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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 July 27-July 31.

Plenty of COVID-19 Vaccine Coming, Fauci Says

FRIDAY, July 31, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- When a COVID-19 vaccine is approved, there should be plenty of it available, Anthony Fauci, M.D., infectious diseases chief at the U.S. National Institutes of Health, told a House panel Friday, the Associated Press reported.

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U.S. Puts Up Another $2.1 Billion for Potential COVID-19 Vaccine

FRIDAY, July 31, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. is buying up another potential COVID-19 vaccine, the Associated Press reported Friday.

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Telemedicine Use Explodes During COVID-19 Pandemic

FRIDAY, July 31, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The emergence of telemedicine has accelerated during the coronavirus pandemic. HD Live! sat down with Rujuta Saksena, M.D., an oncologist at Overlook Medical Center in Summit, New Jersey, and Ateev Mehrotra, M.D., associate professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School in Boston, to discuss the future of telemedicine and its impact on health care.

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COVID-19 Testing Needed Every Two Days to Reopen Colleges

FRIDAY, July 31, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Symptom-based screening alone is not sufficient to contain a COVID-19 outbreak on college campuses, according to a study published online July 31 in JAMA Network Open.

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Pandemic Causing Increased Anxiety Among MS Patients

FRIDAY, July 31, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The COVID-19 pandemic is having an impact on the psychological health of patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, according to a study published online July 21 in Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders.

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Bacterial, Fungal Coinfection Uncommon in COVID-19 Patients

FRIDAY, July 31, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Bacterial and fungal infections are uncommon in hospitalized COVID-19 patients, but coinfection is associated with high mortality and antibiotic use is widespread, according to a study published in the July issue of Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology.

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Global Epidemiology of COVID-19 Reported for Prepandemic Era

FRIDAY, July 31, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Many of the first COVID-19 cases reported from affected countries outside of mainland China involved recent travel to affected countries, according to a study published online July 29 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

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School Closures Linked to Decreased COVID-19 Incidence, Death

THURSDAY, July 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- School closures in the United States were temporally associated with decreased COVID-19 incidence and mortality, according to a study published online July 29 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Young Children Have Higher Amounts of SARS-CoV-2 RNA

THURSDAY, July 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Young children with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 have higher amounts of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 viral RNA in their nasopharynx than older children and adults, according to a research letter published online July 30 in JAMA Pediatrics.

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Remdesivir Shortages Plague Some Hospitals, Pharmacists Say

THURSDAY, July 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- One-third of pharmacists say they do not have enough remdesivir to treat all COVID-19 patients who are eligible for it, according to the results of a survey released by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.

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Most Gynecologic Cancer Therapy Not Tied to Higher COVID-19 Risk

THURSDAY, July 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- For gynecologic oncology patients with COVID-19, the case fatality rate is 14.0 percent, and chemotherapy and recent major surgery do not predict COVID-19 severity or mortality, according to a study published online July 30 in Cancer.

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More Diabetic Foot Amputations Seen During COVID-19 Lockdown

WEDNESDAY, July 29, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with diabetes admitted to a tertiary care center for diabetic foot ulceration during the COVID-19 lockdown in Italy had a more than threefold risk for amputation versus patients seen in 2019, according to a study published online July 23 in Diabetes Care.

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Cancer-Related Encounters Down Since Start of COVID-19

WEDNESDAY, July 29, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- There has been a decrease in cancer-related encounters and in cancer screening since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study published online July 27 in JCO: Clinical Cancer Informatics.

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Latino Communities at Higher Risk for COVID-19

WEDNESDAY, July 29, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Factors linked to structural racism and social determinants of health are associated with an increased risk for COVID-19 in Latino communities, according to a study published online July 23 in the Annals of Epidemiology.

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Nearly Half of Hispanics, Blacks Scared to Go to Hospital During COVID-19

WEDNESDAY, July 29, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Hispanics and blacks are most likely to stay home if experiencing medical emergencies, like a heart attack or stroke, to avoid the risk of contracting COVID-19 at the hospital, according to a poll released by the American Heart Association.

