Coronavirus outbreak: Live Updates | Live Science

The coronavirus uses spike proteins (seen on its surface here) to invade human cells.


Gorillas at San Diego park take a look at optimistic for COVID-19

A number of gorillas at a San Diego zoo have tested positive for COVID-19, in what seems to be the primary instances of captive nice apes contracting the virus.

On Monday (Jan. 11), officers with the San Diego Zoo Safari Park mentioned that eight of their gorillas are believed to be contaminated with the virus, according to the Associated Press. At the least two gorillas have examined optimistic, and employees are working below the belief that all the gorillas might be contaminated, in accordance with The San Diego Union-Tribune.

The instances had been caught after employees members seen on Jan. 6 that two of the park’s gorillas had been coughing. Subsequent testing of fecal samples from the gorillas revealed the presence of SARS-CoV-2 within the gorilla troop, in accordance with a statement from the park.

Park officers imagine the gorillas caught the virus from an asymptomatic employees member who additionally examined optimistic for the virus. It seems to be the primary reported case of pure transmission of COVID-19 to nice apes, the assertion mentioned.

Stay updates will proceed in 2021!

Antarctica has its 1st COVID-19 outbreak

The primary COVID-19 instances have been reported in Antarctica, which means the illness has now unfold to each continent on the planet.

On Tuesday (Dec. 22), Chilean officers reported an outbreak of 36 COVID-19 instances on the Chilean analysis base Basic Bernardo O’Higgins Riquelme on the Antarctic Peninsula, in accordance with the BBC. Of those, 26 instances had been navy personnel and 10 had been upkeep employees, the BBC reported.

All of those instances have been evacuated from Antarctica to Punta Arenas, Chile, in accordance with The Guardian.

Antarctica had been COVID-19 liberate till the present outbreak. The continent has no  everlasting residents, however about 1,00Zero individuals, together with scientists and different employees, stayed there this previous winter, The Guardian reported.

Biden will get Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine

President-elect Joe Biden obtained a dose of Pfizer’s new COVID-19 vaccine on Monday (Dec. 21), in accordance with The New York Times. He obtained the shot on digicam on the Christiana Hospital in Newark, Delaware. 

“I am doing this to reveal that folks needs to be ready when it is out there to take the vaccine. There’s nothing to fret about,” Biden mentioned.

London and southeast England are below an emergency lockdown

Following considerations of a brand new model of the coronavirus that is perhaps extra transmissible, London and most of southeast England at the moment are below an emergency lockdown, according to The New York Times.  Prime Minister Boris Johnson introduced the lockdown on Saturday (Dec. 19) citing considerations that the mutated virus — which was detected a few weeks in the past in southeast England —  could also be as a lot as 70% extra transmissible than earlier variations, in accordance with the Occasions. The brand new model of the coronavirus is detected in additional than 60% of latest infections in London and have additionally been detected in a number of different nations,  in accordance with the Occasions. But it surely’s not but clear if this coronavirus model is any extra infectious than the final and thorough analyses will must be carried out earlier than conclusions are made, scientists cautioned. In South Africa, an identical model of the virus has been present in as much as 90% of latest instances detected since mid-November, according to The Times. It is common for viruses to mutate, and this explicit coronavirus has mutated many occasions for the reason that begin of the pandemic. However consultants informed The Occasions that it could take years for the virus to mutate sufficient such that it could make the present vaccines developed to battle COVID-19 ineffective. 

COVID-19 instances proceed to surge throughout the U.S.

There have now been greater than 17 million instances of COVID-19 within the U.S. and greater than 300,00Zero deaths, according to The COVID Tracking Project. There are at present 114,237 individuals hospitalized throughout the nation and 21,900 individuals within the ICU. California is dealing with a large surge in instances; the state reported 41,012 new COVID-19 instances and 300 new deaths on Thursday (Dec. 17), in accordance with the state’s COVID-19 dashboard. By comparability, in the beginning of November, California was reporting a seven-day common of 4,183 instances, in comparison with a median of 38,774 on Thursday, according to CNN

“We’re experiencing an explosive and really lethal surge,” Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Los Angeles County Public Well being Director mentioned, in accordance with CNN. Intensive care unit beds are quickly filling up throughout the state; there are only one,234 ICU beds left out there in California, in accordance with the dashboard. Present closures throughout California are impacting round 98% of the state’s inhabitants, in accordance with CNN.

FDA anticipated to authorize Moderna’s vaccine on Friday

The U.S. Meals and Drug Administration is predicted to authorize Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine on Friday (Dec. 18).

As soon as approved, it will likely be the second coronavirus vaccine to get the inexperienced mild from the company in only a week, with Pfizer’s vaccine gaining authorization on Dec. 11.

Moderna is predicted to start transport 5.9 million doses of its vaccine on Sunday (Dec. 20), with the primary deliveries arriving Monday (Dec. 21), in accordance with The New York Times.

