A preliminary study gives us hope the summer’s heat and humidity will slow down the virus.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo revealed that an antibody test showed the state has an infection rate of 13.9%.
That means almost three million New Yorkers may have carried the virus.
From Fox News:
The 3,000 samples were collected from 40 sites in 19 counties, according to Cuomo, and suggested the infection rate is as high as 21.2 percent in places like New York City.
“These are people who were infected and who developed the antibodies to fight the infection,” Cuomo said. “They had the virus, they developed the antibodies and they are now ‘recovered’.”
The governor says the testing was conducted at sites set up outside places like grocery and box stores.
“These are people who were out and about shopping,” Cuomo said. “They were not people who were in their home, they are not people who are isolated, they are not people who are quarantined — who you could argue probably had a lower rate of infection because they wouldn’t come out of the house.”
Medical personnel performed almost 70% of the tests “in the regions of Westchester, New York City and Long Island.”
Top DHS Scientist: Heat, Humidity Slow Coronavirus in Preliminary Study
William Bryan, the head of science and technology, said a preliminary study showed the coronavirus cannot live in hot and humid weather:
“Increasing the temperature and humidity … is generally less favorable to the virus,” said William Bryan, head of science and technology at DHS, said during the daily Coronavirus Task Force daily briefing at the White House.
Bryan said the preliminary study showed that the half life of the virus was lower at higher temperatures and humidity than in colder weather.
“If you look as the temperature increases, as the humidity increases, no sun involved, you can see how drastically the half-life goes down on the virus. So it’s dying in a much more rapid pace [with] just exposure to higher temperatures and to humidity,” Bryan continued.
But he also said that it dissipates more quickly in sunlight than in the dark because ultraviolet light helps kill the bug.
The DHS scientists said that disinfectants and household bleach were also extremely effective in killing the virus.
Rutgers University Saliva Test Could Help Test Thousands of Residents a Day
Scientists at Rutgers University developed a saliva-based coronavirus test. Gov. Phil Murphy said this could provide a vast improvement for the state:
The test, which was touted by President Donald Trump during a press briefing late last week, could allow New Jersey to roughly triple its current daily testing capacity, potentially putting the state on track to lift elements of a stay-at-home order officials believe has saved tens of thousands of lives at tremendous economic cost.
“Rapid return testing, contact tracing and then a plan for isolation and/or quarantine — those are the essential elements of the infrastructure that we’re going to need before you have the confidence — and we can tell you we’ve got the confidence — to begin to reopen our state,” Murphy said Thursday during his daily coronavirus press briefing in Trenton.
“We know this for a fact, including through the White House, that the Rutgers test protocol is being held up as a model not just in our state, but nationally,” he said.
The test, first made available to the general public at a drive-thru site in Middlesex County earlier this month, could soon have the capacity to deliver results for as many as 10,000 patients per day and within 24 or 48 hours after a sample is taken.
The Rutgers lab could hit that capacity within “a week or two,” Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences Chancellor Brian Strom said during the briefing, adding that RUCDR Infinite Biologics, which developed the test, may soon be able to process as many as 140,000 samples per week.
At that rate, which would require additional more equipment and manpower, the Rutgers lab would roughly triple the state’s daily testing capacity, which Murphy pinned at 7,000 to 9,000 tests per day earlier this week.
CDC Adds More Symptoms for Coronavirus
The CDC only had three official symptoms of coronavirus. Now the center tripled the symptoms:
Until recently, the federal health agency recorded just three symptoms of the virus on its website: fever, cough and shortness of breath.
However, this past weekend, the CDC expanded its list to include several more signs of infection including chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell.
Healthcare workers started calling attention to many of the new symptoms, such as the loss of taste and smell, last month.
In March, the American Academy of Otolaryngology called for the CDC to add anosmia – the inability to smell – to its list of potential signs of coronavirus.
At the time, the World Health Organization (WHO) said it was investigating a possible link between the two, but evidence was preliminary.
‘A loss of smell or a loss of taste is something that we’re looking into,’ Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead for COVID-19 – the disease caused by the virus – told reporters during media call on March 23.
‘We are reaching out to a number of countries and looking at the cases that have already been reported to see if this is a common feature. We don’t have the answer to that yet.’
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