Most Cases of COVID-19 Are within the United States: 5 Updates on the Pandemic

As of March 26, 2020, the variety of circumstances
of coronavirus illness 2019 (COVID-19) within the United States has surpassed that
of all different nations. According to information from Johns Hopkins University in
Baltimore, Maryland, there are at present over 245,000 circumstances of COVID-19 within the
United States in contrast with a seemingly plateaued variety of82,000 circumstances in China
and over 117,000 and 115,000 every Spain and Italy, respectively.1 These
numbers are virtually constantly growing.

Over the final 2 weeks, each the unfold
and response to COVID-19 within the Unites States — particularly in New York and
California — has been considerably extra dramatic and extreme than beforehand
noticed. On March 20, 2020
— the day Governor Cuomo of New York signed the New York State on PAUSE
govt order — there have been roughly 5000 circumstances of an infection with extreme acute
respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) in New York City.2,3
As of the final replace from the New York City Department of Health and Mental
Hygiene on April 1, 2020, there are roughly 45,000 circumstances.2 New
York City now accounts for roughly 5% of the worldwide circumstances of COVID-19.

However, as a result of SARS-CoV-2 is extremely contagious, extra uniform secondary prevention measures (ie, quarantine/isolation, satisfactory shops of private protecting tools for healthcare employees) are extremely wanted. Currently, lots of the selections concerning isolation measures, in addition to the burden of buying and buying tools, fall on particular person states. This has resulted in a minimum of 23 states instituting clear mandates urging their residents to remain at dwelling.4 An further 15 states have both had strategies to isolate as a lot as potential from respective governors, or official orders to remain at dwelling from municipalities all through the person states.4

The effectivity of this patchwork administration for stalling the unfold of SARS-CoV-2 is regarding. In a matter of roughly Three weeks, a lot of what was established, recognized, and anticipated for the course of COVID-19 has been upended. This highlights the necessity to revisit and reassess among the information we presented previously.  

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1. Social Distancing: What is it? How does it assist? And how essential is it?

Much information has been introduced on the
significance of social distancing and within the present state of the COVID-19
pandemic this can’t be overstated. At current, there are over 1 million circumstances
of an infection with SARS-CoV-2 worldwide.1 On March 5, 2020, there
have been an estimated 100,000 circumstances.1 This is a higher than 9-fold
improve over 30 days. Concerns about community-spread have turn out to be truth and
arguably crucial difficulty to deal with as a way to change the course
of the pandemic.

The handiest option to stall the unfold of a pathogen that demonstrates such substantial transmissibility is to position bodily distance between the vectors of transmission (on this case, folks) for a major time frame.5 Without discovering new hosts to reside in, the virus will ultimately die out. In truth, with out a healing remedy or preventative vaccine that is the one efficient option to eradicate SARS-CoV-2, as was the case with its 2002 precursor. To this finish, nations have adopted a spectrum of isolation measures, starting from mandated regional quarantines to municipal suggestions to keep away from giant gatherings.4

2. Are there considerations for getting contaminated with SARS-CoV-2 through packages?

Many persons are doing their half and voluntarily self-isolating; many corporations have taken the initiative and duty of making work-from-home prospects for workers; the federal government of a number of states have issued directives for nonessential employees to remain dwelling. These measures are vital, however have led to numerous folks ordering requirements on-line and there stays a priority concerning the potential transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from packages. The information continues to report that whereas coronaviruses might survive on inanimate surfaces from Three to roughly 72 hours, the danger for transmissibility is low.6,7 The threat for person-to-person interplay between folks delivering mail and people receiving it, nevertheless, does nevertheless stay; a preliminary examine demonstrated that the virus may be aerosolized for as much as Four hours.6,7 Therefore, social distancing and hand hygiene practices proceed to be the mainstay for minimizing the danger for transmission. Where potential, it’s recommended that packages be delivered in a contact-less style.