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Depression, Anxiety May Be Signs That COVID-19 Is Attacking Brain

WEDNESDAY, July 29, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Depression and anxiety exhibited in COVID-19 patients may be a sign that the virus impacts the central nervous system, as these symptoms are closely associated with a loss of smell and taste rather than more severe manifestations of the virus, according to a study published online July 2 in The Laryngoscope.

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FDA Warns Again About Dangers of Methanol-Based Hand Sanitizers

TUESDAY, July 28, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to use alcohol-based hand sanitizers containing methanol, or wood alcohol, which is used in fuel and antifreeze and is toxic if absorbed through the skin or life-threatening if ingested.

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Myocardial Injury Seen in Many Early in Recovery From COVID-19

TUESDAY, July 28, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Many patients recently recovered from COVID-19 infection have cardiac involvement, according to a study published online July 27 in JAMA Cardiology.

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One-Third of Individuals Stopping PrEP Meds During Pandemic

TUESDAY, July 28, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- According to the results of a survey, presented at this year's International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2020: Virtual), one-third of respondents stopped using preexposure prophylaxis medication during a COVID-19 shelter-in-place order.

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CDC to Address Inequalities in COVID-19 Reporting

MONDAY, July 27, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention plans to take steps to improve how it collects COVID-19 data for blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans, the Associated Press reports.

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COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate Now in Final Phase Testing

MONDAY, July 27, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- A vaccine developed by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and Moderna has entered the final phase of testing, the Associated Press reported Monday.

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COVID-19 Can Result in Prolonged Illness Even in Milder Cases

MONDAY, July 27, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Even among persons with milder outpatient illness, COVID-19 can result in prolonged illness, according to research published in the July 24 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Perinatal Transmission of COVID-19 Unlikely With Correct Hygiene

MONDAY, July 27, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- If correct hygiene procedures are undertaken, perinatal transmission of COVID-19 is unlikely to occur, according to a study published online July 23 in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health.

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Large Proportion of COVID-19 Studies Have Low-Level Evidence

MONDAY, July 27, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- A large proportion of studies on COVID-19 have a low level of evidence, according to a research letter published online July 27 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Impact on Glucocorticoids in COVID-19 Varies With CRP Levels

MONDAY, July 27, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The impact of glucocorticoid treatment on patients with COVID-19 varies according to C-reactive protein levels, according to a study published online July 22 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

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Odds of occupying units being unsuitable for isolation and quarantine increased for racial/ethnic minorities.

Isolation, Quarantine Impossible in >20 Percent of U.S. Homes

FRIDAY, July 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- More than 20 percent of U.S. homes lack sufficient space or plumbing facilities to comply with recommendations to isolate or quarantine to prevent COVID-19 transmission, according to a research letter published online July 21 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Ashwini R. Sehgal, M.D., from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, and colleagues examined the feasibility of separate rooms for isolation and quarantine for housing units in the United States. Data on residential dwelling units and occupants were obtained from the 2017 American Housing Survey. The proportion of dwellings in which optimal isolation or quarantine was impossible due to unavailability of separate bedrooms and bathrooms was estimated.

The researchers found that in 25.29 million dwellings, isolation or quarantine was impossible, because they lacked sufficient bedrooms, bathrooms, or both; this accounted for 20.8 percent of all residential units. This included about 30 percent of the 88.2 million units that housed more than one occupant. A total of about 81 million persons lived in units that were unsuitable for isolation or quarantine. The odds of occupying units unsuitable for isolation or quarantine were twofold to threefold higher for Native American and Hispanic persons relative to non-Hispanic White persons and 1.7-fold higher for Black and Asian persons.

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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 July 20-July 24.

CDC Issues Call to Reopen America's Schools This Fall

FRIDAY, July 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a document supporting a reopening of the nation's schools this fall.

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COVID-19 Pandemic Has Had Impact on Parent, Child Well-Being

FRIDAY, July 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The COVID-19 pandemic has had a considerable impact on the physical and emotional well-being of parents and children, according to a study published online July 24 in Pediatrics.

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Midnasal Swab Done by Patient at Home Detects SARS-CoV-2

FRIDAY, July 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- For detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 in symptomatic patients, unsupervised home midnasal swab collection is comparable to clinician-collected nasopharyngeal swab collection, according to a research letter published online July 22 in JAMA Network Open.

