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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 Feb. 16 to 19, 2021. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal studies and other trusted sources that is most likely to affect clinical practice.

Pediatric Inpatient Admissions Down During Pandemic

FRIDAY, Feb. 19, 2021 -- Inpatient pediatric admissions were down across a wide range of diagnoses during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study published online Feb. 12 in JAMA Network Open.

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U.S. to Provide $4 Billion for International COVID-19 Vaccine Program

FRIDAY, Feb. 19, 2021 -- The United States will soon start providing $4 billion for COVAX, an international program to buy and distribute COVID-19 vaccines to poor countries.

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Pfizer to Begin Clinical Trial of COVID-19 Vaccine in Pregnant Women

FRIDAY, Feb. 19, 2021 -- The first U.S. participants in a large-scale clinical trial to test the safety and efficacy of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in pregnant women have received their shots, the company announced Thursday.

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Socioeconomic Status Tied to Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children

FRIDAY, Feb. 19, 2021 -- Low socioeconomic status, high social vulnerability index, and racial/ethnic minority are associated with multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, according to a study published online Feb. 18 in Pediatrics.

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T2DM in Middle Age Ups Mortality Risk in COVID-19 Infection

FRIDAY, Feb. 19, 2021 -- Mortality risk from infection with COVID-19 among middle-aged adults with type 2 diabetes is elevated compared with adults without diabetes and is the equivalent of adding 20 years of chronological age to assessing overall related death risk, according to a research letter published online Feb. 16 in Diabetologia.

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COVID-19 Death Count Varies With Race of Nursing Home Residents

FRIDAY, Feb. 19, 2021 -- Nursing homes with the lowest proportion of White residents experience higher COVID-19 death counts, according to a study published online Feb. 10 in JAMA Network Open.

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Many U.S. Troops Refusing COVID-19 Vaccination

THURSDAY, Feb. 18, 2021 -- Thousands of U.S. military personnel are refusing or delaying COVID-19 vaccination, even as service members are being deployed to help give shots at vaccination centers nationwide.

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Millions of Counterfeit N95 Masks Seized

THURSDAY, Feb. 18, 2021 -- More than 10 million counterfeit N95 masks have been confiscated by U.S. officials in recent weeks.

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Myocardial Injury Prevalent in Patients With Severe COVID-19

THURSDAY, Feb. 18, 2021 -- Myocarditis-like injury occurs after severe COVID-19 infection, with late gadolinium enhancement and/or ischemia in 54 percent of patients, according to a study published online Feb. 17 in the European Heart Journal.

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Age, Frailty Independently Linked to COVID-19 Mortality

THURSDAY, Feb. 18, 2021 -- For adults hospitalized with COVID-19, age and frailty are independently associated with inpatient mortality and with higher care needs on discharge, according to a study published online Feb. 5 in Age and Ageing.

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Canadian Study Confirms COVID-19 More Serious Than Influenza

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17, 2021 -- Admission to the hospital for COVID-19 through June 30, 2020, was associated with greater mortality, intensive care unit use, and hospital length of stay compared with influenza, according to a study published online Feb. 10 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

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Prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 Infection Low in Young Children

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17, 2021 -- Among young children, the prevalence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection is low, according to a study published online Feb. 8 in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health.

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Stronger Rules Needed to Reduce Workplace Transmission of COVID-19

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17, 2021 -- Immediate action is needed to reduce the airborne transmission of the new coronavirus in high-risk workplaces such as hospitals, schools, meatpacking plants, and prisons, a group of 13 experts say in a letter to the Biden administration.

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Zinc, Ascorbic Acid Do Not Cut Symptom Duration in SARS-CoV-2

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17, 2021 -- For ambulatory adults with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection, treatment with high-dose zinc gluconate, ascorbic acid, or a combination does not reduce the duration of symptoms, according to a study published online Feb. 12 in JAMA Network Open.

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Methylprednisolone Added to IVIG May Cut Fever in MIS-C

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17, 2021 -- Initial combination therapy of intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIG) plus methylprednisolone is associated with a better fever course than IVIG alone among patients hospitalized for multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection, according to a study published online Feb. 1 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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CRISPR-Based Testing Feasible for SARS-CoV-2 Screening

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17, 2021 -- CRISPR-based assays appear to be reliable for surveillance testing and detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 outbreaks in higher education settings, according to a study published online Feb. 11 in JAMA Network Open.

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ED Visit Volume Dropped for Mental Health, Substance Use Early in Pandemic

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17, 2021 -- Emergency department visits for mental health, substance use, and violence decreased in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study published online Feb. 3 in JAMA Psychiatry.

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Eye Abnormalities Identified in Severe COVID-19 Patients

TUESDAY, Feb. 16, 2021 -- Seven percent of patients with severe COVID-19 present with abnormal magnetic resonance imaging findings of the globe of the eye, according to a study published online Feb. 16 in Radiology.

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AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine Approved by the WHO

TUESDAY, Feb. 16, 2021 -- The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine has received emergency use authorization from the World Health Organization.

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Novel SARS-CoV-2 Variant From California Spreading Widely

TUESDAY, Feb. 16, 2021 -- In a research letter published online Feb. 11 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers describe the emergence of a novel variant of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, CAL.20C, which originated in Southern California.

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COVID-19 Case Fatality Rate High in Long-Term Dialysis Patients

TUESDAY, Feb. 16, 2021 -- Patients undergoing long-term dialysis who become infected with SARS-CoV-2 have a high COVID-19 case fatality rate, according to a study published online Feb. 4 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

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Factors Other Than Workplace Tied to COVID-19 Positivity in HCWs

TUESDAY, Feb. 16, 2021 -- Demographic and community risk factors are more strongly associated with COVID-19 positivity than workplace exposure among health care workers, according to a study published online Jan. 29 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Pediatric Oncology Services Disrupted During Pandemic

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Maternal Cardiovascular Health in Pregnancy Tied to Offspring Cardiovascular Health

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Behavioral Health Issues Remain High as Pandemic Continues

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