CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 11/24/2020
Some good news first:
Data Show Hospitalized Covid-19 Patients are Surviving at Higher Rates, but Surge in Cases Could Roll Back Gains (STAT News) Patients hospitalized with Covid-19 are surviving at higher rates than in the early days of the pandemic, gains that data and interviews with experts suggest are driven by a more refined understanding of the disease and how to treat it — and, crucially, less strain on hospitals that had been inundated at times. But clinicians warn that this progress won’t withstand what happens when crushes of patients again overwhelm hospitals, as is now occurring in dozens of U.S. states. With the country setting new records of hospitalizations daily, care is getting threatened, and death rates — not just deaths — could increase.
1. FDA Authorizes Drug Combination for Treatment of COVID-19 The US Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization for the drug baricitinib, in combination with remdesivir, for the treatment of suspected or laboratory confirmed COVID-19 in hospitalized adults and pediatric patients two years of age or older requiring supplemental oxygen, invasive mechanical ventilation, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). (FDA, 11/19/2020)
2. Trends in County-Level COVID-19 Incidence in Counties With and Without a Mask Mandate — Kansas, June 1–August 23, 2020 The governor of Kansas issued an executive order requiring wearing masks in public spaces, effective July 3, 2020, which was subject to county authority to opt out. After July 3, COVID-19 incidence decreased in 24 counties with mask mandates but continued to increase in 81 counties without mask mandates. Countywide mask mandates appear to have contributed to the mitigation of COVID-19 transmission in mandated counties. Community-level mitigation strategies emphasizing use of masks, physical distancing, staying at home when ill, and enhanced hygiene practices can help reduce the transmission of SARS-CoV-2. (CDC MMWR, 11/20/2020)
(J. Harris: This is a hard to read article, but the heavily populated cities in Kansas wore masks. Most of the lesser populated counties did not op in to the mask mandates and had a higher incidence of Covid. North and South Dakota and W. Texas have proven that the wide open spaces and lesser populations DO NOT KEEP YOU SAFE FROM COVID. Be smart. It’s most inconvenient to die at Christmas.)
3. FDA Authorizes Monoclonal Antibodies for Treatment of COVID-19 The US Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization for casirivimab and imdevimab to be administered together for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients (12 years of age or older weighing at least 40 kilograms with positive results of direct SARS-CoV-2 viral testing and who are at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19. This includes those who are 65 years of age or older or who have certain chronic medical conditions. (FDA, 11/21/2020)
4. COVID-19 Outbreak Associated with a 10-Day Motorcycle Rally in a Neighboring State — Minnesota, August–September 2020 Following a 10-day motorcycle rally in South Dakota attended by approximately 460,000 persons, 51 confirmed primary event-associated cases, 21 secondary cases, and five tertiary cases were identified in Minnesota residents. An additional nine likely rally-associated secondary or tertiary cases occurred. Four patients were hospitalized, and one died. Genomic sequencing supported the associations with the motorcycle rally. The impact of gatherings as a source of virus transmission underscores the importance of reducing the number of attendees at gatherings, using face masks, and encouraging physical distancing to prevent ongoing transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Furthermore, these findings demonstrate the rationale for consistent mitigation measures across states. (CDC MMWR, 11/20/2020)
(J. Harris: This was a predictable and predicted result of the bikers rally in Sturgis, SD. There will be more, unless “Hells Angels” have an innate immunity.)
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