Day: October 23, 2020


Coronavirus surge closes schools on Eastern Shore

Dorchester County School Superintendent W. David Bromwell said about 20 percent of the school system’s 4,700 students were on campus part time — a number slated to more than double next week under a hybrid-learning plan for pre-K to grade 12.

“We were doing well and moving slowly,” he said. But a sudden spike in the prevalence of the coronavirus brought the plan to a halt.

The test-positivity rate jumped from 2.9 percent to 6.1 percent in a eight-day period, said Dorchester County Health Officer Roger Harrell.

Coronavirus cases have not spread in schools, school and health officials said. They called the closure a cautionary measure taken to prevent a school outbreak.

“The scary part is how quickly it flipped, and it seemed to be growing exponentially,” Bromwell said. “It just appears that it’s hitting rural America.”

The sharp increase has not been traced to a particular event or outbreak in any part of the county and has affected people across age levels, Harrell said. The county includes the city of Cambridge, amid an expanse of farmland and waterways.

“We’ve not really figured out why,” he said. “I wish we had the magic answer, but we don’t have it yet.”

It will take at least two weeks of consistently lower positivity rates before schools can reopen, officials said.

At that point, Thanksgiving — and the possibility of spread during family get-togethers — may be around the corner and “certainly a concern,” Bromwell said.

“It kind of takes the wind out of your sails,” he said. “You start to get the impression that you’re returning to normalcy, and then . . . it takes the wind out of you.”

In recent months, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) and State Superintendent Karen Salmon have visited schools around the state, lauding efforts to revive classroom instruction. Hogan said in late August that school systems were fully authorized to begin safely reopening for in-person classes, based on improving health metrics.

Nineteen of the state’s 24 school systems have opened school buildings to students to some extent this fall, state officials said Friday.

Hogan’s office issued a statement Friday saying Dorchester’s approach is consistent with data-driven health metrics provided by the state.

“The recent rise in the county’s positivity rate is connected to a small number of family clusters, which is in line with trends we are seeing statewide,” spokesman Mike Ricci said.

Salmon called the changes in Dorchester “an example of the metrics being utilized to inform health-based decisions at the local level,” according to a statement provided by the Maryland Department of Health.

Dorchester opened Sept. 8 and soon brought back seniors in career programs and later students with special needs. More recently, it embarked on a hybrid approach that combined online and in-person learning for students in pre-K, kindergarten, sixth grade and ninth grade.

Since schools opened, nine people related to schools in Dorchester have tested positive: four students, all teenagers, and five employees, only some of whom worked in school buildings.


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Coronavirus Positivity Hits 7.8 Percent In Suburban Cook County

COOK COUNTY, IL — Suburban Cook County’s coronavirus positivity rate reached its highest level since June, with its average number of new daily hospitalizations with coronavirus symptoms at the highest point since public health officials began publishing data earlier this year.

In the third week of October, positivity rates continued rising across all but one of the state’s 11 COVID-19 resurgence mitigation regions. As of Friday, four of the regions are subject to state-ordered mitigation measures restricting indoor dining and other activities, including DuPage, Kane, Kankakee and Will counties.

In the Cook County suburbs, Region 10, the positivity rate reached 7.3 percent Tuesday, the most recent day where the seven-day rolling average is available from the Illinois Department of Public Health. The region had seen eight days of increases in the previous 10.

If a region’s positivity rate reaches a threshold of 8 percent and remains there for three days, state public health officials order the imposition of additional mitigation measures.

The average number of new daily hospitalizations suburban Cook County continued to rise. The rounded, rolling seven-day average of admissions to hospitals with “COVID-like illnesses,” or CLI, rose to 42 people a day compared to 23 a month earlier and up by 35 percent in the past week.

Meanwhile, the number of counties considered to be at a warning level for COVID-19, meaning two or more county-level risk indicators show an increasing risk of the virus’ spread, has also set a new record.

