Written by Steven Hansen
The U.S. new cases 7-day rolling average is 7.1 % HIGHER than the 7-day rolling average one week ago. U.S. deaths due to coronavirus are now 6.6 % HIGHER than the rolling average one week ago. At the end of this post is a set of interactive graphs and tables for the world and individual States – as well as today’s headlines which include;
- More Evidence That Vitamin D Sufficiency Equals Less Severe COVID-19
- Puzzled Scientists Seek Reasons Behind Africa’s Low Fatality Rates From Pandemic
- Regeneron’s antibody cocktail lowered viral levels and reduced symptoms faster
- Moderna’s mRNA vaccine was effective in a small sample of older adults
- College-Aged COVID-19 Cases Spiked After Schools Reopened
- China’s Media Predicts Winter COVID Pain for U.S., Europe and India
- How Operation Warp Speed’s Big Vaccine Contracts Could Stay Secret
- Even COVID-Exposed Kids Need a Time-Out Participating In Sports
The recent worsening of the trendlines for new cases should be attributed to going back to school – especially at college/university level.
My continuing advice is to continue to wash your hands, wear masks, and maintain social distancing. No handwashing, mask, or social distancing will guarantee you do not get infected – but it sure as hell lowers the risk in all situations – and evidence to-date shows a lower severity of COVID-19. In addition, certain activities are believed to carry higher risk – like being inside in air conditioning and removing your mask (such as restaurants, around your children/grandchildren, bars, and gyms). It is all about viral load – and outdoor activities are generally very safe.
The daily number of new cases in the U.S. is remaining stubbornly and embarrassedly high.
The following graphs show the 7-day rolling average for new coronavirus cases and deaths have been updated through 30 September 2020:
Coronavirus Statistics For 30 September 2020
|U.S. Only||Global||U.S Percentage of Total|
|New Confirmed Cases||42,112||7,190,000||291,393||33,710,000||14.5%||21.3%|
total COVID-19 Tests per 1,000 people
* as of 26 Sep 2020
** evidently several States included “probable” deaths today in the number
*** red color indicates record number
Coronavirus News You May Have Missed
We are slowly learning if this year’s changes are permanent. If work — for the lucky among us — will remain from home. If we will visit the grocery store less but spend more. If we will find wearing a mask on the metro to be just part of life. If shaking hands and embracing will become less common. If most of your daily interactions will occur via video conference (rather than in person).
“Five years’ change in six months” is a common slogan for the pandemic. The disruption has upended lives in jobs lost and relatives who live alone or perhaps died without saying the right goodbyes.
Yet permanently severing ties with January is not necessarily a bad thing, psychologists say. The danger comes from hankering for normalcy again, rather than getting on with working out how to deal with whatever is ahead.
“Politicians who pretend that ‘normal’ is just around the corner are fooling themselves or their followers, or perhaps both,” said Thomas Davenport, the president’s distinguished professor of information technology and management at Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts.
“People who suffer tragedies eventually return to their previous happiness level,” Davenport said via email. “But I think that COVID-19 is a little different, because we keep expecting it will end soon. So there is no need to permanently change your attitudes about it.”
The human tendency to believe change is temporary and that the future will again resemble the past is often called “normalcy bias.”
People who don’t adapt to change believe what they remember as “normal” will return, and delay modifying their daily routines or outlook. Those who refuse to wear masks may be guilty of normalcy bias, Davenport said, since they perceive this intrusion into lives as a passing fad they don’t need to embrace.
Patients hospitalized with COVID-19 who have sufficient levels of vitamin D show significant reductions in severe outcomes and a lower risk of death compared with insufficient levels, new research shows.
“This study provides direct evidence that vitamin D sufficiency can reduce the complications including the cytokine storm and ultimately death from COVID-19,” said senior author Michael F. Holick, MD, PhD, of Boston University School of Medicine, Massachusetts, in a press statement from his institution.
The research examines hospitalized patients with severe COVID-19 in Iran, and Holick worked with lead researcher Zhila Maghbooli, MD, of the Tehran University of Medical Sciences, and colleagues, on the study, which was published in PLoS One.
The findings come on the heels of another recently published study, in which Holick and his team found that people with sufficient vitamin D levels in the United States had as much as a 54% reduced risk of getting infected with COVID-19.
