COVID19 🦠 Newsbites
“Covid to Covid” double-lung transplant successfully completed
Transplant surgeons at Northwestern Medicine say they have successfully performed one of the first known double-lung transplants on a Covid-19 patient using lungs from a donor who had previously tested positive for Covid-19.

“This is a milestone for lung transplantation,” Dr. Ankit Bharat, the transplant surgeon who performed the procedure, said in a news release.


“To date, 30 million Americans have had Covid-19 and many of them are registered organ donors. If we say ‘no’ to them just because they had Covid-19 in the past, we will drastically reduce the donor pool and there’s already a big supply and demand gap."

The donor recovered from the virus after experiencing only moderate symptoms but later died from a cause unrelated to Covid-19. The donor’s lungs were not damaged by the virus, making them viable for transplantation, according to the transplant team.

The team tested the donor’s lung fluid for Covid-19 and performed a lung biopsy to check for lung damage before performing the transplant.

The patient who received the lungs, an Illinois man in his 60s, was diagnosed with Covid-19 in May 2020. The patient became so sick that he was placed on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, or ECMO, a machine that does the work of both the heart and lungs. The patient received the transplant at the end of February after spending one week on the transplant list.

“Currently, many transplant centers are worried about the risk of transmission of Covid-19 from donors, particularly for lung transplants, and are unnecessarily discarding these organs,” Dr. Michael Ison, an infectious disease and organ transplant specialist at Northwestern Medicine, said. “This donor clarifies the safety of the use of these donors.”
Read the full article: https://www.cnn.com/world/live-news/coronavirus-pandemic-vaccine-updates-03-19-21/h_8e0402efd7c5ce9ea52d7f07b03fffff

The Covid-19 pandemic almost didn't happen, a new genetic dating study shows
Researchers working to show when and how the virus first emerged in China calculate that it probably did not infect the first human being until October 2019 at the very earliest. And their models showed something else: It almost didn't make it as a pandemic virus.

Only bad luck and the packed conditions of the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan -- the place the pandemic appears to have begun -- gave the virus the edge it needed to explode around the globe, the researchers reported in the journal Science.

"It was a perfect storm -- we know now that it had to catch a lucky break or two to actually firmly become established," Michael Worobey, a professor of evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona who worked on the study, told CNN.

"If things had been just a tiny bit different, if that first person who brought that into the Huanan market had decided to not go that day, or even was too ill to go and just stayed at home, that or other early super-spreading events might not have occurred. We may never have even known about it."
Read the full article: https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/18/health/coronavirus-bad-luck-genetic-study-scn/index.html

Virus Partially Shuts Trump's Florida Club
Former President Donald J. Trump’s private club in Palm Beach, Fla., was partially closed on Friday following some staff members testing positive for the coronavirus, two people familiar with the events confirmed.

The closure affected service in the dining room and at the beach club, according to The Associated Press. The two people familiar with the events confirmed that was the case; they were not authorized to speak publicly.

The A.P. cited an email that went to members of the club, which also serves as Mr. Trump’s permanent residence. The moves were taken out of “an abundance of caution” and some workers were quarantined, according to the email.


A spokeswoman for the Trump Organization did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment. A woman who answered the phone at Mar-a-Lago said “no comment” and hung up when asked if the club was open.
Read the full article: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/19/world/trump-covid-mar-a-lago.html

A restaurant worker was stabbed by a man who refused to wear a mask, the latest customer-employee confrontation since Texas lifted its mask mandate
  • A customer stabbed a restaurant worker multiple times after being asked to wear a mask.
  • The League City Police Department issued an arrest warrant for the man.
  • Many people have refused to wear masks at stores and restaurants since the mandate was lifted in Texas.
A restaurant manager was stabbed multiple times by a customer who refused to wear a mask on Wednesday at a Jack in the Box restaurant just outside of Houston.

... Businesses can set their own mask and social-distancing requirements and many companies have said they will continue to require customers and employees to wear masks, even though it is no longer required by the state.


Since the mask mandate was lifted, there have been multiple reports of customers refusing to adhere to store policies. As a result, many frontline workers are forced to impose corporate rules without the support of the state government.

... Leading up to the altercation at the Jack in the Box restaurant, the man was told he had to wear a mask in order to enter the restaurant or could use the drive-thru without a mask. The maskless man filmed the incident and accused the restaurant manager of not wanting to serve him because he was homeless.

Moments later, the man stabbed the manager multiple times in the torso after the worker turned away, according to Ratliff. The police department has since identified the man.
Read the full article: https://www.businessinsider.com/texas-restaurant-worker-stabbed-by-man-refused-mask-2021-3

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a contagious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The first case was identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. It has since spread worldwide, leading to an ongoing pandemic.

Symptoms of COVID-19 are variable, but often include fever, cough, fatigue, breathing difficulties, and loss of smell and taste. Symptoms begin one to fourteen days after exposure to the virus. Most people (81%) develop mild to moderate symptoms (up to mild pneumonia), while 14% develop severe symptoms (dyspnea, hypoxia, or more than 50% lung involvement on imaging) and 5% of patients suffer critical symptoms (respiratory failure, shock, or multiorgan dysfunction). At least a third of the people who are infected with the virus remain asymptomatic and do not develop noticeable symptoms at any point in time, but can spread the disease. Some patients continue to experience a range of effects—known as long COVID—for months after recovery and damage to organs has been observed. Multi-year studies are underway to further investigate the long term effects of the disease.

Source: Coronavirus disease 2019 - Wikipedia