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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 April 27-May 1.

COVID-19 Case Fatality Rate Increased for Cancer Patients

FRIDAY, May 1, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Cancer patients have an increased case fatality rate from COVID-19, according to a study from a New York hospital system published online May 1 in Cancer Discovery.

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FDA Issues Emergency Use Authorization for Remdesivir

FRIDAY, May 1, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted an emergency use authorization for remdesivir to treat hospitalized patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, the agency announced Friday.

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Black Patients Overrepresented in Hospitalized COVID-19 Cohort

FRIDAY, May 1, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- In a cohort of hospitalized adults with COVID-19, black patients have a similar probability of receiving invasive mechanical ventilation or dying compared with nonblack patients, but they are disproportionately represented among hospitalized patients, according to a study published online April 29 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Anosmia in COVID-19 Linked to Lower Risk for Admission

FRIDAY, May 1, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with COVID-19, anosmia is strongly associated with a reduced likelihood of being admitted to the hospital, according to a study published online April 24 in the International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology.

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Fear of COVID-19 Keeping Adults From Emergency Care

FRIDAY, May 1, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Adults are avoiding emergency medical care for fear of catching COVID-19, according to a poll released April 28 by the American College of Emergency Physicians.

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Contact Tracing Can Cut Time to Case Isolation in SARS-CoV-2

FRIDAY, May 1, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Contact tracing can reduce the time to case isolation of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, according to a study published online April 27 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

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RV Strain on Echocardiogram May ID High-Risk COVID-19 Patients

FRIDAY, May 1, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Right ventricular longitudinal strain is a predictor of mortality in patients with COVID-19, according to a study published online April 28 in JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging.

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Impact of COVID-19 on Oncology Clinical Trials Discussed

FRIDAY, May 1, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The impact of COVID-19 on oncology clinical trials and long-term implications are discussed in a study and recommendations published in JCO Oncology Practice.

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Remdesivir May Accelerate Recovery From Severe COVID-19

THURSDAY, April 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Remdesivir may speed time to clinical improvement for patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection, although results are conflicting, according to a study published online April 29 in The Lancet and press releases issued regarding a National Institutes of Health-sponsored study.

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Pandemic Disrupting Health Care for 55 Percent of Older Adults

THURSDAY, April 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- At least half of older adults report experiencing a disruption to their medical care at one month into social distancing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a survey released April 27 by NORC at University of Chicago.

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Symptomatic Health Care Staff in U.K. Screened for COVID-19

THURSDAY, April 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Screening symptomatic health care workers for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection is feasible during the pandemic, according to a research letter published online April 22 in The Lancet.

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NIH Launches $500 Million Contest to Produce Best COVID-19 Test

THURSDAY, April 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- A competition between researchers is part of a $1.5 billion program that seeks to speed development of accurate, quick, and easy-to-use COVID-19 tests, the U.S. National Institutes of Health announced Wednesday.

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Men Have More Serious Disease, Higher Death Rate From COVID-19

THURSDAY, April 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with COVID-19, male gender is associated with worse outcomes, independent of age, according to a study published online April 29 in Frontiers in Public Health.

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Large-Vessel Stroke Described in Young Adults With COVID-19

THURSDAY, April 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Cases of large-vessel stroke in individuals younger than 50 years are described in patients with COVID-19 in a case report published online April 28 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Rate, Timing of Altered Smell, Taste in Mild COVID-19 Examined

THURSDAY, April 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Mildly symptomatic patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection often have alterations in smell or taste, according to a research letter published online April 22 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Many Health Care Workers Face Risk for Poor Outcomes With COVID-19

WEDNESDAY, April 29, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- More than one-quarter of health care workers with patient contact are at risk for poor outcomes from COVID-19, according to a study published online April 28 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Almost All COVID-19 Patients Have Diminished Sense of Smell

WEDNESDAY, April 29, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Quantitative smell testing shows that decreased smell function is a major marker for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection, according to a study published online April 17 in the International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology.

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Guidelines Recommended for ECMO Use in Setting of Pandemic

WEDNESDAY, April 29, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Hospitals should have a formal plan to respond to the increasing need for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in the setting of a pandemic such as COVID-19, according to a study published online April 15 in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

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Thromboembolic Complications in COVID-19 Discussed

WEDNESDAY, April 29, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Prevention, diagnosis, and therapeutic management of thromboembolic complications in COVID-19 are discussed in a report published online April 23 in Radiology.

