Coronavirus 2020 Outbreak: Latest Updates 6 New Symptoms

The United States leads the world in cases of COVID-19. We’ll provide the latest updates on coronavirus cases, government response, impacts to our daily life, and more.

April 29, 5:45 p.m.

The FDA will announce emergency-use authorization for the experimental antiviral drug remdesivir to treat COVID-19.

The original list included known symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Here are the new ones:

  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of smell or taste

According to the CDC, these symptoms “may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.”

Expert Opinions

Clinical trials have shown the drug speeds up recovery time for patients with COVID-19 compared to patients who received a placebo.

Those clinical trials involving 1,063 patients showed people who took remdesivir recovered 31% faster than people who received a placebo, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reported.

The NIH also said the clinical trials “suggested a survival benefit, with a mortality rate of 8.0% for the group receiving remdesivir versus 11.6% for the placebo group.”

However, a study conducted in China was less encouraging. The findings found the drug did not help patients with severe COVID-19.

More than a million cases of the pandemic have been reported in the U.S., with more than 52,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Smokers Hospitalized Less Often for COVID-19

Few of those hospitalized with the coronavirus are smokers, and researchers are trying to understand why.

One hypothesis is that nicotine, which has anti-inflammatory properties, may interfere with the way that COVID-19 causes an overreaction of the immune system.

The hypothesis comes from Konstantinos Farsalinos, a cardiologist in Greece who focuses on tobacco-use reduction. Farsalinos noticed that few COVID-19 patients who were hospitalized in China were smokers, though about half of men in the country smoke.

Of course, Roseville CA health coaches do not recommend that people should begin smoking simply to attempt to avoid a severe case of COVID-19. Smoking is still a leading cause of preventable death across the globe.

“We all know that smoking is obviously bad for you,” Raymond Niaura of New York University told VICE. Niaura co-authored the paper with Farsalinos. “It follows logically that smokers would be way worse off. I would think that too. But I’ve been surprised: That’s not the story we’re necessarily seeing.”

In France, researchers plan to test nicotine patches on hospital workers and patients who tested positive for COVID-19.

Based on a study in Paris, found data similar to that seen in China. Among 350 people admitted to the hospital, about 4.4% were regular smokers.

Data in the U.S. looks similar as well, according to the CDC. Among 7,000 hospitalized patients, about 1.3% were current smokers and 2.3% were former smokers, though about 14% of the country smokes.

For now, scientists and public health experts are studying the hypotheses as quickly as they can. Public health agencies continue to encourage people to quit smoking and vaping during the pandemic since COVID-19 is a respiratory disease that can severely affect the lungs.

The FDA, said smokers may be more vulnerable to respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19.

“There’s never been a better time to quit smoking,” the FDA said.

7 COVID-19 Models: Reopening States Early Will Increase Deaths

Deaths from the new coronavirus will increase in the U.S. in the next few weeks, according to a CDC update based on seven different models. The jump in cases and deaths will depend on “contact reduction” through social distancing, which means that reopening states could see an increase in deaths.

“National-level forecasts indicate that deaths are likely to continue to rise in the coming weeks,” according to the CDC update. “How quickly they will increase remains very uncertain.”

Two of the models that factor in “strong” contact reduction predict that deaths will still occur but “slow substantially” during the next 4 weeks. On the other hand, models that don’t incorporate strong contact reduction predict that deaths may “rise quickly,” the CDC wrote.

Contact reduction leans heavily on social distancing by keeping states under lockdown. But states have already begun to reopen, including Alaska, Tennessee, Georgia, Hawaii, Michigan, and Texas.

The White House Coronavirus Task Force, has updated its predicted toll to 73,000 U.S. deaths by August.

States should reopen only after they have a downward trend in COVID-19 cases or tests in a 14-day period.

Traffic Down, Dangerous Crashes Up During Pandemic

Although traffic has decreased across the country as people shelter in place for the coronavirus pandemic, dangerous car crashes have increased as the enticing open roads allow drivers to speed.

“COVID has brought a whole new set of circumstances to those of us in the highway safety industry,” Michael Hanson, director of the Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety, told Newsy. “What really alarmed us in the 2 weeks following our stay-at-home order … we experienced twice as many fatalities in 2020 than we have in any year going back to about 2015.”

“We’re now seeing, literally on a weekly basis, dozens of drivers who are being stopped and cited for traveling more than 100 miles an hour,” Hanson said.

In Denver, traffic is down but speeding tickets have gone up, according to the Colorado State Patrol, they have issued more citations for driving 20-40 miles per hour over the speed limit than in the same period last year. Also in San Diego, multiple drivers have died in high-speed collisions.

“These crashes that happen at high speeds, you’re taking away a hospital bed from someone else that may need it that has a COVID issue,” Lt. Gordon Shank of the Minnesota State Patrol told CCX Media. “This is a team effort. Make sure that you are going the speed limit, so we all get to go where we need to go safely.”

How many people have been diagnosed with the virus, and how many have died?

According to Johns Hopkins University, there are more than 3.17 million cases and more than 225,500 deaths worldwide. More than 959,000 have recovered.

How many cases of COVID-19 are in the United States?

There are more than 1.03 million cases in the U.S. of COVID-19, and more than 60,000 deaths. More than 116,000 Americans have recovered from the disease, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. See a map of cases and deaths by state here.

What travel restrictions are there?

The State Department has urged all U.S. citizens to avoid any international travel due to the global impact of the new coronavirus.

If you are currently overseas, the department wants you to come home, “unless [you] are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period,” according to a statement.

“Many countries are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and implementing travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines, closing borders and prohibiting non-citizens from entry with little advance notice,” the agency says.

In addition, the State Department says it will not issue any new passports except for people with a “qualified life-or-death emergency and who need a passport for immediate international travel within 72 hours.” The U.S. is banning all foreign travel to the United States from most of Europe for 30 days beginning midnight Friday, March 13.  American citizens are not included in the ban.

The U.S. has also temporarily suspended nonessential travel to Mexico and Canada.