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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 March 23 to 27, 2020. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal studies and other trusted sources that is most likely to affect clinical practice.

Half of Americans Anxious About Getting COVID-19

FRIDAY, March 27, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Nearly half of Americans (48 percent) are anxious about the possibility of getting COVID-19, while slightly fewer — four in 10 — are anxious about becoming seriously ill or dying from the disease, according to the results of a survey conducted by the American Psychiatric Association.

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PPE Negative for SARS-CoV-2 After Patient Contact

FRIDAY, March 27, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Samples collected from personal protective equipment from health care workers caring for patients positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) were negative for SARS-CoV-2, according to research published online March 26 in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology.

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Three Neonates Born to Mothers With COVID-19 ID’d as Positive

FRIDAY, March 27, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Three of 33 neonates born to mothers with coronavirus disease 2019 in Wuhan tested positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, according to a research letter published online March 26 in JAMA Pediatrics.

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Elastomeric Half-Mask Respirator Training Feasible in Health Care

FRIDAY, March 27, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Health care personnel can be rapidly fit tested and trained to use the reusable elastomeric half-mask respirator, with similar time to testing as that seen for the N95 respirator, according to a research letter published online March 25 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Gilead Backs Down on Special Designation for Possible COVID-19 Drug

THURSDAY, March 26, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Following severe criticism, Gilead Sciences is backing off special designation of its antiviral drug remdesivir — which shows promise against COVID-19 — that would have allowed the company to block competition and increase its profits for the drug.

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Restricting Activities in Wuhan Until April Could Slow COVID-19 Peak

THURSDAY, March 26, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Restriction on activities in Wuhan would help to delay the COVID-19 epidemic peak if maintained until April, according to a study published online March 25 in The Lancet Public Health.

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Workers at Risk for COVID-19 Exposure Can Access Online Training

THURSDAY, March 26, 2020 (HealthDay News) — The National Institutes of Health has launched a new website with educational resources for hospital employees, emergency first responders, and other workers at risk for exposure to COVID-19.

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Model Shows Combined Efforts May Cut SARS-CoV-2 Infections

THURSDAY, March 26, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Combined interventions of quarantining infected individuals and their family members, workplace distancing, and school closure can substantially reduce the number of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infections, according to a modeling study published online March 23 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

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Increased Risk for SARS-CoV-2 Seen in Cancer Patients in Wuhan

THURSDAY, March 26, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Patients with cancer in Wuhan had an increased risk for severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 infection, according to a research letter published online March 25 in JAMA Oncology.

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Lung Recruitability Can Be Assessed at Bedside in COVID-19

THURSDAY, March 26, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Lung recruitability can be assessed at bedside in mechanically ventilated patients with coronavirus disease 2019-induced acute respiratory distress syndrome, and alternating body positioning can improve recruitability, according to a study published online March 23 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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FDA Eases Access to Blood Plasma Treatment for COVID-19 Patients

WEDNESDAY, March 25, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Access to a blood plasma treatment for seriously ill COVID-19 patients has been made easier by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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FDA Issues Safety Alert for COVID-19 Risk With Fecal Transplant

WEDNESDAY, March 25, 2020 (HealthDay News) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a MedWatch Safety Alert on Tuesday about the potential risk for SARS-CoV-2 transmission with the use of fecal microbiota for transplantation to treat Clostridioides difficile infection.

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Article Addresses Allocation of Ventilators During Pandemic

WEDNESDAY, March 25, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Determining where to allocate stockpiled ventilators during a pandemic should be based on consideration of ethical principles, the ability of facilities to absorb additional ventilators, and the ability to ensure access for vulnerable or high-risk populations, according to an article published online March 19 in Health Security.

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Cardiac Injury Linked to Increased Mortality in COVID-19

WEDNESDAY, March 25, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Cardiac injury is associated with increased mortality in hospitalized patients with coronavirus disease 2019, according to a study published online March 25 in JAMA Cardiology.

