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Methanol can be toxic when absorbed through the skin and life-threatening when ingested.

FDA Warns About Hand Sanitizers With Methanol

MONDAY, July 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- A warning about hand sanitizer products that contain methanol (wood alcohol), a substance often used to create fuel and antifreeze, has been issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Methanol can be toxic when absorbed through the skin and life-threatening when ingested, and it is not an acceptable active ingredient for hand sanitizer products, according to the FDA. The agency said it has seen an increase in hand sanitizer products that are labeled to contain ethanol (also known as ethyl alcohol) but that have tested positive for methanol. Methanol exposure can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system, or death.

State officials have reported recent harm among adults and children who ingested hand sanitizer products contaminated with methanol, including blindness, hospitalization, and death, the FDA said. Consumers who have hand sanitizers with methanol should immediately stop using them and dispose of the bottle in a hazardous waste container, if available, or dispose of it as recommended by their local waste management and recycling center. There is a list of FDA-tested and recalled hand sanitizers on the agency's website.

Read the full HealthDay story.

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 July 27-July 31.

Plenty of COVID-19 Vaccine Coming, Fauci Says

FRIDAY, July 31, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- When a COVID-19 vaccine is approved, there should be plenty of it available, Anthony Fauci, M.D., infectious diseases chief at the U.S. National Institutes of Health, told a House panel Friday, the Associated Press reported.

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U.S. Puts Up Another $2.1 Billion for Potential COVID-19 Vaccine

FRIDAY, July 31, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. is buying up another potential COVID-19 vaccine, the Associated Press reported Friday.

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Telemedicine Use Explodes During COVID-19 Pandemic

FRIDAY, July 31, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The emergence of telemedicine has accelerated during the coronavirus pandemic. HD Live! sat down with Rujuta Saksena, M.D., an oncologist at Overlook Medical Center in Summit, New Jersey, and Ateev Mehrotra, M.D., associate professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School in Boston, to discuss the future of telemedicine and its impact on health care.

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COVID-19 Testing Needed Every Two Days to Reopen Colleges

FRIDAY, July 31, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Symptom-based screening alone is not sufficient to contain a COVID-19 outbreak on college campuses, according to a study published online July 31 in JAMA Network Open.

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Pandemic Causing Increased Anxiety Among MS Patients

FRIDAY, July 31, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The COVID-19 pandemic is having an impact on the psychological health of patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, according to a study published online July 21 in Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders.

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Bacterial, Fungal Coinfection Uncommon in COVID-19 Patients

FRIDAY, July 31, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Bacterial and fungal infections are uncommon in hospitalized COVID-19 patients, but coinfection is associated with high mortality and antibiotic use is widespread, according to a study published in the July issue of Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology.

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Global Epidemiology of COVID-19 Reported for Prepandemic Era

FRIDAY, July 31, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Many of the first COVID-19 cases reported from affected countries outside of mainland China involved recent travel to affected countries, according to a study published online July 29 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

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School Closures Linked to Decreased COVID-19 Incidence, Death

THURSDAY, July 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- School closures in the United States were temporally associated with decreased COVID-19 incidence and mortality, according to a study published online July 29 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Young Children Have Higher Amounts of SARS-CoV-2 RNA

THURSDAY, July 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Young children with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 have higher amounts of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 viral RNA in their nasopharynx than older children and adults, according to a research letter published online July 30 in JAMA Pediatrics.

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Remdesivir Shortages Plague Some Hospitals, Pharmacists Say

THURSDAY, July 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- One-third of pharmacists say they do not have enough remdesivir to treat all COVID-19 patients who are eligible for it, according to the results of a survey released by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.

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Most Gynecologic Cancer Therapy Not Tied to Higher COVID-19 Risk

THURSDAY, July 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- For gynecologic oncology patients with COVID-19, the case fatality rate is 14.0 percent, and chemotherapy and recent major surgery do not predict COVID-19 severity or mortality, according to a study published online July 30 in Cancer.

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More Diabetic Foot Amputations Seen During COVID-19 Lockdown

WEDNESDAY, July 29, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with diabetes admitted to a tertiary care center for diabetic foot ulceration during the COVID-19 lockdown in Italy had a more than threefold risk for amputation versus patients seen in 2019, according to a study published online July 23 in Diabetes Care.

