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  • Malaria in pregnant women (#4)
  • NIH axes bat grant (#19)
  • Effective labels on alcohol bottles (#10)
  • Smoking and COVID in Spain (#20)


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ProPublica

Coronavirus antibody studies and what they allegedly show have triggered fierce debates, further confusing public understanding. ProPublica’s health reporter Caroline Chen is here to offer some clarity around these crucial surveys.


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WBFO

With the continuation of quarantine and isolation, it’s not uncommon to rely more on social media for news and entertainment. Dr. Roger McIntyre, professor of psychiatry and pharmacology at the University of Toronto, recently conducted a study of Chinese healthcare workers that links increased social media consumption during COVID-19 to a worsened mental health state. He shared further details with WBFO’s Nick Lippa.


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The Conversation

However, with a testing, tracking and tracing strategy in place as well, it will still be possible to keep the epidemic under control. To make this feasible, the numbers of cases needs to come down to a more manageable number, say a few hundred active cases. This is because of the sheer numbers of cases and contacts involved, each of whom would need quarantining until shown to be uninfected. As examples, the average number of tests required per case was 52 in South Korea, and 64 in Australia.


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University of Tokyo

Findings that ACTs were significantly more effective than quinine


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While the world is focused on potential other uses for “malaria” drugs, research into how to treat that disease continues. Here scientists at University of Tokyo look into the particular case of protecting pregnant women.

Guardian

On Friday health secretary Matt Hancock announced that the UK had achieved its target of carrying out 100,000 tests per day. Of the reported 122,347 tests on 30 April, a total of 27,497 had simply been delivered to people’s homes and 12,872 to other centres. Only a small proportion of those 40,000 tests sent out have been used so far. By Sunday, the figure had dropped to 76,496 to much disconcertion.


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Nature

Developers and funders are laying the groundwork for efficacy trials, but only a handful of vaccines are likely to make the cut.


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The Conversation

Many countries, including South Africa and Nigeria in Africa, are moving to make it mandatory to wear non-medical cloth masks when people are outside their homes. The move is seen as a vital additional measure to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus causing COVID-19.


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Science

For families eager for schools to throw open their doors, the tale of a 9-year-old British boy who caught COVID-19 in the French Alps in January offers a glimmer of hope. The youngster, infected by a family friend, suffered only mild symptoms; he enjoyed ski lessons and attended school before he was diagnosed. Astonishingly, he did not transmit the virus to any of 72 contacts who were tested. His two siblings didn’t become infected, even though other germs spread readily among them: in the weeks that followed, all three had influenza and a common cold virus.


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The Lancet

During the current outbreak of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), frontline health-care workers are at high risk of contamination and spreading the infection. Hospital-related infections have been widely reported, with health-care professionals being disproportionately affected. Health-care workers who are involved in airway management of severely ill patients with COVID-19 are particularly at risk due to the use of intubators; for example, a proportion of anaesthesiologists working in Wuhan, China, became infected after performing endotracheal intubation on patients with confirmed COVID-19. Intubation can trigger aerosolisation of small particles containing the virus, and these particles can travel further distances when suspended in the air than when not aerosolised and be inhaled, increasing the risk of transmission. Therefore, anaesthesiologists, intensivists, and others members of the airway management team, should be careful when performing tracheal intubation for patients with COVID-19.


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Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs

PISCATAWAY, NJ – When alcohol bottles come with conspicuous labels providing information on the risks of alcohol consumption or drinking guidelines, people are better informed about alcohol’s harms and may cut down their drinking, according to a series of studies in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.


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Medscape

With some pivotal trials on hold, the COVID-19 pandemic is slowing the pace of research in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), stroke, and multiple sclerosis (MS).


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Houston Chronicle

A popular model used to forecast deaths related to COVID-19 has readjusted its outlook for Texas, dramatically increasing the number of deaths projected for the state.


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Leaders around the world, from presidents and prime ministers down to local mayors, are making decisions about how to react to coronavirus based on data and forecasts. Here the Houston Chronicle looks into the models, using its own city as a case study.

Stanford University

The nine-month collaborative studies, funded by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, will track the rate of new regional infections, define population immunity levels and help inform how to safely reopen California’s economy.


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Daily Nation (Kenya)

The government of Kenya should ensure that systems are instituted to facilitate access to essential reproductive maternal child health services.


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The Conversation

The coronavirus pandemic is giving smokers more reasons to give up the habit, and it’s creating a unique window of opportunity to do so. As a medical doctor working in addiction psychiatry, I work with a lot of patients who smoke or vape. I’ve been hearing from many of them that the coronavirus pandemic is the extra motivation that they need to finally quit.


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ABC (Australia)

Over nearly two weeks, Australia’s confirmed cases climb to 15 as an imperceptible trickle of disease makes its way across the ocean. Two weeks pass before the next five cases are tallied. Then the final week of February slips by without a single diagnosis.


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MedScape

ESMO’s breast cancer guidelines expand upon guidelines issued by other groups, addressing a broad spectrum of patient profiles and providing a creative array of treatment options in COVID-19–era clinical practice.


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Deutsche Welle

Since the start of this year, pharmaceutical companies and institutes worldwide have been conducting research to try to find a vaccine against the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. So far, the German Association of Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (VFA) has identified 115 different vaccine projects, while the World Health Organization (WHO) count is 102.


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Science

NIH declined to comment on why it canceled the grant, which was in its sixth year. But in emails reviewed by ScienceInsider, Michael Lauer, NIH’s deputy director for extramural research, suggested the Wuhan laboratory had not “taken all appropriate precautions to prevent the release of pathogens” that were the focus of the project. NIH offered no further support for that statement, however, and Lauer referred to the notion of the pandemic virus escaping the lab simply as “allegations.”


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Part of research is of course funding. Here Science reports about a controversy over the termination of a grant that involved collaboration with a virologist at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Universitat Oberta de Catalunya

Researchers demand data on tobacco use among those infected and advise that its sale should be prohibited during the pandemic


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Associated Press

NEW DELHI — A plan to give the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine to thousands of people in Mumbai’s crowded slums to prevent coronavirus infections has temporarily been shelved, officials said Wednesday.


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Science

A candidate treatment for COVID-19 has shown convincing—albeit modest—benefit for the first time in a large, carefully controlled clinical trial in hospitalized patients.


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The Hill

Since the onset of the pandemic many have wondered why New York, Milan and Wuhan were overwhelmed with COVID-19 hospitalizations in short spans of time while other large cities were mostly spared the “surge.” Part of the explanation may be in dose exposure and viral loads. Since COVID-19 replicates in the nasopharynx and respiratory tract and spreads by aerosol, droplet and direct contact, the virus can jump from one person to another and the number of viral particles that make the jump may determine how severely ill the next person will become.


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Euractiv

Andrej Šteňo, MD, PhD is a renowned Slovak neurosurgeon. His popular blog on facemasks wearing was firstly published in Denník N.


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Nature

Scientists are piecing together how SARS-CoV-2 operates, where it came from and what it might do next — but pressing questions remain about the source of COVID-19.


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