Not like the Pfizer vaccine, Moderna’s vaccine doesn’t require storage in extraordinarily chilly temperatures, and states are hoping to distribute the vaccine to rural hospitals and neighborhood well being facilities, the Occasions reported.

California turns into new epicenter of COVID-19 in U.S.

California, as soon as praised for its early pandemic response, is now the brand new U.S. hotspot for COVID-19 infections. The state has reported an alarming surge in instances, breaking earlier information for every day instances. On Thursday (Dec. 17), the state reported some 50,00Zero COVID-19 infections in 24 hours, and almost 100,00Zero in 48 hours, in accordance with The Washington Post. That is greater than the every day instances reported in lots of nations, together with India, Germany and Britain, the Put up reported.

The state additionally set a document for every day deaths on Thursday, with 379 fatalities reported, up from the earlier excessive of 293.

Capability in intensive care models has additionally dropped dramatically, with hospitals in Southern California reporting zero % capability on Thursday.

“I need to be very clear: Our hospitals are below siege, and our mannequin reveals no finish in sight,” mentioned Christina Ghaly, director of Los Angeles County’s Division of Well being Providers, the Put up reported.

An FDA advisory panel will meet as we speak to vote on whether or not to advocate Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine for emergency approval

On Thursday (Dec. 17), a Meals and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee will meet to find out whether or not to advocate that Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine for emergency approval, according to The New York Times. This panel, composed of unbiased consultants, will vote on whether or not to advocate the vaccine after listening to from the corporate, FDA scientists and the general public, in accordance with The Occasions. Final week, the identical panel of consultants met to debate Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine and voted to advocate emergency authorization; the authorization got here the following day. 

There have now been greater than 16.9 million instances of COVID-19 within the U.S. and greater than 307,00Zero deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins dashboard. There are at present 113,090 individuals hospitalized throughout the nation with greater than 21,900 of them within the ICU and seven,778 on a ventilator, according to The COVID Tracking Project

A wild mink examined optimistic for the coronavirus, it could be the primary wild animal to have a confirmed case

A wild mink in Utah could be the first “free-ranging, native wild animal” confirmed to be contaminated with SARS-CoV-2, in accordance with the U.S. Division of Agriculture (USDA), Live Science reported. The mink was discovered close to a mink farm and sure picked up the an infection from the farmed mink. There isn’t any proof that the virus unfold to different minks or wild animals; but when the virus does start circulating in wild animals, it might decide up mutations that COVID-19 vaccines could not shield properly in opposition to if it spreads again to people, in accordance with the report.

“If it does [establish a reservoir], then we have got a long-term problem right here, the place this virus has the potential to be with us for millennia,” Sarah Olson, affiliate director of the well being program on the Wildlife Conservation Society, told Vox. The U.S. Division of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Well being Inspection Service has screened different animal species for the virus close to mink farms in Utah, Michigan and Wisconsin, however all of them have examined detrimental up to now, according to a statement.

FDA authorizes first over-the-counter COVID-19 take a look at

The U.S. Meals and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the primary over-the-counter COVID-19 take a look at, which could be executed at dwelling and doesn’t want a prescription.

The take a look at, made by the Australia-based firm Ellume, gives ends in as little as 20 minutes, in accordance with a statement from the FDA. It’s a “lateral stream antigen take a look at,” which means it really works in an identical strategy to a house being pregnant take a look at, by operating a “liquid pattern alongside a floor with reactive molecules,” the FDA mentioned. 

The take a look at works together with a smartphone app. Customers take a nasal swab and place their pattern in an analyzer, which communicates to the smartphone app through Bluetooth. The outcomes are delivered by way of the app, and likewise reported to public well being authorities (based mostly on a consumer’s zip code) by way of a safe cloud connection, the company said.

Ellume is ramping up manufacturing of its take a look at, and expects to supply three million exams in January 2021, and 20 million inside the first half of 2021.

FDA evaluation confirms Moderna’s vaccine is secure and efficient, emergency authorization is prone to come Friday

A brand new briefing document from the Meals and Drug Administration (FDA) launched on Tuesday (Dec. 15) confirmed that Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine is secure and efficient, according to NPR. Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine is 94% efficient and has “a good security profile,” in accordance with the doc. A panel of consultants is about to satisfy on Thursday (Dec. 17) to debate the effectiveness and security of the vaccine and vote on whether or not or not the FDA ought to grant emergency approval to the vaccine. Final week, the identical panel voted that the FDA ought to grant emergency approval to Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine; the authorization got here a day late and the primary doses got on Monday (Dec. 15). The FDA will possible approve Moderna’s vaccine for emergency use on Friday (Dec. 18), according to The New York Times.

