The latest on COVID-19
In the U.S
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now warns that, among adults, the risk steadily increases as you get older, and it’s not just those over 65 who are at increased risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19.
Recent data, included in their weekly report, has shown that older people are at higher risk for serious COVID-19 disease.
Age is an independent risk factor for serious illness, but the risk in older adults is also partly related to the greater likelihood that they have underlying medical conditions.
CDC Los explains that there has been consistent evidence (from multiple small studies or a strong association from one large study) that the following specific conditions increase a person’s risk of severe COVID-19 disease:
- Chronic kidney disease
- COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
- Obesity (body mass index of 30 or more)
- Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
- Serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies.
- Sickle-cell anemia
- Type 2 diabetes
These changes increase the number of people who fall into higher-risk groups. An estimated 60% of American adults have at least one chronic medical condition.
Obesity is one of the most common underlying conditions that increase the risk of serious illness: Approximately 40% of adults in the United States are obese. The more underlying medical conditions people have, the higher their risk of COVID-19.
The Health Department plans to purchase the entire first production of the drug remdesivir for use in American hospitals.
This medication is developed by the Gilead laboratory would reduce COVID-19 recovery time, although it is not yet clear whether it improves survival rates.
Gilead signed a license agreement in May for production outside the United States, but it is still in its early stages. And there is another one underway with the World Health Organization to distribute remdesivir in developing countries if it gets approved.
However, in the United States, there is a strong controversy. The potential price of remdesivir therapy would exceed $ 3,000.
The drug will be sold in the United States alone through September, meaning that American patients will receive almost all of Gilead’s production, more than 500,000 courses of treatment.
At least 20 states have slowed their reopening plans in response to a surge in new infections, but some health officials say the spread of the coronavirus will still be difficult to control.
“What we hope is that we can take it seriously and delay transmission in these places,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat, senior deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “But I really think we are at a point where it will not be easy to remove the virus.”
Bars and beaches will be closed the weekend of July 4, after the reopens led to thousands of new COVID-19 cases.
Dave Kerner, mayor of Palm Beach, Florida, has already announced that the beaches will be closed. And other local leaders are following suit.
California, Texas, and Florida have had record daily COVID-19 cases.
In Texas, Houston is the city with a bad prognosis: the one with the most cases soon in the country with four-digit daily numbers for July 4.
Florida, Texas, and California account for 27.4% of the 328 million people living in the United States, according to the latest estimates from the Census Bureau.
In California, the nation’s most populous state, Governor Gavin Newsom pleaded with residents to think of others and wear masks, respect social alienation, and wash their hands frequently.
In the world
The planet has already recorded more than 10 million COVID cases with more than 500,000 deaths.
The World Health Organization (WHO) announced at a virtual press conference that it plans to deliver around 2 billion doses of a coronavirus vaccine to people around the world by the end of 2021.
According to the WHO, one billion of these doses will be purchased for low- and middle-income countries.
This new goal is part of WHO’s Access to COVID-19 program, which was launched in April to bring together governments, health groups, scientists, companies, and philanthropists to support efforts to end the coronavirus pandemic.
The program has four pillars focused on Covid-19 testing, treatments, vaccines, and health systems.
At the moment, potential vaccines to prevent contracting the new coronavirus are in the clinical trial phase and none of these investigations have yet produced definitive results.
In Latin America and the Caribbean
With cases dramatically increasing in the region, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said in a chat with journalists that Latin America is now the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Brazil is the most affected country, and epidemiologists say that in July, the number of deaths could exceed those of the United States (more than 121,000 as of June 24).
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has consistently underestimated the severity of the epidemic, comparing the coronavirus to a “simple cold.”
In Mexico, another country in the region where daily cases are increasing dramatically, President José Manuel López Obrador has suggested that the risk of coronavirus is linked to a person’s morale.
“Do not lie, do not steal, do not betray, that helps a lot to not get coronavirus,” he recently told reporters. So far, the country has already suffered three times more deaths than officials first predicted.
The consequences of this delay in the reaction are being seen now, PAHO said.
A new report by the United Nations World Food Program warned of a serious socioeconomic consequence of COVID-19: 16 million people in the region are on the verge of hunger due to the crisis caused by the pandemic.
The report indicates that the number of hungry people will rise from 3.4 million to almost 14 million in the course of 2020.
And this wave of hunger is especially affecting mega-urban areas, where 17% of the population already have only one meal a day.
69% of households in Latin America and the Caribbean have been economically affected by the pandemic.
Masks yes or yes
New studies claim that if all people wearing masks in public, that could be enough to prevent a second wave of infections and more cases of COVID-19.
Although people have massively acquired this new habit, there are still many who refuse to wear masks.
Two studies from the Universities of Cambridge and Greenwich in the UK concluded that this simple public health measure is effective in itself, without the need to return to strict quarantines.
Johns Hopkins University created a case map, in near real-time, that you can also view and follow here:
What are coronaviruses
Coronaviruses (CoV) are a broad family of viruses that can cause a variety of conditions, from the common cold to more serious illnesses, such as the coronavirus that causes Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS-CoV) and the one that causes respiratory syndrome. acute severe (SARS-CoV). A new coronavirus is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been found before in humans.
How the coronavirus is contracted
Coronaviruses can be passed from animals to people (called zoonotic transmission). Studies verified that SARS-CoV was transmitted from the civet to humans and that transmission of MERS-CoV from dromedary to humans has occurred. Furthermore, it is known that there are other coronaviruses circulating among animals, which have not yet infected humans.
These infections often cause fever and respiratory symptoms (cough and dyspnea, or shortness of breath). In the most severe cases, they can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death.
Also headache and loss of taste and smell.
How to prevent the spread
The usual recommendations for not spreading the infection are to wash your hands frequently and cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing (with your arm, not your hand). Masks should be used, especially indoors.
Close contact with anyone who has signs of a respiratory condition, such as coughing or sneezing, should also be avoided. Comply with the “social distancing” and stay home if symptoms appear.