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Physician’s Briefing Weekly Coronavirus Roundup

Here is what the editors at Physician’s Briefing chose as the most important COVID-19 developments for you and your practice for the week of April 20 to 24, 2020. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal studies and other trusted sources that is most likely to affect clinical practice.

FDA Warns About Treating COVID-19 With Unproven Drugs

FRIDAY, April 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Malaria drugs touted by some as potential “game changers” against COVID-19 are actually too dangerous for general use, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned Americans on Friday.

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Premature Posting of Remdesivir Findings Were ‘Inconclusive’

FRIDAY, April 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Inconclusive findings from a study investigating the antiviral drug remdesivir as a treatment for COVID-19 were posted to the World Health Organization website “prematurely,” drug maker Gilead Sciences said Thursday.

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HTN, Obesity, Diabetes Common in U.S. COVID-19 Patients

FRIDAY, April 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) — The most common comorbidities among patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in the New York City area are hypertension, obesity, and diabetes, according to a study published online April 22 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Americans Report Concerns Over Their Mental Health During Pandemic

FRIDAY, April 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Mental health concerns top economic worries during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the results of a survey released by the University of Phoenix.

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COVID-19-Linked Changes Reported in Rheumatic Disease Patient Care

FRIDAY, April 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Changes to health care have been reported among patients with rheumatic diseases during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study published online April 20 in ACR: Open Rheumatology.

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More Than One in Five Children in Home Confinement Report Depression

FRIDAY, April 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) — During the COVID-19 outbreak in Hubei province in China, 22.6 percent of children in home confinement reported depressive symptoms, according to a research letter published online April 24 in JAMA Pediatrics.

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SARS-CoV-2 Stays in Respiratory Samples Longer in Severely Ill

FRIDAY, April 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) — The median duration of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 RNA is significantly longer in the respiratory samples of patients with severe versus mild disease, according to a study published online April 21 in The BMJ.

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COVID-19 Outcomes Worse With Diabetes, Hyperglycemia

FRIDAY, April 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Diabetes and/or uncontrolled hyperglycemia occur frequently among hospitalized patients with COVID-19 and are associated with worse outcomes, according to a study accepted for publication in the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology.

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Survey Finds Anesthesiologists Prepared for COVID-19 Patients

FRIDAY, April 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Anesthesiologists on the front lines of treating surgical COVID-19 patients in Turkey are generally knowledgeable about airway management, according to the results of a national survey published online April 6 in Surgical Infections.

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‘Health Force’ to Combat Pandemic Proposed by U.S. Senators

THURSDAY, April 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) — A bill to create a “Health Force” to help combat the U.S. COVID-19 outbreak has been announced by two Democratic senators.

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White House Announces Payment Plan for Uninsured COVID-19 Patients

THURSDAY, April 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) — A plan to begin paying hospitals and doctors who treat uninsured COVID-19 patients was announced by U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Wednesday.

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SARS-CoV-2 Can Spread Rapidly in Homeless Shelters

THURSDAY, April 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 can spread rapidly in homeless shelters, according to two studies published in the April 22 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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CDC: More Chemical Exposures Reported in January to March 2020

THURSDAY, April 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) — In January to March 2020, there were more chemical exposures reported to the National Poison Data System than in the corresponding months of 2019 and 2018, according to research published in the April 20 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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ACEIs/ARBs Not Linked to Severity or Mortality of COVID-19

THURSDAY, April 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) — For patients with hypertension hospitalized with COVID-19 infections, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin receptor blockers are not associated with the severity or mortality of COVID-19, according to a brief report published online April 23 in JAMA Cardiology.

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Mild, No Symptoms Seen for Most Children With SARS-CoV-2 Infection

THURSDAY, April 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Most children with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection have mild respiratory symptoms or are asymptomatic, according to a review published online April 22 in JAMA Pediatrics.

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AAD Establishes Registry for Skin Manifestations of COVID-19

THURSDAY, April 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) — A registry has been created for reporting skin manifestations of COVID-19 following reports of patients presenting with skin conditions, including findings outlined in a letter to the editor published online March 26 in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.

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Lopinavir/Ritonavir, Umifenovir Ineffective for Mild COVID-19

THURSDAY, April 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) — For patients hospitalized with mild/moderate COVID-19, lopinavir/ritonavir or umifenovir monotherapy offers little benefit, according to a study published online April 17 in Med.

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Rapid COVID-19 Test Can Produce False Negatives

WEDNESDAY, April 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) — A widely used rapid COVID-19 test can produce false negatives if a certain solution is used to move or store patients’ samples, the test’s maker said.

