COVID-19 information center

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October 23, 2020

CDC expands definition of who is a 'close contact' of an individual with covid-19. – Washington Post

The new guidance is likely to have the biggest impact on schools, workplaces and other group settings since more people are likely to be considered at risk. – Centers for Disease Control

Perspective: Trustworthiness Before Trust — Covid-19 Vaccine Trials and the Black Community. Black people make up 13% of the population but they account for 21% of deaths due to COVID. However, only 3% of the enrollees in vaccine trials are Black people. – The New England Journal of Medicine

Nature's second pandemic progress report. A detailed understanding of immunity is key to developing safe and effective vaccines. – Nature

How obesity could create problems for a COVID vaccine. Researchers fear that vaccines might not be as effective in people who are obese, a population already highly vulnerable to COVID-19. – Nature

Neuropilin‑1 as a new potential SARS‑CoV‑2 infection mediator implicated in the neurologic features and central nervous system involvement of COVID‑19. Studies demonstrate that the NRP1 is also expressed in the CNS, including olfactory‑related regions such as the olfactory tubercles and paraolfactory gyri. This further supports the potential role of NRP1 as an additional SARS‑CoV‑2 infection mediator implicated in the neurologic manifestations of COVID‑19. – Mol Med Rep

Latin America's embrace of an unproven COVID treatment is hindering drug trials. Unchecked ivermectin use in the region is making it difficult to test the anti-parasite drug's effectiveness against the coronavirus. – Nature

Study by UAMS Researchers Finds Low Risk of COVID-19 Infection from Hospital. People who had recently been in the hospital were 24 times less likely to develop a COVID-19 infection than the general population, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences researchers found in a study that used data from 45 hospitals. The study focused on people who had been in the hospital for conditions not related to COVID-19. Krishna Nalleballe, MD, assistant professor in the Department of Neurology in the UAMS College of Medicine, is the lead author on the study, which will appear in the journal Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology. – Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology

The following are reliable sources of information on COVID-19 recommended by the Wayne State Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Faculty Against Coronavirus Team (FACT):

October 2, 2020

COVID-vaccine results are on the way — and scientists' concerns are growing
Researchers warn that vaccines could stumble on safety trials, be fast-tracked because of politics or fail to meet the public's expectations.

Vitamin D sufficiency, a serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D at least 30 ng/mL reduced risk for adverse clinical outcomes in patients with COVID-19 infection
There was a significant association between vitamin D and reduction in clinical severity, inpatient mortality, serum C-reactive protein (CRP) and increased lymphocytes. Only 9.7% of patients older than 40 years who were vitamin D sufficient succumbed to the infection vs 20% of those with 25-OH-D below 30 ng/ml.

Safety and Immunogenicity of SARS-CoV-2 mRNA-1273 Vaccine in Older Adults
A small study of older adults found that adverse effects associated with the mRNA-1273 vaccine, which encodes the SARS-CoV-2 prefusion-stabilized spike protein, were found to be mild or moderate and the data supports using the higher dose in a phase 3 trial.

High-resolution structures of the SARS-CoV-2 2′-O-methyltransferase reveal strategies for structure-based inhibitor design
An x-ray crystallographic study of SARS-CoV-2 nsp16-nsp10 2′-O-methyltransferase complex, identified various sites and the conserved dimer interface as potential targets for the development of antiviral inhibitors.

September 25, 2020

How COVID-19 Spreads
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated guidance on Friday to say coronavirus can commonly spread "through respiratory droplets or small particles, such as those in aerosols," which are produced even when a person breathes. "Airborne viruses, including COVID-19, are among the most contagious and easily spread," the site now says. Previously, the CDC page said that COVID-19 was thought to spread mainly between people in close contact — about 6 feet — and "through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks." [Summary from original CDC posting on September 18. Note the language was changed on September 21. See Time magazine for background and description of subsequent changes concerning aerosols.]

CDC says it mistakenly published guidance about COVID-19 spreading through air
The CDC has removed new guidance that acknowledged airborne transmission of the coronavirus, posting in a note on its website that the guidance was only a draft and had been published in error. The initial update — which was little noticed until a CNN story was published Sunday — had come months after scientists pushed for the agency to acknowledge the disease was transmissible through the air. The CDC previously said that close person-to-person contact was the bigger concern, and the language has been changed back to erase the warning about airborne transmission.

