By Nancy Lapid
(Reuters) – The following is a synthesis of some of the latest scientific studies on the new coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, a viral disease.
NYC’s primary responders had a high COVID-19 ratio
Compared to the general public, New York City firefighters and emergency health workers are 15 times more likely to become infected with a new type of coronavirus during the first pandemic, researchers reported Thursday. in the ERJ Open Research. They studied nearly 10,800 firefighters and 3,500 emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and medical personnel. From the beginning of March to the end of May, 36.2% of these frontline workers were confirmed to be infected by a positive PCR virus test or suspected COVID-19 due to their symptoms. During the same period, it was 2.4% of the overall population of the city. Compared to firefighters, EMTs and health workers are more likely to become infected with the virus and develop a more severe COVID-19. Everyone in the previous study has undergone tests to assess their lung health, and people with pre-pandemic impaired lung function have a higher risk of developing severe COVID-19. Dr Anita Simonds, president of the European Respiratory Association, said these first responders “cannot avoid entering the home or having close contact with members of the public and colleagues”. “No matter where in the world we live, we … need to do all we can to protect them.” (https://bit.ly/38hJwOJ)
Public surfaces can provide clues for virus spread
A new study shows that local public health officials interested in how and where the new coronavirus is spreading may want to track viral counts on “highly exposed” surfaces in their communities. surname. Between April and June, during a COVID-19 outbreak in a Massachusetts town, researchers scanned 348 non-porous surfaces that are frequently touched by the public. 29 swabs, or 8.3% positive for the virus, include crosswalks, trash can handles, and door handles at the entrance of essential businesses such as groceries and stores alcohol, banks and gas stations. In a report posted on Sunday on medRxiv prior to the peer review, the researchers noted that the amount of virus on the surface is minimal and the risk of infection touching them is extremely low. But the prevalence of the virus on highly exposed surfaces in public spaces and essential businesses “has reflected, and may even lead to, the number of cases of local COVID-19 in one. weeks, “they said. “Our findings demonstrate the potential for environmental monitoring of multiple contact surfaces to inform disease dynamics during the COVID-19 pandemic.” (https://bit.ly/3oUAVXX)
New application to assist in making decisions about cancer during a pandemic
A new app could help cancer patients decide their risk level when they delay treatment for fear of COVID-19 infection. Using data from more than five million US patients, researchers have developed an online tool to quantify that risk for individuals with 25 different types of cancer. In JAMA Oncology, they give two examples. The first was a 70-year-old woman in New York City during the height of the first pandemic. She has stage 2 negative breast cancer and also has high blood pressure and diabetes. Treatment with surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. For her, the consequences of coronavirus infection by going to treatment were greater than the three-month delay in treatment due to her risk factors for severe COVID-19. The immediate treatment will reduce her survival by 8% for the next 5 years. In contrast, for a healthy 40-year-old with the same cancer living in an area less susceptible to the virus, the survival rate of immediate versus delayed treatment would differ below zero. ,first%. Co-author, Dr. Matthew Schipper of the University of Michigan said his team is updating the app to include more recent data on COVID-19 mortality risk of cancer patients and is also working on studies. method to provide uncertain estimates, since the uncertainty can be large, especially when looking at several months into the future. “(https://bit.ly/2TSUHVv; https://bit.ly/3eCLKJH)
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(Reported by Nancy Lapid and Marilynn Larkin; Edited by Bill Berkrot)