FL Will Be A Coronavirus COV-19 Pandemic’s US Hot Spot/ Some Positive News

The numbers of coronavirus COV-19 infections are quickly rising in the State of Florida. The GOP Governor Ron DeSantis will rue the day that his public demeanor for months has been one of a “doubting Thomas” regarding the seriousness of this viral pandemic spreading throughout the USA. His state of denial extended to the point of his allowing spring breakers to crowd the Florida beaches during the month of March 2020, when epidemiologists had been pushing for peoples to implement wide-spread physical distancing in order to mitigate against the inevitable negative consequences of this pandemic.

The one piece of good news for the State of Florida has to do with its brutal summer months of high temperatures and high levels of humidity. Starting around June is when the Florida locals live in a world of air-conditioning enclosures. In the year of 2020, this weather portends for a period of slowing down the transmissions of his coronavirus pandemic, as per some studies. 

Weather Blog: Rainy Season Right Around the Corner

If the spread of the coronavirus bug is slowed during Florida’s typical summer months, it is expected to rise again in the Fall of 2020. Hopefully, by then there will be medical procedures, anti-viral medications available to effectively treat COV-19 patients, as well as an ample supply of crucial medical equipment like PPEs and ventilators; additional ICU beds plus the staff to support an increase in sick peoples. By then, tests to confirm whether someone has the virus/ and or the antibodies should be in wide-spread use.

UPDATE ON 3/31/2020:

COVID-19 cases in Florida

Mobile app users, click here to view the map.

Coronavirus tests are on the way as Abbott Laboratories gets ...

Here’s the rest of the story…

As per the 3/30/2020 Tampa Bay Times report by Claire McNeill, “Florida coronavirus cases pass 5,700, with 71 deaths statewide”

Excerpts:

“The state Department of Health said Monday evening 3/30/2020 that 715 residents have been hospitalized because of COVID-19, the disease caused by complications from the virus, which can have severe respiratory effects.”

“In a state of more than 21 million, the state reports nearly 57,000 (61,800) tests so far. While tests have seen a dramatic expansion in recent weeks, confirmed cases remain a certain undercount given that people with mild symptoms are urged to stay home, with tests generally prioritized for health care workers and the elderly.”

HOW COV-19 SPREADS

As per 3/29/2020 the Tampa Bay Times report by Kathleen McGrory and Adam Playford, “Florida coronavirus cases are growing fast. Here’s what that means.”

Excerpts:

“The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Florida is doubling every three days, putting the state on a trajectory to see tens of thousands of infections in the coming weeks, a Tampa Bay Times analysis shows.”

“But at this point, experts say the math is simple. The number of cases is already past the point of easy containment and infections are growing faster and faster, at what statisticians call an exponential rate.”

GOV. DESANTIS (R)

Image

“Without dramatic steps, they worry that the epidemic will balloon across Florida and place an unprecedented strain on hospitals and health clinics.”

“Thomas Hladish, a University of Florida research scientist who specializes in disease modeling and has been advising the state on the outbreak, said that while epidemiologists might disagree on the nuances of their projections, they all agree on the main point.”

“We do understand the math and the models well enough to say with great confidence that Florida is going to have a huge public health crisis,” Hladish said. “And we are just at the beginning.”

“Florida remains one of the few states with a large outbreak not to issue a statewide order to keep residents at home. Several counties across the state, including Hillsborough and Pinellas, issued “safer at home” orders in the last week.”

“Some public health experts say it will take the more extreme step of shutting down the state to halt the disease’s rapid spread in Florida. Nine hundred Florida healthcare workers had signed a petition by (3/27/2020) asking for the same thing.

“The effects of the intervention wouldn’t be apparent right away. The same is true for the smaller steps that have already been taken in Florida, like social distancing or closing restaurants and fitness studios.”

“That’s because the statistics take time to catch up with the actual magnitude of the epidemic.”

Image

As per 3/27/2020 Laboratory Equipment report by Michelle Taylor, “FDA Approves Blood Plasma Donations from Recovered COVID-19 Patients to Treat Severe Cases”

Excerpts:

“The FDA has fast-tracked the use of convalescent plasma to treat critical coronavirus patients, and are working quickly toward convalescent plasma clinical trials from multiple investigators.”

“The treatment has only been approved on a case-by-case basis for use in patients with serious or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 infections through the process of single patient emergency Investigational New Drug Applications (eINDs) for Individual patients. This process allows the use of an investigational drug for the treatment of an individual patient by a licensed physician—upon FDA authorization.”

BuzzFeed News; Alamy

“While the FDA said it is still important to test the efficacy and safety of convalescent plasma, the health agency said it decided to facilitate access to the treatment “given the public health emergency that the expanding COVID-19 outbreak presents.”

“In convalescent plasma treatment, the ill patient is transfused with the plasma of a surviving donor in the hopes that the donor’s antibodies will fight the virus. In the past, plasma has shown promise, being used most recently in 2014 during the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and earlier in 2002 during the SARS epidemic. The treatment dates back to more than 100 years ago when it was used during the 1918 flu pandemic. Convalescent plasma was also used to treat measles and other bacterial infectious before the advent of vaccines.”

“According to the Associated Press, beyond measuring if a convalescent plasma transfusion improves the chance of survival for critically ill patients, there is another way to test the treatment. If the FDA agrees, a second study would give antibody-rich plasma infusions to people at high-risk from repeated exposure to COVID-19, such as hospital workers or first responders. This group could also include nursing homes when a resident becomes ill.”

