Philly canceling all large events until 2021, including the Mummers; Pa. warns pattern of coronavirus infectio – The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Following the Governor’s directive to postpone indoor dining, we took a step back to reassess our reopening date to ensure we could give our guests the world-class experience they expect from us, safely,” Melonie Johnson, the Borgata’s president and chief operating officer, said in a statement. “When we reopen, Borgata will introduce new outdoor dining experiences, as well as a convenient takeout program from several of our fine and casual dining outlets.”


COVID-19 testing: Where Michigan ranks, positive test rates – WDIV ClickOnDetroit

DETROIT – Michigan has ramped up testing in recent weeks, but how has that impacted the positive test rate?

In the last two weeks (June 29 – July 12), Michigan has averaged nearly 20,000 diagnostic COVID-19 tests per day, up from around 15,000 in the previous period (June 14 – June 28).

In the last two weeks, the average positive test rate was 3.1 percent. Between June 14 – June 28, the positive test rate was 2.4 percent.

Testing data for COVID-19 in Michigan as of July 12, 2020.
Testing data for COVID-19 in Michigan as of July 12, 2020. (MDHHS)

So, testing has increased, along with the positive test rate. This is reflected in the rise in cases over the last three weeks. Michigan’s 7-day new daily case average increased from 374 to 495 last week. It was 117 just four weeks ago.

Despite the increases in cases, it’s a far cry from rates in early-to-mid April, when positive test rates were 30 percent. Hospitalizations have increased slightly in recent weeks, but overall hospitalization of active COVID-19 cases remains below 5 percent, compared to 17 percent in April.

Michigan ranks 12th in testing rate (per one million), which is an improvement from 25th back in April. Overall, the state reports more than 1.3 million total diagnostic tests. Patients can account for multiple tests.

Get tested: Find a free COVID-19 testing site near you news:

Copyright 2020 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit – All rights reserved.


Douglas County resident dies from COVID-19 while in Texas – KPIC News

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141 COVID-19 cases linked to Oregons largest prison –

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31-year-old man with no known health problems dies from COVID-19 in Alabama prison – Alabamas News Leader

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Being fit, losing weight is a powerful force against COVID-19 but cities have to do more – USA TODAY


Scientists know coronavirus came from bats, not a lab — heres how – TNW

One of the conspiracy theories that have plagued attempts to keep people informed during the pandemic is the idea that the coronavirus was created in a laboratory. But the vast majority of scientists who have studied the virus agree that it evolved naturally and crossed into humans from an animal species, most likely a bat.

How exactly do we know that this virus, SARS-CoV-2, has a “zoonotic” animal origin and not an artificial one? The answers lie in the genetic material and evolutionary history of the virus, and understanding the ecology of the bats in question.

An estimated 60% of known infectious diseases and 75% of all new, emerging, or re-emerging diseases in humans have animal origins. SARS-CoV-2 is the newest of seven coronaviruses found in humans, all of which came from animals, either from bats, mice or domestic animals. Bats were also the source of the viruses causing Ebola, rabies, Nipah and Hendra virus infections, Marburg virus disease, and strains of Influenza A virus.

The genetic makeup or “genome” of SARS-CoV-2 has been sequenced and publicly shared thousands of times by scientists all over the world. If the virus had been genetically engineered in a lab there would be signs of manipulation in the genome data. This would include evidence of an existing viral sequence as the backbone for the new virus, and obvious, targeted inserted (or deleted) genetic elements.

But no such evidence exists. It is very unlikely that any techniques used to genetically engineer the virus would not leave a genetic signature, like specific identifiable pieces of DNA code.

The genome of SARS-CoV-2 is similar to that of other bat coronaviruses, as well as those of pangolins, all of which have a similar overall genomic architecture. Differences between the genomes of these coronaviruses show natural patterns typical of coronavirus evolution. This suggests that SARS-CoV-2 evolved from a previous wild coronavirus.

