What does the spread of COVID-19 look like in long-term care facilities?

Bottom Line: Public health surveillance data on the spread of COVID-19 at one long-term care facility in Washington shows that long-term care facilities are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 outbreaks. Reference: McMichael, T.M. et al., Epidemiology of Covid-19 in a Long-Term Care Facility in King County, Washington. NEJM (2020). DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa2005412 Date Published: 27 March 2020 … Continue reading What does the spread of COVID-19 look like in long-term care facilities?

What is the predicted transmission potential in locations outside of Wuhan once new cases are introduced?

Bottom Line: Using data collected from the number of COVID-19 cases both within and outside of Wuhan between December 2019 and February 2020, it was predicted that once four or more independent cases are introduced in an area, there is a 50% chance of infection spreading in that location. Reference: Adam J Kucharski, Early dynamics … Continue reading What is the predicted transmission potential in locations outside of Wuhan once new cases are introduced?

Can viral material from the COVID-19 infection be found in fecal samples, and if so, how long does it remain for?

Bottom Line: Viral material from the SARS-CoV-2 virus has been found in fecal samples of patients with the COVID-19 infection, lasting up to 5 weeks following clearance of their respiratory tract infection. This poses a concern of potential fecal-oral transmission and reinforces strict precautions to prevent further transmission, especially in dense, contained areas. Reference: Wu, … Continue reading Can viral material from the COVID-19 infection be found in fecal samples, and if so, how long does it remain for?

What host cell factors are involved in infection by SARS-CoV-2?

Bottom Line To enter and infect human cells, surface proteins on the SARS-CoV-2 virus must be modified by an enzyme called TMPRSS2 in the lung. This protein can be effectively targeted by an existing drug that may therefore constitute a treatment option. Reference Hoffmann M. et al., SARS-CoV-2 cell entry depends on ACE2 and TMPRSS2 … Continue reading What host cell factors are involved in infection by SARS-CoV-2?

What proportion of COVID-19 cases lead to severe outcomes?

Bottom Line The case fatality risk of symptomatic COVID-19 was 1.4% in Wuhan China. The risk of having symptomatic infection or death increased with age, particularly those above 59 years. This information can help health providers ensure we are prepared and have enough supplies through the peak and duration of this pandemic. Reference Wu J. … Continue reading What proportion of COVID-19 cases lead to severe outcomes?

How long can SARS-CoV-2 (Coronavirus) particles survive in the air, or on certain surfaces?

Bottom Line SARS-CoV-2 particles remain viable for up to 3 hours in aersolized (air) droplets, and 4-72 hours on surfaces, depending on the material (plastic, stainless steel, copper, or cardboard). This suggests that transmission via aerosols or inanimate objects is possible. Reference van Doremalen N. et al., Aerosol and surface stability of SARS-CoV-2 as compared … Continue reading How long can SARS-CoV-2 (Coronavirus) particles survive in the air, or on certain surfaces?

Can we identify specific features of a patient’s immune response to COVID-19 from symptom-onset to recovery?

Bottom Line Specific types of immune cells and antibodies were elevated in a patient’s blood before the resolution of their symptoms from COVID-19. Following further evaluation, these immune parameters can potentially be used to predict disease outcome or evaluate efficacy of new interventions. Reference Thevarajan I. et al., Breadth of concomitant immune responses prior to … Continue reading Can we identify specific features of a patient’s immune response to COVID-19 from symptom-onset to recovery?

How much do mild, undocumented cases of COVID-19 contribute to the spread of the disease?

Bottom Line Before travel restrictions were placed, the majority of COVID-19 infections in China were undocumented, as they were associated with mild, limited or no symptoms. Undocumented cases appear to play the largest role in dissemination of COVID-19. Reference Li N. et al., Substantial undocumented infection facilitates the rapid dissemination of novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV2). Science … Continue reading How much do mild, undocumented cases of COVID-19 contribute to the spread of the disease?

What is the structure of the protein that the 2019-nCoV uses to bind and infect human cells, and can we develop therapies, vaccines, or diagnostic tests to target it?

Bottom Line The specific structure of this protein was solved and can now be used to rationally design effective anti-2019-nCoV therapies, vaccines, and diagnostic tests; however three potential antibodies that were tested by the authors were not effective. Reference Wrapp D. et al., Cryo-EM structure of the 2019-nCoV spike in the prefusion conformation. Science (2020). … Continue reading What is the structure of the protein that the 2019-nCoV uses to bind and infect human cells, and can we develop therapies, vaccines, or diagnostic tests to target it?

What are the symptoms of COVID-19 in the pediatric population?

Bottom Line Symptoms in the children in this study were nonspecific and no children required respiratory support or intensive care. Notably, eight children persistently tested positive on rectal swabs even after nasopharyngeal testing was negative, raising the possibility of fecal–oral transmission. Reference Xu Y. et al., Characteristics of pediatric SARS-CoV-2 infection and potential evidence for … Continue reading What are the symptoms of COVID-19 in the pediatric population?