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Data Snapshot

UW Medicine Hospitals: 

COVID-19 Positive Inpatient Data

King County: The county reported 283 new positive cases and 1 new death on Nov. 18.

Washington: The state reported 135,424 cases and 2,592 deaths as of Nov. 17.

United States: The CDC reports 11,465,722 cases and 249,670 deaths as of Nov. 19.

Global: WHO reports 55,928,327 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 1,344,003 deaths as of Nov. 17.

*Numbers update frequently, please follow links for most up-to-date numbers. 

COVID-19 Literature Situation Report

COVID-19 Literature Situation Report is a daily (M-F) newsletter put together by the Alliance for Pandemic Preparedness that provides a succinct summary of the latest scientific literature related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key Takeaways: COVID-19 Literature Situation Report Nov. 17, 2020 

  • Large-scale pooled testing combined with contact tracing and other prevention strategies at Duke University contributed to limited SARS-CoV-2 transmission and efficiently identified asymptomatic cases, which comprised over half of the 84 cases detected during fall 2020. More. 
  • Analysis of private insurance claims from over 16,000 enrollees in the US showed a net decrease in total medical visits from January to June 2020, with the substantial decline in in-person visits partially offset by an increase in telemedicine visits. More. 
  • Estimates of cumulative incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in New York City (27%) and Connecticut (9%) that were adjusted for waning antibodies were 2-4% higher than unadjusted estimates that relied solely on cross-sectional serosurveysMore.

You can read more literature reports from the COVID-19 Literature Surveillance Team, an affiliated group of medical students, PhDs, and physicians keeping up with the latest research on SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19. Here’s their latest report: Nov. 18 | Daily COVID-19 LST Report.

UW Medicine in the News

The Washington Post: More than 3 million people in U.S. estimated to be contagious with the coronavirus 

Featuring: Ali Mokdad, IHME

“More than 3 million people in the United States have active coronavirus infections and are potentially contagious, according to a new estimate from infectious-disease experts tracking the pandemic. That number is significantly larger than the official case count, which is based solely on those who have tested positive for the virus. The vast — and rapidly growing — pool of coronavirus-infected people poses a daunting challenge to the governors and mayors in hard-hit communities who are trying to arrest the surge in cases. Traditional efforts such as testing, isolation of the sick and contact tracing can be overwhelmed when a virus spreads at an exponential rate, especially when large numbers of asymptomatic people may be walking around without even knowing they are infectious. To put the 3 million-plus figure in perspective: It is close to 1 percent of the population. It is about equal to the number of public school teachers in the entire country, or the number of truck drivers. If the University of Michigan’s football stadium were packed with a random selection of Americans, about a thousand of them would be contagious right now.”

The Seattle Times: Higher viral load more deadly for COVID-19 hospital patients, UW analysis finds

Featuring: Alex Greninger, Laboratory Medicine; Andrew Bryan, Clinical Microbiology 

“COVID-19 patients who have high levels of coronavirus in their bodies when admitted to the hospital are four times more likely to die than those with lower amounts of virus, according to a new analysis from the University of Washington. But viral loads, which could help identify patients most at risk, are not generally measured or reported for COVID-19, says the report published this week in the journal Open Forum Infectious Disease. ‘I would like to see it more routinely used,’ said Dr. Alex Greninger, assistant director of the UW Medicine Clinical Virology Laboratory, which conducts much of the coronavirus testing for the state. ‘Unfortunately, we haven’t had this information for most of the pandemic.’ Measuring viral levels might also help contact tracers identify and focus on the most infectious people, said Dr. Andrew Bryan, medical director of the clinical laboratory at UW Medicine – Northwest and lead author of the analysis. The UW study adds to growing evidence that high amounts of the novel coronavirus translate into more serious illness, which is true for many viral infections. 

‘These differences are not subtle,’ Greninger said. One recent sample analyzed at the lab had a level of virus 100 million times higher than the test’s detection threshold.”

Business Insider: Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines likely work for all existing coronavirus strains. Don’t worry about mutations for now, scientists say 

Featuring: Trevor Bedford, Genome Sciences 

“Don’t worry about mutated strains of the coronavirus, experts say — the leading vaccine candidates should protect you against every version of the virus they’ve seen. Moderna and Pfizer each announced this month that their coronavirus vaccines prevent COVID-19 — the former’s is 94.5% effective, while the latter’s is 95%. Both companies hope to get approval from the FDA in the coming weeks. 

Genetic evidence about the virus so far suggests that these vaccine candidates — and others in the race — are unlikely to need much tweaking in the future. That’s because the coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, mutates slowly — its genome remains relatively stable over time. So any vaccine developed to target the original virus should work in the long-run against different versions that arise as it subtly evolves over time.”

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