One of the key features that makes SARS-CoV-2 different from the other coronaviruses is a particular “spike” protein that binds well with another protein on the outside of human cells called ACE2. This enables the virus to hook into and infect a variety of human cells. However, other related coronaviruses do have similar features, providing evidence that they have evolved naturally rather than being artificially added in a lab. and bats are locked in an evolutionary arms race in which the viruses are constantly evolving to evade the bat immune system and bats are evolving to withstand infections from coronaviruses. A virus will evolve multiple variants, most of which will be destroyed by the bat’s immune system, but some will survive and pass to other bats.

The ‘genome’ of SARS-CoV-2 has been sequenced and publicly shared thousands of times by scientists worldwide. Corona Borealis Studio/Shutterstock

Some scientists have suggested that SARS-CoV-2 may have come from another known bat virus (RaTG13) found by researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The genomes of these two viruses are 96% similar to one another.

This might sound very close but in evolutionary terms this actually makes them significantly different and the two have been shown to share a common ancestor. This shows that RaGT13 is not the ancestor of SARS-CoV-2.

In fact, SARS-CoV-2 most likely evolved from a viral variant that couldn’t survive for a long period of time or that persists at low levels in bats. Coincidentally, it evolved the ability to invade human cells and accidentally found its way into us, possibly by means of an intermediate animal host, where it then thrived. Or an initially harmless form of the virus might have jumped directly into humans and then evolved to become harmful as it passed between people.

Genetic variations

The mixing or “recombination” of distinct coronavirus genomes in nature is one of the mechanisms that brings about novel coronaviruses. There is now further evidence that this process could be involved in the generation of SARS-CoV-2.

Since the pandemic started, the SARS-CoV-2 virus appears to have started evolving into two distinct strains, acquiring adaptations for more efficient invasion of human cells. This could have occurred through a mechanism known as a selective sweep, through which beneficial mutations help a virus to infect more hosts and so become more common in the viral population. This is a natural process that can ultimately reduce the genetic variation between individual viral genomes.

The same mechanism would account for the lack of diversity seen in the many SARs-CoV-2 genomes that have been sequenced. This indicates that the ancestor of SARS-CoV-2 could have been circulating in bat populations for a considerable amount of time. It then would have acquired the mutations that allowed it to spill over from bats into other animals, including humans.

It is also important to remember that around one in five of all mammal species on Earth are bats, with some found only in certain locations and others migrating across vast distances. This diversity and geographical spread makes it a challenge to identify which group of bats SARS-CoV-2 originally came from.

There is evidence that early cases of COVID-19 occurred outside of Wuhan in China and had no clear link to the city’s wet market where the pandemic is thought to have begun. But that isn’t evidence of a conspiracy.

It could simply be that infected people accidentally brought the virus into the city and then the wet market, where the enclosed, busy conditions increased the chances of the disease spreading rapidly. This includes the possibility of one of the scientists involved in bat coronavirus research in Wuhan unknowingly becoming infected and bringing the virus back from where their subject bats lived. This would still be considered natural infection, not a laboratory leak.

Only through robust science and the study of the natural world will we be able to truly understand the natural history and origins of zoonotic diseases like COVID-19. This is pertinent because our ever-changing relationship and increasing contact with wildlife is raising the risk of new deadly zoonotic diseases emerging in humans. SARS-CoV-2 is not the first virus that we have acquired from animals and certainly will not be the last.The Conversation

This article is republished from The Conversation by Polly Hayes, Lecturer in Parasitology and Medical Microbiology, University of Westminster under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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European markets retreat as coronavirus spike weighs on sentiment; UK economy posts weak May rebound – CNBC

European stocks pulled back on Tuesday as a spike in coronavirus cases started to weigh on global market sentiment.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 dropped 1.1% by early afternoon, with tech stocks shedding 3.1% to lead losses while telecoms bucked the trend to add 1.2%.

European markets are following their global counterparts lower Tuesday as virus cases spike in a number of countries around the world. On Monday, World Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that “too many countries are headed in the wrong direction.”

“In several countries across the world, we are now seeing dangerous increases in cases, and hospital wards filling up again,” Tedros said. “It would appear that many countries are losing gains made as proven measures to reduce risk are not implemented or followed.”