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For-Profit LTC Home Status Tied to Extent of COVID-19 Outbreaks

FRIDAY, July 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- For-profit status is associated with the extent of COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care homes, according to a study published online July 22 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

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Isolation, Quarantine Impossible in >20 Percent of U.S. Homes

FRIDAY, July 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- More than 20 percent of U.S. homes lack sufficient space or plumbing facilities to comply with recommendations to isolate or quarantine to prevent COVID-19 transmission, according to a research letter published online July 21 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Heart Transplant Volumes Decreased in COVID-19 Era

FRIDAY, July 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- In the COVID-19 era, there has been a decrease in heart transplant volumes, according to a study published online July 22 in JAMA Cardiology.

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Mental Health Deteriorated During COVID-19 Lockdown

FRIDAY, July 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Mental health deteriorated in the United Kingdom by the end of April 2020 compared with pre-COVID-19 pandemic trends, according to a study published online July 21 in The Lancet Psychiatry.

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Chimpanzee Adenovirus-Vectored Vaccine Promising for COVID-19

FRIDAY, July 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- A chimpanzee adenovirus-vectored vaccine expressing the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 spike protein has acceptable safety and induces antibody and T-cell immune responses, according to a study published online July 20 in The Lancet.

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Three in Four Americans Favor Face Coverings: Survey

THURSDAY, July 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Face coverings should be worn by people when they leave home, three-quarters of Americans say in a new poll.

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U.S. Nursing Homes Get Another $5 Billion to Fight COVID-19

THURSDAY, July 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. nursing homes will receive another $5 billion to help them fight the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trump administration announced Wednesday.

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New Guidelines Released for Recovering COVID-19 Patients to Leave Isolation

THURSDAY, July 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Many recovering COVID-19 patients in the United States will now be able to leave isolation without further testing to show they are virus-free, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.

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High Prevalence of Americans Have Conditions Linked to Severe COVID-19

THURSDAY, July 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The median prevalence of any underlying medical condition that increases the risk for severe COVID-19-associated illness is 47.2 percent among residents in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, according to research published in the July 24 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Financial Health of Hospitals 'Dire' Due to COVID-19

THURSDAY, July 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- COVID-19 continues to cause financial peril for U.S. hospitals, according to a report released by the American Hospital Association.

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Role of COVID-19 Treatments Explored in Patients With Cancer

THURSDAY, July 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- For adults with invasive cancer and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection, treatment with hydroxychloroquine in combination with any other drug is associated with increased mortality, according to a study published online July 22 in Cancer Discovery.

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Most Individuals in U.S. Have Not Been Infected With SARS-CoV-2

THURSDAY, July 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- During March to early May 2020, most individuals in the United States had not been infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, although the estimated number of infections seems to have been much higher than the number of reported cases, according to a study published online July 21 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Ad5-Vectored COVID-19 Vaccine Immunogenic in Healthy Adults

THURSDAY, July 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The nonreplicating adenovirus type-5-vectored COVID-19 vaccine appears safe and induces immune responses at a dose of 5×1010 viral particles, according to a study published online July 20 in The Lancet.

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COVID-19 Creating Stress, Anxiety Among Emergency Physicians

THURSDAY, July 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The COVID-19 pandemic has created substantial workplace and home anxiety among academic emergency medicine physicians, according to a study published online July 21 in Academic Emergency Medicine.

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U.S. Reaches Deal for Nearly 600 Million Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine

WEDNESDAY, July 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- A nearly $2 billion contract with pharmaceutical company Pfizer and a German biotechnology firm will provide the United States with up to 600 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine being developed by the companies, the U.S. government says.

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Elective Services in Pulmonary, Sleep Medicine to Resume During COVID-19

WEDNESDAY, July 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- In a guidance document issued by an American Thoracic Society-led international task force, published online July 14 in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society, recommendations are presented for the resumption of elective in-person clinical services in pulmonary and sleep medicine.

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Glaucoma Patients Worry About Managing Disease During Pandemic

WEDNESDAY, July 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Glaucoma patients are concerned about managing their condition during the COVID-19 lockdowns, according to the results of a survey released by the Glaucoma Research Foundation.

