COVID-19 information center
For complete information from Wayne State University, including campus restart plans, training, messages from central units and more, visit the WSU coronavirus website.
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).
A roundup of notable COVID-19 news and information curated by FACT
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 This Pre-Print that has not been peer-reviewed.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.
July 17, 2020
COVID-19: The worst may be yet to come. Editorial from The Lancet.
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.
July 10, 2020
Recent publications by WSU researchers including Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice Paul Kilgore
- Initial and Repeated Point Prevalence Surveys to Inform SARS-CoV-2 Infection Prevention in 26 Skilled Nursing Facilities
- Treatment with Hydroxychloroquine, Azithromycin, and Combination in Patients Hospitalized with COVID-19
- CNN: Study finds hydroxychloroquine may have boosted survival, but other researchers have doubts
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.
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.
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.
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.
'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.
National Geographic series on COVID-19
- Here's how to stop the virus from winning
- Why some people can't resist crowds despite the pandemic
- Coronavirus in the U.S.: Where cases are growing and declining
- Thinking of driving to Canada this summer? Better ask the locals.
- COVID-19 complicates an already dire wildfire season
- Coronavirus is killing the Dutch mink industry
- 'It's in the genes': New Orleans marches on despite the pandemic
'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
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]
- Doctor Warns Of Risks In Rush To Embrace A COVID-19 Treatment
- Breakthrough Drug for COVID-19 May Be Risky for Mild Cases
- The National Institutes of Health COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel Provides Recommendations for Dexamethasone in Patients with COVID-19 [Last Updated: June 25, 2020]
June 19, 2020
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
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 covid19treatmentguidelines.nih.gov. 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.
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 (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/cases-in-us.html). 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:
- Characteristics and Clinical Outcomes of Adult Patients Hospitalized with COVID-19 – Georgia, March 2020
- Hospitalization and Mortality among Black Patients and White Patients with COVID-19
- 1052 patients included: Disparities In Outcomes Among COVID-19 Patients In A Large Health Care System In California
- Impact of Social Vulnerability on COVID-19 Incidence and Outcomes in the United States
- Cross sectional with publicly reported US state data: Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Population Level COVID-19 Mortality
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.
May 29, 2020
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
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
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:
- CDC recommendation on decontamination and reuse of filtering facepiece respirators
- NIH study validates decontamination methods for reuse of N95 respirators - Three methods effectively sanitized masks for limited reuse
- Assessment of N95 respirator decontamination and re-use for SARS-CoV-2
'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
- A new WSU publication in The FASEB Journal by Dr. Joseph Roche, WSU Applebaum Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy: A hypothesized role for dysregulated bradykinin signaling in COVID‐19 respiratory complications
- Coronavirus in context: Scite.ai tracks positive and negative citations for COVID-19 literature – Artificial-intelligence tool aims to reveal whether research findings are supported or contradicted by subsequent studies.
Remdesivir in the news
- How does the government decide who gets remdesivir? Doctors have no idea
- Doctors lambaste federal process for distributing Covid-19 drug remdesivir
- WHO says it will engage US to make remdesivir coronavirus treatment more widely available
- Putting A Price On COVID-19 Treatment Remdesivir - NPR
- IDSA, HIVMA Call for Transparency, Equitable Remdesivir Access
Antibody responses to COVID-19
- Antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 in patients with COVID-19
- Antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 in patients of novel coronavirus disease 2019
Impact of COVID-19 on professional careers
- How A.I. Steered Doctors Toward a Possible Coronavirus Treatment
- Battle Buddies: Rapid Deployment of a Psychological Resilience Intervention for Health Care Workers During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic
- Covid-19 has shuttered scientific labs. It could put a generation of researchers at risk
May 1, 2020
- CDC Data Suggests U.S. Coronavirus Death Toll Is Far Higher Than Reported
- Compassionate Use of Remdesivir for Patients with Severe COVID-19
- CDC increases the Number of COVID-19 Symptoms to 6
- The COVID-19 vaccine development landscape includes 115 candidates, of which 78 are confirmed as active and 37 are unconfirmed because status cannot be determined from publicly available or proprietary information sources (a detailed Nature science paper).
