· Researchers collected self-reported data from a survey of 1,010 people across the United States and found that Americans have experienced an increase in conflict in romantic relationships, which was associated with changes in their engagement in intimate and sexual behaviors since the spread of COVID-19.
· An interdisciplinary group of physicians, public health specialists, and mass communication experts discuss the implicit meaning behind the question "when will we have a vaccine?" The authors assert that this question is not only one of time-frame, but also that of safety and effectiveness. They suggest that if a vaccine were to be ready for distribution, there needs to be easily accessible information available to the public for assurances that the vaccine not only works, but is also safe and effective.
· Professors of economics, psychology, and psychiatry found that based on actuarial analysis of data from the Provisional COVID-19 Death Counts by Sex, Age, and State published by the CDC, the United States has garnered an estimated 1.2 million years of life lost due to COVID-19 from February 1 through July 11, 2020.
· An observational study of 164 locally transmitted COVID-19 cases admitted to a Singapore hospital found that the median incubation period was 5 days and that in general older age groups had longer incubation durations. The authors suggest that a longer incubation duration may reflect a delayed immune response and severe disease as seen in older patients, posing that the elderly population may benefit from earlier COVID-19 testing.
Transmission & Prevention
· A hospital-based retrospective study of 435 medical staff in Wuhan, China found that thymosin drugs did not provide adequate pre-exposure nor post-exposure SARS-CoV-2 prophylaxis. Although thymosin drugs were used as prophylaxis during previous SARS and MERS outbreaks, the authors do not recommend thymosin drugs as prophylaxis for COVID-19.
· Investigators performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of 20 studies on COVID-19 and renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) inhibitors, including 28,872 patients with COVID-19. They found that ACEi/ARBS use for hypertensive patients exhibited a significant reduced association with death as well as for death and critical outcomes together. Although limited by high heterogeneity between studies, these findings suggest that patients currently on RAAS inhibitors should continue to use their medication during the COVID-19 pandemic.
R&D: Diagnosis & Treatments
· A study conducted across several medical institutions in Boston utilized a recently developed Single Molecular Assay (Simoa) to quantitatively detect SARS-CoV-2 antigens in serum. They detected S1 and N antigens in 41/64 COVID-19 patients with high S1 antigen concentration correlating with increased ICU admission rate (77%) and decreased time to intubation (<1 day). These findings suggest viral fragments can enter the bloodstream, possibly via tissue damage secondary to COVID-19 infection, thus making these quantitative values a potentially effective way to detect presence of SARS-CoV-2 and estimate disease severity.