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Inpatient Imaging Volumes Down During COVID-19 Pandemic

WEDNESDAY, July 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a decrease in inpatient imaging volumes, according to a study published online June 18 in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

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11.8 Percent of Household Contacts of Index Patients Have COVID-19

TUESDAY, July 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Overall, 11.8 percent of household contacts of index COVID-19 patients in South Korea have COVID-19 compared with 1.9 percent of nonhousehold contacts, according to a study published online July 16 in Emerging Infectious Diseases, a publication of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Rise in Avoidable Cancer Deaths Expected Due to COVID-19

TUESDAY, July 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- An increase in the number of avoidable cancer deaths is expected in England as a result of diagnostic delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study published online July 20 in The Lancet Oncology.

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More Online Advance Directives Completed During COVID-19

TUESDAY, July 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- There has been an increase in completion of advance directives during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a research letter published online July 20 in JAMA Network Open.

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Even Mild Obesity Tied to Significantly Worse COVID-19 Outcomes

TUESDAY, July 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Obesity is a strong, independent risk factor for poor outcomes among COVID-19 patients, according to a study published July 1 in the European Journal of Endocrinology.

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Blood Type Not Linked to Progression to Severe COVID-19

TUESDAY, July 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- For COVID-19 patients, blood type is not associated with the risk for progression to severe disease, according to a study published online July 12 in the Annals of Hematology.

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Review: In-ICU Mortality for COVID-19 Down to 41.6 Percent

TUESDAY, July 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The in-intensive care unit mortality from COVID-19 is lower than initially thought, with a combined mortality of 41.6 percent based on 24 studies, according to a review published online June 30 in Anaesthesia.

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Pooled Sampling Approved for COVID-19 Test

MONDAY, July 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- An emergency use authorization has been issued for the Quest Diagnostics Quest SARS-CoV-2 real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test for use with pooled samples containing up to four individual swab specimens collected under observation, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Saturday.

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Demographic, Clinical, Hospital Factors Tied to COVID-19 Death

MONDAY, July 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- For COVID-19 patients in the intensive care unit, demographic, clinical, and hospital-level risk factors are associated with death, according to a study published online July 15 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Surgical Delay Worsens Survival for Some Gastrointestinal Cancers

MONDAY, July 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Surgical delay is associated with an increased risk in some gastrointestinal malignancies, and understanding the impact on outcomes may assist surgeons in triaging patients whose surgeries were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to research published online June 30 in the Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery.

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28-Day Mortality in COVID-19 Lower With Dexamethasone

MONDAY, July 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Dexamethasone lowers 28-day mortality in patients hospitalized with COVID-19 who are receiving invasive mechanical ventilation or oxygenation alone, according to a study published online July 17 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Reducing Testing Delay Crucial for Slowing COVID-19 Transmission

MONDAY, July 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Minimizing testing delay has the largest impact on reducing onward transmission of COVID-19, according to a study published online July 16 in The Lancet Public Health.

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Guidance Issued for Elective Orthopedic Surgery During COVID-19

MONDAY, July 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- In new guidelines from the International Consensus Group, published in the July 15 issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, recommendations are presented for the reintroduction of elective orthopedic surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Psychiatric Disorders, Loneliness Common During the Pandemic

MONDAY, July 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- There are high prevalence rates of general psychiatric disorders and loneliness in the general U.K. population during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study published online June 30 in Psychiatry Research.

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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 July 13-July 17.

CDC Will Again Post COVID-19 Hospitalization Data

FRIDAY, July 17, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- In a quick policy reversal, the Trump administration on Thursday told the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to once again post data about COVID-19 hospitalizations on its website.

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3M Sues Over Fake N95 Masks, Price Gouging

FRIDAY, July 17, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- 3M says it has filed 18 lawsuits in relation to price gouging, counterfeiting, and fraud related to its N95 masks.

