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US records nearly 25,000 coronavirus deaths in July

The United States has recorded nearly 1.8 million new cases in July out of its total 4.5 million infections, an increase of 66 percent with many states yet to report on Friday. Deaths in July rose at least 19 percent to over 152,000 total.

July 31, 2020 / 04:22 PM IST

US coronavirus deaths rose by almost 25,000 in July and cases doubled in at least 18 states during the month, according to a Reuters tally, dealing a crushing blow to hopes of quickly reopening the economy.

The United States has recorded nearly 1.8 million new cases in July out of its total 4.5 million infections, an increase of 66 percent with many states yet to report on Friday. Deaths in July rose at least 19 percent to over 152,000 total.

The biggest increases were in Florida, with over 300,000 new cases in July, followed by California and Texas with about 250,000 each. Those three states also saw cases double in June.

Cases also more than doubled in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia, according to the tally.

Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York had the lowest increases, with cases rising 7 percent or less.

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A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

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There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

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Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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The United States shattered single day global records in July by reporting over 77,000 new cases on July 16. During the month, 33 out of 50 states had one-day record increases in cases and 19 set records for how much deaths rose in 24 hours, according to a Reuters tally.

After a rapid acceleration in cases, the outbreak appears to be stabilizing in Arizona, Florida and Texas. Health officials are now concerned the outbreak has migrated to the Midwest from summer travel.

The news that more states could be hard hit by the virus comes a day after the US gross domestic product collapsed at a 32.9 percent annualized rate last quarter, the nation's worst economic performance since the Great Depression.

Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.
Reuters
first published: Jul 31, 2020 04:10 pm

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