While you were sleeping: Coronavirus updates for June 26

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INDIANAPOLIS — There were several developments in the coronavirus pandemic that you may have missed overnight.

Here’s a look:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) added three new coronavirus symptoms to its ongoing list.

Congestion or runny nose, nausea, and diarrhea are now on the list.

Those symptoms are in addition to fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, and muscle or body aches.

The CDC warns their list does not include all possible symptoms, and they will continue to update it as they learn more about COVID-19.

According to a new study, your blood type may be tied to your risk of contracting COVID-19 and the severity of your symptoms.

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, compared 1,900 people undergoing treatment for severe COVID-19 and respiratory failure at seven medical centers in Italy and Spain to 1,200 healthy blood donors from the same population groups.

Researchers combed through genetic codes looking for similarities. One similarity they found among the ill patients was a DNA cluster which determines blood types. This prompted further research into which specific blood types were present in the majority of severe coronavirus cases in the sample population.

Results indicated that people with Type A blood had a 45% higher risk of infection than those with other blood types.

Similarly, researchers identified a “protective effect” in people with Type O blood, saying they were only two-thirds as likely to become infected.

U.S. officials believe as many as 20 million Americans have contracted the coronavirus, suggesting millions had the virus and never knew it.

That’s nearly 10 times as many infections as the 2.3 million cases that have been confirmed.

Twenty million infections would mean about 6% of the nation’s 331 million people have been infected, leaving a majority of the population still susceptible to the virus. 

Previously, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, have said that as many as 25% of infected people might not have symptoms.

The new estimate is based on CDC studies of blood samples collected nationwide. Many infections were not caught in early testing, when supplies were limited and federal officials prioritized testing for those with symptoms.

Indianapolis is working with local artists to encourage face coverings in public.

The #MaskUpIndy initiative partnered the city with six local artists to create public artwork to be used as a public safety announcement. The work will illustrate the importance of wearing face coverings.

Posters will be distributed to merchants associations, community centers, and businesses to help remind residents to wear their face coverings. Organizations and businesses wanting to request a poster can reach out to their Mayor’s Neighborhood Advocate.

Anyone can also get a free poster during regular business hours from the following locations: Indianapolis Artsgarden (110 W Washington), City-County Building (200 E Washington), Indianapolis City Market (222 E Market St), or the Original Farmers Market (every Wednesday at Monument Circle).

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