advertisement

Infectious Diseases

08 October 2020

Coronavirus morning recap: Mysterious post-Covid disease, and outbreak at the White House

A mysterious hyperinflammatory disease could also affect adults; and the White House feels the effects of the Covid-19 outbreak.

LATEST SCIENCE AND RESEARCH

READ | A mysterious post-Covid inflammatory response in kids can also affect adults 

Although children tend to be more resilient to Covid-19, some children have developed a hyperinflammatory condition called multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C). This disease is dangerous and can even lead to death.

On 2 October 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a new report which suggests that a type of multisystem inflammatory syndrome can also affect some adults. This version is referred to as MIS-A.

According to the report, MIS-A is a severe illness that targets multiple organs and causes increased inflammation in the body.

As with children, the adults who presented with MIS-A either test positive for SARS-CoV-2, or they have antibodies, which means that they have been infected with the virus in the past.

The CDC received reports of at least 935 cases of children with MIS-C, including 19 fatalities – including teens and young adults.

Recently, a similar syndrome has been observed in adults, and the CDC refers to 27 cases from the United States and the United Kingdom.

READ | Last-ditch life support system is saving lives of Covid patients

A life support technique called ECMO has saved the lives of many critically ill Covid-19 patients, a new study shows.

The ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) machine takes over the function of the lungs and heart. Blood is pumped from the body into equipment that adds oxygen to the blood before it's returned to the body.

This technique has saved lives in previous epidemics of lung-damaging viruses, but small studies published early in the coronavirus pandemic questioned its effectiveness.

This international study included 1 035 Covid-19 patients at high risk of death because ventilators and other types of care couldn't support their lungs.

After being placed on ECMO, the death rate among these patients was less than 40%, according to the study authors.

"These results from hospitals experienced in providing ECMO are similar to past reports of ECMO-supported patients, with other forms of acute respiratory distress syndrome or viral pneumonia," said co-author Dr Ryan Barbaro, of the University of Michigan.

CORONAVIRUS CASES LATEST

SA cases update: 

The latest number of confirmed cases is 685 155.

According to the latest update, 17 248 deaths have been recorded in the country.

There have been 618 127 recoveries.

So far, more than 4 318 514 tests have been conducted, with 23 583 new tests reported.

Global cases update:

For the latest global data, follow this interactive map from Johns Hopkins University & Medicine.

Early on Thursday morning, positive cases worldwide were more than 35.9 million, while deaths were over 1 million.

The United States had the most cases in the world - more than 7.5 million, as well as the most deaths - close to 211 500.

WHAT'S HAPPENING IN SA

Latest news:

WATCH | FEEL GOOD: Woman starts baking business after surviving Covid-19 and losing her job

Zanele Ngcoko, also known as "Chef Zan" in Gugulethu, Cape Town, was diagnosed with Covid-19 in May after she had trouble breathing.

"I'd take five steps but it would feel like I'd taken like one hundred steps to get to the bathroom," she told News24.

At the hospital, x-rays of her chest revealed that she had pneumonia in her lungs and she was sent to the Groote Schuur Hospital for a Covid-19 test.

"It felt like I was literally dying in that moment, you know, when they tell you because there are so many family friends that have passed on due to Covid," she said.

She spent nine days recovering at an isolation facility set up at the Lagoon Beach Hotel and when she returned home, her employer, told her she would be retrenched. Ngcoko worked as a chef at a catering company.

She said she expected the news and because of this, came up with a back-up plan.

WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE REST OF THE WORLD 

Latest news:

READ | Boris Johnson's scientific advisers want 'drastic action' to stop surge of Covid-19 deaths in the UK

Boris Johnson's scientific advisers want him to introduce "drastic" new lockdown measures after the number of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations surged in the UK.

"We are starting to get to a point where we really will have to take really critical action," Professor John Edmunds, a member of the government's scientific advisory group said on Tuesday.

"These local restrictions that have been put in place in much of the north of England really haven't been very effective," Edmunds told the BBC's Newsnight programme.

"We need to take much more stringent measures, not just in the north of England, we need to do it countrywide, and bring the epidemic back under control."

Edmunds said that the government should introduce further national restrictions to replace the patchwork of local measures currently in place across the UK.

the most stringent measures, including a ban on household mixing indoors, have been enforced across much of northern England where the rate of infection is highest. But they do not appear to have worked, with new daily cases in cities including Manchester, Liverpool, and Newcastle soaring in the past seven days.

READ | The Covid-19 outbreak at the White House is the worst to hit any major government

The coronavirus outbreak at the White House is the worst to hit any major seat of government, an analysis by Business Insider has found.

The US is not alone in having the core of its central government stricken by Covid-19, nor is it the only country to have its national leader test positive.

But the number of senior US officials, along with their high level of seniority, makes the outbreak among the Trump Administration the worst so far.

Politico has counted 34 people who tested positive since President Donald Trump announced he had Covid-19 on October 1. 

Many were guests at Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination ceremony, at which social distancing was not observed and almost nobody wore masks. The event is now being scrutinized as a possible "super-spreader" event, as Business Insider's Aylin Woodward and Susie Neilson reported. 

Among them are 16 senior figures in the Trump administration. They include First Lady Melania Trump, Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, Senior Adviser Steven Miller, and former Governor Chris Christie. And, of course, there is the president himself. 

HEALTH TIPS (as recommended by the NICD and WHO)

• Maintain physical distancing – stay at least one metre away from somebody who is coughing or sneezing

• Practise frequent hand-washing, especially after direct contact with ill people or their environment

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, as your hands touch many surfaces and could potentially transfer the virus

• Practise respiratory hygiene – cover your mouth with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Remember to dispose the tissue immediately after use.

Image credit: Getty Images