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More Than 160 New Jersey Police Officers Tested Positive for Coronavirus

More than 160 New Jersey Police officers have tested positive for the coronavirus, New Jersey State Police said Sunday in a press release. (New Jersey State Police issued a correction after the head of the agency “overstated” how many personnel tested positive for the COVID-19 at a press conference held by state officials on Saturday.)

Acting State Police Superintendent Col. Patrick Callahan had said on Saturday that about 700 police were reported as having the disease. “During a recent COVID-19 press conference, Col. Patrick Callahan overstated the Law Enforcement Statewide Positive cases,” the agency said in the statement on Sunday, noting that so far, across the state, 163 personnel had tested positive for the coronavirus and 1,272 had been quarantined.

“There’s more than 700 police officers quarantined at home and there’s about the same amount (…) that have tested positive from all 21 counties,” Callahan had said.

Callahan said authorities “track every single police officer” who test positive for COVID-19 but did not elaborate on what departments were most affected or provide an exact number of how many police personnel tested positive.

Callahan also indicated that two police officers who were reported as being in serious condition are improving.

U.S. Government Working on Guidelines to Assess Local Coronavirus Risk

Federal officials are developing guidelines to rate counties by risk of virus spread, as he aims to begin to ease nationwide guidelines meant to stem the coronavirus outbreak.

The U.S. has more than 124,000 COVID-19 cases and New Jersey is second only to New York in the number of cases it has so far reported, according to a tracker from researchers at Johns Hopkins University. As of Sunday morning, New York has reported about 53,500 cases and New Jersey has reported about 11,000 cases.

On Saturday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a domestic travel advisory, urging “residents of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days effective immediately.”

By Sanya Mansoor Updated: March 30, 2020 1:46 PM EDT | Originally published: March 29, 2020 10:53 AM EDT

Source: More Than 160 New Jersey Police Officers Tested Positive for Coronavirus

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Will the Coronavirus Ever Go Away? Here’s What a Top WHO Expert Thinks

Dr. Bruce Aylward has almost 30 years experience in fighting polio, Ebola and other diseases, and now, he’s turned his attention to stopping the spread of COVID-19.

Aylward, the senior adviser to the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), is one of the world’s top officials in charge of fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

The doctor, who led a joint WHO mission to China in February to study the effectiveness of the coronavirus response in the country, has seen firsthand the measures Beijing took to fight the virus. Now he’s sharing what he learned with governments and communicating with the WHO response teams working to fight COVID-19 in virus epicenters around the globe.

In an extensive teleconference interview with TIME from his office in Geneva, Aylward shared what he thinks needs to be done to stop the pandemic, and what the future might hold.

The following excerpts from the conversation have been condensed and edited for clarity.

Do you expect COVID-19 to continue to spread?

We can get little glimpses into the future from places that are recently getting infected, places that aren’t infected, but also the places where it all started. And if you go back and look at China right now, they [identified the virus] in early January, they had a full on response, sort of threw everything at it, and it’s middle of March now and they estimate maybe end of March they’ll be coming out of it, so a full three months.

When you look around the world in Europe, North America, the Middle East, you can see that we’re really at the period of exponential growth, we’re still seeing the virus going up very, very rapidly, even in hard hit places like Italy, for example. These countries still have months of this challenge in front of them.

When you look to other parts of the world, like Africa, for example, and parts of the Indian subcontinent you can see that it’s just beginning. Even though they have very, very few cases, if you look carefully at that curve, it’s also in a phase of exponential growth.

What do you think the coronavirus pandemic will look like six months from now?

I expect we will be emerging—still with disease in various parts of the world—but we should be emerging from a bad wave of this disease across a large swathe of the planet. The challenge is we’re going to be back into the flu season. And one of the big questions is, are we going to see a surge of it again at that period?

Looking further into the future, what do you anticipate? Will COVID-19 ever disappear?

What it looks like is that we’re going to have a substantial wave of this disease right through basically the globe unless something very different happens in the southern hemisphere. And the question then is: What’s going to happen? Is this going to disappear completely? Are we going to get into a period of cyclical waves? Or are we going to end up with low level endemic disease that we have to deal with? Most people believe that that first scenario where this might disappear completely is very, very unlikely, it just transmits too easily in the human population, so more likely waves or low level disease.

A lot of that is going to depend on what we as countries, as societies, do. If we do the testing of every single case, rapid isolation of the cases, you should be able to keep cases down low. If you simply rely on the big shut down measures without finding every case, then every time you take the brakes off, it could come back in waves. So that future frankly, may be determined by us and our response as much as the virus.

The U.S. and Europe had quite a head start to get ready for this. Was a major outbreak inevitable, or could it have been stopped?

I don’t like to use the word “squandered,” that’s a big word. But we probably haven’t optimized how we used that time. Now what we’ve done is, we’ve gained time again by putting in place these big shutdowns. All they do is they buy time, they don’t actually stop the virus, they suppress it, they slow it. What you want to do now is use that time well to get the testing in place, to get the systems in place, so that you can actually manage the individual level cases that are going to be fundamental to stopping this.

And the big question right now is “Are countries going to use this time during these shutdown periods optimally?” Because if you just shut it down your societies, your economies and hope for the best… This is guerrilla warfare against a virus, the virus is just going to sit you out, it’ll just circulate quietly among households and then you’re going to let them all go again and phoom there’s no reason it shouldn’t take off again, unless you’re ready for it.

