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August 28 coronavirus news

Optimism grows for emergency coronavirus vaccine use in 2020

What you need to know

  • Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has resigned, citing health reasons. Abe’s government has struggled to get Covid-19 under control despite being among the very first countries to be hit by the virus.
  • A CDC ensemble forecast projects more than 200,000 coronavirus deaths in the United States by Sept. 19.
  • The White House has announced the purchase of 150 million rapid Covid-19 tests.
  • Latin America’s total number of Covid-19 cases has surpassed 7 million, according to Johns Hopkins University and CNN calculations.
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CNN’s coverage of the coronavirus pandemic has moved to here.

Are these fast, cheap coronavirus tests the game-changer everyone is waiting for?

Move over, slowpoke coronavirus tests that take a week or more to return a result – there’s a new generation of rapid tests coming to town and they’re poised to transform the landscape.

They are the antigen tests. But are they really all they’re cracked up to be?

The US Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization to another antigen test this week, bringing the total to four.

Compared to the most commonly used type of coronavirus test in the country – molecular diagnostic tests, also called PCR tests – antigen tests don’t need complicated chemicals, viral transport media or RNA extraction kits. They don’t necessarily require appointments at specialized labs, highly trained technicians, or certain machines.

And they can provide an answer in minutes, rather than hours or days.

Read more here:

Abbott's BinaxNOW™ COVID-19 Ag Card was authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration as a tool for detecting active coronavirus infections.

Are these fast, cheap coronavirus tests the game-changer everyone is waiting for?

Plasma therapy is no surefire cure for Covid-19

Editor’s note: The opinions expressed in this commentary are the authors’. View more opinion on CNN.

The US Food and Drug Administration’s shocking decision this week to allow the use of Covid-19 convalescent plasma to treat sick patients was by all appearances motivated by a desire to appease President Donald Trump rather than on any serious consideration of the science.

FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn left the medical community aghast when he said, at a news conference on Sunday, that 35 of 100 people sick with Covid-19 “would have been saved because of the administration of plasma.”

Researchers and doctors were confused by Hahn’s comments. We were, even after combing through the preliminary manuscripts from the Mayo Clinic on the efficacy of using plasma from Covid-19 patients, from which this claim was reportedly drawn.

The manuscripts, by the way, have not been peer-reviewed and do not describe a randomized clinical trial that proves Covid-19 convalescent plasma, or CCP, is effective. One of them presents pooled data drawn from CCP studies in multiple countries including China, Iran, Iraq and Mexico. In short, we need much more information than we now have.

Read more here:

BOGOTA, COLOMBIA - AUGUST 14: Nurse Lina Acevedo checks the plasma donated by Alvaro Rivas, who recovered from COVID-19 on August 14, 2020 in Bogota, Colombia. A group of researchers from the Institute of Science, Biotechnology and Innovation in Health (IDCBIS) work on a treatment with convalescent plasma to test its effectiveness, which is now 80%, on COVID-19 active patients. Positive coronavirus cases continue to grow rapidly in Colombia, according to the Ministry of Health there are more than 430,000 cases and registers over 14,100 deaths.   (Photo by Guillermo Legaria/Getty Images)

Opinion: Plasma therapy is no surefire cure for Covid

France reports its highest number of daily new coronavirus cases since March

French President Emmanuel Macron speaks to the media as he visits a site of pharmaceutical group Seqens on August 28 in Paris, France.

As coronavirus cases in France continue to climb, President Emmanuel Macron said authorities are doing everything “to prevent, obviously, a national reconfinement.”

On Friday, French health authorities said the coronavirus epidemic is “growing exponentially.” They reported 7,379 new daily cases – the biggest increase since late March.

There has only been one day with more cases recorded in 24 hours, on March 31st, which was during the height of the epidemic in France. 

The daily increase in cases has tripled in less than a week, according to French health authorities.

Macron said he had learned enough about coronavirus over the past eight months to not “totally exclude” reconfinement.

“Nothing can be theoretically excluded, but we are put ourselves in a situation where we can do everything we can to prevent it,” he said.

On Thursday, France declared 19 more areas around the country as coronavirus “red zones”, bringing its total to 21.

