Contagion Live News Network: How COVID-19 Affects Races Differently


A June 19, 2020 recap of the biggest headlines in pandemic research and response.

Hello. I’m Kevin Kunzmann, managing editor of Contagion, here with your COVID-19 update for the end of this week, of June 19.

A recent US survey showed African American men were more likely to know someone infected by coronavirus, had a greater knowledge disparity of how the virus spread, and were more likely to be exposed to the virus than white counterparts.

A team of investigators conducted an online survey between March 29 and April 13. There were 5198 total US adult respondents, compromised of almost equal men and women, and representation from white, African American, and Hispanic respondents.

Overall, African American respondents were more likely to report COVID-19 infection by a mean 3.5 percentage points than white respondents.

Men of all ethnicities were also more likely than women to report COVID-19 infection, by a mean 3.2 percentage points.

Looking at these findings, the team saw a correlation between behaviors and knowledge, as well as confirmation in racial disparities in the pandemic.

New Jersey-based PTC Therapeutics announced this week it is entering a phase 2/3 trial for its investigational therapy, PTC299, for the treatment of patients with COVID-19.

The oral medication is a novel dual-mechanism agent designed to treat viral replication and uncontrolled inflammatory response.

This trial is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-national study. There will be 2 stages initiating in the US, with plans to also conduct research among patients in Spain, Brazil, and Australia.

According to the company, the oral, small molecule tablet inhibits the DHODH cellular enzyme, which is used to produce the RNA building blocks for the production of SARS-CoV-2.

In addition, the investigational molecule has previously demonstrated potent inhibition of viral replication in SARS-CoV-2 cell based assays.

And lastly, childhood vaccination coverage has declined sharply during the pandemic, according to a review of the Michigan Care Improvement Registry.

Investigators from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the Immunization Action Coalition, and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia reviewed the vaccine up-to-date status for a point in time in May compared with points in time in May 2016-2019.

Stay-at-home orders, such as that ordered in Michigan on March 23 to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, have hampered accessibility to routine vaccination services. Telehealth has become more prominent avenue for addressing many health care needs during the pandemic, but the drop in vaccination coverage highlights the need to accommodate in-person visits for those health care services that can’t be provided remotely.

Priorities, as they relate to the allocation of resources and the stress put on common health scares, are currently a bit broken by the pandemic. But institutions are aimed at resolving confused for a public trying to play a role in streamlining emergent care for those who truly need it.

For these stories, interviews, and more in COVID-19 coverage, be sure to visit us at For now, I’m Kevin Kunzmann with Contagion. Thank you for watching.

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