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) interim guidance on return to sports for kids after exposure or infection with SARS-CoV-2 may be overly cautious in trying to protect their hearts, some cardiologists argued.
The guidance, last updated September 19 and expected to be replaced before December, didn’t advocate routine pre-participation screening for infection for asymptomatic children not known to have been exposed.
For any children who have had COVID-19 or been exposed to it, though, the AAP recommended waiting at least 14 days before returning to exercise or competition.
Severe COVID-19: In these cases, defined by cardiac or kidney complications, invasive ventilatory support, or multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), the group advocated treating as if the child has myocarditis and restricting exercise and sports participation for 3 to 6 months. After that, these kids need to be cleared by their primary care physician and an “appropriate pediatric medical subspecialist, preferably in consultation with a pediatric cardiologist.” Cardiac testing, which could include cardiac MRI “if warranted,” needs to normalize before return to activity, the AAP argued.
Moderate COVID-19: These cases were not defined by the AAP, but likely would mean those for whom hospitalization was at least considered but no ICU care was required, according to Christopher Snyder, MD, pediatric cardiologist at University Hospitals in Cleveland, and one of the authors of the guidance. These kids should have COVID-19 symptoms cleared up for at least 14 days, and be cleared by their primary care physician, before return to exercise and competition. Any cardiac symptoms, concerning findings on examination, or prolonged fever should prompt an ECG and possibly pediatric cardiologist referral.
Mild or Asymptomatic Infection or Close Contact Exposure: The guidance cited “growing literature about the relationship between COVID-19 and myocarditis” in recommending a minimum 14-day resting period without symptoms before returning to exercise or competitive sports. Even asymptomatic COVID-19 cases were recommended for pre-participation clearance by a primary care physician focusing on cardiac symptoms, “including but not limited to chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, palpitations, or syncope.”
Regeneron’s antibody cocktail lowered viral levels and reduced symptoms faster than placebo in non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients, early data indicated.
The Trump administration has compared Operation Warp Speed’s crash program to develop a COVID-19 vaccine to the Manhattan Project. And like the notoriously secretive government project to make the first atomic bomb, the details of Operation Warp Speed’s work may take a long time to unravel.
One reason is that Operation Warp Speed is issuing billions of dollars’ worth of coronavirus vaccine contracts to companies through a nongovernment intermediary, bypassing the regulatory oversight and transparency of traditional federal contracting mechanisms, NPR has learned.
Instead of entering into contracts directly with vaccine makers, more than $6 billion in Operation Warp Speed funding has been routed through a defense contract management firm called Advanced Technologies International, Inc. ATI then awarded contracts to companies working on COVID-19 vaccines.
As a result, the contracts between the pharmaceutical companies and ATI may not be available through public records requests, and additional documents are exempt from public disclosure for five years.
Vaccine contracts awarded this way include $1.6 billion for Novavax, $1.95 billion for Pfizer, $1.79 billion for Sanofi and $1 billion for Johnson & Johnson.
Moderna’s mRNA vaccine showed similar results in a small sample of older adults, including people over 70, as it did in younger adults.
In this small study involving older adults, adverse events associated with the mRNA-1273 vaccine were mainly mild or moderate. The 100-μg dose induced higher binding- and neutralizing-antibody titers than the 25-μg dose, which supports the use of the 100-μg dose in a phase 3 vaccine trial. (Funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and others; mRNA-1273 Study ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04283461. opens in new tab.)
… Overall, these preliminary findings show that in a small group of participants, adverse events associated with the mRNA-1273 vaccine were mainly mild or moderate in older adults, a group that is particularly at risk for illness and death from Covid-19. The 100-μg dose induced higher binding- and neutralizing-antibody titers than the 25-μg dose, findings that support the continued evaluation of the 100-μg dose level and two-dose regimen in a large phase 3 trial with a more diverse population to ascertain the safety and efficacy of the mRNA-1273 vaccine and to assess its level of protection against Covid-19.[editor’s note: also see Study finds Moderna coronavirus vaccine may work equally well in older and younger adults]
The pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has reached nearly every country in the world with extraordinary person-to-person transmission. The most likely original source of the virus was spillover from an animal reservoir and subsequent adaptation to humans sometime during the winter of 2019 in Wuhan Province, China. Because of its genetic similarity to SARS-CoV-1, it is probable that this novel virus has a similar host range and receptor specificity. Due to concern for human-pet transmission, we investigated the susceptibility of domestic cats and dogs to infection and potential for infected cats to transmit to naive cats. We report that cats are highly susceptible to infection, with a prolonged period of oral and nasal viral shedding that is not accompanied by clinical signs, and are capable of direct contact transmission to other cats. These studies confirm that cats are susceptible to productive SARS-CoV-2 infection, but are unlikely to develop clinical disease. Further, we document that cats developed a robust neutralizing antibody response that prevented reinfection following a second viral challenge. Conversely, we found that dogs do not shed virus following infection but do seroconvert and mount an antiviral neutralizing antibody response. There is currently no evidence that cats or dogs play a significant role in human infection; however, reverse zoonosis is possible if infected owners expose their domestic pets to the virus during acute infection. Resistance to reinfection holds promise that a vaccine strategy may protect cats and, by extension, humans.
