Friday Update for 2020-09-18
Herewith three items of Covid-19 news you may have missed this week: solid evidence for airborne transmission; Warp Speed-supported vaccines will be free; and word that asymptomatic children can transmit the disease. Plus the usual frippery.
Researchers at the University of Florida have provided the missing link in the evidence for airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2: they have isolated live virus from air samples in a hospital room occupied by two Covid-19-positive patients. The devices collecting air samples in the room were 6.6 and 15.7 feet away from the patients’ beds. The U of MN’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy has a summary; the paper is here.
While this careful study seems to prove that airborne transmission of the disease is possible, it doesn’t speak to how common it is compared to transmission by larger, short-range droplets or via surfaces.
Warp Speed-supported vaccines will be free
The CDC sent to US states, territories, and some cities its “playbook” for rolling out a vaccine once it is available. The feds hope to start distributing doses within 24 hours after a treatment is authorized or approved, and they stressed that the vaccines whose development has been bankrolled by Operation Warp Speed won’t cost Americans a dime.
The plans include a nationwide database to keep track of who has gotten the vaccine (and which one), and when they may need a second shot. I know a bit about big software projects, and this one will not be simple. It will involve coordinating with thousands of databases at hospitals and hospital systems, as well those of as local, county, and state health authorities.
Asymptomatic children can transmit virus
A report out of the CDC details how very young children in daycard, even when asymptomatic, can still shed virus and infect others. Here’s a brief summary of the research from The Hill.
An editorial in JAMA Pediatrics discusses a different study of Covid-19 in small children and indicates that children are actually contagious on average for longer than adults. Half of the children in this study were still shedding virus after 21 days. Asymptomatic kids were as likely to infect others as those displaying symptoms.
Frippery: who doesn’t love funny animal photos?
Here’s your reward for persisting through the rough seas above: the finals of the Comedy Wildlife Photography contest. My favorite is definitely the sea turtle.
Yup, the turtle😅