10 million Covid cases

The Covid case count has just topped ten million on Worldometer (it is currently 9,9 million at Reuters and 9.874 million at JHU but they will also pass 10 million today).

New case numbers climbed rapidly in March, levelled off, but then took off again late May and increased by 180,000 on Thursday and 194 thousand on Friday (current numbers are Saturday GMT).

This is just confirmed cases, there are likely to be many more than this.

A quarter of the cases – two and a half million – are in the United States. Numbers there had seemed to peak in April, dropped back a bit from there but have also surged again in the last week with the worst of the problem there moving to different states, where lockdowns were light or relaxed too soon.

Reuters: Florida, Arizona, Nevada hit daily highs for COVID-19 cases

Florida, Arizona and Nevada recorded daily highs for cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, highlighting the worsening spread of the virus in several southern and western states, prompting some of them to rollback their reopening plans.

The surge in cases has been most pronounced in a handful of southern and western states that reopened earlier and more aggressively, serving as a warning to the potentially illusory nature of any perceived progress in controlling the virus.

On Friday, as the United States recorded its largest daily case count of the pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said the government’s current strategy for finding and isolating infected people was “not working,” partly due to significant asymptomatic spread.

The number of deaths world wide is also likely to pass half a million today as well (currently 499,001).

And a quarter of those deaths are in the US (128,000).

It’s not just the deaths that are causing problems – Scientists just beginning to understand the many health problems caused by COVID-19

Scientists are only starting to grasp the vast array of health problems caused by the novel coronavirus, some of which may have lingering effects on patients and health systems for years to come, according to doctors and infectious disease experts.

Besides the respiratory issues that leave patients gasping for breath, the virus that causes COVID-19 attacks many organ systems, in some cases causing catastrophic damage.

“We thought this was only a respiratory virus. Turns out, it goes after the pancreas. It goes after the heart. It goes after the liver, the brain, the kidney and other organs. We didn’t appreciate that in the beginning,” said Dr. Eric Topol, a cardiologist and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in La Jolla, California.

In addition to respiratory distress, patients with COVID-19 can experience blood clotting disorders that can lead to strokes, and extreme inflammation that attacks multiple organ systems. The virus can also cause neurological complications that range from headache, dizziness and loss of taste or smell to seizures and confusion.

And recovery can be slow, incomplete and costly, with a huge impact on quality of life.

The broad and diverse manifestations of COVID-19 are somewhat unique, said Dr. Sadiya Khan, a cardiologist at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago.

With influenza, people with underlying heart conditions are also at higher risk of complications, Khan said. What is surprising about this virus is the extent of the complications occurring outside the lungs.

Khan believes there will be a huge healthcare expenditure and burden for individuals who have survived COVID-19.

A lot of work is being done to try to deal with this. As world approaches 10 million coronavirus cases, doctors see hope in new treatments

Doctors say they’ve learned enough about the highly contagious virus to solve some key problems for many patients. The changes could be translating into more saved lives, although there is little conclusive data.

Nearly 30 doctors around the world, from New Orleans to London to Dubai, told Reuters they feel more prepared should cases surge again in the fall.

“​We are well-positioned for a second wave,” Patel said. “We know so much more.”

Doctors like Patel now have:

  • A clearer grasp of the disease’s side effects, like blood clotting and kidney failure
  • A better understanding of how to help patients struggling to breathe
  • More information on which drugs work for which kinds of patients.

They also have acquired new tools to aid in the battle, including:

  • Widespread testing
  • Promising new treatments like convalescent plasma, antiviral drugs and steroids
  • An evolving spate of medical research and anecdotal evidence, which doctors share across institutions, and sometimes across oceans.

Despite a steady rise in COVID-19 cases, driven to some extent by wider testing, the daily death toll from the disease is falling in some countries, including the United States. Doctors say they are more confident in caring for patients than they were in the chaotic first weeks of the pandemic, when they operated on nothing but blind instinct.

A vaccine is probably some time away from becoming widely available despite many teams of scientists working on one.

RNZ – Human trial of new vaccine begins in UK:

About 300 people will have the vaccine over the coming weeks, as part of a trial led by Prof Robin Shattock and his colleagues, at Imperial College London.

Tests in animals suggest the vaccine is safe and triggers an effective immune response.

Experts at Oxford University have already started human trials.

The trials are among many across the world – there are around 120 vaccine programmes under way.

Prof Shattock said: “We’ve been able to produce a vaccine from scratch and take it to human trials in just a few months.

“If our approach works and the vaccine provides effective protection against disease, it could revolutionise how we respond to disease outbreaks in future.”

Healthline: Here’s Exactly Where We Are with Vaccines and Treatments for COVID-19

These drugs are still being tested in clinical trials to see whether they’re effective against COVID-19. This step is needed to make sure the medications are safe for this particular use and what the proper dosage should be.

It could be months before treatments are available that are known to work against COVID-19. It could be even longer for a vaccine.

“Even though technological advances allow us to do certain things more quickly,” Lee told Healthline, “we still have to rely on social distancing, contact tracing, self-isolation, and other measures.”

And that is what we are relying on in New Zealand, with now stringent (after some hiccups) isolation and testing of people coming into the country. While the number of active cases is rising, having been on zero for a while, we have just 16 and they are all contained in quarantine, and are all new Zealand citizens or residents returning to the country.

Some semblance of normality has returned to the country, except for international travel. The borders will have too remain strictly limited and controlled probably for the rest of the year at least. Even the hoped for bubble with Australia looks to be some time away after a resurgence of cases in Victoria in particular.