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Call for 'Challenge Trials' to Hasten COVID-19 Vaccine Development

FRIDAY, July 17, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. government should make immediate preparations for clinical trials in which volunteers are exposed to the new coronavirus to speed development of a vaccine, more than 100 top scientists say in a letter to the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

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Lack of Public Education for Using Face Masks Leads to Noncompliance, Experts Warn

FRIDAY, July 17, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- A nationwide, coordinated effort is needed to successfully implement widespread wearing of face masks to help slow the spread of COVID-19, according to Robert Brook, M.D., professor of medicine at UCLA and distinguished chair in the health care services program at the RAND Corporation, and May Chu, Ph.D., clinical professor of epidemiology with the Colorado School of Public Health at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. They recently spoke with HD Live! about the impending consequences of nonmasking and possible strategies to improve compliance.

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Variety of Symptoms Reported for COVID-19 Patients

FRIDAY, July 17, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly all symptomatic COVID-19 patients experience fever, cough, or shortness of breath, and a wide variety of other symptoms are reported, according to research published July 17 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Masking of Health Care Workers Cuts SARS-CoV-2 Positivity

FRIDAY, July 17, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Universal masking of health care workers is associated with a reduction in the rate of SARS-CoV-2 positivity, according to a study published online July 14 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Lopinavir/Ritonavir COVID-19 Treatment Linked to Bradycardia

FRIDAY, July 17, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Lopinavir/ritonavir treatment of COVID-19 is associated with an increased risk for bradycardia, according to a study published online July 9 in Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology.

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U.S. Must Spend $75 Billion to Improve COVID-19 Testing, Report Says

THURSDAY, July 16, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The United States faces "an impending disaster" from the coronavirus pandemic and should spend $75 billion to improve its diagnostic testing system for COVID-19, a Rockefeller Foundation report says.

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Younger Children Should Attend School When Possible: Expert Committee

THURSDAY, July 16, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Younger children and those with special needs should attend school in person whenever possible, because online learning is mostly ineffective for these children, according to a committee that advises the United States on science-related issues.

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Higher SARS-CoV-2 Viral Load Tied to Shorter Symptom Duration

THURSDAY, July 16, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Viral load of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 is lower in hospitalized patients, and higher viral load is associated with a shorter duration of symptoms and hospital stay, according to a study published online July 2 in The American Journal of Pathology.

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SARS-CoV-2 mRNA-1273 Induces Immune Response

THURSDAY, July 16, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The candidate vaccine mRNA-1273, which encodes the stabilized prefusion severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 spike protein, induces immune responses in healthy participants, according to a phase 1 study published online July 14 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Physical Distancing Interventions Cut Incidence of COVID-19

THURSDAY, July 16, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Physical distancing interventions are associated with a reduced incidence of COVID-19 globally, according to a study published online July 15 in The BMJ.

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Impact of COVID-19 Estimated on HIV, TB, Malaria Services

THURSDAY, July 16, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Disruption to services for HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria due to COVID-19 could lead to considerable loss of life in low- and middle-income countries, according to a study published online July 13 in The Lancet Global Health.

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Nonsmoking Young Adults Less Vulnerable to Severe COVID-19

THURSDAY, July 16, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Nonsmoking young adults have lower medical vulnerability to severe COVID-19 illness, according to a study published online July 13 in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

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COVID-19 Vaccine Initiative May Favor Rich Countries

WEDNESDAY, July 15, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- A global COVID-19 vaccine initiative has been formed with the objective of ensuring fair distribution of vaccines worldwide, but it may benefit rich countries more than poor nations.

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Childhood Vaccinations Decline During COVID-19 Pandemic

WEDNESDAY, July 15, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- There has been a decrease in childhood vaccinations during the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Nations says.

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CDC Will No Longer Receive Hospitals' COVID-19 Data

WEDNESDAY, July 15, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. hospitals have been told by the Trump administration to send all COVID-19 information to a central database in Washington, D.C., instead of to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Survival Up With Tocilizumab in Ventilated COVID-19 Patients

WEDNESDAY, July 15, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with COVID-19 requiring mechanical ventilation, tocilizumab is associated with improved survival, according to a study published online July 11 in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

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Lymphocytopenia May Predict Greater Severity in COVID-19

WEDNESDAY, July 15, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Lymphocytopenia may be predictive of disease severity in patients with COVID-19, according to a study published online July 10 in the International Journal of Laboratory Hematology.

