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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Newswise: Researchers from Hackensack Meridian University Medical Center and Colleagues Develop New Model to Help Clinicians Predict Risk of Death in Patients Hospitalized with COVID-19
Released: 2-Aug-2021 4:25 PM EDT
Researchers from Hackensack Meridian University Medical Center and Colleagues Develop New Model to Help Clinicians Predict Risk of Death in Patients Hospitalized with COVID-19
Hackensack Meridian Health

New COVID-19 40-day mortality risk model, published in The Public Library of Science ONE, has potential for use in patient treatment planning, comparisons of therapeutic strategies, and public-health preparations.

Released: 2-Aug-2021 4:05 PM EDT
Town Hall on Effectiveness of COVID-19 Vaccination in Immunosuppressed Patients Hosted by the American College of Rheumatology
American College of Rheumatology (ACR)

How effective COVID-19 vaccines have been in immunosuppressed and rheumatic disease patients remains an incompletely answered question. The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) has organized an expert panel to share what we are learning from real-world data and answer questions.

Released: 2-Aug-2021 2:00 PM EDT
CDC withdrawing its request for emergency use authorization for its COVID-19 PCR diagnostic test does not mean the test failed

Social media is now rife with claims about why the CDC is withdrawing its request for emergency use authorization for its COVID-19 PCR diagnostic test after December 2021.

Newswise: Existing Drug Is Shown to Inhibit Virus That Causes COVID-19
Released: 2-Aug-2021 1:30 PM EDT
Existing Drug Is Shown to Inhibit Virus That Causes COVID-19
Argonne National Laboratory

Scientists using the Advanced Photon Source have discovered that a drug used to fight tumors in animals might be effective against many types of coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2.

Released: 2-Aug-2021 11:25 AM EDT
Award-Winning Journalist and CDC Principal Investigator to Serve as ACR Convergence 2021 Keynote Speaker
American College of Rheumatology (ACR)

Convergence 2021, the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), returns to a virtual meeting platform Nov. 1 - 10. This year’s meeting will include presentations from over 320 clinicians, researchers and health experts, including this year’s keynote speaker, Dr. Seema Yasmin.

Newswise: COVID-19: Small Sign of Hope as Vaccinations Rise
Released: 2-Aug-2021 10:45 AM EDT
COVID-19: Small Sign of Hope as Vaccinations Rise

As COVID-19 cases spike in Los Angeles and throughout the Golden State, driven by the spread of the delta variant among unvaccinated residents, there may be a small sign of hope: More people are finally getting their shot.

Newswise: New Evidence Shows the COVID-19 Delta Variant Rapidly Rising
Released: 31-Jul-2021 10:05 AM EDT
New Evidence Shows the COVID-19 Delta Variant Rapidly Rising
University of Miami Health System, Miller School of Medicine

The University’s coronavirus sequencing effort uncovered that there are several variants present in its patient population, but Delta is chief among them and easily transmitted. And its presence is likely triggering a local surge in the infectious disease. University of Miami researchers and physicians are seeing firsthand how rapidly the Delta variant of COVID-19 is spreading through the local population.

Released: 30-Jul-2021 2:05 PM EDT
Thinking Impaired in 60% of COVID-19 Survivors, Study Finds
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

In a sample of over 400 older adults in Argentina who had recovered from COVID-19, more than 60% displayed some degree of cognitive impairment, a researcher from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio reported July 29 at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference.

Released: 30-Jul-2021 11:50 AM EDT
Support for Government Mandates High and Increasing Over Time, Survey Finds
Rutgers University-New Brunswick

As the coronavirus Delta variant surges throughout the country and mask and vaccine mandates are being considered, a new national survey finds that almost 20 percent of Americans say it is unlikely that they will get the COVID-19 vaccine.

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