Transmission of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 During Long Flight
Investigation of a cluster of cases among passengers on a 10-hour commercial flight. Affected persons were passengers, crew and their close contacts. We traced 217 passengers and crew to their final destinations and interviewed, tested and quarantined them. Among the 16 persons in whom SARS-CoV-2 infection was detected, 12 (75%) were passengers seated in business class along with the only symptomatic person (attack rate 62%).

Viable SARS-CoV-2 in the air of a hospital room with COVID-19 patients
Air samplers are capable of inactivating the virus. VIVAS air samplers, which use a gentle water-vapor condensation method, were used at the University of Florida Shands Hospital to determine if viable SARS-C0V-2 could be detected. Airborne virus was detected in the aerosols, and the strain in the aerosols matched the strain isolated from a patient with acute COVID-19. 

New Dashboard Tracks Coronavirus Cases in Schools Across 47 States
The COVID-19 School Response Dashboard, which NPR is reporting on exclusively, was created with the help of several national education organizations. Right now it shows an average of 230 cases per 100,000 students, and 490 per 100,000 staff members, in the first two weeks of September. The responses come from public, private and charter schools in 47 states, serving roughly 200,000 students both in-person and online, as of Tuesday, Sept. 22.

September 18, 2020

Mapping global trends in vaccine confidence and investigating barriers to vaccine uptake: a large-scale retrospective temporal modelling studyThe authors describe what may be the largest study of global vaccine confidence to date, and describe evidence suggesting there may be problems with vaccine distribution in various regions around the world because of lack of confidence in importance, safety, or effectiveness.

China's coronavirus vaccine shows military's growing role in medical research. Scientists in the People's Liberation Army helped to develop the world's first COVID-19 vaccine to be approved for restricted use.

High potency of a bivalent human VH domain in SARS-CoV-2 animal models. From highlights: A high-affinity human antibody domain, VH ab8, specific for SARS CoV-2 potently neutralized SARS CoV-2 in vitro and in animals.

Scientists relieved as coronavirus vaccine trial restarts — but question lack of transparency. UK trials of the Oxford and AstraZeneca vaccine have resumed after a brief pause, yet key details of the events involved have not been released.

The lasting misery of coronavirus long-haulers. Months after infection with SARS-CoV-2, some people are still battling crushing fatigue, lung damage and other symptoms of 'long COVID'.

COVID-19 herd immunity: where are we? Herd immunity is a key concept for epidemic control. It states that only a proportion of a population needs to be immune (through overcoming natural infection or through vaccination) to an infectious agent for it to stop generating large outbreaks. A key question in the current COVID-19 pandemic is how and when herd immunity can be achieved and at what cost.

Researchers highlight 'questionable' data in Russian coronavirus vaccine trial results. Open letter flags results that appear to be duplicated and calls for access to the underlying data on the first COVID-19 vaccine to be approved for widespread use.

COVID-19 must catalyse changes to clinical development. The response to the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that exceptional efforts can dramatically accelerate the clinical development of vaccines. We propose that it is time to also take immediate actions to improve clinical trials in other areas to better serve all patients.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will begin reporting COVID-19 outbreak information by school building next Monday. Data on COVID-19 outbreaks is being collected from the 45 local health departments across the state weekly.  The information will be posted each Monday and include K-12, college and university school name, address, number of cases and if the cases involved staff, students or both.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued an emergency order requiring COVID-19 testing of employees of Michigan's five state-run psychiatric hospitals and centers. This order provides the same testing requirement as the order signed for prisons and veterans' homes

How COVID-19 can damage the brain. Some people who become ill with the coronavirus develop neurological symptoms. Scientists are struggling to understand why.

Fast coronavirus tests: what they can and can't do. Rapid antigen tests are designed to tell in a few minutes whether someone is infectious. Will they be game-changers?

September 11, 2020

A leading coronavirus vaccine trial is on hold: Scientists react 
Scientists urge caution in global vaccine race as AstraZeneca reports "adverse event" in a person who received the Oxford vaccine.

The underdog coronavirus vaccines that the world will need if front runners stumble 
As leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies fast-track COVID-19 vaccines through clinical trials, smaller developers face a battle to get their candidates noticed.

