Global COVID-19 total passes four million cases

May 11, 2020

The global COVID-19 total topped four million cases, and in the United States, New York officials said three children have died from what might be a recently identified inflammatory complication in pediatric patients. 

It took 12 days for the pandemic total to jump from three million to four million, the same number of days it took for the total to rise from two million to three million. The total stands at 4,118,783, with 282,947 global deaths and 1,329,799 cases in the US according to the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 online dashboard

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo reported that three children have died from a COVID-19-related illness that has symptoms similar to Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome. He said the New York Department of Health is investigating, and health officials will provide updates. Last week, New York City health officials reported the multi-system inflammatory syndrome in 15 pediatric patients, possibly related to COVID-19. The condition had recently been reported in children in the United Kingdom. Antibody testing in 1,300 New York City transit workers has found a 14.2% positive rate, Cuomo said. 

In federal developments, two top US health officials are in self-quarantine after coming in contact with someone at the White House who tested positive for COVID-19. 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirmed that its commissioner, Stephen Hahn, MD, is in self-quarantine, CBS News reported. And a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) spokesperson said its director, Robert Redfield, MD, will be teleworking for the next two weeks after he had low-risk exposure to a person at the White House who tested positive, the Washington Post reported. 

Two people at the White House recently tested positive for the virus, one of President Trump's valets and one of Vice President Pence's aides. In other developments, the White House said that Coronavirus Task Force coordinator Deborah Birx, MD, will direct how remdesivir will be distributed to hospitals, Reuters reported. Earlier this week, the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the HIV Medicine Association called on Vice President Mike Pence to provide more transparency about how and when the experimental antiviral drug is being distributed in the US. 

On the regulatory front, the FDA issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the first COVID-19 test with an option of using home-collected saliva samples. The test was developed by the Rutgers Clinical Genomics Laboratory. And the FDA issued an EUA to Quidel Corporation for a COVID-19 antigen test that quickly detects virus protein fragments in samples collected with nasal swabs. The FDA said antigen tests can provide results in minutes but do not detect all active infections. 

In other US developments: 

Contact tracing in Pasadena, California, recently identified a cluster of COVID-19 cases among people who attended a birthday party, with five lab-confirmed infections and many more sick people. The index case was coughing and not wearing a mask, and guests weren't wearing masks or following physical distancing recommendations. 

China announced plans to reform its disease prevention and control system, because of problems it faced during its COVID-19 outbreak, Reuters Government officials said the National Health Commission (NHC) would build a more centralized and efficient chain of command and modernize the system. 

CIDRAP has the report.  

More COVID-19 coverage HERE.