Doctors find possible case of Covid-19 reinfection in US

A health worker collects coronavirus tests samples at a testing site on August 3 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

A 25-year-old Nevada man appears to be the first documented case of Covid-19 reinfection in the United States.

Genetic tests indicate the patient was infected with two different varieties of the virus, a team at the University of Nevada Reno School of Medicine and the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory reported.

The patient was first diagnosed with coronavirus in April after he had a sore throat, cough, headache, nausea and diarrhea, the researchers wrote in a pre-print study posted Thursday. He got better around April 27, and he tested negative for the virus twice afterwards.

He continued to feel well for about a month. Then, on May 31, he sought care for fever, headache, dizziness, cough, nausea and diarrhea. Five days later, he was hospitalized and required ongoing oxygen support. He was tested again for Covid-19 and the results were positive.

The Nevada researchers examined genetic material from both coronavirus specimens collected from the man. Their analysis suggests he had two distinct viral infections.

Read more here:

Respiratory therapist Diana Vega from University Medical Center of Southern Nevada collects coronavirus (COVID-19) tests in specimen sampling tubes during a preview of a new COVID-19 testing site inside Cashman Center on August 3, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. UMC and the Nevada National Guard will operate the site in partnership with the city of Las Vegas beginning tomorrow. This weekend, Nevada passed the 50,000 mark in reported positive COVID-19 cases.

Doctors find possible case of Covid-19 reinfection in US

Mexico reports more than 5,800 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours

Health workers carry out Covid-19 testing on August 27 in Mexico City.

There were 5,824 new cases of the novel coronavirus in Mexico on Friday, the health ministry said, bringing the total number of confirmed infections in the country to 585,738.

Mexico reported another 552 coronavirus-related deaths on Friday, according to the government. The country’s death toll now stands at 63,146.

Mexico has the third-highest number of coronavirus deaths in the world – behind only the US and Brazil – according to Johns Hopkins University, and is ranked third in Latin America for total number of confirmed cases. Only Brazil and Peru have more infections in the region.

There are more than 5.9 million coronavirus cases in the US

There are at least 5,912,016 cases of coronavirus in the US and at least 181,704 people have died from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University’s tally of cases.

So far on Friday, Johns Hopkins has recorded 44,231 new cases and 880 reported deaths. 

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases. 

Brazil reports more than 43,000 new coronavirus cases

A policeman patrol the home of Rio Governor Wilson Witzel in Rio de Janeiro on August 28.

Brazil’s health ministry on Friday reported 43,412 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours. That brings the total number of cases in the country to 3,804,803.

The ministry recorded 855 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing Brazil’s total number of deaths from Covid-19 to 119,504.  

Brazil continues to be second only to the United States in the highest total number of coronavirus cases and deaths globally. 

Colorado Supreme Court declines to hear case challenging governor's mask order

The Colorado Supreme Court has declined to hear a case challenging Gov. Jared Polis’ statewide mask order.

In a tweet sent Friday, Colorado Supreme court Public Information Officer Rob McCallum said that the court declined to hear the Neville vs. Polis case.

“Mask wearing is a proven way to slow the spread of this deadly virus, will help keep businesses open, save lives, and keep our economy growing. I’m glad the Supreme Court stands with the people of Colorado in our fight against the deadly virus, in which mask-wearing is one of our most effective weapons,” the governor said in a statement.

FDA extends emergency use authorization of remdesivir to all hospitalized Covid-19 patients

Vials of the drug Remdesivir.

The US Food and Drug Administration said Friday it is extending emergency use authorization for remdesivir to all patients hospitalized for coronavirus, regardless of the severity of their disease. 

The FDA originally authorized remdesivir for emergency use in May only for patients with severe coronavirus who needed help breathing with extra oxygen or mechanical ventilation. The drug has been shown to shorten recovery time for some coronavirus patients.

The FDA said clinical trials of remdesivir, including Phase 3 trials, showed a five-day course of the drug could reduce recovery time in moderately ill patients with pneumonia from Covid-19. “The data show that this treatment has the potential to help even more hospitalized patients who are suffering from the effects of this devastating virus,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said in a statement.

“As we learn more about COVID-19 and we further establish the efficacy and safety profile of Veklury, we see benefit to making the drug available to patients at earlier stages of the disease,” Dr. Merdad Parsey, chief medical officer of Gilead Sciences, said in a statement. “Today’s action by the FDA enables physicians to consider a broader range of eligible patients to potentially receive Veklury.” Veklury is the brand name for remdesivir.

