.
At the end of May he reported having serious symptoms including dizziness, fever, cough, and diarrhea. He later was found to have low oxygen levels and was hospitalized, where he received oxygen and other treatment.
The news comes as researchers are learning more about how the immune system reacts to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Earlier this month, researchers documented the first known time a patient was reinfected with COVID-19 in Hong Kong.
This new case shows that COVID-19 reinfection may occur regularly, although it may not be common. In this Nevada case, the man didn’t have any conditions that would make him immunocompromised which could make him have a higher risk for reinfection.
The researchers were able to tell via genetic sequencing that the man contracted two different strains of COVID-19.
A new test for COVID-19 will have results available in just 15 minutes according to the company.
Abbott announced today that the FDA has given emergency approval for their COVID-19 test that will cost just $5. The company says they expect to be able to ship out about 50 million tests, which is about the size of a credit card, every month starting in October.
The test is an antigen test which looks for pieces of viral material in samples. These tests aren’t as accurate as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests that look for the genetic material of the virus.
“Our nation’s frontline healthcare workers and clinical laboratory personnel have been under siege since the onset of this pandemic,” Dr. Charles Chiu, PhD, professor of laboratory medicine at University of California, San Francisco, said in a statement released by Abbott.
“The availability of rapid testing for COVID-19 will help support overburdened laboratories, accelerate turnaround times, and greatly expand access to people who need it,” Chiu continued.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that school officials in districts where there’s high cases of COVID-19 “better think twice” about allowing students to return.
Fauci spoke at a Healthline town hall on August 18. He pointed out that since COVID-19 isn’t spreading uniformly throughout the country, some districts may be able to reopen safely.
However, multiple clusters of COVID-19 cases have been linked to schools reopening with the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill announcing this week that they’ll go fully remote after multiple COVID-19 clusters were detected.
In areas where COVID-19 testing positivity rate is over 10 percent, Fauci said administrators should be wary of in-person instruction.
“You really better think twice before you do that because what might happen is what you’ve seen, you go in, people get infected, and boom they close them down,” he said speaking of schools closing shortly after reopening.
“It’s better to ease in with virtual until you see what’s going on when you’re in a really hot zone,” Fauci said.
A new study found that over 100 years after the deadly 1918 flu pandemic, the COVID-19 outbreak took a deadly toll on New York City.
Research published in
The researchers looked at the deaths over 61 days in 1918 and in 2020.
In 1918 there were 31,589 deaths for 5,500,000 residents, meaning about 287 deaths per 100,000 persons. In 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 outbreak in New York, there were 33,465 deaths among 8,280,000 residents. This means there were 202 deaths per 100,000 persons.
This is in spite of all the medical and technological advancements of the last century.
Many tools were used in identifying and treating the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 that hadn’t been invented in 1918 when the field of virology was just starting.
But preventing the spread of disease is not so different from 1918. Experts still advise social distancing and wearing a mask.
A new study has found that the virus that causes COVID-19 may be able to spread nearly 16 feet in certain spaces.
The researchers from the University of Florida looked at air samples from a hospital room where two patients with COVID-19 were being treated.
They were able to isolate viable SARS-CoV-2 from the air samples taken. The genetic sequence of the virus was identical to that of viral samples taken from one of the patients.
There are some caveats regarding the study including the fact that the research hasn’t yet been peer reviewed.
The concentration of airborne viral material in the room ranged widely in the samples taken, and it’s not clear that there would be enough viral material to be infectious.
Additionally, the results are likely not applicable for all public areas. A hospital room where two people are being treated for COVID-19 will likely have far higher amounts of SARS-CoV-2 than areas where people are not being treated.
Experts have been debating whether or not to call COVID-19 airborne for weeks. Earlier this summer hundreds of health experts asked the World Health Organization to consider if the virus could be considered airborne.
Mayor Eric Garcetti said officials may cut off water and power to houses if they see they’re hosting large gatherings in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Garcetti said the order wouldn’t target small gatherings but places that have hosted large gatherings multiple times.
“These are focused on the people determined to break the rules, posing significant public dangers and a threat to all of us,” Garcetti said during a COVID-19 news conference, according to CNN.
Television news crews shot footage of a large party in the Hollywood Hills earlier this week and officials said it wasn’t an isolated incident.
Additionally, county health officials said they’re also investigating a potential superspreader event linked to three fraternities at the University of Southern California.
Los Angeles has been dealing with a surge in COVID-19 cases in recent months. Los Angeles County has nearly 200,000 reported COVID-19 cases and over 4,800 related deaths.
One day after reopening for the new academic year, a school in Georgia is disinfecting a classroom after a second-grade student tested positive for COVID-19.
The student’s class and teacher are currently quarantined and the school is being cleaned, according to NBC News.
The infection shows how difficult school reopenings are likely to be as COVID-19 continues to spread in the United States.
While many school districts don’t start the school year until later this month or September, schools in parts of Georgia have already reopened.
The reopened schools have already made headlines. A photo of a crowded hallway in a high school went viral on social media this week as it showed few students wearing masks.
