Dr. Anthony Fauci says the best sports programs and professional sports leagues in American colleges manage the risks of COVID-1
The country’s top infectious disease expert said the United States was facing a “difficult situation” with rising positive coronavirus tests in much of the northern states as the weather cooled.
Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the proportion of positive coronavirus tests was increasing in the Northwest, Midwest and other northern states.
The proportion of tests that detect the virus is a key indicator of whether the coronavirus is spreading or under control in the community. Public health officials want less than 3% of all tests to return positive. The ideal rate is less than 1%, Fauzi said on Tuesday during a meeting of a college of American pathologists.
“We are starting to see a number of countries well above what is often and in fact invariably highly predictable for the resurgence of cases,” Fauci said. The increase in the proportion of positive cases “we know leads to an increase in hospitalizations and then ultimately to an increase in deaths”.
Data from the COVID project show that 36 countries have a higher percentage of positive tests than the previous week. Another 41 countries have more cases in the last week than the week before, according to an analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.
As autumn weather cools and people spend more time indoors, public health experts hope “we had pretty good control over the dynamics of infections in the country,” Fauci said. “Actually, unfortunately, that’s not the case.”
Fauci said the nation averaged between 40,000 and 50,000 new cases each day. The United States has reported more than 7.8 million cases and 215,085 deaths.
AN ANALYSIS OF TODAY’s data from John Hopkins in late Monday shows that 16 states set new case records in one week, while Kansas, North Dakota and South Dakota had record numbers of deaths in one week.
Fauci said stopping the nation again to slow the spread of the virus is something “we don’t want to do.” and called on Americans to commit to public health recommendations to slow down SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. People should wear masks, keep at least six feet away from others, avoid crowds, and wash their hands frequently.
The nation must know by the end of 2020 whether there is a safe and effective vaccine. With five vaccine applicants already in the final stages of clinical trials, Fauci said doses of each vaccine approved by the Food and Drug Administration could be sent by the end of the year or early 2021, first for those which are the most vulnerable.
And although development was rapid, he said society needed to be confident that each vaccine would be thoroughly tested.
An independent group of physicians, ethics experts, and statisticians examine the data from each vaccine candidate being tested to determine if trials should continue. These data safety monitoring boards investigate adverse events reported by patients and physicians.
For example, Johnson and Johnson on Monday paused their study of a vaccine against COVID-19 after an unexplained illness in a volunteer. Another study, led by AstraZeneca, was stopped on September 8 after a second participant was diagnosed with a neurological condition.
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Fauci said monitoring councils can usually decide whether the vaccine appears to harm more people than it helps or, conversely, whether the vaccine appears to be safer and more effective than placebo.
If a company takes the next step and seeks FDA approval, the regulatory agency will also consult with an independent body to review the data and decide if the vaccine is ready for widespread use.
“There are many checkpoints in this process that I believe the general public should feel comfortable with, that the vaccine will not be provided unless it is agreed in an independent way to be safe and effective,” Fauci said.
Contribution: Michael Stuchka
Ken Alltucker is on Twitter as @kalltucker or can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
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