An emergency authorization allows the FDA to expedite use of a coronavirus drug that has not yet received full approval. The FDA is examining data from a number of clinical trials for potential coronavirus treatment drugs.

Ireland announces $19 million support package for pubs

A barman in Murrays pub on Grafton street checks the head on a pint of Guinness on June 29 in Dublin, Ireland.

The Irish government announced a $19 million support package to help pubs, bars and nightclubs, which remain closed indefinitely, according to an Irish Department of Business statement released Friday.  

The support package will offer “restart grants” of between $6,700 and $41,700 to help businesses reopen when the time comes, and the government will also waive certain pub license fees for 2020. 

“It’s been a really difficult few months for pub owners,” said Irish Deputy Premier Leo Varadkar. “Our publicans are making a massive sacrifice to protect their communities and the government is determined to help.”

On Thursday, Irish health authorities announced “wet” pubs and bars, which do not serve food alongside alcohol, would remain closed indefinitely due to the rising number of cases in hospitals. 

That’s the third delayed reopening for pubs, bars, and nightclubs, which were initially scheduled to reopen in July, which was kicked back to Aug. 10 and eventually Aug. 31. Meanwhile, pubs that also serve food were able to reopen in late June.  

“Our focus has to be on getting case numbers down, controlling the spread of this disease, and we will keep the reopening of pubs, along with the other measures that might be able to be eased, under review over the coming weeks,” said Dr. Ronan Glynn, the Irish Department of Health’s acting chief medical officer, during a briefing on Thursday.

Ireland recorded 127 confirmed new cases of Covid-19 on Friday and 93 confirmed new cases on Thursday, according to the latest Department of Health data.

“The cases, whilst not escalating rapidly, are continuing to escalate,” said Glynn on Thursday. “If we continue along that road for a prolonged period of time, we will see more hospitalizations, we will see more people in critical care and it will have knock-on effects for many parts of our society and our economy,” 

“We’re not contemplating a national lockdown as things currently stand. We certainly hope that we don’t get back to a situation like that, but ultimately the power to prevent that is is each of our hands as individuals over the coming weeks,” he added.

In a video message posted to Twitter Friday, Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin said, “Our core values will ensure we continue to suppress COVID-19 to allow our economic, social and cultural life to safely recover and flourish into the future,” he added.

University of Virginia will start in-person classes in September

The University of Virginia will welcome students to residence halls in early September and in-person undergraduate classes will start Sept. 8, the school said an announcement.

The dorms on campus will only be two-thirds full, which is about 4,400 students, and they have been modified to make social distancing easier, the university said. The school will also test everyone in the dorms if an outbreak happens.

The university explained their decision to welcome students back to campus, saying on the university’s UVA Today website that “a key part of that experience is the opportunity for our students to step out on their own, in a caring and protective environment, to find their own interests, to define their personal commitments, and to form friendships that will sustain them for many years, if not a lifetime. This is quite difficult, if not impossible, to do online.” 

The university also said that conditions in Virginia, in terms of coronavirus, have improved and testing material supply chain concerns have already been addressed. 

California's new coronavirus reopening system takes more cautious approach

Visitors wearing face masks walk past a display of Pink Flamingos at the Los Angeles Zoo as it reopens on August 26, in Los Angeles, California.

California’s sweeping new coronavirus reopening system takes a slower, more cautious approach to allowing businesses and activities to resume after Gov. Gavin Newsom faced criticism for allowing counties to quickly reopen in the spring, leading to a dramatic rise in infections and deaths.

“We’re going to be more stubborn this time, and have a mandatory wait time between moves,” Newsom said Friday. “We didn’t do that last time and that is a significant distinction between what we’ve learned from the past and what we now are advancing in this more stringent, but we believe more steady approach to moving counties within tiers and modifying the activities within those respective counties.”

The governor previously faced criticism for allowing counties to reopen businesses too quickly before meeting key metrics required by the state. As California saw a resurgence in coronavirus cases in June, Newsom began shutting down much of the economy again, placing the majority of the state’s 58 counties on a state “monitoring list” that forced the closure of many indoor businesses and activities. In recent weeks, the state has seen its average number of new daily confirmed cases fall by more than 3,000 from its July peak as well as a falling hospitalization and death toll. 