"When Will We Have a Vaccine?" – Understanding Questions and Answers about COVID-19 Vaccination 
In general, people want more than an estimated vaccine delivery date and want to know about safety, efficacy, availability and if a vaccine can enable a return to pre-pandemic conditions.

Facial Masking for COVID-19 – Potential for 'Variolation' as We Await a Vaccine 
The authors address the hypothesis that universal facial masking might reduce the proportion of infections that are symptomatic and promote immunity while we wait for a vaccine.

Audio Interview: Guidelines for COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment 
An audio interview offered by the New England Journal of Medicine including Eric Rubin, Editor-in-Chief; Lindsey Baden, Deputy Editor; and Stephen Morrissey, the interviewer and Executive Managing Editor of the Journal.

Coronavirus reinfections: Three questions scientists are asking 
Second infections raise questions about long-term immunity to COVID-19 and the prospects for a vaccine.

U.S. university workers fight a return to campus as COVID-19 cases grow 
Faculty members, graduate students and other campus staff file lawsuits and protest against unsafe conditions as institutions reopen.

Operation Warp Speed Top Adviser on the Status of a Coronavirus Vaccine 
Immunologist Moncef Slaoui, who came out of retirement to help lead the U.S. government's ambitious project to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, believes we will have a vaccine before the end of the year, and in quantities that can immunize subjects with health at the highest risk. 

A Supercomputer Analyzed COVID-19 – and an Interesting New Theory Has Emerged
A closer look at the Bradykinin hypothesis, which provides a model that explains many aspects of COVID-19, including some of its most bizarre symptoms. It also suggests 10-plus potential treatments, many of which are already FDA approved.

Preventing and Mitigating SARS-CoV-2 Transmission – Four Overnight Camps, Maine, June-August 2020 
Four Maine overnight camps with 1,022 attendees from 41 states and international locations implemented a multilayered prevention and mitigation strategy that was successful in identifying and isolating three asymptomatic COVID-19 cases and preventing secondary transmission. This contrasts with a camp in Georgia, where at least 250 campers and staff tested positive despite all testing negative fewer than 13 days before arrival.

September 4, 2020

JAMA editorial: Corticosteroids in COVID-19 ARDS – Evidence and Hope During the Pandemic 
These studies provide evidence and some hope that an effective, inexpensive and safe treatment has been identified. There is hope because corticosteroids provide a widely available treatment for the most severely ill patients with COVID-19.

Flu Season and Covid-19 Are About to Collide. Now What?
Hospitals in the U.S. are already stressed. Now, they must brace for a wave of flu patients needing more beds, lab tests and ventilators.

Humoral Immune Response to SARS-CoV-2 in Iceland
"Our results indicate that antiviral antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 did not decline within four months after diagnosis. We estimate that the risk of death from infection was 0.3% and that 44% of persons infected with SARS-CoV-2 in Iceland were not diagnosed by qPCR."

Phase 1-2 Trial of a SARS-CoV-2 Recombinant Spike Protein Nanoparticle Vaccine
NVX-CoV2373 is an adjuvanted, recombinant, full-length spike protein nanoparticle vaccine that has moved from the Phase 1 trial to Phase 2.

August 28, 2020

NIH COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Updated
The Coronavirus Disease Treatment Guidelines were updated on August 27th with changes in the recommendations for use of IL-6 inhibitors and hydroxychloroquine/chloroquine, a new section discussing considerations in patients with cancer, as well as other updates. "The NIH guideline panel continues to meet very regularly as new data emerges to ensure information is disseminated rapidly to clinicians across the country. The guideline panel has also expanded membership from nursing and specialty societies, and the community, to reflect the dynamic nature of caring for patients with COVID-19," says Susan Davis, PharmD, Clinical Professor of Pharmacy Practice at WSU and member of the NIH Panel.  

COVID Immune Responses Explained
This interview with Yale Immunology Professor Dr. Akiko Iwasaki offers a clear and accessible update on COVID-19, mechanisms of its infection, possible vaccines, and gender/age/genetic differences in response to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Effects of a major deletion in the SARS-CoV-2 genome on the severity of infection and the inflammatory response: an observational cohort study
After adjusting for age and presence of comorbidities, infection with the ∆382 variant only was associated with lower odds of developing hypoxia requiring supplemental oxygen.