How long do you think this outbreak will impact daily life in the U.S. and western Europe? How long do you think it’ll take for life to return to normal?

You have to compare it to the few examples you have that have been through this, hence you have to go back to China, look at [South] Korea, look at Singapore. These countries in the very early stages, if they were to throw everything at it, probably a solid two months in front of them, if not a bit longer, maybe three months.

What we’re seeing is that they’re throwing bits and pieces at it. Most countries in the west frankly are really struggling with, “Can we really test all these cases? Can we really isolate all the confirmed cases?” They’re struggling with that. So they’re approaching it a bit differently than China did and the big question is going to be: Is that approach going to work and limit it to just a few months, that hard hit China took? Or is it going to drag it out so long that the bigger societal, economic impacts linger longer than anyone want?

Do you think the U.S. lost critical time with its testing rollout issues?

I think every country may not have optimized the use of the time it had available, and for different reasons. Some people just continued to think this might be flu and some cases they may not have had the testing capacity.

Is there reason to be concerned about a second wave of infections in China?

Absolutely, and China is concerned. As we traveled around China, one of the most striking things that I found, especially in contrast to the West, as I spoke to governors, mayors, and their cases were plummeting—in some of the places they were down to single digit cases already—as I spoke to them and I said, “So what are you doing now?” They said, “We’re building beds, we’re buying ventilators, we’re preparing.” They said, “We do not expect this virus to disappear, but we do expect to be able to run our society, run our economy, run our health system. We cannot end up in this situation again.”

Have you seen examples of politics overruling public health or slowing down responses?

No. I know a lot of people will challenge my assessment. The reasons that there have been problems in some countries is they haven’t had a consensus on the severity of the disease, or they haven’t had a consensus around the transmissibility. You have to have that consensus that you’re dealing with something serious and severe and dangerous for your society and individuals. Otherwise you just cannot generate the public support which is fundamental to accepting the measures, but also the implementing.

Why does the fatality rate in Italy looks to be so high?

It’s a combination of factors. If you look at Italy, and the age distribution, it’s the second-oldest country in the world after Japan, people forget that. You have an older population number one, they get the more severe disease and they’re more likely to die.

What countries are in the most vulnerable situation?

Everyone is vulnerable, but the big question of course is what’s going to happen when this really starts to take off in those low-income countries where they don’t have as much medical capacity such as in Africa.

It’s one of those things that you don’t want to imagine because the numbers could be so grave. The population distribution could help. Is the humidity and the temperature going to help make a difference? I would hope so, but look at the situation in Singapore, that’s a hot, humid country. So the situation in these countries could be very difficult.

The WHO is urging countries to “test, test, test.” Are there any countries in particular that you think are not doing enough testing?

That’s much easier answered the other way around. Is anyone doing enough testing? There it’s limited. It’s China, [South] Korea, Singapore.

There are reports of people dying of coronavirus who are otherwise healthy. What have your teams seen in terms of who the virus is killing?

One of the things that terrifies me now is, as this is spread in the west is, there’s this sense of invulnerability among millennials. And absolutely not. Ten percent of the people who are in [intensive care units] in Italy are in their 20s, 30s or 40s. These are young, healthy people with no co-morbidities, no other diseases.

We don’t understand why some young healthy people progress to severe disease and even die and others don’t. We don’t have clear predictors.

What would your message be for young people around the world?

This is one of the most serious diseases you will face in your lifetime, and recognize that and respect it. It is dangerous to you as an individual. It is dangerous to your parents, to your grandparents and the elderly in particular and it is dangerous to your society in general. You are not an island in this, you are part of a broader community, you are part of transmission chains. If you get infected you are making this much more complicated and you are putting people in danger, not just yourself.

Never, never underestimate a new disease, there’s just too much unknown. What we do know is it will kill young people, it will make young people sick in large numbers. You’ve gotta respect this.

What should a country’s first priority after locking down be?

Test, test, test, test, test. Not test, test, test, test, test everyone, but test the suspects, test the suspects, test the suspects.

Then, effectively isolate the confirmed cases. The third piece is the quarantine piece.

How do you think this will end?

This will end with humanity victorious over yet another virus, there’s no question about that. The question is how much and how fast we will take the measures necessary to minimize the damage that this thing can do. In time, we will have therapeutics, we will have vaccines, we’re in a race against that.

And it’s going to take great cooperation and patience from the general population to play their part because at the end of the day it’s going to be the general population that stops this thing and slows it down enough to get it under control.

By Amy Gunia March 23, 2020

Source: Will the Coronavirus Ever Go Away? Here’s What a Top WHO Expert Thinks

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Dr. Bruce Aylward of the World Health Organization talks about how the world has passed the tipping point with the COVID-19 outbreak and while countries tried to curb the spread, none of them were prepared for the scope of the disease. Aylward says small, incremental measures are not going to curb the spread and steps need to be taken with the same speed that the disease itself is spreading. For more info, please go to https://globalnews.ca/tag/coronavirus/ Subscribe to Global News Channel HERE: http://bit.ly/20fcXDc Like Global News on Facebook HERE: http://bit.ly/255GMJQ Follow Global News on Twitter HERE: http://bit.ly/1Toz8mt Follow Global News on Instagram HERE: https://bit.ly/2QZaZIB #GlobalNews

Bill Gates On COVID-19: ‘Best-Case Scenario Is Six To Ten Weeks Of Total Isolation In U.S.’