Under the state’s new reopening rules unveiled Friday, counties must wait a minimum of 21 days before they can move to a less restrictive tier. In order to ease restrictions further, counties will need to meet reopening metrics for two straight weeks. A failure to meet those targets may require counties to return to a more restrictive tier, Newsom warned. 

The new system, the governor said, is “simple” but also “slow,” with the vast majority of the state’s population beginning the new framework under the first tier, requiring most nonessential businesses and schools to remain closed.

On Friday, the state reported 140 additional deaths, raising the statewide total since the start of the pandemic to 12,690. It also reported 5,329 new confirmed cases for a total of 688,858.

1-year-old Georgia boy dies from Covid-19, youngest reported victim in the state

The Georgia Department of Public Health has reported the death of a 1-year-old African-American boy from Covid-19 in Cobb County, just outside of Atlanta.

He is the youngest Covid-19 death reported in the state, the department said. 

According to the department’s data, the toddler had a comorbidity. The director of communications for Cobb County Public Health, Valerie Crow, told CNN that he had serious medical conditions.  

On Friday, Georgia’s Department of Public Health reported 2,383 new Covid-19 cases on Friday, and 79 new deaths from the virus.

Louisiana governor is concerned about drop in Covid-19 testing due to Hurricane Laura

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks Tuesday, July 28, at a press conference update on the state's Covid-19 situation at the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness in Baton Rouge.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards is concerned about the slowdown in testing for Covid-19 due to Hurricane Laura.

“Frankly we cannot afford to loose sight of our testing, because it was about three weeks ago that our schools came back. We have had students back on our college campuses and as you know it take about two weeks after behavior changes to see if there is any changes in positivity which will lead to more hospitalizations and deaths. So this is a very bad week for us not to be doing robust testing,“ Edwards said at a news conference.

The governor said that 6,200 members of his National Guard were in the state assisting with recovery from the hurricane, but he added that he was eager to get them back on the Covid-19 mission. 

Operation Warp Speed officials can't see coronavirus vaccine data early, official says

Operation Warp Speed officials cannot peek early at any data coming out of clinical trials of experimental coronavirus vaccine, an official told reporters Friday. 

Paul Mango, deputy chief of staff for policy at the US Department of Health Human Services, sought to reassure reporters that the process of approving any eventual coronavirus vaccine will be the same as for any vaccine. 

“There is a thing called a Data Safety Monitoring Board, an independent body that is assigned to each clinical trial,” Mango said during a telephone briefing. “We have no insight into the data until the DSMB says we can look at it. They can come back and say, ‘This is not a good vaccine.’ They could come back before we even have 30,000 folks enrolled and say ‘We have enough. This looks great.’”

Adverse reactions to the vaccine could also trigger the DSMB to stop the trial.

Makers of vaccines in advanced clinical trials in the US are seeking to enroll at least 30,000 volunteers so they can tell whether the vaccine is really safe and protects people from infection. But there could be enough data even before 30,000 people are enrolled, Mango said.

“What we are really looking for is cases — the number of positive cases from both the placebo and the vaccine group,” Mango said. “Once we get to 150 or so, statistically that is significant regardless of how many enrollees we have in the trial.”

“That may be surprising to some, but really the number of events that have to occur … is relatively small,” added US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield.

Turkey records highest coronavirus death toll since May

Turkey announced 36 new coronavirus deaths over the last 24 hours, according to the Turkish health ministry. This marks the highest daily number of fatalities since mid-May.

The country’s daily positives of Covid-19 cases have been on an upward trajectory, hitting a high of 1,517 for the first time since June, according to the health ministry’s numbers.  

Turkey has increased it testing capacity over the last week and currently tests more than 100,000 people per day, according to the ministry’s numbers.

“Our active cases and critical condition patients are on the rise… the key to preventing deaths and lowering the number of patients is adherence to the preventative measures,” Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca tweeted, along with the daily coronavirus number update.  

Earlier this week as a part of new measures, the Turkish interior ministry issued a limitation for wedding and engagement parties. In 14 provinces including Ankara, Bursa, Diyarbakır, Gaziantep, Mardin, Urfa, and Van wedding parties are limited to an hour and must be held without dancing or food and beverage service, except for water. 

