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Physician's Briefing Weekly Coronavirus Roundup

Here is what the editors at Physician's Briefing chose as the most important COVID-19 developments for you and your practice for the week of Jan. 19 to 22, 2021. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal studies and other trusted sources that is most likely to affect clinical practice.

Adults Delaying Even Emergency Care During COVID-19

FRIDAY, Jan. 22, 2021 -- Two-thirds of Americans are concerned about going to medical appointments even for an emergency when COVID-19 rates are high in their area, according to the results of a survey released Jan. 12 by the Orlando Health Heart & Vascular Institute.

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Antibody Drug May Protect Nursing Home Residents, Staff From COVID-19

FRIDAY, Jan. 22, 2021 -- An antibody drug that has emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in early-stage COVID-19 patients with symptoms prevented COVID-19 infections in nursing residents and staff who were exposed to the virus, a new study shows.

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Bamlanivimab + Etesevimab Reduces SARS-CoV-2 Viral Load

FRIDAY, Jan. 22, 2021 -- Treatment with bamlanivimab and etesevimab, but not monotherapy with bamlanivimab, is associated with a reduction in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 viral load in patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19, according to a study published online Jan. 21 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Cancer Screening, Diagnoses Down During Early Pandemic

FRIDAY, Jan. 22, 2021 -- There was a significant decrease in the number of patients undergoing screening tests for cancer and in the number of resulting diagnoses of cancerous and precancerous lesions during the first peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a research letter published online Jan. 14 in JAMA Oncology.

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Tocilizumab Does Not Improve Outcomes in Severe COVID-19

THURSDAY, Jan. 21, 2021 -- Tocilizumab plus standard care is not superior to standard care alone for improving clinical outcomes among patients with severe or critical COVID-19 and may increase mortality, according to a study published online Jan. 20 in The BMJ.

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Mortality Decreased for COVID-19 ICU Patients Over Time

THURSDAY, Jan. 21, 2021 -- For adults with COVID-19-related critical illness admitted to the intensive care unit, mortality has decreased over time, according to a study published online Jan. 19 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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President Biden Unveils Details of National Pandemic Response Plan

THURSDAY, Jan. 21, 2021 -- A day after his inauguration, President Joe Biden plans to unveil a new, far-reaching pandemic response plan. He will also issue executive orders that aim to ramp up the production and distribution of COVID-19 tests and vaccines, make schools and travel safer, and help states fight the spread of COVID-19.

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BinaxNOW Rapid Antigen Test Has Lower Sensitivity Than RT-PCR

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 20, 2021 -- The Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card rapid antigen test has lower sensitivity than reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction for detecting severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection, according to research published in the Jan. 19 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Mortality, Preeclampsia Up for Women With COVID-19 Giving Birth

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 20, 2021 -- Among U.S. women hospitalized for childbirth, the rates of death and certain adverse events are increased among those diagnosed with COVID-19, according to a research letter published online Jan. 15 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Men More Likely to Test Positive for SARS-CoV-2, Die From COVID-19

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 20, 2021 -- Men are more likely to test positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 and to have complications of COVID-19, according to a study published online Jan. 13 in PLOS ONE.

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New York City May Run Out of COVID-19 Vaccines

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 20, 2021 -- New York City's COVID-19 vaccination rate has outpaced its supply of vaccine doses, and the city could run out of doses in the next few days, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday.

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Continuing Blood Pressure Meds Safe for Those With COVID-19

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 20, 2021 -- Hospitalized COVID-19 patients can safely continue using blood pressure medications, according to a study published online Jan. 7 in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

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For COVID-19 ICU Patients, Death Linked to COVID-19 ICU Strain

TUESDAY, Jan. 19, 2021 -- For patients with COVID-19 in the intensive care unit, mortality is associated with COVID-19 ICU strain, according to a study published online Jan. 19 in JAMA Network Open.

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Expert Panel Criticizes WHO, China for Pandemic Response

TUESDAY, Jan. 19, 2021 -- China should have done more to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in the early stages, according to a panel of experts commissioned by the World Health Organization.

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California First State With Over 3 Million COVID-19 Cases

TUESDAY, Jan. 19, 2021 -- California has become the first state with more than 3 million known COVID-19 infections, far outpacing other states.

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IgG Level in Convalescent Plasma Affects COVID-19 Death Risk

TUESDAY, Jan. 19, 2021 -- For patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and not receiving mechanical ventilation, the risk for death is reduced with transfusion of plasma with higher versus lower levels of anti-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 immunoglobulin G antibodies, according to a study published online Jan. 13 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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COVID-19 Vaccine Likely Safe for Lactating Women

TUESDAY, Jan. 19, 2021 -- Women should not stop breastfeeding in order to get a COVID-19 vaccine, according to a statement released by the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine and published online Dec. 23 in Breastfeeding Medicine.

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Myopia Up in Children Confined to Home During Pandemic

TUESDAY, Jan. 19, 2021 -- For children aged 6 to 8 years, home confinement during the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with a significant myopic shift, according to a study published online Jan. 14 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

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