A C.D.C. report on children shows racial disparities in a syndrome connected to Covid-19.
Hundreds of children in America, most of them previously healthy, have experienced an inflammatory syndrome associated with Covid-19, and most became so ill that they needed intensive care, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The syndrome, which can be deadly, has rattled parents and education officials as schools across the United States struggle with the prospect of reopening in the fall and the coronavirus continues its spread.
The researchers said that from early March to late July, the C.D.C. received reports of 570 young people — ranging from infants to age 20 — who met the definition of the new condition, called Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children or MIS-C. The reports came from health departments in 40 states, as well as New York City and Washington, D.C.
The patients were disproportionately people of color, echoing a pattern in adults who have been struck by the respiratory disease caused by the virus. About 40 percent were Hispanic or Latino, 33 percent were Black, and 13 percent were white, the report said. The median age was 8. About 25 percent of the patients had obesity before becoming sick.
MIS-C was first recognized in May as a condition linked to Covid-19 that appears to occur in children and young people who often had not developed any of the respiratory symptoms that are the primary way the virus attacks adults.
The syndrome, which can include a fever, rash, pinkeye, stomach distress, confusion, bluish lips, muscle weakness, racing heart rate and cardiac shock, appears to emerge days or weeks after the initial viral infection, and experts believe it may be the result of a revved-up immune system response to defeating the virus’s first assault.
The C.D.C. reported that about two-thirds of the patients had no previous underlying medical conditions, and most experienced complications that involved four or more organ systems, especially the heart. Ten died. Nearly two-thirds were admitted to intensive care units for a median of five days.
Crisis negotiations between the White House and top Democrats teetered on the brink of collapse on Friday, as both sides said they remained deeply divided on an economic recovery package and President Trump indicated that he was prepared to act on his own to provide relief, although it was unclear whether he has the authority to do so.
At a news conference on Friday evening at his golf resort in Bedminster, N.J., Mr. Trump said that if an aid agreement with congressional Democrats could not be reached, he would sign executive orders reinstating a national moratorium on evictions, deferring student loan interest and payments “until further notice,” and “enhancing unemployment benefits” through the end of the year.
He also said he would defer payroll taxes, retroactive from July 1 through the end of the year.
The president did not specify how the deferral would work, and it was unclear whether he has the authority to take such an action without approval from Congress. The move, which would not aid unemployed workers, faces opposition from both Democrats and Republicans in Congress.
The news conference came after a meeting between administration officials and Democratic leaders that ended with no agreement and no additional talks scheduled.
Democrats, who had earlier said they would be willing to lower their spending demands to $2 trillion from $3.4 trillion, said the White House needed to return with a higher overall price tag after Mr. Trump’s negotiators declined to accept that offer. Republicans have proposed a $1 trillion plan.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, called for Democrats to lower the amount of aid for state and local governments and provide more specifics on how they proposed to revive lapsed unemployment benefits.
While the executive orders have not been finalized, Mr. Meadows said it was likely that action would come over the weekend.
The blockaded Gaza Strip might be one of the only places in the world where no cases of community transmission of the coronavirus have been recorded — a phenomenon attributed to the coastal enclave’s isolation as well as to swift measures taken by its militant Hamas rulers.
But the pandemic has not left Gaza untouched.
Citing a need to combat the virus, the authorities that control Gaza’s borders have imposed new restrictions on movement outside the territory. That has exacerbated an already challenging situation for Palestinians who say they urgently need to travel to Israel and the West Bank.
In March, fearing an outbreak in Gaza, the Hamas authorities ordered all travelers returning to the territory by way of Israel and Egypt to enter quarantine facilities for three weeks. They could not leave quarantine until they had passed two virus tests.
The system seems to have succeeded. All 78 known infections in the territory were detected at quarantine facilities.
Still, experts did not rule out the possibility of the pandemic penetrating into the area’s densely populated cities and towns.
“All it takes is one small mistake,” said Gerald Rockenschaub, the head of the World Health Organization’s mission to the Palestinians. “There’s no guarantee the virus won’t get inside.”
Mr. Rockenschaub also warned that Gaza lacked the resources to deal with a widespread outbreak, noting that medical institutions carry only about 100 adult ventilators, most of which are already in use.
Are illicit parties endangering New York City?
New Yorkers, by and large, have adhered to rules mandating social distancing and mask wearing. The diligence has helped keep the coronavirus under control in the city even as outbreaks have raged across the United States, primarily in the South and the West.
As the summer wears on, however, mounting reports of parties, concerts and other social events, like a recent rave under part of the Kosciuszko Bridge, are raising fears that New York’s hard-earned stability may be tenuous.
Over the last few weeks, videos and photos posted on social media have shown densely packed, mask-free crowds.
“It’s illegal,” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said at a recent news conference, referring to the partying. “It not only violates public health, but it violates human decency.”
