COVID-19: Failing the Test, What We Know About Aerolization, Georgia DPH Revisions, CDC COVID-19 Projections

Yesterday –E Schneider NEJM commentary (DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp2014836) on how the U.S. has lagged behind other countries in SARS-CoV-2 testing  Full Text: Failing the Test

An excerpt:

Tragically, the United States, unable to match other countries’ response, has tallied the most cases and deaths in the world — and recent data suggest that those tallies are underestimates. Why has the U.S. response been so ineffectual? One key answer is testing, which has been a cornerstone of Covid-19 control elsewhere…

Having failed to test early enough to contain outbreaks, the country has fallen back on two mitigation strategies: accelerating drug and vaccine development and an unprecedented strategy of nonpharmacologic interventions (NPIs) involving draconian school and business closures, stay-at-home orders, and physical distancing

March 16 -May 8, 2020


T Lewis. Scientific American (May 12):  How Coronavirus Spreads through the Air: What We Know So Far

An excerpt:

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization, the novel coronavirus is primarily spread by droplets from someone who is coughing, sneezing or even talking within a few feet away. But anecdotal reports hint that it could be transmissible through particles suspended in the air…

 “There is not much convincing evidence that aerosol spread is a major part of transmission” of COVID-19, Perlman says. That assessment does not mean it is not occurring, however…

Cowling hypothesizes that many respiratory viruses can be spread through the airborne route—but that the degree of contagiousness is low…

Most researchers still think the new coronavirus is primarily spread via droplets and touching infected people or surfaces. So diligent hand washing and social distancing are still the most important measures people can take to avoid infection.

From AJC: Georgia’s Latest Errors in Reporting COVID-19 Data 

In the latest bungling of tracking data for the novel coronavirus, a recently posted bar chart on the Georgia Department of Public Health’s website appeared to show good news: new confirmed cases in the counties with the most infections had dropped every single day for the past two weeks.

In fact, there was no clear downward trend. The data is still preliminary, and cases have held steady or dropped slightly in the past two weeks.

DPH’s page has led readers to think that cases were dropping dramatically, even though lower case numbers were the result of a lag in data collection.

My take: Though, the number of reported cases has been fairly steady in Georgia, the amount of testing has increased; thus, even if the numbers hold steady, this likely reflects some improvement in the absolute number of infected individuals.