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Most U.S. COVID-19-Related Deaths Occur in Medical Facility

WEDNESDAY, July 15, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Most COVID-19-related deaths in the United States occur in a medical facility, according to a study published online July 9 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Layoffs Cost 5.4 Million Americans Their Health Insurance

TUESDAY, July 14, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- About 5.4 million Americans lost their health insurance after being laid off between February and May due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a new study shows.

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No COVID-19 Deaths Reported in NYC for First Time in Months

TUESDAY, July 14, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- New York City -- once the COVID-19 epicenter in the United States -- has marked a major achievement.

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Symptom-Based Testing Not Adequate for Detecting COVID-19

TUESDAY, July 14, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Using symptom-based testing alone is not adequate for identifying COVID-19 cases in long-term care facilities, according to a research letter published online July 14 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Hyperglycemia Linked to Higher Mortality in COVID-19 Patients

TUESDAY, July 14, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- For COVID-19 patients without a previous diagnosis of diabetes, fasting blood glucose ≥7.0 mmol/L is an independent predictor of 28-day mortality, according to a study published online July 10 in Diabetologia.

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Outcomes Worse for COVID-19-Linked Ischemic Strokes

TUESDAY, July 14, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- COVID-19-associated ischemic strokes are more severe than non-COVID-19 ischemic strokes, with worse functional outcome and increased mortality, according to a study published online July 9 in Stroke.

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Shelter-in-Place Orders Cut Growth Rates of COVID-19 Deaths

TUESDAY, July 14, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Shelter-in-place orders reduced the daily growth rates of COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations, according to a report published online July 9 in Health Affairs.

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Slow Test Results Hampering U.S. Fight Against COVID-19

MONDAY, July 13, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Test results for the new coronavirus are taking so long that they are doing little to help stop the spread of the virus in the United States, experts say.

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Some Hospitals in COVID-19 Hotspots Running Short of Remdesivir

MONDAY, July 13, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Some U.S. hospitals in COVID-19 hotspots are running short of the antiviral drug remdesivir -- the only drug authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat the disease -- while hospitals in other regions have stocks of the drug that are going unused.

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Rise Seen in U.S. COVID-19 Deaths

MONDAY, July 13, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Led by states in the South and West, COVID-19 deaths in the United States have started a long-anticipated increase, data show.

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Black Individuals at Increased Risk for SARS-CoV-2 Infection

MONDAY, July 13, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Black individuals are at increased risk for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection and hospitalization, according to a letter to the editor published online July 9 in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

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COVID-19-Related Symptoms Persist After Recovery

MONDAY, July 13, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Most patients who have recovered from COVID-19 report persistence of at least one symptom, according to a research letter published online July 9 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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COVID-19 Case Rates, Deaths Considerably Higher in Prisons

MONDAY, July 13, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- COVID-19 case rates are substantially higher in prisons than in the U.S. population and are escalating rapidly, according to a research letter published online July 8 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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There were no significant associations identified between VL, ICU admission, length of oxygen support and survival.

Higher SARS-CoV-2 Viral Load Tied to Shorter Symptom Duration

THURSDAY, July 16, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Viral load (VL) of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 is lower in hospitalized patients, and higher VL is associated with a shorter duration of symptoms and hospital stay, according to a study published online July 2 in The American Journal of Pathology.

Kimon V. Argyropoulos, M.D., from NYU Langone Health in New York City, and colleagues examined the associations between VL and parameters such as symptom severity, disposition, length of hospitalization, and admission to the intensive care unit in a cohort of 205 patients from a tertiary care center.

The researchers found that after adjustment for age, sex, race, body mass index, and comorbidities, diagnostic VL was significantly lower in hospitalized than nonhospitalized patients (log10 VL, 3.3 versus 4.0). In all patients and hospitalized patients only, higher VL was associated with a shorter duration of symptoms and shorter hospital stay. There was no significant association noted between VL, intensive care unit admission, length of oxygen support, and overall survival.

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36.9 percent of long-term care residents were identified as SARS-CoV-2 RNA-positive on universal testing.