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Primary PCI Remains Standard of Care for STEMI During COVID-19

WEDNESDAY, April 29, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Primary percutaneous coronary intervention remains the standard of care for patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a consensus statement published online April 20 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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GI Manifestations Seen for Nearly One in Three With SARS-CoV-2

WEDNESDAY, April 29, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- A considerable proportion of patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 have gastrointestinal manifestations, according to a study involving patients at a U.S. hospital published online April 10 in Gastroenterology.

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National Coronavirus Testing Strategy Announced as U.S. Cases Top 1 Million

TUESDAY, April 28, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- While health experts continued to call for a national strategy to test more Americans for coronavirus, President Donald Trump on Monday announced a "blueprint" for boosting testing capacity as some states began reopening their economies.

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Rare, Serious Illness May Occur in Children With COVID-19

TUESDAY, April 28, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Abdominal pain, gastrointestinal complaints, and heart inflammation are among the symptoms in children with a rare syndrome that may be linked to COVID-19, British health officials say.

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Most SARS-CoV-2-Positive Pregnant Women Asymptomatic at Screening

TUESDAY, April 28, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Universal severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 testing of pregnant women presenting for delivery in New York City revealed that most positive patients were asymptomatic, according to a research letter published online April 13 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Patients Aged 60 to 69 Most Often Hospitalized With COVID-19

TUESDAY, April 28, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Persons aged 60 to 69 years with COVID-19 are the most commonly hospitalized, according to a research letter published online April 24 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Adding High-Dose Chloroquine Not Advised for Severe COVID-19

TUESDAY, April 28, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- High-dosage chloroquine diphosphate has potential safety hazards when used as adjunctive therapy for patients hospitalized with severe COVID-19, according to a study published online April 24 in JAMA Network Open.

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High Rate of Pulmonary Embolism Found for Patients With COVID-19

TUESDAY, April 28, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- COVID-19 is associated with a high rate of pulmonary embolism, according to two research letters published online April 23 in Radiology.

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45.4 Percent of U.S. Adults at Risk for Complications With COVID-19

TUESDAY, April 28, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- An estimated 45.4 percent of U.S. adults may have an increased risk for COVID-19 complications due to chronic conditions, according to a study published in the August issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

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Recommendations Developed for Anesthesia Use During COVID-19

TUESDAY, April 28, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Recommendations have been developed for use of anesthesia during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a joint statement issued by the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine and the European Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Therapy.

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David Shulkin, M.D., on COVID-19 Financial Consequences for Health Care System

MONDAY, April 27, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Health care organizations are facing hard financial decisions amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but an end is in sight as some are beginning to slowly open back up around the country, according to David Shulkin, M.D. Shulkin, who served as ninth secretary for Veterans Affairs and is former president and CEO of Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, spoke with HealthDay during a live stream on the HealthDay YouTube channel and live blog.

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FDA Warns of Bogus Claims by Makers of Hand Sanitizer

MONDAY, April 27, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Some companies are selling hand sanitizers with unproven claims that they will protect against COVID-19, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns.

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WHO: No Evidence COVID-19 Survivors Cannot Be Reinfected

MONDAY, April 27, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- There is "no evidence" that people who have recovered from COVID-19 cannot be reinfected with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, according to the World Health Organization.

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Neurologic Features Tied to ARDS in Severe COVID-19 Described

MONDAY, April 27, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Acute respiratory distress syndrome due to COVID-19 is associated with neurologic features, including encephalopathy, agitation, and confusion, according to a letter to the editor published online April 15 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Recommendations Issued for Imaging Use in Pediatric COVID-19

MONDAY, April 27, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- In an international expert consensus statement, published online April 23 in Radiology: Cardiothoracic Imaging, recommendations are presented for chest imaging in pediatric COVID-19 patient management.

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Direct Medical Costs of COVID-19 Infection Are Considerable

MONDAY, April 27, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- A single symptomatic COVID-19 infection results in direct medical costs of $3,045 in the United States, according to a study published online April 23 in Health Affairs.

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SARS-CoV-2 Not Detected in Semen After COVID-19 Recovery

MONDAY, April 27, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 is not detected in the semen of patients one month after COVID-19 diagnosis, according to a study published online April 17 in Fertility and Sterility.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.