ICU nurse in New York turns into first particular person within the US to obtain a coronavirus vaccine exterior of scientific trials

New York, the worst-hit state in the beginning of the pandemic, simply grew to become the primary to manage a coronavirus vaccine exterior of scientific trials, kicking off an extended, huge effort to vaccinate the American individuals, Live Science reported

Round 9 a.m. E.T. on Monday (Dec. 14), the very first dose of Pfizer and BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine was given to Sandra Lindsay, an intensive care nurse in Lengthy Island Jewish Medical Heart in Queens, New York, according to The New York Times.  This comes because the U.S. continues to battle a large wave of the virus that has greater than 109,00Zero individuals at present hospitalized, according to The COVID Tracking Project.

For the reason that begin of the pandemic, New York has recorded greater than 780,00Zero instances of COVID-19 and greater than 35,100 deaths, in accordance with The Occasions. “This vaccine is thrilling as a result of I imagine that is the weapon that may finish the battle,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo mentioned throughout a stay broadcast of the primary vaccination. “It is the start of the final chapter of the guide, however now we simply should do it.”

Australia abandons native COVID-19 vaccine after it brought about false-positive HIV exams

An Australian COVID-19 vaccine that had proven promising ends in early trials is being deserted after researchers discovered that the shot brought about false-positive outcomes on HIV exams.

On Friday (Dec. 11), Australian officers mentioned that they had canceled an order for some 51 million doses of the vaccine, which was being developed by The College of Queensland and CSL Ltd., a neighborhood biotech firm, in accordance with The New York Times.

In an early trial with 216 contributors, the vaccine seemed to be secure and to supply a sturdy immune response in opposition to COVID-19, in accordance with a statement from CSL. However some volunteers falsely examined optimistic for HIV, which officers feared would undermine belief within the vaccine, the Occasions reported. 

The vaccine contained small fragments of an HIV protein, which helped stabilize the vaccine. A few of the contributors developed antibodies in opposition to these fragments, and these antibodies triggered false optimistic outcomes on some HIV exams.

It is vital to notice that there isn’t a manner for the vaccine to trigger an HIV an infection, as a result of it incorporates innocent fragments of the virus.

Vaccine approval might come this weekend, as U.S. continues to document excessive every day demise tolls

On Thursday (Dec. 10), the U.S. recorded one other 2,902 COVID-19 deaths, a day after the nation set a document of three,253 deaths, according to Reuters. “Most likely for the following 60 to 90 days, we’re going to have extra deaths per day than we had on 9/11 or we had at Pearl Harbor,” Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention, informed the Council on Overseas Relations on Thursday, in accordance with Reuters. “The fact is the vaccine approval this week is just not going to actually affect that, I believe, to any diploma for the following 60 days.”

On Thursday, the Vaccines and Associated Organic Merchandise Advisory Committee mentioned, voted and beneficial that the Meals and Drug Administration (FDA) ought to grant an emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine has already been accredited within the U.Okay. and in Canada, and FDA approval to be used within the U.S. might come this weekend.

FDA panel recommends authorization of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine

A panel of consultants for the Meals and Drug Administration (FDA) has beneficial that the company authorize Pfizer’s new COVID-19 vaccine in the US.

On Thursday (Dec. 10), the panel voted 17 to Four to advocate that the vaccine obtain emergency use authorization (EUA) for individuals ages 16 and older, in accordance with The New York Times.

The FDA usually follows the recommendation of its panels, and so as we speak’s vote is a vital step in direction of the vaccine’s authorization. It’s anticipated that the company will formally authorize the vaccine on Saturday (Dec. 12), the Occasions reported.

A number of nations have already approved Pfizer’s vaccine, together with Canada, the UK and Bahrain.

Every day COVID-19 demise toll within the U.S. reaches record-high, surpassed 9/11

On Wednesday (Dec. 9), the U.S. recorded 3,124 new COVID-19 deaths, the best every day demise toll so far, according to CNN. Compared, 2,977 individuals had been killed within the 9/11 assaults. The U.S. has now recorded 280,488 deaths associated to the virus, according to The COVID Tracking Project. A forecast from the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention predicts that the full demise toll can enhance to between 332,00Zero and 362,00Zero by January 2, in accordance with CNN. There are at present 106,671 individuals hospitalized with the virus within the U.S.; 20,903 of them are at present within the ICU and seven,621 are at present on a ventilator, in accordance with the COVID Monitoring Challenge. 

On Thursday (Dec. 10), the Vaccines and Associated Organic Merchandise Advisory Committee is about to satisfy to debate an emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine.

Canada approves Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine

Canada has approved Pfizer’s new COVID-19 vaccine, with the primary doses anticipated to be administered there as early as subsequent week.

Well being Canada, the nation’s well being regulatory company, mentioned in an announcement on Wednesday (Dec. 9) that it had decided that the vaccine “meets the Division’s stringent security, efficacy and high quality necessities to be used in Canada,” in accordance with CTV News.

