There’s a headline we never thought we would write.
A partially vaccinated 11-year-old tiger at the Brookfield Zoo has tested positive for COVID-19. The zoo received confirmation of Amur tiger Malena’s positive test this week after she started showing mild respiratory symptoms, including coughing and sneezing, late last week. Those symptoms are consistent with what other zoos have seen in big cats infected with COVID-19, according to a statement from the Chicago Zoological Society.
Illinois State Coronavirus Dashboard has been recently updated showing the latest figures for vaccine breakthrough hospitalizations and deaths. They don’t show the number of actual vaccine breakthrough cases for some reason.
** Vaccine Breakthrough Historical data **
10th June 2021 – 413 hospitalized, 106 deaths
21st July 2021 – 593 hospitalized, 193 deaths
5th September 2021 – 1,371 hospitalized, 288 deaths
At least 125,000 fully vaccinated Americans have tested positive for Covid and 1,400 of those have died, according to data collected by NBC News. The total number of breakthrough cases is likely higher than 125,683, since nine states, including Pennsylvania and Missouri, did not provide any information, while 11, like Florida, did not provide death and hospitalization totals. Four states gave death and hospitalization numbers, but not the full tally of cases.
Antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 were detected in 33% of the 481 samples collected from January 2020 through 2021. None of the deer populations surveyed showed signs of clinical illness associated with SARS-CoV-2. Results of the study indicate that certain white-tailed deer populations in Illinois, Michigan, New York, and Pennsylvania were exposed to SARS-CoV-2.
It is important to note that this surveillance was designed to determine exposure of deer to SARS-CoV-2 in their natural environment. It was not designed to determine whether the deer were replicating and shedding SARS-CoV-2.
The Biorxiv preprint of the deer study does contain two interesting paragraphs that refer to Sars-CoV-2 positive tests in white tailed deer in 2019 and early 2020:
“Antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 were detected in 40% of the 2021 surveillance samples (Table 1). Antibodies were also detected in three samples from 2020 and one sample from 2019. No detections were observed in samples from 2011-2018. The results from the sVNT screening showed high concordance with those obtained by VNT (Table 1). Specifically, 24/24 of 2021 detections and 24/24 of 2021 negatives were concordant for sVNT compared to VNT.
Most of the positive samples from 2021 had percent inhibition values between 80-100% while the 2019-2020 positive samples had relatively low percent inhibition values (30.03-43.72, Figure 1). Percent inhibition scores ≥30 are considered positive for this assay. Low percent inhibition could represent potential waxing/waning immunity, non-specific antibody binding, or cross-reactivity from exposure to unknown endemic coronaviruses. The three positive samples from 2020 were collected in January, very early in the pandemic. In fact, the majority of the 2020 samples that were available for testing were from January-March, with only 21 samples collected later in the year, 20 of which were collected in October from a single location. Consequently, we have limited information on prevalence over time in 2020.
According to data updated Wednesday by the Illinois Department of Public Health, 159 people and 593 have been hospitalized in Illinois have died due to COVID-19 or complications after being fully vaccinated. That figure equates to 2.3% of COVID-19 deaths in the state since Jan. 1, officials said. The state only reports breakthrough infections among those who have been hospitalized or died.
More than 580 Illinoisans have tested positive for COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated. The Illinois Department of Public Health reported that of the about 2.5 million people in Illinois who have been fully vaccinated, as of data compiled Wednesday, 581 tested positive for COVID-19 after getting their final vaccine dose.