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Cancer-Related Encounters Down Since Start of COVID-19

WEDNESDAY, July 29, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- There has been a decrease in cancer-related encounters and in cancer screening since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study published online July 27 in JCO: Clinical Cancer Informatics.

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Latino Communities at Higher Risk for COVID-19

WEDNESDAY, July 29, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Factors linked to structural racism and social determinants of health are associated with an increased risk for COVID-19 in Latino communities, according to a study published online July 23 in the Annals of Epidemiology.

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Nearly Half of Hispanics, Blacks Scared to Go to Hospital During COVID-19

WEDNESDAY, July 29, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Hispanics and blacks are most likely to stay home if experiencing medical emergencies, like a heart attack or stroke, to avoid the risk of contracting COVID-19 at the hospital, according to a poll released by the American Heart Association.

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Depression, Anxiety May Be Signs That COVID-19 Is Attacking Brain

WEDNESDAY, July 29, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Depression and anxiety exhibited in COVID-19 patients may be a sign that the virus impacts the central nervous system, as these symptoms are closely associated with a loss of smell and taste rather than more severe manifestations of the virus, according to a study published online July 2 in The Laryngoscope.

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FDA Warns Again About Dangers of Methanol-Based Hand Sanitizers

TUESDAY, July 28, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to use alcohol-based hand sanitizers containing methanol, or wood alcohol, which is used in fuel and antifreeze and is toxic if absorbed through the skin or life-threatening if ingested.

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Myocardial Injury Seen in Many Early in Recovery From COVID-19

TUESDAY, July 28, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Many patients recently recovered from COVID-19 infection have cardiac involvement, according to a study published online July 27 in JAMA Cardiology.

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One-Third of Individuals Stopping PrEP Meds During Pandemic

TUESDAY, July 28, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- According to the results of a survey, presented at this year's International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2020: Virtual), one-third of respondents stopped using preexposure prophylaxis medication during a COVID-19 shelter-in-place order.

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CDC to Address Inequalities in COVID-19 Reporting

MONDAY, July 27, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention plans to take steps to improve how it collects COVID-19 data for blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans, the Associated Press reports.

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COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate Now in Final Phase Testing

MONDAY, July 27, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- A vaccine developed by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and Moderna has entered the final phase of testing, the Associated Press reported Monday.

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COVID-19 Can Result in Prolonged Illness Even in Milder Cases

MONDAY, July 27, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Even among persons with milder outpatient illness, COVID-19 can result in prolonged illness, according to research published in the July 24 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Perinatal Transmission of COVID-19 Unlikely With Correct Hygiene

MONDAY, July 27, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- If correct hygiene procedures are undertaken, perinatal transmission of COVID-19 is unlikely to occur, according to a study published online July 23 in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health.

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Large Proportion of COVID-19 Studies Have Low-Level Evidence

MONDAY, July 27, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- A large proportion of studies on COVID-19 have a low level of evidence, according to a research letter published online July 27 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Impact on Glucocorticoids in COVID-19 Varies With CRP Levels

MONDAY, July 27, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The impact of glucocorticoid treatment on patients with COVID-19 varies according to C-reactive protein levels, according to a study published online July 22 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

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Using a mix of symptoms, body weight and other factors, the researchers developed a model that predicts which patients will need to be hospitalized and need breathing support.

There May Be 6 Types of COVID-19

TUESDAY, July 28, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- COVID-19 may not be just one disease, but six distinct types, a new British study claims.

Each type differs in severity and in the need for respiratory support during hospitalization, the researchers added.

Cough, fever and loss of smell are the usual symptoms of COVID-19, but the range of symptoms can include headaches, muscle pain, fatigue, diarrhea, confusion, loss of appetite, shortness of breath and more.

Read the full HealthDay story.

Both vaccines require two doses, spaced several weeks apart. Then researchers will have to wait to see whether people get infected or sick with COVID-19.

Final Coronavirus Vaccine Trials Get Underway

TUESDAY, July 28, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- As the U.S. coronavirus case count passed 4.3 million on Monday, companies launched the final phase of testing for two potential COVID-19 vaccines.