Weekly COVID-19 incidence among younger adults was up 55% in August, and more than doubled in the Northeast and Midwest, researchers found.
From Aug. 2 to Sept. 5, the proportion of cases occurring among adults ages 18 to 22 approximately doubled from 10.5% to 22.5%, reported Phillip Salvatore, PhD, and colleagues from the CDC.
By U.S. Census region, weekly incidence of COVID-19 rose 144% in the Northeast and 123.4% in the Midwest, with an increase of 43.8% in the South, the authors wrote in an early edition of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Researchers added that about 45% of this age group are enrolled in colleges and universities, noting, “as these institutions reopen, opportunities for infection increase” and stressed the importance of mitigation efforts and monitoring reports of COVID-19 cases in young adults.
They examined jurisdictional health department data from probable and confirmed COVID-19 cases from May 31-Sept. 5 in 50 states, the District of Colombia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands.
… Hospitals in many African countries say COVID-19 admission rates are falling.
“Based on what we have seen so far it is unlikely that we are going to see anything at the scale that we are seeing in Europe – both in terms of infections and mortality,” said Rashida Ferrand, a London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine professor working at the Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals in the Zimbabwean capital Harare.
Experts say that some COVID-19 deaths in Africa probably are being missed. Testing rates in the continent of about 1.3 billion people are among the lowest in the world, and many deaths of all types go unrecorded.
…Scientists and public health experts cite a number of possible factors, including the continent’s youthful population and lessons learned from previous disease outbreaks. African governments also had precious time to prepare due to the relative isolation of many of their citizens from airports and other places where they could come into contact with global travellers.
Some scientists also are exploring the possibility that a tuberculosis vaccine routinely given to children in many African countries might be helping reduce deaths from COVID-19.
Chinese state media has continued its attacks on its rivals over their handling of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, predicting that continued failure to deal with the virus will bring a painful winter wave of new infections and deaths.
The pandemic originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan at the start of this year, spreading worldwide and to date claiming more than 1 million lives. China was able to bring its own outbreak under control through strict population control measures, but was unable to stop the virus spreading beyond its borders.
Nationalistic Chinese state media has celebrated Beijing’s success and maligned its rivals’ efforts to fight the spread of the disease. State media has been at the forefront of China’s propaganda push to avoid blame for the pandemic and reject accusations that Beijing covered up the severity of the outbreak and failed to adequately warn the international community.
Lawmakers in the U.S. and Europe have pushed back against Chinese efforts to define the coronavirus narrative, accusing Beijing of a broad disinformation effort combined with headline-grabbing “mask diplomacy”—i.e. medical assistance for affected nations, some of which was rejected as inadequate.
The following are foreign headlines with hyperlinks to the posts
India Coronavirus Cases May Be 10 Times Higher Than Official Figure [More than 63 million people in India may have contracted Covid-19]
A Covid-19 test that can be done at the point of care and gives results in 15 minutes has been given the go-ahead in Europe, according to its maker Becton Dickinson.
The following are additional national and state headlines with hyperlinks to the posts
More than 3,000 Brigham and Women’s nurses called for improved safety measures as the Boston hospital’s cluster of nosocomial COVID-19 cases continues to grow.
Florida reported a spike in new coronavirus cases Tuesday, the highest total in nearly 2 weeks, days after restaurants and bars began to operate at full capacity.
Today’s Posts On Econintersect Showing Impact Of The Pandemic With Hyperlinks
Coronavirus INTERACTIVE Charts