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Coronavirus Updates

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 15-June 19.

Early Data Show No Protest-Related Increases in COVID-19 Infections

FRIDAY, June 19, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Antiracism protests in the United States have not led to increases in new cases of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, early data show.

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Scientists Say Journal Should Retract Mask Study

FRIDAY, June 19, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- A study on the use of masks to protect against the new coronavirus should be retracted by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences because it contains "egregious errors" and "verifiably false" statements, a group of scientists say in a letter to the journal's editors.

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Stay-at-Home Orders Tied to Slowing of COVID-19 Hospitalizations

FRIDAY, June 19, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Statewide stay-at-home orders are associated with decreases in COVID-19 hospitalizations, according to a research letter recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Isolation, Contact Tracing Combo Can Cut COVID-19 Transmission

FRIDAY, June 19, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Combined isolation and tracing strategies can reduce COVID-19 transmission more than mass testing or self-isolation alone, according to a study published online June 16 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

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Prone Position Ups Oxygenation in Patients With Severe COVID-19

FRIDAY, June 19, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The use of the prone position for awake, spontaneously breathing patients with COVID-19-related severe hypoxemic respiratory failure is associated with improved oxygenation, according to a research letter published online June 17 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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22 Percent Worldwide at Increased Risk for Severe COVID-19

FRIDAY, June 19, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- About 22 percent of the global population has at least one underlying condition that places them at increased risk for severe COVID-19, according to a modeling study published online June 15 in The Lancet Global Health.

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Heart Transplant Patients May Have Higher COVID-19 Mortality

FRIDAY, June 19, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Heart transplant patients admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 symptoms may be sicker than nontransplant patients, but they present with the same symptoms as the general population, according to a study recently published in the Journal of Cardiac Failure.

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Nine Texas Mayors Ask Governor for Power to Mandate Face Masks

THURSDAY, June 18, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Mayors in Houston, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, and five other Texas municipalities want Gov. Greg Abbott to give them the power to require people to wear masks in public "where physical distancing cannot be practiced."

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Sociodemographic Gaps Found in COVID-19 Incidence, Knowledge

THURSDAY, June 18, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- There are sociodemographic gaps in the reported incidence of COVID-19 and knowledge regarding its spread and symptoms, according to a study published online June 18 in JAMA Network Open.

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Face-Mask Use May Mitigate Spread of COVID-19

THURSDAY, June 18, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Requiring face-mask use in public may help to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, according to a report published online June 16 in Health Affairs.

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Clinical, Epidemiological Features of Pediatric SARS-CoV-2 ID'd

THURSDAY, June 18, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Clinical and epidemiological characteristics of pediatric severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infections are described in an article published online June 16 in PLOS Medicine.

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Hyperglycemia Common in T1DM Patients With COVID-19

THURSDAY, June 18, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Presentation patterns are similar in patients with type 1 diabetes admitted with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, according to a study published online June 5 in Diabetes Care.

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U.S. Insurers Should Not Charge Copays for COVID-19 Vaccine

WEDNESDAY, June 17, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Health insurance companies are expected to cover vaccines for the new coronavirus without charging copays, U.S. officials say.

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Record-High Spikes in COVID-19 Cases Seen in Arizona, Florida, Texas

WEDNESDAY, June 17, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- After reopening, states such as Arizona, Florida, and Texas are all seeing record-high one-day increases in COVID-19 cases.

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Strong Support Found for Protective Practices Related to COVID-19

WEDNESDAY, June 17, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Most adults in New York City, Los Angeles, and the United States support stay-at-home orders and nonessential business closures during the COVID-19 pandemic and report always or often wearing face coverings in public areas, according to research published in the June 12 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Proactive Monitoring Program Beneficial for COVID-19 Home Care

WEDNESDAY, June 17, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- A proactive monitoring program for COVID-19 can track illness, provide support, and identify cases that need hospitalization, according to a study published online June 16 in NEJM Catalyst.

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Risk for COVID-19 Reinfection Remains Unknown

WEDNESDAY, June 17, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The potential risk for reinfection with COVID-19 remains a concern, but evidence is scarce, according to Jeffrey Shaman, Ph.D., director of the climate and health program at Columbia University, who recently spoke with HD Live! about his research and the risk for reinfection with COVID-19.

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Hydroxychloroquine-Remdesivir Combo Dangerous for COVID-19 Patients

TUESDAY, June 16, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- In the treatment of COVID-19 patients, chloroquine phosphate or hydroxychloroquine sulfate should not be used with the experimental drug remdesivir because of a potentially unfavorable drug interaction, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said.

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CDC: Cumulative Incidence of COVID-19 403.6 Per 100,000 in U.S.

TUESDAY, June 16, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The cumulative incidence of COVID-19 is 403.6 cases per 100,000 persons in the United States, and hospitalization and death rates are six and 12 times higher, respectively, for those with underlying conditions, according to research published in the June 15 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Steroid May Reduce COVID-19 Death Risk by Up to One-Third

TUESDAY, June 16, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The cheap and widely available steroid dexamethasone reduced the risk for death among seriously ill COVID-19 patients by up to a third, according to researchers in England.

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Face Masks Most Effective Means to Avert COVID-19 Transmission

TUESDAY, June 16, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Mandated face coverings represent the most effective means to prevent interhuman transmission of COVID-19, according to a study published online June 11 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Self-Collected Nasal Swabs Acceptable for SARS-CoV-2 Testing

TUESDAY, June 16, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Patient-collected lower nasal specimens may be acceptable for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 testing, according to a research letter published online June 12 in JAMA Network Open.