Half Illinois counties are now at the “orange” warning level: Adams, Bond, Boone, Carroll, Cass, Christian, Clay, Clinton, Crawford, DeKalb, Douglas, Edwards, Fayette, Ford, Franklin, Gallatin, Greene, Hamilton, Henderson, Jersey, Jo Daviess, Johnson, Kane, Kendall, Knox, LaSalle, Lee, Macon, Macoupin, McDonough, McHenry, Mercer, Morgan, Moultrie, Ogle, Perry, Pike, Pulaski, Rock Island, Saline, Shelby, Stephenson, Union, Vermilion, Wabash, Warren, Wayne, Whiteside, Will, Williamson and Winnebago.

(Illinois Department of Public Health)
(Illinois Department of Public Health)

Public health officials said some businesses continue to disregard social distancing and face covering requirements, noting in a statement that “mayors, local law enforcement, state’s attorneys, and other community leaders can be influential in ensuring citizens and businesses follow best practices.”

On Friday, the state public health agency reported and 3,874 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus, including 31 deaths.

As of Thursday night, there were 2,498 people in Illinois reported to be hospitalized with COVID-19, up by 482 from a week earlier and 38 percent more people than were hospitalized with the virus two weeks ago.

Of those currently in the state’s hospitals, there were 511 patients in intensive care units, 111 more people in the ICU than a week earlier. There were 197 COVID-19 patients on ventilators, 46 more than a week earlier.

Less than 83,000 tests were reported in the previous 24 hours. The statewide preliminary seven-day average positivity rate, as a percentage of total tests, is 5.6 percent for the week ending Thursday, up by 0.5 percentage points from a week earlier.

Illinois Coronavirus Update Oct. 23: More Than Half Of

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Colorado limits more gatherings as COVID cases spike

DENVER (AP) — Citing a steady increase in Colorado’s coronavirus hospitalization caseload, state health officials announced new limits Friday on personal gatherings of people from different households in more than two dozen counties.

An amended state health order affecting 29 of the state’s counties limits personal gatherings to 10 people from no more than two households. Gatherings of up to 25 people were previously permitted in those counties, Colorado Public Radio reported.

Personal gatherings in 30 other Colorado counties were already restricted to 10 people. No new limits were imposed for five counties with lesser caseloads.

The Department of Public Health and Environment said it took the action after investigators determined that COVID-19 cases associated with social gatherings and community exposure had been more common since July.

“We need to keep gatherings smaller and with people from fewer households — we are asking everyone to ‘shrink their bubble’ to reduce the spread,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, the department’s executive director.

On Tuesday, Gov. Jared Polis appealed to residents to help stem what he called an alarming acceleration of new cases and hospitalizations. Upward trends in new confirmed cases and hospitalizations could strain hospital intensive-care capacity in December, the Democratic governor said.

There are roughly 1,800 intensive-care beds statewide for all health emergencies. More than three-quarters of those beds were occupied for all reasons over the week leading up to Monday, the state health department said.

The state reported 458 virus hospitalizations Friday. Health officials reported there were nearly 20 positive COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents Friday, one of the highest, if not the highest, recorded rates of the pandemic.

More than 2,000 people have died of the virus in Colorado, which has reported more than 85,000 positive cases. The number of cases is probably higher because of a lack of testing and other reasons.

The coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.

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Bilingualism is good medicine for the brain

Shortly after Kathy Jones relocated to California, the retired professor decided she needed to learn to speak Spanish.

Staying Well Bilingual Brain for Wellness_00000020.jpg

© Provided by CNN
Staying Well Bilingual Brain for Wellness_00000020.jpg

“When I moved to San Diego, I would see all these young kids, mostly Latino kids, who could speak perfect Spanish and perfect English. And switch, back and forth, with fluidity. And I saw that and I don’t know why, but I said to myself, I want to be able to do that,” she says.

Jones looked forward to her weekly Spanish class, but what she really loved was the extracurricular activities organized by her teachers at the Culture and Language Center in San Diego.

“Before the pandemic, we had meet-ups for coffee, parties, craft workshops and excursions all over Latin America — all totally in Spanish. We haven’t been able to do any of that since March.”

Jones is still keeping up with her classes, but they’re all online now. Her classmate is a friend who lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, and their teacher is based in Tijuana. Her online sessions are providing some much-needed social interaction while Jones and her husband hunker down in their San Diego home.

The benefits

Since Jones has been such a dedicated pupil, she’s almost reached fluency. And that could be good for her brain.

