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A new study looks at how different types of face masks — from medical-grade to homemade — may reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Face Masks Can Help Prevent Viral Spread, but They Aren't Perfect: Study

FRIDAY, May 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Face coverings may reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19, a new study suggests.

Researchers assessed the effectiveness of seven types of face coverings -- including medical-grade and homemade masks -- when people breathed or coughed while standing or lying down. They were also tested using a dummy attached to a cough-simulating machine.

All face coverings without an outlet valve reduce the forward distance of a deep exhale by at least 90%, according to the study led by engineers at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

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A new study says the antiviral drug on its own won't be enough to significantly curb COVID-19 cases and deaths. There are several dual-drug trials already underway to see if remdesivir paired with another drug could help boost outcomes.

Remdesivir Will Not Be Enough to Curb COVID-19, Study Finds

SATURDAY, May 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- There have been high hopes that the antiviral drug remdesivir might be an answer to the pandemic of COVID-19. But a major, new study finds the drug on its own won't be enough to significantly curb cases and deaths.

The study, published May 22 in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that, "given high mortality [of patients] despite the use of remdesivir, it is clear that treatment with an antiviral drug alone is not likely to be sufficient."

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The American Psychological Association offers some tips on ways of coping with loss and grief.

How to Cope With Your Grief During Coronavirus Pandemic

FRIDAY, May 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Grief is touching the lives of countless Americans as the COVID-19 death toll mounts.

The death of a family member or close friend can be among the most difficult things you'll have to deal with, so the American Psychological Association outlines ways of coping with that loss -- whether or not it is coronavirus-related.

Talking about the death with friends or others can help you understand what happened and remember that person. Avoiding the issue can lead to isolation and interfere with the healing process.

You may experience a wide range of emotions -- from sadness, anger or even exhaustion -- and should accept them, the APA says in a news release.

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Some common stressors included managing distance/online learning for their kids, providing basic needs like access to food and housing and being upset about missing major milestones.

Pandemic Has Overburdened Parents Stressed Out: Poll

FRIDAY, May 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- If there's such a thing as a "new normal" during the coronavirus pandemic, it's a constant state of stress.

And it's particularly intense for many parents who are keeping house, working from home, and trying to keep their kids' online learning on track at the same time, according to a new online survey.

Nearly half (46%) of respondents who have kids younger than 18 said their average stress level is high these days. Only 28% of adults without minor children said the same, according to the online poll of more than 3,000 adults. It was conducted from April 24 to May 4.

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The only factors independently associated with time to extubation are age and body mass index.

Age, Sex, History of Diabetes Predict Intubation in COVID-19

FRIDAY, May 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Older age, male sex, and history of diabetes are factors predictive of intubation among hospitalized patients with COVID-19, while age and body mass index are associated with time to extubation, according to a study published online May 19 in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

Kevin Hur, M.D., from the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago, and colleagues examined sociodemographic and clinical characteristics associated with intubation and prolonged intubation for acute respiratory failure secondary to COVID-19 infection among 486 patients admitted between March 1 and April 8, 2020.

The researchers found that 55.8 percent of the patients were male and the median body mass index was 30.6 kg/m². Overall, 28.4 percent of patients were intubated during the hospitalization; 56.5 percent of these patients were eventually extubated, while 15.2 percent died and 28.3 percent remained intubated at a median follow-up of 19.6 days. Compared with nonintubated patients, intubated patients had a significantly higher median age (65 versus 57 years) and higher rate of diabetes (40.6 versus 29.9 percent). Age, sex, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation, history of diabetes, and shortness of breath were identified as factors predictive of intubation. The only factors independently associated with time to extubation were age and body mass index.

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Corita Grudzen, M.D., of the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Emergency Medicine, spoke with HealthDay Live! about the trial.

Convalescent Plasma Trial for COVID-19 Patients Underway at NYU Langone

THURSDAY, May 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine are conducting a phase II clinical trial to determine the efficacy of convalescent plasma in hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Corita R. Grudzen, M.D., vice chair for research in the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Emergency Medicine at NYU Langone Health, wrote the study protocol and recently spoke with HealthDay Live! about the trial.

"What we hope to see is that convalescent plasma used in this stage of disease prevents patients from dying, going on a mechanical ventilator," or being admitted to the intensive care unit, Grudzen said.