California State Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Lousiana State Attorney General Jeff Landry are asking the federal government to step in and lower the cost for the COVID-19 treatment remdesivir.
The drug remdesivir is an antiviral and one of only a few treatments for COVID-19 that appears to decrease mortality.
The drug is produced by Gilead Pharmaceutical and is priced at about $3,200 per treatment.
Becerra and Landry want the federal government to get involved and license remdesivir to third party pharmaceutical companies in order to increase access and affordability.
Under the Bayh–Dole Act, the NIH and FDA are allowed to step in and ensure affordable access to a drug like remdesivir in an emergency.
“Americans ill from COVID-19 should have options in their medical treatment, and today’s petition will hopefully ensure they can access and afford remdesivir,” said Landry in a statement.
“Despite millions and millions of taxpayer-funded assistance, Gilead has neither established a reasonable price nor met the health and safety needs of the public,” he said. “So our bipartisan coalition is calling on the federal government to exercise its rights to help increase the supply of remdesivir and lower its price.”
A Norwegian cruise line is reporting an outbreak of COVID-19 on a ship currently north of the Arctic circle.
The Hurtigruten cruise line reported that there are at least 41 people with COVID-19 on ship MS Roald Amundsen. The ship is currently far north in Norway.
According to CBS News, there have been 36 crew members and 5 passengers who developed COVID-19.
However, since the ship stopped at multiple ports in the far northern region of Norway, authorities are concerned that the virus could have been spread at multiple sites. They’re asking anyone who was in contact with people onboard the ship to reach out to local authorities.
Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator, told CNN on Sunday, August 2, that the COVID-19 pandemic has reached a new phase in the country with rural areas being affected in addition to urban areas.
“To everybody who lives in a rural area, you are not immune or protected from this virus,” Birx said on CNN. “If you’re in multi-generational households, and there’s an outbreak in your rural area or in your city, you need to really consider wearing a mask at home, assuming that you’re positive, if you have individuals in your households with comorbidities.”
Birx also said the virus was “extraordinarily widespread” and that schools shouldn’t open if they’re in states where the testing positivity rate is over 5 percent.
A new study out this week found that children may carry far more viral material in their nose and throat than adults.
The researchers found children had as much viral material in their swabs as adults — and sometimes up to 100 times more.
While other studies have found that very young children are less likely to spread the virus that causes COVID-19, this new research shows that these children are still very much at risk for spreading the disease.
Experts say these findings should be another factor that’s considered as the debate on opening schools continues.
“The school situation is so complicated — there are many nuances beyond just the scientific one,” Dr. Taylor Heald-Sargent, a pediatric infectious diseases expert at the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, who led the study, told the New York Times. “But one takeaway from this is that we can’t assume that just because kids aren’t getting sick, or very sick, that they don’t have the virus.”
Former presidential candidate Herman Cain has died after being hospitalized for COVID-19.
In a post on Cain’s website, the editor Dan Calabrese confirmed Cain’s death due to COVID-19.
“Herman Cain — our boss, our friend, like a father to so many of us — has passed away,” Calabrese wrote. “We knew when he was first hospitalized with COVID-19 that this was going to be a rough fight.”
“He had trouble breathing and was taken to the hospital by ambulance. We all prayed that the initial meds they gave him would get his breathing back to normal, but it became clear pretty quickly that he was in for a battle,” continued Calabrese.
Cain’s death has put a spotlight on political rallies after he attended President Donald Trump’s rally in Tulsa which didn’t require attendees to wear a mask.
Cain was photographed at the event without a mask, but it’s unclear if he developed the disease while at the rally.
Cain, the former CEO of the Godfather pizza chain, made headlines when he ran for president in 2012. He was 74 years old.
COVID-19 cases are rising again in multiple parts of Europe, raising fears of a second wave.
Cases are on the upswing in Belgium, France, Germany, and Spain according to the Washington Post.
Some countries are pulling back again after reopening. In Spain, nightclubs and gyms are closed in Barcelona and a popular beach is also being closed.
In France, the government is now mandating that everyone wear face masks while in shops or indoor venues.
The Belgium Prime Minister has now outlined a variety of new measures to stop the spread of COVID-19. These include limiting contact to people outside your home to only 5 other households. People can only stay inside a store for 30 minutes at a time, and they must shop alone.
A new study finds evidence that a drug originally designed to treat autoimmune diseases and types of lymphoma may help treat COVID-19.
Published in the journal
The study looked at infected cells in a lab so further tests need to be done in people to see if the drug is an effective way to combat COVID-19.
According to a press release by Yale University, the drug may also be combined with remdesivir to treat COVID-19.
A major vaccine trial is underway in the United States with researchers planning on involving at least 30,000 participants.
Those involved in the study will be divided into two groups with one group getting the experimental vaccine candidate and another group getting a placebo.
According to CNN, people who are part of the trial will get two doses of either the vaccine candidate or the placebo over 28 days to see how their immune system reacts.
