Coronavirus Outbreak: Daily Updates

Brazil currently has over 614,000 reported cases of COVID-19, second only to the United States in total cases.

There have been 34,000 deaths in the country. This week there were over 1,300 deaths in a single day, according to NBC News.

Only the United States and the United Kingdom have reported higher daily death rates.

President Jair Bolonsaro has been criticized for downplaying the pandemic. One health advisor was fired after disagreeing with Bolonsaro about how to respond to the disease.

CDC reports people are misusing cleaning products during COVID-19 outbreak

In a surveyTrusted Source conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at least 39 percent of respondents said they had misused cleaning supplies during the pandemic, according to STAT News.

The misuse of cleaning supplies is likely among people trying to avoid contracting the virus during the pandemic. Experts say that physical distancing, wearing a mask, and regular handwashing are all key to avoid spreading the virus.

In the survey of 502 people, nearly 20 percent said they had put bleach on food, 18 percent said they had used household cleaners on their skin, and 10 percent said they had misted themselves with disinfectant.

Additionally, 6 percent said they had inhaled cleaners and 4 percent said they had ingested or gargled cleaners like bleach.

This exposure to household cleaners led to a quarter of respondents saying they had negative health effects.

Major medical journals retract studies on hydroxychloroquine as treatment for COVID-19

The Lancet medical journal has retracted a study on hydroxychloroquine that made headlines last week.

Researchers, who published the study looked at more than 96,000 people hospitalized with COVID-19.

The study was retracted due to data used in the study that had not been directly obtained by the researchers themselves. In their retraction letter the researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston said they worked with the company Surgisphere Corporation to obtain data. After other medical experts raised concerns about the company, the researchers conducted a review of the data. However, the Surgisphere Corporation would not give the full dataset to the reviewers meaning they could not do a full independent analysis of the data leading them to retract their study.

In the now-retracted study, the drug had been found not to improve people with COVID-19 and more people died after taking the drug.

Additionally, the New England Journal of Medicine also reacted a study on COVID-19 and cardiovascular health since it also used data from the company.

Hydroxychloroquine fails to prevent COVID-19 in a new study

Unlike the studies mentioned above, a new study released today has not been retracted.

The large study found that taking hydroxychloroquine wasn’t effective as a prophylactic treatment against COVID-19.

Researchers looked at 821 people with no symptoms of COVID-19. Over 87 percent had close contact with someone with the disease.

About half of the people — 414 — were given hydroxychloroquine and the other participants were given a placebo.

Researchers found the infection rate among the two groups was statistically similar, meaning hydroxychloroquine didn’t show any ability to protect people from contracting the virus that causes COVID-19.

They found side effects were more common in people taking hydroxychloroquine but there was no major reactions reported.

Study finds plasma therapy may help people with COVID-19

A new study found that plasma from people who recovered from COVID-19 may be an effective treatment for the disease.

The small study published on June 2 in The American Journal of Pathology examined 25 patients with severe or life-threatening symptoms of COVID-19. The patients were given plasma infusions from 9 donors who had already recovered from the illness.

The primary goal of the study was to see if plasma transfusions were safe. The researchers found no adverse events from the transfusion in 24 hours after it was administered.

Additionally, the researchers reported that 19 of the 25 patients improved after being given the plasma infusions. Three deteriorated and one patient died from causes unrelated to plasma infusion.

“While physician scientists around the world scrambled to test new drugs and treatments against COVID-19, convalescent serum therapy emerged as potentially one of the most promising strategies,” Dr. James M. Musser, PhD, chair of the department of pathology and genomic medicine at Houston Methodist and corresponding author for the study, said in a statement.

“With no proven treatments or cures for COVID-19 patients, now was the time in our history to move ahead rapidly,” he said.

New poll finds 27 percent of Americans wouldn’t get COVID-19 vaccine

A vaccine for COVID-19 is still months to years away, but a new poll finds that a significant number of Americans aren’t planning on getting the vaccine if it’s made available.

A new poll from ABC News and the Washington Post found that 27 percent of Americans said they would definitely or probably not get the vaccine when it’s made available.