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Correlates of COVID-19 ID'd on American Indian Reservations

TUESDAY, June 16, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The rate of COVID-19 cases is increased on American Indian reservations with larger proportions of homes lacking complete indoor plumbing, according to a study published in the July/August issue of the Journal of Public Health Management & Practice.

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FDA Pulls Emergency Approval of Hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19

MONDAY, June 15, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has withdrawn its emergency authorization for the use of chloroquine phosphate and hydroxychloroquine sulfate in the fight against COVID-19.

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Blood Donors Will Get Results of Coronavirus Antibody Test, Red Cross Says

MONDAY, June 15, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The American Red Cross will test all blood, platelet, and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies so donors can learn whether they have been exposed to the new coronavirus.

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Black Americans Much More Likely to Have Lost Loved Ones to COVID-19

MONDAY, June 15, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Black Americans are much more likely than other Americans to say a relative or close friend has died of COVID-19, surveys reveal.

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COVID-19 Cases Rising in Many States as Reopening Continues

MONDAY, June 15, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- With most state reopenings well underway, many are now seeing alarming surges in COVID-19 cases, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo warned that a return to lockdown for his state was possible.

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COVID-19 Death Rate High for Patients With Thoracic Cancer

MONDAY, June 15, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with thoracic cancer, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection is associated with high mortality and low intensive care unit admission, according to a study published online June 12 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Pediatric COVID-19 Symptoms Differ From Those Seen in Adults

MONDAY, June 15, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Clinical manifestations of COVID-19 in children differ widely from adult cases, according to a review published online June 3 in Pediatric Pulmonology.

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Gastrointestinal Symptoms Not Uncommon With COVID-19

MONDAY, June 15, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Approximately 12 percent of patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection report gastrointestinal symptoms, according to a review published online June 11 in JAMA Network Open.

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Nonpharmaceutical Interventions Slow COVID-19 Growth

MONDAY, June 15, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Nonpharmaceutical interventions have been beneficial for slowing COVID-19 growth on a global level and within Europe, according to two studies published online June 8 in Nature.

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In our latest HealthDay Now interview, Mabel Jong spoke to Dr. G. Caleb Alexander, a professor at Johns Hopkins who served on the FDA advisory committee that nearly unanimously advised against approving Biogen's new Alzheimer's drug. Dr. Alexander shared his thoughts on the drug's highly uncertain efficacy and discussed whether the FDA's reputation has been permanently damaged by the controversial approval of the drug.

Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HealthDay Nows and other videos on our YouTube channel.

HD Live! Videos

Two world-renowned medical groups — the European Hematology Association (EHA) and the International Conference on Malignant Lymphoma (ICML) — conducted virtual meetings this month to share advances in the care of blood-based cancers.

In our latest HealthDay Now, Dr. Joshua Richter, assistant professor of medicine at the Tisch Cancer Institute, gave insights on the EHA meeting. Then, Dr. Anastasios Stathis, an oncologist and a member of this year's ICML organizing committee, joined us to discuss ICML.

Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HealthDay Nows and other videos on our YouTube channel.


In our latest HealthDay Now, Mabel Jong spoke with Dr. Lori Pierce, president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and a cancer radiation specialist at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Pierce shared important takeaways from the recently concluded 2021 ASCO annual meeting and discussed why equity was the chosen theme this year.

Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HealthDay Nows and other videos on our YouTube channel.

In our latest HealthDay Now, Dr. Hina Talib, a pediatrician and adolescent health specialist at the Children's Hospital at Montefiore, debunks myths and common concerns parents may have about giving their children Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, which was recently approved for use in children and teens ages 12 and up.

HealthDay Now's Mabel Jong also speaks with Alan Santee, a high school freshman from Massachusetts, about why he didn't hesitate to get vaccinated, and Ethan Lindenberger, a 20-year-old vaccine advocate from Ohio, about his experience having a mom who is anti-vaccine and how kids and parents can approach these conversations.

Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HealthDay Nows and other videos on our YouTube channel.

Watch our latest HealthDay Now to hear about the state of mental health and why many people fear returning to their social and work lives.

HealthDay's Mabel Jong spoke to Dr. Vivian Pender, president of the American Psychiatric Association, and Sherry Amatenstein, a social worker and therapist who has been dealing with these anxieties herself.

Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HealthDay Nows and other videos on our YouTube channel.

Watch our latest HealthDay Now for a preview of the American College of Physicians Annual Meeting 2021, covering topics like the alarming shortage of primary care physicians, bringing basic health delivery needs to rural residents, and why the ACP will focus on privacy concerns at its conference.

HealthDay Now's Mabel Jong speaks with Dr. Jacqueline Fincher, president of the American College of Physicians and an internist in a rural community in Georgia.

Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HealthDay Nows and other videos on our YouTube channel.

Watch our latest HealthDay Now as we cover the latest on the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine investigation. An independent advisory panel to the CDC is waiting on additional information before making recommendations on the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine after reports about rare blood clots.

Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Lynn Bahta, a member of the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and a clinical expert for vaccines at the Minnesota Department of Health.

Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HealthDay Nows and other videos on our YouTube channel.

Watch our latest HealthDay Now as we recap the highlights of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2021.

Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Dr. Antoni Ribas, former president of the American Association for Cancer Research and professor of medicine at UCLA, and Anna Plym, PhD, a postdoctoral research fellow at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HealthDay Nows and other videos on our YouTube channel.

Watch our latest HealthDay Now as we dive into the latest details on multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C).

Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Dr. Mary Beth Son, Program Director of Boston Children's Hospital's Rheumatology Program, and Brian Padla, father of James Padla, who has MIS-C.

Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HealthDay Nows and other videos on our YouTube channel.