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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 22 to 26, 2021. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal studies and other trusted sources that is most likely to affect clinical practice.

China Briefs Foreign Diplomats on COVID-19 Origins Research

FRIDAY, March 26, 2021 (HealthDay News) — A briefing for foreign diplomats Friday by Chinese officials about ongoing research into the origins of COVID-19 comes ahead of the anticipated release of a report from the World Health Organization.

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Neurologic Symptoms Persistent for Many COVID-19 ‘Long-Haulers’

FRIDAY, March 26, 2021 (HealthDay News) — For COVID-19 long-haulers, neurologic symptoms are common, with 81 percent experiencing brain fog and 85 percent with fatigue, according to a study published online March 23 in the Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology.

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Toxic Metabolic Encephalopathy Worsens COVID-19 Outcomes

FRIDAY, March 26, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Toxic metabolic encephalopathy occurs in 12 percent of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 and is associated with an increased risk for in-hospital mortality, according to a study published online March 16 in Neurocritical Care.

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AstraZeneca Reports Slightly Lower Estimate of COVID-19 Vaccine Effectiveness

THURSDAY, March 25, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Following a sharp rebuke from an independent oversight board over potentially misleading information on the effectiveness of its COVID-19 vaccine, AstraZeneca released new data late Wednesday that showed the vaccine is slightly less effective than the company claimed on Monday.

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White House Announces $10 Billion More to Increase COVID-19 Vaccination Rates

THURSDAY, March 25, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Another $10 billion in funding to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates in low-income, minority, and rural areas across the United States was announced Thursday by the Biden administration.

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State AGs Urge Facebook, Twitter to Tackle Vaccine Misinformation

THURSDAY, March 25, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Facebook and Twitter should “take immediate steps” against vaccine misinformation as efforts are underway to vaccinate Americans against COVID-19, 12 state attorneys general said in a letter to the two companies.

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Remdesivir Linked to Faster Clinical Improvement of COVID-19

THURSDAY, March 25, 2021 (HealthDay News) — For patients hospitalized with COVID-19, remdesivir is associated with a significant decrease in time to clinical improvement, but is not associated with a significant reduction in 28-day mortality, according to a study published online March 24 in JAMA Network Open.

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Race May Affect Link Between Vitamin D Level, COVID-19 Risk

THURSDAY, March 25, 2021 (HealthDay News) — The risk for having positive COVID-19 test results is 2.64-fold greater for Black individuals with a vitamin D level of 30 to 39.9 ng/mL versus a level of ≥40 ng/mL, according to a study published online March 19 in JAMA Network Open.

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Antibody Response to SARS-CoV-2 mRNA Vaccine Poor in Transplant Recipients

WEDNESDAY, March 24, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Most solid organ transplant recipients do not mount an appreciable antibody response after receiving a first dose of mRNA severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 vaccination, according to a research letter published online March 15 in JAMA Network Open.

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Racial Disparities Found in Heart Care in the UK During Pandemic

WEDNESDAY, March 24, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Racial disparities in care for heart patients were seen during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom, according to a study published online March 8 in Heart.

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Decline in Exercise Linked to Higher Depression During Pandemic

WEDNESDAY, March 24, 2021 (HealthDay News) — The COVID-19 pandemic has caused large disruptions to physical activity, sleep, time use, and mental health among young adults, according to a study published March 2 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Willingness to Get COVID-19 Vaccine Up in Health Care Workers

TUESDAY, March 23, 2021 (HealthDay News) – Health care workers may be increasingly receptive to the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a research letter published online March 23 in JAMA Network Open.

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US Health Officials Raise Flags About AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine Trial Data

TUESDAY, March 23, 2021 (HealthDay News) — U.S. health officials called the results of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine trial into question early Tuesday, saying the company may have used outdated data that could have changed its conclusion about the efficacy of the vaccine.

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Fully Vaccinated People Can Visit Unvaccinated Family and Friends: CDC

TUESDAY, March 23, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Fully vaccinated people can visit unvaccinated family and friends without restrictions, but should restrict visits to one unvaccinated household at a time, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday.

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SARS-CoV-2 Viral-Specific Antibody Response Profiles Vary With Age

TUESDAY, March 23, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 viral-specific antibody response profiles are distinct in different age groups, according to a study published online March 22 in JAMA Network Open.

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Infliximab May Impede Serologic Response to SARS-CoV-2

TUESDAY, March 23, 2021 (HealthDay News) — For patients with inflammatory bowel disease, infliximab is associated with attenuated serological responses to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, according to a study published online March 22 in Gut.

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Poor Sleep, Burnout Increase COVID-19 Risk in Health Care Workers

TUESDAY, March 23, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Sleep problems and a high level of burnout are associated with increased odds of COVID-19 among health care workers, according to a study published online March 22 in BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health.

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Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections Increased in 2020

TUESDAY, March 23, 2021 (HealthDay News) — The national standardized infection ratio for central line-associated bloodstream infections increased significantly in the second quarter (Q2) of 2020 compared with Q2 in 2019, with COVID-19 potentially being a factor in the increase, according to a study published online March 15 in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology.

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COVID-19 May Increase Risk for Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes

MONDAY, March 22, 2021 (HealthDay News) — COVID-19 is associated with increased risks for preeclampsia, preterm birth, and other adverse pregnancy outcomes, according to a review published online March 19 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

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AstraZeneca Says Its COVID-19 Vaccine Is 79 Percent Effective in US Trial

MONDAY, March 22, 2021 (HealthDay News) — The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine was 79 percent effective in protecting against COVID-19 infection in a large U.S. clinical trial, the company announced Monday.

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Seroprevalence of Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies Reported for Wuhan

MONDAY, March 22, 2021 (HealthDay News) — In a sample of the population from Wuhan, an estimated 6.92 percent of individuals developed antibodies against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 by April 2020, of whom about 40 percent also had neutralizing antibodies, according to a study published online March 20 in The Lancet.

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ENDO: Three Months After COVID-19, Thyroid Function Normalizes

MONDAY, March 22, 2021 (HealthDay News) — At three months after COVID-19 disease, patients have normalized thyroid function, but subacute thyroiditis may be present, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of The Endocrine Society, held virtually from March 20 to 23.

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Effect of Living With Children on COVID-19 Risk Explored in U.K.

MONDAY, March 22, 2021 (HealthDay News) — For adults aged 65 years and younger living with children, there was no evidence of an increased risk for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection or COVID-19-related hospitalization during wave 1, but there was during wave 2, according to a study published online March 18 in The BMJ.

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Biden Administration Has Met 100 Million Vaccinations Goal Early

MONDAY, March 22, 2021 (HealthDay News) — President Joe Biden’s promise of 100 million vaccinations in the first 100 days of his administration was met Friday, more than 40 days ahead of schedule.

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