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Pennsylvania Department of Health launches COVID-19 early warning monitoring dashboard – wgaltv

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has launched an early warning monitoring dashboard to track increases in coronavirus cases. Subscribe to WGAL on YouTub…

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COVID to hospitalise hundreds: Vic Health – Tenterfield Star

Victoria has recorded 270 new coronavirus cases, with hundreds of people expected to be hospitalised with the virus over the next two weeks. Premier Daniel An…

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Victoria has recorded 270 new coronavirus cases, with hundreds of people expected to be hospitalised with the virus over the next two weeks.
Premier Daniel Andrews on Tuesday confirmed just 28 of the cases were linked to known outbreaks, while 242 remain under investigation.
Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said the jump from Monday’s 177 cases proved there was some way to go before the outbreak reaches its peak.
“It’s not as high as our biggest single day, but we haven’t turned the corner yet,” Professor Sutton said.
“I hope to see that this week, but there are no guarantees.”
The state now has a total of 4224 cases, of which 1803 remain active.
“That’s a really significant number of people with coronavirus and it does mean that in the next fortnight, we’re going to see a number of people who will require hospital,” Prof Sutton said, noting about 10 per cent to 20 per cent of people with the virus require hospitalisation.
“A couple of hundred individuals at least will require hospitalisation in the next couple of weeks.”
Currently 85 infected people are in hospital in Victoria, with 26 in intensive care, an increase of nine from Monday.
Twenty-one people are on ventilators.
Some residents of Menarock Aged Care in Essendon have been transferred to hospital after 28 staff and residents contracted the virus.
Prof Sutton said not all residents need to be transferred to hospital.
It is the largest aged-care cluster of coronavirus in Victoria.
Some 80 staff and residents across aged care facilities have tested positive to COVID-19, Prof Sutton said.
Meanwhile, further restrictions may be considered to curb the spread of community transmission.
“We would do the minimum required, because we know how much of an imposition it is on businesses and people’s lives, but if it’s required to reduce transmission, then it has to be in play,” Prof Sutton said.
The premier said it was “too early” to decide on further restrictions, noting metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire was just one week into a six-week lockdown.
“It’ll take as long as it takes, but it will be a shorter lockdown if everyone comes forward and gets tested when they’re ill, follows the rules, only go out of your house for a lawful purpose and when you need to,” Mr Andrews said.
The premier said paramedics and a number of staff from Jetstar, Medibank, Telstra and Qantas will joining the public health team to help with the massive task of contact tracing.
“It makes sense for us to call upon them as our task gets bigger and bigger,” he said, adding a number of staff from banks also would receive training if required.
About 1000 Australian Defence Force personnel are also heading to Victoria to help enforce the state’s lockdown and testing.
Australian Associated Press

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Ex-Harvard Medical School faculty member warns COVID-19 herd immunity is ‘wishful thinking’ – Fox News

A Washington D.C.-based internist and former Harvard Medical School faculty member has claimed the idea that herd immunity may slow the coronavirus pandemic is “wishful thinking” after a 50-year-old patient was infected for a second time with COVID-19.

