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  1. #2686
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    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    WHO's Situation Report for May 31, 2020. From the newsletter... This gets into some of what you were all just discussing. I bolded the part about 45 starting to follow through on the U.S. withdrawal from WHO. I missed that bit of news on Friday and figure I may not be the only one who did:

    June 1, 2020

    EPI UPDATE The WHO COVID-19 Situation Report for May 31 reports 5.93 million confirmed cases (117,551 new) and 367,166 deaths (4,461 new).

    After reporting its highest daily incidence to date (33,274 new cases) on May 31, Brazil reported 16,409 new cases today, less than half of the previous day’s incidence but consistent with Brazil’s COVID-19 reporting in the past. Brazil is currently #2 in the world in terms of daily incidence; however, Brazil’s epidemic appears to be continuing its acceleration and shows no obvious sign of slowing. Peru and Chile continue to exhibit concerning trends as well, both currently reporting more than 3 times the per capita incidence as the United States. Additionally, Peru is now #4 globally in terms of total daily incidence, surpassing India, and it could potentially surpass Russia for #2 in the coming days. South and Central America—specifically, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Peru—continue to represent 4 of the top 7 countries globally in terms of daily incidence—and Colombia is #16.

    Russia has reported 4 consecutive days of increasing daily incidence, climbing above 9,000 new cases for the first time since May 24. India continues to report increasing daily incidence as well, closing the gap with Russia. If the recent trends continue, India could surpass Russia as #4 in terms of daily incidence in the coming days.

    Singapore reported 408 new cases, all of which were among residents of migrant worker dormitories. Singapore estimates that the cases confirmed so far represent 10.23% of the total population across all migrant worker dormitories, compared to only 0.03% of the general public population. Of the total confirmed cases reported in Singapore, 93.6% are among residents of migrant worker dormitories, including 99.0% over the past 2 weeks. The epidemic largely remains centered in migrant worker dormitories, and Singapore continues to report hundreds of cases a day among residents of these facilities.

    South Korea has reported steadily increasing incidence since early May. After bringing daily incidence down to single-digit counts in the first week of May, the daily incidence has increased over the past several weeks. South Korea has identified multiple COVID-19 clusters, particularly in and around Seoul, following decisions to relax some social distancing measures in early May. The Korean CDC has identified 270 cases linked to nightclubs (including 96 cases believed to have been exposed at the clubs) and 112 cases associated with a logistics warehouse (including 74 workers) as well as multiple clusters associated with churches and other faith-based activities.

    South Africa reported the 5 highest daily incidence totals over the past 5 days, continuing its acceleration. South Africa’s daily incidence has more than doubled since May 21, and it is currently reporting the highest cumulative COVID-19 incidence and highest daily incidence in Africa.

    Following 2 major one-day spikes in daily incidence—3,325 and 1,828 new cases on May 29 and 31, respectively—France’s reported daily incidence fell back in line with its previous trend, with 257 new cases today.

    UNITED STATES
    The US CDC reported 1.76 million total cases (23,553 new) and 103,700 deaths (915 new). Daily COVID-19 deaths in the United States continue to decline overall, but the total reached 100,000 deaths recently. The CDC separated New York City from New York state in its table of jurisdiction-level COVID-19 incidence and deaths. In total, 13 states (no change) and New York City reported more than 40,000 cases, including New York City with nearly 200,000; New Jersey and New York with more than 150,000; and Illinois and California with more than 100,000.

    The New York Times continues to track state-level COVID-19 incidence, with a focus on state policies regarding social distancing. A number of states began to relax social distancing measures—including resuming operations at restaurants, retail stores, and barbershops/salons—at the end of April/early May. Mass gatherings associated with the Memorial Day holiday weekend (US) and ongoing large-scale protests against racial injustice could potentially contribute to community transmission. We will continue monitoring state-level trends over the coming weeks.

    The Johns Hopkins CSSE dashboard reported 1.79 million US cases and 104,484 deaths as of 11:30am on June 1.

    TRUMP WITHDRAWS FROM WHO On Friday, US President Donald Trump announced that he intends to direct the United States’ withdrawal from the WHO over concerns regarding the WHO’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and its relationship with China. President Trump previously called for the WHO to implement systemic reforms and suspended US government funding for the WHO, aimed in part to curtail China’s influence. The process for withdrawing from the WHO is unclear, as is the President’s authority to direct such an action. President Trump indicated that the United States will redirect the funding intended for the WHO to other global health initiatives, but the US government may be obligated to pay its outstanding dues first.

