Some COVID-19 “long haulers” experience lasting skin problems

Press release:

BOSTON – Some patients with COVID-19 have persistent skin-related symptoms long after their initial infection has cleared, according to a new analysis. The findings, presented at the 29th Congress of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology by investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), point to another burden experienced by so-called “long haulers” who get better but don’t seem to fully recover from COVID-19.

For the analysis, researchers established an international registry for COVID-19 skin manifestations in April 2020, in collaboration with the International League of Dermatological Societies and the American Academy of Dermatology. Clinicians were contacted in June and August to update COVID-19 laboratory test results and the duration of patients’ COVID-19 skin symptoms. The team defined long haulers as anyone with skin symptoms of COVID-19 that persisted for at least 60 days.

Continue reading “Some COVID-19 “long haulers” experience lasting skin problems”

U of M trial shows hydroxychloroquine does not prevent COVID-19 in health care workers

Press release:

MINNEAPOLIS, MN-October 21, 2020 – University of Minnesota Medical School physician researchers studied hydroxychloroquine as a treatment to prevent COVID-19 for those with high-risk for exposure to the virus – health care workers.

The pre-exposure prophylaxis trial results, which were published in Clinical Infectious Diseases, determined that taking 400mg of hydroxychloroquine once or twice weekly did not prevent the development of COVID-19 in health care workers better than the placebo.

“This randomized placebo-controlled trial launched on April 6, with the objective of evaluating whether or not hydroxychloroquine taken once or twice weekly in health care workers at high risk for COVID-19 exposure could prevent COVID-19 infection,” said principal investigator Radha Rajasingham, MD, an infectious diseases physician and researcher at the U of M Medical School.

Continue reading “U of M trial shows hydroxychloroquine does not prevent COVID-19 in health care workers”

Self-collected saliva and deep nasal swabs are equally effective for diagnosing COVID-19

Press Release:

SALT LAKE CITY — Self-collected saliva and deep nasal swabs collected by healthcare providers are equally effective for detecting SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, according to a new study conducted by ARUP Laboratories and University of Utah (U of U) Health.

The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, represents one of the largest prospective specimen type comparisons to date, said Julio Delgado, MD, MS, ARUP chief medical officer. Other studies, including one from the Yale School of Public Health, have reached similar conclusions but with markedly fewer patients and specimens.

Continue reading “Self-collected saliva and deep nasal swabs are equally effective for diagnosing COVID-19”

Hydroxychloroquine linked to increased risk of cardiac arrhythmias

Press Release:

Boston, Mass. — Since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a Public Health Concern of Global Interest on January 30, more than one million have tested positive for the illness in the United States, and more than 62,000 have died. With no FDA-approved treatments available to date, the anti-malarial drug, hydroxychloroquine, has emerged as a potential therapy for the pneumonia associated with COVID-19, with or without the antibiotic azithromycin.

In a brief report published today in JAMA Cardiology, a team of pharmacists and clinicians at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), part of Beth Israel Lahey Health, found evidence suggesting that patients who received hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 were at increased risk of electrical changes to the heart and cardiac arrhythmias. The combination of hydroxychloroquine with azithromycin was linked to even greater changes compared to hydroxychloroquine alone.

Continue reading “Hydroxychloroquine linked to increased risk of cardiac arrhythmias”

Conservative and social media usage associated with misinformation about COVID-19

People who relied on conservative media or social media in the early days of the COVID-19 outbreak were more likely to be misinformed about how to prevent the virus and believe conspiracy theories about it, a study of media use and public knowledge has found.

Based on an Annenberg Science Knowledge survey fielded in early March with over a thousand adults, the study was conducted by researchers at the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The study, published this week in the Harvard Kennedy School Misinformation Review, found that there were notable differences in views about the coronavirus that correlated with people’s media consumption.

Media usage and COVID-19 misinformation

Conservative media usage (such as Fox News and Rush Limbaugh) correlated with higher levels of misinformation and belief in conspiracies about the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, including:

Continue reading “Conservative and social media usage associated with misinformation about COVID-19”