Topline: Bill Gates said that total isolation for six to ten weeks is the only viable option to minimize lives lost and economic damage for the United States to recover from the COVID-19 crisis.

  • The billionaire philanthropist predicted, during a virtual TED interview, that if the United States enacts such stringent isolation, there could be positive results within 20 days.
  • Gates argued that the United States missed the critical period to develop comprehensive testing—which would’ve needed to occur in February—that could’ve been used as an alternative to total, sustained nationwide isolation.
  • “There really is no middle ground; It’s very tough to say, ‘Keep going to restaurants, go buy new houses, ignore that pile of bodies in the corner.’ It’s very irresponsible to suggest to people they can have the best of both worlds,” said Gates.
  • He reiterated that the United States needs to maintain isolation at this moment to avoid devastating outcomes like those of Wuhan and northern Italy.
  • Gates maintained his optimism about the crisis, saying that the world’s experience with COVID-19 will enable us to prepare for the next pandemic.
  • Gates is confident the innovation occurring in the rich countries in the Northern Hemisphere at the moment will fortify developing Southern Hemisphere countries, who may expect to meet up with the virus as seasons shift.

Background: Microsoft founder Bill Gates is the second-richest person in the world, with a $97.4 billion net worth. He has donated 25% of his wealth to charitable causes through his philanthropic organization, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has given $50 million to COVID-19 therapies so far.

Even as the coronavirus outbreak takes the world by storm, a number of other diseases are also rearing their ugly heads. Cases of swine flu and bird flu have already been reported in India and other countries. Now, a man from China has tested positive for hantavirus.

I’m the assistant editor for Under 30. Previously, I directed marketing at a mobile app startup. I’ve also worked at The New York Times and New York Observer. I attended the University of Pennsylvania where I studied English and creative writing.

Source: Bill Gates On COVID-19: ‘Best-Case Scenario Is Six To Ten Weeks Of Total Isolation In U.S.’

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‘We’re not ready for the next epidemic’ — Watch Bill Gates remind us many, many times about the potential impact of a pandemic like coronavirus COVID-19. » Subscribe to NowThis: http://go.nowth.is/News_Subscribe » Sign up for our newsletter KnowThis to get the biggest stories of the day delivered straight to your inbox: https://go.nowth.is/KnowThis In US news and current events today, we are in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. American business magnate, software developer, investor, and philanthropist Bill Gates has been warning us about our under-preparedness for future pandemics for years. Bill Gates is best known as the co-founder of Microsoft Corporation. In 2015 he gave a TED Talk on the issue of viruses, vaccines, epidemics, and pandemics, and how they affect the world greatly. #BillGates #TEDTalk #Coronavirus #COVID19 #News #NowThis #NowThisNews Connect with NowThis » Like us on Facebook: http://go.nowth.is/News_Facebook » Tweet us on Twitter: http://go.nowth.is/News_Twitter » Follow us on Instagram: http://go.nowth.is/News_Instagram » Find us on Snapchat Discover: http://go.nowth.is/News_Snapchat

New York City 10 Days Away From ‘Widespread Shortages’ Of Medical Supplies, Mayor Says

Topline: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said during a Sunday CNN appearance that “if we don’t get more ventilators in the next 10 days, people will die who don’t have to die” as the city—now the epicenter of the U.S. coronavirus epidemic—faces a possible shortage of medical supplies.

  • “We’re about 10 days from seeing widespread shortages,” de Blasio said, adding, “We have seen next to nothing from the federal government at this point.”
  • De Blasio also said that the military hasn’t been mobilized by the Trump administration, and that the Defense Production Act, which the president invoked by executive order Wednesday, has not been put into motion.
  • “It feels like we’re on our own at this point,” de Blasio said, adding that April would be worse for New York City than March has been, and he fears May could be even worse.
  • CNN also reported Sunday that Federal Emergency Management Agency head Peter Gaynor could not provide a number of how many medical masks were in the federal stockpile or how many have been shipped to state and local governments.
  • In a sign of demand on medical supplies, a Friday letter from a New York-Presbyterian Hospital department head said each employee would only be given one N95 mask (when it typically uses 4,000 per day).

Big number: 300 million. That’s how many masks could be needed for healthcare workers versus the current stockpile of 30 million, as testified to Congress by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar at the end of February.

Key background: The Defense Production Act is intended to be used by Trump to obtain “health and medical resources needed to respond to the spread of Covid-19, including personal protective equipment and ventilators.” Trump faced questions Thursday around his reticence to use the Defense Production Act to compel companies to produce healthcare items to combat the coronavirus, one day after he said he’d be invoking its powers. The New York Times reported Thursday that both the U.S. and countries abroad are facing a shortage of ventilators, with manufacturers saying that they can’t increase production to meet the demand.

Tangent: Tesla CEO Elon Musk volunteered his company’s factories to manufacture ventilators, but it’s unclear whether that will move forward.

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I’m a New York-based journalist covering breaking news at Forbes. I hold a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Previous bylines: Gotham Gazette, Bklyner, Thrillist, Task & Purpose and xoJane.

Source: New York City 10 Days Away From ‘Widespread Shortages’ Of Medical Supplies, Mayor Says

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Hospitals are sounding the alarm that they need more equipment as the coronavirus outbreak grows. Greg Cergol reports.