    Numerous health and elected officials and health experts condemned the announcement, emphasizing that it could hinder global response efforts to the COVID-19 pandemic, potentially including ongoing clinical trials for vaccines and therapeutics against SARS-CoV-2, as well as other major health threats. While a thorough and transparent review of the WHO’s COVID-19 response is widely supported, terminating the US relationship with the WHO in the midst of a pandemic could be dangerous.

    DOWNSTREAM IMPACT The WHO released findings from a May survey that assessed how delivery of health services for noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in 155 countries. These survey findings are particularly important considering that those with underlying conditions are at elevated risk of severe disease or death due to COVID-19. In total, 120 countries reported that health services for preventing or treating NCDs had been partially or completely disrupted due to the pandemic, with disruption of services increasing with increased community transmission. While lower-income countries reported the greatest impact, these challenges are global. The leading reported cause of disruption was a decrease in inpatient volume stemming from cancellation of elective procedures and services. Other major barriers included suspension of population-level screening initiatives, decreased access to care due to “lockdown” measures, and shifting personnel from NCD programs to the COVID-19 response. Countries increased use of telemedicine and triaging patients to identify and care for those in the greatest as mechanisms to mitigate the impact of these disruptions.

    COVID-19 SPREADING IN THE US IN JANUARY The US CDC COVID-19 Response Team, in collaboration with researchers and health officials from California, Illinois, New York, and Washington, published findings from a study on early SARS-CoV-2 transmission in the United States. The study, published in the US CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, indicates that limited community transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in the United States may have begun as early as January, based on a variety of disease surveillance data as well as genetic analysis and retrospective case investigations. This would place community transmission in the United States weeks earlier than the first identified domestic transmission, reported in late February in California. Diagnostic testing on postmortem specimens identified 2 unrelated cases in California, one who developed symptoms on January 31 and another who “died at home between February 13 and 17.” Genomic sequence data suggest that early community transmission could be linked to travelers who arrived from Wuhan, China, or passengers or crew members from a cruise ship that departed from San Francisco, and subsequent introductions arrived via Europe.

    Dr. Jay Butler, US CDC Deputy Director for Infectious Diseases, further noted in a media briefing that there was no evidence for widespread transmission earlier than late January, dispelling speculation that the virus could have been circulating in the US in December of last year. CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield stated that the findings indicate that the delayed rollout of SARS-CoV-2 testing did not negatively impact the speed of the US response, because even expanded testing would have been unlikely to have detected such limited transmission; however, some experts have disagreed.

    US PROTESTS Historic protests against racial injustice and police brutality continued over the weekend, drawing crowds in cities across the United States that numbered in the thousands. Although not the primary focus of the protests, data indicate that racial and ethnic minorities are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 in the United States; multiple health experts have emphasized the health emergency posed by pervasive racial, ethnic, and social disparities. The underlying racial and ethnic inequalities that contribute to the disproportionate COVID-19 impact on these communities are an inherent part of the current protests.

    The large-scale events have raised concern regarding the associated risk of increased community transmission. Mass gatherings, including these protests and recent Memorial Day weekend celebrations, can create conditions that can facilitate SARS-CoV-2 transmission, and health officials will need to closely monitor COVID-19 surveillance and other indicators over the coming weeks in order to quickly identify any indication of increasing community transmission. Several media outlets published tips and guidance for mitigating transmission risk during the protests, and there are multiple reports of masks, hand sanitizer, and other materials being distributed to protesters.

    COVID-19 TREATMENT PHASE 1 TRIAL Pharmaceutical manufacturer Eli Lilly commenced early stage human trials of a monoclonal antibody therapeutic for COVID-19, marking the first trial of a treatment developed specifically for COVID-19. The Phase 1 clinical trial of LY-CoV555, an antibody treatment created from a blood sample of early US COVID-19 survivors, will test the drug’s safety in 32 patients who are currently hospitalized for COVID-19. Results of the trial are expected to be available later this month in order to determine if the treatment can continue to a larger trial testing efficacy and safety in non-hospitalized patients. Eli Lilly is already working to scale up production, with the aim of making the drug available as early as this fall, if it is demonstrated to be safe and effective. In addition to these trials, Eli Lilly plans to test other antibody therapies, and combinations of antibodies, as both treatment and prevention against SARS-CoV-2 infection.

