Coronavirus Morning News Brief – May 25: CDC Says Monkeypox Does Not Spread Like Covid, 1 in 5 Patients May Develop Long Covid

Downing Street Parties Were ‘Not in Line With Covid Guidance at the Time,’ Says Official Report

By Jonathan Spira on 25 May 2022
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Adirondack chairs in the Andironacks in Upstate New York

Good morning. This is Jonathan Spira reporting. Here now the news of the pandemic from across the globe on the 776th day of the pandemic.

A new virus is in the headlines, monkeypox.  Fortunately – and unlike SARS-CoV-2, this virus is not spread easily by air.

“Respiratory spread is not the predominant worry,” said Dr. Jennifer McQuiston, an official at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on a call with reporters Monday.  “It is contact and intimate contact in the current outbreak setting and population.”

Monkeypox got its simian name after it was first identified by Preben von Magnus in 1958 as a pathogen of crab-eating macaque monkeys.

Among humans, it is primarily spread through sustained physical contact such as skin-to-skin touch with someone who has an active rash.  It can also be spread by shared bedding and clothing.

While it can be spread via respiratory droplets, that would require a sustained period of time with a monkeypox infected individual with lesions in his throat or mouth.  However, the virus does not spread easily that way, according to McQuiston.

“This is not Covid,” McQuiston said.

In other news we cover today, a new study suggests one in five Covid patients will develop Long Covid, a new report details the “partygate” violations at No. 10 Downing Street, and New York State will review its handling of the pandemic.

Here’s a look at what has taken place over the past 24 hours.

UNITED STATES

A new study released Tuesday by the CDC suggests that one in five survivors of Covid will develop Long Covid.

Long Covid is the term used to describe a variety of symptoms that can last for months or longer after an initial coronavirus infection. It may result in significant issues in multiple organs including the heart, lungs, and kidneys.  The study also identified issues including problems with blood circulation, the musculoskeletal system, and the endocrine system; gastrointestinal conditions; as well as neurological problems.

The authors of the study, the CDC’s Covid-19 Emergency Response Team, reviewed electronic medical records for nearly two million people, comparing those who had been infected Covid to those who were not.

In New York, Governor Kathy Hochul promised a full review of the state’s response to the pandemic thus far. The study would look at everything from the state’s early nursing home policies relative to Covid to decisions made around remote learning, Hochul said on Tuesday.

GLOBAL

The World Health Organization re-elected on Tuesday Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to the position of director general of the agency.  The vote took place at a meeting of its member states at the World Health Assembly in Geneva.

In the United Kingdom, a new and long-awaited report found that Prime Minister Boris Johnson presided over a disorderly workplace in which there were numerous violations of pandemic restrictions.

“Whatever the initial intent,” the author of the report, Sue Gray, a senior civil servant wrote, “what took place at many of these gatherings and the way they developed was not in line with Covid guidance at the time.”

The report said that 83 people violated pandemic rules at various parties. At these events, some drank heavily, Gray wrote, and others fought with each other and damaged property.

TECH

Apple is tightening its coronavirus rules for developers who will attend the Apple Park World Wide Developers Conference viewing event.

Attendees will be required to don N95 masks while indoors, and a negative FDA-approved COVID antigen test will be required the day before. The presumably negative test result will have to be uploaded to Apple’s portal before arriving at Apple Park.

TODAY’S STATISTICS

Now here are the daily statistics for Wednesday, May 25.

As of Wednesday morning, the world has recorded 529.2 million Covid-19 cases, an increase of 0.7 million new cases in the preceding 24 hour period, and 6.3 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 499.8 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus, an increase of 1 million.

Worldwide, the number of active coronavirus cases as of Wednesday is 23,118,877, a decrease of 202,000. Out of that figure, 99.8%, or 23,080,925, are considered mild, and 0.2%, or 37,952, are listed as critical.  The percentage of cases considered critical is unchanged over the past 24 hours.

The United States reported 132,365 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday for the previous day, compared to 133,346 on Tuesday, 21,982 on Monday, 37,307 on Sunday, and 139,427 on Saturday, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  The 7-day incidence rate continues to remain over 100,000 and is now 107,787.  Figures for the weekend (reported the following day) are typically 30% to 60% of those posted on weekdays due to a lower number of tests being conducted.

The average daily number of new coronavirus cases in the United States over the past 14 days is 108,082, a 40% increase, based on data from the Department of Health and Human Services, among other sources.  The average daily death toll over the same period is 331, a decrease of 10% over the same period, while the average number of hospitalizations for the period was 25,583, a 30% increase.

In addition, since the start of the pandemic the United States has, as of Wednesday, recorded 85.2 million cases, a higher figure than any other country, and a death toll of over 1 million. India has the world’s second highest number of officially recorded cases, over 43.1 million, and a reported death toll of 524,507.

New data from Russia’s Rosstat state statistics service showed at the end of April that the number of Covid or Covid-related deaths since the start of the pandemic there in April 2020 is now over 803,000, giving the country the world’s second highest pandemic-related death toll, after the United States.  Rosstat reported that 35,584 people died from the coronavirus or related causes in the month of March, compared to 43,543 in February.

Meanwhile, Brazil now has recorded the third highest number of deaths as a result of the virus, 665,955, and has seen over 30.8 million cases.

France continues to occupy the number four position in total cases with 29.4 million cases, and Germany is in the number five slot with 26.2 million.  The United Kingdom, with 22.3 million cases, is now number six and is the only other country in the world with a total number of cases over the 20 million mark.

VACCINATION SPOTLIGHT

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of Wednesday, 258.3 million people in the United States – or 77.8% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 66.6%, or 221million people, have received two doses of vaccine, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 585 million. Breaking this down further, 89.2% of the population over the age of 18 – or 230.3million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 76.5% of the same group – or 197.6 million people – is fully vaccinated.  In addition, 50.1% of that population, or 98.9 million people, has already received a third, or booster, dose of vaccine.

Over 65.8% of the world population has received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine by Wednesday, according to Our World in Data, an online scientific publication that tracks such information.  So far, 11.79 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered on a global basis and 5.85 million doses are now administered each day.

Meanwhile, only 16.2% of people in low-income countries have received one dose, while in countries such as Canada, China, Denmark, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States, at least 75% of the population has received at least one dose of vaccine.

Only a handful of the world’s poorest countries – Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia and Nepal – have reached the 70% mark in vaccinations. Many countries, however, are under 20% and, in countries such as Haiti, Senegal, and Tanzania, for example, vaccination rates remain in the single digits, if not lower.

In addition, North Korea and Eritrea are now the only two countries in the world that have not administered vaccines.

Anna Breuer contributed to this story.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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