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COVID-19 News: Clinical Characteristics, Remdesivir, & More

Stay up-to-date on the latest infectious disease news by checking out our top 5 articles of the week.

Stay up-to-date on the latest infectious disease news by checking out our top 5 articles of the week:

#5: Characteristics of Patients Hospitalized With COVID-19

Older adults and those with one or more underlying conditions make up the highest number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) hospitalizations, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The CDC investigators retrospectively examined medical histories and epidemiological data from 1482 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 through March in order to categorize hospitalizations among patients. The investigators used COVID-NET to identify their patients.

The study authors wrote that 75% of their patients were aged greater than 50 years and about half were male. About 12% of the patients had data on their underlying conditions, and the most common conditions were hypertension, obesity, chronic lung disease, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

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#4: FDA Expected to Issue EUA for Remdesivir After Trio of Studies

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is moving at "lightning speed" to review data in order to weigh an emergency use authorization of the antiviral drug remdesivir for the treatment of patients with coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19), FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn told Bloomberg News.

“We’re working with the [Gilead Sciences] to emphasize the necessity of speed while at the same time to understand the data,” Hahn said. “There will be a lot of factors that go into all the regulatory decisions. We want to look at the totality of data to make sure that remdesivir is targeted to the right patients.”

This, a day after clinicians were hit with a wave of new information from an array of trials assessing the drug in patients with COVID-19. The results indicate mixed findings for benefit, but ended on an optimistic note.

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#3: COVID-19 Recognized as Thromboembolic Disease Affecting Multiple Organs

Experts have issued a new report with guidance on imaging, workup, and treatment of thrombosis in coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) following evidence that microvascular thrombotic processes can affect the vasculature of multiple organs as well as the lungs.

"Imaging and pathological investigations confirmed the COVID-19 syndrome is a thrombo-inflammatory process that initially affects lung perfusion, but consecutively affects all organs of the body," Edwin van Beek, MD, PhD, director at Edinburgh Imaging, Queens Medical Research Institute at the University of Edinburgh, UK, said in a statement accompanying the new report.

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#2: How Did Hong Kong Get Through COVID-19 Without a Complete Lockdown?

Hong Kong seems to have avoided a major outbreak of the novel coronavirus, at least through the end of March, according to a paper published in The Lancet Public Health. So, how did they accomplish this feat?

Investigators from Hong Kong examined the effects of their country’s public health measures that were designed to suppress local transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Their aim was to share the COVID-19 transmission dynamics as an effect of these interventions and behavioral changes from the public. Some of these measures included surveillance for infections in both incoming travelers and the locals, isolating COVID-19-positive cases, contact tracing and isolating those who have suspected cases, and social distancing.

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#1: COVID-19 Vaccine Trial Underway in England

Investigators from the University of Oxford have begun testing a potential vaccine for coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) in 1100 volunteer patients, and are anticipating results may take 2-6 months.

The first pair of volunteers were split to either investigative vaccine or control on April 23. Investigators will be assessing ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, a vaccine made from the ChAdOx1 virus—a weakened version of the adenovirus shown to cause infections in chimpanzees.

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