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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 March 30th-April 3rd.

Enrollment Begins in NIH-Sponsored Trial of Remdesivir for COVID-19 Patients

FRIDAY, April 3, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- A number of institutions this week announced their participation in an international clinical drug trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of remdesivir in hospitalized patients with the novel coronavirus 2019.

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Test Vaccine Elicits Strong Ab Response to SARS-CoV-2 in Mice

FRIDAY, April 3, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Microneedle array delivery of trimeric coronavirus spike protein subunit vaccines seem promising for immunization against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection, according to research published online April 2 in EBioMedicine.

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Presymptomatic Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 ID'd in Singapore

FRIDAY, April 3, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Presymptomatic transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 has been observed in epidemiological clusters in Singapore, with transmission occurring one to three days before symptom onset, according to research published in the April 1 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Model Projects COVID-19 Deaths in Italy Through Mid-April

FRIDAY, April 3, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Modeling suggests that in Italy, the number of coronavirus disease 2019 intensive care unit patients will continue increasing into April, according to a report published April 1 by the European Society of Anaesthesiology.

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Test for COVID-19 Antibodies Approved by FDA

FRIDAY, April 3, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The first COVID-19 virus antibody test for use in the United States has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

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N.Y. Hospital Converts Sleep Apnea Machines Into Ventilators

FRIDAY, April 3, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- As COVID-19 pushes American hospitals to the breaking point, intensive care units are finding creative ways to deal with a looming shortage of lifesaving mechanical ventilators.

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Amid COVID-19 Crisis, Blood Donor Restrictions Eased

FRIDAY, April 3, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- America is in urgent need of blood donations during the COVID-19 pandemic, so the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Thursday it will relax donor restrictions placed on gay and bisexual men and others.

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Gastrointestinal Symptoms Common in COVID-19 Patients

FRIDAY, April 3, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Gastrointestinal symptoms are common in patients with coronavirus disease 2019, with increased prevalence seen in the later stages of the epidemic in China, according to a review published online March 29 in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics.

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Unemployed Workers Less Likely to Be Uninsured Post-ACA

THURSDAY, April 2, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Following implementation of the Affordable Care Act, unemployed workers were less likely to be uninsured, and uninsurance rates decreased more in states with Medicaid expansion, according to a report from the Urban Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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COVID-19 Outbreak Described in Long-Term Care Facility

THURSDAY, April 2, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Outbreaks of coronavirus disease 2019 can have a considerable impact on long-term care facilities, according to a report published online March 27 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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CT Scores Higher With Longer Time to COVID-19 Diagnosis

THURSDAY, April 2, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with coronavirus disease 2019 with longer time from symptom onset to diagnosis have higher computed tomography scores and longer time to disease resolution, according to a study published online March 30 in the American Journal of Roentgenology.

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Transmission Control Measures Tied to Delay in COVID-19 Growth

THURSDAY, April 2, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Transmission control measures implemented in Wuhan were associated with a delay in epidemic growth during the first 50 days of the coronavirus disease 2019 epidemic in China, according to a study published online March 31 in Science.

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Guidelines Developed for Head and Neck Care During COVID-19

THURSDAY, April 2, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- In a special article published online March 31 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, guidelines are presented for head and neck physical examination and associated procedures during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

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Half of People With COVID-19 Do Not Have Symptoms, Iceland Testing Shows

WEDNESDAY, April 1, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Up to half of people who test positive for the new coronavirus do not have symptoms, results from Iceland show.

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Imported Masks, Other Medical Supplies Arriving in U.S.

WEDNESDAY, April 1, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- For the first time since February, imported N95 medical masks are arriving in the United States, but they are not nearly enough to meet demand as COVID-19 cases climb.

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Severe COVID-19 Risk Up With Existing Health Conditions in U.S.

WEDNESDAY, April 1, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- In the United States, individuals with underlying health conditions have an increased risk for severe coronavirus disease 2019, according to research published in the March 31 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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U.S. Coronavirus Death Toll Could Reach 240,000, Task Force Warns

WEDNESDAY, April 1, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The White House coronavirus task force delivered a tough statistic to Americans late Tuesday, warning that the U.S. death toll from COVID-19 could climb to 240,000, even with social distancing policies in place.

