Virginia Coronavirus Cases
As of June 4, Virginia reported 47,856 confirmed cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19). Of these, 1,445 have resulted in death. Fairfax County, a region close to Washington DC, had 11,815 reported cases. Prince William County last reported at 5,932, and Loudoun County had 2,794.
Source: Virginia Department of Health
Virginia Commence Online Posting of Daily Antibody Test Numbers
This week, Virginia commences the release of information on the number of those who have tested for COVID-19 antibodies, and the number of tests that have come back positive.
A majority, about 50 percent of the state's antibody tests were conducted in Northern Virginia. Counties in Northern Virginia such as Arlington, Prince William, Fairfax, Loudoun health districts have reported a larger proportion of antibody testing in the state, with a total cumulative of 15,000. Over 1,000 people in the region have tested positive for the antibody tests in the region.
Also referred to as Serology, antibody testing will become widespread as health officials begin to use the results to gauge the extent of the residents' exposure to the pandemic even in the absence of symptoms in some infected individuals.
"At the population level, using serology will help us get a better handle on what is that relationship between the cases we know about and that broader group of people who have mild or were infected, but no symptoms," said Dr. David Trump, a physician/epidemiologist who is studying antibody test results for Virginia's Office of Epidemiology.
Since the onset of the pandemic, more than 33,000 Virginians have tested for antibodies, with 6.1 percent showing positive results.
Northern Virginia records 7.1 percent higher positive results than most regions in the state. And, Prince William health district in Northern Virginia has the highest rate at 9.1 percent positive.
"While we focus on Virginia's physical health during this epidemic, we know that this has taken a toll on mental health as well. Some Virginians are feeling isolation or even depression. Some people are using alcohol or other substances as a crutch or stress from job loss or experiencing family challenges. We expect the demand for behavioral health services to increase and so we need to be able to provide treatment."
- Governor Ralph Northam, as Virginia receives $2 million grant to address the behavioral impact of covid
Virginia Scientists Track COVID-19 Mutations
Virginia scientists utilized next-gen sequencing technology, previously used to track foodborne illness, to genetically decode SARS-CoV-2 to determine whether it was traveling into the state from different places in the world.
The State lab scientists commenced the test when the virus was first reported in the state in March. They have collated different samples of the virus from infected residents in order to help health officials to understand how the virus mutates, and the mode of transmission.
The sequencing team at the Virginia Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services has been able to identify five divergent clusters of the virus since they commenced the research.
“Viruses aren’t perfect. So when they are replicating themselves, they will accidentally make a mistake when copying the genome,” bioinformatics lead scientist Logan Fink said. “Sometimes the mistakes are injurious and may cause it to not survive very long. Sometimes the mistake gives it an advantage, and it will become the dominant one in a population.”
For now, the scientists are not sure whether the clusters isolated from residents in Virginia have either mutated to the virus advantage, thereby making it survive longer and spread faster or if the mutated mistake will lead to its fast decline. Bioinformatics lead scientists Kevin Libuilt and Fink to analyze the data collated, while the foodborne and advanced pathogen characterization lead scientist, Lauren Turner works with the samples.
The novelty of COVID-19 stems from its ability to trigger a symptom in one but kills another. The disease has caused severe respiratory-related illness in some while it has caused blood-related complications in others
Virginia Unemployment Insurance Claims: 700,000+ Amount paid in unemployment benefits: $2 billion
Retail Sales Growth: 13% Number of test conducted: 242,292+ Number of infected cases: 36,224+ Number of deaths caused by coronavirus: 1,171+
First Case of COVID-19-Related Inflammatory Syndrome Discovered in Virginia
Virginia Health Commissioner Dr. Norman Oliver confirmed the first case of a rare Inflammatory Syndrome linked to COVID-19 after a child in Virginia was diagnosed with multisystem Inflammatory syndrome while infected with the COVID-19 virus. During Gov. Ralph Northam's daily press conference on Monday, Dr. Oliver said that he did not know the child's age or location.
This latest development came after the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) alerted doctors about the development of an inflammatory syndrome in children infected with the virus. In the sent memo, the CDC recommends that doctors and health personnel should report patients with a similar diagnosis to the local, state, and territorial health departments.
Cases of children testing positive for Inflammatory Syndrome with symptoms similar to Kawasaki disease were first detected by health personnel in the United Kingdom on April 26. This syndrome is prevalent in children, and it features symptoms such as a persistent fever of about 100.4 for at least 24 hours and a constellation of symptoms including hypotension, multiorgan (e.g., cardiac, gastrointestinal, renal, hematologic, dermatologic and neurologic) involvement, and elevated inflammatory markers.
In the UK report, 75 percent of those affected were of Afro-Caribbean descent, with 62.5 percent males. So far, the condition has been reported in an estimated 110 children in New York, and in several kids in other states. More so, three kids have died from this inflammatory syndrome, according to the New York Health Department.
Additional reports of children with severe Inflammatory syndromes with an epidemiological or laboratory-confirmed link to COVID-19 has also been reported by authorities in other countries.