· A group of interdisciplinary health professionals analyzed data on the spread of COVID-19 in 239 affected meat and poultry processing facilities and found that COVID-19 was confirmed in 16,233 workers with 86 related deaths. In the states reporting each figure, 9.1% of all workers had confirmed COVID-19 and 87% of cases occurred among racial and ethnic minority workers highlighting the need for focused preventive measures for these groups to decrease health disparities and occupational risks related to COVID-19.
· Analysis of the clinical characteristics and outcomes of 2,729 COVID-19 inpatients and outpatients at Boston Medical Center found that 44.6% were Black, 30.1% were Hispanic, and 16.4% were experiencing homelessness. Further, the hospitalization rate was higher among Hispanic patients compared to black and white patients, leading the authors to conclude that such populations would benefit from focused efforts in improving patient outcomes and reducing the burden on healthcare systems.
Understanding the Pathology
· A group of researchers utilized rapid antibody discovery to isolate 389 recombinant SARS-CoV-2-reactive human monoclonal antibodies isolated from 4 SARS-CoV-2-infected patients and 1 healthy donor. They tested antibody binding and neutralizing potency against SARS-CoV-2 and found that those recognizing the viral S glycoprotein effectively neutralized the virus. These findings suggest a target site for vaccine and antibody treatment development and identify monoclonal antibody isolates as potential biologics to prevent or treat SARS-CoV-2 infection.
· A review of several randomized control trials investigating the efficacy of Remdesivir treatment for SARS-CoV-2 infection found that in comparison to a placebo, Remdesivir showed reduced mortality and improved recovery time for hospitalized patients requiring low-flow oxygen but was ineffective for patients requiring high-flow or invasive mechanical ventilation. The authors suggest these results may indicate that Remdesivir could be a key pharmacological therapy for moderately-ill hospitalized patients with COVID-19.
Adjusting Practice During COVID-19
· Anesthesiologists in Singapore provide guidelines for performing endotracheal intubation outside of a sterile operating room.
· The CDC randomly sampled pediatric practices enrolled in Vaccines for Children to examine the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on pediatric immunization operations. Of the 1,727 practices surveyed, 72.8% were providing immunization services to all pediatric patients, 14.7% were only able to offer it to some patients, and 4.4% were unable to offer any immunizations. The authors recommend that parents and caregivers be educated about the importance of well child visits, vaccinations, and the availability of services through programs such as Vaccines for Children.
R&D: Diagnosis and Treatments
· Tulane University researchers present their CRISPR-based assay to diagnose SARS-CoV-2 infection, proposing that its benefits over traditional RT-PCR include an improved sample-to-answer time of roughly 50 minutes and that it does not require specialized laboratory reagents. They report the limit of detection of their CRISPR-based assays was 2 copies of the target RNA sequence--comparable to that of the gold-standard qPCR of 5 copies per test.
Mental Health and Resilience Needs