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Coronavirus updates: US records under 50,000 new cases for first time in six days

first_imgMyriam Borzee/iStockBy MORGAN WINSOR, ABC News(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 731,000 people worldwide.Over 19 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some national governments are hiding or downplaying the scope of their outbreaks.Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the United States has become the worst-affected country, with more than five million diagnosed cases and at least 162,938 deaths. Here’s how the news is developing Monday. All times Eastern:8:35 a.m.: Clorox says demand for its wipes is up 500% Clorox says demand for its wipes is up 500% during the pandemic. “We are making wipes in record numbers and shipping them to stores in record numbers,” Clorox CEO Linda Rendle told ABC News’ Good Morning America on Monday.Since January, Clorox has made 100 million more disinfecting products than before — a 50% increase, Rendle said. Clorox is now making nearly one million packages of disinfectant wipes every day, Rendle said.7:25 a.m.: UK has ‘moral duty’ to fully reopen schools next month, PM saysU.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson reiterated Monday that he’s “very keen” for all schools to fully reopen in England next month. “It’s not right that kids should spend more time out of school,” Johnson told reporters while visiting a school in East London. “It’s much, much better for their health and mental wellbeing, obviously their educational prospects, if everybody comes back to school full-time in September.” “It’s our moral duty as a country to make sure that happens,” he added.Johnson said he’s been “impressed” by the work administrators and teachers have done to make sure schools are safe. Last month, the U.K. government outlined a plan for the “mandatory” return to classrooms across England in September, with students being restricted to “class or year sized bubbles” and teachers being told to “address gaps in knowledge.” Schools across the United Kingdom shuttered in mid-March at the start of the pandemic. Some pupils returned to classrooms in England in June. Meanwhile, Scotland is set to fully reopen its schools on Tuesday.6:49 a.m.: India’s former president tests positive for COVID-19India’s former president, Pranab Mukherjee, has tested positive for COVID-19.“On a visit to the hospital for a separate procedure, I have tested positive for Covid-19 today,” Mukherjee, who served as president of India from 2012 to 2017, announced via Twitter on Monday. “I request the people who came in contact with me in the last week, to please self isolate and get tested for Covid-19.”With more than 2.2 million diagnosed cases of COVID-19, India has the third-highest tally in the world, behind the United States and Brazil.5:36 a.m.: Coronavirus testing site opening along U.S.-Mexico borderA coronavirus testing site will open soon near the U.S.-Mexico border in Southern California’s San Diego County, according to a report by San Diego ABC affiliate KGTV.The appointment-free, walk-up testing site will be located at the San Ysidro Port of Entry’s PedWest crossing, one of the world’s busiest pedestrian international border crossings. The site, among more than two dozen others across San Diego County, will be the closest one to the border with Mexico so far for the region.The United States and Mexico are two of the worst-affected nations in the coronavirus pandemic.The Hispanic community makes up just 34% of San Diego’s population and yet, as of Sunday, they accounted for 62% of the city’s COVID-19 cases, according to KGTV. That figure will likely rise after the new testing site opens up within the next couple weeks, since the area is dominated by Spanish speakers.However, Chicano Federation Chief Strategy Officer Roberto Alcantar said many in the Latino community are still afraid of getting tested.“Our community is nervous about losing their jobs, not being able to go to work, the real economic impact that comes from being positive and feeling that that might hinder them in a way,” Alcantar told KGTV.4:21 a.m.: Australia sees record rise in virus-related deathsAn additional 19 coronavirus-related deaths were recorded in the Australian state of Victoria on Sunday — the highest single-day increase in fatalities that the country has seen since the start of the pandemic.“This news is devastating no matter what age COVID affects people, and we just want to reaffirm again our support through every channel we can provide it,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters in Canberra on Monday.Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services also reported 322 new cases of COVID-19 — the lowest daily count recorded in the state since July 29.“We are seeing some stability. That’s a good thing. But that’s not enough,” Victoria’s state Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters in Melbourne. “And that’s the product of masks and Stage 3. That’s what the experts tell us. The next stage, though, is all about these restrictions that we’ve had to painfully impose.”Andrews declared a state of disaster in Victoria on Aug. 2, giving authorities additional powers to ensure people are complying with public health directions. Victoria is home to Australia’s second-largest city, Melbourne, which has become a hotspot in the country’s novel coronavirus outbreak.In total, Australia has reported more than 21,000 diagnosed cases of COVID-19 with at least 313 deaths.3:45 a.m.: US records under 50,000 new cases for first time in six daysThere were 46,395 new cases of COVID-19 identified in the United States on Sunday, bringing the nationwide total soaring past five million, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.It’s the first time in six days that the nation has recorded under 50,000 new cases. An additional 516 coronavirus-related deaths were also reported.Sunday’s caseload is well below the record set on July 16, when more than 77,000 new cases were identified in a 24-hour reporting period.A total of 5,044,864 people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and at least 162,938 of them have died, according to Johns Hopkins. The cases include people from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and other U.S. territories as well as repatriated citizens.By May 20, all U.S. states had begun lifting stay-at-home orders and other restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The day-to-day increase in the country’s cases then hovered around 20,000 for a couple of weeks before shooting back up and crossing 70,000 for the first time in mid-July.Many states have seen a rise in infections in recent weeks, with some — including Arizona, California and Florida — reporting daily records. However, new data published last week in an internal memo from the Federal Emergency Management Agency suggests that the national surge in cases could be leveling off. Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Would an imperfect vaccine be useful in a flu pandemic?