Are People With Asthma at High Risk for Coronavirus?

Every year, people with asthma brace for seasonal colds and flu, which can aggravate wheezing and coughing. Asthma, a common long-term lung condition, can cause difficulty breathing and shortness of breath and accounts for 9.8 million doctor visits and 1.8 million hospital visits in the United States per year.

This year, people with asthma also have COVID-19 to worry about. Like other coronaviruses, the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19 attacks the respiratory system, has infected over 135,00 people and killed nearly 5,000 as of March 13. According to health officials, those most at risk are older populations or people with pre-existing medical conditions. Now, many sufferers of asthma are asking themselves whether their condition puts them at a higher risk.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says yes. It lists asthma, along with diabetes and heart disease, as conditions that make someone “more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.” The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America also lists asthma as a chronic medical conditions which makes one more at risk, noting that asthmatics should “take precautions when any type of respiratory illness is spreading in their community.”

But experts told TIME there is little definitive evidence to say whether asthma increases the likelihood of catching the virus or of experiencing more severe illness. “The data that we have so far from China and South Korea does not identify people with asthma as being at risk of getting the virus or having more severe illness with the virus,” Sebastian Johnston, a professor of respiratory medicine & allergy at the U.K. National Heart and Lung Institute tells TIME.

David Jackson, a consultant respiratory physician and clinical lead for asthma care at Guy’s Hospital in London also says that “asthma currently doesn’t seem to be a significant risk factor for a more severe infection,” adding that the new coronavirus does not seem to be affecting asthmatics in the same way as other viruses generally.

Research on COVID-19 is at a very preliminary stage, but one study of 140 infected patients found that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the illness, has no effect on asthma. With that said, asthma has worsened with other strains of coronavirus.

However, while studies have not yet shown a link between asthma and more severe cases of COVID-19, asthmatics are at risk of more severe illness with respiratory viruses in general—and some experts say people with asthma should make additional provisions.

Johnston says people with asthma should follow all recommended precautions—such as social distancing, avoiding contact with people who have respiratory symptoms, and washing hands—but added that all asthmatics, even those with mild symptoms, should be taking their preventer inhalers “diligently” as a precautionary measure. They should also carry Ventolin—their blue reliever inhalers—with them in case of an asthma attack. Older viruses like the seasonal flu remain a threat, he notes, and people with asthma should get the seasonal flu vaccine.

Please send any tips, leads, and stories to virus@time.com.

Here’s what you need to know about coronavirus:

By Mélissa Godin March 16, 2020

Source: Are People With Asthma at High Risk for Coronavirus?

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Asthma patients are more at-risk of COVID-19

First Person Injected With Trial Coronavirus Vaccine In Seattle

A new phase 1 clinical trial of a potential vaccine for the SARS-CoV2 coronavirus began on Monday in Seattle, as the first person to enroll in the trial received the vaccine.

The vaccine, mRNA-1273, was developed by biotechnology company Moderna in combination with researchers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The trial is being conducted at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle.

                           

The phase 1 study aims to test three different doses of the mRNA-1273 vaccine ad hopes to recruit 45 healthy adults for the initial trial. Participants will receive two shots of the vaccine, 28 days apart and will be monitored to evaluate both the safety and immunogenicity of the vaccine. The latter involves seeing how well the vaccine stimulates an immune response to a protein on the SARS-CoV2 coronavirus surface.

The first person to get the vaccine was 43-year old Jennifer Haller from Seattle who said; “I hope that we get to a working vaccine quickly and that we can save lives and people can go back to life as soon as possible,” in an interview with TIME.

                                     

“This study is the first step in the clinical development of an mRNA vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, and we expect it to provide important information about safety and immunogenicity,” said Tal Zaks, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer at Moderna in a press release. He added that Moderna is already working with the FDA and other organizations to prepare for a phase 2 trial, which would involve larger numbers of patients.

The start of the trial comes just 65 days after Chinese authorities sequenced the SARS-CoV2 coronavirus. Just 2 days after that, researchers at the Vaccine Research Center at the NIH finalized the design of the vaccine and began to manufacture it, finishing the first batch on February 7th. On February 24th after analytical testing, the company shipped it to the NIH.

“Finding a safe and effective vaccine to prevent infection with SARS-CoV-2 is an urgent public health priority,” said Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, at the NIH. “This Phase 1 study, launched in record speed, is an important first step toward achieving that goal,” he added.

The vaccine cannot cause COVID-19 and does not contain the virus as is the case with some other vaccines. Instead it contains a small piece of genetic code called mRNA which scientists have extracted from the virus and then expanded in the laboratory. In this case, the mRNA encodes the viral “spike” protein which is vital for the coronavirus to gain access to human cells. The researchers hope that the vaccine will stimulate the immune system to attack the virus, preventing the development of COVID-19.

                                

Kizzmekia Corbett, Ph.D., of NIAID’s Vaccine Research Center discusses efforts to develop a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, that causes COVID-19 in an interview conducted Jan. 28, 2020. Credit NIH/NIAID

The mRNA-1723 vaccine was not tested in mice before beginning human clinical trials, an incredibly rare occurrence which has proved controversial. Some experts are insisting that the severity and urgent need of the current situation means this is justified, whereas others are concerned that this could break various ethical and safety standards and put trial participants at greater risk than normal.

