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June 17 | Daily COVID-19 LST Report

Climate

· A cross-sectional study of surveys comparing 2,002 people in South Korea from 2/4-4/18/2020 to 2,009 people from the same geographic region from 6/2-6/15/2020 during the MERS-CoV epidemic found an overall increase in preventative behaviors during both time periods but social distancing, willingness to wear face masks, and avoidance of activities due to perceived risk during the COVID-19 pandemic were all significantly higher than they were during the MERS-CoV epidemic.

· Data collected from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Current Population Survey during 2019 found that a higher percentage of workers in industries deemed essential during the COVID-19 pandemic are people of color, indicating that people of color are more likely to have occupations with a high risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2.

· Statistical analysis was not performed on this data. However, given the trends identified, the authors call for these industries to supply adequate PPE for workers to mitigate any disparities that may be caused by occupational segregation.





Epidemiology

· Researchers in China analyzed 247 full length SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequences from the GISAID platform in March and postulated a rate of 26 mutations per genome per year.

· The Hunan Seafood Wholesale Market was the initial location where transmission between intermediate host and humans occurred, but they suggest that four distinct "super-spreader" genomic sequences have emerged over the course of the pandemic that can be traced to different locations of severe outbreak throughout the world.

· A study of 98 elderly COVID-19 patients from 4 hospitals in a Korean province found that age (especially greater than 80), elevated C-reactive protein (CRP) levels, a high Modified Early Warning Score (MEWS), and a high National Early Warning Score 2 (NEW2) are associated with increased need for mechanical ventilation (MV)/high-flow nasal cannula (HFNC) and mortality.

· A CRP greater than 8.0mg/dL had a higher sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value in predicting the need for MV/HFNC (odds ratio, 26.31; P less than 0.001) than the commonly utilized clinical scores of MEWS and NEWS2, suggesting that CRP levels may be an effective predictor of prognosis and respiratory support in elderly patients with COVID-19 in addition to MEWS and NEW2 scores.


Transmission & Prevention

· Researchers from Beijing found that purifiers with fine filters (F6 class) removed 54% of aerosols that could carry airborne COVID-19 while those with particulate air filters (HEPA, H12 class) removed 83%, suggesting that air purifiers may be an effective tool for protecting dental healthcare workers during aerosol-generating procedures, with HEPA filters possibly providing more protection than F6 filters.

· A review found that povidone-iodine (PVP-I), a topical solution used for nasal and oral decontamination, can be safely administered in the nose at concentrations up to 1.25% and in the mouth at concentrations up to 2.5% for up to 5 months, suggesting it may be a safe and effective agent against some coronaviruses (i.e. SARS-CoV-2, MERS).