In one trial begun on Monday, the first of 30,000 volunteers were either given a vaccine developed by Moderna Inc. and the U.S. National Institutes of Health or a placebo shot, the Washington Post reported.

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer also announced Monday that it was starting a 30,000-person final phase vaccine trial, to be conducted at 120 sites globally.

Read the full HealthDay story.

These so-called super spreaders aren't very common, but if they are engaged in activities like loud speaking or singing, their viral emissions can increase by 1 to 2 orders of magnitude, the researchers said.

COVID-19 'Super Spreaders' Quickly Fill Room With Virus — But Masks Help

MONDAY, July 27, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Face masks can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 among folks trapped in a room with an infected "super spreader," a new Swiss study claims.

Most infected people with a typical COVID viral load don't flood the air with coronavirus-infected respiratory droplets, and the risk of catching the virus from them tends to be low, estimates show.

But a severely infected person who's coughing frequently can fill a poorly ventilated room with as many as 7.4 million copies of the coronavirus for every cubic meter of air, according to researchers Michael Riediker and Dai-Hua Tsai, from the Swiss Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health in Winterthur.

Read the full HealthDay story.

A video recording showed that the 3-ply surgical mask was the most effective, but even a single-layer mask reduced the spread of droplets.

More Layers Are Better With Homemade Face Masks

FRIDAY, July 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- When it comes to homemade face masks, two or three layers of fabric is best, researchers say.

That's what you need to keep droplets from your nose and mouth from spreading the virus, the Australian scientists found.

Several kinds of material have been suggested for making masks, but there's little or no evidence of how effective they are, the team noted.

Read the full HealthDay story.

According to the CDC, just 7% of U.S. COVID-19 cases, and less than 0.1% of related deaths, have occurred in people under the age of 18.

CDC Issues Call to Reopen America's Schools This Fall

FRIDAY, July 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Facing opposition from President Donald Trump and others, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a document supporting a reopening of the nation's schools this fall.

"As families and policymakers make decisions about their children returning to school, it is important to consider the full spectrum of benefits and risks of both in-person and virtual learning options," the agency said in a document posted on its website Thursday night.

The COVID-19-related health risks to kids are minimal compared to those faced by adults, the CDC said.

Read the full HealthDay story.

Odds of occupying units being unsuitable for isolation and quarantine increased for racial/ethnic minorities.

Isolation, Quarantine Impossible in >20 Percent of U.S. Homes

FRIDAY, July 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- More than 20 percent of U.S. homes lack sufficient space or plumbing facilities to comply with recommendations to isolate or quarantine to prevent COVID-19 transmission, according to a research letter published online July 21 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Ashwini R. Sehgal, M.D., from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, and colleagues examined the feasibility of separate rooms for isolation and quarantine for housing units in the United States. Data on residential dwelling units and occupants were obtained from the 2017 American Housing Survey. The proportion of dwellings in which optimal isolation or quarantine was impossible due to unavailability of separate bedrooms and bathrooms was estimated.

The researchers found that in 25.29 million dwellings, isolation or quarantine was impossible, because they lacked sufficient bedrooms, bathrooms, or both; this accounted for 20.8 percent of all residential units. This included about 30 percent of the 88.2 million units that housed more than one occupant. A total of about 81 million persons lived in units that were unsuitable for isolation or quarantine. The odds of occupying units unsuitable for isolation or quarantine were twofold to threefold higher for Native American and Hispanic persons relative to non-Hispanic White persons and 1.7-fold higher for Black and Asian persons.

Read the full HealthDay story.

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 July 20-July 24.

CDC Issues Call to Reopen America's Schools This Fall

FRIDAY, July 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a document supporting a reopening of the nation's schools this fall.

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COVID-19 Pandemic Has Had Impact on Parent, Child Well-Being

FRIDAY, July 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The COVID-19 pandemic has had a considerable impact on the physical and emotional well-being of parents and children, according to a study published online July 24 in Pediatrics.

