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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 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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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.