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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 May 4-May 8.

FDA Slashes Number of Approved Chinese Makers of N95 Masks

FRIDAY, May 8, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The number of mask makers in China approved to make N95-type masks for U.S. health care workers was slashed from 80 to 14 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday.

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FDA Approves First At-Home Saliva Test for COVID-19

FRIDAY, May 8, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The first COVID-19 test using saliva samples that patients collect at home has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Symptomatic COVID-19 Infection Fatality Rate 1.3 Percent in U.S.

FRIDAY, May 8, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The overall infection fatality rate among symptomatic COVID-19 cases in the United States is estimated at 1.3 percent, according to a report published online May 7 in Health Affairs.

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Most Jurisdictions Report COVID-19 in Correctional Facilities

FRIDAY, May 8, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- At least one laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 case has been reported in correctional and detention facilities in 86 percent of 54 state and territorial health department jurisdictions, according to research published in the May 6 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Asthma, COPD Medication Adherence Up During Pandemic

FRIDAY, May 8, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Medication adherence for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study published online May 3 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice.

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Deaths of Despair Likely to Increase During Pandemic

FRIDAY, May 8, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Up to 75,000 more people could die from drug or alcohol misuse and suicide during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report released May 8 by the Well Being Trust and the Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care.

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SARS-CoV-2 Identified in Semen of Men With COVID-19

FRIDAY, May 8, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 is present in the semen of some patients with COVID-19, including recovering patients, according to a study published online May 7 in JAMA Network Open.

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Risk for SARS-CoV-2 Lower for Prostate Cancer Patients on ADT

FRIDAY, May 8, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Among prostate cancer patients, those receiving androgen-deprivation therapy versus other treatments have a lower risk for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection, according to a study published online May 6 in the Annals of Oncology.

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ACE Inhibitor/ARB Use Not Tied to COVID-19 Test Positivity

FRIDAY, May 8, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor and/or angiotensin receptor blocker use is not associated with COVID-19 test positivity, according to a study published online May 5 in JAMA Cardiology.

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Doubt Cast on Notion That New Strain of COVID-19 Is More Infectious

THURSDAY, May 7, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- A new study suggesting that COVID-19 has mutated to become even more infectious should be viewed with skepticism, former U.S. Food and Drug Administration head Scott Gottlieb, M.D., said Wednesday.

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New York State Reports Cases of Pediatric Inflammatory Syndrome Tied to COVID-19

THURSDAY, May 7, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The New York State Department of Health issued an advisory on May 6 regarding cases of pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome potentially associated with COVID-19.

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GI Symptoms Seen in Less Than 10 Percent of COVID-19 Patients

THURSDAY, May 7, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Gastrointestinal symptoms are seen in less than 10 percent of patients with COVID-19, according to a meta-analysis published online May 4 in Gastroenterology.

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Anticoagulation May Improve Outcomes in COVID-19 Patients

THURSDAY, May 7, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- For patients hospitalized with COVID-19, systematic anticoagulation may be associated with improved outcomes, according to a research letter published online May 6 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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New Coronavirus Strain More Contagious, Scientists Say

WEDNESDAY, May 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- A new, mutated strain of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 has become dominant and appears to be more contagious than the strain that spread during the early stages of the pandemic, scientists report.

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Human Trials of Experimental COVID-19 Vaccine Begin in U.S.

WEDNESDAY, May 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Human trials on an experimental COVID-19 vaccine began in the United States on Monday, Pfizer and the German pharmaceutical company BioNTech said.

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Health Care Workers at Risk From Mental Burden of COVID-19

WEDNESDAY, May 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Health care workers and younger people have an increased risk for a psychological impact from COVID-19, according to a study published online April 14 in Psychology, Health & Medicine.

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Well-Controlled Blood Glucose May Improve COVID-19 Outcomes

WEDNESDAY, May 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with COVID-19 and type 2 diabetes, well-controlled blood glucose is associated with lower mortality during hospitalization, according to a study published online May 1 in Cell Metabolism.

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Guideline Issued for Nonsevere, Severe COVID-19 Therapy

WEDNESDAY, May 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- In an evidence-based guideline developed by an international team of physicians, pharmacists, researchers, and patients, published online April 29 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association, recommendations are presented for the treatment of COVID-19.

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ACE Inhibitors, ARBs Not Linked to In-Hospital COVID-19 Death

WEDNESDAY, May 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Age and underlying cardiovascular disease are associated with in-hospital mortality in COVID-19, according to a study published online May 1 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Guidance Developed for Lung Cancer Screening During COVID-19

WEDNESDAY, May 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- In a CHEST expert panel report, published online April 23 in Radiology: Imaging Cancer, recommendations are presented for the management of pulmonary nodules and lung cancer screening during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Low-Cost, Noninvasive Ventilator Feasible for Breathing Support

WEDNESDAY, May 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- A prototype for a low-cost, noninvasive ventilator, built using off-the-shelf materials available via e-commerce, performs similarly to a high-quality commercial device, according to a report published online April 20 in the European Respiratory Journal.