Meanwhile, stocks in Asia Pacific fell in Tuesday morning trade, as China’s yuan-denominated trade data for June was released, with exports rising 4.3% year on year while imports increased 6.2% as compared to a year earlier, according to customs data. The data was being watched for clues on China’s economic recovery following the imposition of lockdowns earlier in the year to curb the spread of the coronavirus.


US COVID-19 vaccine program to start manufacturing by late summer, says US official – The Jakarta Post – Jakarta Post

Drugmakers partnered with the US government are on track to begin actively manufacturing a vaccine for COVID-19 by the end of the summer, a senior administration official said on Monday.

“If you say exactly when will literally the vaccine materials be in production and manufacturing, it is probably four to six weeks away, but we will be actively manufacturing by the end of summer,” the official, who declined to be identified by name, said.

He added that the administration is already working with companies to equip and outfit manufacturing facilities and acquire raw materials.

The Trump administration has helped finance the development of four COVID-19 vaccines so far though its Operation Warp Speed Program, which aims to produce 300 million vaccine doses by the end of 2021.

The US government has given grants ranging from several hundred million dollars to over $1 billion to Johnson & Johnson , Moderna Inc, AstraZeneca Plc and Novovax Inc.

It also signed a $450 million contract earlier this month with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc to help it supply therapies for patients who are sick with the virus.

Clinical trials for therapeutics can produce results in a matter of weeks, making it possible to produce hundreds of thousands of doses by fall, the senior administration official said.

“While we think is fair to say that vaccine progress is occurring at warp speed pace, faster than any vaccines have been developed in history, therapeutics are even faster,” the official said.

The “slate is not closed” for additional funding agreements and the administration plans to announce more in the future, the official said.

The novel coronavirus has infected more than 3 million people in the United States and killed more than 130,000.



Baby girl born in Texas with coronavirus strongest evidence yet it can be caught in the womb – Daily Mail

A baby born with the coronavirus has provided the ‘strongest evidence yet’ that the infection can be caught in the womb, doctors claim.

The unnamed girl, from Texas, was wheeled into intensive care as soon as she was born because her mother had been diagnosed with

She tested positive for the coronavirus the day after birth, having suffered breathing problems and a fever — two tell-tale signs of the disease.  

When scientists analysed her placenta, they found inflammation and traces of the coronavirus.

This proves that the baby caught the virus while in the womb rather than after she had been born, the team claimed.

Last week Italian experts also found ‘strong evidence’ of transmission in the womb because the virus was discovered in umbilical cord blood and the placenta.

Until now, scientists have said the transmission of the virus through the placenta ‘can not be ruled out’ after reports of newborns being born with  

A baby born with the coronavirus is the 'strongest evidence yet' that it can be transmitted in the womb, doctors say (stock)

A baby born with the coronavirus is the 'strongest evidence yet' that it can be transmitted in the womb, doctors say (stock)

A baby born with the coronavirus is the ‘strongest evidence yet’ that it can be transmitted in the womb, doctors say (stock)

Since the pandemic began, doctors have wondered whether babies can catch the infection during pregnancy and are conducting research on the few cases they can find.

HIV, Zika and some other viruses can infect a foetus this way, and so scientists say it is possible — which has killed more than half a million people globally — also could.

Several early reports from China suggested this, although doctors say it is difficult to find whether the baby just picked the virus up during birth or in the hospital.


Babies may be at risk of catching the coronavirus from their mother during pregnancy, scientists have previously warned, but there is no clear proof.

In April, Chinese doctors published the case reports of four newborns who tested positive for the infection within a few days of a Caesarean delivery.

Three had been isolated as soon as they were born because their mothers had been diagnosed before birth. The fourth mother and baby tested positive a fortnight later.

The researchers said they ‘couldn’t rule out’ that the babies had picked up the virus while still in the womb via the placenta – however, there was no direct evidence of this.

It’s possible the babies contracted the killer virus from the hospital, but the odds were ‘low’ due to special infection control measures in place at the time, the scientists said.