A phase 3 trial is designed to verify that a medication or vaccine is effective, safe, and find out its effective dosage. The vaccine has been developed by Moderna and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
This trial is just one of at least 2 dozen going on globally in the hunt to find an effective COVID-19 vaccine. Despite the early good news about a potential COVID-19 vaccine, it is possible this vaccine will not be approved for use.
In the past, many drugs can appear effective in phase 1 or 2 trials only to be found ineffective or dangerous in phase 3 trials.
A new poll from the Associated Press and NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds that a large majority — or about 3 out of 4 Americans — support requiring people to wear masks while outside.
The study results come as the United States is seeing new record high cases of COVID-19. The country is nearing 4 million cases with over 140,000 deaths.
While mask wearing has become politicized, the study found that the majority of both Democrats (83 percent) and Republicans (58 percent) support mask requirements.
A vast majority of Americans — about 95 percent of Democrats and 75 percent of Republicans — say they’re donning face coverings when they leave their home.
Health authorities have supported wearing facial coverings like masks to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The American Red Cross announced July 22 that they’re running out of vital convalescent plasma used to treat people with COVID-19.
The plasma is taken from people who have already recovered from the illness and have crucial antibodies that can help fight the virus.
With the surge in COVID-19 cases in the United States, the Red Cross says there’s more demand for the plasma than supply.
“It is critical that COVID-19 survivors give their antibody-rich plasma now to ensure this blood product is available to help those actively battling this coronavirus,” Dr. Pampee Young, chief medical officer of American Red Cross Biomedical Services said in a statement.
“Convalescent plasma has been used for decades as a potentially lifesaving treatment until virus or disease specific treatments and vaccines are developed,” Young continued. “It remains crucially important today in the fight against this COVID-19 pandemic.”
A lack of testing access has compounded the plasma shortage. If people are unable to be tested when they have the disease, they may not be able to donate plasma after they recover.
People who have tested positive for COVID-19 and want to donate plasma can learn more about the process here.
In just 2 weeks, at least 138,000 people have volunteered to be studied in COVID-19 vaccine trials, according to Forbes.
The National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) put out a call this month for volunteers to take part in vaccine trials this fall.
At least 120,000 people are needed to take part in four different vaccine trials that will examine the efficacy and safety of COVID-19 vaccine candidates.
“While this early response is very gratifying, it is important to note that this is just a fraction of the number of people needed to participate in various trials and ensure adequate representation of various demographic categories,” a spokesperson for the NIAID told Forbes.
A study published July 21 in
The CDC examined samples from over 1,600 people in multiple states to look for signs of COVID-19 antibodies.
Researchers found the percentage of people with COVID-19 antibodies ranged widely from state to state with nearly 7 percent of people in New York having antibodies while only 1 percent of people in San Francisco having them.
Researchers estimate that the actual number of COVID-19 cases is likely 10 times higher than the recorded number, which may be due to people with mild or no symptoms.
“The findings may reflect the number of persons who had mild or no illness or who did not seek medical care or undergo testing but who still may have contributed to ongoing virus transmission in the population,” the study authors wrote.
Additionally, many people with symptoms have been unable to get tested for the disease due to a lack of supplies.
The White House is telling hospitals to send important data on COVID-19 cases and deaths directly to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), bypassing the CDC. The HHS oversees the CDC.
The CDC has been collecting data on COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths since the outbreak began.
Infectious disease experts told NPR they’re concerned that the agency is being ignored and politicized during the pandemic.
The CDC has long-standing relationships with hospitals nationwide and collects data from hospitals and state governments about a variety of infectious diseases including foodborne outbreaks and seasonal flu.
“It’s really hard not to see this as some kind of interference or snub [to] the CDC,” University of Arizona epidemiologist Saskia Popescu told NPR. “With so many concerns over the politicization of data right now, this is concerning.”
Governor Kevin Stitt announced yesterday that he has developed COVID-19.
Stitt said he had been getting tested periodically and that his symptoms were mild.
“I feel fine. I felt a little bit achy yesterday, didn’t have a fever but just a little bit achy,” the governor said, according to NPR. “So just did my regular testing and it came back positive.”
The governor had attended President Donald Trump’s rally in Tulsa Oklahoma last month, although it’s unlikely he contracted the virus at that event since it occurred nearly a month ago.
Stitt is the first U.S. governor to test positive for COVID-19. Other politicians to get the disease include Senator Rand Paul and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms.
A new study found that over half of people who had survived COVID-19 had signs of cardiac abnormalities.
Published in the European Heart Journal, researchers looked at data from 1,261 people who had been treated for COVID-19. The research subjects were between ages 52 and 71. About 70 percent of the patients were men.
The researchers found that slightly more than half of the total patients — or 667 people — had an abnormal echocardiogram.
Among people who didn’t previously have heart disease, about 46 percent had an abnormal echocardiogram.
The abnormalities seen included issues with the left and right ventricles of the heart and inflammation of the heart muscle.
About 15 percent of those studied had severe cardiac disease, including fluid around the heart muscle that can impact its ability to function.