The images contrast sharply with the memories of a brutal spring in New York that left tens of thousands dead, disproportionately ravaging low-income communities and neighborhoods with high numbers of Black and Latino people.
Illegal raves are growing in popularity in Europe, including in Berlin, in London and near Paris, as coronavirus lockdowns are eased across the continent but most nightclubs remain closed.
Outdoor events for hundreds — in some cases, thousands — organized via social media and messaging apps, are in full swing each weekend, causing headaches for police forces and lawmakers, and stirring public debate and news media panic.
Worries that nightlife activity would fuel the spread of the virus have in the meantime led Curaçao, the Caribbean island, to close its bars and clubs for at least two weeks starting on Friday, according to the Dutch newswire ANP. The nearby island Aruba was reported to have almost 300 confirmed cases over the last five days.
When a coronavirus lockdown sealed Myanmar’s borders in March, the tourism industry was devastated, even if the country was spared from disease.
Now, in the hill town of Pyin Oo Lwin, owners of horse carts that used to clip-clop through streets laden with visitors are sending their animals to slaughterhouses because they can no longer afford to keep them alive.
“I feel sad about selling the horse, because he is like a family member,” said U Maung Win, a horse cart owner. “He worked so hard to save our lives, and I could not save his life.”
For months now, no tourists have come to ride through the town, with its cool breezes and pretty gardens, Mr. Maung Win said, but the horses still needed to be fed, at a cost of a couple dollars a day. The slaughterhouses paid about $500 per animal.
Mr. Maung Win, who supports a family of six, now works as a mason and is paid less than $10 a week.
“It’s better than nothing,” he said.
With his horse and a cart painted like a fairy-tale stagecoach, Mr. Maung Win could pull in $10 in a single day, delivering tourists to the botanical gardens or cafes offering fresh strawberries. Couples posed for wedding pictures in the carriages, holding the bell-adorned reins in their intertwined hands.
Two-thirds of the 100 or so horse carts in town are now gone, Mr. Maung Win said.
“I tried not to sell the horse to the slaughterhouse, but I had no choice,” he said. “I still feel sad talking about this.”
Lucky friends, he said, had two horses. But he only owned one.
Millions face eviction in the U.S. as pandemic relief measures end, researchers warn.
After the recent lapse of a U.S. supplement to unemployment payments, and with a patchwork of eviction moratoriums either at an end or set to expire soon, 30 million to 40 million tenants risk losing their homes in the coming months, according to a report released Friday by dozens of academic researchers and housing advocates.
Even if the actual number is a small fraction of that figure, it will still be several times the current annual rate of eviction filings — about 3.7 million a year. And it could have a cascade of effects that erode affordable housing and weaken an already hobbled housing system long after the coronavirus crisis has subsided, by pushing small landlords into foreclosure and further weakening state and local budgets as collections of property taxes fall behind.
Citing a range of public and private data sources, the report noted that a broad swath of renters had until recently been protected by the $600 a month in supplemental unemployment payments, but many are now falling behind.
These bills are accruing just as several federal, state and local eviction moratoriums are expiring, and amid a continued surge in the virus in many hot spots, and a gloomy outlook for the economy.
“The public costs of eviction are far-reaching,” the report said. “Individuals experiencing displacement due to eviction are more likely to need emergency shelter and rehousing, use inpatient and emergency medical services, require child welfare services, and experience the criminal legal system, among other harms.”
Most people won’t spread the coronavirus widely. The few who do are probably in the wrong place at the wrong time in their infection, new models suggest.
In a paper posted Friday to the website medRxiv that has not yet been through peer review, scientists reported that superspreading events — which have been traced to call centers, meat processing facilities, weddings and more — were most likely to happen when an infected person was shedding large amounts of virus in a setting where there are plenty of other people around to catch it.
The riskiest window for such transmission may be extremely brief — a one- to two-day period in the week or so after a person is infected, when coronavirus levels are at their highest, according to Dr. Joshua Schiffer, a physician and mathematical modeling expert who studies infectious diseases at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. He is one of the authors of the paper.
The virus can still spread outside this window, and people outside it should not let up on measures like mask-wearing and physical distancing, Dr. Schiffer said. But the longer an infection lasts, the less likely a person is to be contagious — a finding that might help experts advise when to end self-isolation.
“It really is about opportunity,” said Shweta Bansal, an infectious disease ecologist at Georgetown University who was not involved in the study. “These processes really come together when you are not only infected, but you also don’t know you’re infected because you don’t feel crummy.”
Reporting was contributed by Iyad Abuheweila, Matt Apuzzo, Hannah Beech, Pam Belluck, Conor Dougherty, Alex Marshall, Constant Méheut, Claire Moses, Monika Pronczuk, Adam Rasgon, Thomas Rogers, Matina Stevis-Gridneff, Katherine J. Wu and Mihir Zaveri.