The Daily Dose: China clamps down on the Delta variant; COVID-19 virus widely found in American wildlife.

China is moving quickly to squash Delta variant outbreaks before they can gain firm footing in the country. The latest city to experience the early stages of an outbreak is Wuhan. Per the Associated Press, “China suspended flights and trains, canceled professional basketball league games and announced mass coronavirus testing in Wuhan on Tuesday as widening outbreaks of the delta variant reached the city where the disease was first detected in late 2019. While the total number of cases is still in the hundreds, they are far more widespread than anything China has dealt with since the initial outbreak that devastated Wuhan in early 2020 and over time spread to the rest of the country and the world.” The country has dealt extremely well with controlling the coronavirus by moving quickly and aggressively. If things hold to form, the country should be okay. https://bit.ly/3C6X3Fj


In slightly disturbing COVID-19 news, the virus responsible for the disease may be circulating widely among some wildlife in the United States. Per Nature, “One-third of white-tailed deer in the north-eastern United States have antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 — a sign that they have been infected with the virus. The findings, revealed by an analysis of samples collected after the pandemic began, represent the first detection of widespread exposure to the virus in a population of wild animals, says Arinjay Banerjee, a virologist at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada. The results are reported in a preprint posted on bioRxiv on 29 July1. They have not yet been peer reviewed. Researchers say the rapid exposure of a large number of animals to the virus is concerning, but that more studies are needed to assess whether the deer can infect each other — and other species — in the wild. ‘It’s an intriguing observation but still needs to be interpreted with caution,’ says Aaron Irving, an infectious-diseases researcher at Zhejiang University in Haining, China.” If wildlife and domestic animals can serve as reservoirs, the pandemic may prove even longer than we think. Not even going to mention increased chances of potential mutations. Let’s hope that all of them that occur are the kind that hinders the virus. https://go.nature.com/3fqdLps


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In wholly unsurprising news, a pair of American travellers tried to sneak into Canada using fake COVID-19 papers. Of course they did. Per the BBC, “Canada has fined two travellers arriving from the US who, officials say, forged Covid-19 testing and vaccination documents. Each was fined C$19,720 ($16,000, £11,500) after inspectors at the Toronto airport found their vaccine cards and proof of testing were fake. It comes as Canada is set to ease travel restrictions on US visitors. Around the world, nations are grappling with how to re-open their borders to travellers amid a virus surge.” Why not just get the vaccine and avoid all the nonsense? Oh wait, that would make sense… https://bbc.in/3C5ioyR


In 1988, the public health community pledged to eradicate polio by 2000. Unfortunately, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) has experienced mixed results. While initially successful, polio outbreaks have become increasingly common. A group of public health experts have proposed an adjustment in the eradication strategy. Per the Lancet Global Health, “We propose that the sustainable protection of the world population against paralytic polio cannot be achieved simply by stopping the circulation of poliovirus but must also include maintaining high rates of population immunity indefinitely, which can be created and maintained by implementing global immunisation programmes with improved poliovirus vaccines that create comprehensive immunity without spawning new virulent viruses. The proposed new strategic goal of eradicating the disease rather than the virus would lead to a sustainable eradication of poliomyelitis while simultaneously promoting immunisation against other vaccine-preventable diseases.” https://bit.ly/3Cf69Qq


Beijing has set in its sites celebrity fandom. On the heels of a suspected case of celebrity date rape, the CCP has decided that it is fan culture that is at the heart of the incident. Per the South China Morning Post, “China’s internet watchdog has called for further discipline of online fan clubs, urging websites and platforms to adjust their products and services to regulate fans to ‘star chase rationally ‘. ‘There needs to be a limitation of irrational star-chasing by cancelling promotions that prompt fans to buy products in support of their idols, changing the rules for competition, and managing fan groups,’ it said. The announcement by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) on Monday, came after the Beijing police’s detention of Chinese-Canadian pop idol Kris Wu Yifan on Saturday on suspicion of rape, which can lead to a prison sentence of between three and 10 years under China’s penal code.” Maybe it’s just us, but that is awfully close to blaming the victim for being raped. https://bit.ly/3igUtEG

Thanks for reading. Let’s be careful out there.


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