Damian Dovarganes / AP

“Plasma from surviving patients is not the only antibody-approach scientists are taking in the fight against COVID-19. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals’ Kevzara (sarilumab) has entered a clinical program for patients hospitalized with severe COVID-19 infection. Kevzara is a fully-human monoclonal antibody that inhibits the interleukin-6 (IL-6) pathway by binding and blocking the IL-6 receptor. IL-6 may play a role in driving the overactive inflammatory response in the lungs of patients who are severely or critically ill with COVID-19.”

“The New York Blood Center will be the first to collect plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients. The center will collect the donations, process the plasma for infusion and maintain a bank for hospitals that need access for patients with life-threatening symptoms.”

“We’re proud to partner with leading medical institutions from New York and beyond in developing this potential treatment, said Beth Shaz, chief medical and scientific officer at NYBC. “If this treatment proves to be effective, we are prepared to quickly scale our process and activate our network to serve hospitals nationwide.”

IDNOW INACTION3 macro 300dpi 1200x628
Abbott has received emergency use authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the fastest available molecular point-of-care test for the detection of novel coronavirus. Courtesy of Abbott Laboratories

As per 3/28/2020 Business Insider report by Paulina Cachero, “The FDA has approved emergency use of a new coronavirus test that delivers positive results in 5 minutes and negative results in 13″

Excerpts:

“The US Food and Drug Administration granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to a COVID-19 test that delivers positive results in five minutes and negative results in 13 minutes.”

“Abbott Laboratories claims its ID NOW COVID-19 test could dramatically change the battle against the novel coronavirus in the US. The test runs on Abbott’s ID NOW platform, which is the most common point-of-care test in the US. It is also used to test other viruses including Influenza A&B, Strep A and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) testing.”

Abbott Labs Taps Company Veteran Robert Funck To Replace CFO Brian ...

“The medical device is small and compact enough that it can be used in nearly any healthcare setting, expanding the number of places it can be used to detect the novel virus. The medical device, which is about the size of a toaster, is portable and can be set up anywhere, from a physician’s office to an urgent care clinic, the company boasted in a press release.”

“Abbott’s ID NOW COVID-19 test will help battle the pandemic in real-time by bringing vital information in minutes to frontline clinicians who are working to stop the spread of the virus,” John Frels, VP of research and development at Abbott Diagnostics, told Business Insider.

“After Abbott Laboratories received approval fro the FDA for its ID NOW COVID-19 test on 3/27/2020, the medical device company announced that it would be ramping up its production to make 50,000 units per day as early as next week. According to a spokesperson from Abbott, the tests will be available beginning on April 1.”

Why It Has Been So Hot Across The State, Even By Florida's ...

As per 3/24/2020 Live Science report by Yasemin Saplakoglu, “Could the summer bring an end to COVID-19?”

Excerpts:

“Like some other respiratory viruses such as the flu, is there a chance that the new coronavirus will spread less as temperatures increase?”

“A new study has found that the new coronavirus, named SARS-CoV-2, didn’t spread as efficiently in warmer and more humid regions of the world as it did in colder areas. Though the early analysis, published in the journal Social Science Research Network, is still under review, it provides a glimpse into what we might expect in the warmer months.”

“Qasim Bukhari and Yusuf Jameel, both from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, analyzed global cases of the disease caused by the virus, COVID-19, and found that 90% of the infections occurred in areas that are between 37.4 and 62.6 degrees Fahrenheit (3 to 17 degrees Celsius) and with an absolute humidity of 4 to 9 grams per cubic meter (g/m3). (Absolute humidity is defined by how much moisture is in the air, regardless of temperature.)”

“In countries with an average temperature greater than 64.4 F (18 C) and an absolute humidity greater than 9 g/m3, the number of COVID-19 cases is less than 6% of the global cases.”

“This suggests “that the transmission of 2019-nCoV virus might have been less efficient in warmer humid climate so far,” the authors wrote. Humidity especially might play a role, given that most of the transmission of COVID-19 has happened in relatively less humid areas, they wrote.”

“But that doesn’t mean that when summer rolls around, social distancing will be obsolete and people will once again pack into bars and concerts like sardines.”

“For most of North America and Europe, the effect of humidity on the spread of the coronavirus would be negligible until June, when levels start to increase beyond 9 g/m3, the authors wrote. Still, with over 10,000 cases of COVID-19 being reported in regions with average temperatures of 18 degrees C (64.4 degrees F) after March 15, the role of warmer temperatures in slowing the spread might be observed only at much higher temperatures.”

Humidity - Florida Climate Center

“Therefore its implication will be limited at least for northern European countries and northern U.S., which do not experience such warm temperatures until July, and that too for a very short time window,” the authors wrote. So the chances of reducing the spread of COVID-19 due to these environmental factors would be limited across these areas, they added.”

“It’s unreasonable, I think, at this point to expect that the virus will disappear during our summer months,” said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee. Still, “I think it might give us a bit of hope.”

“The spread of some respiratory viruses, such as the flu viruses, diminishes in high humidity and high temperatures. It’s not exactly clear why temperature and humidity affect the flu virus or other seasonal viruses, but it’s in part because when you exhale, some virus at the back of your throat gets pushed out into the air.”

4 comments

  1. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Meanwhile, in Floriduh … “The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Florida is doubling every three days, putting the state on a trajectory to see tens of thousands of infections in the coming weeks, a Tampa Bay Times analysis shows. But at this point, experts say the math is simple. The number of cases is already past the point of easy containment and infections are growing faster and faster, at what statisticians call an exponential rate.” … read full post!!

    Liked by 1 person

Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.