first_imgApr 11, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – A mathematical modeling study suggests that a modestly effective vaccine could keep an influenza pandemic from striking more than 10% of the US population, but only if large amounts of vaccine were distributed quickly and the virus was not too highly contagious. The modeling study seems to lend some support to the US strategy of stockpiling a vaccine based on recent strains of H5N1 avian flu, which won’t precisely match an emerging pandemic strain. But the model incorporates many assumptions that may or may not prove accurate in the event of a pandemic, and experts note that very little H5N1 vaccine would be available if a pandemic occurred anytime soon. Germann TC, Kadau K, Longini IM, et al. Mitigation strategies for pandemic influenza in the United States. Proc Nat Acad Sci 2006 Apr 11;103(15):5935-40 [Abstract] Germann and two associates, Kai Kadau and Catherine A. Macken, all of Los Alamos National Laboratory, worked on the study with Ira M. Longini Jr., a biostatistician from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington in Seattle. See also: “Aggressive” production and distribution of vaccine could control a pandemic with an R of less than 1.9, the model predicted. “We believe that a large stockpile of avian-based vaccine with potential pandemic influenza antigens, coupled with the capacity to rapidly make a better-matched vaccine based on human strains, would be the best strategy to mitigate pandemic influenza,” the authors write. “This effort needs to be coupled with a rapid vaccine distribution system capable of distributing at least 10 million doses per week to affected regions of the U.S.” Other experts who were asked to comment on the study had different reactions. Travel restrictions alone would accomplish little, according to the simulations. A 90% reduction in travel would slow the virus’s spread by only a few days to a few weeks, depending on transmissibility, and would not dent the ultimate size of the pandemic. Other control strategies used alone could limit a pandemic only if the virus had relatively low transmissibility (R of 1.6), the model predicted. For example, targeted use of antiviral drugs could succeed in that case, provided the supply was adequate and close contacts of patients could be quickly identified. But if R were 1.8, the nation would need a “prohibitively large” 51 million treatment courses of antivirals. Dr. Gregory Poland, a vaccine expert at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., said the situation with the H5N1 vaccine being made for the US government points up the problems with the predictions. As was reported recently, the vaccine seems effective in about half of recipients, but it takes 12 times the dose used in seasonal flu vaccines, he noted. The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Its goals, the NIH said in a news release, were to determine how to slow the spread of a pandemic virus long enough to permit development and distribution of a well-matched vaccine and also how to limit the number of cases to less than 10% of the population, the percentage in an average flu season. The model projected that without any control effort and an R of 1.9, the virus would spread across the nation within 30 days of its first arrivals, that 122 million people would ultimately fall ill, and that the pandemic would peak in 85 days. With an R number of 2.4 and no control effort, as many as 151 million would get sick, according to the model. William Schaffner, MD, a hospital epidemiologist and professor in the infectious disease division at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, said he found the study reassuring, though he had not examined it closely. “The ultimate take-home line was that even a partially effective vaccine is an important part of the strategy,” he said.center_img For a highly transmissible virus (R greater than 1.9), it would take a combination of measures to limit the pandemic, the model predicted. For example, the combined use of vaccination, targeted antiviral use (3 million courses), school closures, social distancing, and travel restrictions could work at an R level as high as 2.4, the authors predict. With a moderately transmissible virus (meaning each case leads to fewer than 1.9 additional cases), “Our model suggests that the rapid production and distribution of vaccines, even if poorly matched to the circulating strains, could significantly slow disease spread and limit the number ill to less than 10% of the population, particularly if children are preferentially vaccinated,” says the report by Timothy C. Germann and colleagues. With a more contagious virus, additional measures such as school closings, travel bans, and antiviral drugs would have to be used in combination with vaccination, says the report published online last week by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH, a leading pandemic preparedness advocate, had a sharply different view of the study. “I think it’s based on a number of assumptions which in the real world won’t happen,” he said. “The idea that we’ll even have vaccine to consider in terms of dealing with the pandemic is at this point not likely for the vast majority of the world.” Osterholm, director of the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, publisher of the CIDRAP Web site, said “any number” of assumptions used in the model could be questioned. “I continue to worry that far too much credence is being put into theoretical models that lack reality testing in the likely world of a pandemic,” he said. “A moderately effective vaccine would work if you could get it into enough people,” said Poland, who directs the Mayo Vaccine Research Group and Program in Translational Immunovirology. “This current vaccine, if we used the whole world manufacturing capacity, offers enough doses for somewhere around 37.5 million people. So that’s not an answer.” He added that it may be necessary to make more than one vaccine, given the different clades (families) of H5N1 virus that have emerged. With a very limited supply of a vaccine for which two doses are recommended, the model showed it would be less helpful to vaccinate a given number of people with the two doses than to give just one dose to twice as many people. The model simulated the unfolding of pandemic flu in a US population of 281 million over 180 days. It factored in US census data about population distribution and commuting patterns and assumptions about the frequency of interpersonal contacts. It assumed that a few infected people would arrive from abroad each day at 14 airports in the United States. The researchers ran the simulations with four different reproductive (R) numbers (the number of additional people infected by each infected person), ranging from 1.6 to 2.4. He added that building up the capacity to treat the sick is important, but the main emphasis in pandemic preparedness should be on vaccination and other preventive measures. “The results [of the study] were so affirming of the general thoughts of the public health community that it’s really very reassuring, and I hope it stimulates further what I think is already a strong effort by HHS [the Department of Health and Human Services] to stimulate vaccine production and research on new ways to produce the flu vaccine and make better flu vaccines.” Poland also said no one knows how contagious the next pandemic virus will be. “My understanding is that the estimated R number for the 1918 pandemic was right around 3,” higher than the maximum of 2.4 used in the study, he said. “You wonder now if we truly have a novel subtype that’s easily transmissible, given the travel we have, if we wouldn’t have higher numbers. The average family is bigger than two people.” NIH news releasehttp://www.nigms.nih.gov/News/Results/FluModel040306last_img read more

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