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Expert Panel: There Are No Proven Drug Treatments for COVID-19

WEDNESDAY, April 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) — There is no proven drug treatment for COVID-19 patients, according to a panel of experts convened by the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

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Hydroxychloroquine Seems Not to Cut Ventilator Use in COVID-19

WEDNESDAY, April 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) — There is no evidence that use of hydroxychloroquine alone or with azithromycin reduces the risks for mechanical ventilation or death from any cause in patients hospitalized with COVID-19, according to a study that has not yet been peer reviewed and was posted online April 21 at medRxiv.org.

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ST-Segment Elevation Described in Patients With COVID-19

WEDNESDAY, April 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) — For patients with COVID-19 who have ST-segment elevation, indicating potential acute myocardial infarction, there is considerable variability in presentation, and prognosis is poor, according to a letter to the editor published online April 17 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Obesity Ups Risk for COVID-19 Severity

WEDNESDAY, April 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) — There is a high frequency of obesity among patients admitted to intensive care for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, according to a study published online April 9 in Obesity.

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Scoring System Helps Guide Surgical Care During COVID-19

WEDNESDAY, April 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) — A scoring system for medically necessary time-sensitive procedures can facilitate decision making and triage in the setting of COVID-19, according to a study published online April 9 in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

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LA County COVID-19 Infections Far Exceed Number of Confirmed Cases

TUESDAY, April 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) — An early analysis of antibody testing from Los Angeles County reveals a COVID-19 infection rate that is up to 55 times the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases.

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FDA Authorizes COVID-19 Test That Uses Samples Collected at Home

TUESDAY, April 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved emergency use of the first COVID-19 test that enables patients to take samples at home.

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Mental Health Consequences of COVID-19 Pandemic Explored

TUESDAY, April 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) — A new position paper, published online April 15 in The Lancet Psychiatry, highlights the mental health consequences of COVID-19 management.

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COVID-19 Tied to Unique Nasal Symptoms

TUESDAY, April 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) — COVID-19 is not associated with the symptoms typically associated with a viral cold or allergies, such as nasal blockage or mucus production, according to a review published online April 10 in Laryngoscope Investigative Otolaryngology.

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Expanding Symptom Screening Criteria Can Up COVID-19 Detection

TUESDAY, April 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Expanding COVID-19 symptom screening criteria to include myalgias and chills could identify more health care personnel with the illness, according to a research letter published online April 17 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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176,190 U.S. Children Estimated to Have SARS-CoV-2 by April 6, 2020

TUESDAY, April 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) — About 176,190 children nationwide were estimated to be infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 by April 6, 2020, according to a study published online April 16 in the Journal of Public Health Management & Practice.

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Coinfection With SARS-CoV-2, Other Respiratory Pathogens ID’d

TUESDAY, April 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) — About 20 percent of specimens positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection are positive for other respiratory pathogens, according to a research letter published online April 15 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Cardiac Cath Lab STEMI Activations Drop During Pandemic

TUESDAY, April 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) — During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a 38 percent reduction in U.S. cardiac catheterization laboratory ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction activations, according to a research letter published online April 10 in the Journal of the American College of Cariology.

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Lab Protocol Failures Led to Ineffective COVID-19 Tests From CDC

MONDAY, April 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) — The first COVID-19 tests in the United States were ineffective due to poor laboratory practices at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said.

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Public Health Measures Cut COVID-19 Transmission in Hong Kong

MONDAY, April 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Public health measures implemented to suppress local transmission of COVID-19 in Hong Kong were associated with reduced transmission of COVID-19 and influenza, according to a study published online April 17 in The Lancet Public Health.

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Guidance Presented for Contact Lens Use During COVID-19

MONDAY, April 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) — In an article published online April 3 in Contact Lens and Anterior Eye, important considerations are presented for contact lens wearers in the setting of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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COVID-19 Patients May Require ENT Consults for Varied Reasons

MONDAY, April 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Patients with COVID-19 may require ear, nose, and throat consultations for many reasons, including tracheotomy, and protective strategies can prevent infection of otolaryngologists, according to a case series study accepted for publication in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

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Benefit of Social Distancing Outweighs Economic Impact

MONDAY, April 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) — The economic benefits of lives saved through social distancing substantially outweigh the value of the projected losses to the U.S. economy, according to a study to be published in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis.

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Diabetes Increases Risk for Poorer Prognosis in COVID-19

MONDAY, April 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Diabetes may contribute to more severe symptoms, rapid progression, and poorer prognosis in patients infected with COVID-19, according to a study published online March 31 in Diabetes Metabolism Research and Reviews.

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