    UNDERSTANDING SARS-COV-2 SPILLOVER New research published in Science Advances may provide further insight into when and how SARS-CoV-2 adapted to infect and spread in humans. Through the use of genetic sequence data, recombination and selection analysis, and structure modeling of receptor binding, the study found evidence that the human SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus may have emerged from a bat coronavirus that recombined with a pangolin coronavirus to acquire a gene fragment that allows SARS-CoV-2 to bind to human ACE2 receptors. The pangolin strain of coronavirus has been previously studied as a potential link to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but it may not be similar enough to the human strain to play a direct role in the spillover event. This study illustrates that pangolins could potentially have played a key intermediate role in supplying the binding receptor necessary for infecting humans, but additional research is needed to more fully characterize the evolutionary process that facilitated zoonotic transmission.

    SARS-COV-2 INFECTION & SURGERY A study of COVID-19 patients undergoing a variety of surgical procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic found elevated mortality and rates of pulmonary complications. The study, published in The Lancet, included clinical data from 1,128 COVID-19 patients across 24 countries, including those who underwent emergency surgery (74.0%) and elective surgery (24.8%). Among these patients, SARS-CoV-2 infection was diagnosed preoperatively in 26.1% and postoperatively in 71.5%. The 30-day postoperative mortality was 23.8% (268 deaths), and 51.2% of patients (577) experienced postoperative pulmonary complications, illustrating potential elevated risk associated with COVID-19. The study does not include a control group against which to compare these values directly; however, an associated commentary indicates that these rates “exceeded those seen in most types of major surgery.” Additionally, one of the study authors commented that typical postoperative mortality for these procedures would be expected to be under 1%. The commentary also notes that these findings suggest that the potential for increased risk of death or pulmonary complications following surgery needs to be carefully weighed against the risk of postponing elective surgery procedures and that the “clear perioperative guidelines for emergency and elective surgery during the pandemic” are needed.

    HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE STUDY A study published on May 22 in The Lancet presented analysis of clinical data for nearly 100,000 COVID-19 patients that aimed to characterize the effects of treatment using hydroxychloroquine. The study was conducted retrospectively—as opposed to the gold standard, a placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial (RCT)—but including data from nearly 100,000 patients lended the study credibility. The study found no evidence that hydroxychloroquine provided treatment benefit, and rather, the researchers observed significantly elevated mortality in patients treated with the drug. Following the study’s release and subsequent media attention, a number of scientists have raised concerns about the study’s design, analysis, and conclusions, including the role of various potential confounding factors. The authors indicate that they are unable to publicly share the data, so it is difficult to determine the underlying drivers of some of the findings.

    The authors published an erratum to the original journal article to correct a data classification error; however, the change did not alter any of their findings. Subsequent to the erratum, a group of scientists published an open letter to the study authors and The Lancet that highlights their concerns and requests details regarding the data provenance as well as an independent review of the data and analysis. The company controlling the data published a response, but it does not appear to address or commit to address any of the identified concerns. Rather, it highlights the importance of RCTs to evaluate drug safety and efficacy, reiterates the limitations noted in the original article, and emphasizes the study’s value in the context of the available data. The questions raised by other researchers do not necessarily negate any of the study’s findings—particularly considering that multiple other studies have also failed to identify evidence of a treatment benefit—but it does illustrate some of the barriers and challenges to rapidly disseminating data and research in the midst of a major health emergency. This should serve as a reminder that all studies should be considered in the appropriate context, and no individual study should be regarded as the singular, definitive source, particularly on an emerging field of study, such as for COVID-19.

    https://www.who.int/docs/default-sou...sitrep-132.pdf
    Winston, a.k.a. Alvena Rae Risley Hiatt (1944-2019), RIP

  2. #2687

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.




  3. #2688

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Sounding like a whiner, I know, but Brasil is reporting 28K deaths with a rate of over 1000 deaths/day. That's two more days.
    And I don't believe Russia's numbers.
    Face it. It's the apocalypse.

  4. #2689

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    One thing we are absolutely going to see is a huge spike of cases in the cities of the USA. There is no question that the current unrest is going to provide the virus with plenty of opportunities to spread.

    And I want to emphasize that I completely understand the reason for the protests. It is very unfortunate that this will also worsen the crisis with the virus.

    GH

  5. #2690

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    NBC News
    @NBCNews
    Coronavirus cases in US total 1,829,797, with at least 106,425 deaths.

    (As of 3:00 p.m. ET, June 2)

    (Waiting for Dry's post)
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.