The first person in the United States to get an experimental COVID-19 vaccine says she hasn’t had any side effects.
Jennifer Haller, 43, told KOMO News in Seattle that in the months since she was given the experimental vaccine she feels “fantastic.”
“It’s been 16 weeks since I had the first dose,” Haller told KOMO News. “I feel fantastic.”
The trial is run by Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, and the experimental vaccine was developed by Moderna and the National Institutes of Health.
It uses messenger RNA in the hopes of priming the immune system to develop antibodies.
Haller said she’s still taking precautions, since it’s not clear if the experimental vaccine will provide immunity. During initial phase 1 trials, researchers look to make sure that the vaccine is safe.
A phase 3 trial is expected later this year that may shed light on how effective the vaccine is.
States that had shelter-in-place orders this spring helped save the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.
The new data was released as the United States is seeing a record number of COVID-19 cases after shelter-in-place orders were lifted in late May and early June.
But the report from Health Affairs found that those shelter-in-place orders likely saved many U.S. lives in the early months of the pandemic.
According to the report, between 250,000 and 370,000 lives were saved by May 15 as a result of shelter-in-place orders.
The report found that effects of physical distancing orders on COVID-19 cases and deaths were less clear.
With cases of COVID-19 hitting new highs in the United States, medical providers are again facing shortages of critical protective equipment.
Medical providers in states that are seeing surges — including Texas, Florida, and California — may be increasingly likely to contract the virus if they have to start reusing protective material like face masks or eyewear.
The New York Times reported that staff at a Houston hospital have been told to reuse N95 masks for over 2 weeks.
National Nurses United said that their members are reporting serious shortages of key equipment.
“We’re 5 months into this and there are still shortages of gowns, hair covers, shoe covers, masks, N95 masks,” Deborah Burger, president of National Nurses United, told the Associated Press. “They’re being doled out, and we’re still being told to reuse them.”
At least 87 percent said they had to reuse respirator masks, and another 72 percent said they had exposed skin or clothing when treating patients, making them more susceptible to COVID-19.
According to a report from Kaiser Health News, nearly 600 healthcare workers in the United States have died after developing COVID-19.
The number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 has now topped 3 million in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins data.
U.S. disease transmission is accelerating, with 1 million people testing positive in just the last 28 days.
The new hotspots of the disease are in Florida, Arizona, Texas, and California. Many of these states have started to pull back on reopening as the disease has spread more widely.
This new milestone comes as officials are trying to figure out how or if schools should reopen in the fall. President Donald Trump said he wanted schools to reopen and threatened to cut funding for schools that stayed closed.
While many people who develop COVID-19 recover within weeks, one woman says she still has symptoms of the disease months after she was first diagnosed.
Ann Wallace told CBS Boston that she was diagnosed with COVID-19 back in March and has had symptoms ever since.
Wallace, who has multiple sclerosis and survived cancer, told CBS that she has been to the emergency room 5 times and spent weeks unable to walk more than a few steps.
“For weeks on end I couldn’t get off my couch,” Wallace told CBS. “I would come downstairs in the morning, lie down on my couch. I would come downstairs because there I could be close to my refrigerator so I could get water or a snack, and I could be close to the bathroom… But I couldn’t take more than 10 or so steps at a time. If I did, I would feel myself start to black out. It is a terrifying virus to have.”
Wallace said she’s currently in pulmonary rehab but still feels burning in her lungs.
The president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, has tested positive for COVID-19.
Bolsonaro has been criticized by health experts for downplaying the pandemic. According to the Associated Press, as of July 7 more than 65,000 people in Brazil have died from the disease and more than 1.5 million have developed COVID-19.
Bolsonaro said he had fever, muscle aches, and malaise. He’s also taking the antimalaria medication hydroxychloroquine, despite recent studies finding it doesn’t help treat COVID-19 and can increase risk of irregular heartbeat.
In recent months Bolsonaro has been seen in crowds without a mask. He has also been critical of local leaders who wanted to shut down to stop the virus from spreading further.
The FDA is allowing the new test to be released under its emergency use authorization. This means that there’s evidence the test works and can be used due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it hasn’t yet been fully vetted by the FDA, so it’s not officially FDA approved.
The test from the medical technology company Becton, Dickinson and Company is both portable and quick. Test results may be available within 15 minutes according to a company statement.
The test works by looking for signs of antigens to detect signs of SARS-CoV-2. These tests can detect viral proteins in the body.
In Tuscaloosa, Alabama, young people are throwing COVID-19 parties, reports CNN. People with the virus are encouraged to attend so they can pass the virus on to others who are willing to contract it.
The first person to receive a diagnosis of COVID-19 reportedly wins the proceeds from ticket sales for the gathering.
“We thought that was kind of a rumor at first. We did some research — not only do the doctors’ offices confirm it, but the state confirmed they also had the same information,” said Sonya McKinstry, a Tuscaloosa City Council member.
A new tool can better compare transmission risk by region.
Danielle Allen, a professor and director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University, and her colleagues at the Harvard Global Health Institute collaborating with scientists across the United States, have created an online COVID-19 risk assessment map.