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Midnasal Swab Done by Patient at Home Detects SARS-CoV-2

FRIDAY, July 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- For detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 in symptomatic patients, unsupervised home midnasal swab collection is comparable to clinician-collected nasopharyngeal swab collection, according to a research letter published online July 22 in JAMA Network Open.

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For-Profit LTC Home Status Tied to Extent of COVID-19 Outbreaks

FRIDAY, July 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- For-profit status is associated with the extent of COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care homes, according to a study published online July 22 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

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Isolation, Quarantine Impossible in >20 Percent of U.S. Homes

FRIDAY, July 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- More than 20 percent of U.S. homes lack sufficient space or plumbing facilities to comply with recommendations to isolate or quarantine to prevent COVID-19 transmission, according to a research letter published online July 21 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Heart Transplant Volumes Decreased in COVID-19 Era

FRIDAY, July 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- In the COVID-19 era, there has been a decrease in heart transplant volumes, according to a study published online July 22 in JAMA Cardiology.

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Mental Health Deteriorated During COVID-19 Lockdown

FRIDAY, July 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Mental health deteriorated in the United Kingdom by the end of April 2020 compared with pre-COVID-19 pandemic trends, according to a study published online July 21 in The Lancet Psychiatry.

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Chimpanzee Adenovirus-Vectored Vaccine Promising for COVID-19

FRIDAY, July 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- A chimpanzee adenovirus-vectored vaccine expressing the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 spike protein has acceptable safety and induces antibody and T-cell immune responses, according to a study published online July 20 in The Lancet.

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Three in Four Americans Favor Face Coverings: Survey

THURSDAY, July 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Face coverings should be worn by people when they leave home, three-quarters of Americans say in a new poll.

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U.S. Nursing Homes Get Another $5 Billion to Fight COVID-19

THURSDAY, July 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. nursing homes will receive another $5 billion to help them fight the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trump administration announced Wednesday.

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New Guidelines Released for Recovering COVID-19 Patients to Leave Isolation

THURSDAY, July 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Many recovering COVID-19 patients in the United States will now be able to leave isolation without further testing to show they are virus-free, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.

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High Prevalence of Americans Have Conditions Linked to Severe COVID-19

THURSDAY, July 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The median prevalence of any underlying medical condition that increases the risk for severe COVID-19-associated illness is 47.2 percent among residents in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, according to research published in the July 24 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Financial Health of Hospitals 'Dire' Due to COVID-19

THURSDAY, July 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- COVID-19 continues to cause financial peril for U.S. hospitals, according to a report released by the American Hospital Association.

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Role of COVID-19 Treatments Explored in Patients With Cancer

THURSDAY, July 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- For adults with invasive cancer and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection, treatment with hydroxychloroquine in combination with any other drug is associated with increased mortality, according to a study published online July 22 in Cancer Discovery.

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Most Individuals in U.S. Have Not Been Infected With SARS-CoV-2

THURSDAY, July 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- During March to early May 2020, most individuals in the United States had not been infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, although the estimated number of infections seems to have been much higher than the number of reported cases, according to a study published online July 21 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Ad5-Vectored COVID-19 Vaccine Immunogenic in Healthy Adults

THURSDAY, July 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The nonreplicating adenovirus type-5-vectored COVID-19 vaccine appears safe and induces immune responses at a dose of 5×1010 viral particles, according to a study published online July 20 in The Lancet.

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COVID-19 Creating Stress, Anxiety Among Emergency Physicians

THURSDAY, July 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The COVID-19 pandemic has created substantial workplace and home anxiety among academic emergency medicine physicians, according to a study published online July 21 in Academic Emergency Medicine.

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U.S. Reaches Deal for Nearly 600 Million Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine

WEDNESDAY, July 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- A nearly $2 billion contract with pharmaceutical company Pfizer and a German biotechnology firm will provide the United States with up to 600 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine being developed by the companies, the U.S. government says.

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Elective Services in Pulmonary, Sleep Medicine to Resume During COVID-19

WEDNESDAY, July 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- In a guidance document issued by an American Thoracic Society-led international task force, published online July 14 in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society, recommendations are presented for the resumption of elective in-person clinical services in pulmonary and sleep medicine.