  6. #2691
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    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post
    (Waiting for Dry's post)
    I'm waiting for the email. They missed a Sit Rep last week. I would imagine it is very difficult to keep up with everything happening globally.
    Winston, a.k.a. Alvena Rae Risley Hiatt (1944-2019), RIP

  7. #2692

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Nicolle Wallace @NicolleDWallace

    Trump hasn’t talked to Fauci in two weeks but he talked to Putin again this week as Putin makes a power grab. Why? The Russia story never ebbs. We just get distracted.
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.




  8. #2693
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    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    WHO's Situation Report for June 2, 2020. LOTS in the newsletter. I'm sharing the whole thing in case you don't get the emails.

    https://www.who.int/docs/default-sou...sitrep-134.pdf

    ::

    EPI UPDATE The WHO COVID-19 Situation Report for June 2 reports 6.19 million confirmed cases (113,198 new) and 376,320 deaths (4,242 new). The global totals could reach 7 million cases by the middle or end of next week and 400,000 deaths by the middle of next week.

    India’s cumulative COVID-19 incidence surpassed 100,000 cases, and its daily incidence continues to increase. India reported 8,909 new cases, its highest daily total to date. If the recent trends continue, India could surpass Russia as #3 globally in daily incidence in the coming days.

    Spain reported no new deaths for 2 consecutive days, an encouraging sign from one of the countries hit hardest early in the pandemic. Spain’s COVID-19 mortality held steady at 27,127 deaths from May 31 to June 2, and Spain reported only 1 new death today.

    Iran appears to be in the middle of a second “wave” of COVID-19. Following a decline in daily incidence from the end of March through early May, Iran has reported increasing daily incidence over the past month, more than tripling in that time and now on par with its previous peak. Today, Iran reported 3,134 new cases, bringing the national total to 160,696 cases. Iran has relaxed some social distancing measures in many parts of the country, but it reportedly reinstated “lockdown” in Khuzestan, which is reporting elevated COVID-19 incidence.

    Brazil reported 28,936 new cases, its second highest daily total to date. Brazil is #1 in the world in terms of daily incidence, and it appears to still be increasing. Peru and Chile continue to exhibit concerning trends as well, both currently reporting more than 3 times the per capita daily incidence as the United States. Additionally, Peru is #5 globally in terms of total daily incidence. Panama is also exhibiting elevated incidence over the past week or so. After remaining relatively consistent throughout April and most of May, reporting approximately 150-225 new cases per day, Panama’s daily incidence jumped to more than 400 new cases since May 23. Panama’s per capita incidence is now on par with Brazil.

    UNITED STATES
    The US CDC reported 1.80 million total cases (14,790 new) and 105,157 deaths (761 new). The United States could potentially surpass 2 million cases in the next 10-14 days. The CDC updated its jurisdiction-level reporting table, which now includes total, confirmed, and probable values for both cases and deaths; however, not all states have data available for confirmed and probable values. In total, 14 states (increase of 1) and New York City reported more than 40,000 total cases, including New York City with more than 200,000; New Jersey and New York state with more than 150,000; and California, Illinois, and Massachusetts with more than 100,000.

    The New York Times continues to track state- and local-level COVID-19 incidence in a variety of forms. A number of states began to relax social distancing measures—including resuming operations at restaurants, retail stores, and barbershops/salons—at the end of April/early May. Mass gatherings associated with the Memorial Day holiday weekend and ongoing large-scale protests against racial injustice could potentially contribute to community transmission. We will continue to monitor these trends over the coming weeks.

    Several states continue to exhibit concerning trends following efforts to relax social distancing measures. Alabama is reporting several notable trends in addition to increasing daily incidence since late April, which more than doubled over that period. Some of this increase is likely associated with increased testing; however, Alabama has also reported increasing test positivity over the past 2 weeks, even as testing capacity increases. After declining from a high of 12.8% in mid-April to 9.0% in early May, test positivity was back up to 12.2% for the week of May 17-23. This potentially indicates a relative increase in community transmission and that the testing capacity may not be sufficient. Alabama is reporting a slight increase in hospitalized COVID-19 cases since mid-to-late April.