An inflammatory cytokine signature predicts COVID-19 severity and survival
The authors find that serum interleukin (IL)-6 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-a serum levels are independent and significant predictors of disease severity and death after adjusting for a number of confounding variables (e.g., disease severity, inflammation markers, hypoxia, demographics, and comorbidities).

Effect of Remdesivir vs Standard Care on Clinical Status at 11 Days in Patients With Moderate COVID-19: A Randomized Clinical Trial
"Hospitalized patients with moderate COVID-19 randomized to a 5-day course of remdesivir had a statistically significantly better clinical status compared with those randomized to standard care at 11 days after initiation of treatment, but the difference was of uncertain clinical importance."

Face mask use in the general population and optimal resource allocation during the COVID-19 pandemic
Even with a limited protective effect, face masks can reduce total infections and deaths, and can delay the peak time of the epidemic. However, random distribution of masks is generally suboptimal; prioritized coverage of the elderly improves outcomes, while retaining resources for detected cases provides further mitigation under a range of scenarios. Face mask use, particularly for a pathogen with relatively common asymptomatic carriage, is an effective intervention strategy, while optimized distribution is important when resources are limited.

Michigan Finally Starts Publicly Reporting COVID-19 Outbreak Data for Bars and Restaurants
Bar and restaurant outbreaks accounted for roughly 6.5 percent of all outbreaks occurring in the state for the week of August 20.

COVID-19 expanded access program
Expanded access program for convalescent plasma will discontinue enrollment 8/28/20, as FDA authorizes its emergency use.

Going home to school? Podcast, America Dissected: Coronavirus
Abdul considers the risks of going "back" to in-person learning at schools and colleges and interviews President M. Roy Wilson, of Wayne State University, and Dr. Katherine Auger, a pediatrician and author of a new study about school closings and COVID19.

August 21, 2020

Coronavirus creates a flu season guessing game

'We felt we had beaten it': New Zealand's race to eliminate the coronavirus again
Genomics could reveal details about the source of the country's first outbreak in more than 100 days, says epidemiologist Amanda Kvalsvig.

Humanitarian crises in a global pandemic

COVID-19 worsens Zimbabwe's health crisis

Racial Disproportionality in Covid Clinical Trials

Covid-19 and the Mandate to Redefine Preventive Care

Pandemic lockdown stirs up ecological research

More Evidence Heartburn Drug May Help COVID-19 Patients — Another observational study adds fuel to the fire, but more research is needed

Studies in humanized mice and convalescent humans yield a SARS-CoV-2 antibody cocktail

An antibody cocktail against SARS-CoV-2

August 14, 2020

How the pandemic might play out in 2021 and beyond
This coronavirus is here for the long haul — here's what scientists predict for the next months and years.

Why pregnant women face special risks from COVID-19
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report pregnant women were 50% more likely to end up in intensive care units (ICUs) than their nonpregnant peers and 70% more likely to need ventilators, although they were no more likely to die.

Russia's fast-track coronavirus vaccine draws outrage over safety
The immunization could be dangerous because it hasn't been tested in large trials, say researchers.

The pandemic appears to have spared Africa so far. Scientists are struggling to explain why. 
Africa reported its millionth official COVID-19 case last week but has fewer than one confirmed case for every thousand people and just 23,000 deaths.

How to stop COVID-19 fuelling a resurgence of AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis
The focus on the coronavirus has disrupted detection and treatment of other infectious diseases. Four things governments and funders can do to avert a catastrophe.

Antibody therapies could be a bridge to a coronavirus vaccine — but will the world benefit? 
Monoclonal antibodies are complex and expensive to produce, meaning poor countries might be priced out.

We need to talk about ventilation
How is it that six months into a respiratory pandemic, we are still doing so little to mitigate airborne transmission?

August 7, 2020

From 'brain fog' to heart damage, COVID-19's lingering problems alarm scientists.    The list of lingering maladies from COVID-19 is longer and more varied than most doctors could have imagined. Ongoing problems include fatigue, a racing heartbeat, shortness of breath, achy joints, foggy thinking, a persistent loss of sense of smell, and damage to the heart, lungs, kidneys, and brain.

China's coronavirus vaccines are leaping ahead – but face challenges as virus wanes. Companies could struggle to enroll enough trial participants, or gather enough data to convince regulatory agencies that the shots work.

