What it’s good to learn about coronavirus on Tuesday, September 29
They also have the potential to change the way governments respond to the pandemic, so officials can identify outbreaks faster and respond to them before they spread.
“High-quality rapid tests show us where the virus is hiding. This is the key to quickly locating and isolating contacts and breaking the chains of transmission,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director General. “The tests are an important tool for governments as they aim to reopen the economy and ultimately save lives and livelihoods.”
The news that came as the world dwarfed 1 million Covid-19 deaths is a glimmer of hope in the fight against the virus.
Also on Monday, President Donald Trump announced a plan to ship 150 million rapid coronavirus tests purchased by the US federal government to states in the coming months. This is a lynchpin on his previous claims that increased testing would lead to more cases.
YOU ASKED. WE HAVE ANSWERED
Q: What is the difference between rapid diagnostic tests and other virus tests?
ONE: Rapid diagnostic tests that don’t need to be sent to laboratories for analysis can provide results in an hour or less based on a quick nostril swab. They look for antigens or pieces of coronavirus proteins and are best suited when testing a person in the early stages of infection, when the viral load is highest. However, these tests can be less accurate than the most commonly used diagnostic tests. A method called PCR – is considered the “gold standard” for detecting the coronavirus. The PCR test looks for signs that the virus is in your body by detecting the presence of its genetic material in a swab taken from your nose or throat. However, the test is time consuming and it can take anywhere from a day to a week to get the results back from a laboratory. Submit your questions here. Are you fighting Covid-19 in healthcare? Drop us a message on WhatsApp about the challenges you are facing: +1 347-322-0415.
WHAT’S IMPORTANT TODAY?
Uproar plagued Trump’s pandemic response teams on the eve of the debate
President Donald Trump kicks off the first crucial debate with Joe Biden on Tuesday as the U.S. government’s efforts to contain the coronavirus remain in turmoil, Stephen Collinson writes. In a token of the discord that plagued the government’s Covid-19 response, CDC Director Robert Redfield and Dr. Deborah Birx failed to attend Trump’s event on Monday and announced the introduction of rapid tests. But his new preferred advisor, Dr. Scott Atlas – a neuroradiologist who joined the White House Coronavirus Task Force in August and has drawn the wrath of public health officials who say he is telling Trump what he wants to hear about the pandemic, has a speaking role.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s foremost infectious disease expert who has been marginalized by Trump, was asked by CNN’s Brian Stelter at an event Monday if there was any behind the scenes hotness. “Most work together. I think you know who the runaway is,” said Fauci.
A stimulus deal is being pushed ahead with election day
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who closed several key deals during the pandemic, try one last time to resolve a bitter conflict on Capitol Hill during a pre-election day package to help millions of Americans who have been hit by the crisis to provide relief from economic crisis.
Pelosi and Mnuchin have spoken several times in the past few days, including Monday night, and plan to do it again on Tuesday. And while most on Capitol Hill are deeply skeptical that an agreement can be reached, both Pelosi and Mnuchin have aligned their interests: the speaker is increasingly being pressured by vulnerable House Democrats, especially newcomers, to reach an agreement immediately score while President Donald Trump wishes a Legislature to advertise performance in the final weeks of the campaign. l
The FDA suspends Inovio’s vaccine study
The planned phase 2/3 coronavirus vaccine study by the biotechnology company Inovio has been partially discontinued, the company announced on Monday. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Inovio that it has additional questions about its planned Phase 2/3 study of vaccine candidate INO-4800, including questions about the device being used as part of the vaccine delivery in the trials should be used. This partial clinical interruption was not due to adverse events, the company said.
A context: Inovio’s Covid-19 vaccine is funded in part by the U.S. Department of Defense, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations. The company has not received funding from Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration’s initiative to expedite the development and delivery of a Covid-19 vaccine.
ON OUR RADAR
- A former top advisor to Vice President Mike Pence said the CDC had been pressured by the government to downplay the risks of the coronavirus pandemic in reopening schools for personal instruction.
- Florida opens up and its students are itching to party. Police broke up a massive gathering of more than 1,000 people near Florida State University last weekend.
- Thousands of students across the UK were forced into isolation within weeks of their arrival at the start of the academic year after mass university outbreaks were confirmed.
- Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet with heads of state on Tuesday to discuss stricter restrictions to curb rising coronavirus numbers. On the table: a 25-person limit for private gatherings and a ban on alcohol sales for bars in badly affected areas.
- Moscow has extended the fall school vacation from one to two weeks due to seasonal illnesses and the increase in coronavirus cases in the Russian capital.
- Shingles, mask, migraines and quarantine fatigue: the stress of the pandemic has manifested itself in a multitude of physical complaints. The latest evidence of this is an increase in cracked teeth.
TODAY’S TOP TIP
The pandemic could have a silver lining for children going through puberty in communities where almost all schooling is virtual. While many children miss their peers, psychologist Lisa Damour says the playground isn’t always the healthiest place to learn about physical changes like periods. She offers these tips for parents whose children are going through puberty during the pandemic:
- Virtual schooling can give children a break from social pressures.
- There is no one “talking”. Instead, ask your child to ask questions about where and when they are comfortable.
- Books can help. Get a volume of knowledgeable advice for your child (and maybe for yourself).
- Be honest about what is happening in the world. At the same time, remind your child of the things – like your love – that stay the same.
- Work on establishing new family routines, including the necessary time for self-sufficiency.
- Follow your child’s example in their social life, whether they crave personal hangouts or are happy to keep them virtual on TikTok.
“Now is the time. In fact, Dr. Anthony Fauci told me you should get your shot by the end of October at the latest.” – CNN’s chief correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta
When should you get a flu shot? There is no time like the present. Dr. Gupta explains why in today’s podcast. Listen now