For people who aren’t inclined to get the vaccine, about 50 percent said they don’t believe in vaccines and another 27 percent said they don’t believe a vaccine is necessary in this case.

People in areas like the northeast that were hard hit by the pandemic were much more likely to say they would get vaccinated.

The poll found that 78 percent of people in the northeast and in urban areas were likely to get the vaccine. Comparatively, about 65 percent of people in the south and 63 percent of people in rural areas said they would definitely or probably get the vaccine.

Russia approves flu drug to treat COVID-19

Officials in Russia have reportedly approved a flu drug to treat the novel coronavirus after early tests found it may be an effective treatment.

Russia is preparing to ship the anti-flu drug called Avifavir to hospitals, according to Bloomberg News. The drug is a generic version of a Japanese drug already approved in that country to treat the flu.

However, tests looking at the drug’s effectiveness in fighting COVID-19 are still ongoing. This includes a final stage trial with 330 patients.

Earlier trials reportedly showed signs the drug could help decrease the amount of time a person was hospitalized or had a high fever. However, these findings haven’t been verified in large studies or printed in a peer-reviewed journal.

Other treatments, notably the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine, haven’t proven to be an effective treatment against COVID-19 in early studies.

People with cancer are twice as likely to die from COVID-19

A major study published Thursday, May 28 found a 13 percent fatality rate for people with cancer who contract COVID-19.

The study published in the medical journal The Lancet found people with advanced cancer were nearly 5 times as likely to die after contracting COVID-19 than people without cancer, according to CNN.

Even for people whose cancer was relatively stable had double the risk of death if they contracted the disease.

“The death rate for this group of patients as a whole was 13 [percent] more than twice that reported for all patients with COVID-19… Certain subgroups, such as patients with active (measurable) cancer and those with an impaired performance status, fared much, much worse,” said Dr. Jeremy Warner, MS, associate professor of medicine and biomedical informatics at Vanderbilt University, the study’s corresponding author in a statement.

However, the team didn’t find that undergoing treatment for cancer, including chemotherapy or having surgery, impacted the risk of dying by COVID-19.

They advised that these treatments shouldn’t be delayed due to the pandemic since it can cause worse outcomes for patients.

CDC releases guidelines for going back to the office safely

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released new guidelinesTrusted Source on how to safely reopen offices amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among their recommendations, the CDC advises companies to assess the building itself to make sure it has enough ventilation to prevent the virus from recirculating. Additionally, they advise separating workspaces and desks so people can maintain 6 feet of separation at all times.

They point out that staggered start times, temperature checks, and disinfecting common space areas can also cut down on risk of transmission.

Even with all these safeguards, the CDC recommends all workers wear face masks to protect themselves and others from aerosolized viral particles.

New research finds officials had weeks to stop COVID-19 from becoming widespread in US

A new report finds that COVID-19 was not being sustainably transmitted in the United States until weeks after the first case was detected. This means that cases weren’t spreading widely until mid-February.

The report was released in a pre-print article and hasn’t been peer reviewed. But it shows how delayed action by government officials may have worsened the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States.

The first known U.S. case of COVID-19 was found to have occurred on Jan. 15. But that person was quarantined and their contacts also asked to quarantine.

The study authors found that the start of sustained transmission of COVID-19 started in Washington state in mid-February after President Donald Trump had issued the travel ban for China.

Over 100,000 Americans have died from COVID-19

In less than 4 months, COVID-19-related deaths went from the single digits in the United States to over 100,000.

The first known COVID-19-related death occurred on February 6 in northern California. By mid-April daily deaths peaked at over 2,300.

While deaths have slowly been decreasing, there are over 1,000 deaths a day from COVID-19, according to a model from the University of Washington.

The United States stands out globally for having the most number of reported cases and deaths related to the virus. U.S. fatalities account for nearly a third of global deaths from COVID-19.

While infections and deaths from COVID-19 have been trending downward, experts worry that there could be a second peak of infections and deaths as states reopen.

The news of over 100,000 deaths from COVID-19 comes as virtually all states are loosening restrictions around shelter-in-place orders.