Back to top
Live:
Coronavirus Updates

The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) has released some tips on how to protect your eyes and fight against coronavirus. One key point they recommend is to switch to glasses if you usually wear contact lenses because those who wear contacts may touch their eyes more often than the average person. Plus, glasses can add another layer of protection from virus-infected droplets.

With Coronavirus a Threat, Stop Wearing Contact Lenses

MONDAY, April 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Even if you're already wearing a face mask to cover your mouth and nose, taking steps to protect your eyes might also help guard against coronavirus infection, eye health experts say.

Here are some tips from the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO):

  • Don't wear contact lenses -- switch to glasses. People who wear contact lenses tend to touch their eyes more than the average person.
  • Glasses may add a layer of protection. They can shield your eyes from droplets that carry the virus, but they don't provide 100% security.
  • If you have medicine for your eyes, stock up so you'll have enough to get by if supplies become scarce during the outbreak.
  • Don't rub your eyes. If you have an urge to scratch or rub your eyes or adjust your glasses, use a tissue not your fingers. If you have to touch your eyes, wash your hands first and again afterwards.
  • Remember to practice safe hygiene and social distancing, wash your hands often, don't touch your face, cover your cough or sneeze, avoid contact with sick people and stay home if you are sick.
  • Also, regularly disinfect surfaces and items in your house, especially doorknobs and countertops.

Each week, HealthDay's Physician's Briefing division rounds up the most important COVID-19 developments in the medical field. See this week's edition below for June 29-July 3.

Some Say Allow Family Access to Dying Patients With COVID-19

THURSDAY, July 2, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Allowing adult family member presence at the bedside of dying patients during COVID-19 is feasible, and could have multiple benefits, according to an editorial published online June 8 in Intensive Care Medicine.

Read Full Article

Point-Prevalence Surveys in SNFs Help Cut COVID-19 Transmission

THURSDAY, July 2, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Conducting point-prevalence surveys in skilled nursing facilities can inform cohorting and infection prevention and control activities to reduce transmission, according to research published in the July 1 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Read Full Article

EMS Calls Down Early in COVID-19 Outbreak

THURSDAY, July 2, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Early in the COVID-19 outbreak there was a significant decrease in the number of emergency medical services responses across the United States, according to a study published online June 17 in Academic Emergency Medicine.

Read Full Article

Neurological Symptoms Described in Children With COVID-19

THURSDAY, July 2, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Children with COVID-19 may present with new neurological symptoms involving the central and peripheral nervous systems, and splenial changes on imaging, according to a study published online July 1 in JAMA Neurology.

Read Full Article

Evidence Poor for Accuracy of Serological Tests for COVID-19

THURSDAY, July 2, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Existing evidence on the diagnostic accuracy of serological tests for COVID-19 is characterized by high risks of bias and heterogeneity, according to a review and meta-analysis published online July 1 in The BMJ.

Read Full Article

Homeless More Likely to Need Ventilators for Respiratory Illness

THURSDAY, July 2, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Homeless people in New York state are more likely to be hospitalized and treated with mechanical ventilators for respiratory infections than people who are not homeless, according to a study published online June 4 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Read Full Article

U.S. Grab of Only COVID-19 Treatment Outrages Health Experts

WEDNESDAY, July 1, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The United States' deal with Gilead Sciences to scoop up nearly all of the world's supply of the only drug licensed to treat COVID-19 has outraged health experts.

Read Full Article

Promising Results for Experimental COVID-19 Vaccine in Early Testing

WEDNESDAY, July 1, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- An experimental COVID-19 vaccine yielded promising results in early testing, according to Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech.

Read Full Article

COVID-19-Related Death Count Likely Higher Than Official Tallies

WEDNESDAY, July 1, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Official COVID-19 death tallies underestimate the full increase in deaths associated with the pandemic in many states, according to a study published online July 1 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Read Full Article

Model Estimates Herd Immunity Threshold for COVID-19

WEDNESDAY, July 1, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- A mathematical model shows that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 disease-induced herd immunity level may be lower than the classical model assuming homogenous immunization, according to a report published online June 23 in Science.

