COVID Highlights - Arabian Peninsula and Elsewhere

@ August 11, COVID-19 Deaths Per Million:

  • UK: 685
  • Italy: 582
  • USA: 502
  • Canada: 238
  • Germany: 111
  • Saudi Arabia: 92
  • UAE: 36

August 11 - CNN: "Vaccines and asymptomatic spreaders may hold keys to answering Covid-19 mysteries, experts say" ... "One of those mysteries: why the experience can be so vastly different from person to person. One expert says the answer may mean taking a closer look at previous vaccines individuals have had. "When we looked in the setting of Covid disease, we found that people who had prior vaccinations with a variety of vaccines -- for pneumococcus, influenza, hepatitis and others -- appeared to have a lower risk of getting Covid disease,"...."

August 10 - CNN: "Covid-19's toll on bereaved family members runs deep, study says'" ... "For every person who dies of Covid-19, nine close family members are affected, researchers estimate -- based on complex demographic calculations and data about the coronavirus." .... See the full journal article on the website of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

August 7 - BBC: "Coronavirus: Asymptomatic cases 'carry same amount of virus'" ... A South Korean study showed that people who are asymptomatic carry the same amount of virus as those who are symptomatic, but it's unclear how much the asymptomatic people pass the virus on.

August 7 - CNN: "Coronavirus infections among younger populations are skyrocketing, WHO says" ... WHO warns that the latest numbers say that cases are "skyrocketing among children, teens and young adults."...

August 6 - The Times of India: "No benefit of plasma therapy in reducing Covid-19 mortality" ... A small study of 30 patients in India found that (unfortunately) there was no clear mortality benefit of convalescent plasma therapy.

August 5 - CNN: "The latest on the coronavirus pandemic" ... With 20% of all new Covid-19 cases in New York City coming from travelers from other states, New York City will set up vehicle "quarantine checkpoints" for out-of-state drivers at major bridges, tunnel crossings, etc.

August 3 - The National: "Coronavirus study finds train travel safer than first thought" ... A study of train travelers by British and Chinese scientists found that people sitting directly adjacent to an infected person had the highest level of transmission, followed by those sitting in the same row. But those who sat in the seat of an infected person had low rates of transmission.

August 3 - BBC: "Coronavirus: Eight ways life in the UK has changed" ... From working, to shopping, to dining, to fines for violating restrictions, the BBC looks at how things have changed due to the pandemic.

July 31 - New York Times: "Children May Carry Coronavirus at High Levels, Study Finds" ... "... Young children are mostly spared by the coronavirus and don’t seem to spread it to others, at least not very often. But on Thursday, a study introduced an unwelcome wrinkle into this smooth narrative. Infected children have at least as much of the coronavirus in their noses and throats as infected adults ... Indeed, children younger than age 5 may host up to 100 times as much of the virus in the upper respiratory tract as adults, the authors found. That measurement does not necessarily prove children are passing the virus to others. Still, the findings should influence the debate over reopening schools, several experts said."

July 31 - CBC: "Officials crack down on Alaska-bound travellers crossing U.S.-Canada border" ... "[Canada] is tightening up the rules for Americans and other foreign nationals travelling through Western Canada on the way to Alaska, in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Beginning Friday, foreign nationals travelling to Alaska for non-discretionary purposes will only be allowed to enter the country through five border crossings in Western Canada. Each visitor will be allowed a "reasonable period of stay" to make the journey, but will be limited to following "the most direct route" to Alaska ... They must avoid all national parks, leisure sites and tourism activities along the way, and must report to Canadian border officers when they leave the country. Every driver will be given a tag to hang from their rear-view mirror "to support compliance ... That tag will include the date by which they must leave Canada."

July 31 - BBC: "Coronavirus: PM postpones lockdown easing in England" ... "The further easing of coronavirus restrictions in England - due to come in this weekend - has been postponed for at least two weeks, amid concerns over an increase in coronavirus cases."

July 30 - New York Times: "Older Children Spread the Coronavirus Just as Much as Adults, Large Study Finds" ... "In the heated debate over reopening schools, one burning question has been whether and how efficiently children can spread the virus to others. A large new study from South Korea offers an answer: Children younger than 10 transmit to others much less often than adults do, but the risk is not zero. And those between the ages of 10 and 19 can spread the virus at least as well as adults do."

July 30 - The National: "From anti-vaxxers to Zoom shirts: your guide to the new language of Covid-19'" ... Struggling to keep up with the new lingo made popular (or necessary by COVID-19)? Check out this helpful article from The National.

July 20 - CNN: "Why some people who haven't had Covid-19 might already have some immunity" ... "The study, published in the journal Nature on Wednesday, found that among a sample of 68 healthy adults in Germany who had not been exposed to the coronavirus, 35% had T cells in their blood that were reactive to the virus. ... So how could their immune system have reactive T cells if they never had Covid-19? They were "probably acquired in previous infections with endemic" coronaviruses, the researchers -- from various institutions in Germany and the United Kingdom -- wrote in the new study. Using this T cell memory from another-yet-similar infection to respond to a new infection is called "cross-reactivity.""

July 29 - CBC: "Kids are not major source of COVID-19 spread, McMaster research review finds'" ... "... The review looked at 33 studies from around the world to understand the role of daycares and schools in COVID-19 transmission. Sarah Neil-Sztramko, an assistant professor at McMaster who helped lead the review, said while more research needs to be done on schools and daycares, young children are not a major source of the virus' spread. ... Neil-Sztramko said outbreaks in schools have normally been attributed to the adults, not kids. "One of the things we really need to focus on is minimizing contact between the adults in the school setting." ..."

July 29 - CTV News: "COVID-19's impact on the heart: Two new studies suggest 'the plot thickening'" ... "The disease caused by the novel coronavirus can harm other organs in the body -- including the heart -- and now two separate studies, published in the journal JAMA Cardiology on Monday, provide more insight into how COVID-19 may have a prolonged impact on heart health in those who have recovered from illness and may have caused cardiac infection in those who died. ..."

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