Story Tips From Johns Hopkins Experts on COVID-19

Johns Hopkins Medicine

The following are various story ideas regarding the COVID-19 illness. To interview experts in these tips or others at Johns Hopkins, contact [email protected].

How to Deal with Anxiety ABOUT COVID-19

Newswise — Worried about supply shortages, quarantines, the falling stock market or canceling a vacation? Or do you just fear the unknown regarding COVID-19? Clinical psychologist Neda Gould, Ph.D., can provide tips on how to be mindful and stay grounded among the distress caused by the outbreak.

About dealing with anxiety among children regarding the coronavirus, child and adolescent psychiatrist Carol Vidal, M.D., M.P.H., and pediatric clinical psychologist Joseph McGuire, Ph.D., M.A., can discuss how parents can talk with kids about the virus, its spread and its impact on their lives, and suggest ways to get children involved with lowering the risk of the coronavirus, preparing for virus-related emergency conditions (such as quarantines), and other positive actions to help counter their fears and concerns.

The Weird Way Coronaviruses ASSEMBLE AND Escape Cells

Most coronaviruses invade cells much like other viruses, such as influenza, which merges its envelopes with the surface of unsuspecting cells to release genomes into the cell. Once inside, the viral genome is replicated and forms an army of new viruses. The newly formed influenza viruses assemble and bud from the cell surface, ready to invade other cells. However, coronaviruses take a different route of assembly and escape from their host cell. They use the pancakelike structure in cells, called the Golgi complex  — a kind of post office for the cell that sorts and processes proteins and spits them out of the cell after enclosing the proteins in a compartment called a vesicle. Cell biologist Carolyn Machamer, Ph.D., has been studying how coronaviruses assemble in the Golgi body and then stow away in vesicles to be shipped outside of the cell. Machamer can discuss how this family of viruses interacts with cells, and ways to take advantage of its unique properties.                                                                                                                                                                                 

Can My Pet Become Infected with SARS-CoV-2?

As the COVID-19 illness spreads around the globe, its impact is rapidly evolving. Johns Hopkins veterinarian Jason Villano, D.V.M., M.S., M.Sc., says at this time, we do not have any evidence that common household pets can be a source of infection or can become sick with COVID-19. The virus itself, SARS-CoV-2, is reported to have originated in bats, and that’s why experts have identified it as a “zoonotic” pathogen. It is well known to veterinarians that dogs and cats can be infected with other viruses in the coronavirus family, but the viruses are specific to those animals and mostly affect their gastrointestinal tract. Villano says recent reports of a dog in China testing positive for a “low level of infection” of SARS-CoV-2 does not mean the dog actually was infected with the virus or can transmit it. He says the specific test the dog received is ultrasensitive and can detect even fragments of the virus, live or dead, and further testing needs to be performed to confirm infection. The World Organization for Animal Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have reiterated there is no evidence of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to and from pets.

The History of Xenophobia, the Economy and Infectious Outbreaks

The past week saw a rise in worldwide xenophobic attacks on people from Asia and of Asian descent — the increase is connected to the global spread of the coronavirus. There was also a steep drop in global stock exchanges, with looming risks of recession. “Most would consider these events to be totally disconnected,” says sociologist and historian Alexandre White, Ph.D. “However, history shows us that these phenomena are deeply and inextricably related.” White’s work examines the social effects of infectious epidemic outbreaks in both historical and contemporary settings, as well as the global mechanisms that produce responses to an outbreak.

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: 17-Jun-2021 4:15 PM EDT
UNC Researchers Lead Study of Diabetes Treatment of COVID-19 Patients
University of North Carolina School of Medicine

Diabetes is one of the comorbidities most strongly associated with severe COVID-19 in the US, and data from early in the pandemic suggested individuals with type 2 diabetes faced twice the risk of death from COVID-19 and a greater risk of requiring hospitalization and intensive care. A new study shows best treatment options.

Released: 17-Jun-2021 4:10 PM EDT
Vaccination, Previous Infection, Protect Against COVID-19 gamma/P.1 Variant in Animal Model
University of Wisconsin-Madison

In a new study using variant virus recovered from one of the original travelers, researchers in the U.S. and Japan have found that vaccination with an mRNA vaccine induces antibody responses that would protect humans from infection with the gamma/P.1 variant.

Newswise:Video Embedded virtual-event-for-june-17-11am-edt-covid-19-vaccines-and-male-fertility
Released: 17-Jun-2021 3:20 PM EDT
VIDEO AVAILABLE: Vaccines and Male Fertility Event for June 17, 2021

This upcoming JAMA-published study examined whether the COVID-19 vaccine impacts male fertility.

Released: 17-Jun-2021 1:30 PM EDT
Hackensack Meridian Doctors, Student Help Establish Way to Prioritize Surgeries During COVID-19 lockdown
Hackensack Meridian Health

The MeNTS method of prioritizing surgeries during the height of pandemic, developed by University of Chicago, helped procedures continue during time of need

Released: 17-Jun-2021 12:55 PM EDT
‘Nanodecoy’ Therapy Binds and Neutralizes SARS-CoV-2 Virus
North Carolina State University

Nanodecoys made from human lung spheroid cells (LSCs) can bind to and neutralize SARS-CoV-2, promoting viral clearance and reducing lung injury in a macaque model of COVID-19.

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Embargo will expire: 21-Jun-2021 11:00 AM EDT Released to reporters: 17-Jun-2021 12:10 PM EDT

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Newswise: Blood Cancer Patients with COVID-19 Fare Better with Convalescent Plasma
Released: 17-Jun-2021 11:55 AM EDT
Blood Cancer Patients with COVID-19 Fare Better with Convalescent Plasma
Washington University in St. Louis

A large, retrospective, multicenter study involving Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis indicates that convalescent plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients can dramatically improve likelihood of survival among blood cancer patients hospitalized with the virus. The therapy involves transfusing plasma — the pale yellow liquid in blood that is rich in antibodies — from people who have recovered from COVID-19 into patients who have leukemia, lymphoma or other blood cancers and are hospitalized with the viral infection.

Released: 17-Jun-2021 11:05 AM EDT
Stress during pandemic linked to poor sleep
Washington State University

Many people likely lost sleep over COVID-19. A study of twins led by Washington State University researchers found that stress, anxiety and depression during the first few weeks of the pandemic were associated with less and lower quality sleep.

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Released: 17-Jun-2021 11:00 AM EDT
University of Miami Miller School Study Shows COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines Do Not Impact Male Fertility
University of Miami Health System, Miller School of Medicine

The Pfizer and Moderna mRNA COVID-19 vaccines is safe for male reproduction, according to a new study by University of Miami Miller School of Medicine researchers published in JAMA , the most widely circulated general medical journal in the world.

15-Jun-2021 1:20 PM EDT
Higher COVID-19 Mortality Among Black Patients Linked to Unequal Hospital Quality
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

If Black patients were admitted to the same hospitals that serve a majority of White patients, researchers showed their risk of death would drop by 10 percent

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