Throat Swab on Rapid Testing Chokes in Omicron-Era Study

Jan 20th, 2022 - Rapid antigen testing using a nasal swab with the BinaxNOW test was able to detect the Omicron variant at an urban community testing site, whereas other swabbing routes did not perform as well, researchers found. Sensitivity of the BinaxNOW assay for detecting PCR-positive cases within a cycle threshold (Ct) of <30, indicating a higher viral load, was 74% (95% CI 53.7-88.9%) using a throat swab...

Five things you should know about ‘free’ at-home COVID tests
Damon Darlin, Kaiser Health News

Jan 20th, 2022 - Americans keep hearing that it is important to test frequently for COVID-19 at home. But just try to find an “at-home” rapid COVID test in a store and at a price that makes frequent tests affordable.

COVID-19 Vaccines Not Linked to Trouble Conceiving

Jan 20th, 2022 - Couples who were vaccinated against COVID-19 did not have a lower likelihood of getting pregnant, but previous infection with SARS-CoV-2 could affect male fertility, according to a prospective study. Both female and male partners who had at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose did not face lower chances of getting pregnant than unvaccinated patients (female fecundability ratio [FR] 1.08, 95% CI 0.95...

Signs of Lingering Cardiac Dysfunction After Severe COVID

Jan 20th, 2022 - Patients recovering from COVID-19 showed cardiac dysfunction on transthoracic echocardiography 3 to 4 months after hospital discharge, according to a Norwegian study. Compared with matched controls, 204 COVID patients had worse right ventricular longitudinal strain (RVLS; adjusted estimated mean difference 1.5 percentage points, 95% CI 0.5-2.6), lower tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion ...

'Brain Fog' Persists After Mild COVID-19

Jan 20th, 2022 - Young adults performed worse on memory and attention tests several months after an acute case of mild COVID-19, according to a small study that may support the "brain fog" reported by many. Most cognitive abilities tested -- including working memory, executive function, and planning -- were normal, but COVID-19 patients displayed significantly worse episodic memory for up to 6 months after infe...

Are Jam-Packed Days for Hospitalists Bad for Older Patients?

Jan 20th, 2022 - Outcomes for older patients were similar regardless of whether or not hospitalists were having their busiest days, a large national study using data from 2018 found. Among older Medicare recipients (mean age 80), those admitted on hospitalists' busiest days did not experience any "meaningful differences" in outcomes for common conditions, compared to those that were admitted during less busy da...

Pro-Vax Fla. Official Put on Leave; Blood Sample Tube Shortage; 1M Superbug Deaths

Jan 20th, 2022 - Note that some links may require registration or subscription. A top Florida health official was placed on leave after encouraging his colleagues to get vaccinated against COVID-19. (Washington Post) NIAID Director Anthony Fauci, MD, suggested that Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine could be authorized for kids under 5 as soon as next month. (Fortune) Due to the Omicron variant, updated NIH COVID guidel...

Vaccine Group Gavi Says Additional $5.2 Bln Needed to Ensure Supply

Jan 20th, 2022 - (Reuters) - The chairman of the Gavi vaccine alliance, Jose Manuel Barroso, said on Wednesday that an additional $5.2 billion is needed to continue to deliver vaccines at scale. Speaking at a news briefing, Barroso said it was critical to continue to keep up the pace of vaccine supply through the COVAX global vaccine-sharing programme, as more than 3 billion people in the world have yet to rece...

Greece Imposes Rolling Fines to Push COVID-19 Vaccinations in Older People

Jan 20th, 2022 - ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece has begun imposing recurring fines on those over the age of 60 who are unvaccinated against COVID-19 to try to boost inoculation in the most vulnerable age group even as infection rates from the fast-spreading Omicron variant are slowing. After hitting an all-time high of 50,126 registered coronavirus infections on Jan. 4, mainly driven by the spread of the Omicron var...

Hospital Rooms Housing COVID-19 Patients Usually Not Contaminated With Virus

Jan 20th, 2022 - NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The rate of contamination of surfaces in rooms with hospitalized COVID-19 patients is low, researchers report. Of the 347 individual samples collected from the rooms of 20 patients infected with SARS-CoV-2, less than 6% were positive via RT-PCR and only one demonstrated cytopathic effect (CPE), researchers report in Clinical Infectious Diseases. "The presence of SARS...

