(Reuters) – The following is an overview of some of the latest scientific studies of the new coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines against COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.
Vaccination of adults also appears to protect children
New data from Israel, where health officials quickly moved to distribute the COVID-1
Illinois bar opening event linked to 46 cases of COVID-19
An indoor celebration of a rural bar opening in Illinois led to 46 new cases of COVID-19 and major consequences, according to a U.S. study that serves as a warning about how such events could affect communities. Four participants had COVID-19-like symptoms that day. Of the 46 coronavirus infections linked to the party, 26 were cases among patrons, three employees and 17 “secondary cases” in people infected with them, according to a report published Monday in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report from USA. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The secondary cases included children and residents in long-term care facilities. “Transmission in connection with the opening event resulted in a closure of the school affecting 650 children (9,100 lost weekdays at school) and the closure of a long-term care center resident with COVID-19,” researchers said. “These findings show that opening up settings such as bars where mask wearing and physical distance are challenging can increase the risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in the community,” said researchers. Companies should “work with local health officials to promote behaviors and maintain environments that reduce the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission and develop safe reopening strategies to prevent outbreaks in the community, such as changing layouts and operating procedures,” they said. (bit.ly/3mtsoKU)
Congenital heart disease does not exacerbate COVID-19 risks
Adults with congenital heart defects are no more likely than the average person to have severe COVID-19 or die from it, according to an international study. Risk factors associated with poor outcomes in these individuals are the same as those associated with poor outcomes in the public – older age, male gender, a history of heart failure, irregular heartbeat, kidney problems, diabetes and need for extra oxygen before being infected with coronavirus , said study author Dr. Jamil Aboulhosn of the UCLA Adult Congenital Heart Center. Researchers analyzed data from 1,044 adults with COVID-19 from 58 congenital heart disease centers worldwide. Even people with very complex heart defects did not appear to have an increased risk of severe COVID-19 as long as they did not already have severe signs and symptoms of heart disease, Aboulhosn said, calling the finding “somewhat surprising.” The study was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. (bit.ly/2PPhFxQ; bit.ly/2OcdzQ0)
Strokes with COVID-19 have poorer results
Among patients who went to a hospital because they had a stroke, those who tested positive for COVID-19 had higher odds of dying there, a new study shows. Patients with COVID-19 were also more likely to have a more severe stroke and have another stroke while hospitalized, researchers reported in the journal Stroke. They studied close to 42,000 patients who arrived at 458 hospitals with ischemic stroke, caused by blockages in arteries that carry blood to the brain. Approx. 3% of patients tested positive for COVID-19. On average, they came to the hospital as quickly as patients without coronavirus infection. Then things slowed down. “Probably due to the need for the use of personal protective equipment and other precautions” from hospital staff, it took longer for COVID-19 patients to receive anticoagulant treatments that reopen the clogged vessels, said study author Dr. Gregg Fonarow from the University of California, Los Angeles. The study can not prove that treatment delays caused the worse results. However, Fonarow said, “these findings suggest that there is a need to further improve stroke protocols to provide more timely diagnosis and treatment to patients with (ischemic stroke) to expedite care while still protecting healthcare professionals from exposure.” (bit.ly/3sLF2Hp)
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Reporting by Nancy Lapid, Marilynn Larkin and Megan Brooks; Editing Bill Berkrot