Coronavirus updates from Wednesday, Oct. 14.
INDIANAPOLIS — Wednesday’s latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic.
Hospitals prepare for spike in COVID-19 and flu cases
Eskenazi Health and other hospitals are bracing for what could be the perfect storm: A surge in COVID-19 cases as the flu season kicks into high gear.
“We’ve handled the flu every year, but we’ve never had to handle the flu on top of coronavirus,” said Dr. Graham Carlos, Chief of Internal Medicine at Eskenazi. “So having two viruses that can affect the respiratory system is a cause for concern.”
The flu season alone is challenging for hospitals.
“Every year we have the flu season, we get stressed. There’s lots of waiting in ER for rooms. Should we see a double whammy of COVID and the flu, it would certainly be disruptive on elective care,” said Christopher Doehring, vice president of medical affairs at Franciscan St. Francis Health.
With flu and coronavirus symptoms similar (fever, cough, fatigue and sore throat), hospitals will be testing for both while urging everyone to be proactive by getting a flu shot.
“We think if there’s widespread use of the flu vaccine, it will simplify things for us as the flu starts to emerge in the COVID battle,” Doehring said.
Some hospitals have already seen a surge. Last week, IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital, Muncie, reported “an all-time high” in COVID-19 cases.
Latest US, world numbers
There have been more than 7.85 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. as of 3:30 a.m. ET Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 215,000 deaths and 3.12 million people recovered.
Worldwide, there have been 38.13 million confirmed cases with more than 1.08 million deaths and 26.47 million recoveries.
The real number of people infected by the virus around the world is believed to be much higher — perhaps 10 times higher in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — given testing limitations and the many mild cases that have gone unreported or unrecognized.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness like pneumonia, or death.
Chicago adds Indiana to COVID-19 travel order
The City of Chicago issued a health order Tuesday that will require individuals coming from Indiana to Chicago for non-work purposes and Chicago residents returning from Indiana to a 14-day quarantine.
Individuals who travel to Indiana, even if for less than 24 hours, still need to quarantine upon returning unless deemed an essential worker or are a student who commutes for school.
Other states added to the emergency order Tuesday include North Carolina, Rhode Island, New Mexico and Wisconsin.
The 14-day quarantine travel order begins Friday, Oct. 16.
Eli Lilly pauses COVID-19 antibody treatment trial over possible safety issue
Eli Lilly confirmed that its study testing the COVID-19 antiviral drug remdesivir plus an experimental antibody therapy has been paused “out of an abundance of caution” and said safety is its top concern.
The company would not say more about what led to this step.
This study was testing a single antibody that Lilly is developing with the Canadian company AbCellera. Trump received an experimental two-antibody combo drug from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Lilly and Regeneron have asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to grant emergency use authorization for their drugs for COVID-19 while late-stage studies continue.