Although the design and production of the prospective vaccine was incredibly fast, evaluation of it will take considerable time. All of the participants will be followed for 12 months after the second vaccination to collect the data researchers initially need to figure out whether it is safe and effective.

The study is still enrolling healthy people aged 18-55 in the Seattle area to help test the new vaccine.

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I am a postdoctoral research scientist focusing on childhood cancers and new, targeted cancer therapies. As a survivor of childhood leukemia myself, I am a determined advocate for research into better, less-toxic cancer treatments and how to reduce the long-term side effects of current drugs. I am an award-winning science communicator and have written for The Times, The Guardian and various cancer-focused outlets. I am also a 2017 TED Fellow, having done my TED talk on cancer survivorship and I regularly do public talks on topics ranging from ‘Why haven’t we cured cancer yet?’ to ‘Cannabis and cancer; hype or hope?’. I am passionate about using social media to communicate science and frequently share pictures and stories from my own laboratory work in real-time on my Twitter account @vickyyyf, alongside commentary about important research breakthroughs. You can find out more about me and how to get in contact via my website drvickyforster.com. All of my articles reflect my personal views and not those of my employer.

Source: First Person Injected With Trial Coronavirus Vaccine In Seattle

Researches are in the clinical trial phase for a COVID-19 vaccine within a “record” number of days. Jennifer Haller, the first human coronavirus vaccine patient, joins MSNBC’s Ari Melber for an exclusive interview, detailing her experience as researches race to find a cure for the coronavirus affecting individuals around the world. Haller tells Melber she will have to do daily logs of her temperature, symptoms, and side effects and will be monitored for 14 months. (This interview is from MSNBC’s “The Beat with Ari Melber, a news show covering politics, law and culture airing nightly at 6pm ET on MSNBC.http://www.thebeatwithari.com). Aired on 03/16/2020. » Subscribe to MSNBC: http://on.msnbc.com/SubscribeTomsnbc MSNBC delivers breaking news, in-depth analysis of politics headlines, as well as commentary and informed perspectives. Find video clips and segments from The Rachel Maddow Show, Morning Joe, Meet the Press Daily, The Beat with Ari Melber, Deadline: White House with Nicolle Wallace, Hardball, All In, Last Word, 11th Hour, and more. Connect with MSNBC Online Visit msnbc.com: http://on.msnbc.com/Readmsnbc Subscribe to MSNBC Newsletter: http://MSNBC.com/NewslettersYouTube Find MSNBC on Facebook: http://on.msnbc.com/Likemsnbc Follow MSNBC on Twitter: http://on.msnbc.com/Followmsnbc Follow MSNBC on Instagram: http://on.msnbc.com/Instamsnbc First Person To Test Coronavirus Vaccine Speaks Out | The Beat With Ari Melber | MSNBC

Corona Virus: One of The First British Sufferers Describes His Ordeal

Connor Reed, a 25-year-old from Llandudno in North Wales, was working at a school in the Chinese city of Wuhan when he began to feel “a bit sniffly”. He would soon face a painful ordeal and become the first known British man to catch the coronavirus. It was 25 November, 2019, when he first felt unwell. He told Sky News: “I was feeling like I just had a normal cold and the problem with this virus is it progresses in stages. It started with a cold.”

It’s possible that Connor’s cold was unconnected with the virus and he just happened to catch it several days before he was struck by coronavirus. For a while he continued to work and was feeling relatively normal, but just as the cold was tailing-off, in early December, he was struck by flu. “I woke up and I was just feeling really bad. I was coughing a lot and subsequently I lost my voice.

“One of my Irish friends mentioned that hot whisky and honey really helps with symptoms. So, that’s what I tried and honestly, it did help. It really did. But in no way am I condoning that whisky and honey will cure the virus. I mean, it definitely doesn’t.”

At this point, in early December, Connor decided he wasn’t going to go back to work for a while. He had a fever and he didn’t want to pass the illness onto his colleagues. Despite living in what was the epicentre of the virus, as yet, the local authorities were unaware that Wuhan in China was incubating a nasty new disease that would spread across the globe.

“I was feeling achy,” says Connor “I just wanted to curl up into a ball and I had ear problems and sinus problems where it felt like there was a balloon being blown up in my face. And that was probably the worst symptom. It really bothered me. “I also had a raking cough. It was terrible. And it was happening so much, I lost my voice. Sometimes, I couldn’t make any sound at all. Sometimes, I sounded like a frog.”

For most people who catch the virus, it won’t get any worse than this, it may not even get that bad, but for Connor the scariest part was still to come. He actually felt like he was recovering from the flu and was feeling optimistic about going back to work when one morning he woke up struggling to breathe.

“It scared me because breathing is a necessity of life, like if you have the flu, you really feel like you’re going to die, but you’re really not. But when your lungs get affected, that’s where it scared me. And I couldn’t take a full breath. And the breaths I did take, it sounded like I was breathing through a bag. It was very crackly, and I could only take half breaths. If I walked to the kitchen, for instance, I’d be breathing really shallow and really fast.”

Connor continued drinking hot water to try and clear it up but, a day later when things didn’t improve, he went to hospital. On 5 December he had a day of blood tests, x-rays and breathing tests. The next day, two weeks after he’d first caught the cold, the results came back that he had pneumonia.