“It allows you to compare a rural area in upstate New York compared to New York City and have an apples-to-apples comparison for relative impact and relative caseload,” said Ellie Graeden, PhD, the founder and chief executive officer at Talus Analytics and a faculty member at the Center for Global Health, Science, and Security at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
Leaders of the European Union have announced that most travelers from the United States will be barred from entering when countries reopen their borders.
The European leaders said they’re taking the action because the spread of COVID-19 is still too prevalent in the United States.
They also said the list of countries from which travelers can arrive will be reviewed every 2 weeks and could be revised.
More time spent indoors to escape summer’s heat may increase risk of COVID-19, according to Edward Nardell, a professor of medicine and global health and social medicine at Harvard Medical School in Massachusetts.
“The states that, in June, are already using a lot of air conditioning because of high temperatures are also the places where there’s been greater increases in spread of COVID-19, suggesting more time indoors as temperatures rise,” Nardell told the Harvard Gazette.
“As people go indoors in hot weather and the re-breathed air fraction goes up, the risk of infection is quite dramatic,” he said.
Tedros Ghebreyesus, PhD, MSc, the director-general of the WHO, cautioned at a briefing, “Although many countries have made some progress, globally the pandemic is actually speeding up.”
He explained that while many countries have used “unprecedented measures” to contain the virus, those measures have only slowed the spread — not stopped it.
Ghebreyesus concluded that “the hard reality is: this is not even close to being over.”
According to a recent Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Report (MMWR) from the CDC, pregnant women may be at increased risk of experiencing severe COVID-19 symptoms that could require hospitalization.
The most recent CDC data suggests that pregnant women are more likely to be hospitalized.
They also have an increased risk of being placed on a ventilator, compared with women who aren’t pregnant.
Government experts estimate that more than 20 million Americans may have contracted the new coronavirus — 10 times the official count.
This means more people without symptoms have gotten the virus than previously thought.
Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN that he’s “cautiously optimistic” that we’ll have one or more effective COVID-19 vaccines available by the end of this year.
However, he warned “no vaccine is 100 percent effective,” but with COVID-19, he’d settle for 70 to 75 percent effectiveness.
June 25 saw 40,401 new U.S. cases of COVID-19, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University & Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center.
However, according to the CDC, those numbers are very likely understated.
“Every epidemiologist was telling, screaming as loud as we could, that three weeks after Memorial Day we’d have a peak in the cases, and five weeks after Memorial Day we’d begin to see a peak in hospitalizations and deaths,” epidemiologist Larry Brilliant told CNN.
“If you let everybody out without face masks and without social distancing in the middle of a pandemic, this is what was predicted,” he said.
Although COVID-19 typically resolves in weeks, a significant number “are still suffering with symptoms 3 months into the illness,” Dr. Helen Salisbury of University of Oxford wrote in the British Medical Journal.
Meanwhile, scientists are just beginning to understand the array of health problems caused by the coronavirus, which may affect both patients and health systems for some time.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced that reopening will be paused as the state sees a major surge in COVID-19 cases.
The state reported 5,500 cases in a single day this week. Over 125,000 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the state since the outbreak began.
Texas is one of many states seeing a massive uptick in COVID-19 cases. Arizona and Florida are also seeing major rises with each state seeing record numbers of cases this week.
California is also seeing a surge in cases with over 5,000 daily cases reported this week.
In all, 26 states are seeing some increase in COVID-19 cases.
While Abbott announced a pause in reopenings due to the disease, he said that he will not reimplement shutdowns.
“The last thing we want to do as a state is go backwards and close down businesses,” Governor Abbott said in a statement. “This temporary pause will help our state corral the spread until we can safely enter the next phase of opening our state for business. I ask all Texans to do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19 by wearing a mask, washing their hands regularly, and socially distancing from others.”
The funding for 13 COVID-19 testing sites is expected to be cut by the federal government, according to NBC News.
Federal funding for the sites will end June 30 even as COVID-19 cases continue to surge in the United States.
Seven of the testing sites are in Texas which is seeing a spike in cases after reopening at the end of May. On June 23, state officials reported a new daily high of 5,000 cases.
Federal officials said they weren’t slowing down on testing and hundreds of sites will remain open.
“We have expanded from the original 41 sites to over 600 in 48 states and the District of Columbia in the federal bundled payment program to pharmacies, and enabled over 1,400 additional pharmacy sites through regulatory flexibility empowering pharmacists and facilitating billing and reimbursement,” Brett Giroir, the administration’s testing czar, told NBC News.
The other sites affected by the loss of federal funding are in Illinois, New Jersey, Colorado, and Pennsylvania.
President Trump made headlines this weekend after saying that he wanted to slow down testing. He later said he wasn’t joking about the statement.
The European Union may bar visitors from the United States due to rising COVID-19 cases, according to the New York Times.
The United States currently has the most reported number of COVID-19 cases in the world with over 2.3 million. Additionally, daily cases have begun to increase again in recent weeks as states have reopened.
