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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: 11-May-2021 3:55 PM EDT
Pregnant Women Hospitalized for Covid-19 Infection Do Not Face Increased Risk of Death
University of Maryland Medical Center

Pregnant women who develop severe COVID-19 infections that require hospitalization for pneumonia and other complications may not be more likely to die from these infections than non-pregnant women. In fact, they may have significantly lower death rates than their non-pregnant counterparts.

Released: 11-May-2021 3:45 PM EDT
This stinks: New research finds sense of smell and pneumonia linked
Michigan State University

An acute loss of smell is one of the most common symptoms of COVID-19, but for two decades it has been linked to other maladies among them Parkinson’s disease and dementia. Now, a poor sense of smell may signify a higher risk of pneumonia in older adults, says a team of Michigan State University researchers.

Released: 11-May-2021 3:15 PM EDT
How to predict severe influenza in hospitalised patients
University of Melbourne

Published today in Nature Communications, the team from the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity (Doherty Institute), Alfred Health and Monash University sought to understand which patients would recover quickly from influenza and which would become severely ill.

Newswise: Five benefits of getting a COVID-19 vaccine
Released: 11-May-2021 2:50 PM EDT
Five benefits of getting a COVID-19 vaccine
University of Alabama at Birmingham

UAB experts explain some of the benefits of getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

Newswise: Covid-19 Alters Gray Matter Volume in the Brain, New Study Shows
Released: 11-May-2021 2:05 PM EDT
Covid-19 Alters Gray Matter Volume in the Brain, New Study Shows
Georgia Institute of Technology

Study led by researchers at Georgia State University and Georgia Institute of Technology finds lower gray matter volume in the northern region of the brain is associated with a higher level of disability among Covid-19 patients, even six months after hospital discharge.

Released: 11-May-2021 10:15 AM EDT
How to Win Over Vaccine Skeptics: Live Expert Panel for May 20, 3pm ET

How to Win Over Vaccine Skeptics: Live Expert Panel for May 20, 3pm ET

Newswise:Video Embedded simulating-sneezes-and-coughs-to-show-how-covid-19-spreads
Released: 11-May-2021 10:10 AM EDT
Simulating sneezes and coughs to show how COVID-19 spreads
Sandia National Laboratories

Two groups of researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have published papers on the droplets of liquid sprayed by coughs or sneezes and how far they can travel under different conditions. Both teams used Sandia’s decades of experience with advanced computer simulations studying how liquids and gases move for its nuclear stockpile stewardship mission.

Released: 11-May-2021 9:00 AM EDT
COVID-19 Wastewater Testing Proves Effective in New Study
University of Virginia Health System

Wastewater testing is an effective way to identify new cases of COVID-19 in nursing homes and other congregate living settings, and it may be particularly useful for preventing outbreaks in college dormitories, a new University of Virginia study finds.

Newswise: Hackensack Meridian Mountainside Medical Center to Start Post-COVID-19 Rehabilitation Program
Released: 11-May-2021 9:00 AM EDT
Hackensack Meridian Mountainside Medical Center to Start Post-COVID-19 Rehabilitation Program
Hackensack Meridian Health

Mountainside Medical Center will begin a new Post-COVID exercise program designed for those who have had COVID-19 to improve strength, flexibility, endurance and activities of daily living. The program goal is to improve quality of life and promote lifestyle changes through education and exercise.

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