3. Is any symptom-level of a cough an indication of COVID-19?

A dry cough continues to be a staple symptom of an infection with SARS-CoV-2; nevertheless, COVID-19 is a constellation of signs that features fever, shortness of breath, cough, and in some sufferers, diarrhea.8 Further, some people don’t exhibit any signs and proceed to clear the an infection with out growing COVID-19.8 So when are signs a trigger for a priority? When there’s a progressively worsening image of signs over a interval of two to three days, significantly when these embrace shortness of breath. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that people chorus from searching for in-person care instantly as a result of the vast majority of folks have been proven to convalesce with out the necessity for intervention. These measures additionally decrease the risks of transmitting the infection to different people.8,9

This tactic additionally aids in controlling the burden positioned on healthcare services and permits them to use their assets to sufferers in essential want. However, this doesn’t imply that sufferers who’re feeling unwell will go unattended. The creation of telemedicine has allowed for the very best of each worlds, giving sufferers a possibility to obtain an analysis and counselling for any signs or sicknesses they develop with out the necessity to have interaction bodily.10 Therefore, sufferers are inspired to name their doctor and talk about any onset of recent signs and development thereof.9 There can be a symptom self-checker accessible on the CDC website.

Of word, as a way to assist clinicians in diagnosing sufferers there are a number of assets additionally accessible on the CDC web site. These assets spotlight the truth that roughly 80% of circumstances are delicate to reasonable, however amongst sufferers who’re extreme or essential, symptom development may be speedy with some sufferers deteriorating inside 1 week of symptom onset.8 While this has been managed largely through early, low-threshold procedures for intubation and mechanical air flow, there may be early proof that helps using BiPAP and CPAP, with adjusted settings, in sufferers who aren’t in dire situations.

4. Is there any profit to sporting a masks?

Because there are
so many individuals who’ve a confirmed an infection with SARS-CoV-2 and sure
considerably extra who’re or have been contaminated, however haven’t obtained testing
— along with the priority for the time the virus survives in an aerosolized
state — using masks stays a contentious topic.11 Wearing a
surgical masks is definitely warranted for people who’ve signs of a
cough or sneezing as a result of this masks is efficient in stopping this individual from
infecting different folks. The means to forestall a wholesome individual from being
contaminated is much less efficient, however nonetheless believable. This is particularly pertinent as a result of
analysis has additionally recommended the presence of asymptomatic viral shedders.8

However, there may be nonetheless a priority concerning the
scarcity of private protecting tools for healthcare employees, together with
provides of surgical masks, N-95 respirator masks, and gloves. Although many
non-public manufacturing corporations have undertaken the duty of remedying this
scarcity, additionally it is the duty of most people to not overuse or
overbuy these provides. In phrases of threat stratification, there’s a
considerably decrease threat in non-healthcare employees of reusing a masks in contrast
with a healthcare employee reusing a masks for a number of causes, not the least
being a staggering distinction in viral publicity. Of word, early analysis has
demonstrated that there could also be efficient methods to sanitize and reuse the vitally
essential N95 masks.

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There are comparable considerations concerning the accessibility and availability of ventilators. This is a harder problem to beat, however right here, too, the non-public sector and innovators are working to shut the hole. Although the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM), American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC), and American Society of Anesthesiologists have really helpful towards using a single ventilator for two sufferers,12 earlier analysis in emergency drugs has demonstrated the feasibility of the sort of care. Further, the United States Food and Drug Administration has granted emergency use authorization to a novel system that attaches to a ventilator and permits it for use by as much as Four sufferers.13,14

5. Hydroxychloroquine? Chloroquine? Remdesivir? No Ibuprofen? No ACE-I/ARBs?

In an effort to
look after near 1 million folks, severe efforts have been undertaken to
discover efficient therapy and different methods to both forestall or ameliorate the
signs of COVID-19.

Due to the
mechanism of motion the virus makes use of to contaminate cells, using drugs such
as angiotensin changing enzyme inhibitors (ACE-I) and angiotensin receptor
blockers (ARBs), in addition to cyclooxygenase inhibitors resembling ibuprofen have
been debated as doubtlessly dangerous or risk-increasing. However, there may be at present
no medical proof or analysis to help this idea.