    After a period of declining daily incidence, Georgia is exhibiting an increase. The Georgia Department of Public Health appears to report COVID-19 data by testing date, so data within the past 14 days are likely incomplete. Looking at data prior to that 14-day window, however, Georgia’s daily incidence fell from a high of 766.4 new cases per day (7-day moving average) on April 22 to 520.5 new cases on May 9. Georgia’s incidence climbed again to 704.0 new cases on May 19, which is the most recent day outside the 14-day window. Analysis by The New York Times displays Georgia’s incidence by report date, and it shows an overall decline in cases from mid-April through mid-May, but it is difficult to determine a longer-term trend for data after that point. Additionally, numerous counties in Georgia that previously reported flat or declining incidence are now reporting increases.

    Texas is also exhibiting a steady increase in COVID-19 incidence, reporting 3 of its 4 highest daily totals over the past 6 days as well as its highest 7-day average. California is in the process of relaxing social distancing measures on a local/regional basis, but as a whole, the state continues to report increasing COVID-19 incidence, posting its 3 highest daily totals over the past 6 days. California is also reporting its highest 7-day average daily incidence.

    The Johns Hopkins CSSE dashboard reported 1.84 million US cases and 106,312 deaths as of 11:30am on June 3.

    US NURSING HOMES The US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and CDC published a report outlining the toll of COVID-19 on nursing homes in the United States. According to the report, more than 25,000 nursing home residents and 400 staff have died so far as a result of the US COVID-19 epidemic. In total, nursing homes and other long-term care facilities reported more than 60,000 infections in residents and 34,000 infections in staff. The report shows the immense impact that COVID-19 has had on these facilities, with 20% of them reporting at least 1 COVID-19 death. Findings from the report have been widely covered in the US media, but the report itself is not expected to be publicly available until tomorrow, June 4.

    WHO & CHINA The relationship between the WHO and China during the COVID-19 pandemic response has received considerable global attention. An investigation by the Associated Press uncovered some of the frustration experienced by the WHO, resulting from delays in receiving important information from China needed to support the global response. Recordings of internal WHO meetings reportedly indicate that the Chinese government withheld important information—including surveillance data and the viral genetic sequence—potentially for weeks, delayed early containment activities and the development of diagnostic tests. Despite these delays, the WHO has repeatedly praised the Chinese response in public statements. The WHO is in a difficult position, responsible for protecting the health and well-being of people around the world without the authority or ability to enforce cooperation by autonomous national governments. According to the report, there was much debate at the WHO regarding how best to approach the situation, wanting both to promote transparency from China and push for the information needed for the COVID-19 response.

    UK COVID-19 DISPARITIES Public Health England (PHE) published findings from its analysis of various disparities related to COVID-19 morbidity and mortality in the United Kingdom. The study analyzed COVID-19 data related to age and sex, geographic location, race and ethnicity, occupation, underlying health conditions, and a myriad of other factors. Consistent with our current understanding, the analysis found that older individuals are at elevated risk of severe COVID-19 disease and death, which was the largest disparity identified by the researchers. The data indicated increased risk of infection for Black ethnic groups and elevated risk of death among Black and Asian ethnic groups. Broken down further, individuals of Bangladeshi ethnicity had twice the risk of death compared to those of White British ethnicity, and individuals of “Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, Other Asian, Caribbean and Other Black ethnicity had between 10 and 50% higher risk of death when compared to White British.” Much like the United States, PHE identified elevated COVID-19 risk among nursing homes, which represented 27% of COVID-19 deaths. The study found more than double the all-cause mortality in nursing homes compared to previous years, more than 20,000 excess deaths.

    US PROTESTS Protests against racial and social injustice, including police brutality directed at Black Americans, continue across the United States, and US protesters have been joined by thousands of others around the world. Many photos show protesters wearing face masks and taking efforts to protect themselves; however, no mass gathering is without risk of increased SARS-CoV-2 transmission. US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams expressed concern about the risk of increased transmission following the protests, due to how the disease spreads. In Atlanta, state health officials are working to establish pop-up testing sites for protesters to show that individuals should not have to choose between fighting for justice and protecting their health.

    A number of health experts around the country have weighed in on the importance of these protests and the need to address underlying and pervasive disparities that drive a myriad of social and health inequities among racial and ethnic minority groups, including increased risk from COVID-19. Dr. Lauren Powell, published her perspective in STAT News. She notes that these protests are necessary, but their synchronicity with the pandemic is her “deepest public health nightmare.” She encourages protesters to take appropriate precautions to protect themselves against COVID-19, including wearing masks and gloves, using hand sanitizer, and maintaining physical distancing, “even while marching.”

