Today’s update features news from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

It appears the agency is, once again, adjusting estimates based on real numbers….in this case, as it relates to the infection fatality rate, which is more than ten times lower than initially assessed.

New estimates released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that COVID-19 may have an infection fatality rate as low as 0.26%, a number that is double the seasonal flu but significantly lower than earlier estimates.

Determining the infection fatality rate of the illness has been a critical goal of scientists around the world since the discovery of the disease in late November. Infectious disease experts were shocked at the end of last year and into 2020 at both how quickly the disease spread and how many of those who became ill ultimately died.

In early February, modelers at Imperial College London estimated that around 1% of infections of COVID-19 would ultimately result in death. That number, which is about 10 times higher than the seasonal flu, shocked much of the world, including the U.K. government and most of the 50 U.S. state governments, into shutting down major swaths of their economies and placing many of their citizens under strict stay-at-home orders.

Study shows that coronavirus patients no longer infectious after 11 days

Another study offers a more robust understanding of how long a person could remain infectious.

Coronavirus patients stop being infectious 11 days after contracting the disease — even if they still test positive for COVID-19 on day 12, according to a new study.

Singaporean infectious disease experts said they found that the virus “could not be isolated or cultured after day 11 of illness,” according to a joint paper from the country’s National Center for Infectious Diseases and the Academy of Medicine.

Researchers looked at the “viral load” in 73 COVID-19 patients to measure whether the bug was still viable and could infect anyone.

“Based on the accumulated data since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the infectious period of [coronavirus] in symptomatic individuals may begin around 2 days before the onset of symptoms, and persists for about 7-10 days after the onset of symptoms,” the researchers wrote.

Wuhan lab admits to having three live strains of bat coronavirus on site

More news about a Chinese lab still retaining samples of bat coronavirus, despite the fact the nation’s researchers have clearly shown they cannot handle such items safely.

The Chinese lab eyed as a potential source of COVID-19 has admitted having three live strains of bat coronavirus on-site — but insisted none are the source of the global pandemic.

The Wuhan Institute of Virology has since 2004 “isolated and obtained some coronaviruses from bats,” its director Wang Yanyi said in an interview that aired Saturday, according to Agence France-Presse.

“Now we have three strains of live viruses… But their highest similarity to SARS-CoV-2 only reaches 79.8 percent,” Yanyi said, referring to the coronavirus strain that causes COVID-19.

Trump suspends travel from Brazil as coronavirus pandemic worsens in South America

President Donald Trump has suspended travel from Brazil to the U.S. as the coronavirus pandemic worsens in South America’s largest nation.

The president’s order, published Sunday, denies entry to “all aliens” who were in Brazil two weeks prior to their attempted entry into the United States. The order takes effect May 28 at 11:59 pm ET.

Brazil has rapidly become one of the hardest hit countries in the world as the World Health Organzation warns that the epicenter of the pandemic has shifted from Europe and the U.S. to South America.

“We’ve seen many South American countries with increasing numbers of cases and clearly there’s a concern across many of those countries, but certainly the most affected is Brazil at this point,” Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s emergencies program, said Friday during a news briefing at the organizations Geneva headquarters.

Federal court backs California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s orders keeping churches closed

Few surprises ever come from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

A federal appeals court has backed California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home order banning in-church services to blunt the spread of coronavirus, rejecting an argument from clerics that the governor is treading on their First Amendment right to free exercise of their religious beliefs.

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a split 2-1 ruling denying the request for a temporary restraining order against Newsom’s in-church service ban filed this month by the South Bay United Pentecostal Church in Chula Vista, California.

The ruling was issued late on Friday, the same day President Donald Trump demanded governors nationwide allow churches, synagogues, mosques and other places of worship to reopen immediately.

 

 
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