Even Donald Trump seems constrained after a return to running political rallies proved to be not very popular with the population, and after a number of Covid cases hitting his organising team. And now Journalist who attended Oklahoma Trump rally tests positive for Covid-19

After a number of absurd claims about testing trump now seems to be trying to ignore Covid and belatedly divert – Trump says he is staying in Washington to protect law and order

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday canceled a planned weekend visit to his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, and said he was staying in Washington “to make sure LAW & ORDER is enforced.”

“The arsonists, anarchists, looters, and agitators have been largely stopped,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “I am doing what is necessary to keep our communities safe – and these people will be brought to Justice!”

Trump has pledged to take a hard line on anyone destroying or vandalizing historical U.S. monuments and has threatened to use force on some protesters, as activism against racial injustice sweeps the country.

What’s he going too do, personally pepper spray anyone who protests or criticises him? More diversion from the Covid crisis:

There are far more urgent health problems facing the US right now. He has done an abysmal job of leading the country worst affected by Covid and sadly for the US that doesn’t look like changing.

Trump’s decision to cancel his trip to New Jersey comes amid a spike in coronavirus cases in many states.

White House spokesman Judd Deere said the cancellation was not related to New Jersey’s requirement that visitors from states with high coronavirus infection rates self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

Trump visited one of the states with high rates, Arizona, earlier this week.

Trump tweets while the country burns.

Other countries with major and growing Covid problems are Brazil, Peru, India, Russia and Mexico (which may have contracted the problem from neighbouring USA).

The pandemic is going to remain a big problem for some time to come.

 

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20 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  28th June 2020

    Young people getting infected driving US cases. Why?

    https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1276490546471677952.html

    Reply
    • My guess is that younger people are the ones circulating and socialising the most. The older population will be a lot more worried about catching Covid and will be taking many more precautions.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  28th June 2020

        Or BLM protests? Or just summer shopping and socialising?

        Reply
        • The latter; the lockdown is maddening in summer weather when the only permitted attractions are going to the supermarket and walking around the block.

          I noticed people walking around the walkway lake here. Of course the 2m distancing wasn’t always possible, but nor is it in the street unless one steps out into the road.

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  28th June 2020

            Walking out into(on to) the road ….is a rather drastic cure for …C19.

            Reply
            • I said stepping into and I meant stepping into. It is a correct usage.

              Look these things up before you ‘correct’ them.

      • Pink David

         /  28th June 2020

        “My guess is that younger people are the ones circulating and socialising the most. ”

        This is good news.

        “The older population will be a lot more worried about catching Covid and will be taking many more precautions.”

        Also good news. What were the lockdowns for again?

        Reply
  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  28th June 2020

    Paywalled article from UK epidemiologist warning restricting global travel, and social distancing will reduce exposure to pathogens and make people more vulnerable to epidemics.

    Lockdown and social distancing could make our immune system weaker, says scientist

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/06/27/lockdown-social-distancing-could-make-immune-system-weaker-says/

    Reply
    • It’s a really complex issue with no clear answers.

      Understandably most governments around the world are more intent on doing what looks best (regarding health and deaths) in the shorter term.

      It would take a very brave leader to say that we should accept a much higher death rate in the short term for the greater good and longer term benefits, when that’s also just based on unproven theories (no one knows how things will progress under different approaches with anything close to certainty).

      Reply
      • Pink David

         /  28th June 2020

        “It would take a very brave leader to say that we should accept a much higher death rate in the short term for the greater good and longer term benefits, when that’s also just based on unproven theories (no one knows how things will progress under different approaches with anything close to certainty).”

        It requires actual leadership. NZ locked down on the bases of computer models that have been proven to be wrong time and again. We do know, with very high certainty, the cost of a lockdown in both lives and money.

        Sweden has done it, along with Brazil. The media’s reaction to it is telling.

        Reply
        • Alan Foster

           /  28th June 2020

          Yes, Sweden & Brazil have certainly killed off many people – 5,000 + in Sweden & Brazil soon to be 60,000

          Reply
        • Our PM predicted 80,000 deaths without lockdown.

          PDTs, she’s on record saying it. No, I can’t give a date. But it was on the news.

          I see little point in adding Brazil’s and Sweden’s death tolls together.

          Reply
        • Pink David

           /  28th June 2020

          “Yes, Sweden & Brazil have certainly killed off many people – 5,000 + in Sweden & Brazil soon to be 60,000”

          Show me this world in which no one dies. 60,000 is the number of people murdered in Brazil every year.

          The lockdown in the UK has killed 50,000. That is from delayed healthcare primarily, the hospitals were empty for months. The death toll long term will be significantly higher long term.

          Lockdowns destroy lives, and save no one. All the countries with the worst death tolls are also the ones that have locked down most aggressively.

          If you are afraid, stay in your home.

          Reply
    • Patzcuaro

       /  28th June 2020

      We have no immunity to the current corona virus & at this stage it is unknown what immunity you get from getting the virus.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  28th June 2020

        We don’t know that at all. It seems clear that a lot of people have substantial immunity.

        Reply
    • It’s so well known that social isolation LOWERS the resistance to diseases that it should be obvious that lockdowns have limitations. Social isolation damages health as much as smoking a packet a day, I believe, and it stuffs the immune system.

      As Covid’s a coronavirus, people who have it can get it again. How marvellous if these were like mumps and measles, catch them once and never again.

      Reply
    • Pink David

       /  28th June 2020

      “We have no immunity to the current corona virus & at this stage it is unknown what immunity you get from getting the virus.”

      The simple fact that 80% are asymptomatic indicates most people have a very high immunity to Covid-19.

      Reply
    • Pink David

       /  28th June 2020

      Sunetra Gupta has been spot on all the way through.

      Reply

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