'It's like we're going back 30 years': how the coronavirus is gutting diversity in science.  The pandemic is sabotaging the careers of researchers from under-represented groups, but institutions can help to staunch the outflow.

SARS-CoV-2 Transmission and Infection Among Attendees of an Overnight Camp in Georgia, June 2020.  Camp A held orientation for 138 trainees and 120 staff, who were later joined by 363 campers and three senior staff members.  Of the 344 (58%) attendees who were tested, 260 (76%) were positive.  

SARS-CoV-2-reactive T cells in healthy donors and patients with COVID-19.  SARS-CoV-2 S-reactive CD4+ T cells were detected in 83% of patients with COVID-19 but also in 35% of HD. S-reactive CD4+ T cells in Healthy Donors which reacted primarily to C-terminal S epitopes, which have higher homology to spike glycoproteins of human endemic coronaviruses, compared to N-terminal epitopes.

One scientist's six-point recovery plan to tackle COVID-19 anxiety.  Fernando T. Maestre was diagnosed with anxiety during Spain's coronavirus lockdown. A change in approach to work, life and parenting helped to restore his health.

Presence of Genetic Variants Among Young Men With Severe COVID-19. In a case series that included 4 young male patients with severe COVID-19 from 2 families, rare loss-of-function variants of the X-chromosomal TLR7 were identified, with immunological defects in type I and II interferon production.  This may explain why COVID-19 symptoms in men are much severe than in women.

July 31, 2020

What's New in the NIH COVID-19 Guidelines. Remdesivir; Corticosteroids / Dexamethasone; Mesenchymal Stem Cells; Adjunctive Therapies - Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Zinc Supplementation; Special Considerations in Solid Organ Transplant, Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant, and Cellular Therapy Candidates, Donors, and Recipients; and other topics.

Potent neutralizing antibodies directed to multiple epitopes on SARS-CoV-2 spike.  61 SARS-CoV-2-neutralizing monoclonal antibodies isolated from 5 infected patients hospitalized with severe disease. 19 antibodies potently neutralized the authentic SARS-CoV-2 in vitro, 9 exhibited exquisite potency.  Antibodies were equally divided between the receptor-binding domain (RBD) and the N-terminal domain (NTD).  Several monoclonal antibodies are promising candidates as potential therapeutic and/or prophylactic agents against SARS-CoV-2.

Viral levels could help to target treatment.  The amount of viral RNA in the nose and throat could decide treatment. Researchers noted 2 stages of COVID-19, early with high viral loads, which tend to decline gradually as the disease progresses. This later stage is characterized by inflammation. Viral-load decline could thus be a cue to start treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs.  This Pre-Print that has not been peer-reviewed.

Encouraging results from phase 1/2 COVID-19 vaccine trials.  Both used an adenoviral vector, and both report the vaccine achieving humoral responses to the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein receptor binding domain by day 28 as well as T-cell responses. Both report local and systemic mild adverse events such as fever, fatigue, and injection site pain. In neither trial was a severe adverse event reported.

South African epidemic could exceed a million cases.   More than half of the continent's 780,000 reported cases are in South Africa.  Top coronavirus adviser Salim Abdool Karim says the country must rediscover its community spirit to deal with a coming surge in infections. More than half of the continent's 780,000 reported cases are in South Africa. People need to realize that the best protection we is ubuntu — a South African word that means 'I am because you are.'

Discovery of SARS-CoV-2 antiviral drugs through large-scale compound repurposing.  Profiled a library of known drugs encompassing approximately 12,000 clinical-stage or FDA-approved small molecules. We report the identification of 100 molecules that inhibit viral replication, including 21 known drugs that exhibit dose response.

Why hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine don't block coronavirus infection of human lung cells.  Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine decrease acidity in green monkey kidney cells, disabling cathepsin L enzyme and blocking the virus from infecting cells. Human lung cells have very low levels of L enzyme so the virus uses the enzyme TMPRSS2 to enter the cell. But because that enzyme is not controlled by acidity, HCQ and CQ neither block the SARS-CoV-2 from infecting the lungs nor stop virus replication. 

A large COVID-19 outbreak in a high school 10 days after schools' reopening, Israel, May 2020.  Testing of the complete school community revealed 153 students (13.2%) and 25 staff members (16.6%) were COVID-19 positive. 260 persons were infected (students, staff members, relatives and friends). This report describes the investigation and epidemiological characteristics of the school's outbreak.

