Coronavirus Now: COVID-19 Updates for September 17

As of September 17, confirmed cases of COVID-19 now number more than 30 million around the world, including more than 6.7 million cases in the United States and more than 200,000 U.S. deaths. You can see a breakdown of coronavirus cases throughout the world and within the U.S. on the map and chart above.

Below you’ll find updates on the latest news about the coronavirus.

September 17 News Updates

Coronavirus Numbers Exceed 30 Million Worldwide, Including More than 200,000 Deaths in the U.S.

Coronavirus numbers have broken two records. There are now more than 30 million cases across the world, and the United States has surpassed more than 200,000 deaths. According to Worldometers, The U.S. still leads the world in cases with 6.8 million, but India is second with 5.1 million cases, followed by Brazil with 4.4 million. These far surpass the next highest, Russia, at 1 million.

The U.S. has more than 201,000 deaths, compared to India with more than 83,700 and Brazil with more than 134,000. In the U.S., New York still has the most recorded deaths with 33,156, followed by New Jersey with 16,178, and then Texas with 14,874. Texas has had 709,226 confirmed cases compared to New York’s 480,671. California has had 14,728 deaths and Florida has had 13,086.

Maine Wedding Dubbed ‘Superspreader’ After Leading to 170 Cases & 7 Deaths

A rural wedding in Maine on August 7 has been linked to outbreaks in two other Maine locations, The Guardian reported. More than 170 people caught coronavirus as a result of the wedding, including seven who died and weren’t actually at the wedding itself.

The wedding itself was only attended by 65 people at Big Moose Inn — which violated the 50-person limit in the state. Many people attending the wedding didn’t socially distance or wear masks.

One attendee worked at a jail about 220 miles away, which later had an outbreak of 70 cases. The wedding officiant’s church had an outbreak with 10 congregants, which investigators are researching to see if it was tied to the wedding. Other related deaths were at a rehabilitation and living center.

Billie Eilish Calls Out Peers for Partying During a Pandemic

On her Instagram Story, Billy Eilish called out peers for partying during a pandemic, Independent reported. She said: “Funny how I haven’t hugged my best friends in six months and y’all are out here partying.”

Vaccine Updates

GettyA woman leaves Life Care Center of Kirkland on February 29, 2020, in Kirkland, Washington.

In late August, Moderna announced that a small vaccine trial of 10 patients between ages 56 and 70 and 10 elderly adults ages 71 and older has shown promising results, CNBC reported. They produced neutralizing antibodies and killer T-cells, with antibody levels higher than those who had recovered from COVID-19. There were no serious side effects.

Novavax announced that in its Phase 1 vaccine trial for NVX-CoV2373, antibodies were induced in 100% of participants, The Motley Fool reported. The vaccine had mild side effects, typically worse with the second dose.

Moderna’s new vaccine has shown promise in early trials of eight volunteers who received two doses, The New York Times reported. The vaccine showed a safe immune response. The trial was expected to proceed with hundreds and later thousands of people in July. The vaccine uses mRNA from the virus, which is a new process. The earliest a Moderna vaccine might be available would be the end of this year or early 2021.

Oxford University researchers have tested a vaccine that successfully works in monkeys and is being tested in Britain volunteers, WUSA9 reported in late April. If all goes well, the first few million doses could be ready as soon as September. The vaccine uses genes from a spikey protein to help the immune system make antibodies.

Bill Gates is funding factories that will test seven vaccine candidates to help mobilize vaccines faster, Business Insider reported in early April. He said: “Even though we’ll end up picking at most two of them, we’re going to fund factories for all seven, just so that we don’t waste time.”

A second potential COVID-19 vaccine is from Inovio, called the INO-4800 DNA vaccine. Inovio completed Phase 1 trial for a similar DNA vaccine for MERS. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is backing this trial. Inovio announced positive results from two Phase I clinical trials in early July. The Phase 1 trial was expanded to include older participants in June and July, and Phase 2/3 trials were expected to begin in September. The Phase 1 trial had 40 healthy volunteers ages 18 to 50 who had 1 mg and 2 mg cohorts, with two doses taken four weeks apart. All were safe through week eight and only 10 had minor adverse events, mostly just redness at the injection site. Analyses showed 94% had immunological response rates. The vaccine has also been shown to protect mice, preventing viral replication in their lungs.

On March 30, Johnson & Johnson announced that it would start human clinical trials for a vaccine by September, with the first round not being available until early 2021. In June the company announced it would begin human clinical trials earlier, in late July. On August 31, Johnson & Johnson announced the first human clinical trial was “underway in healthy volunteers in the United States and Belgium,” with planning for Phase 3 ongoing.

A clinical vaccine trial funded by NIH at Kaiser Permanente in Washington began on Monday, March 16, according to The Associated Press. Forty-five people participated in the first round. The vaccine candidate code is mRNA-1273. As of May 1, about 2/3 of the participants had gotten their first of two doses, NBC News reported. The company announced in mid-July that “no serious adverse events were reported.” In August, Kaiser Permanente announced it had joined a “late-stage COVID-19 vaccine study” with several partners.

Israeli scientists have said they may be close to a vaccine, The Jerusalem Post reported in April. Scientists have been working on a vaccine against a bronchial disease that affected poultry. Dr. Chen Katz told The Jerusalem Post that out of luck, they had chosen a coronavirus as the proof of concept for their technology, and the DNA of COVID-19 is very similar. Reuters reported in early August that the Israel Institute of Biological Research “intends to begin human trials for a potential COVID-19 vaccine as early as October.”

Greffex in Houston has a potential vaccine ready for animal testing, Yahoo! reported. And Walter Reed and the U.S. Army have been conducting animal studies since January.

Coronavirus Trends in the United States

An interactive map from shows recent trends in deaths per state over the last 14 and 7 days. You can view the full map here. Green means the trend is decreasing, red means the deaths are increasing. Circles show the prior 14 days and triangles show the prior seven days.

Open this map full screen.

Another map sourcing the most recent news about the virus can be found here.

If you are concerned about your symptoms, talk with your doctor right away.

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