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COVID-19 Tip Sheet: Story Ideas from Johns Hopkins

Johns Hopkins Medicine


Newswise — When T.C. Wu, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., and Chien-Fu Hung, Ph.D., heard earlier this year about a new coronavirus that was spreading in China, their pathology labs immediately started developing a vaccine. That’s because nearly 20 years ago, Wu and Hung worked on a vaccine for another coronavirus that originated in China — severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS. So far, Wu and Hung have observed that the new coronavirus is “smarter” and “sneakier” than SARS, and they are concerned it will not go away like SARS did. Wu and Hung can discuss how their lab administered the new coronavirus vaccine to mice, and that preliminary results should be back by the end of the month. Watch this video and read this story about their efforts.

Wu oversees the cervical cancer research lab at Johns Hopkins and is a professor of pathology, oncology, and obstetrics and gynecology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He holds a joint appointment in the Bloomberg School of Public Health Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology. Hung is an associate professor in the Department of Pathology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.



Both influenza and COVID-19 cause fever, body aches and fatigue. The viruses that cause both flu and COVID-19 can be spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Currently, no vaccine is available for the new coronavirus, which causes COVID-19. But there are vaccines to prevent or mitigate various strains of influenza. When it comes to your lungs, how does COVID-19 differ from the flu? Paul Auwaerter, M.D., M.B.A., clinical director of the Division of Infectious Diseases, and Enid Neptune, M.D., of the Johns Hopkins Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, are available to provide answers.



We know that, when the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19 infects a person’s lungs, respiratory symptoms will follow. But what, exactly, happens? How does the virus take hold? What does it do to infected lungs? Brian Garibaldi, M.D., director of the biocontainment unit at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, is available to answer these and other questions about the pathophysiology of this coronavirus.



The American Red Cross recently announced that nationally, it is facing a “severe blood shortage” as a result of an “unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations during this coronavirus outbreak.” To learn more about this urgent need, interviews are available with Lydia Pecker, M.D., and Anne Alfa, who has sickle cell disease and requires regular blood donations.



To combat the spread of the new coronavirus, public and global health institutions are fast tracking vaccine development. However, there is a real risk that pregnant women and their babies will not be among those who can benefit from them. New vaccine products are rarely designed with pregnant women in mind. Moreover, widespread failure to include pregnant women in vaccine research means that evidence about safety and efficacy during pregnancy has been limited. As a result, in numerous outbreaks and epidemics, pregnant women have been denied opportunities to receive vaccines that would have protected them from the ravages of these diseases. Johns Hopkins leaders of the PREVENT working group have issued 22 specific recommendations to promote equity for pregnant women and their babies in epidemic vaccine development and response.

Carleigh Krubiner, Ph.D., a researcher at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics; Ruth Faden, Ph.D., the Philip Franklin Wagley Professor of Biomedical Ethics and founding director of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics; and Ruth Karron, M.D., a Johns Hopkins Children’s Center faculty member with a joint appointment at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, are available for interviews to discuss this topic.



In an effort to further protect patients, staff members and the health of the community, hospitals in Maryland and across the country are no longer allowing visitors, except in certain, limited circumstances. Throughout the Johns Hopkins Health System, caregivers are turning to technology — which has long been blamed for disconnecting us — to help connect patients with the outside world during this unprecedented time. To learn more about the factors hospitals weighed in making the difficult decision to restrict visitors, and how hospitals and families are responding, an interview is available with Lisa Allen, Ph.D., M.A., chief patient experience officer for Johns Hopkins Medicine. We will also work with you to identify a patient and/or family member who can talk about their experience.


For more information about coronavirus disease (COVID-19) from Johns Hopkins Medicine, visit For information on coronavirus disease (COVID-19) from around the Johns Hopkins enterprise, including from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and The Johns Hopkins University, visit

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Released: 10-Jul-2020 12:50 PM EDT
Genetic ‘fingerprints’ of first COVID-19 cases help manage pandemic
University of Sydney

A new study published in the world-leading journal Nature Medicine, reveals how genomic sequencing and mathematical modelling gave important insights into the ‘parentage’ of cases and likely spread of the disease in New South Wales.

Released: 10-Jul-2020 12:35 PM EDT
Our itch to share helps spread COVID-19 misinformation
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

To stay current about the Covid-19 pandemic, people need to process health information when they read the news. Inevitably, that means people will be exposed to health misinformation, too, in the form of false content, often found online, about the illness.

Newswise: Pandemic Inspires Framework for Enhanced Care in Nursing Homes
Released: 10-Jul-2020 12:25 PM EDT
Pandemic Inspires Framework for Enhanced Care in Nursing Homes
University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing

As of May 2020, nursing home residents account for a staggering one-third of the more than 80,000 deaths due to COVID-19 in the U.S. This pandemic has resulted in unprecedented threats—like reduced access to resources needed to contain and eliminate the spread of the virus—to achieving and sustaining care quality even in the best nursing homes. Active engagement of nursing home leaders in developing solutions responsive to the unprecedented threats to quality standards of care delivery is required.

Newswise: General Electric Healthcare Chooses UH to Clinically 
Evaluate First-of-its-kind Imaging System
Released: 10-Jul-2020 12:15 PM EDT
General Electric Healthcare Chooses UH to Clinically Evaluate First-of-its-kind Imaging System
University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center

University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center physicians completed evaluation for the GE Healthcare Critical Care Suite, and the technology is now in daily clinical practice – flagging between seven to 15 collapsed lungs per day within the hospital. No one on the team could have predicted the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, but this technology and future research with GEHC may enhance the capability to improve care for COVID-19 patients in the ICU. Critical Care Suite is now assisting in COVID and non-COVID patient care as the AMX 240 travels to intensive care units within the hospital.

Released: 10-Jul-2020 11:50 AM EDT
COVID-19 Can Be Transmitted in the Womb, Reports Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal
Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins

A baby girl in Texas – born prematurely to a mother with COVID-19 – is the strongest evidence to date that intrauterine (in the womb) transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) can occur, reports The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, the official journal of The European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases. The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.

Released: 10-Jul-2020 9:45 AM EDT
How COVID-19 Shifted Inpatient Imaging Utilization
Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute

As medical resources shifted away from elective and non-urgent procedures toward emergent and critical care of COVID-19 patients, departments were forced to reconfigure their personnel and resources. In particular, many Radiology practices rescheduled non-urgent and routine imaging according to recommendations from the American College of Radiology (ACR). This new Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute study, published online in the Journal of American College of Radiology (JACR), evaluates the change in the inpatient imaging volumes and composition mix during the COVID-19 pandemic within a large healthcare system.

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Embargo will expire: 12-Jul-2020 7:00 PM EDT Released to reporters: 10-Jul-2020 9:00 AM EDT

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 12-Jul-2020 7:00 PM EDT The Newswise PressPass gives verified journalists access to embargoed stories. Please log in to complete a presspass application. If you have not yet registered, please Register. When you fill out the registration form, please identify yourself as a reporter in order to advance to the presspass application form.

Released: 10-Jul-2020 9:00 AM EDT
Team is first in Texas to investigate convalescent plasma for prevention of COVID-19 onset and progression
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

A research team is the first in Texas to investigate whether plasma from COVID-19 survivors can be used in outpatient settings to prevent the onset and progression of the virus in two new clinical trials at UTHealth.

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