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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 22-June 26.

Black Americans More Likely to Know Someone Who Has Died of COVID-19

FRIDAY, June 26, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Far more black Americans say they know someone personally who has died of COVID-19 than whites, a new poll finds.

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U.S. Has Second Day of Record Rise in COVID-19 Cases; Young People Fueling Trend

FRIDAY, June 26, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- As the United States reported yet another record-breaking number of COVID-19 cases on Thursday, public health officials warned that younger Americans now account for an ever-growing percentage of infections.

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Older Age, Obesity, Disability Tied to Severe COVID-19 in MS

FRIDAY, June 26, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with multiple sclerosis, age, obesity, and high Expanded Disability Severity Scale score are significantly associated with increased risk for severe COVID-19, according to a study published online June 26 in JAMA Neurology.

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CDC Updates List of Who Is at Highest Risk for COVID-19

FRIDAY, June 26, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The list of conditions that put people at risk for severe COVID-19 illness has been expanded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Colchicine May Improve Time to Clinical Deterioration in COVID-19

FRIDAY, June 26, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Hospitalized patients with COVID-19 receiving colchicine have significantly improved time to clinical deterioration, according to a study published online June 24 in JAMA Network Open.

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Genomewide Level Associations Identified for Severe COVID-19

FRIDAY, June 26, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with COVID-19 and severe disease have associations at locus 3p21.31 and 9q34.2, which are significant at the genomewide level, according to a study published online June 17 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Neonatal COVID-19 Uncommon, Not Linked to Mode of Delivery

FRIDAY, June 26, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Neonatal COVID-19 is uncommon and the rate of maternal transmission is not increased with any particular mode of delivery or type of infant feeding, according to a review published online June 12 in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

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Texas Pauses Reopening as COVID-19 Cases Rise

THURSDAY, June 25, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- As COVID-19 cases surge in Texas, the state is pausing its reopening process and freeing up hospital beds for COVID-19 patients.

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Risk for Hospitalization Up for Pregnant Women With COVID-19

THURSDAY, June 25, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Among women of reproductive age with COVID-19, pregnant women are more likely to be hospitalized and to be admitted to the intensive care unit, according to research published in the June 26 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Sex, Ethnic Differential Patterns of COVID-19 Unexplained

THURSDAY, June 25, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Sex and ethnicity differential patterns of COVID-19 positivity are not explained by cardiometabolic, socioeconomic, or behavioral factors, according to a study published online June 19 in the Journal of Public Health.

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Model May Help Predict Risk for Testing Positive for COVID-19

THURSDAY, June 25, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- It is possible to predict the likelihood of testing positive for COVID-19, according to a study published online June 10 in CHEST.

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Sanofi Speeds COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

WEDNESDAY, June 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- French drugmaker Sanofi has shortened its timeline to get a COVID-19 vaccine on the market.

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Experts Weigh in on Pace of Reopening, Preventive Measures

WEDNESDAY, June 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- As states across the country continue to move into different phases of reopening, many are questioning whether the rush to stabilize the economy will result in an influx of new COVID-19 infections. HD Live! sat down with Marjorie Jenkins, M.D., dean of the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville, and Thomas Giordano, M.D., section chief of infectious diseases at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, to discuss the health care and economic uncertainty that faces the nation.

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Quality of Life Worse for Cancer Patients During COVID-19

WEDNESDAY, June 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with stage III and IV cancer have worse quality of life during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a research letter published online June 17 in Psycho-Oncology.

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ED Use Down for MI, Stroke, Hyperglycemic Crisis in COVID-19

WEDNESDAY, June 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Following declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic as a national emergency, there was a decrease in visits to the emergency department for myocardial infarction, stroke, and hyperglycemic crisis, according to research published in the June 22 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Tocilizumab Shows Promise for Treatment of COVID-19

WEDNESDAY, June 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Use of tocilizumab to target cytokine release syndrome seems beneficial for patients with COVID-19, according to a study published online June 15 in CHEST.

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Patients With COVID-19 Mount Acute Cortisol Stress Response

WEDNESDAY, June 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with COVID-19 mount a marked and appropriate acute cortisol stress response, according to a research letter published online June 19 in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

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Older Age, Black Race, Diabetes Up Hospitalization in COVID-19

WEDNESDAY, June 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Characteristics that are independently associated with hospitalization for COVID-19 include older age, black race, and having diabetes mellitus, according to research published in the June 17 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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COVID-19 Vaccine May Be Available by Late 2020, Early 2021: Fauci

TUESDAY, June 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- There could be a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of this year or early next year, according to Anthony Fauci, M.D., infectious diseases chief at the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

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Black, Hispanic Medicare Patients Much More Likely to Be Hospitalized With COVID-19

TUESDAY, June 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Black Medicare recipients are nearly four times more likely and Hispanics are nearly two times more likely than whites to be hospitalized with COVID-19, according to the U.S. government.

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RN Staffing Linked to COVID-19 Incidence in Nursing Homes

TUESDAY, June 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Higher registered nurse staffing is associated with a reduced number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in nursing homes, according to a study published online June 18 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Convalescent Plasma Safe for Diverse Patients With COVID-19

TUESDAY, June 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Convalescent plasma seems safe for COVID-19 patients based on data from the first 20,000 transfused patients, according to a study published online June 9 in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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Asthma Seems Not to Be Linked to COVID-19 Hospitalization

TUESDAY, June 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Asthma seems not to be associated with COVID-19 hospitalization, according to a study published online June 9 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

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COVID-19 Hospitalization Up With Prednisone in Rheumatic Disease

TUESDAY, June 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with rheumatic disease with COVID-19, glucocorticoids are associated with increased odds of hospitalization, according to a study published in the July issue of the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases.

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Inhaled Remdesivir May Allow COVID-19 Patients to Be Treated at Home

MONDAY, June 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- An inhaled version of the antiviral drug remdesivir will soon be tested outside a hospital setting, Gilead Sciences announced Monday.

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NIH Stops Hydroxychloroquine Trial

MONDAY, June 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The National Institutes of Health announced Saturday that a clinical trial evaluating hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of COVID-19 has been stopped because the drug likely provides no benefit.

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Costs for COVID-19 High With Consumer-Directed Health Plans

MONDAY, June 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- COVID-19 hospitalizations could result in high out-of-pocket spending for commercially insured consumer-directed health plan enrollees, according to a study published online June 15 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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No Big Increase Seen in Loneliness During U.S. COVID-19 Outbreak

MONDAY, June 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic has not led to an overall increase in loneliness among Americans, according to a study published online June 22 in American Psychologist.

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Taste, Smell Dysfunction With COVID-19 Can Be Severe

MONDAY, June 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- COVID-19 should be suspected when patients present with a severe reduction of taste and smell in the absence of severe nasal obstruction, according to a study published online June 18 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

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Transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2 High Within Households

MONDAY, June 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 has high transmissibility within households, according to a study published online June 17 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

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Many U.S. Counties Lack Infectious Disease Specialists

MONDAY, June 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The distribution of infectious disease (ID) physicians in the United States is geographically skewed, with 90 percent of U.S. counties having below-average ID physician density or no ID physicians at all, according to a research letter published online June 3 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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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.