The agonizing tale of the coronavirus outbreak on the carrier Theodore Roosevelt starting in March led to the infection of hundreds of crew members, an emergency stop in Guam, the removal of the ship’s captain and the resignation of the acting Navy secretary.But while the Navy and civic leaders in Guam struggled to quell the spread of the virus, naval officials and researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began a medical investigation into the outbreak, the results of which were released on Tuesday.The study found that, among a few hundred service members who volunteered to be tested and questioned about their experiences onboard and while in Guam, more than a third had enough functioning antibodies to the coronavirus to indicate they could have some protection against the virus, at least for a limited time.Some were still showing the presence of neutralizing antibodies, which block the virus from binding to cells, three months after the onset of symptoms.“This is a promising indicator of immunity,” said Daniel C. Payne, an epidemiologist and one of the lead authors of the study, which was undertaken in conjunction with the Navy. “We don’t know how long-lasting, for sure, but it is promising.”The report noted that while many studies have focused on older adults and those with underlying conditions, this one was able to examine younger, generally healthy adults. Approximately 1,000 crew members were infected with the virus at the time of the study; a few were hospitalized and one died.The investigation included 382 sailors, who were generally healthy young adults, both male and female; it confirmed what other studies have found, that some of the earliest symptoms included loss of smell and loss of taste. It also found that 18.5 percent of participants in the study were asymptomatic.In late April, after the outbreak began, naval medical officers began testing the volunteers. Blood samples were sent overnight from Guam to Georgia, where they were tested at the C.D.C. labs, using their own antibody tests.The first testing found the presence of coronavirus antibodies in 228 (59.7 percent) of the volunteers. Of those, 135 (59.2 percent) had antibodies powerful enough to neutralize the virus and thwart infection.“This is still a new disease, and there is so much we do not know,” Dr. Payne said. “This is not conclusive, but we are encouraged by it.”
Updated June 5, 2020
Does asymptomatic transmission of Covid-19 happen?
So far, the evidence seems to show it does. A widely cited paper published in April suggests that people are most infectious about two days before the onset of coronavirus symptoms and estimated that 44 percent of new infections were a result of transmission from people who were not yet showing symptoms. Recently, a top expert at the World Health Organization stated that transmission of the coronavirus by people who did not have symptoms was “very rare,” but she later walked back that statement.
How does blood type influence coronavirus?
A study by European scientists is the first to document a strong statistical link between genetic variations and Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Having Type A blood was linked to a 50 percent increase in the likelihood that a patient would need to get oxygen or to go on a ventilator, according to the new study.
How many people have lost their jobs due to coronavirus in the U.S.?
The unemployment rate fell to 13.3 percent in May, the Labor Department said on June 5, an unexpected improvement in the nation’s job market as hiring rebounded faster than economists expected. Economists had forecast the unemployment rate to increase to as much as 20 percent, after it hit 14.7 percent in April, which was the highest since the government began keeping official statistics after World War II. But the unemployment rate dipped instead, with employers adding 2.5 million jobs, after more than 20 million jobs were lost in April.
Will protests set off a second viral wave of coronavirus?
Mass protests against police brutality that have brought thousands of people onto the streets in cities across America are raising the specter of new coronavirus outbreaks, prompting political leaders, physicians and public health experts to warn that the crowds could cause a surge in cases. While many political leaders affirmed the right of protesters to express themselves, they urged the demonstrators to wear face masks and maintain social distancing, both to protect themselves and to prevent further community spread of the virus. Some infectious disease experts were reassured by the fact that the protests were held outdoors, saying the open air settings could mitigate the risk of transmission.
How do we start exercising again without hurting ourselves after months of lockdown?
Exercise researchers and physicians have some blunt advice for those of us aiming to return to regular exercise now: Start slowly and then rev up your workouts, also slowly. American adults tended to be about 12 percent less active after the stay-at-home mandates began in March than they were in January. But there are steps you can take to ease your way back into regular exercise safely. First, “start at no more than 50 percent of the exercise you were doing before Covid,” says Dr. Monica Rho, the chief of musculoskeletal medicine at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago. Thread in some preparatory squats, too, she advises. “When you haven’t been exercising, you lose muscle mass.” Expect some muscle twinges after these preliminary, post-lockdown sessions, especially a day or two later. But sudden or increasing pain during exercise is a clarion call to stop and return home.
My state is reopening. Is it safe to go out?
States are reopening bit by bit. This means that more public spaces are available for use and more and more businesses are being allowed to open again. The federal government is largely leaving the decision up to states, and some state leaders are leaving the decision up to local authorities. Even if you aren’t being told to stay at home, it’s still a good idea to limit trips outside and your interaction with other people.
What’s the risk of catching coronavirus from a surface?
Touching contaminated objects and then infecting ourselves with the germs is not typically how the virus spreads. But it can happen. A number of studies of flu, rhinovirus, coronavirus and other microbes have shown that respiratory illnesses, including the new coronavirus, can spread by touching contaminated surfaces, particularly in places like day care centers, offices and hospitals. But a long chain of events has to happen for the disease to spread that way. The best way to protect yourself from coronavirus — whether it’s surface transmission or close human contact — is still social distancing, washing your hands, not touching your face and wearing masks.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
Common symptoms include fever, a dry cough, fatigue and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Some of these symptoms overlap with those of the flu, making detection difficult, but runny noses and stuffy sinuses are less common. The C.D.C. has also added chills, muscle pain, sore throat, headache and a new loss of the sense of taste or smell as symptoms to look out for. Most people fall ill five to seven days after exposure, but symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days.
How can I protect myself while flying?
If air travel is unavoidable, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself. Most important: Wash your hands often, and stop touching your face. If possible, choose a window seat. A study from Emory University found that during flu season, the safest place to sit on a plane is by a window, as people sitting in window seats had less contact with potentially sick people. Disinfect hard surfaces. When you get to your seat and your hands are clean, use disinfecting wipes to clean the hard surfaces at your seat like the head and arm rest, the seatbelt buckle, the remote, screen, seat back pocket and the tray table. If the seat is hard and nonporous or leather or pleather, you can wipe that down, too. (Using wipes on upholstered seats could lead to a wet seat and spreading of germs rather than killing them.)
Should I wear a mask?
The C.D.C. has recommended that all Americans wear cloth masks if they go out in public. This is a shift in federal guidance reflecting new concerns that the coronavirus is being spread by infected people who have no symptoms. Until now, the C.D.C., like the W.H.O., has advised that ordinary people don’t need to wear masks unless they are sick and coughing. Part of the reason was to preserve medical-grade masks for health care workers who desperately need them at a time when they are in continuously short supply. Masks don’t replace hand washing and social distancing.
What should I do if I feel sick?
If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms like a cough or difficulty breathing, call a doctor. They should give you advice on whether you should be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.
Dr. Payne noted that it could take weeks for neutralizing antibodies to develop after infection, and he guessed that some of the tests were performed on infected sailors before their bodies had a chance to ramp up production. If so, the percentage of patients with active, functioning antibodies could be higher.The investigation discovered that for a dozen participants who were tested for antibodies more than 40 days after the onset of symptoms, eight still had neutralizing antibodies. That included two who were tested more than three months after symptoms first appeared.“There were some people who continued to have robust neutralizing antibodies at longer time periods within our own study,” Dr. Payne said.