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Implementation of any physical distancing measure was associated with an overall 13% average reduction in COVID-19 incidence, the study found.

Have Lockdown Measures Worked to Control Coronavirus? Here's the Evidence

THURSDAY, July 16, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Lockdown measures helped reduce the number of COVID-19 cases in countries around the world, a new study finds.

Moreover, earlier stay-in-place restrictions such as closing schools and workplaces were tied to a greater reduction in cases, according to British researchers.

The findings, published July 15 in the BMJ, were based on data from 149 countries and regions.

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BCG vaccines have been shown to provide broad protection for several viral respiratory illnesses in addition to tuberculosis.

Evidence Mounts That TB Vaccine Might Help Protect Against COVID-19

MONDAY, July 13, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- A tuberculosis vaccine may help reduce the risk of death from COVID-19, researchers suggest.

Developing countries have lower-than-expected COVID-19 death rates, and a TB vaccine given in countries with high rates of tuberculosis might play a significant role in reducing COVID-19 death rates, according to authors of a new study.

The vaccine, which is routinely given to children in countries where TB infection is common, is called Bacille Calmette-Guérin, or BCG for short. It is not widely used in the United States.

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The pooled approach combines samples from multiple people at once, and would offer a way to minimize the number of tests needed.

Is 'Pooled' Coronavirus Testing the Next Step for America?

FRIDAY, June 26, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Large-scale "pooled" testing of Americans could curb the spread of the new coronavirus and allow most people to return to their normal lives within several weeks, a new report suggests.

The findings come as the White House coronavirus task force eyes the strategy as a potential solution to expand testing quickly across the country as cases surge in the South and Midwest.

Dr. Anthony Fauci told the Washington Post late Thursday that White House officials are having "intense discussions" about the new concept. On Friday, the coronavirus task force will hold a media briefing for the first time in nearly two months.

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Those 108 million workers tend to be among the lowest paid and are more likely to face pandemic-related job disruptions, including layoffs, furloughs or reduced hours.

COVID Threatens the 3 out of 4 Americans Who Can't Work From Home

MONDAY, June 29, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Working at home during a pandemic isn't an option for about three-quarters of U.S. workers, putting them at increased risk of infection, a new study finds.

Those 108 million workers tend to be among the lowest paid and are more likely to face pandemic-related job disruptions, including layoffs, furloughs or reduced hours.

"This pandemic has really exacerbated existing vulnerabilities in American society," said study author Marissa Baker. She's an assistant professor of environmental and occupational health sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle.

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Researchers report that asymptomatic COVID-19 patients can contaminate their surroundings and therefore make persons who have direct contact with them be exposed to COVID-19.

Asymptomatic Coronavirus Carriers Can Shed Virus on Surfaces: Study

WEDNESDAY, June 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- COVID-19 patients with no symptoms are as likely as those with symptoms to contaminate many surfaces in their rooms, researchers report.

The investigators sampled the surfaces and air of six negative pressure non-intensive care unit rooms with 13 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patients -- two of whom had no symptoms -- who had returned from overseas and were in an isolation ward in Chengdu, China. In a negative pressure room, a machine pulls air into the room and then filters that air before moving it outside.

Samples were collected from surfaces such as bedrails, door handles, light switches, foot flush buttons, sink rims, sink and toilet bowls and drains, bedside tables, bedsheets, pillows, equipment belts on the wall, floors and air exhaust outlets.

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Remdesivir is currently given intravenously in a hospital setting, but an inhaled version given through a nebulizer will be tested in a trial starting in August.

Inhaled Remdesivir May Allow COVID-19 Patients to Be Treated at Home

MONDAY, June 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- An inhaled version of the antiviral drug remdesivir will soon be tested outside a hospital setting, Gilead Sciences announced Monday.

Remdesivir, which is made by Gilead, is now being used to treat COVID-19 patients worldwide. Currently, the drug has to be given intravenously through daily infusions in the hospital.

"An inhaled formulation would be given through a nebulizer, which could potentially allow for easier administration outside the hospital, at earlier stages of disease," Gilead chairman and CEO Daniel O'Day said in a company news release.

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While density was not significantly linked to infection rate, the investigators found that denser counties tended to have lower death rates than sprawling areas.

Coronavirus Doesn't Favor Crowded Cities, Study Shows

FRIDAY, June 19, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Densely populated areas of the United States don't have higher rates of COVID-19 infection and death than less-congested areas, according to a new study.

The findings counter the conventional wisdom that the new coronavirus spreads more easily in cities and other densely populated areas.

"The fact that density is unrelated to confirmed virus infection rates and inversely related to confirmed COVID-19 death rates is important, unexpected, and profound," said lead author Shima Hamidi. She's an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.

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A new study finds that high levels of cortisol are associated with an increased risk of death among people with COVID-19.

'Stress Hormone' Levels May Indicate Severity of COVID-19

FRIDAY, June 19, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- High levels of the stress hormone cortisol are associated with an increased risk of death among COVID-19 patients, according to a new study.

The findings could be used to identify COVID-19 patients who are more likely to require intensive care, the researchers suggested.

Cortisol levels can rise when the body is stressed due to illness. High levels are dangerous, leading to increased risk of infection and poor outcomes.

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