- The COVID-19 vaccine development landscape, a News Feature with outstanding illustrations on virus infection and vaccine development (an excellent overview companion to the detailed Nature science paper)
- Scientists to Stop COVID-19: A Group of Scientists, billionaires, and Nobel Prize Winners join together to propose coronavirus treatments, expedited vaccine development, expanded virus and antibody testing, and strategies to reopen schools and businesses.
- Is Coronavirus Reinfection Possible?
- Mysterious blood-clotting complication is killing coronavirus patients
- COVID-19 and its implications for thrombosis and anticoagulation
- Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists Journal Club Critically Evaluates the COVID-19 Literature
- As health officials around the world push to get more ventilators to treat coronavirus patients, some doctors are moving away from using the breathing machines when they can.
- What was learned in 10 days of treating COVID-19 pneumonia at Bellevue Hospital, including silent hypoxia where O2 levels fall long before significant shortness of breath
- New York clinical trial quietly tests heartburn remedy against coronavirus
- The Chronicle of Higher Education offers free webinars and virtual forums to discuss strategies and best practices in the new COVID-19 landscape.
- Three articles (below) that discuss the distribution of the COVID-19 receptor, (ACE2, Angiontensin Converting Enzyme 2), and the role it plays in infection and targeting of specific tissues.
- Evidence of the COVID-19 Virus Targeting the CNS: Tissue Distribution, Host−Virus Interaction, and Proposed Neurotropic Mechanisms (includes diagrams illustrating ACE-2 distribution)
- The ACE2 expression in human heart indicates new potential mechanism of heart injury among patients infected with SARS-CoV-2
- Physiological and pathological regulation of ACE2, the SARS-CoV-2 receptor
April 24, 2020
- Gov. Whitmer extends Michigan stay home order to May 15, allows some businesses to reopen
- Governor's Executive Order April 24, 2020
- Airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2: The world should face the reality
Morawska and Cao (2020) warn that steps being taken to inhibit the spread of the coronavirus responsible for COVID-19 should consider the possibility of airborne transmission in control measures.
- Asymptomatic Transmission, the Achilles' Heel of Current Strategies to Control COVID-19
An editorial comment by Gandhi et al. in the New England Journal of Medicine
April 17, 2020
- New Rutgers saliva test for coronavirus, which received emergency FDA approval, expected to significantly increase the number of people tested per day and decrease the risk of COVID-19 for health care workers
- Who is immune to the coronavirus? Immunity after any infection can range from lifelong and complete, to nearly nonexistent (a lay press account from the New York Times)
- New Models for the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 Virus through the post-pandemic period project recurring virus outbreaks and social distancing into 2022 (a technical report from Science)
- An assessment of the transmissibility and severity of the first wave of the COVID-19 outbreak in China
- Comments about the concern of a second wave of COVID-19
- Difference of opinion among regulators for use of antimalarials in the treatment of COVID-19
April 10, 2020
- Assistant Secretary for Health authorizes licensed pharmacists to order and administer COVID-19 tests that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized
- Novel and repurposed agents against SARS‐CoV‐2 are used to treat COVID‐19 patients, however therapy in moderate to severe COVID‐19 infections is extremely challenging
- Renin–Angiotensin–Aldosterone system inhibitors in patients with COVID-19. Should they be reconsidered?
- 78 COVID-19 vaccines in active development, many others in planning stage
- Droplets from coughs or sneezes are the primary means of transmitting the coronavirus, but SARS-CoV-2 could be airborne and public use of masks may be warranted
- Wayne County COVID-19 dashboard updates cases and deaths daily (does not include City of Detroit)
- Detroit Coronavirus COVID-19 web page updates positive cases and deaths daily, including age and gender, race, epi curve and heatmap – After clicking link, click "Latest Cases"
- Detroit COVID-19 heatmap specifically geo-referenced to show WSU and other neighborhoods (Courtesy Brendan F. O'Leary, M.S. student – Civil and Environmental Engineering)
April 3, 2020
- Daily COVID-19 estimation updates
- New York Times site tracks daily coronavirus deaths by US state and country over time
- Those with diabetes mellitus, chronic lung disease, cardiovascular disease at highest risk for COVID-19?
- Essential drug supplies for virus patients are running low
- Imperial College London COVID-19 Response Team projects timelines of infections and deaths in US and UK – and we are likely looking at a 12-18 month health emergency
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