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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 Dec. 28 to 30, 2020. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal studies and other trusted sources that is most likely to affect clinical practice.

U.K. Is First Country to Approve Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Britain became the first country to give authorization to the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

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Glycemic Control in Type 1 Diabetes Improved During Lockdown

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) — On average, glycemic control improved during lockdown among people living with type 1 diabetes, according to a study published online Dec. 23 in Diabetes Care.

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First Known U.S. Case of New Variant of COVID-19 Seen in Colorado

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) — The first recorded case of a faster-spreading variant of the new coronavirus has been detected in a 20-year-old man in Colorado, Gov. Jared Polis said Tuesday.

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Secondary Bloodstream Infections Tied to Poorer COVID-19 Outcomes

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Hospitalized adult patients with severe COVID-19 and secondary bloodstream infections are more likely to have worse clinical outcomes, including higher in-hospital mortality, according to a study recently published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

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Gaps Found in Opioid Use Disorder Treatment During Pandemic

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Patients already receiving opioid use disorder treatment continued to receive care during the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, with some disruption to urine testing, according to a research letter published in the Dec. 15 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Inequities Seen in Accessing Telemedicine During COVID-19

TUESDAY, Dec. 29, 2020 (HealthDay News) — During the COVID-19 pandemic period, there have been inequities in accessing telemedicine, according to a study published online Dec. 29 in JAMA Network Open.

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Another COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate Begins Final Clinical Trials

TUESDAY, Dec. 29, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Vaccine maker Novavax, along with federal health researchers, announced Monday that a phase 3 trial will begin on the safety and effectiveness of another COVID-19 vaccine — the fifth shot to reach this final stage of development.

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SARS-CoV-2 Reinfection Risk Drops With Presence of Antibodies

TUESDAY, Dec. 29, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Health care workers with anti-spike or anti-nucleocapsid immunoglobulin G antibodies have a reduced risk for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 reinfection in the following six months, according to a study published online Dec. 23 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Altered Mentation, Stroke Up COVID-19 In-Hospital Mortality

TUESDAY, Dec. 29, 2020 (HealthDay News) — For hospitalized COVID-19 patients with altered mental status or stroke upon admission, there is a higher risk for in-hospital mortality independent of disease severity, according to a study published online Dec. 18 in Neurology.

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Anticoagulants Not Tied to Higher Risk for GI Bleed in COVID-19

TUESDAY, Dec. 29, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Use of anticoagulation or antiplatelet agents is not a risk factor for gastrointestinal bleeding among hospitalized COVID-19 patients, according to a study published online Dec. 20 in the Journal of Internal Medicine.

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Head and Neck Cancer Surgery Seems Safe During COVID-19

TUESDAY, Dec. 29, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Head and neck cancer surgery appears to be safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study published online Dec. 21 in Cancer.

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HD Live! Takes a Look Back at Pandemic’s Progression

MONDAY, Dec. 28, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Since the first confirmed case in the United States in January, scientists have gained significant knowledge on COVID-19, but the numbers of reported cases and deaths continue to rise. HD Live! discussed the progression and future of the pandemic with David Shulkin, M.D., former secretary of Veterans Affairs and former CEO of Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City, as well as Joel Zivot, M.D., anesthesiologist and clinician at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.

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CDC: Travelers From the U.K. Must Have Negative COVID-19 Test

MONDAY, Dec. 28, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Travelers flying to the United States from the United Kingdom will now need a negative COVID-19 test no more than 72 hours before leaving Britain, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.

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WHO Calls for New Measures to Identify COVID-19 Variants

MONDAY, Dec. 28, 2020 (HealthDay News) — The World Health Organization says steps to expand genome sequencing of new variants of the coronavirus are needed as the pandemic enters its second year, the Associated Press reported.

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LY-CoV555 Not Efficacious for Hospitalized Patients With COVID-19

MONDAY, Dec. 28, 2020 (HealthDay News) — The neutralizing monoclonal antibody LY-CoV555, given in conjunction with remdesivir, is not efficacious for hospitalized patients with COVID-19 without end-organ failure, according to a study published online Dec. 22 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Male Sex Is Risk Factor for Increased Mortality in COVID-19

MONDAY, Dec. 28, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Risk factors for mortality in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 include male sex, hypertension and diabetes with chronic complications, and obesity, according to a study published online Dec. 18 in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

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SARS-CoV-2 Infection Rate Low in Patients Receiving Antitumor Therapy

MONDAY, Dec. 28, 2020 (HealthDay News) — The rate of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection is 0.68 percent among patients receiving antitumor treatment, according to a research letter published online Dec. 17 in JAMA Oncology.

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Early Tracheostomy May Be Considered in Severe COVID-19

MONDAY, Dec. 28, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Early tracheostomy in hospitalized COVID-19 patients who require mechanical ventilation is noninferior to late tracheostomy and may be associated with improvement in some outcomes, according to a study published online Dec. 17 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

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