Some of the most compelling research on bilingualism and aging comes from Ellen Bialystok of York University in Toronto.

She found that bilinguals are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease four to five years later than their monolingual counterparts.

“The more you use another language, the better you get at it. Well, that’s not surprising, but along with that, the more you use two languages, the more your brain subtly rewires,” she says.

And when it comes to the beneficial effects bilingualism has on the brain, education levels do not matter. In fact, the most profound effects were found in people who were illiterate and had no education. Bilingualism was their only real source of mental stimulation, and as they got older, it provided protection for their aging brains.

Tamar Gollan of the University of California San Diego Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center explains it this way: “Bilingualism doesn’t prevent you from getting Alzheimer’s disease; it doesn’t prevent brain damage from happening if you have the disease. What it does is it makes you continue to function, even in the face of having damage to the brain. You can imagine an athlete with an injury crossing the finish line, even though they’re injured.”

So why does being bilingual have any effect at all?

“The effect it has is, I believe, is on the attention system,” Bialystok says. “This is what cognition is, knowing what you need to attend to, and blocking out the rest.”

Brain changes

Bialystok believes the experience of using two languages effectively reorganizes your brain.

“So that means the more experience with bilingualism leads to greater changes. The longer you’re bilingual, the more the changes. The earlier you start

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U.S. COVID-19 deaths could hit half million by February as surge continues

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The COVID-19 death toll could reach a half million in the United States by February unless nearly all Americans wear face masks, researchers said on Friday, a day after the number of new infections reported across the country approached a record high.

FILE PHOTO: Certified nursing assistant (CNA) Shameka Johnson, wearing NFL Green Bay Packers apparel, processes a nasal swab at a drive-thru testing site outside the Southside Health Center as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak continues in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S., October 21, 2020. REUTERS/Bing Guan

A study by the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation estimated that the pandemic could claim a total of more than 500,000 lives by February, up from the current death toll of over 221,000. The projection reflects fears that colder winter weather will drive Americans indoors, where the virus is more likely to spread, and concerns that not enough people are wearing masks, experts said.

Cases, hospitalizations and deaths are all accelerating as cooler weather descends on much of the country. Nationwide, 76,195 new cases were reported on Thursday, just shy of the single-day record high of 77,299 reported on July 16, according to a Reuters analysis.

Only India has reported more cases in a single day: 97,894 on Sept. 17.

“We are heading into a very substantial fall/winter surge,” said IHME director Chris Murray, who co-led the research. “We expect the surge to steadily grow across different states and at the national level, and to continue to increase as we head towards high levels of daily deaths in late December and in January.”

Even so, the number of possible deaths could drop by 130,000 if 95% of Americans would cover their faces, the IHME said, echoing a recommendation championed by Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and other leading medical experts.

U.S. Health Secretary Alex Azar attributed the increase in cases nationwide to behavior of individuals, saying household gatherings have become a “major vector of disease spread.”

Asked about an assertion by President Donald Trump during Thursday night’s presidential debate that the United States is “rounding the turn” on coronavirus, Azar told CNN that Trump was trying to provide hope to Americans waiting for therapeutics and a vaccine.

A day after the president claimed, without citing evidence, that COVID-19 was “going away,” Pennsylvania, a hotly contested state in the Nov. 3 presidential election, reported its largest single-day increase in cases since the pandemic began.

“Daily increases are now comparable with what we saw in April 2020,” the Pennsylvania Department of Health wrote in a statement on Friday.


On Thursday, there were 916 reported fatalities in the United States, a day after the country recorded over 1,200 new deaths for the first time since August. COVID-19 deaths are up 13% from last week, averaging 785 a day over the past seven days.