Researchers from Italy said on July 9 that they had found signs of the virus in several samples of umbilical cord blood, the placenta and, in one case, breast milk when studying 31 women with who delivered babies in March and April. 

In one case, ‘there’s strong evidence suggesting that the newborn was born already positive because we found the virus in the umbilical cord blood and in the placenta,’ said study leader, Dr Claudio Fenizia, an immunology specialist at the University of Milan.

In any case, the possibility of fetal infection seems relatively rare, he said. Two of the babies in the study had tested positive for

The Royal College of OG says: ‘Emerging evidence suggests that transmission from mother to baby during pregnancy or birth (vertical transmission) is probable.’

This is when a disease passes from mother to baby during the period immediately before and after birth, for example across the placenta, in the breast milk, or through direct contact.

The college emphasised that in all reported cases of newborn babies developing coronavirus very soon after birth, the baby was fine.

And there is no evidence right now to suggest an increased risk of miscarriage.  

Some babies born to women with symptoms of coronavirus have been born prematurely. It is unclear whether coronavirus caused this or the doctors made the decision for the baby to be born early because the woman was unwell.  

Dr Amanda Evans was one of the authors of the latest case study at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, published in The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal.

She said: ‘Numerous infants have now been delivered to pregnant women diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2, with the majority of these infants without respiratory illness or positive molecular evidence for SARS-CoV-2. 

‘Our study is the first to document intrauterine transmission of the infection during pregnancy, based on immunohistochemical and ultrastructural evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the fetal cells of the placenta.’ 

The baby — who wasn’t identified — was born three weeks premature, at 34 weeks gestation, because her mother had premature rupture of membranes (PROM), when the membranes of the sac break before labour.

Up to 40 per cent of pre-term births are due to PROM, a condition sometimes caused by an infection. It is unclear if it was triggered by the coronavirus.

The baby was also large for her age, a complication of her mother’s diabetes during pregnancy.

At first she appeared healthy — other than being premature, when she was taken to the neonatal intensive care unit.

But doctors were aware she could have been exposed to the coronavirus, which is scientifically called SARS-CoV-2, via her mother. 

On the day after she was born, medics discovered her vitals had changed. She had mild difficulties breathing as well as a fever. 

The doctors said it was unlikely that the respiratory distress was due to the fact she had been born premature, considering it did not start for 24 hours. 

She tested positive for the coronavirus and was treated with supplemental oxygen for several days but did not need mechanical ventilation. tests remained positive for up to 14 days. At 21 days, the mother and infant were sent home in good condition. 

The researchers examined the placenta, which showed signs of tissue inflammation. They also found the specific coronavirus proteins in the cells of the placenta.

Together, these findings ‘strongly suggest’ that the infection was transmitted in the womb, rather than during or after birth, doctors said. 

This is medically called ‘utero transmission’, and experts have said the passing of the coronavirus this was was probable for some time.

‘We wanted to be very careful of our interpretation of this data, but now is an even more important time for pregnant women to protect themselves from,’ Dr Evans said.  

The report, led by Dr Julide Sisman, detailed two other cases of ‘vertical transmission’ of the coronavirus, which is when it would pass immediately before or after birth and not in the womb

The authors said it is difficult to determine at which point a baby with the coronavirus picked it up.

The new case report is the ‘strongest evidence to date’ that uterine transmission is possible, the press release from journal publishers Wolters Kluwer said.

It follows a small study in Italy which also found pregnant woman infected with the coronavirus may be able to spread it to unborn babies.

Researchers studied 31 women with, who gave birth between March and April. Two babies tested positive for the virus.

They found signs of the coronavirus in several samples of umbilical cord blood, the placenta and, in one case, breast milk.

In one case, ‘there’s strong evidence suggesting that the newborn was born already positive because we found the virus in the umbilical cord blood and in the placenta,’ said study leader, Dr Claudio Fenizia, an immunology specialist at the University of Milan.

However, he said women shouldn’t panic because the virus detected in the placenta and other areas isn’t necessarily viable – in other words ‘catching’.

‘It’s too early to make guidelines,’ Dr Fenizia said at an online medical conference, according to the news agency AP.