Engagement, bachelorette and circumcision parties have been banned in the listed provinces, according to the interior ministry. 

Government offices throughout the country will not be able to serve beverages, except for bottled water, the ministry said. Turkish government offices traditionally have tea and coffee services. 

Mayor Bill de Blasio says schools will start on time

Bill de Blasio, mayor of New York, speaks during a news conference at New Bridges Elementary School in the Brooklyn borough of New York on Wednesday, August 19.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said schools are still on track to start in-person learning on Sept. 10.

Teachers will stick with the same students through both in-person and remote instruction, de Blasio said on WNYC’s “The Brian Lehrer Show” Friday.

Asked whether the schools around the city had enough substitute teachers and were adept technologically at handling remote learning needs, de Blasio said the pool for substitute teachers “was ready” and that teachers “have four months of remote teaching under their belt.”

The mayor expressed anger and frustration when asked about how outdoor schooling would be funded, saying “so many people don’t know what the hell they’re talking about.” He said schools could use football fields, courtyards and spaces on closed-off streets that would serve no extra cost to the city’s Department of Education.

Youth sports will also return on or around Sept. 15, with a permit required to restart leagues. Leagues receiving permits will be given three strikes of violating health and Covid-19 guidelines before having their play suspended.

Operation Warp Speed to continue if Trump loses election, White House official says

Operation Warp Speed, the White House’s race for a Covid-19 vaccine, will likely continue if Donald Trump loses the presidential election in November, Paul Mango, deputy chief of staff for policy at the US Department of Health and Human Services, said during a phone call with reporters on Friday. 

“The vast majority of folks who are working on Operation Warp Speed are not political appointees of the Trump administration,” Mango said, mentioning some officials such as Dr. Janet Woodcock, who heads the drug approval branch at the US Food and Drug Administration and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for instance.

“Folks like Dr. Messonnier and others who are career officials at the CDC,” Mango added. Dr. Nancy Messonnier is director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at CDC.

CDC director says pharmacists will be "important component" of distributing Covid-19 vaccine

Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention holds a protective mask while testifying during a House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing on July 31 in Washington.

Pharmacists will be able to administer the Covid-19 vaccine to children and adults once a vaccine becomes available, Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said during a phone call with reporters on Friday.

Last week, the US Health and Human Services Department said it would authorize any state-licensed pharmacist to administer childhood vaccines. The department said it had amended the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) to allow all state-licensed pharmacists to immunize children over the age of 3.

“It was one of the really important decisions to engage pharmacists to be able to distribute vaccines,” Redfield said on Friday.

“It’s really been one of the most important public health decisions for getting vaccine distributed to the American public,” Redfield said. “We do see that pharmacies will continue to be an important component of our vaccine distribution plan.”

White House official: "We're absolutely on track" with vaccine

Paul Mango, deputy chief of staff for policy at the US Department of Health and Human Services, said that the White House’s Operation Warp Speed was “absolutely on track… if not a little ahead” in the race to have a Covid-19 vaccine by the end of the year.

“We’re very pleased where we are right now,” Mango added. “We obviously have two of our six vaccine candidates that are in phase three clinical trials right now. … We will have four vaccines in phase three clinical trials by the middle of next month.”

Mango added that manufacturing is already underway for three vaccines.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has previously said he’s “cautiously optimistic” the US could have safe and effective vaccine in late fall or early winter.

France sees biggest rise in daily coronavirus cases since late March

A medical staff member collects a swab sample from a woman at a Covid-19 mobile test center on the beach in Saint-Nic, France, on August 12.

French health authorities said the coronavirus pandemic is “growing exponentially” as they reported a record an increase of 7,379 new daily cases on Friday — the biggest increase since late March.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, there has only been one day with more cases recorded in 24 hours — that was on March 31, during the height of the pandemic in France. The daily increase in cases has tripled in less than a week, as French health authorities recorded less than 2,000 new cases on Monday.

Testing has greatly increased in France within the past several weeks. There were 893,146 tests reported in the past seven days, while there were 554,855 tests reported during the week of Aug. 10-16. The number of positive tests is also on the rise, rising from 3.7% on Wednesday to 3.9% today, according to French health ministry data. At the end of lockdown in early May, this number was at around 1%, according to Health Minister Olivier Véran.

