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 Sept. 21 to 25, 2020. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal studies and other trusted sources that is most likely to affect clinical practice.

U.S. Non-English Speakers Less Likely to Have SARS-CoV-2 Test

FRIDAY, Sept. 25, 2020 — Non-English speakers are less likely to have completed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 testing and have a higher proportion of positive tests compared with English speakers, according to a research letter published online Sept. 24 in JAMA Network Open.

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Median Age of COVID-19 Cases Declined in May to August in U.S.

FRIDAY, Sept. 25, 2020 — From May to August 2020, there was a decrease in the median age of COVID-19 cases in the United States, according to research published in the Sept. 23 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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One-Fifth of Those With SARS-CoV-2 Infection Asymptomatic

FRIDAY, Sept. 25, 2020 — About one-fifth of individuals with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection are asymptomatic and their viral load is comparable to that of patients with mild symptoms, according to a study published online Sept. 22 in Thorax.

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Diagnoses of Common Conditions Declined in March to May 2020

FRIDAY, Sept. 25, 2020 — Diagnoses of common conditions decreased substantially between March and May 2020, according to a study published online Sept. 23 in The Lancet Public Health. The research was published to coincide with the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Conference on Coronavirus Diseases, held virtually from Sept. 23 to 25.

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Fertility Treatment Cancelations Due to COVID-19 Impact Mental Health

FRIDAY, Sept. 25, 2020 — Fertility treatment suspensions due to the COVID-19 pandemic have had a considerable negative impact on women’s mental health and quality of life, according to a study published online Sept. 18 in PLOS ONE.

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Performance of Commercial SARS-CoV-2 Ab Tests Varies

FRIDAY, Sept. 25, 2020 — There is considerable variation in the performance of commercial kits for detecting antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, according to a study published online Sept. 24 in PLOS Pathogens.

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United First U.S. Airline to Offer COVID-19 Testing for Passengers

THURSDAY, Sept. 24, 2020 — The first COVID-19 testing program for airline passengers in the United States will be introduced Oct. 15 by United Airlines.

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Chinese Company Says Its COVID-19 Vaccine Should Be Available in U.S. in Early 2021

THURSDAY, Sept. 24, 2020 — A Chinese pharmaceutical company claims its COVID-19 vaccine should available by early next year for distribution in the United States and other countries.

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Children’s Routine Care Plummets During Pandemic

THURSDAY, Sept. 24, 2020 — There has been a steep drop in routine medical care for low-income children in the United States during the pandemic, which could cause long-term problems, the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services says.

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COVID-19 Risk in Assisted Living Similar to Nursing Homes

THURSDAY, Sept. 24, 2020 — Individual-level risk factors associated with an increased risk for COVID-19 in assisted living facilities are the same as those seen in nursing homes, according to a study published online Sept. 21 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Acute Kidney Injury Ups Risk for Death in COVID-19 Patients

THURSDAY, Sept. 24, 2020 — Acute kidney injury in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 is associated with a significantly higher risk for in-hospital death, according to a study published online Sept. 19 in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases.

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U.S. COVID-19 Death Toll Hits 200,000 as Cases Climb in 22 States

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 23, 2020 — The U.S. COVID-19 death toll reached the tragic milestone of 200,000 on Tuesday, with at least 22 states now reporting a rise in new cases. Just last Monday, only nine states were reporting increases in new COVID-19 cases, CNN reported. For the most part, the case spikes are showing up in the country’s heartland and the Midwest.

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J&J COVID-19 Vaccine Begins Final Stage of Clinical Trials

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 23, 2020 — The final stage of clinical trials for Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine have started, the company announced Tuesday.

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Stricter Vaccine Approval Rules Coming From FDA

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 23, 2020 — Stricter guidelines for emergency use authorization of a vaccine against the new coronavirus could soon be issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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As Flu Season Approaches, Clinicians Brace for Potential ‘Twindemic’

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 23, 2020 — Flu shots may be more important than ever this year, as COVID-19 presents new challenges for clinicians and communities this flu season. HD Live! spoke with Nadia Eltaki, M.D., director of clinical operations at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C., to discuss how clinicians can potentially lessen the potential for an overlapping superinfection, or “twindemic.”

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SARS-CoV-2 Mortality Mainly Linked to Older Age, Comorbidity

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 23, 2020 — For U.S. veterans with COVID-19, mortality is mainly associated with older age, male sex, and comorbidity, according to a study published online Sept. 23 in JAMA Network Open.

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Red Blood Cell Distribution Width, Mortality Tied in COVID-19

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 23, 2020 — For patients with COVID-19, elevated red blood cell distribution width is associated with increased mortality risk, according to a study published online Sept. 23 in JAMA Network Open.

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Most People With SARS-CoV-2 Do Not Remain Asymptomatic

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 23, 2020 — Most people infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 do not remain asymptomatic, and the secondary attack rate is lower among contacts of people with asymptomatic infection, according to a review published online Sept. 22 in PLOS Medicine.

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Rates of COVID-19 Infection Higher in Blacks, Hispanics

TUESDAY, Sept. 22, 2020 — Black and Hispanic individuals are experiencing an excess burden of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection, according to a study published online Sept. 22 in PLOS Medicine.

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AKI Occurs in 7 Percent of Those Hospitalized With COVID-19

TUESDAY, Sept. 22, 2020 — Acute kidney injury occurs in 7 percent of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and is associated with increased in-hospital mortality, according to a study published online Sept. 22 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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Study Examines Effect of Cancer Treatment on COVID-19 Mortality

TUESDAY, Sept. 22, 2020 — Cancer patients treated one to three months prior to COVID-19 diagnosis and those treated with chemoimmunotherapy have the highest 30-day mortality, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the European Society for Medical Oncology, held virtually from Sept. 19 to 21.

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CDC Removes New COVID-19 Guidelines Just Days After Posting Them

MONDAY, Sept. 21, 2020 — New U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website guidelines suggesting that the new coronavirus can be transmitted by tiny droplets over a distance greater than six feet and that indoor ventilation is crucial to prevent its spread were removed from the agency’s website late Monday morning.

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AstraZeneca Releases COVID-19 Vaccine Trial Plans

MONDAY, Sept. 21, 2020 — AstraZeneca is the latest drug company to release details about human tests of its COVID-19 vaccine in response to public demand for such information. Americans have increasing doubts about a COVID-19 vaccine, and experts are worried that an unproven or unsafe vaccine may be released prematurely due to pressure from President Donald Trump, The New York Times reported.

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COVID-19 Death Toll Nears 200,000 in the United States

MONDAY, Sept. 21, 2020 — As the U.S. COVID-19 case count neared 200,000 on Monday, public health experts debated whether the spread of the virus will continue to slow or a new surge will come, as cold weather returns to much of the country.

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Stress, Depressive Symptoms Up With Increasing COVID-19 Deaths

MONDAY, Sept. 21, 2020 — Acute stress and depressive symptoms have increased as COVID-19 deaths increased across the United States, with COVID-19-related media exposure and secondary stressors associated with these symptoms, according to a study published online Sept. 18 in Science Advances.

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Many School Employees at Increased Risk for Severe COVID-19

MONDAY, Sept. 21, 2020 — Nearly half of all school employees meet the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention definition for increased or potentially increased risk for severe COVID-19, according to a study published online Sept. 17 in Health Affairs.

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