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He said: “At no point was I thinking that I’m going to die. I mean, it wasn’t that serious. I’m a young person. I don’t smoke. I don’t drink. It really didn’t affect me as bad as if I was elderly or I had pre-existing health problems.” Connor recovered from his illness and a few weeks later doctors realised he had suffered from the virus that was now spreading across the province, which would become known as COVID-19.

Wuhan is still under quarantine. Connor recalls getting an alert on his phone at 3am announcing the quarantine for the city. “Luckily, I was awake to read that text message. So, I bolted out of the house and went to the 24-hour supermarket downstairs. I knew that it was going to be bad and I knew that shops were going be sold out.”

He stocked up. But weeks later the city continues to maintain strict rules. Connor said: “As more and more new cases came, and it started spreading, the government sanctioned harsher penalties and a lot harsher quarantine. For instance, at the moment, one person is allowed to leave their house every three days, and that’s just to purchase necessities.”

He said when going out there is “no atmosphere”, and very few people on the streets. “If you go to a shop, there are some shops that are open that have blocked the door off. You tell them what you want. They put it into a bag and then they pass the bag to you on a long stick just to avoid personal contact.”

Connor said the national government had dealt with the crisis well and learned lessons from previous outbreaks such as SARS. He believes the numbers for infected people that the authorities are releasing are accurate.

He added: “There are not many Western countries that can build a hospital in 10 days. China is one of the most efficient countries at getting stuff done. In regard to this outbreak, they’ve got it done. They had to. They had to take the drastic measures, that many other countries wouldn’t have taken.”

Source: Coronavirus: One of the first British sufferers describes his ordeal

Connor Reed, a British man who works at a school in Wuhan, explains how it felt to have the Covid-19 coronavirus, discusses what life is like after 40 days in lockdown and how he thinks people in the UK would cope in similar circumstances. (Subscribe: https://bit.ly/C4_News_Subscribe) ——- Watch more of our explainer series here – https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list… Get more news at our site – https://www.channel4.com/news/ Follow us: Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Channel4News/ Twitter – https://twitter.com/Channel4News

Why Geography Is A Key Part Of Fighting The COVID-19 Coronavirus Outbreak

I am an atmospheric scientist with three degrees in meteorology. However my tenured home at the University of Georgia is the Department of Geography. Like many of you reading this, I had a rather narrow understanding of geography when I left NASA to join the faculty at the university. Over the years, I have certainly heard people describe geography as maps, capitals, rivers, and so forth. While these things are definitely a part of the discipline, there is far more complexity and rigor than memorization of facts or your recollections of the elementary Geography Bee.

Geography is unique in bridging the social sciences and the natural sciences. There are two main branches of geography: human geography and physical geography. Human geography is concerned with the spatial aspects of human existence. Physical geographers study patterns of climates, landforms, vegetation, soils, and water. Geographers use many tools and techniques in their work, and geographic technologies are increasingly important for understanding our complex world. They include Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Remote Sensing, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and online mapping such as Google Earth.

American Association of Geographers (AAG) website

I have noticed very important roles that the discipline of geography is playing in the fight against the virus SARS-CoV-2, which causes coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Here are some of them.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are ways to organize, present, and analyze spatial and geographic data. You probably don’t realize it, but Waze or Google Maps fall within the realm of GISscience. Both of these apps likely benefit you daily. The Johns Hopkins University is maintaining an excellent Coronavirus tracking website, which gathers information from multiple data sources. The disclaimer on the website notes, “The Johns Hopkins University hereby disclaims any and all representations and warranties with respect to the Website, including accuracy, fitness for use, and merchantability.” They are cautioning that the website should not be used for medical guidance. Researchers at other institutions including the University of Washington and the University of Georgia have also developed publicly-available “tracker tools.”

ESRI is a leading organization within the geography field and a provider of GIS resources. I found a compelling coronavirus tutorial authored by Miss Bytheway on the ESRI website with very instructive lessons and activities. Kenneth Field also offers an excellent blog post at the ESRI website about mapping coronavirus responsibly. My friend and colleague Dr. Dawn Wright is Chief Scientist at ESRI. She recently tweeted a fantastic website with a plethora of geographic information about coronavirus outbreak in Singapore.

Many high school students, including my daughter last year, take AP Human Geography. I am thrilled because it is exposing students to aspects of the discipline that shatter the “maps and capitols” misperceptions. The AP College Board website states that in human geography scholars “Explore how humans have understood, used, and changed the surface of Earth.” Topics might include migration patterns, population, political ecology, environmental justice, urbanization, and more.

A Royal Geographic Society website pointed me to some interesting research that encompasses human geography aspects of the discipline and Coronavirus. A 2011 study entitled, “The scalar politics of infectious disease governance in an era of liberalised air travel” was published in Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. While that study was more focused on Ebola, it has timely connections to the coronavirus problem.

Steve Hinchliffe is Professor or Human Geography at the University of Exeter and an expert on biosecurity, food risk, human-nonhuman relations and nature conservation. He and colleagues published a book entitled Pathological Lives: Disease, Space, and Biopolitics. He wrote in a 2016 blog post, “I call entanglement of microbes, hosts, environments and economies ‘pathological lives.’”

The term (pathological lives) allows us to investigate how these lives have become dangerous to themselves in a world of accelerated throughput and biological intensity.

Steve Hinchliffe, Professor or Human Geography at the University of Exeter.