    Dr. Powell also calls on state and local officials to “reconsider the use of pepper spray” due to subsequent coughing, which can increase the risk of transmission. Others have also questioned the use of chemical irritants like pepper spray and tear gas for crowd control due to their potential role in amplifying respiratory transmission. It is understood that individuals with underlying health conditions, including asthma and other respiratory diseases, are at elevated risk for severe COVID-19 disease and death; however, there is no data available to determine any effects from respiratory irritation from these chemicals.

    CONTACT TRACING The University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) published Part 4 of its COVID-19 Viewpoints series, addressing contact tracing. The report discusses contact tracing principles and considerations and emphasizes that a “one-size-fits-all” system across all state and local jurisdictions is likely not an ideal approach. While the overall purpose and concept remain the same, each jurisdiction will need to develop and implement a plan that makes the most efficient use of its available resources and considers its current COVID-19 situation and surveillance needs. The authors pose a variety of questions to help the United States work through challenges associated with contact tracing, including the relative costs and benefits of various types of contact tracing (eg, widespread vs targeted), the role of quarantine and isolation, the use of technological solutions (eg, smartphone apps), and potential adverse effects.

    The Johns Hopkins University—led by Dr. Jeffrey P. Kahn of the Berman Institute of Bioethics, in collaboration with the Center for Health Security and the Project on Ethics and Governance of Digital Contact Tracing Technologies—recently published a book that addresses digital contact tracing solutions and their associated challenges and benefits. The book, Digital Contact Tracing for Pandemic Response: Ethics and Governance Guidance, draws on a broad scope of expertise—“bioethics, health security, public health, technology development, engineering, public policy, and law”— to provide guidance and recommendations for “technology companies, policymakers, institutions, employers, and the public” regarding the development and implementation of technological solutions to supplement traditional contract tracing capabilities and capacity in the context of a pandemic response.

    SARS-CoV-2 VACCINE The development, production, and distribution of SARS-CoV-2 remains a global priority in combating the COVID-19 pandemic. Multiple vaccines are currently in various stages of development, and there is “cautious optimism” that some will be determined to be safe and effective. Notably, Dr. Anthony Fauci commented that the manufacturers of promising candidates are already preparing for subsequent clinical trial phases based on preliminary results. This will enable Phase 2 and 3 trials to commence sooner, which could potentially accelerate vaccine availability. The vaccine candidate developed by Moderna is completing Phase 1 clinical trials, and Phase 3 is scheduled to begin in July. Several other candidates, including from AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, may have advanced stage clinical trials this summer as well. These trials could potentially yield results by this fall. Dr. Fauci noted, however, that a vaccine may not confer long-term immunity, if SARS-CoV-2 behaves like other coronaviruses. This could translate into needing multiple doses of the vaccine or periodic boosters to ensure lasting immunity.

    PRESYMPTOMATIC TRANSMISSION Characterizing presymptomatic transmission of SARS-CoV-2 has been a priority to improve guidelines, testing recommendations, and control measures. A study published in Emerging Infectious Diseases evaluated the secondary attack rate following contact with presymptomatic COVID-19 cases, based on contact tracing surveillance data collected in Guangzhou, China. The study found that secondary transmission occurs most often among individuals sharing a living space, including family members, or those with frequent close contact. The study demonstrated that transmission of SARS-CoV-2 prior to the onset of symptoms is, indeed, possible; however, it appears to be less effective than by individuals exhibiting symptoms.

    SWEDEN Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Sweden has stood out as a case study of an alternative approach responding to the virus. In contrast to many other nations, Sweden did not implement strict mandatory social distancing measures. Rather, Sweden encouraged social distancing but largely limited mandatory restrictions to a prohibition of gatherings of greater than 50 people. Sweden has reported COVID-19 mortality among the highest per capita in the world, including compared to other Nordic countries, which have reported significantly fewer deaths. In an interview with Swedish radio, Dr. Anders Tegnell of the Swedish Public Health Agency noted that the Swedish COVID-19 response has room for improvement, particularly with respect to Sweden’s COVID-19 mortality. In a subsequent interview, Dr. Tegnell emphasized that Sweden’s approach was implemented based on available information, and it is unclear at this time how Sweden should have reacted differently. In particularly, Swedish officials officials have acknowledged that the COVID-19 response did not provide adequate protection for high-risk individuals, such as older adults residing in nursing homes. While Sweden’s COVID-19 response permitted stores, restaurants, and other businesses to continue operating, the continued economic activity does not appear to have prevented a financial crisis. Unfortunately, due to the heavy reliance on exports, Sweden’s Minister of Finance Magdelena Andersson notes that Sweden may face its worst recession since World War 2. The Swedish government has committed to establishing a commission to evaluate the nation's strategy for responding to COVID-19.
    Winston, a.k.a. Alvena Rae Risley Hiatt (1944-2019), RIP

  9. #2694

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    So Sweden is going to be in the same boat as everyone else after all. I notice people have stopped talking about it as an example to be followed.

