Coronavirus updates from Tuesday, September 15th.
INDIANAPOLIS – Tuesday’s latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic.
Researchers say they have discovered promising potential therapeutic drug that neutralizes coronavirus
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine say they have isolated “the smallest biological molecule to date” which, according to researchers, “completely and specifically neutralizes”
The results have been published in the journal Cell, and according to the study, the molecule detected is 10 times smaller than a full-size antibody.
The biological molecule has been used to make a new drug, currently known as Ab8, which researchers hope could potentially be a viable and effective therapeutic and even a prophylactic agent for the treatment and protection against SARS-CoV-2.
Latest USA, world numbers
There have been more than 6.55 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. from 3.30 ET on Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 194,000 deaths and 2.47 million people recovered.
Worldwide, there have been 29.27 million confirmed cases with more than 928,000 deaths and 19.86 million recoveries.
RELATED: See how confirmed cases of Indiana coronavirus are with this interactive map
RELATED: VERIFY: No, the CDC did not say that the number of COVID-19 victims who actually died from the virus is much lower than originally reported
The actual number of people infected with the virus around the world is thought to be much higher – perhaps 10 times higher in the US according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – given test limitations and the many mild cases that have not been reported or unknown.
For most people, coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and people with pre-existing health problems, it can cause more serious illness, including pneumonia and death.
VERIFY: No, a simple wave of a UV light does not kill bacteria and viruses like COVID-19
During the pandemic, one of the sanitation methods promoted to destroy the COVID-19 virus from surfaces uses UV light. On April 23, President Donald Trump said at a news conference: “… the whole concept of light, the way it kills in a minute – it’s pretty powerful.” At the same press conference, Acting Deputy Prime Minister William Bryan spoke about UV easily cutting down on the half-life of COVID-19 virus to just a few minutes.
Ultraviolet light has actually been shown to eradicate bacteria. It destroys the actual DNA of the bacterium.
And it has been used for years to disinfect water, hospital surfaces and medical instruments.
But here’s the thing. According to CDC and NSF International, many factors affect how effective UV light is – most importantly its intensity and how long the surface is exposed to this light.
“You have to design it, operate it and maintain it properly, and you have to use it properly for it to work, and the difficulty with many of the consumer products is that they are not designed correctly or that they are not used properly, “said Dr. James Malley, President of the International Ultraviolet Association.
Kim Trautman is Vice President of NSF International. She has more than 30 years of experience in quality systems for medical devices and international regulatory matters. She said that a major disadvantage of relying on UV light to kill bacteria is that UV light can be blocked by many things … the things where bacteria tend to live.
“So dust, body oils that sit inside woven fabric where the light can not easily get to it,” she said.
Another concern is that UV light can be really dangerous if it touches our skin or eyes.
“In general, we suggest that they use something more straightforward: alcohol wipes on your mobile phone, for example, until we get to a place where there is a validation system for these products,” said Malley.
So we can check that UV light can kill bacteria. As for claims that it will kill “all bacteria and viruses just by tilting the light above the surface” – our experts say that a rapid wave of a wand is false.
US issues new travel warning for China, Hong Kong
The United States on Tuesday issued a sweeping new advisory warning against travel to mainland China and Hong Kong, citing the risk of “arbitrary detention” and “arbitrary enforcement of local laws.”
The advice is likely to increase tensions between the sides that have been spearheading since Beijing’s imposition on Hong Kong of a strict new national security law in June, which has already been met with a series of US sanctions.
The new advice warned U.S. citizens that China was imposing “arbitrary detention and curfews” to force cooperation with investigations, pressure family members to return to China from abroad, influence civil disputes, and “gain bargaining power over foreign governments.”
“U.S. citizens traveling or living in China or Hong Kong can be detained without access to U.S. consular services or information about their alleged crime. “U.S. citizens can be subjected to lengthy interrogations and extended detention without proper legislative process,” the adviser said.
In Hong Kong, China exercises “unilateral and arbitrary police and security force,” the adviser said, adding that new legislation also covers offenses committed by non-Hong Kong residents or organizations outside Hong Kong, potentially exposing U.S. citizens who have publicly criticized China to an “increased risk of arrest, detention, deportation or prosecution.”
In Hong Kong, U.S. citizens are “strongly warned to be aware of their surroundings and avoid demonstrations,” the adviser said.