Global peak could be months away; 24 states not reporting probable cases — 4 COVID-19 updates

The U.S. has reported 1,961,187 COVID-19 cases and 111,014 deaths as of 9 a.m. CDT June 9. Worldwide, 7,145,847 cases and 407,067 deaths have been reported, while 3,316,747 people have recovered.

Four updates:

1. The global COVID-19 peak still may be months away, with the highest global daily case count reported June 7, The New York Times reports. The World Health Organization confirmed more than 136,000 new infections June 7, with about 75 percent of the cases reported from just 10 countries, mostly in the Americas and South Asia. Though some areas in Europe and the U.S. hit earlier on by the pandemic are reopening, the pandemic is worsening in other regions of the world, including emerging hot spots such as Brazil, South Africa and India.

2. Nearly half of U.S. states are not following federal guidelines that recommend reporting both probable COVID-19 cases and deaths, according to an analysis by The Washington Post. In April, the CDC and Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists recommended states count probable COVID-19 cases and related deaths, along with laboratory-confirmed cases and deaths. However, the Post found at least 24 states are not doing so — including California, Florida and New York — which may result in undercounting cases, experts say. Some states say they are collecting the information but not reporting it publicly.  

3. Black people have followed social distancing precautions more closely than white people during the pandemic, according to a new study posted on the preprint server medRxiv. The study, which has not yet been peer reviewed, found social distancing also varied based on factors like political affiliation and employment. Researchers said these differences highlight the need "for targeted policy messaging and interventions tailored to address specific barriers for improved social distancing and mitigation."

4. Trends in hospital traffic and online symptom searches suggest COVID-19 may have been spreading in China as early as last fall, according to new research from Boston-based Harvard Medical School and Boston University. Researchers used satellite images to analyze traffic patterns at Wuhan hospitals and tracked search engine data for terms like "cough" and "diarrhea." They found Wuhan residents were visiting hospitals and searching for COVID-19 symptoms with increasing frequency as early as August 2019. While the study does not prove the virus was spreading in China before December, it does support the notion that the virus emerged before it was first linked to a seafood market late last year. Chinese officials have strongly rejected the study's findings, according to The Washington Post.


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