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A Washington D.C.-based internist and former Harvard Medical School faculty member has claimed the idea that herd immunity may slow the coronavirus pandemic is “wishful thinking” after a 50-year-old patient was infected for a second time with COVID-19.
“During his first infection, my patient experienced a mild cough and sore throat,” Dr. Clay Ackerly explained in an opinion piece for Vox. “His second infection, in contrast, was marked by a high fever, shortness of breath, and hypoxia, resulting in multiple trips to the hospital.
“It is possible, but unlikely, that my patient had a single infection that lasted three months,” Dr. Ackerly added. “Some Covid-19 patients (now dubbed ‘long haulers’) do appear to suffer persistent infections and symptoms.
“My patient, however, cleared his infection — he had two negative PCR tests after his first infection — and felt healthy for nearly six weeks.”
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Typically, experts estimate that between 70 and 90 percent of a population must be immune to a contagious disease to achieve herd immunity — whether through vaccination or other exposure to an infection.
However, a recent study in Spain, one of the countries hardest-hit by the pandemic, found just five percent of those surveyed had coronavirus antibodies. On a regional basis, the percentage varied from fewer than three percent in coastal regions to more than 10 percent in areas around Madrid.
Herd immunity is when a virus can no longer spread easily because enough people are immune to it. That lowers the chances of the virus jumping from person to person and reaching those who haven’t been infected yet.
People can become immune to certain viruses after surviving infection or being vaccinated. Typically, at least 70 percent of a population must be immune to achieve herd immunity. But how long immunity lasts varies depending on the virus, and it’s not yet known how long COVID-19 survivors might have that protection.
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In the  United Kingdom, a study by a team at King’s College London found coronavirus antibody levels decline dramatically in patients three months after they were infected.
“Infection tends to give you the best-case scenario for an antibody response, so if your infection is giving you antibody levels that wane in two to three months, the vaccine will potentially do the same thing,” Dr. Katie Doores, who authored the study, told the Guardian. “People may need boosting and one shot might not be sufficient.”
Ackerly concluded his piece by warning that if his patient is not … an exception but instead proves the rule, then many people could catch Covid-19 more than once, and with unpredictable severity.”
“Natural herd immunity is almost certainly beyond our grasp,” he warned. “We cannot place our hopes on it.

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New chemical could potentially lead to a cure for neglected tropical diseases – News-Medical.Net

Scientists say they are a step closer to developing a drug to kill the trypanosome parasite that causes human African trypanosomiasis, otherwise known as sleeping sickness, paving the way for a potential cure.

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Reviewed by Emily Henderson, B.Sc.Jul 13 2020
Scientists say they are a step closer to developing a drug to kill the trypanosome parasite that causes human African trypanosomiasis, otherwise known as sleeping sickness, paving the way for a potential cure.
The University of York researchers deciphered the mechanism by which the compound, known as AB1 works. AB1 was identified by researchers at the Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases and similar compounds have been developed as an anti-cancer drug by the company.
The researchers found that AB1 blocks the division of the parasite by interfering with the function of an essential enzyme in a structure called the kinetochore. The way in which the compound kills the parasite is different from the way it kills cancer cells, such that the breakthrough could potentially lead to a cure being found for the neglected tropical disease and others including Chagas disease.
Our goal is to identify unique biology in the parasite; that is the first step in the development of safe and effective new drugs to treat devastating neglected tropical diseases.
This academic and industrial partnership has allowed us to achieve that goal and to start on the road to developing a new drug.”
Professor Jeremy Mottram, team leader and Director of the York Biomedical Research Institute
The work is part of an ongoing research project which in 2016 identified another chemical compound that had the potential to kill three parasites that cause Leishmaniasis, African trypanosomiasis and Chagas disease. As a result, a drug is now in clinical trials as a treatment for visceral leishmaniasis. The teams at York and Novartis then began the search for a new chemical that could have better prospects of being developed into an effective treatment for African trypanosomes. This latest study is the result of that work.
Dr Manuel Saldivia, lead scientist on the project from the Department of Biology, and who is now a staff scientist at Novartis said: “Some of the most exciting discoveries in science came from using trypanosomes as a model organism. Their divergent biology is also an attractive open door for drug hunters. Because of its therapeutic potential, our work provides a chemical tool to shed light onto one of the most fascinating events during life: cell division.”
Human African Trypanosomiasis is a devastating neglected tropical disease caused by the Trypanosoma brucei parasite transmitted by infected tsetse flies. It threatens millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa.
Chagas disease – or America trypanosomiasis – is caused by the Trypanosoma cruzi parasite. It can cause the heart and digestive system to become enlarged, which can be deadly. Chagas mostly affects people in Latin America, but has now spread to other continents.
Leishmaniasis is caused by infection with Leishmania parasites and is spread by the bite of sandflies and is found in the Americas, Africa and Asia.
The research is in collaboration with scientists from the Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases in California, the University of Glasgow and the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute. The research was funded by the Wellcome Trust.
University of York
Saldivia, M., et al. (2020) Targeting the trypanosome kinetochore with CLK1 protein kinase inhibitors. Nature Microbiology.doi.org/10.1038/s41564-020-0745-6.

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