    Alabama is in trouble. Rachel has been talking about the situation there for at least the last two weeks if not longer.
    Sadly I expected nothing different from Georgia and Texas.
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.




  10. #2695

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    I have never been a fan of the Swedish approach to this. As an elderly person, but also as a former physician, this seemed to be a pretty irresponsible approach. I could still be proven wrong. But I have not doubted to this point that I would not have wanted to be there the last 3 months.

    Between the approach of several states (see Alabama) and all of the crushes of people during these demonstrations, I feel sure our national daily numbers for cases and deaths are getting ready to reach new highs. GH

  11. #2696

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Not that it necessarily changes the conclusions, but it would be helpful to have the complete data on issues of this importance.

    Study authors retract influential Lancet hydroxychloroquine article
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Three of the authors of an influential article that found hydroxychloroquine increased the risk of death in COVID-19 patients retracted the study on concerns about the quality of the data in the study.

    They said that Surgisphere, the company that provided the data, would not transfer the full dataset for an independent review and they “can no longer vouch for the veracity of the primary data sources.”

    The study was published in British medical journal the Lancet last month.
    "And for my next fearless prediction..."

  12. #2697

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Nick Cordero's Wife Says She's Been 'Told to Say Goodbye' But Is Still Fighting as He Gets 'Slightly Better'
    Nick Cordero's wife is not giving up on him.

    Amanda Kloots is sharing the secret to her inner strength as her husband, 41, recovers from coronavirus-related complications. On Wednesday the fitness instructor posted a black and white photograph of the Broadway star hugging and kissing their 11-month-old son Elvis.

    "I’ve been told a couple times that he won’t make it. I’ve been told to say goodbye," Kloots wrote in the caption. "I’ve been told it would take a miracle."

    "Well, I have faith. Faith that is small as a mustard seed sometimes, but that is all you need sometimes," she continued. "He’s still here and despite his odds gets slightly, slightly better every day. Where there is faith, there is hope. Where there is hope, there can be a miracle!"

    She added, "Like my dad has said since day one, every day he’s still with us is a miracle. I believe God is with us, with the doctors and with Nick. ❤️"

    The Broadway actor recently faced a setback in his recovery, and suffered a lung infection last month.

    “It’s been a tough week,” Kloots told her fans on Instagram before revealing the news.

    “Nick suffered from some new lung infection in his lungs earlier this week,” she said, noting that fortunately, “since then he’s been slowly recovering” and “getting back to where he was before this infection came about.”

    Kloots has been continuously updating fans about Cordero's hospitalization and the many ups and downs their family has faced. Through it all, she has been unwavering in her commitment to positivity amid her husband’s health battle, and has asked fans to show their support by singing and dancing to Cordero's "Live Your Life" on social media using the hashtag #OffTheVent.

    Over the weekend, the mother of one shared a throwback of herself and her husband, reminiscing about a sweet note Cordero had written her for Valentine's Day before falling ill.

    "Nick wrote to me on Valentines Day, 'The future’s uncertain, the path is not always clear, but with you by my side I walk with no fear,' " she wrote, adding, "It’s day 60 and I miss him more than ever. ��"

    Kloots also posted a message on her Instagram Story, writing, "I am still praying for a miracle. Sometimes that prayer is answered in the way we ask and sometimes it's answered in a way we could never understand."

    "Faith is a beautiful thing but also, also a hard thing," she continued. "True faith comes in times where we must trust in God, his plan and his will. In that, I find peace always."

    A GoFundMe page has also been created to raise funds for Cordero's medical bills.



    I don't know a lot about Cordero and Smoot's financial situation, but if a Broadway star and his family needs $480,000 for expenses (I know he has been sick very ill for a long time) from GoFundMe, (currently it has raised $556,925), what do the regular folks do? The financial devastation from this pandemic is incredible.
    "And for my next fearless prediction..."