Virologists divided over plans to change virus-naming rules during the pandemic.  Researchers say now is bad time to introduce a system for naming viral species, when scientists are focused on the coronavirus outbreak.

Point-of-care serological assays for delayed SARS-CoV-2 case identification among health-care workers in the UK: a prospective multicentre cohort study.  There was variation between lateral flow serological assays; Encode assay displayed reasonable IgG sensitivity (93·4%]) and specificity (99·0%) among PCR-proven cases and good agreement (94·0%) with the laboratory immunoassay. Onsite had lower sensitivity (88·2%) and specificity (94·0%) and agreement (84·7%). Five of 70 (7%) PCR-positive cases were negative across all assays.

July 24, 2020

Coronavirus vaccines leap through safety trials — but which will work is anybody's guess. Scientists caution against comparing immune responses shown in early-stage trials, and say there might be more than one path to an effective vaccine.

The explosion of new coronavirus tests that could help to end the pandemic. Researchers are scrambling to find other ways to diagnose the coronavirus and churn out millions of tests a week — a key step in returning to normality.

Immunogenicity and safety of a recombinant adenovirus type-5-vectored COVID-19 vaccine in healthy adults aged 18 years or older: A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 2 trial

Histopathology and ultrastructural findings of fatal COVID-19 infections in Washington State: A case series

Structural basis for translational shutdown and immune evasion by the Nsp1 protein of SARS-CoV-2

July 17, 2020

COVID-19: The worst may be yet to come. Editorial from The Lancet.

Challenges to medical education at a time of physical distancing 

The COVID-19 vaccine-development multiverse

COVID-19 and disparities in nutrition and obesity

The climate crisis and COVID-19 — a major threat to the pandemic response

Working memory capacity predicts individual differences in social-distancing compliance during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States

First data for Moderna COVID-19 vaccine show it spurs an immune response

Megakaryocytes and platelet-fibrin thrombi characterize multi-organ thrombosis at autopsy in COVID-19: A case series. Growing recognition of increased thrombotic complications in COVID-19, higher than in respiratory failure due to influenza, and with pulmonary thrombosis in the absence of lower extremity deep venous thrombosis.  

The mathematical strategy that could transform coronavirus testing. Four charts show how pooling samples from many people can save time or resources.

Critical review and analysis of approval of Favipiravir for restricted emergency use in mild to moderate COVID-19

July 10, 2020

Recent publications by WSU researchers including Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice Paul Kilgore

The Fullest Look Yet at the Racial Inequity of Coronavirus
Early numbers had shown that Black and Latino people were being harmed by the virus at higher rates. But the new federal data — made available after The New York Times sued the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — reveals a clearer and more complete picture: Black and Latino people have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus in a widespread manner that spans the country, throughout hundreds of counties in urban, suburban and rural areas, and across all age groups.

International students must take classes in person to stay in the country legally this fall, ICE announces

Researchers seeking an 'exit plan' for leaving academia amid coronavirus worries
The pandemic is prompting some early-career researchers to rethink their hopes for a university post.

It Should Scare Us That Tuition Is A Tiny Amount Of Medical School Revenue

Six months of coronavirus: The mysteries scientists are still racing to solve
From immunity to the role of genetics, Nature looks at five pressing questions about COVID-19 that researchers are tackling.

Mounting evidence suggests coronavirus is airborne — but health advice has not caught up
Governments are starting to change policies amid concerns that tiny droplets can carry SARS-CoV-2. And after months of denying the importance of this, the World Health Organization is reconsidering its stance.

Spain's coronavirus antibodies study adds evidence against herd immunity

Low SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence in COVID-19 hotspots
In light of these findings, any proposed approach to achieve herd immunity through natural infection is not only highly unethical, but also unachievable.

Coronavirus: US buys nearly all of Gilead's COVID-19 drug remdesivir

'Cries for help': Drug overdoses soar during the coronavirus pandemic
Suspected overdoses nationally jumped 18 percent in March, 29 percent in April and 42 percent in May.

Pandemic unleashes a spike in overdose deaths
The coronavirus threat put on hold a billion-dollar research program focused on new forms of addiction treatment.

