COVID19 🦠 Newsbites
The US reports highest single-day death toll as CDC offers grim forecast for the end of the month
While the United States was consumed by the deadly riot at the Capitol, another 3,865 American deaths from Covid-19 were reported yesterday.

It was the deadliest day of the pandemic, not just in the US but likely in any country in the world.

Hospitals across the country continued to fill up — the number of people of hospitalized with Covid-19 reached 132,476 yesterday, yet another record.

It’s likely many of the hospitalised will not survive. A new forecast from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention projects up to 76,700 more coronavirus deaths in the US by the end of January.
Among the infected was the newly sworn-in congressman Jake LaTurner (R-Kan.), who tested positive for the virus hours after he had been on the House floor with hundreds of other members during the chaos.

Allergic reactions to the coronavirus vaccine are rare and outweighed by the benefit of protection, CDC finds
Serious allergic reactions to coronavirus vaccine are extremely rare and much less dangerous than the virus itself, according to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study that found only 21 such incidents among 1.9 million people vaccinated in the program's first two weeks. Despite dramatic reports of people collapsing after getting their shot, the CDC said all but one of the allergic reactions resulted in full recoveries.

Blood Plasma Reduces Risk of Severe Covid-19 if Given Early
Thousands of people received convalescent plasma as an experimental treatment for Covid. A new study shows that it works — but only when given within a few days of the onset of illness.

In 80 people, an infusion of plasma decreased the risk of developing a severe case of Covid by 48 percent, compared with another group of 80 who received a saline solution instead, the study found. But the study’s parameters were strict: Everyone enrolled in the trial was at least 65 years old — a group known to be at higher risk of falling seriously ill. About half of the participants also had health conditions that made them more vulnerable to the virus. And the plasma therapy, which was screened to ensure it contained high levels of antibodies, was always given within three days of when the patients started to feel symptoms.

“We went as early as we could,” Dr. Polack said. Administering the therapy too late in the course of disease, he said, is akin to allowing a burglar to ransack a home for hours before deciding to call the police. An early dose, on the other hand, has the potential to nip a blooming infection in the bud.

“I think it’s becoming clear now that the earlier you catch this infection, the more likely you are to stave off disease,” said Dr. Taia Wang, an immunologist at Stanford University who wasn’t involved in the study.

Other trials testing convalescent plasma’s effects in sicker patients have flopped, finding that the therapy did little to hasten recovery or prevent death — contradicting the treatment’s emergency authorization, which specifies use in hospitalized people.

Jury trials are being suspended again because of the virus surge.
With coronavirus cases shattering records in much of the country, court officials in areas where jury trials had resumed are suspending them again. And experts say the suspensions could last months, swelling a backlog of untried cases.

The inability to conduct jury trials has wreaked havoc with the dockets of many courts, including those of New York City, where only nine criminal jury trials were completed between March and the end of November.