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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 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.