There is also a significant body of scholarly research at the intersection of geography and infectious disease disciplines. For example, a 2019 study in the journal Infections, Genetics, and Evolution examined the geographic structure of bat SARS-related coronaviruses. One conclusion was that SARSr-CoVs have a distinct geographical structure in terms of evolution and transmission.

Of course, physical geography also plays a role in Coronavirus. In a previous Forbes article, I discussed potential climatological implications of the disease and whether warm season transition in the Northern Hemisphere would halt the spread of coronavirus. The short answer from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was “we don’t know,” especially since the disease has thrived in warm, humid locations so far. The longer answer was a discussion of emerging literature suggesting that influenza, coronaviruses, and related diseases might thrive in new places and for longer periods of time as climate continues to warm.

There are numerous examples that I could have given, but my underlying goal was to use coronavirus as a teachable moment about the discipline of geography. Now go wash those hands thoroughly with soap and be careful out there.

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Dr. J. Marshall Shepherd, a leading international expert in weather and climate, was the 2013 President of American Meteorological Society (AMS) and is Director of the University of Georgia’s (UGA) Atmospheric Sciences Program. Dr. Shepherd is the Georgia Athletic Association Distinguished Professor and hosts The Weather Channel’s Weather Geeks Podcast, which can be found at all podcast outlets. Prior to UGA, Dr. Shepherd spent 12 years as a Research Meteorologist at NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center and was Deputy Project Scientist for the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission. In 2004, he was honored at the White House with a prestigious PECASE award. He also has received major honors from the American Meteorological Society, American Association of Geographers, and the Captain Planet Foundation. Shepherd is frequently sought as an expert on weather and climate by major media outlets, the White House, and Congress. He has over 80 peer-reviewed scholarly publications and numerous editorials. Dr. Shepherd received his B.S., M.S. and PhD in physical meteorology from Florida State University.

Source: Why Geography Is A Key Part Of Fighting The COVID-19 Coronavirus Outbreak

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Coronavirus Update 28 with pulmonologist Dr. Seheult of https://www.MedCram.com. Topics include what health care professionals and other citizens can do to prevent COVID-19 spread, coronavirus case fatality rate based on patient age, and further discussion on coronavirus test kits. See our first 27 videos on the novel coronavirus outbreak that began in Wuhan, China: – Coronavirus Epidemic Update 27: Testing accuracy for COVID-19 (CT Scan vs. RT-PCR), California Cases: https://youtu.be/xQwfuJgJ9lo – Coronavirus Epidemic Update 26: Treatment Updates, Stock Markets, Germany & San Francisco, Pandemic? https://youtu.be/bV1CZxJ-uvU – Coronavirus Epidemic Update 25: Vaccine Developments, Italy’s Response, and Mortality Rate Trends: https://youtu.be/UImSVhLLeGY – Coronavirus Epidemic Update 24: Infections in Italy, Transmissibility, COVID-19 Symptoms: https://youtu.be/UImSVhLLeGY – Coronavirus Epidemic Update 23: Infections in Kids & Pregnancy, South Korea, Spillover From Bats: https://youtu.be/JGhwAGiAnJo – Coronavirus Epidemic Update 22: Spread Without Symptoms, Cruise Quarantine, Asymptomatic Testing: https://youtu.be/OqpHvK0XADY – Coronavirus Epidemic Update 21: Antibodies, Case Fatality, Clinical Recommendations, 2nd Infections?: https://youtu.be/9BYaywITXYk – Coronavirus Epidemic Update 20: Misinformation Spread, Infection Severity, Cruise Ship, Origins: https://youtu.be/Ka48UZDDzLY – Coronavirus Epidemic Update 19: Treatment and Medication Clinical Trials: https://youtu.be/4HK9QEy1KJ8 – Coronavirus Epidemic Update 18: Cellphone Tracking, Increase in Hospitalizations, More Sleep Tips: https://youtu.be/vE4pBkslqS4 – Coronavirus Epidemic Update 17: Spike in Confirmed Cases, Fighting Infections with Sleep (COVID-19): https://youtu.be/wlbM6VVkVZM – Coronavirus Epidemic Update 16: Strengthening Your Immune Response to Viral Infections (COVID-19): https://youtu.be/qqZYEgREuZ8 – Coronavirus Epidemic Update 15: Underreporting, Prevention, 24 Day Incubation? (COVID19) https://youtu.be/o804wu5h_ms – Coronavirus Epidemic Update 14: Hospital spread of infection, WHO allowed in China, N-95 masks: https://youtu.be/pDnmHu8x9C4 – Coronavirus Epidemic Update 13: Li Wenliang, nCoV vs Influenza, Dip in Daily Cases, Spread to Canada: https://youtu.be/0UgrPgJdzp0 – Coronavirus Epidemic Update 12: Unsupported Theories, Pneumonia, ACE2 & nCoV: https://youtu.be/GT3_A1bf9pU – Coronavirus Epidemic Update 11: Antiviral Drugs, Treatment Trials for nCoV (Remdesivir, Chloroquine): https://youtu.be/pfGpdFNHoqQ – Coronavirus Epidemic Update 10: New Studies, Transmission, Spread from Wuhan, Prevention (2019-nCoV): https://youtu.be/gPwfiQgGsFo – Coronavirus Epidemic Update 9: Fecal-Oral Transmission, Recovery vs Death Rate: https://youtu.be/8Hjy3UfaTSc – Coronavirus Outbreak Update 8: Travel Ban, Spread Outside of China, Quarantine, & MRSA: https://youtu.be/GpbUoLvpdCo – Coronavirus Epidemic Update 7: Global Health Emergency Declared, Viral Shedding: https://youtu.be/nW3xqcGidpQ – Coronavirus Outbreak Update 6: Asymptomatic Transmission & Incubation Period: https://youtu.be/UGxgNebx1pg – Coronavirus Epidemic Update 5: Mortality Rate vs SARS / Influenza: https://youtu.be/MN9-UXsvPBY – Coronavirus outbreak, transmission, and pathophysiology: https://youtu.be/9vMXSkKLg2I – Coronavirus symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment: https://youtu.be/UCG3xqtcL3c – Coronavirus Update 3: Spread, Quarantine, Projections, & Vaccine: https://youtu.be/SJBYwUtB83o – How Coronavirus Kills: Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) & Treatment: https://youtu.be/okg7uq_HrhQ ———————————————————– LINKS for references from this video: https://www.worldometers.info/coronav… https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/ap… https://www.marketwatch.com/story/cor… https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama… https://www.marketwatch.com/story/co-… https://www.foxnews.com/health/cornav… ———————————————————– Speaker: Roger Seheult, MD Clinical and Exam Preparation Instructor Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Disease, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine. MedCram.com has a series on the 2019 novel coronavirus in china, 2019 ncov, coronavirus California, SARSCOV2, COVID-19, MERS, SARS, the CDC, and world health organization. Produced by Kyle Allred, PA Please Note: MedCram medical videos, medical lectures, medical illustrations, and medical animations are for medical education and exam preparation purposes, and not intended to replace recommendations by your doctor or health care provider. #Coronavirus #COVID19 #sarscov2

