Rural America is now the middle of the COVID pandemic

The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine trial will proceed after a affected person who acquired an alternate therapy died. (Nationwide Most cancers Institute/)

Final week, the US set a document for the best variety of infections in a single day at greater than 83,000 circumstances; that quantity was reported two days in a row, on Friday and Saturday. To place that in perspective, the earlier document for single-day infections was about 77,300 circumstances in July, and the US has now set a brand new document three weeks in a row.

As a substitute of tuning out amid all of the doom and gloom, all proof reveals that it’s as essential as ever to do your half to gradual the unfold of the virus by social distancing, sporting a masks, and staying residence as a lot as you possibly can.

COVID-19 might be transmitted in shorter durations of contact with an contaminated individual, says CDC

The CDC’s steering on what constitutes “shut contact” was up to date this week, and it now says being inside six toes of an contaminated individual for a complete of 15 minutes inside a 24-hour window is shut contact. Beforehand, the steering said that these 15 minutes of contact must be consecutive.

The brand new steering is in response to a current contact tracing case examine from a Vermont jail, printed within the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Within the case examine, a correctional officer on the jail reportedly grew to become contaminated with COVID-19 after having a number of brief interactions with contaminated however asymptomatic incarcerated folks. The jail worker had not had any contact with anybody exterior the jail and didn’t spend 15 minutes in anybody contaminated individual’s shut neighborhood, so the examine concluded that transmission of the virus is feasible with out consecutive contact time.

The brand new definition of “shut contact” widens the scope of contact tracing since individuals who have been solely inside six toes of an contaminated individual for a brief time frame could now be contacted as potential an infection dangers. This will likely assist to determine contaminated folks extra shortly and gradual the unfold of the virus.

Nevertheless, it’s price noting that the 15 minute publicity time and six-foot distance tips aren’t arduous boundaries. You’ll be able to nonetheless catch the virus from seven toes away, or with lower than 15 minutes in touch with an contaminated individual. The danger of an infection is dependent upon whether or not sufficient of the virus truly enters your system, no matter whether or not these virus particles are coming from the identical particular person.

A promising drug for COVID-19 therapy doesn’t truly assist, examine finds

In response to a examine printed this week within the New England Journal of Medication, a drug that appeared promising for treating COVID-19 firstly of the pandemic doesn’t truly make a distinction for contaminated sufferers.

The drug in query, tocilizumab, was being investigated as a possible therapy for coronavirus sufferers who skilled excessive ranges of irritation. The examine checked out 243 sufferers with reasonable circumstances of coronavirus and, in a randomized, managed trial, discovered that there was no distinction in demise charge or want for air flow between the group who acquired the therapy and the group who didn’t.

The authors of the examine famous that it’s doable {that a} bigger trial may assist to find out extra concretely whether or not the drug is beneficial in coronavirus sufferers.

Rural areas are actually seeing a number of the highest an infection charges

A current knowledge investigation by the New York Instances discovered that rural areas, which have been largely spared throughout the first peak of the virus, are actually seeing a number of the highest an infection charges within the nation.

Through the first few months of the virus, when main cities like Seattle and New York have been seeing intense spikes of infections and hospitals have been overflowing with sufferers, rural areas have been spared. Since then, research have proven that it was the excessive inhabitants density of those cities that allowed the virus to unfold so shortly. Seven months into the pandemic, although, these spikes have fizzled out, and as an alternative, rural areas are seeing far greater ranges of neighborhood unfold.

Proper now, one in each 4 deaths from coronavirus is in a rural space. In March and April, practically each coronavirus demise occurred in a serious metropolitan space. The Instances investigation reveals the drastic improve in rural an infection charges by mapping out an infection charges in rural counties since March.

The affected person who participated in a vaccine trial and died acquired a placebo

Final week, a number of information shops reported the demise of a affected person who participated in an Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine trial in Brazil. Whereas the main points of the affected person’s demise are confidential, it has been confirmed that they acquired a placebo and never the precise vaccine.

In any vaccine trial, roughly half of the individuals are given the vaccination being examined, and the remainder are given a distinct, unrelated vaccine recognized to be protected. Within the AstraZeneca trial, half of the individuals got an current, licensed meningitis vaccine as an alternative of the coronavirus vaccine being examined. The individuals aren’t advised which vaccine they acquired.

Oxford College reported that they assessed the security of the trial after the affected person’s demise and that the college and Brazilian well being authorities agreed the trial ought to proceed. The vaccine might be one of many first coronavirus vaccines to make it to market.

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