According to the New York Times, if these rules are finalized, Americans would be barred from entering the European Union along with people from Brazil and Russia which have the next highest levels of COVID-19 cases after the United States.
Some essential travel between America and the E.U. would be allowed, according to the report.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director for the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, addressed the congress today to give an update in the fight against COVID-19.
Fauci, speaking at a congressional panel along with other members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said that the next 2 weeks will be critical to see if deaths are likely to increase.
While deaths from COVID-19 have been declining, cases of the disease have started to tick back up as states have reopened.
“The next couple of weeks are going to be critical in our ability to address those surges we are seeing in Florida, Texas, Arizona, and other states,” Fauci told the panel, according to the New York Times.
As cases have risen, Fauci also said that they will be doing more testing despite President Donald Trump saying at a rally he wanted officials to slow down testing.
“It’s the opposite. We’re going to be doing more testing, not less,” Fauci told Congress.
Fauci pointed out that doing more testing and surveillance is critical to know where infections are occurring.
Fauci also said health officials are “cautiously optimistic” that a vaccine for COVID-19 may be available next year. Although he cautioned it would need to be tested in the real world before it’s fully approved.
Six months into the COVID-19 pandemic and the virus is still surging across the globe.
On Sunday, June 21, the
The center of the outbreak has shifted from Asia to Europe and now to North and South America.
Brazil reported over 50,000 cases in one day, while the United States reported over 30,000 cases.
While COVID-19 cases had been decreasing in the United States since a peak in May, in recent days, cases have started to increase again.
As states have reopened, COVID-19 hotspots have appeared in multiple states including Arizona, Texas, and Florida.
A new study out June 18 finds that using plasma from people who have recovered from COVID-19 is safe for people currently battling the disease.
The study published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings involved 20,000 people and found that the treatment, called convalescent plasma, appeared to be safe for people with COVID-19.
The first group, about 5,000 people who received the plasma, had a mortality rate of around 12 percent in the subsequent week. In the early stages of the study, plasma was in short supply and people who received the treatment were severely ill.
As plasma became more readily available, people were able to get the treatment earlier in their disease when it’s more likely to be effective, and the mortality rate went down. However, it’s unclear if there were other advancements happening simultaneously that could also explain that change.
For the larger study, the mortality rate for people who received the plasma was under 9 percent, according to the Washington Post.
Because of the way the study was conducted, it wasn’t conclusively clear if the plasma helped lessen COVID-19 symptoms. There wasn’t a control group of people who didn’t receive treatment.
“You’d like to have the gold standard [of evidence] in something this important, and I feel like it always ends up here with this approach,” said Jeffrey P. Henderson, an infectious disease specialist at Washington University in St. Louis, told the Washington Post. “It’s pushed into action quickly, because there’s no other option, and there’s a theoretical reason in the moment that it works.”
Researchers say more studies are needed to determine if receiving plasma helped effectively treat people with COVID-19.
The epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak is now shifting in the United States from the east and west coast to southern and western states including Florida, Arizona, and Texas.
Texas reported an increase of 11 percent in COVID-19 cases in a single day with over 2,700 new cases reported on Wednesday.
Over 93,000 cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed in the state and over 2,000 people have died from the disease, according to the Texas Department of Health and Human Services.
In Arizona, over 2,300 cases of COVID-19 were reported on Wednesday. Hospitals in the state are being put under pressure as well, with over 1,500 people hospitalized yesterday and at least 500 people in ICU beds, according to AZ Central.
Florida is also seeing a spike in cases with over 2,700 cases reported on Tuesday. In Florida, over 82,000 cases have been reported with more than 3,000 deaths.
At least 21 U.S. states are seeing an increase in cases, although former hotspots in New York and New Jersey are seeing their cases decline.
Health officials in the United Kingdom said they will start using a common steroid to treat people with COVID-19 after a study reportedly found the drug could help improve outcomes for patients.
Researchers at Oxford University said that they’ve seen benefits from using a common cheap steroid called dexamethasone to treat people with COVID-19. The team announced the findings in a statement today, but haven’t yet released the findings in a published study.
However, the early reports have led health officials in the U.K. to conclude that they will use the steroid to treat people with COVID-19.
“This drug, dexamethasone, can now be made available across the NHS, and we’ve taken steps to ensure we have enough supplies, even in the event of a second peak,” UK prime minister Boris Johnson said, according to The Guardian.
According to reports from the researchers, the drug helped reduce the mortality rate for the sickest COVID-19 patients — those on ventilators — by a third. Other patients who took the drug had their mortality rate reduced by one-fifth.
The FDA is
The drugs, designed originally as antimalarial medication, have been studied as a potential treatment for COVID-19.
The drugs were also touted by President Donald Trump, who took hydroxychloroquine for 2 weeks, despite little evidence it could be used to prevent COVID-19.
Recent studies of the drugs have found little evidence it helped people with the disease. Additionally, the drugs are known to increase risk of cardiac complications.
California researchers say that a rare type of antibody may help them develop a vaccine for COVID-19.
