COVID-19 a reminder of the challenge of emerging infectious diseases

Newswise — WHAT: The emergence and rapid increase in cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus, pose complex challenges to the global public health, research and medical communities, write federal scientists from NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Their commentary appears in The New England Journal of Medicine.

NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., NIAID Deputy Director for Clinical Research and Special Projects H. Clifford Lane, M.D., and CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, M.D., shared their observations in the context of a recently published report on the early transmission dynamics of COVID-19. The report provided detailed clinical and epidemiological information about the first 425 cases to arise in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.

In response to the outbreak, the United States and other countries instituted temporary travel restrictions, which may have slowed the spread of COVID-19 somewhat, the authors note. However, given the apparent efficiency of virus transmission, everyone should be prepared for COVID-19 to gain a foothold throughout the world, including in the United States, they add. If the disease begins to spread in U.S. communities, containment may no longer be a realistic goal and response efforts likely will need to transition to various mitigation strategies, which could include isolating ill people at home, closing schools and encouraging telework, the officials write.

Drs. Fauci, Lane and Redfield point to the many research efforts now underway to address COVID-19. These include numerous vaccine candidates proceeding toward early-stage clinical trials as well as clinical trials already underway to test candidate therapeutics, including an NIAID-sponsored trial of the experimental antiviral drug remdesivir that began enrolling participants on February 21, 2020.

"The COVID-19 outbreak is a stark reminder of the ongoing challenge of emerging and re-emerging infectious pathogens and the need for constant surveillance, prompt diagnosis and robust research to understand the basic biology of new organisms and our susceptibilities to them, as well as to develop effective countermeasures," the authors conclude.

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110 of 2011
Released: 29-May-2020 11:55 PM EDT
Heart surgery stalled as COVID-19 spread
University of Ottawa

As the novel coronavirus spread across the globe in early 2020, hospitals worldwide scaled back medical procedures, including life-saving heart surgery, to deal with the emerging threat of COVID-19.

Released: 29-May-2020 11:30 PM EDT
UCLA AASC & FSPH launch COVID-19 Multilingual Resource Hub to support safety for diverse communities
UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

UCLA Asian American Studies Center and the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health COVID-19 Multilingual Resource Hub to support safety for diverse communities; partnership develops resources for COVID-19 response

Newswise: UTEP Study Examines COVID-19 Stress, Coping Strategies, and Well-Being
Released: 29-May-2020 6:15 PM EDT
UTEP Study Examines COVID-19 Stress, Coping Strategies, and Well-Being
University of Texas at El Paso

Emre Umucu, Ph.D., assistant professor of rehabilitation counseling at The University of Texas at El Paso, and Beatrice Lee, an incoming rehabilitation counseling faculty member, examined the perceived stress levels and coping mechanisms related to COVID-19, and how coping affects well-being in people with self-reported chronic conditions and disabilities.

Newswise: 233197_web.jpg
Released: 29-May-2020 4:55 PM EDT
CT findings of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in children 'often negative'
American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS)

An investigation published open-access in the American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR) revealed a high frequency of negative chest CT findings among pediatric patients with laboratory-confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19), while also suggesting that bilateral, lower lobe-predominant ground-glass opacities (GGOs) are common in the subset of patients with positive CT findings.

Newswise: 233198_web.jpg
Released: 29-May-2020 4:40 PM EDT
Modelling predicts COVID-19 resurgence if physical distancing relaxed
University of Guelph

If physical distancing measures in Ontario are relaxed too much or too quickly, the province could see hospitals overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients as well as exponential growth in deaths, concludes new research involving a University of Guelph infectious disease modeller.

Released: 29-May-2020 3:35 PM EDT
Using Wastewater to Track, Contain SARS-CoV-2
SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

Researchers took a novel approach to tracking the virus that causes COVID-19 that promises to be cost effective and ensure privacy by using a method that surveils for the virus in a local's untreated wastewater facilities.

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Released: 29-May-2020 2:40 PM EDT
Genetics May Explain High COVID-19 Mortality in Italy, Inform Global Pandemic Response
Sbarro Health Research Organization (SHRO)

Researchers predict the Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) gene has a key role in shaping immune response to COVID.

Released: 29-May-2020 1:40 PM EDT
Study finds surge in hydroxychloroquine/chloroquine prescriptions during COVID-19
Brigham and Women’s Hospital

A new study by investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital examines changes in prescription patterns in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic.


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