How the Pandemic Led to Disarray ― and Discovery

Jan 20th, 2022 - Editor's note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape's Coronavirus Resource Center. In March 2020, as the world was waking up to the dawn of a global pandemic, 61 members of the Skagit Valley Chorale in northwest Washington State gathered for a 2-hour rehearsal. They followed the precautions recommended by local health officials, avoiding physical contact, using hand sanitizer,...

Swiss Researchers Launch Trial for COVID 'Patch' Vaccine

Jan 20th, 2022 - LAUSANNE, Switzerland (Reuters) - Swiss medical researchers said on Wednesday they have launched an early-stage study to test a next-generation COVID-19 vaccine candidate which would be administered via an arm patch, the latest to look at alternative methods of giving injections. Unlike conventional vaccines that focus on stimulating antibody production, the new PepGNP-Covid19 vaccine candidate...

COVID-19 Families and Experts Share Pandemic 'Silver Linings'

Jan 20th, 2022 - Editor's note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape's Coronavirus Resource Center. A Medscape Special Report: COVID at 2 As we mark the second anniversary of the first COVID-19 case identified in the United States, many negative aspects of our shared trauma — political disagreements, family members hospitalized, and over 850,000 American deaths — are well known to us. But no m...

Some Apartment Dwellers Blocked From Ordering Rapid Tests

Jan 20th, 2022 - Editor's note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape's Coronavirus Resource Center. Some residents of apartments and other multi-unit buildings report being unable to order free COVID-19 tests from the U.S. Postal Service website. The Biden administration rolled out the website on Tuesday, part of a promise to make 1 million home testing kits available to the public. Four tests...

Tough Questions on the COVID Pandemic

Jan 20th, 2022 - Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape's Coronavirus Resource Center. We asked. You answered. Here's how our readers feel about the pandemic. Like is it almost over? This interview originally appeared on WebMD on January 20, 2022 Follow Medscape on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube

Are Hospital Admissions Still the Best Way to Gauge the COVID Crisis?

Jan 20th, 2022 - MADRID/LONDON (Reuters) - Using the number of people in hospital with COVID-19 to gauge the severity of the pandemic may not give an accurate picture in the Omicron era as more and more patients with the virus are being admitted for other reasons, some scientists say. Governments have focused on hospitalisations to determine the need for restrictions but the data does not typically differentiat...

The Virus Within: How Politics and Misinformation Made the Pandemic Worse

Jan 20th, 2022 - Editor's note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape's Coronavirus Resource Center. As the pandemic raged in 2020, the White House Coronavirus Task Force scheduled frequent press briefings, some at the White House and others at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the National Institutes of Health. Dr Jerome Adams When the briefings were at the White House, w...

Variation in Heart-Transplant Rates Remains Despite Change in Allocation Policy

Jan 20th, 2022 - NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Despite the recent change in heart-allocation policy designed to boost equitable distribution of the limited number of available organs, substantial center-level and regional variation in likelihood of transplant remains, according to a new analysis. "Wide state-level variability in waiting list outcomes have been noted for patients listed for heart transplant in the...

Coronavirus Spreading Like Never Before in Americas, Health Agency Says

Jan 20th, 2022 - BRASILIA (Reuters) - COVID-19 infections are reaching new peaks in the Americas with 7.2 million new cases and more than 15,000 COVID-related deaths in the last week, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said on Wednesday. "The virus is spreading more actively than ever before," PAHO Director Carissa Etienne told a briefing. The Caribbean has had the steepest increase in infections since...

The Pandemic Has Changed Us, Permanently

Jan 20th, 2022 - Editor's note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape's Coronavirus Resource Center. The daily commute. Catching a first-run film. In-person doctor visits. Standing-room-only concerts. Checking out a hot new restaurant. These common everyday experiences are now fraught with risk as COVID-19 brought widespread changes in how we live, work, play, and stay healthy. Once the global ...