Also on Thursday, the number of COVID-19 patients in U.S. hospitals climbed

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Goldfinch Bio Presents Clinical Data from Phase 1 Trial Supporting Advancement of GFB-887 as a Precision Medicine for Patients with Kidney Diseases

— GFB-887, a first-in-class highly potent and selective inhibitor of the TRPC5-Rac1 pathway, was well-tolerated in single ascending doses —

— GFB-887 induced dose-dependent reductions in urinary Rac1, demonstrating target engagement —

— TRPC5-Rac1 pathway overactivation is key cause of disease in substantial portion of patients with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) and diabetic nephropathy (DN) —

— Phase 2 clinical study of GFB-887 (TRACTION-2) underway; initial data expected in the first quarter of 2021 —

Goldfinch Bio, a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on discovering and developing precision medicines for the treatment of kidney diseases, today announced for the first time results from its Phase 1 clinical trial evaluating GFB-887, a first-in-class highly potent and selective inhibitor of Transient Receptor Potential Canonical Channel 5 (TRPC5), in healthy volunteers. The data are being presented today at the virtual American Society of Nephrology (ASN) Kidney Week 2020 Annual Meeting.

Goldfinch Bio is developing GFB-887 as a precision medicine for patients with kidney diseases characterized by overactivation of the TRPC5-Rac1 pathway, including focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) and diabetic nephropathy (DN). Overactivation of the TRPC5-Rac1 pathway leads to injury of podocytes, which are cells lining the kidney that, in their healthy state, prevent essential protein loss (proteinuria). Injury to podocytes causes podocyte loss, proteinuria and, eventually, kidney failure. TRPC5-Rac1 pathway overactivation is the key cause of disease in a substantial portion of FSGS and DN patients, and there are currently no approved drugs that specifically target the TRPC5-Rac1 pathway in these diseases.

“We are excited to share these first-in-human data, which demonstrate that GFB-887 is well-tolerated and suggest a dose-dependent reduction in urinary Rac1, confirming GFB-887 target engagement in the podocyte,” said Anthony Johnson, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Goldfinch Bio. “Suppressing the TRPC5-Rac1 pathway has the potential to deliver clinically meaningful benefit to patients by reducing proteinuria and, as a result, preserving native kidney function. Supported by the Phase 1 data, we are now underway with our Phase 2 TRACTION-2 study of GFB-887 in FSGS and DN, as we continue to advance our mission of protecting patients from the inevitability of dialysis and kidney transplant by delivering precision medicines for subsets of kidney disease.”

Data from the Phase 1 Clinical Trial

The primary objective of the randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial was to assess the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetic (PK) profile and pharmacodynamics (PD) of GFB-887 in healthy volunteers. A key exploratory objective was to characterize changes in urinary Rac1. Urinary Rac1 concentration may predict therapeutic response to TRPC5 inhibition.

The study enrolled 70 subjects, who were randomized four to one to receive GFB-887 at seven dose levels (ranging from 5 mg to 900 mg) or placebo.

Primary Objective: Safety, Tolerability and PK Data

GFB-887 was observed to be well-tolerated at all doses. There were no dose-limiting toxicities, severe adverse events (AEs) or abnormalities in laboratory or clinical assessments. In total, 38 percent of subjects who received GFB-887 reported AEs, compared to 21 percent of subjects treated with placebo. GFB-887-treated subjects

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AstraZeneca, Johnson&Johnson Covid-19 vaccine trials to resume

Drugmakers AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson both said Friday they are set to resume their paused coronavirus vaccine trials in the United States after health scares.

a person in a blue shirt: A man receives an injection as UCLA and AstraZeneca begin phase three trials in a potential COVID-19 vaccine.

© The Lundquist Institute/FILE
A man receives an injection as UCLA and AstraZeneca begin phase three trials in a potential COVID-19 vaccine.

AstraZeneca’s trial had been on hold since early September, and Johnson & Johnson’s trial had been paused since earlier this month

AstraZeneca said the US Food and Drug Administration authorized the restart Thursday after reviewing all of the global safety data and concluding it was safe to resume. The trial had already resumed in other countries.

The trial was paused after a volunteer in Britain developed a neurological condition.

Johnson & Johnson’s trial was put on hold October 12 due to a study participant’s “unexplained illness,” the company said. The company said Friday “no clear cause” was identified.

“Preparations to resume the trial in the United States are now underway,” the company said, including submissions for approval by Institutional Review Boards. Johnson & Johnson’s statement did not specify when the trial would begin again.

