· What is the best economic way to decrease spread of COVID-19 in college campuses? Public health experts from Brigham and Women's Hospital conducted a modeling study sponsored by the NIH using the Clinical and Economic Analysis of COVID-19 interventions model to analyze the cost-effectiveness of COVID-19 prevention measures on college campuses. In their model, social distancing and mask-wearing precautions dropped infection rates compared to no intervention at relatively low cost. While routine testing reduced infections by 96%, it cost up to ten times more. This model suggests that among college campuses, extensive social distancing measures and wearing masks are the most cost-effective strategies for reducing SARS-CoV-2 transmission, though low-cost routine testing could further reduce infection rates.
· Patients with persistent symptoms after Covid-19 have had a varied experience with the healthcare system. In this retrospective study that interviewed 114 patients with "long Covid" (‘post-acute’ symptoms persisting beyond 3–4 weeks and ‘chronic’ symptoms beyond 12 weeks), researchers from the UK consider the characteristics and development of “long Covid.” They found that “long Covid” encompasses a variety of symptoms with fluctuating intensity, and patients described differences in the quality of their care experience, with some reporting dismissive providers, difficulty accessing appropriate services, and lack of guidance. The authors suggest that a re-engineering of healthcare services including the employment of online services, is necessary to meet the changing needs of “long Covid” sufferers.
R&D: Diagnosis & Treatments
· Remdesivir is disproportionately being given to acute renal failure patients. Nephrologists and pharmacists from Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Nice in France evaluated the risk of acute renal failure (ARF) associated with remdesivir compared to hydroxychloroquine, tocilizumab, and lopinavir/ritonavir. They analyzed international pharmacovigilance post-marketing databases with two disproportionality methods, and found a "statistically suggestive disproportionality signal," observing 138 cases of ARF in patients receiving remdesivir where they would have expected nine (ROR: 20.3 [15.7-26.3]; P<0.0001). Authors suggest serum creatinine monitoring is warranted in patients receiving remdesivir treatment for COVID-19. Mental Health & Resilience Needs
· There has been a surge of firearm sales during COVID-19 that causes concern. In response to a recent cross-sectional survey of 2,870 Californians showing recently increased public concern about violence, firearm and ammunition acquisition and unsafe firearm storage practice (Kravitz-Wirtz et al.), psychiatrists from the University of Pennsylvania fear that this will lead to increased firearm related injury and death, especially amidst increased suicide risk factors (personal loss, isolation, etc.). Authors suggest that establishing and targeting safe firearm storage/training programs, increasing funding for firearm injury prevention research, and focusing suicide prevention efforts, especially among racial and ethnic minority groups who experience disproportionately worse mental health outcomes, is crucial for harm reduction.