Symptom-Based Testing Not Adequate for Detecting COVID-19

TUESDAY, July 14, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Using symptom-based testing alone is not adequate for identifying COVID-19 cases in long-term care facilities, according to a research letter published online July 14 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Benjamin F. Bigelow, from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues performed universal testing of untested residents across 11 Maryland long-term care facilities that had previously conducted targeted testing based on individual residents' symptoms and had known positive cases.

The researchers found that within 20 days of detection of the index case, targeted symptom-based testing identified 153 cases prior to point-prevalence surveys. Overall, 39.6 percent of the remaining 893 residents who were universally tested were positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 RNA. Universal testing increased the total number of detected COVID-19 cases from 153 to 507 across all sites; 55.4 percent were asymptomatic. Two-week follow-up data were available for 426 residents from seven facilities (177 positive and 249 negative for COVID-19). Eighty-seven percent of the 177 who were positive were asymptomatic. Of those who tested positive and were asymptomatic at testing, 13 percent were hospitalized and 4.6 percent died with 14 days of testing. Of the 23 residents who were positive and symptomatic at testing, 17.4 and 8.7 percent were hospitalized and died within 14 days of testing, respectively.

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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 July 6-July 10.

Gilead Presents Additional Data on Efficacy of Remdesivir for COVID-19

FRIDAY, July 10, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- There is more good news on the effectiveness of the antiviral drug remdesivir against COVID-19, according to new clinical trial results from the drug's maker.

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Risk for COVID-19 Increased for Adults Taking PPIs

FRIDAY, July 10, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Adults taking proton pump inhibitors have an increased risk for having a positive COVID-19 test, with evidence of a dose-response relationship, according to a study published online July 7 in preprint format in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

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WHO to Lead Investigation of COVID-19 Pandemic Origins

FRIDAY, July 10, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The World Health Organization will lead an international investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic in China.

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Emphasizing Severity of COVID-19 Important for Teen Behaviors

FRIDAY, July 10, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- For adolescents, understanding the severity of COVID-19 and valuing social responsibility are associated with acting in socially responsible ways, including more social distancing and disinfecting, according to a study published online June 29 in JAMA Pediatrics.

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Children Seem Not to Be Driving SARS-COV-2 Transmission

FRIDAY, July 10, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Children are mainly infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 in familial clusters, suggesting that transmission in schools is likely to be less than expected and that school closures are not necessary, according to a study and accompanying editorial published online July 10 in Pediatrics.

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COVID-19 Explored in Kidney Recipients, Hemodialysis Patients

FRIDAY, July 10, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Many outpatient kidney transplant recipients with COVID-19 have symptomatic resolution without requiring hospitalization, and hospitalized COVID-19 patients on hemodialysis have worse outcomes than those without kidney failure, according to two studies recently published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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Incidence of Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy Up During COVID-19

FRIDAY, July 10, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of Takotsubo cardiomyopathy has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study published online July 9 in JAMA Network Open.

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Sick Days Up for Some Essential Workers During COVID-19

THURSDAY, July 9, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Increases in health-related workplace absenteeism were seen in April 2020 in personal care and service, health care support, and production occupations, according to research published in the July 10 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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COVID-19 Pandemic Exacerbates Mental Health Issues

THURSDAY, July 9, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Just as the physical symptoms of COVID-19 vary among the population, mental health is enduring a variety of effects from the virus as well, according to Don Mordecai, M.D., national mental health and wellness lead at Kaiser Permanente, who recently spoke with HD Live! about the effects of the pandemic on mental health.

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Spectrum of Neurological Disorders Linked to SARS-CoV-2

THURSDAY, July 9, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection is associated with a spectrum of neurological disorders, according to a study published online July 8 in Brain.

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CDC Updates Info on COVID-19 Cases at Meat, Poultry Processing Facilities

THURSDAY, July 9, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- COVID-19 was confirmed in 16,233 workers in 239 meat and poultry processing facilities in 23 states through May 31, 2020, according to research published in the July 7 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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February to March 2020 Saw Surge in Hydroxychloroquine Rx

WEDNESDAY, July 8, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- From February to March 2020, there was a considerable increase in the number of patients receiving outpatient prescriptions for hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine, and azithromycin, according to a research letter published online July 6 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children Profiled

WEDNESDAY, July 8, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, which coincided with COVID-19, is described in children and adolescents in the United States and New York state in two reports published online June 29 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Rising Number of People Report Anxiety, Depression During COVID-19

WEDNESDAY, July 8, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- New evidence shows that depression and anxiety are increasing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the results of a survey released by Mental Health America.

