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COVID-19 news round-up: new CDC guidelines and vaccine testing; heart damage stats

CDC softens guidelines, Fauci targets possible fall season recovery

The Trump administration and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) on Wednesday issued new guidelines for essential workers, allowing them to stay on the front lines if they’ve been exposed to COVID-19 (within six feet) but are still showing no coronavirus symptoms.

Dr. Anthony Fauci of the U.S. coronavirus task force said during an online interview Wednesday with the editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association said that “If, by fall, things start to return to normal, Americans will still need to wash their hands frequently, sick schoolchildren should be kept home and people with fevers need to refrain from going to work,” according to the Chicago Tribune.

Former President Barack Obama on social media wrote, “Social distancing bends the curve and relieves some pressure on our heroic medical professionals. But in order to shift off current policies, the key will be a robust system of testing and monitoring — something we have yet to put in place nationwide.”

Studies suggest approximately 10% of infections might be spread by individuals who are asymptomatic — infected but showing no symptoms — and can pass the virus on to others who can then have full-blown symptoms. Scientists and doctors are still trying to determine whether individuals that have had coronavirus are immune from future illness or can still be contagious, according to the Tribune.

Conservative media continue to press Trump to open-up the economy over the advice of health officials. “At some point, the president is going to have to look at Drs. Fauci and Birx and say, we’re opening on May 1,” Fox commentator Laura Ingraham tweeted. “Give me your best guidance on protocols, but we cannot deny our people their basic freedoms any longer.”

To read more go to chicagotribune.com/coronavirus/ct-nw-cdc-coronavirus-essential-workers-guidance-20200408-vsz3jknlwnbcti5ggqmlgjhjje-story.html.

Heart damage emerging in COVID-19 patients

In addition to lung damage, many COVID-19 patients are also developing heart problems — and dying of cardiac arrest, according to Scientific American and Kaiser Health News.

An initial study found cardiac damage in as many as one in five patients, leading to heart failure and death even among patients who show no signs of respiratory distress. It could lead to changes in the way doctors and hospitals treat COVID-19 patients in the early stages.

“Someone who’s dying from a bad pneumonia will ultimately die because the heart stops,” said Dr. Robert Bonow, a professor of cardiology at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and editor of the medical journal JAMA Cardiology. “You can’t get enough oxygen into your system and things go haywire.”

Doctors from China in March published two studies on the topic, one showing heart damage in 19% of COVID-19 patients from 416 hospitalized patients. Approximately half of those patients died as opposed to 4.5% who did not have heart damage.

To read more go to khn.org/news/mysterious-heart-damage-not-just-lung-troubles-befalling-covid-19-patients.

Why a coronavirus vaccine in one year would be ‘fast’

Scientists are attempting to condense a 10-year drug-to-market process into 12-18 months.

A rush to market without appropriate testing could put healthy people at risk with issues such as vaccine enhancement, where the disease is more harmful to a vaccinated person.

In early January, Chinese scientists developed and shared a full genetic sequence of SARS-Cov2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and several companies are using the information to develop vaccines. Moderna, in collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (USA), developed the first COVID-19 vaccine in clinical trials.

The clinical trial process that typically takes 10 years includes:

Phase I — A small study in healthy people that evaluates the vaccine for safety and immune response at different doses.

Phase II — A randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled study of hundreds of people that further evaluates safety, assesses efficacy and informs optimal dose and vaccine schedule.

Phase III — A randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled study of thousands of people that evaluates safety and efficacy.

Regulatory Review — The governmental body that approves new vaccines reviews the trial data and other information in the licensing application.

Phase IV — Post approval studies that monitor effectiveness in real world conditions.

The innovative and cooperative approach taken for this vaccine could change how scientists develop future ones. This could make discovery faster, production more reliable and vaccines potentially more cost effective. Source: Elissa Prichep, Precision Medicine lead, World Economic Forum

Chiropractic Education Conference cancelled

The World Federation of Chiropractic Association of Chiropractic Colleges last Friday announced the cancellation of the 11th Chiropractic Education Conference, scheduled for Oct. 28-31, 2020, in San Francisco, Calif.

“As a consequence of the uncertainty regarding the current COVID-19 pandemic, the decision has been taken to cancel the 2020 WFC ACC Education Conference,” organizers said in a statement. “We regret the disappointment this will cause and seek your understanding at this challenging time.”

Bill Gates-funded coronavirus vaccine testing began earlier this week

Healthy volunteers in Philadelphia and Kansas City, Mo., began testing an experimental coronavirus vaccine this week on patients via the Pennsylvania-based biotech Inovio Pharmaceuticals, funded by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other nonprofits.

They hope to have early safety data by late summer, and to produce 1 million doses by the end of 2020.

It is the second vaccine thus far to start human trials in the U.S.

To read more go to msn.com/en-us/health/health-news/a-potential-coronavirus-vaccine-funded-by-bill-gates-is-set-to-begin-testing-in-people-with-the-first-patient-expected-to-get-it-today/ar-BB12e01f.

 

For the latest COVID-19 info for doctors of chiropractic, including upcoming webinars, updates, resources and articles from Chiropractic Economics, go to chiroeco.com/coronavirus-covid-19.

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