Antibodies wane and a promising therapy fails, but flu shots may boost immunity against COVID, too

The USA approaches 80,000 new cases and 800 deaths a day, while scientists keep working on new drugs and vaccines. And more healthcare workers are among the victims.

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Here are today’s top stories on the COVID-19 beat:

  • The USA is now recording an average of about 800 deaths and 70,000 new COVID-19 cases every day. The average daily new cases rate has jumped more than 40% in two weeks. Wisconsin and Illinois are seeing some of the highest rates of new cases overall, while North Dakota and South Dakota have the highest rates per capita, according to NPR.

  • The CDC published a study showing that 6% of COVID-19 hospitalizations in a 13-site sample were healthcare workers themselves. About one-third of those were nurses.

  • Matthew Herper of STATNews explains why what we are not hearing about Pfizer’s COVID-19 experimental vaccine may be good news about its possible efficacy but bad news about how long before we know if it works.

  • Flu shots may spur immunity to COVID-19, according to a pre-printed study by Dutch researchers.

  • A large study in Great Britain finds that antibodies to COVID-19 decline over time, raising questions about whether COVID-19 survivors are protected against future infection. The decline was largest in those who reported never having had COVID-19 symptoms, according to the team at Imperial College of London.

  • A preliminary study in Mexico reports 285 cases of COVID-19 re-infection.

  • Hospital systems around the world are reporting an increase in cyberattacks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • An NIH clinical trial of a monoclonal antibody treatment for COVID-19 developed by Eli Lilly & Co., will not enroll more subjects. Preliminary review indicated the treatment did not provide clinical benefit.

That’s it for today.