Read Full Article

Spectrum of Imaging Findings Described in COVID-19 MIS-C

WEDNESDAY, July 1, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The spectrum of imaging findings in children with post-COVID-19 inflammatory condition (multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children) is described in a case series published online June 25 in Radiology.

Read Full Article

Social Vulnerability Linked to COVID-19 Diagnosis, Death

WEDNESDAY, July 1, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Social vulnerability is associated with increased risk of COVID-19 diagnosis and death, according to research published online June 23 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Read Full Article

Elastomeric Mask Program Saves Money

WEDNESDAY, July 1, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Establishing an elastomeric mask program is feasible and less expensive than programs focused on reusing and disinfecting disposable N95 masks, according to a report published online June 11 in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

Read Full Article

U.S. Could See 100,000 New Cases of COVID-19 Each Day, Fauci Says

TUESDAY, June 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Top U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci, M.D., warned Congress on Tuesday that COVID-19 infections could climb to 100,000 new cases daily unless ongoing outbreaks are contained.

Read Full Article

FBI Warns of Scammers Selling Fake COVID-19 Antibody Tests

TUESDAY, June 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Fake or unapproved COVID-19 antibody tests are being sold by scammers, the Federal Bureau of Investigation warns.

Read Full Article

ID, Isolation of SARS-CoV-2 Vital in Correctional Facilities

TUESDAY, June 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Prompt identification and isolation of individuals infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 is important for reducing transmission in correctional and detention facilities, according to research published in the June 29 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Read Full Article

Latinos Have High Rate of Positivity for SARS-CoV-2

TUESDAY, June 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The rate of positivity for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 is over 40 percent for Latinos in the Baltimore-Washington D.C. region, according to a research letter published online June 18 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Read Full Article

Mild Fever, Little Respiratory Illness Seen With COVID-19-Positive Infants

TUESDAY, June 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Babies with COVID-19 generally have mild illness, with mostly fever, according to a brief report published online June 17 in The Journal of Pediatrics.

Read Full Article

Heart Rhythm Disorders Seen in Critically Ill COVID-19 Patients

TUESDAY, June 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Critically ill patients with COVID-19 are more likely to develop heart rhythm disorders than other hospitalized patients, according to a study published online June 22 in Heart Rhythm.

Read Full Article

COVID-19 Drug Remdesivir Could Cost Up to $3,120 Per Patient

MONDAY, June 29, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Gilead Sciences, the maker of remdesivir, the first drug that showed promise in treating COVID-19 infections, will charge U.S. hospitals $3,120 for a patient with private insurance, the company announced Monday.

Read Full Article

Many Practice Unsafe Household Cleaning Against COVID-19

MONDAY, June 29, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- More than one-third of U.S. adults admit to unsafe cleaning practices in the hopes of disinfecting against COVID-19, according to research published in the June 12 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Read Full Article

CDC: U.S. COVID-19 Rates Much Higher Than Reported

MONDAY, June 29, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Actual COVID-19 infection rates in many areas of the United States are more than 10 times higher than reported rates, a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study suggests.

Read Full Article

Factors Linked to Severe COVID-19 in Children Identified

MONDAY, June 29, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- COVID-19 generally causes mild disease in children, with 8 percent of children requiring intensive care unit admission, according to a study published online June 25 in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health.

Read Full Article

Altered Mental Status Not Uncommon in Severe COVID-19

MONDAY, June 29, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Altered mental status is the second most common neurological presentation for patients with COVID-19, according to a study published online June 25 in The Lancet Psychiatry.

Read Full Article

Antibody Tests ID COVID-19 Two to Three Weeks After Symptoms

MONDAY, June 29, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Antibody testing may detect severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection, with sensitivity peaking at three weeks since symptom onset, according to a review published online June 25 in the Cochrane Library.

Read Full Article

NYC Health Care Workers Report Distress Related to COVID-19 Care

MONDAY, June 29, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Many New York City health care workers are experiencing COVID-19-related psychological distress, especially nurses and advanced practice providers, according to a study published in the upcoming September-October issue of General Hospital Psychiatry.

