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October 5 | Daily COVID-19 LST Report

Climate

· Pediatricians and OBGYNs discusses ethical concerns (e.g. reproductive autonomy) surrounding public health policies on pregnancy avoidance during a public health emergency, suggesting that such policies should only be put in place if the pregnancy-related risks associated are well understood, pose a significant risk, cannot be minimized, and if contraception is readily available. The authors conclude that, at this time, COVID-19 does not meet all of these criteria, emphasizing that more information is needed prior to establishing recommendations.

Epidemiology

· A cohort study found that of 598 pregnant patients hospitalized due to COVID-19, 272 (45.5%) were symptomatic upon admission, with 16.2% requiring ICU admission and 8.5% required invasive mechanical ventilation. Out of 458 completed pregnancies during the COVID-19-associated hospitalization, 10 (2.2%) resulted in a pregnancy loss. This study suggests that pregnant persons might be at increased risk for severe disease, making COVID-19 screening in pregnancy and patient education increasingly important as we have not yet fully understood the long-term ramifications of COVID-19 in pregnant persons and their babies.

Transmission & Prevention

· Mechanical engineers tested 18 commercially available topical products using an in vivo model with a custom-built tribometer to mimic the shear loading force against skin in order to identify a practical lubricating solution for medical workers required to wear facial personal protective equipment (PPE) for a prolonged period of time and found the longest-lasting reduction of friction in talcum powder, a petrolatum-lanolin mixture, and a coconut oil-cocoa butter-beeswax mixture.

R&D: Diagnosis & Treatments

· Individuals with COVID-19 infection detected via routine surveillance using low-frequency high-analytic sensitivity (benchmark PCR) tests are likely outside of the transmissible infectious period by the time the results are received, thus allowing for viral spread before the person is aware they are infected, and suggesting that a shift in testing to a low analytic sensitivity test which has quick point-of-care results, inexpensive mass-production, and the ability to be performed frequently would allow for identification, isolation, and filtration of people who could spread infection.

Mental Health & Resilience Needs

· A cross-sectional study of 288 perinatal patients found higher rates of anxiety (34.4%) and depression (39.2%) compared to pre-COVID-19 scores (3.1% for both conditions combined) as measured by the Patient Health Questionnaire Anxiety and Depression Scale, while postnatal groups scored higher than antenatal groups overall (p<0.0001), suggesting that perinatal patients, postnatal patients in particular, may experience increased mental health challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.


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