John Hopkins Health Security Update 3/31

Today’s Headlines: March 31, 2020
New From the Center
The Increasing Demand for Critical Care Beds—Recommendations for Bridging the RN Staffing Gap By Tener Goodwin Veenema, PhD, MPH, MS, RN; Christopher R. Friese, PhD, RN, AOCN; and Diane Meyer, RN, MPH  
The US is already witnessing a shortage of critical care nurses in the COVID-19 response. In the Center’s most recent Clinicians Biosecurity News blog post, the author’s discuss potential ways to bridge this staffing gap.
New in Health Security
National Coronavirus Response: A Road Map to Reopening By Scott Gottlieb, Caitlin Rivers, Mark B. McClellan, Lauren Silvis, Crystal Watson   This report provides a road map for navigating through the current COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. It outlines specific directions for adapt- ing our public-health strategy as we limit the epidemic spread of COVID-19 and are able to transition to new tools and approaches to prevent further spread of the disease.
Developing Covid-19 Vaccines at Pandemic Speed (New England Journal of Medicine) The need to rapidly develop a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 comes at a time of explosion in basic scientific understanding, including in areas such as genomics and structural biology, that is supporting a new era in vaccine development.    Johnson & Johnson Announces a Lead Vaccine Candidate for COVID-19; Landmark New Partnership with U.S. Department of Health & Human Services; and Commitment to Supply One Billion Vaccines Worldwide for Emergency Pandemic Use (Johnson & Johnson) Johnson & Johnson today announced the selection of a lead COVID-19 vaccine candidate from constructs it has been working on since January 2020; the significant expansion of the existing partnership between the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA); and the rapid scaling of the Company’s manufacturing capacity with the goal of providing global supply of more than one billion doses of a vaccine.    What explains Covid-19’s lethality for the elderly? Scientists look to ‘twilight’ of the immune system (STAT) Researchers on Monday announced the most comprehensive estimates to date of elderly people’s elevated risk of serious illness and death from the new coronavirus: Covid-19 kills an estimated 13.4% of patients 80 and older, compared to 1.25% of those in their 50s and 0.3% of those in their 40s.    U.S. spies find coronavirus spread in China, North Korea, Russia hard to chart (Reuters) As U.S. spy agencies seek to assemble a precise picture of the world’s coronavirus outbreaks, they are finding serious gaps in their ability to assess the situation in China, Russia and North Korea, according to five U.S. government sources familiar with the intelligence reporting. 
Clinical Practice
What can hospitals still do to prep for COVID-19? (CIDRAP) Doctors in hospitals in coronavirus epicenters such as New York City are reporting “apocalyptic” scenes of death, disease, and lack of equipment to protect healthcare workers from infection. 
Telemedicine is essential amid the covid-19 crisis and after it(The Economist) FOR MILLENNIA the laying-on of hands represented the essence of the doctor-patient relationship: taking the pulse, tapping on and listening to the chest, feeling lumps—the human touch of the carer. But the covid-19 pandemic is accelerating the transition to a new model of remotely delivered health care that embraces the benefits of digital and data technologies. It is not a solution to the current crisis, but it will be one of its lasting consequences. 
Public & Global Health
Quantifying SARS-CoV-2 transmission suggests epidemic control with digital contact tracing (Science) COVID-19 is a rapidly spreading infectious disease caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-COV-2, a betacoronavirus, which has now established a global pandemic. Around half of infected individuals become reported cases, and with in- tensive care support, the case fatality rate is approximately 2%.
Estimating the number of infections and the impact of non- pharmaceutical interventions on COVID-19 in 11 European countries (Imperial College London) Following the emergence of a novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and its spread outside of China, Europe is now experiencing large epidemics. In response, many European countries have implemented unprecedented non-pharmaceutical interventions including case isolation, the closure of schools and universities, banning of mass gatherings and/or public events, and most recently, widescale social distancing including local and national lockdowns.    Likelihood of survival of coronavirus disease 2019 (Lancet: Infectious Diseases) A case fatality ratio of an infectious disease measures the proportion of all individuals diagnosed with a disease who will die from that disease. For an emerging infectious disease, this ratio is thus a very important indicator not only of disease severity but also of its significance as a public health problem. 
  Government Affairs & National Security
Fort Detrick laboratory restored to full operations after being shut down by CDC (Global Biodefense) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has restored a military laboratory on Fort Detrick to full capacity, approximately eight months after shutting down research in its top laboratories. 
//inserted by Sharon