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February 19 | Daily COVID-19 LST Report

Transmission & Prevention

· Researchers from Shenzhen Third People's Hospital in China evaluated potential environmental fomites by taking serum samples from 66 hospitalized patients with COVID-19 (46 symptomatic and 20 asymptomatic) and samples from a number of environmental sources (squat toilets, cups, straws, oxygen catheters, breathing exercisers, and atomizing nozzles), analyzed using qRT-PCR. The researchers found that environmental contamination presents in both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients but an increased viral load (detected by nasopharyngeal swab) was associated with increased likelihood of environmental spread regardless of symptoms, especially to toilets (28.6% asymptomatic - 33.3% symptomatic), suggesting further evidence in support of hand hygiene and toilet disinfection to reduce risk of fecal-oral transmission of COVID-19.


· A multicenter, double-blind, randomized clinical trial by Hospital das Clinicas HCFMUSP, Sao Paulo, Brazil evaluated the efficacy of single high dose vitamin D3 supplementation on the hospital length of stay for patients with COVID-19. 240 hospitalized COVID-19 patients with moderate to severe course of the disease were given a single oral dose of 200,000 IU of vitamin D3. The study did not find a significant reduction (p=0.59) in the length of hospital stay between the group that received intervention versus the placebo group indicating the lack of clinical benefit of Vitamin D3 for treatment of COVID-19.

R&D: Diagnosis & Treatments

· Physician investigators from various institutions across the US present the primary results of the BLAZE-1 study. This is an ongoing randomized phase 2/3 double-blinded trial involving 577 outpatients with mild to moderate COVID-19 across 49 US medical centers, comparing placebo vs. treatment with anti-spike neutralizing monoclonal antibody monotherapy (bamlanivimab), vs. combination therapy (bamlanivimab + etesevimab). The results revealed a statically significant  (p= .01) difference in the primary outcome of decreased SARS-CoV-2 viral load at day 11 with combination therapy, suggesting a possible efficacious treatment option for patients with mild to moderate COVID-19.

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