COVID-19: The Potential Role of Copper and N-acetylcysteine (NAC) in a Combination of Candidate Antiviral Treatments Against SARS-CoV-2

National Geographic series on COVID-19

Scientists scoff at Indian agency's plan to have COVID-19 vaccine ready for use next month

'The epidemic is growing very rapidly': Indian government adviser fears coronavirus crisis will worsen
Jayaprakash Muliyil says coronavirus infections are rising rapidly in the country, and the surprisingly low death rate could be misleading

June 26, 2020

Hospitalization and Mortality among Black Patients and White Patients with COVID-19

Perspective: COVID-19 and the Need for Health Care Reform
"Never before has the interdependence of all our health, finances, and social fabric been so starkly visible."

Audio Interview: The Challenges of Safe Reopening, New England J. Med. [17:33]

Challenges of "Return to Work" in an Ongoing Pandemic

On Dexamethasone:

June 19, 2020

Dr. Michael Rybak interviewed by the Detroit News on the use of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19

Clinical Characteristics and Morbidity Associated with Coronavirus Disease 2019 in a Series of Patients in Metropolitan Detroit

Pandemic vaccines are about to face the real test

Press Release: Low-cost dexamethasone reduces death by up to one third in hospitalized patients with severe respiratory complications of COVID-19. Deaths were reduced by one-third in ventilated patients, and by one fifth in other patients receiving oxygen only. There was no benefit among those patients who did not require respiratory support. This study has yet to be peer-reviewed and published.
How deadly is the coronavirus? Scientists are close to an answer. Public health researchers use the infection fatality rate to gauge how to respond to a new disease, but it's tricky to calculate.

Why children avoid the worst coronavirus complications might lie in their arteries. Evidence is mounting that healthy blood vessels protect children from serious effects of COVID-19, such as stroke.
Famotidine Use is Associated with Improved Clinical Outcomes in Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients: A Propensity Score Matched Retrospective Cohort Study

Structure-based design of antiviral drug candidates targeting the SARS-CoV-2 main protease

Can phone apps slow the spread of the coronavirus?

U.S. academic research funding stays healthy despite pandemic

June 12, 2020

New Analysis Shows Governor Whitmer's Aggressive Action Against COVID-19 Saved Lives, Significantly Lowered Cases, Deaths [Also see Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team link below]

NIH COVID-19 Guidelines Updated
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Treatment Guidelines issued an update June 11, 2020, available at Revisions include new recommendations on the use of remedesivir, hydroxychloroquine, and immune-based therapies, as well as new sections on pediatrics and SARS-CoV-2 testing. This is the second update of the NIH COVID-19 guidelines since they were first posted on April 21, 2020. WSU Applebaum Clinical Professor of Pharmacy Practice Susan Davis is a member of the NIH COVID-19 Guideline Panel. 

State-level tracking of COVID-19 in the United States by the Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team
"Overall, we show that while all US states have substantially reduced their reproduction numbers, we find no evidence that any state is approaching herd immunity or that its epidemic is close to over."

COVID-19 and flu, a perfect storm [Science editorial]

Big studies dim hopes for hydroxychloroquine
Amid politicization and scandal, a disappointing scientific picture is emerging.

Safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of a recombinant adenovirus type-5 vectored COVID-19 vaccine: a dose-escalation, open-label, non-randomised, first-in-human trial

Has COVID-19 subverted global health?

Zoonotic origins of human coronaviruses

The Chinese government has moved slowly to permanently stop the sale and consumption of wild animals in the wake of the coronavirus epidemic, raising fears the practice may continue

First reported cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection in companion animals

Surviving the Surge: Evaluation of Early Impact of COVID-19 on Inpatient Pharmacy Services at a Community Teaching Hospital

June 5, 2020

COVID-19 and Racial Disparities

As of June 4, more than 1.9 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the United States, with over 109,000 known deaths. While the rate of new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths per day from COVID-19 has slowed in Michigan, we continue to feel the impact in our community and region particularly in some of our most vulnerable patients. 

Emerging data has identified that minority communities are disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, although race information is available in less than half of cases reported for national surveillance ( Factors that may contribute to this burden include a higher prevalence of comorbidities in patients from minority populations, as well as disparities in access to health, social, and economic resources.