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Glaucoma Patients Worry About Managing Disease During Pandemic

WEDNESDAY, July 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Glaucoma patients are concerned about managing their condition during the COVID-19 lockdowns, according to the results of a survey released by the Glaucoma Research Foundation.

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Inpatient Imaging Volumes Down During COVID-19 Pandemic

WEDNESDAY, July 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a decrease in inpatient imaging volumes, according to a study published online June 18 in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

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11.8 Percent of Household Contacts of Index Patients Have COVID-19

TUESDAY, July 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Overall, 11.8 percent of household contacts of index COVID-19 patients in South Korea have COVID-19 compared with 1.9 percent of nonhousehold contacts, according to a study published online July 16 in Emerging Infectious Diseases, a publication of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Rise in Avoidable Cancer Deaths Expected Due to COVID-19

TUESDAY, July 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- An increase in the number of avoidable cancer deaths is expected in England as a result of diagnostic delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study published online July 20 in The Lancet Oncology.

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More Online Advance Directives Completed During COVID-19

TUESDAY, July 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- There has been an increase in completion of advance directives during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a research letter published online July 20 in JAMA Network Open.

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Even Mild Obesity Tied to Significantly Worse COVID-19 Outcomes

TUESDAY, July 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Obesity is a strong, independent risk factor for poor outcomes among COVID-19 patients, according to a study published July 1 in the European Journal of Endocrinology.

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Blood Type Not Linked to Progression to Severe COVID-19

TUESDAY, July 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- For COVID-19 patients, blood type is not associated with the risk for progression to severe disease, according to a study published online July 12 in the Annals of Hematology.

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Review: In-ICU Mortality for COVID-19 Down to 41.6 Percent

TUESDAY, July 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The in-intensive care unit mortality from COVID-19 is lower than initially thought, with a combined mortality of 41.6 percent based on 24 studies, according to a review published online June 30 in Anaesthesia.

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Pooled Sampling Approved for COVID-19 Test

MONDAY, July 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- An emergency use authorization has been issued for the Quest Diagnostics Quest SARS-CoV-2 real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test for use with pooled samples containing up to four individual swab specimens collected under observation, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Saturday.

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Demographic, Clinical, Hospital Factors Tied to COVID-19 Death

MONDAY, July 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- For COVID-19 patients in the intensive care unit, demographic, clinical, and hospital-level risk factors are associated with death, according to a study published online July 15 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Surgical Delay Worsens Survival for Some Gastrointestinal Cancers

MONDAY, July 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Surgical delay is associated with an increased risk in some gastrointestinal malignancies, and understanding the impact on outcomes may assist surgeons in triaging patients whose surgeries were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to research published online June 30 in the Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery.

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28-Day Mortality in COVID-19 Lower With Dexamethasone

MONDAY, July 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Dexamethasone lowers 28-day mortality in patients hospitalized with COVID-19 who are receiving invasive mechanical ventilation or oxygenation alone, according to a study published online July 17 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Reducing Testing Delay Crucial for Slowing COVID-19 Transmission

MONDAY, July 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Minimizing testing delay has the largest impact on reducing onward transmission of COVID-19, according to a study published online July 16 in The Lancet Public Health.

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Guidance Issued for Elective Orthopedic Surgery During COVID-19

MONDAY, July 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- In new guidelines from the International Consensus Group, published in the July 15 issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, recommendations are presented for the reintroduction of elective orthopedic surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Psychiatric Disorders, Loneliness Common During the Pandemic

MONDAY, July 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- There are high prevalence rates of general psychiatric disorders and loneliness in the general U.K. population during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study published online June 30 in Psychiatry Research.

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For conventional contact tracing to be effective, test results need to be delivered within a day of a person developing symptoms, according to a new study.

Contact Tracing Useless Unless It's Speedy: Study

THURSDAY, July 16, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- It's the Holy Grail for containing the spread of coronavirus, but contact tracing only works if it is done quickly, researchers report.

The modeling study showed that even if all contacts are successfully traced, a delay of three days or more between the start of symptoms and testing will not reduce transmission of the virus sufficiently to control further spread.

The news couldn't come at a worse time, as surging coronavirus cases are swamping labs across the country and triggering delays in test results.

Read the full HealthDay story.