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Ocular Abnormalities Seen in One-Third of COVID-19 Patients

WEDNESDAY, April 1, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- About one-third of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 have ocular abnormalities, according to a brief report published online March 31 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

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Patients With Mild COVID-19 May Present With Digestive Symptoms

WEDNESDAY, April 1, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with mild coronavirus disease 2019 can present with digestive symptoms, sometimes without concurrent fever, according to a study published online March 30 in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

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Persistent Positive SARS-CoV-2 Found in Sputum, Feces Samples

WEDNESDAY, April 1, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Some patients with coronavirus disease 2019 remain positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 in sputum or feces after pharyngeal samples become negative, according to a research letter published online March 30 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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WHO Issues Guidance on Prevention of COVID-19 at LTCFs

TUESDAY, March 31, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- In a technical guidance document issued by the World Health Organization, recommendations are presented for the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019 entry and spread in long-term care facilities.

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Case Fatality Ratio for COVID-19 Estimated at 1.38 Percent

TUESDAY, March 31, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The case fatality ratio for coronavirus disease 2019 in China is estimated at 1.38 percent, according to a study published online March 30 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

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Decontamination Method Adopted to Ease N95 Mask Shortage

TUESDAY, March 31, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Duke Health research and clinical teams have developed a validated process for decontaminating N95 masks. The process is described in an article published online in Applied Biosafety: Journal of ABSA International.

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FDA Grants First Approval of Convalescent Plasma Therapy in COVID-19 Patient

TUESDAY, March 31, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Over the weekend, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted the first approval for an academic medical center to transfuse donated plasma from a recovered novel coronavirus patient into a critically ill patient.

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Statement Issued on Use of Anesthesia Machines as Ventilators

TUESDAY, March 31, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Although U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved labeling does not provide for use of anesthesia ventilators for long-term ventilator support, they can be repurposed during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, according to a statement from the American Society of Anesthesiologists and the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation.

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Preventionists Report Widespread Shortages of Protective Equipment

TUESDAY, March 31, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly half of U.S. health care facilities surveyed are out of or almost out of respirators to use while caring for patients with COVID-19, according to the results of a national survey of infection prevention experts released March 27 by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.

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Doctors, Hospitals, Pharmacies Warned Not to Stockpile Meds

TUESDAY, March 31, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- In a joint statement released by the American Medical Association, American Pharmacists Association, and American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, the professional groups "strongly oppose" physicians, pharmacies, and hospitals prophylactically prescribing medications or purchasing excessive amounts or stockpiles of potential treatments for COVID-19.

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U.S. Army Opens Field Hospital in New York City

MONDAY, March 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The first U.S. Army field hospital for civilian patients opened in New York City Monday and could be the first of many across the nation as it struggles with the coronavirus pandemic.

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Artificial Intelligence Framework May Predict ARDS in COVID-19

MONDAY, March 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Data from patients with coronavirus disease 2019 can be used to develop a model that can predict who will develop acute respiratory distress syndrome, according to a study published online March 30 in Computers, Materials & Continua.

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President Extends Social Distancing to April 30 as COVID-19 Cases Surge

MONDAY, March 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- As U.S. coronavirus cases and deaths continue to rise, President Donald Trump on Sunday extended strict social distancing guidelines for the country to April 30.

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Patients Viral Positive for Days After COVID-19 Resolution

MONDAY, March 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Some patients who have recovered from coronavirus disease 2019 continue to be viral positive up to eight days after resolution of symptoms, according to a study published online March 23 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Concomitant Myocardial Injury With COVID-19 Infection Linked to Fatal Outcome

MONDAY, March 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Myocardial injury is associated with fatal outcome in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), according to research published online March 27 in JAMA Cardiology.

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ASA Warns Against Multiple Patients Per Ventilator

MONDAY, March 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Sharing mechanical ventilators should not be attempted during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, according to a joint statement published March 26 by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, Society of Critical Care Medicine, American Association for Respiratory Care, Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation, American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, and American College of Chest Physicians.

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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.