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October 9 | Daily COVID-19 LST Report

Epidemiology

· Computer scientists evaluated Italian, Swiss, and German COVID-19 contact tracing apps based on Google/Apple exposure notification (GAEN) and Bluetooth signals in 108 pairs of handsets and found that Swiss and German app detection rules triggered no exposure notifications, while the Italian app's detection rules triggered notifications at a 50% true positive rate and 50% false positive rate, suggesting that while contact tracing apps are innovative, many limitations exist before they can be used for epidemiological data collection.


· A case report describes a previously healthy 20 year old male with fever and odynophagia who was admitted 2 weeks later for bilateral facial weakness, at which time neurological examination revealed severe neuropathy of the facial nerve bilaterally and discrete signs of active denervation. SARS-CoV-2 and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) were subsequently detected, which may have contributed to this patient’s clinical presentation (either via immune mediated or direct viral damage).

Understanding the Pathology

· An in vitro study found that 15/15 ex vivo thyroid specimens (removed due to the presence of benign thyroid nodules) expressed abundant levels of mRNA encoding for the ACE-2 receptor in thyroid follicular cells, making them a potential target for SARS-COV-2 entry and suggesting that COVID-19-related subacute thyroiditis may potentially be due to direct viral infection of the thyroid gland.


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