Read Full Article

HD Live! Videos

Authors suggest that infection control, public health concerns and family-centered care can coexist in the time of COVID-19.

Family Members Can Safely Be Present Beside Dying Patients

THURSDAY, July 2, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Allowing adult family member presence at the bedside of dying patients during COVID-19 is feasible, and could have multiple benefits, according to an editorial published online June 8 in Intensive Care Medicine.

Noting that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to drastic changes in provision of intensive and end-of-life care for patients and their families, and that front-line physicians may feel unprepared and overwhelmed with the accompanying emotional responsibilities, Martha A.Q. Curley, Ph.D., R.N., from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing in Philadelphia, and colleagues discuss an alternative pathway to prevent patients from dying alone.

The authors note that infection control, public health concerns, and family-centered care can coexist and urge reconsideration of adult family member presence at the bedside of patients, which can be accomplished safely. Family members would likely be motivated, grateful, and capable of involvement in their loved one's care with careful screening, preparation, and support; furthermore, family members would likely experience more positive grief resolution and less posttraumatic stress. Patients could be calmed by the presence of a familiar person, and family members could assist with comforting and care activities. This planning necessitates consideration of issues such as infection status, capability of upholding safe practices, and perceived benefit to the patient. Families that meet these criteria should be given this option.

Read the full HealthDay story.

Researchers found that blood levels of a certain cytokine are predictive of the course of COVID-19.

COVID-19 Blood Test Might Predict Who Will Need a Ventilator

WEDNESDAY, July 1, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- A blood test may predict which COVID-19 patients are likely to need a ventilator.

This finding could lead to a scoring system that would flag at-risk patients for closer monitoring and to personalized treatments. It may also help explain how diabetes makes outcomes worse, according to researchers from the University of Virginia School of Medicine.

The study focused on 57 COVID-19 patients who needed a ventilator to breathe. Researchers compared samples of their blood to that from patients who did not need a ventilator.

Read the full HealthDay story.

Droplets leak through folded handkerchief mask. Photo: S. Verma, M.Dhanak, J. Frankenfield

See what type of homemade face mask is best against COVID-19.

What's the Best DIY Face Mask Against COVID-19?

WEDNESDAY, July 1, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Almost overnight, the pandemic has turned cotton masks into an American wardrobe staple. But a coughing simulation shows that not all cotton masks are equal as a defense against COVID-19.

"We focused primarily on nonmedical-grade masks that are recommended for use by the wider public," said lead author Siddhartha Verma. He's an assistant professor at Florida Atlantic University's Department of Ocean and Mechanical Engineering.

Using a mannequin head, air pumps and lasers, Verma and his team tracked emissions from a mechanically generated cough to see how well bandana-style coverings, folded cotton handkerchiefs, and/or stitched masks managed to contain them. Those are the types of face coverings that are widely available to the general public.

Read the full HealthDay story.

Consumers can protect themselves by checking the FDA website for a list of approved antibody tests and testing companies.

FBI Warns of Scammers Selling Fake COVID-19 Antibody Tests

TUESDAY, June 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Fake or unapproved COVID-19 antibody tests are being sold by scammers, the Federal Bureau of Investigation warns.

Researchers have been developing tests that can be quickly and easily used to check large numbers of people for COVID-19 antibodies. The FBI warned that not all of these tests have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and their effectiveness has not been determined.

The FBI said people should be aware of potential signs of fraudulent activity. These include: claims of FDA approval for antibody testing that cannot be verified; ads for antibody testing through social media platforms, email, phone calls, online, or from unsolicited/unknown sources; offers of "free" tests or incentives for getting tested; offers of testing in exchange for cash. Consumers should also be aware if someone contacts them in person, by phone, or by email claiming the government or public officials require them to take a COVID-19 antibody test.

Read the full HealthDay story.

Fauci and other health officials also testified before U.S. Senate about the need to build up confidence in vaccination.

U.S. Could See 100,000 New Cases of COVID-19 Each Day, Fauci Says

TUESDAY, June 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Top U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci, M.D., warned Congress on Tuesday that COVID-19 infections could climb to 100,000 new cases daily unless ongoing outbreaks are contained.