Researchers from the University of California San Francisco and Stanford University are investigating neutralizing antibodies from people who have recovered from COVID-19, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Researchers say that just 5 percent of people with COVID-19 develop these antibodies. Additionally, these antibodies develop in low numbers, so researchers want to see if they can take enough of these antibodies to turn them into a serum that can be given to anyone.
More research needs to be done, but researchers hope they can use these antibodies to create a vaccine that can protect against SARS-CoV-2.
A formerly healthy woman in her 20s who developed COVID-19 underwent a successful lung transplant, according to physicians at Northwestern Medical Center.
The woman, whose name hasn’t been released, had been hospitalized for weeks after developing COVID-19.
Doctors not only put her on a ventilator, they had to put her on an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine that oxygenates her blood, essentially doing the work of her lungs.
After putting her name on the organ transplant list, they had a match within 48 hours.
The patient is now in stable condition and her health is improving, the physicians said.
Dr. Ankit Bharat, chief of thoracic surgery and director of the lung transplant program at Northwestern Medical Center, said the patient is awake and talking.
“Yesterday, the patient smiled and told me ‘Thank you for not giving up on me,'” Bharat said via the Northwestern Medical Center Twitter. “There’s nothing more gratifying to hear. This is why we do what we do.”
The U.S. government will fund three major studies on potential COVID-19 vaccines, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Each trial is a phase 3 trial — traditionally the last phase before a medicine or vaccine can be approved for use — often involving thousands of volunteers.
The three trials are being conducted by three different pharmaceutical companies each looking at a different vaccine candidate. According to CNN, the studies will start with Moderna’s trial in July and then an Oxford/AstraZeneca’s trial in August.
Early successes in phase 1 and phase 2 trials don’t mean any of these vaccine candidates will be successful in their phase 3 trials.
However, due to the number of vaccine candidates being tested, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director for the National Institutes for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told Healthline this week that he’s cautiously optimistic there may be a viable COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the year.
“Hopefully by the end of this year we will develop a vaccine we can deploy,” he told Healthline. “We can never guarantee that. You can never, ever guarantee the success of a vaccine. We just have good experience to know that we are aspirationally, cautiously optimistic that we will have one by the end of the year.”
A new study finds that over half a billion COVID-19 cases were likely prevented by a variety of lockdowns in six countries including the United States and China.
Published June 8 in
Specifically in the United States, the study found that lockdown measures, which occurred to some degree in nearly all states, helped stop the spread of the disease and that 60 million COVID-19 cases were likely avoided.
“Without these policies employed, we would have lived through a very different April and May,” Solomon Hsiang, director of the Global Policy Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley, and lead author of the study, told the Washington Post.
He said the shutdowns and other mitigation measures were “saving more lives in a shorter period of time than ever before.”
The Lancet medical journal has retracted a study on hydroxychloroquine that made headlines last week.
Researchers, who published the study looked at more than 96,000 people hospitalized with COVID-19.
The study was retracted due to data used in the study that had not been directly obtained by the researchers themselves. In their retraction letter the researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston said they worked with the company Surgisphere Corporation to obtain data. After other medical experts raised concerns about the company, the researchers conducted a review of the data. However, the Surgisphere Corporation would not give the full dataset to the reviewers meaning they could not do a full independent analysis of the data leading them to retract their study.
In the now-retracted study, the drug had been found not to improve people with COVID-19 and more people died after taking the drug.
Additionally, the New England Journal of Medicine also reacted a study on COVID-19 and cardiovascular health since it also used data from the company.
Unlike the studies mentioned above, a new study released today has not been retracted.
The large study found that taking hydroxychloroquine wasn’t effective as a prophylactic treatment against COVID-19.
Researchers looked at 821 people with no symptoms of COVID-19. Over 87 percent had close contact with someone with the disease.
About half of the people — 414 — were given hydroxychloroquine and the other participants were given a placebo.
Researchers found the infection rate among the two groups was statistically similar, meaning hydroxychloroquine didn’t show any ability to protect people from contracting the virus that causes COVID-19.
They found side effects were more common in people taking hydroxychloroquine but there was no major reactions reported.
A new study found that plasma from people who recovered from COVID-19 may be an effective treatment for the disease.
The small study published on June 2 in The American Journal of Pathology examined 25 patients with severe or life-threatening symptoms of COVID-19. The patients were given plasma infusions from 9 donors who had already recovered from the illness.
The primary goal of the study was to see if plasma transfusions were safe. The researchers found no adverse events from the transfusion in 24 hours after it was administered.
Additionally, the researchers reported that 19 of the 25 patients improved after being given the plasma infusions. Three deteriorated and one patient died from causes unrelated to plasma infusion.
“While physician scientists around the world scrambled to test new drugs and treatments against COVID-19, convalescent serum therapy emerged as potentially one of the most promising strategies,” Dr. James M. Musser, PhD, chair of the department of pathology and genomic medicine at Houston Methodist and corresponding author for the study, said in a statement.
“With no proven treatments or cures for COVID-19 patients, now was the time in our history to move ahead rapidly,” he said.