 

Coronavirus Claims Its First Airline Casualty As Britain’s Flybe Folds

Topline: British airline Flybe, which is the leading regional U.K carrier, collapsed after it succumbed to its financial woes and weakened demand because of the Covid-19 outbreak.

  • Flybe’s collapse marks the first airline casualty since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak and puts 2,400 jobs at risk, while it is expected to hamper hit businesses and transport links around its regional British hubs.
  • Passengers have been advised not to go to the airport as flights will not be operating. Flybe said in a statement: “All flights have been grounded and the UK business has ceased trading with immediate effect.”
                       

                       

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  • But its collapse will deal a blow to the British government’s plans to increase transport links between U.K. regions.

Big number: 8 million. That’s how many passengers the airline carries a year.

Key background: Flybe narrowly escaped collapse in January, after being bought by Cyrus Capital, Virgin Atlantic and Stobart last year. Boris Johnson’s government agreed a rescue plan with Flybe’s owner weeks ago, to enable it to repay its $130 million (£100 million) debt, while its owners agreed to pour $38 million (£30 million) into the struggling airline. At the time, Johnson told the BBC: “Be in no doubt that we see the importance of Flybe in delivering connectivity across the whole United Kingdom.” On Thursday, the government said that Flybe’s problems predated the impact of coronavirus.

                      

Chief critics: Pilots’ union BALPA said on Thursday it was “disgusted” at the “betrayal and broken promises” from the government.

General Secretary Brian Strutton said in a statement: “Six weeks ago, when the ownership consortium lost confidence the Government promised a rescue package, apparently at that time recognising the value of Flybe to the regional economy of the UK. Throughout, pilots, cabin crew and ground staff have done their jobs brilliantly, while behind the scenes the owners and, sadly, Government connived to walk away. Flybe staff will feel disgusted at this betrayal and these broken promises.”

News peg: Measures to contain the spread of Covid-19 worldwide—large scale lockdowns, travel restrictions and event cancellations—have put massive strain on the airline industry, which has seen a sharp drop in demand. Major U.S., European and Asian carriers have scrapped flights to hot spots to save costs and to contain the spread of the potentially deadly virus, while airlines including Cathay Pacific and Virgin Atlantic asked staff to take unpaid leave. Airline industry body IATA predicts that the crisis could cost global airlines $30 billion, but with the pneumonia-like virus spreading around the world the total cost could be far higher.

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I am a breaking news reporter for Forbes in London, covering Europe and the U.S. Previously I was a news reporter for HuffPost UK, the Press Association and a night reporter at the Guardian. I studied Social Anthropology at the London School of Economics, where I was a writer and editor for one of the university’s global affairs magazines, the London Globalist. That led me to Goldsmiths, University of London, where I completed my M.A. in Journalism. Got a story? Get in touch at isabel.togoh@forbes.com, or follow me on Twitter @bissieness. I look forward to hearing from you.

Source: Coronavirus Claims Its First Airline Casualty As Britain’s Flybe Folds

Europe’s biggest regional carrier fell into administration after ministers rejected a request for a £100m state loan. Europe’s biggest regional carrier fell into administration after ministers rejected a request for a £100m state loan following seven weeks of talks, with shareholders bogged down in an industry-wide crisis caused by the disease and unwilling to help ­either. Read more about Flybe’s collapse: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/… Get the latest headlines: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/ Telegraph.co.uk and YouTube.com/TelegraphTV are websites of The Telegraph, the UK’s best-selling quality daily newspaper providing news and analysis on UK and world events, business, sport, lifestyle and culture.

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