"We are now having 40-plus thousand new cases a day. I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 a day if this does not turn around. And so, I am very concerned," Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testified before the U.S. Senate. Fauci's statement came in response to a question from Sen. Elizabeth Warren about how many Americans will ultimately die from COVID-19. Fauci responded that the infection surge happening across the South and West "puts the entire country at risk." Much of that increase is being fueled by young adults testing positive for COVID-19, health experts have said. "I can't make an accurate prediction, but it is going to be very disturbing," Fauci warned. "I will guarantee you that, because when you have an outbreak in one part of the country, even though in other parts of the country they're doing well, they are vulnerable."

Read the full HealthDay story.

Warnings needed for prep of disinfectant solutions, use of bleach on food and applying cleaning products to skin.

Many Practice Unsafe Household Cleaning Against COVID-19

MONDAY, June 29, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- More than one-third of U.S. adults admit to unsafe cleaning practices in the hopes of disinfecting against COVID-19, according to research published in the June 12 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Radhika Gharpure, D.V.M., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues conducted an online survey of 502 U.S. adults in May 2020 to characterize knowledge and practices regarding household cleaning and disinfection during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The researchers found that knowledge gaps existed in several areas, including safe preparation of cleaning and disinfectant solutions; use of recommended personal protective equipment when using cleaners and disinfectants; and safe storage of hand sanitizers, cleaners, and disinfectants. More than one-third of respondents (39 percent) reported engaging in nonrecommended high-risk practices with the goal of preventing severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission (e.g., washing food products with bleach, applying household cleaning or disinfectant products to bare skin, and intentionally inhaling or ingesting these products). Those who engaged in high-risk practices more frequently reported an adverse health effect that they believed was due to using cleaners or disinfectants.

Read the full HealthDay story.

Altered mental status includes encephalopathy or encephalitis and primary psychiatric diagnosis.

Altered Mental Status Not Uncommon in Severe COVID-19

MONDAY, June 29, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Altered mental status is the second most common neurological presentation for patients with COVID-19, according to a study published online June 25 in The Lancet Psychiatry.

Aravinthan Varatharaj, B.M.B.Ch., from the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust in the United Kingdom, and colleagues examined the breadth of COVID-19 complications that affect the brain. Broad clinical syndromes associated with COVID-19 were classified as a cerebrovascular event, altered mental status, peripheral neurology, or other. Data were included for 153 patients, and complete clinical datasets were available for 125 patients.

The researchers found that 62 percent of the patients presented with a cerebrovascular event, of whom 74, 12, and 1 percent had ischemic stroke, intracerebral hemorrhage, and central nervous system vasculitis, respectively. Altered mental status was reported at presentation in 39 patients (31 percent), including nine and seven with unspecified encephalopathy and encephalitis, respectively; the remaining 23 fulfilled the clinical case definitions for psychiatric diagnoses, and 21 of these were new diagnoses. Ten of 23 patients with neuropsychiatric disorders had new-onset psychosis, while six and four had a neurocognitive syndrome and an affective disorder. Of the patients with altered mental status, 49 and 51 percent were younger and older than 60 years, respectively; among patients with cerebrovascular events, 18 and 82 percent were younger and older than 60 years, respectively.

Read the full HealthDay story.

The pooled approach combines samples from multiple people at once, and would offer a way to minimize the number of tests needed.

Is 'Pooled' Coronavirus Testing the Next Step for America?

FRIDAY, June 26, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Large-scale "pooled" testing of Americans could curb the spread of the new coronavirus and allow most people to return to their normal lives within several weeks, a new report suggests.

The findings come as the White House coronavirus task force eyes the strategy as a potential solution to expand testing quickly across the country as cases surge in the South and Midwest.

Dr. Anthony Fauci told the Washington Post late Thursday that White House officials are having "intense discussions" about the new concept. On Friday, the coronavirus task force will hold a media briefing for the first time in nearly two months.

Read the full HealthDay story.