Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Coronavirus around the world

Reasoning Beyond the Respiratory

Blood clots.

Blood clots. Purple toes. Kidney damage. Heart inflammation.

While COVID-19 is widely known as a respiratory illness, its roster of mysterious symptoms is pointing researchers to a surprising possibility—what if COVID-19 only begins as a respiratory infection, but ultimately becomes one that infects the blood vessels?

A Lancet paper published in April found that SARS-CoV-2 can launch vicious attacks on the lining of blood vessels.

WHO Pauses Hydroxychloroquine Trial

pills of hydroxychloroquine

The WHO paused hydroxychloroquine’s inclusion yesterday in a global trial of COVID-19 treatments, following Friday’s release of a study linking the drug to harmful outcomes, Politico reports.

The observational study, published in the Lancet, tied the use of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine in COVID-19 patients with a higher risk of death and increased frequency of heart arrhythmias.

How the pandemic has affected primary healthcare around the world

pandemic

The new coronavirus has affected people’s health in more ways than one. In this Special Feature, we look at what the pandemic has meant for primary healthcare access in countries around the world.

Over the past few weeks, Medical News Today have investigated the many ways in which the coronavirus pandemic has affected — directly or indirectly — the lives of people all around the globe.

In one feature, we spoke about how restrictive measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus have taken a toll on people’s daily lives and their mental health.

COVID-19: New drug candidates, treatments offer reasons for hope

new drug

Every 2 weeks, Medical News Today rounds up the latest research results that may offer hope among the turmoil that is the COVID-19 pandemic. In our previous Special Feature, we looked at vaccine trials and antibody tests.

In this article, we cover the latest scientific discoveries, from antibodies and testing to drug candidates and potential treatments.

The Problem with Propofol

Propofol

Demand for propofol—the ubiquitous intravenous anesthetic—has skyrocketed since the drug became key to ventilating ICU patients with COVID-19.

But hospitals have seen stressful shortages.

Why?

An investigation tracking propofol’s notoriously opaque journey from production to patient care underscores the vulnerabilities of a supply chain that relies on a few countries for production—and now faces a global crisis.

COVID-19 May Spike Child and Maternal Mortality

India kids covid

COVID-19’s collateral damage could drive up the global child mortality rate for the first time in 6 decades, The Washington Post reports, citing a Lancet Global Health study published today.

An additional 253,500 to 1.2 million children under 5 could die in the next 6 months, according to scenarios modeled by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers.

Maternal deaths could rise from 8% to 38%.

Scientists identify promising drug candidates for COVID-19

COVID-19 tests

By mapping interactions between human proteins and the new coronavirus, researchers have pinpointed 29 potential treatments using drugs already approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a wide range of other conditions.

There is currently no vaccine or antiviral drug with proven efficacy against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, though several clinical trials are underway.

Lack of in-depth knowledge about how the newly emerged virus interacts with human cells has hampered the hunt for an effective treatment.

Scientists discover unique mutation of new coronavirus

SARS-CoV-2 mutation

Researchers have identified a mutation in the genetic code of SARS-CoV-2 that mirrors changes scientists saw in the 2003 SARS outbreak.

SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes the illness COVID-19. In the mutation, 81 letters in the virus’s genome had been deleted.

Viral mutations are a normal part of a virus’s evolution and can alter the severity of the disease they cause.

Latest evidence on obesity and COVID-19

obesity

A summary of the evidence so far suggests that obesity is associated with a higher risk of developing severe symptoms and complications of coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19), independent of other illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease.

Early data seems to suggest that people with obesity are more likely to become severely ill due to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

An increasing number of reports have linked obesity to coronavirus mortality, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now list severe obesity as a risk factor for severe COVID-19. The CDC define severe obesity as having a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above.

Remdesivir explained – what makes this drug work against viruses?

Remdesivir

With the FDA approving Gilead’s Remdesivir as an emergency use treatment for the most acute cases of COVID-19, many people are wondering what type of a drug it is.

Remdesivir is a member of one of the oldest and most important classes of drugs – known as nucleoside analogue. Currently there are more than 30 of these types of drugs that have been approved for use in treating viruses, cancers, parasites, as well as bacterial and fungal infections, with many more currently in clinical and preclinical trials.

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