Selected publications and preprints describing these disparities in COVID-19 include the following:

How You Should Read Coronavirus Studies, or Any Science Paper

The coronavirus outbreak could make it quicker and easier to trial drugs
Remote clinical trials and other changes could permanently alter pharmaceutical development: Part 7 in a series on science after the pandemic.

How to Discover Antiviral Drugs Quickly

Effect of Convalescent Plasma Therapy on Time to Clinical Improvement in Patients With Severe and Life-threatening COVID-19  A Randomized Clinical Trial

Lancet, NEJM Retract Surgisphere Studies on COVID-19 Patients

Hydroxychloroquine for the Prevention of COVID-19 — Searching for Evidence

A Randomized Trial of Hydroxychloroquine as Postexposure Prophylaxis for COVID-19

A Trial of Lopinavir–Ritonavir in Adults Hospitalized with Severe COVID-19

Remdesivir for 5 or 10 Days in Patients with Severe COVID-19

SARS-CoV-2 strategically mimics proteolytic activation 2 of human ENaC

May 29, 2020

Remdesivir for 5 or 10 days in patients with severe COVID-19

Hospitalization and mortality among black patients and white patients with COVID-19 [Louisiana]

Open letter to MR Mehra, SS Desai, F Ruschitzka, and AN Patel, authors of "Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of COVID-19: a multinational registry analysis" published in The Lancet on May 22, 2020, and to journal editor Richard Horton with an international list of signatories

How countries are using genomics to help avoid a second coronavirus wave: Scientists in New Zealand, the United Kingdom and other places are using sequence data to track new infections as lockdowns ease

Ethical guidelines for COVID-19 tracing apps: Protect privacy, equality and fairness in digital contact tracing with these key questions

Reducing transmission of SARS-CoV-2: Countries that have been most effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19 have implemented universal masking, including Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Korea

May 22, 2020

FDA names 28 coronavirus antibody diagnostics it says should be taken off the market weeks after the agency closed its open-door policy on COVID-19 blood tests and required developers to submit their products and data for review

DNA vaccine protection against SARS-CoV-2 in rhesus macaques

Oxford COVID-19 vaccine to begin phase II/III human trials

Rapid reconstruction of SARS-CoV-2 using a synthetic genomics platform

Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of COVID-19: A multinational registry analysis

Pulmonary Vascular Endothelialitis, Thrombosis, and Angiogenesis in COVID-19
Targets of T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in humans with COVID-19 disease and unexposed individuals

Advisory opinion 20-02 on the public readiness and emergency preparedness act and the secretary's declaration under the act - May 19, 2020

CDC: Considerations for Institutes of Higher Education

NHS contact tracing app: how does it work and when can you download it? [UK]

May 15, 2020

How coronavirus mutates and spreads

Coronavirus blood-clot mystery intensifies

Emergency approval of the antiviral drug remdesivir is the first good news of this pandemic. This is how Gilead Sciences prepared for the moment.

Roche's COVID-19 antibody test receives FDA Emergency Use Authorization and is available in markets accepting the CE mark

US approves first CRISPR coronavirus test that can be used at home

On decontaminating filtering facepiece respirators:

'Finally, a virus got me.' Scientist who fought Ebola and HIV reflects on facing death from COVID-19

CDC: Guidance for 'Opening up America Again' framework – Full 63-page document acquired by Associated Press

May 8, 2020

Remdesivir in the news

Antibody responses to COVID-19

Impact of COVID-19 on professional careers

May 1, 2020

April 24, 2020

April 17, 2020

April 10, 2020

April 3, 2020

General resources

The University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy is known for reliable information on infectious diseases/antibiotic resistance; their COVID-19 resource page aggregates interesting news and follows up with expert commentary.

The Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists offers a series of great educational videos and handouts giving a basic overview of experimental therapies being used for COVID-19. 

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists offers an exhaustive list of tools, guidance documents and national pharmacy news related to COVID-19.

The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America provides some of the best resources on infection control, hand hygiene, occupational health and protective equipment.

The Infectious Diseases Society of America resource center provides links to resources on developments, guidelines, protocols, policies and tools for practitioners.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers guidance for patients and health care professionals.

Who is at highest risk for COVID-19?  

The CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report describes the epidemiology of the virus in the United States. Persons with certain underlying conditions appear to be at highest risk of severe COVID-19 associated disease. These include:

  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Chronic lung disease
  • Cardiovascular disease