“There are many possible factors that could have caused the event. Based on the information gathered to date and the input of independent experts, the Company has found no evidence that the vaccine candidate caused the event,” the company’s statement said.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine trial started September 23 with a plan to recruit 60,000 patients in eight countries, including the United States. In its statement Friday, Johnson & Johnson said discussions with regulators around the world are “progressing.”

Government health officials, as well as outside experts, have said the holds are an example of how the safety process is working and protecting Americans from any potentially dangerous vaccines. Regulators wanted to check to make sure any problems could not have been caused by the vaccines.

AstraZeneca has been working with Britain’s University of Oxford to develop its vaccine, one of four that have started late-stage, Phase 3 trials in the US.

An internal AstraZeneca safety report obtained by CNN last month showed the study volunteer, a previously healthy 37-year-old woman, “experienced confirmed transverse myelitis” after receiving her second dose of the vaccine, and was hospitalized on September 5. The woman was enrolled in the UK arm of the trial, which is run by the University of Oxford.

The document, labeled an “initial report,” described how the study participant had trouble walking, weakness and pain in her arms, and other symptoms.

The company said in the release Thursday that results from late-stage trials are expected later this year, depending on infection rates where the trials are being conducted.

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Illinois health chief pleads for coronavirus precautions

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois’ public health director on Friday again pleaded with residents to wear face coverings to slow the spread of the coronavirus, breaking at one point and pausing to compose herself after reporting the day’s grim COVID-19 statistics.

As the numbers of cases rise to levels rivaling the nightmare spring when hospitals scrambled for beds to treat the sick, Dr. Ngoze Ezike rallied residents to resist “COVID fatigue” by thinking of health care and other essential workers who cannot avoid the public on a daily basis.

“If you’re talking about COVID fatigue from having to keep wearing a mask, think about the COVID fatigue for health care workers … trying to fight for people’s lives,” Ezike said. “All these people who work with the public on a regular basis. You cannot work from home as a bus driver, so these people have to go to work every day as the disease is increasing throughout the state. And they are the ones that will be dying.”

Earlier in Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s daily COVID-19 briefing in Chicago, Ezike was momentarily overcome. The typically unflappable physician, thrust into the spotlight seven months ago as Pritzker’s top medical voice of the pandemic, reported another 31 deaths to bring the state’s total to 9,418.

“These are people who started with us in 2020 and won’t be with us at the Thanksgiving table,” Ezike said. She then apologized and turned away from reporters for about 40 seconds, wiping her eyes and accepting a tissue from a staff member.

She appeared exasperated at the number of residents flaunting a requirement to wear masks covering the nose and mouth while out in public, which health experts say is an effective way to stymie transmission of the illness while the world waits for a viable treatment and preventive vaccine.

After a record-setting 4,942 newly confirmed cases on Thursday, Ezike reported 3,874 on Friday, the ninth straight day in which new cases topped 3,000, with 31 additional deaths. Overall, 364,033 have contracted COVID-19.

Pritzker has put four regions of the state on tighter restrictions for social interaction because of worrisome COVID-19 numbers. The state’s rate of positive test results is 5.6%, the eighth straight day it’s been above the 5% level national and international health experts believe is acceptable.

The Democratic governor again sympathized with owners of bars and restaurants, who are limited to serving outdoors and only until 11 p.m. in the four regions under “resurgence mitigations” — Region 1 in northwestern Illinois, Region 5 in far southern Illinois, and four south- and west-suburban Chicago counties that make up Regions 7 and 8. Chicago has tightened rules too.

“We don’t want people to get sick and die, so I would ask people to try to live by the rules that we’ve set: Wear your mask,” Pritzker said. “The truth is that if everybody will wear their masks, we can get our businesses back open again much quicker.”


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Cyanobacteria: Small candidates as great hopes for medicine and biotechnology


IMAGE: The team headed by Dr Paul D’Agostino will sequence 40 symbiotic and rare terrestrial cyanobacteria for the production of new active agents and to explore the potential for applications in…
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Credit: Paul D’Agostino

In order to unlock the genetic potential of unusual cyanobacteria for the production of new active agents and to explore the potential for applications in biotechnology, the team headed by Dr Paul D’Agostino has been awarded a competitive whole-genome sequencing grant from the Joint Genome Institute (JGI) in the USA.