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COVID-19 Antibody Cocktail Begins Late-Stage Human Trials

TUESDAY, July 7, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Late-stage human trials to assess whether a double antibody cocktail can prevent and treat COVID-19 infection have started, biotechnology company Regeneron said Monday.

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Company Gets $1.6 Billion From U.S. Government for COVID-19 Vaccine

TUESDAY, July 7, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Vaccine maker Novavax will receive $1.6 billion from the U.S. government to provide 100 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine by early 2021, the Maryland-based company said Monday.

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Acute Ischemic Stroke Risk Higher With COVID-19 Than Influenza

TUESDAY, July 7, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with COVID-19 appear to have a heightened risk for acute ischemic stroke compared with patients with influenza, according to a study published online July 2 in JAMA Neurology.

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Social Distancing Effective for Mitigating COVID-19 Spread

TUESDAY, July 7, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Social distancing is one of the main measures to combat COVID-19 spread, according to a study published online July 1 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

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Chilblains in Recent Case Series Not Tied to COVID-19 Infection

TUESDAY, July 7, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- In a case series of 31 patients, published online June 25 in JAMA Dermatology, chilblains did not appear to be directly associated with COVID-19.

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Major Medical Groups Urge Americans to Wear Face Masks

MONDAY, July 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Three major medical groups are urging Americans to wear face masks, wash their hands, and practice social distancing as COVID-19 cases continue to surge in the United States.

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Fight Against COVID-19 Threatens Progress Against Other Diseases

MONDAY, July 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Decades of progress against HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, and other diseases worldwide are threatened by the diversion of resources on the COVID-19 pandemic, the International AIDS Society says in a report to be published this week.

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FDA Warns About Hand Sanitizers With Methanol

MONDAY, July 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- A warning about hand sanitizer products that contain methanol (wood alcohol), a substance often used to create fuel and antifreeze, has been issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Scientists Say New Coronavirus Can Linger in Indoor Air

MONDAY, July 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The new coronavirus can linger in indoor air and infect people, 239 scientists in 32 countries say in an open letter to the World Health Organization that challenges the WHO's position on how the virus is spread.

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Endotheliopathy ID'd in COVID-19, Tied to Higher Mortality Risk

MONDAY, July 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Endotheliopathy is present in COVID-19 and is associated with critical illness and death, according to a study published online June 30 in The Lancet Haematology.

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Outcomes Similar for COVID-19 in Patients With, Without HIV

MONDAY, July 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Persons with HIV hospitalized with COVID-19 have similar outcomes to demographically matched patients without HIV, according to a study published online June 28 in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

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Most Using Online COVID-19 Tool Report Mild, Moderate Symptoms

MONDAY, July 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The majority of individuals using an online COVID-19 self-assessment tool report mild or moderate symptoms possibly associated with COVID-19, according to research published online June 15 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

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They contend that much smaller exhaled droplets can travel the length of a room and cause infection when inhaled.

Scientists Say New Coronavirus Can Linger in Indoor Air

MONDAY, July 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The new coronavirus can linger in indoor air and infect people, 239 scientists in 32 countries say in an open letter to the World Health Organization that challenges the WHO's position on how the virus is spread.

The WHO says the virus is spread primarily by large respiratory droplets expelled by infected people in coughs and sneezes but that those droplets fall quickly to the floor instead of remaining in the air, The New York Times reported. But the scientists' letter contends that much smaller exhaled droplets can travel the length of a room through the air and cause infection when they are inhaled. They plan to publish their letter next week in a scientific journal.

If this type of airborne transmission plays a significant role in the pandemic, there are major implications, according to The Times. Masks may be required indoors, building ventilation systems may need to minimize recirculating air, ultraviolet lights may be required to kill airborne viral particles, and health care workers may need masks that filter out even the smallest respiratory droplets as they care for COVID-19 patients.

Read the full HealthDay story.

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