  13. #2698

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Top 15 countries in death rate per 1 million inhabitants (min 1 million inhabitants)

    Belgium 824 (Belgian colleague saying counting has been extremely inclusive)
    UK 588
    Spain 580
    Italy 557
    Sweden 452
    France 445
    Netherlands 350
    Ireland 337
    USA 332
    Switzerland 222
    Canada 202
    Ecuador 198
    Brazil 156
    Peru 149
    Portugal 143

    Data as of today from Worldometer. In some of these countries (Spain, Switzerland, Netherlands) the infection is for now well controlled there as in others (Brazil, USA, Peru) it is still going strong or even accelerating so expect changes in relative rankings.
    Roger forever

  14. #2699
    Director of Nothing
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    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff in TX View Post
    Nick Cordero's Wife Says She's Been 'Told to Say Goodbye' But Is Still Fighting as He Gets 'Slightly Better'
    Nick Cordero's wife is not giving up on him.

    Amanda Kloots is sharing the secret to her inner strength as her husband, 41, recovers from coronavirus-related complications. On Wednesday the fitness instructor posted a black and white photograph of the Broadway star hugging and kissing their 11-month-old son Elvis.

    "I’ve been told a couple times that he won’t make it. I’ve been told to say goodbye," Kloots wrote in the caption. "I’ve been told it would take a miracle."

    "Well, I have faith. Faith that is small as a mustard seed sometimes, but that is all you need sometimes," she continued. "He’s still here and despite his odds gets slightly, slightly better every day. Where there is faith, there is hope. Where there is hope, there can be a miracle!"

    She added, "Like my dad has said since day one, every day he’s still with us is a miracle. I believe God is with us, with the doctors and with Nick. ❤️"

    The Broadway actor recently faced a setback in his recovery, and suffered a lung infection last month.

    “It’s been a tough week,” Kloots told her fans on Instagram before revealing the news.

    “Nick suffered from some new lung infection in his lungs earlier this week,” she said, noting that fortunately, “since then he’s been slowly recovering” and “getting back to where he was before this infection came about.”

    Kloots has been continuously updating fans about Cordero's hospitalization and the many ups and downs their family has faced. Through it all, she has been unwavering in her commitment to positivity amid her husband’s health battle, and has asked fans to show their support by singing and dancing to Cordero's "Live Your Life" on social media using the hashtag #OffTheVent.

    Over the weekend, the mother of one shared a throwback of herself and her husband, reminiscing about a sweet note Cordero had written her for Valentine's Day before falling ill.

    "Nick wrote to me on Valentines Day, 'The future’s uncertain, the path is not always clear, but with you by my side I walk with no fear,' " she wrote, adding, "It’s day 60 and I miss him more than ever. ��"

    Kloots also posted a message on her Instagram Story, writing, "I am still praying for a miracle. Sometimes that prayer is answered in the way we ask and sometimes it's answered in a way we could never understand."

    "Faith is a beautiful thing but also, also a hard thing," she continued. "True faith comes in times where we must trust in God, his plan and his will. In that, I find peace always."

    A GoFundMe page has also been created to raise funds for Cordero's medical bills.



    I don't know a lot about Cordero and Smoot's financial situation, but if a Broadway star and his family needs $480,000 for expenses (I know he has been sick very ill for a long time) from GoFundMe, (currently it has raised $556,925), what do the regular folks do? The financial devastation from this pandemic is incredible.

    I've been following the story a bit, it's really scary. These are just medical expenses BTW - I read that he's best friends with Zach Braff and the family has been staying in Braff's guest house since they don't live in LA. Imagine also having to figure out your living expenses for yourself and your children, if you're stuck in a city away from home, or if you're a foreign visitor who got sick while in the US. In pretty much EVERY other country (I have the lists for work), the treatment is paid for the government (to note, there are many countries in LATAM where, because the government hospitals are overwhelmed, private care is also available and is quite costly)


  15. #2700
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    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by suliso View Post
    Top 15 countries in death rate per 1 million inhabitants (min 1 million inhabitants)

    Belgium 824 (Belgian colleague saying counting has been extremely inclusive)
    UK 588
    Spain 580
    Italy 557
    Sweden 452
    France 445
    Netherlands 350
    Ireland 337
    USA 332
    Switzerland 222
    Canada 202
    Ecuador 198
    Brazil 156
    Peru 149
    Portugal 143

    Data as of today from Worldometer. In some of these countries (Spain, Switzerland, Netherlands) the infection is for now well controlled there as in others (Brazil, USA, Peru) it is still going strong or even accelerating so expect changes in relative rankings.

    Surprised Netherlands is high on there - older population?


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