5 things you need to know now
5 things you need to know now
  • Boris Johnson admitted to hosptial for coronavirus

  • Health experts say official U.S. coronavirus death toll is understated

  • Tiger at Bronx Zoo tests positive for COVID-19

  • CDC begins antibody testing

  • Report: Sanders aides encourage him to drop out

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to a hospital in London on Sunday for "routine tests," 10 days after he tested positive for the novel COVID-19 coronavirus. Johnson has reportedly experienced "persistent symptoms" since his diagnosis, including a high fever, so his doctor advised him to go to the hospital as a "precautionary step." Johnson went into isolation at his home on March 27. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is reportedly prepared to step in should Johnson's condition worsen.

Source: The Guardian, BBC

Public health experts and government officials agree that the United States' coronavirus death toll is almost certainly understating how many Americans have actually died from the virus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention only counts deaths where the presence of the coronavirus is confirmed in a lab test, The Washington Post reports, and "we know that it is an underestimation," CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund said. There are many reasons why the numbers are underreported: Strict criteria in the beginning of the outbreak kept many people from getting tested for coronavirus, and it's still difficult to get tested in some areas. There's also the matter of false negatives, and not all medical examiners have tests or believe they should conduct post-mortem testing. Experts also believe some February and early March deaths attributed to influenza or pneumonia were likely due to coronavirus.

Source: The Washington Post

Nadia, a 4-year-old Malayan tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York, has tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus. She is the first of her kind to test positive for the virus, CNN reports. In a statement released Sunday, the Bronx Zoo said Nadia, her sister Azul, two Amur tigers, and three African lions recently developed dry coughs, but no other animals are showing symptoms of COVID-19. The cats have all "experienced some decrease in appetite," but otherwise are "doing well under veterinary care and are bright, alert, and interactive with their keepers." All are expected to make full recoveries. The zoo also said the cats were "infected by a person caring for them who was asymptomatically infected with the virus or before that person developed symptoms."

Source: CNN

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Saturday it has begun conducting antibody tests to determine the true number of people infected with the novel COVID-19 coronavirus, including those who never developed symptoms. Unlike normal diagnostic tests, the antibody test can detect if a person has recovered from an earlier infection. If so, there's a chance they've built up some protection, which could help inform future responses to the virus, though it's not yet confirmed if antibodies ensure immunity. The CDC is planning three different studies related to the tests. One will look at blood samples from people who were never diagnosed with COVID-19 but live in hot spots. The agency will also conduct a national survey using samples from different parts of the country. The third study will consider special populations, like health-care workers.

Source: The New York Times, Stat News

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has reportedly been encouraged by a small group of his top aides and allies — including his campaign manager Faiz Shakir and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) — to consider dropping out of the Democratic presidential primary, as it looks more likely his competitor, former Vice President Joe Biden, will emerge as the nominee. Those who support suspending the campaign reportedly believe if he exits on good terms with Biden, he'll have more leverage agenda-wise over the long haul. Not everyone involved with the campaign agrees with the assessment, and Sanders has not made a final decision, but one source with knowledge of the situation told The Washington Post he's warming to the idea of bowing out.

Source: The Washington Post, Politico
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