The controlled, randomized trial, which started April 17 and is also being led by researchers from Montefiore Health System and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, will enroll 300 hospitalized patients ages 18 years or older from seven hospital centers. The researchers are enrolling patients within three to seven days after symptom onset. While other studies across the country are focusing on sicker populations, Grudzen said the research team felt strongly about enrolling hospitalized patients. "We know the earlier, the better," she said. As an emergency physician, she said, "many of us were seeing hundreds and now thousands of patients hospitalized, and so we really wanted to focus on that group. We know historically [that] the antibody binds to the virus in some way to prevent it from either entering the cells or from destroying whomever it's attacking. And so, the idea is to do that before there's an onslaught of the body's own inflammatory response."

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Doctors reported that a teenager in Italy presented with the first known case of thyroiditis caused by the new coronavirus.

Coronavirus Can Infect, Inflame the Thyroid

FRIDAY, May 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- An Italian teenager may be the first known case of a painful thyroid infection caused by the new coronavirus, doctors report.

A research team from Pisa, in northern Italy, said the 18-year-old woman's thyroid became sore and enlarged a few weeks after testing positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus in late February. The condition, called thyroiditis, cleared up completely within a week after she was treated with the steroid prednisone.

Still, the doctors believe that "physicians should be alerted about the possibility of this additional clinical manifestation" tied to the new coronavirus, study leader Dr. Francesco Latrofa, an endocrinologist at the University Hospital of Pisa, said in a news release from the Endocrine Society. He and his colleagues published the findings May 21 in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine may raise the risk for death and serious heart rhythm disorders in people who use it, an international team of researchers reported.

More Evidence Hydroxychloroquine Won't Help, May Harm COVID-19 Patients

FRIDAY, May 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- A drug supported and even taken by President Donald Trump as a potential weapon against the new coronavirus simply doesn't seem to work, another major study finds.

In fact, hydroxychloroquine, as well as a related medicine, chloroquine, may even raise the risk for death and serious heart rhythm disorders in people who use it, an international team of researchers reported.

The two drugs are approved to help treat illnesses such as malaria and lupus. Early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, Trump labeled the drugs potential "game changers" against the disease, despite little good evidence supporting such claims. Google searches by Americans looking for the medicines surged after his endorsement.

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Per-patient delay of three or six months would result in an estimated 92,214 or 208,275 life-years lost.

Delays in Cancer Surgery Due to COVID-19 Could Harm Survival

FRIDAY, May 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Modest delays in cancer surgery due to the COVID-19 pandemic could have a significant impact on survival, according to a study published online May 19 in the Annals of Oncology.

Amit Sud, M.B.Ch.B., Ph.D., from the Institute of Cancer Research in London, and colleagues generated per-day hazard ratios of cancer progression from observational studies and applied these to age- and stage-specific cancer survival for England in 2013 to 2017. Per-patient delay of three months and six months was modeled, as were periods of disruption of one and two years.

The researchers found that 94,912 resections for major cancers result in 80,406 long-term survivors and 1,717,051 life-years gained per year. Per-patient delay of three or six months would result in attributable deaths of 4,755 or 10,760 of these individuals, with 92,214 or 208,275 life-years lost. The average life-years gained (LYGs) for cancer surgery are 18.1 per patient under standard conditions and 17.1 or 15.9 with a delay of three or six months (average loss of 0.97 or 2.19 LYG per patient). Per patient, surgery results in 2.25 resource-adjusted life-years gained (RALYGs) under standard conditions and 2.12 or 1.97 RALYGs following delay of three or six months, taking into account units of health care resource (HCRUs). There were 482,022 LYGs requiring 1,052,949 HCRUs for 94,912 hospital COVID-19 admissions. On average, per patient, 5.08 LYGs and 0.46 RALYGs were yielded with hospitalization of community-acquired COVID-19 patients.

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The findings support reports from doctors treating COVID-19 patients of widespread damage to lung blood vessels and the presence of blood clots that aren't typical in a respiratory disease.

COVID-19 Damages Lungs Differently From the Flu: Study

FRIDAY, May 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- New research reveals that COVID-19 attacks the lungs in a far different manner from the flu.

Unlike most respiratory diseases, significant impacts on blood vessels were seen in the lungs of seven COVID-19 patients. The lung tissue of those patients was compared to lung tissue from seven people who died of pneumonia caused by the flu.

There was evidence that COVID-19 attacks the lining of lung blood vessels and COVID-19 patients' lungs had many tiny blood clots and grew new blood vessels in response, according to the study published May 21 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The findings support reports from doctors treating COVID-19 patients of widespread damage to lung blood vessels and the presence of blood clots that aren't typical in a respiratory disease, the Washington Post reported.

Read the full HealthDay story.