Unlike Other Respiratory Infections, Novel Coronavirus Can Make The Jump Into Blood Vessel Cells
The new findings that the novel coronavirus can infect endothelial cells could explain the wide range of baffling symptoms exhibited by coronavirus patients--from COVID toes to strokes and heart attacks. Scientists say that respiratory viruses don't typically leave the lungs. In other scientific news: a look at what dose it takes to get really sick; a suggestion that the virus may be losing its potency; a look at who is getting infected; and more.
Coronavirus May Not Be A Respiratory Disease After All And That Could Change Everything, A Study Claims
A group of researchers reveals in their study that the coronavirus might not be a respiratory virus. Instead, it might be causing a toll on endothelial cells, affecting blood vessels. Many unexpected symptoms of COVID-19 started to arise in April, including blood clotting, strokes, and painful red or purple toes. Scientists later discovered that new symptoms related to cardiovascular complications. Months after the pandemic started, experts began to see sense behind the mysterious symptoms. (Simmons, 5/29)
The New York Times:
It’s Not Whether You Were Exposed To The Coronavirus. It’s How Much.
When experts recommend wearing masks, staying at least six feet away from others, washing your hands frequently and avoiding crowded spaces, what they’re really saying is: Try to minimize the amount of virus you encounter. A few viral particles cannot make you sick — the immune system would vanquish the intruders before they could. But how much virus is needed for an infection to take root? What is the minimum effective dose? A precise answer is impossible, because it’s difficult to capture the moment of infection. Scientists are studying ferrets, hamsters and mice for clues but, of course, it wouldn’t be ethical for scientists to expose people to different doses of the coronavirus, as they do with milder cold viruses. (Madavilli, 5/29)
New Coronavirus Losing Potency, Top Italian Doctor Says
The new coronavirus is losing its potency and has become much less lethal, a senior Italian doctor said on Sunday. “In reality, the virus clinically no longer exists in Italy,” said Alberto Zangrillo, the head of the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan in the northern region of Lombardy, which has borne the brunt of Italy’s coronavirus contagion. “The swabs that were performed over the last 10 days showed a viral load in quantitative terms that was absolutely infinitesimal compared to the ones carried out a month or two months ago,” he told RAI television. (5/31)
Coronavirus Infection Rate May Shift Toward Younger Ages; Death Risk Higher In Cancer Patients
Coronavirus infection burden may shift to younger age groups. As the coronavirus infection rate in Washington State passed its peak, cases in people over age 60 fell 10%, while infections among younger age groups rose steadily, researchers say. The nation's first known major outbreak took place at a nursing home in the state. Later in the outbreak, however, infections rates among those under age 40 increased from 20% to 40% of total cases, according to a report posted on Thursday without peer review on the medRxiv preprint server. (Lapid, 5/29)
Study: 11% Of Diabetics Die Within 1 Week Of Hospitalization For COVID-19
The first major study of diabetics hospitalized with COVID-19 shows more than 1 in 10 die within 7 days of admission, and about 1 in 5 is intubated within 1 week. The study appears today in Diabetologia. The analysis, named the CORONADO study, was conducted across 53 French hospitals from Mar 10 through 31 and included 1,317 patients diagnosed as having COVID-19 and diabetes. The vast majority (89%) had type 2 diabetes, and 3% had type 1. Men constituted 69% of the patients. Twenty-nine percent of patients either died (140 patients, 10.6%) or were mechanically ventilated by day 7. Only 18.0% of patients were discharged by day 7. (5/29)
As States Reopen, Medical Experts Recommend Pregnant Women Stay Vigilant Against COVID-19
Cherie Smith's been outside her Highlands Ranch, Colorado, home and car just once since March 26. That was for an April 16 appointment with her obstetrician. The office's "super caring" nurses take turns trying to convince Smith to come in for more in-person appointments because a surgery last year puts her at higher risk of premature labor. She's more worried about COVID-19 though, and is on track for a June 20 cesarean section. (O'Donnell, 5/30)
The New York Times:
Do Runners Need To Wear Masks?
Jane Rosen began yelling sometime in April. By May, it had become routine. The incidents usually occur near her minivan, which she parks alongside Central Park in New York City. As she attempts to enter or exit the vehicle, a cyclist or a runner will whiz by, so close she can practically smell them. “I scream, ‘Where is your mask?’” said Ms. Rosen, 73. Her daughter warned her that these confrontations could end badly. (Murphy, 5/30)
COVID-19 Shows Signs Of Long-Term Harm In Some Recovered Patients
The disease caused by the coronavirus may do lasting harm to some people who contract it, even if they only exhibit mild symptoms. There are growing signs that COVID-19 may have lingering effects, called sequelae in medical terminology. Early studies have found decreased lung function that might not be reversible, and damage to the heart, kidneys, gut or liver. (Wilson, 5/31)
USDA Says Testing ‘Unable To Verify Infection’ In Dog Presumed To Have COVID-19
The first dog in the U.S. presumed to have COVID-19 may not have been infected with the virus after all, according to test results recently confirmed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA tests completed last week could not confirm signs of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19 or antibodies in his system that would indicate a prior infection in Winston, a pug in North Carolina. (Ebbs, 5/29)