In a news conference Thursday, Prime Minister Jean Castex had warned that “now is the time to intervene because the growth of the epidemic can be exponential if we don’t react.”

French health authorities also warn that “hospital indicators are on the rise.”

As of Friday, 4,535 people are hospitalized, the same number as on Thursday, and 387 are in intensive care units. About 70% of ICU patients are in the Paris area, Northern France and the Mediterranean regions of Provence and Occitanie.

A total of 30,596 people have died since the beginning of the pandemic, according to French health ministry data.

Covid-19 has disproportionately impacted people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, group says

The coronavirus pandemic has had an especially harsh impact on people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and they need special support, a group of specialists said Friday.

Many of these people have lost the critical support they need and cannot advocate for themselves, Dr. John Constantino, director of the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, and a group of colleagues at other institutions said. 

Web-based technology often is not helpful to them and many cannot understand what they need to do to protect themselves form the virus.

“People with intellectual and developmental disabilities were disproportionately isolated prior to the pandemic, and the intensification of that isolation stands only to weaken the community for all citizens,” they wrote in a letter to the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Most people with intellectual and developmental disabilities require in-person care or critical therapeutic support in their living environments, the authors say, something that many of them have temporarily lost access to during the pandemic.

Restoring this must be a first priority, but in-person staff must ensure that they protect their clients from Covid-19 infection. 

While there has been emerging guidance on the safe care and support of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, it is still evolving and has not reached all the places where it is “desperately needed.”

The authors also said that it is not always presented in a way that can be fully comprehended by the people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

More than 181,000 people have died from coronavirus in the US

Vehicles wait in line at a Covid-19 testing center outside Nissan Stadium on August 3 in Nashville, Tennessee.

There have been at least 5,889,652 cases of coronavirus in the US and at least 181,186 people have died from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University.

So far on Friday, Johns Hopkins has recorded 21,867 new cases and 362 reported deaths. 

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases. 

New study suggests children might silently spread coronavirus

Children carry coronavirus in their noses and throats for weeks, even if they don’t show any symptoms, researchers in South Korea reported Friday. 

Although their study does not necessarily demonstrate that children are transmitting the virus to others, they suggested this might be responsible for “silent spread’ of the virus in communities.

“In this case series study, inapparent infections in children may have been associated with silent COVID-19 transmission in the community,” the researchers, from various institutions in South Korea, wrote in the study.

The study, published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics on Friday, included data on 91 children in South Korea diagnosed with Covid-19 between Feb. 18 and March 31.

Among those patients, 20 of them — or 22% — did not show any obvious symptoms and remained asymptomatic throughout the study. Other patients experienced fever, cough, diarrhea, abdominal pain and loss of smell or taste, among other symptoms. The duration of their symptoms appeared to vary, ranging from one to 36 days.

But genetic material from the virus was detectable in the children for a mean of 17.6 days. Virus could be found in the children who had no symptoms for 14 days on average.

This doesn’t necessarily mean the children were spreading virus, Calum Semple, a professor in child health and outbreak medicine at the University of Liverpool who was not involved in the study, said in a statement distributed by the UK-based Science Media Center.

“The presence of the virus genetic material in swabs the respiratory tract need not equate with transmission, particularly in people who do not have important symptoms such as cough and sneeze,” Semple said.

It’s possible that virus persisted in the children for even longer than the time documented. And more research also is needed to determine whether similar findings would emerge among a larger group of children from other parts of the world.

The data showed that only 8.5% of those patients with symptoms were diagnosed with Covid-19 at the time their symptoms began. Most — 66.2% — of those with symptoms had symptoms that were not recognized before they were diagnosed and 25.4% developed symptoms after they were diagnosed.

Texas Christian University reports over 400 cases of Covid-19

Texas Christian University in Fort Worth is reporting 447 active cases of Covid-19 among students and university employees, according to the latest data posted on the schools coronavirus dashboard.

More than 300 cases were reported within the last week, the dashboard shows.

In a letter to students posted Thursday, the university’s vice chancellor for student affairs said that the availability of isolation beds was at 42%.

The university continues to see large gatherings both on and off campus, Cavins-Tull said, contributing to what she said was “a great deal” of the spread.