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March-20 Daily Update on COVID-19

Published 03/20/2020 | Reading Time 4 min 26 sec 

By Sarah Peterson, guest writer 

“If it looks like you’re overreacting, you’re probably doing the right thing.” – Dr. Anthony Fauci

Things to give you hope: 

  • Summit, the IBM supercomputer, identified 77 compounds that could potentially prevent COVID-19 replication. Scientists are now studying those 77 compounds to look for a potential treatment (CNN International). 
  • Teams of scientists from around the world have mapped the protein structure of key proteins for the virus and are looking for treatments that attack those proteins (NYTimes). 
  • San Miguel county in Colorado will be the first county in the United States to conduct testing on 100% of the town residents. One town resident owns a biomedical company that will donate all of the tests. They hope to show what widespread testing and strategic isolation can do to control the outbreak (Denver Post). 
  • New York testing is now on par with South Korea in per capita tests. Their numbers of confirmed cases will increase, but this should give you hope, as the fastest way to control the outbreak is widespread testing and targeted isolation (The Independent).
  • Some states have instituted specific shopping hours for the elderly and those who are immunocompromised (NPR). 
  • A Denver restaurant group and mental health nonprofit have partnered to offer free meals and mental health services to those in the service industry who have seen massive layoffs (Operation Family Meal). I would encourage you to look in your local area to see what your community is doing to support your service employees during this time.
  • Please see the below message from hospital workers to encourage social isolation:

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Things to be aware of: 

  • 50% of hospitalized patients in a study out of China reported GI symptoms (sample size was 204 patients). The American College of Gastroenterology is encouraging people to look out for diarrhea and anorexia (in this case meaning acute loss of appetite) as potential symptoms of COVID-19 (American College of Gastroenterology). 
  • In a press conference this morning, Dr. Birx noted the death rates in Italy show that men are dying at twice the rate as women in all age groups (NYTimes).
  • As of this morning, there have not been orders placed through the Defense Production Act. Hospitals across the country continue to stress that they are running low on Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) supplies. Some hospitals have already run out of key protective equipment and are having to treat patients without the proper protection, leaving themselves and their patients at risk (NYTimes). 
  • Italy’s number of deaths and new cases both continue to climb. They are considering tightening the restrictions to try to reduce the number of new cases (Reuters). 

Data of the day: 

  • The Atlantic created a data platform that allows you to see test results by state. The most important part of the site is that it includes both total tests and positive tests. This can help you get a better understanding of how widely your state is testing (The Atlantic).
  • Below are the current number of cases in the United States as of 1:40 pm MST. The number of serious or critical cases in the United States has been stagnant for 24 hours which likely points to a lag in reporting (worldmeters.info).

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Correction from yesterday: When referencing the H1N1 outbreak, I gave the years 2008-2009. It should have read 2009-2010. I’ve asked my copy editor to do a better job in the future. (Note: I am the copy editor.) I appreciate your grace!
Be safe, be kind, 
Sarah 

 

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