The rheumatologic
remedy hydroxychloroquine and the antimalarial chloroquine are in preliminary
medical trials, however restricted present in
vitro proof has proven that
each drugs are efficient in inhibiting viral entry of SARS-CoV.15,16
Further, this information has additionally proven that between these 2 drugs, the 50%
maximal efficient focus of hydroxychloroquine is greater than that of
chloroquine, to a statistically vital diploma (17.31 μM vs 7.14 μM, at a multiplicity of an infection of
0.2; P < .001).15
However, the hostile occasions, toxicity, and US availability related to
chloroquine, along with the anti-inflammatory results of
hydroxychloroquine, have highlighted a desire for the latter as a possible
therapy for COVID-19. However, the considerations for QT prolongation, particularly
when used with azithromycin is paramount; there have been a number of deaths
related to overdoses of those drugs.17

Remdesivir has been additionally been acknowledged as a promising antiviral drug towards a wide selection of RNA viruses, together with the household of beta-coronaviruses (which trigger SARS, and the Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome). In vitro research have demonstrated a strong response with remdesivir in its means to inhibit the transcription of SARS-CoV-2 and demonstrated a considerably decrease 50% maximal efficient focus in contrast with chloroquine (0.77 μM vs 1.13 μM), in addition to a better selectivity index (>129.87 vs >88.50).17,18


  1. Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Coronavirus COVID-19 global cases. Updated April 2, 2020. Accessed April 2, 2020.
  2. New York State. Governor Cuomo signs the ‘New York State on PAUSE’ executive order. Updated March 20, 2020. Accessed March 31, 2020.
  3. New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. COVID-19: Data. Updated April 1, 2020. Accessed April 2, 2020.
  4. Mervosh S, Lu D, Swales V. See which states and cities have told residents to stay at home. The New York Times. Updated April 2, 2020. Accessed April 2, 2020.
  5. National Institutes of Health. New coronavirus stable for hours on surfaces: SARS-CoV-2 stability similar to original SARS virus. Updated March 17, 2020. Accessed April 2, 2020.
  6. Hackensack Meridan Health. Can you get coronavirus from packages and mail? Updated March 26, 2020. Accessed March 31, 2020.
  7. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Frequently Asked Questions. Updated April 1, 2020. Accessed April 2, 2020.
  8. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Interim clinical guidance for management of patients with confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Updated April 1, 2020. Accessed April 2, 2020.
  9. Harvard Health Publishing. Coronavirus resource center. Updated April 1, 2020. Accessed April 2, 2020
  10. Rockwell KL, Gilroy AS. Incorporating telemedicine as part of COVID-19 outbreak response systems. Am J Manag Care. 2020;26(4).
  11. van Doremalen N, Morris DH, Holbrook MG, et al. Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as Compared with SARS-CoV-1 [published online March 17, 2020]. N Engl J Med. doi:10.1056/NEJMc2004973
  12. American Association for Respiratory Care [news release]. Irving, TX. Joint statement on multiple patients per ventilator. March 26, 2020. Accessed March 31, 2020.
  13. Neyman G, Irvin CB. A single ventilator for multiple simulated patients to meet disaster surge. Acad Emerg Med. 2006;13(11).
  14. NS Medical Devices. FDA grants EUA status for Prisma Health’s VESper ventilator expansion device for COVID-19 patients. March 26, 2020. Accessed April 2, 2020.
  15. Liu J, Cao R,Xu M, et al. Hydroxychloroquine, a less toxic derivative of chloroquine, is effective in inhibiting SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro [published online March 18, 2020]. Cell Discov. doi:10.1038/s41421-020-0156-0
  16. Colson P, Rolain JM, Lagier JC, Brouqui P, Raoult D. Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as available weapons to fight COVID-19 [published online March 4, 2020]. Int. J. Antimicrob. Agents. doi:10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2020.105932
  17. Wang M, Cao R, Zhang L, et al. Remdesivir and chloroquine effectively inhibit the recently emerged novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in vitro [published online February 4, 2020]. Cell Res. doi:10.1038/s41422-020-0282-0
  18. Kupferschmidt Ok, Cohen J. WHO launches global megatrial of the four most promising coronavirus treatments [published online March 22, 2020]. Science. doi:10.1126/science.abb8497

This article initially appeared on Infectious Disease Advisor

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