An ever-growing global population, an increasing standard of living and environmental challenges such as anthropogenic climate change, ocean pollution, the declining availability of arable land and dwindling fossil resources – these are today’s global challenges. Therefore, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research has dedicated the Science Year 2020/21 to the topic Bioeconomy with the aim of meeting these challenges with little heroes. The “stars” of bioeconomy are proteins, algae, microorganisms, and other tiny creatures with great impact.

At the Chair of Technical Biochemistry at TU Dresden, the researchers will now focus on some of the oldest of such little superheroes: cyanobacteria. There are about 2000 species of cyanobacteria and many of these species have been poorly researched. Dr Paul D’Agostino, Professor Tobias Gulder and their team – including cooperation partners Michelle Gehringer (TU Kaiserslautern), Michael Lakatos and Patrick Jung (both Hochschule Kaiserslautern) – hope that unusual cyanobacteria will yield promising results and make an innovative contribution to bioeconomy.

“Microorganisms produce valuable organic molecules with great potential for many applications. It is important to know that unusual organisms often also produce novel bioactive agents. The discovery of such new, bioactive molecules is essential if one thinks, for example, of new medical challenges such as the coronavirus and the progressive development of resistance to established active agents. Within the scope of this project, we therefore want to investigate the genetic potential of very unusual cyanobacteria for the production of innovative active pharmaceutical ingredients,” explains Gulder.

As a first step, the team will predict the potential of natural compounds by sequencing the genomes and subsequent bioinformatic analysis.

The results can then be translated into the targeted discovery of new molecules using modern methods of synthetic biology and biotechnology. As a final step, the project will focus on the production and characterization of these natural compounds and on the application of the enzymes producing these compounds as biocatalysts for the development of sustainable chemical processes.


Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

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A Snapshot of COVID’s Global Havoc

Editor’s note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape’s Coronavirus Resource Center.

Some medical societies feature sessions at their annual meetings that feel like they’re 24 hours long, yet few have the courage to schedule a session that actually runs all day and all night. But the five societies sponsoring the IDWeek conference had that courage. The first 24 hours of the meeting was devoted to the most pressing infectious-disease crisis of the last 100 years: the COVID-19 pandemic. They called it “COVID-19: Chasing the Sun.”

Fauci Predicts a Vaccine Answer in Mid-November

Dr Anthony Fauci

In the first segment, at 10 am Eastern time, Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, began the day by noting that five of the six companies the US invested in to develop a vaccine are conducting phase 3 trials. He said, “We feel confident that we will have an answer likely in mid-November to the beginning of December as to whether we have a safe and effective vaccine”. He added he was “cautiously optimistic” that “we will have a safe and effective vaccine by the end of the year, which we can begin to distribute as we go into 2021.” He highlighted the COVID-19 Prevention Network website for more information on the trials.

Glaring Racial Health Disparities in US

Dr Carlos del Rio

Some of the most glaring health disparities surrounding COVID-19 in the United States were described by Carlos del Rio, MD, professor of medicine at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. He pointed out that while white people have about 23 cases per 10,000 population, Blacks have about 62 cases per 10,000, and Latinos have 73 cases per 10,000. While whites don’t see a huge jump in cases until age 80, he said, “Among Blacks and Latinos you start seeing that huge increase at a younger age. In fact, starting at age 20, you start seeing a major, major change.”

COVID-19 Diagnostics

Audrey Odom John, MD, PhD, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, is working on a new way of diagnosing COVID-19 infection in children by testing their breath. “We’re really taking advantage of a fundamental biological fact, which is that people stink,” she said. Breath shows the health of the body as a whole, “and it’s easy to see how breath volatiles might arise from a respiratory infection.” Testing breath is easy and inexpensive, which makes it particularly attractive as a potential test globally, she said.

Long-term Effects of COVID-19

Post-COVID illness threatens to overwhelm the health system in the United States, even if only 1% of the 8 million people who have been infected have some sort of long-term deficit, “which would be a very conservative estimate,” said John O’Horo, MD, MPH, with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Neurologic dysfunction is going to be a “fairly significant thing to keep an eye on,” he added. Preeti Malani, MD, chief health

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