“We anticipate vaccines to reach perhaps as early as Monday [Dec. 14]. It takes time to organize the vaccine,” mentioned Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, the highest navy normal main the vaccine rollout for the Public Well being Company of Canada, in accordance with CTV Information. The primary doses might be administered by the center of subsequent week, he mentioned.

Canada is the third nation on the planet to authorize the Pfizer vaccine, following the UK and Bahrain.

The nation ought to obtain as much as 249,00Zero doses of the vaccine by the top of December, and has bought 20 million doses whole, with the choice to buy extra, CTV Information reported. 

Folks with important allergic reactions ought to keep away from Pfizer vaccine, UK warns

The U.Okay.’s Regulatory Company is advising individuals with a historical past of “important” allergic reactions to keep away from Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine, after two Nationwide Well being Service members developed extreme allergic reactions to it on Tuesday (Dec. 8), Live Science reported.

“As is widespread with new vaccines the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare merchandise Regulatory Company) have suggested on a precautionary foundation that folks with a big historical past of allergic reactions don’t obtain this vaccination after two individuals with a historical past of serious allergic reactions responded adversely yesterday,” Stephen Powis, the nationwide medical director for England’s Nationwide Well being Service mentioned in an announcement on Wednesday (Dec. 9). 

Each employees have a historical past of extreme allergic reactions and carry adrenaline auto injectors (akin to EpiPens) round with them, according to The Guardian. Shortly after receiving the vaccine, each NHS employees developed anaphylaxis-like signs, or extreme allergic reactions, however have recovered after receiving remedy. The MHRA will examine additional and Pfizer and BioNTech will assist their investigation, according to Reuters

“Allergic response happens with fairly a variety of vaccines, and maybe even extra incessantly with medicine. So it isn’t surprising,” Stephen Evans, a professor of pharmacoepidemiology on the London Faculty of Hygiene and Tropical Medication mentioned in remarks to journalists printed by Britain’s Science Media Heart.  

“What could be sensible, because the MHRA have already suggested, could be for anybody who has identified extreme allergic response such that they should carry an EpiPen, to delay having a vaccination till the explanation for the allergic response has been clarified,” he mentioned. For the overall inhabitants this doesn’t imply that they’d must be anxious about receiving the vaccination, he added. “One has to keep in mind that even issues like marmite [a quintessential British food spread] may cause surprising extreme allergic reactions.”

Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine begins to work simply 10 days after 1st dose

Pfizer’s new COVID-19 vaccine begins to guard individuals from the novel coronavirus simply 10 days after the primary dose, in accordance with new documents from the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration (FDA).

The paperwork had been launched on Tuesday (Dec. 8), two days earlier than a gathering of the FDA’s vaccine advisory panel, which is able to vote on whether or not to advocate authorization of the vaccine within the U.S, Live Science reported.

The FDA analyzed knowledge from Pfizer’s section Three scientific trial, which included some 44,00Zero individuals in the US, Brazil, Argentina, Germany and Turkey, about half of whom obtained the vaccine whereas the opposite half obtained a placebo. Each teams obtained two photographs, 21 days aside.

About 10 days after the primary dose, there was a noticeable drop-off in new COVID-19 instances within the vaccine group in contrast with the placebo group, indicating that even one dose gives some safety, the report mentioned. Nevertheless, scientists do not understand how lengthy the safety from a single dose will final, so it would nonetheless be vital for individuals to obtain two photographs, in accordance with The New York Times.

General, the vaccine was 52% efficient after the primary dose and 95% efficient after the second dose, the report mentioned. 

90-year-old girl within the UK receives first dose of Pfizer vaccine, FDA overview confirms vaccine is secure and efficient

A 90-year-old girl (who will flip 91 subsequent week) grew to become the primary on the planet to be given Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine exterior of scientific trials, according to the BBC. Margaret Keenan, who’s initially from Northern Eire, was given the vaccine on the College Hospital in Coventry, England. She obtained the primary of 800,00Zero doses anticipated to be administered within the U.Okay. within the coming weeks, in accordance with the BBC. “I really feel so privileged to be the primary particular person vaccinated in opposition to Covid-19,” Keenan mentioned, in accordance with the BBC.”It is one of the best early birthday current I might want for as a result of it means I can lastly stay up for spending time with my household and pals within the new 12 months after being alone for a lot of the 12 months.”

“My recommendation to anybody provided the vaccine is to take it. If I can have it at 90, then you’ll be able to have it too,” she added. As much as 4 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine is predicted to be given to individuals within the U.Okay. by the top of the month. In the meantime, a 53-page Meals and Drug Administration (FDA) overview  printed Tuesday (Dec. 8) confirmed that Pfizer’s vaccine is secure and efficient, according to The Washington Post.


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