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Michigan Nursing Homes More Prepared for Pandemics Than in 2007

TUESDAY, May 5, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Michigan nursing homes are better prepared for pandemics now than they were in 2007, according to a study published online April 15 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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ACE Inhibitors, ARBs Not Linked to Risk for COVID-19

TUESDAY, May 5, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin-receptor blockers and other classes of antihypertensive medications seem not to be associated with COVID-19, according to two studies published online May 1 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Race and Income Influence Risk for Severe COVID-19

TUESDAY, May 5, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Race and income influence the risk for severe illness from COVID-19, according to a study published online April 28 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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Variation Seen in COVID-19 Tests, Hospitalization, Deaths Across NYC

TUESDAY, May 5, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- There is considerable variation in the rates of COVID-19 testing, hospitalization, and deaths across New York City boroughs, according to a research letter published online April 29 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrests Increased in Italy in 2020

TUESDAY, May 5, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest was strongly associated with the cumulative incidence of COVID-19 in 2020 in Lombardy, Italy, according to a research letter published online April 29 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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PPE With More Coverage Ups Protection, but Harder to Don, Doff

TUESDAY, May 5, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Covering more of the body leads to better protection for health care workers against contamination, but greater coverage is usually associated with increased difficulty in putting on and removing personal protective equipment, according to a review published online April 15 in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

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FDA Goes After Unproven COVID-19 Antibody Tests

MONDAY, May 4, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Monday it will crack down on the fraudulent COVID-19 antibody tests that have flooded the market.

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One-Third of U.S. Families Struggling to Meet Basic Needs

MONDAY, May 4, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The COVID-19 pandemic is straining many families' abilities to meet basic needs, according to a study published April 28 by the Urban Institute.

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With Many States Reopening, COVID-19 Testing Levels Still Too Low

MONDAY, May 4, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- A new analysis shows inadequate levels of testing for COVID-19 in 60 percent of states, many of which are actively reopening after weeks of lockdown.

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Hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 Ups Risk for QTc Prolongation

MONDAY, May 4, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with COVID-19 who receive hydroxychloroquine have a high risk for corrected QT prolongation, according to a study published online May 1 in JAMA Cardiology.

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Early Awake Proning for COVID-19 Improves Oxygen Saturation

MONDAY, May 4, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- In COVID-19 patients, awake early self-proning in the emergency department yields improved oxygen saturation, according to a study published online April 22 in Academic Emergency Medicine.

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Patients With Cancer Seem More Vulnerable to COVID-19

MONDAY, May 4, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with cancer seem to be more vulnerable to COVID-19 and have higher risks for severe outcomes, according to a study published online April 28 in Cancer Discovery.

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Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms Seen in China After COVID-19

MONDAY, May 4, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly one in 10 people in parts of China hit hardest by COVID-19 report posttraumatic stress symptoms, according to a study published in the May issue of Psychiatry Research.

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Recommendations Made for PPE Use by HCPs in COVID-19 Care

MONDAY, May 4, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- In guidelines from the Infectious Diseases Society of America, recommendations are presented for personal protective equipment use by health care providers in caring for suspected or known COVID-19 patients.

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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.

HD Live! Videos

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.


Watch our latest HealthDay Now as we debunk myths about the COVID-19 vaccines and talk about what the new CDC guidelines for vaccinated people mean.

Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Dr. Paul Offit, Director of the Vaccine Education Center and an attending physician in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and one of the physicians on the FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, and Dr. Mercedes Carnethon, Vice Chair of Preventive Medicine at the Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine.

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 take a look at how living through the COVID-19 pandemic impacts children socially, mentally and emotionally.

One year in, this is their "new normal," but what does that mean for them? From social isolation to remote learning to a loss of structure and normalcy, we discuss how living during the pandemic has both short- and long-term effects on children.

Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with:

  • Dr. Mark Reinecke, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Northwestern University
  • Tracy Compton, a parent
  • Stephen Guerriero, a teacher
  • Jake Anderson, a student

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

Watch our latest HD Live! as we take a look at the COVID-19 pandemic and the vaccination rollout and how they've impacted people of color.

Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with:

  • Tasha Clark-Amar, CEO, East Baton Rouge Council on Aging
  • Jill Ramirez, Executive Director, Latino HealthCare Forum (Austin)
  • Vickie Mays, PhD, Professor, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

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

Watch our latest HD Live! as we take a look at the global COVID-19 vaccination rollout and how the United States rollout compares.

Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Dr. Ran Balicer of Clalit Health Services and Dr. Arnold Monto of University of Michigan School of Public Health.

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

UPDATE 1/26/21: Since our HD Live! interview with CEO Andrei Doroshin, the Philadelphia Health Department has severed its ties with the organization. The nonprofit has changed its status to a for-profit entity.

Watch our latest HD Live! as we take a look at Philly Fighting Covid, a nonprofit organization run by graduate students from Drexel University that aims to help with mass COVID-19 vaccination in Philadelphia.

Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Andrei Doroshin, founder of Philly Fighting Covid.

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