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36 Percent of Available Hospital Beds Unoccupied on Typical Day

WEDNESDAY, March 25, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Leading up to the coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak, about 2.2 beds were available per 1,000 people in U.S. hospitals; however, only 36 percent were unoccupied on a typical day, according to a report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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Guidance Issued for Perioperative Management of COVID-19 Patients

WEDNESDAY, March 25, 2020 (HealthDay News) — In a guideline issued by the Joint Task Force of the Chinese Society of Anesthesiology and the Chinese Association of Anesthesiologists, published online March 19 in Anesthesiology, recommendations are presented for the perioperative management of patients infected with the new coronavirus disease.

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Artificial Intelligence Model Can Detect COVID-19 on Chest CT

WEDNESDAY, March 25, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Artificial intelligence allows coronavirus disease 2019 to be detected and differentiated from community-acquired pneumonia on chest computed tomography, according to a study published online March 19 in Radiology.

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Shortages Seen for Drugs That Show Promise Against COVID-19

TUESDAY, March 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Strong demand for medications that show promise as treatments for COVID-19 have led to shortages of those drugs in the United States.

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IDSA Issues Recommendations for COVID-19 Testing

TUESDAY, March 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) — In a statement published online March 19 by the Infectious Diseases Society of America, recommendations are presented for public health and health care professionals to prioritize coronavirus disease 2019 testing.

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No Evidence Found for SARS-CoV-2 Vertical Transmission to Fetus

TUESDAY, March 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) — There is currently no evidence that SARS-CoV-2 undergoes intrauterine or transplacental transmission from coronavirus disease 2019-infected pregnant women to fetuses, according to a study published online March 17 in the Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine.

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Information on COVID-19 Provided for Gastroenterologists

TUESDAY, March 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) — In a special article published online March 17 in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, key information is presented about coronavirus disease 2019 and the field of gastroenterology.

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Anesthesia Procedure Outlined for Emergency Surgery in COVID-19 Patients

TUESDAY, March 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) — In a letter to the editor published online Feb. 25 in Surgical Infections, recommendations are presented regarding anesthesia procedures for emergency operations in patients with suspected or confirmed coronavirus 2019.

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Misconceptions ID’d About COVID-19 Among General Public

MONDAY, March 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) — In a research letter published online March 20 in the Annals of Internal Medicine, important misconceptions about coronavirus disease 2019 among the general public in the United States and United Kingdom are presented.

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Mental Health at Risk for Health Care Workers Treating COVID-19

MONDAY, March 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) — A considerable proportion of health care workers caring for patients with coronavirus disease 2019 report symptoms of depression, anxiety, insomnia, and distress, according to a study published online March 23 in JAMA Network Open.

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Article Addresses Management of Cancer Care During COVID-19

MONDAY, March 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Management of cancer care during the coronavirus 2019 pandemic is addressed in a special feature article published online March 20 in the Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

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National Guard Activated in Three States as U.S. COVID-19 Cases Rise

MONDAY, March 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) — As the number of known U.S. coronavirus cases soared past 33,000 and the death count eclipsed 400 on Sunday, President Donald Trump approved disaster declarations for regions hit hardest by the pandemic and activated the National Guard in three states.

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COVID-19 Point-of-Care Diagnostic Granted Emergency Use Authorization

MONDAY, March 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) — The Cepheid Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2 test received the first emergency use authorization for a point-of-care diagnostic for the novel coronavirus, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Saturday.

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Management of Elective Surgery Reviewed in Setting of COVID-19

MONDAY, March 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Management of elective surgical procedures in the setting of coronavirus disease 2019 is addressed in two sets of recommendations published by the American College of Surgeons.

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Guidance Issued for Prenatal Care in Setting of COVID-19

MONDAY, March 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) — In new guidelines specific to maternal-fetal medicine practitioners, published online March 19 in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology MFM, recommendations are presented for prenatal care in the setting of the novel coronavirus 2019 pandemic.

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More Americans Recognizing Importance of COVID-19 Safety Measures

MONDAY, March 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Americans’ understanding of safety measures to protect themselves from COVID-19 is increasing, according to an ongoing survey conducted by researchers at the Center for Economic and Social Research at the University of Southern California Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and the Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics.

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