A major study published Thursday, May 28 found a 13 percent fatality rate for people with cancer who contract COVID-19.
Even for people whose cancer was relatively stable had double the risk of death if they contracted the disease.
“The death rate for this group of patients as a whole was 13 [percent] more than twice that reported for all patients with COVID-19… Certain subgroups, such as patients with active (measurable) cancer and those with an impaired performance status, fared much, much worse,” said Dr. Jeremy Warner, MS, associate professor of medicine and biomedical informatics at Vanderbilt University, the study’s corresponding author in a statement.
However, the team didn’t find that undergoing treatment for cancer, including chemotherapy or having surgery, impacted the risk of dying by COVID-19.
They advised that these treatments shouldn’t be delayed due to the pandemic since it can cause worse outcomes for patients.
The CDC has released
Among their recommendations, the CDC advises companies to assess the building itself to make sure it has enough ventilation to prevent the virus from recirculating. Additionally, they advise separating workspaces and desks so people can maintain 6 feet of separation at all times.
They point out that staggered start times, temperature checks, and disinfecting common space areas can also cut down on risk of transmission.
Even with all these safeguards, the CDC recommends all workers wear face masks to protect themselves and others from aerosolized viral particles.
As the United States starts to reopen, new research looks into the devastating impact of waiting to implement lockdowns when the virus first started to spread.
Researchers from Columbia University looked at lockdown measures in the United States and the spread of the virus. While the nation was never completely locked down, widespread shelter-in-place orders started in mid-March.
The preprint of the research reports that if wider lockdown measures had been implemented 2 weeks earlier on March 1 over 53,000 lives could have been saved.
Officials from the WHO said that the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 may never go away.
During a briefing on May 13, WHO emergencies expert Dr. Mike Ryan warned reporters that the public needs to be ready to deal with the virus for the long term.
“I think it is important we are realistic and I don’t think anyone can predict when this disease will disappear,” he said. “I think there are no promises in this and there are no dates. This disease may settle into a long problem, or it may not be.”
While dozens of potential vaccines are being studied, there’s no guarantee they’ll work effectively enough to eliminate the virus.
New studies find children are just as likely as adults to spread the new coronavirus. These early findings could make potential school openings especially fraught.
A German study, which is not yet published in a peer-reviewed journal, looked at 60,000 people with COVID-19 in addition to 47 children with the disease. The team found that children had just as much viral load or even higher amounts of viral load than some adults.
This early research focusing on how children can spread the virus could be pivotal in helping officials combat a second wave as some states weigh loosening shelter-in-place orders.
Another study out of China found that school closures drastically helped lower transmission of the virus and lessen the severity of the outbreak.
“While proactive school closures cannot interrupt transmission on their own, they can reduce peak incidence by 40-60 percent and delay the epidemic,” the authors said.
Experts point out this is early research and more information is needed.
“Are any of these studies definitive? The answer is ‘No, of course not,’” said Jeffrey Shaman, an epidemiologist at Columbia University. But, he said, “to open schools because of some uninvestigated notion that children aren’t really involved in this, that would be a very foolish thing.”
In late March, doctors at Mount Sinai Hospital noticed something strange happening to patients’ blood, reported Reuters.
“Across New York City, we were seeing a large number of strokes and that these strokes were extremely concerning, and they were blocking big vessels to the brain,” Dr. J. Mocco, a Mount Sinai neurosurgeon, said in an interview.
Reuters also reported that under a new protocol, higher doses of a blood thinner normally used to dissolve clots will be given to COVID-19 patients at Mount Sinai before any clots are detected.
“We’re seeing clots everywhere, high rates of clots in veins of the legs. So, across the board, for sure, we all believe that — and there’s objective evidence that this disease increases clot formation,” Mocco said.
The American Society of Hematology has noted COVID-19-associated clotting.
Its guidance to physicians states the benefits of blood-thinning therapy for those patients not already showing signs of clotting are “currently unknown.”
The deaths of two people with COVID-19 in California has shed new light on when SARS-CoV-2 was first circulating.
The Santa Clara County Medical Examiner reported Tuesday, April 21, that two people who died at home in early February had the virus. The cases were identified after the medical examiner tested samples from the patients for COVID-19 due to their flu symptoms.
Both of these people likely developed the disease via community spread and not from travel.
The first death occurred on Feb. 6 and the second on Feb. 17. Previously, the first known U.S. death from COVID-19 was said to occur in Washington state in late February.
“What these deaths tell us is that we had community transmission probably to a significant degree far earlier than we had known and that indicates that the virus was introduced and circulating in our community far earlier than we had known,” Santa Clara Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody told reporters.
The FDA announced April 2 that they’re relaxing restrictions that prohibit many gay and bisexual men from donating blood or plasma.
The FDA will now allow gay and bisexual men to donate blood if they haven’t had sex with a man in the last 3 months. Previously, there was a ban on giving blood for men if they had sex with another man within the previous year.
Prior to 2015, any man who had ever had sex with another man was banned from donating blood or plasma.