Physician's Briefing Weekly Coronavirus Roundup

Weekly Coronavirus Roundup
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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. 10 to 14, 2022. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal studies and other trusted sources that is most likely to affect clinical practice.

Supreme Court Blocks Biden's Vaccine Mandate for Large Employers

FRIDAY, Jan. 14, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- The Biden administration cannot enforce a vaccine-or-testing mandate for large employers, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday. The 6-3 decision was driven by the conservative majority on the court.

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WHO Living Guideline Updated for Drug Treatment of COVID-19

FRIDAY, Jan. 14, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- The Janus kinase inhibitor baricitinib is strongly recommended for patients with severe or critical COVID-19, and sotrovimab is conditionally recommended for nonsevere COVID-19, according to the updated World Health Organization living guideline on drugs for COVID-19, published online Jan. 13 in The BMJ.

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NCCN Endorses Full COVID-19 Vaccination for Cancer Patients

FRIDAY, Jan. 14, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Full COVID-19 vaccination, including third doses and/or boosters, is recommended for all patients with cancer, with a strong preference for mRNA vaccines, according to expert consensus recommendations published by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

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3 Percent of Youth Testing Positive for COVID-19 in ED Have Severe Outcomes

FRIDAY, Jan. 14, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Approximately 3 percent of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2-positive youth tested in emergency departments experience severe outcomes within two weeks of their index visit, according to a study published online Jan. 11 in JAMA Network Open.

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White House May Soon Offer 'High-Quality' Masks to Americans

THURSDAY, Jan. 13, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- A program to offer high-quality face masks to Americans is being weighed by the Biden administration as a way to help slow the spread of the highly transmissible omicron variant.

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U.S. Military Medical Personnel Being Deployed to Ease Shortages

THURSDAY, Jan. 13, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- President Joe Biden announced Thursday that a "surge" of U.S. military medical personnel will soon be deployed to hospitals struggling with staff shortages amid soaring COVID-19 cases.

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Real-World, Rapid COVID-19 Testing Shows Few False Positives

THURSDAY, Jan. 13, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- In a Canadian employer screening program, the overall rate of false-positive results using rapid antigen test screens for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 is very low, according to a research letter published online Jan. 7 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Pediatric Antibiotic Prescribing Dropped During Pandemic

THURSDAY, Jan. 13, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- In pediatric primary care practices, there was a substantial reduction in antibiotic prescribing, beginning in April 2020, which was mainly due to a reduction in prescriptions at visits for respiratory tract infection, according to a study published online Jan. 10 in Pediatrics.

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N95 Respirators Can Be Reprocessed Using Vaporized Hydrogen Peroxide

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 12, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Reprocessing of N95 respirators using vaporized hydrogen peroxide is safe and does not impair respiratory integrity or filtration efficiency, according to a brief report published online Jan. 5 in the American Journal of Infection Control.

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Nearly 600,000 U.S. Children Had COVID-19 Last Week

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 12, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- In a sign that the highly contagious omicron variant is sparing no one, a report shows that new COVID-19 cases among U.S. children spiked to a high of more than 580,000 for the week ending Jan. 6, a 78 percent increase from the week before.

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U.S. May Soon See Sharp Drop in Omicron Cases, Experts Say

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 12, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- The omicron surge may have peaked in Britain and could be about to do the same in the United States, experts report.

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BinaxNOW Test Catches COVID-19 Infection in Many People, Study Shows

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 12, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Countering earlier concerns, a real-world study shows that a widely used at-home COVID-19 test called BinaxNOW is as effective at detecting omicron as other coronavirus variants.

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White House to Give Schools 10 Million Free COVID-19 Tests Every Month

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 12, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- In an effort to keep children in classrooms, the White House announced Wednesday that 10 million free COVID-19 tests will be provided to schools around the country every month while the wildly contagious omicron variant continues to surge.

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Pfizer Says Omicron-Specific Vaccine Ready by March

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 12, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Pfizer Inc. said Tuesday that a COVID-19 vaccine that specifically targets the omicron variant will be ready by March.

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U.S. COVID-19 Hospitalizations Pass Last Winter's Peak

TUESDAY, Jan. 11, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- The United States has passed another grim milestone in the pandemic as the omicron variant races across the country: COVID-19 hospitalizations have now eclipsed a previous peak, which was seen last January.

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U.S. Insurers Must Cover Eight COVID-19 At-Home Tests a Month: White House

TUESDAY, Jan. 11, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Private insurers will have to cover the cost of eight at-home COVID-19 tests per person per month as of Saturday, the Biden administration announced Monday.

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Americans Should Avoid Travel to Canada: CDC

TUESDAY, Jan. 11, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Americans should avoid travel to Canada due to "very high" levels of COVID-19 cases in that country, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday.

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Two Doses of BNT162b2 Vaccine Protect Against MIS-C

TUESDAY, Jan. 11, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Receipt of two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is associated with a high level of protection against multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children among children aged 12 to 18 years, according to research published in the Jan. 7 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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COVID-19 Survivors Overestimate Lingering Taste Impairment

TUESDAY, Jan. 11, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- More than half of patients with self-reported long-term altered taste perception following COVID-19 actually have normal gustatory function when evaluated with validated psychophysical tests, according to a research letter published online Jan. 6 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

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Young Adults With Cancer Facing Psychological Distress During Pandemic

TUESDAY, Jan. 11, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Teens and young adults with cancer are experiencing high psychological distress during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study published online Jan. 5 in Psycho-Oncology.

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COVID-19 Incidence Up With Exposure to Airborne Pollutants

TUESDAY, Jan. 11, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of COVID-19 is increased in association with long-term exposure to airborne pollutants, according to a study published online Jan. 10 in Occupational & Environmental Medicine.

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FDA Warns Against Using At-Home COVID-19 Test Swabs in the Throat

MONDAY, Jan. 10, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Swabs that come with at-home rapid antigen COVID-19 tests should be used in the nose and not the throat, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns.

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Amid COVID-19 Test Shortages, Price Gouging Is on the Rise

MONDAY, Jan. 10, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- As the omicron variant blankets America and demand for COVID-19 tests climbs, so, too, does price gouging. High prices for over-the-counter antigen tests are being seen around the country, CBS News reported.

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Children's Behavior at Home Worse During Remote Learning

MONDAY, Jan. 10, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Parents report that their children's behavioral health at home is worse during remote learning than with in-person learning, according to a research letter published online Jan. 10 in JAMA Pediatrics.

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COVID-19 Vaccination Linked to Small Change in Menstrual Cycle Length

MONDAY, Jan. 10, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- COVID-19 vaccination is associated with a small change in menstrual cycle length, but not in menses length, according to a study published online Jan. 5 in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Use of Certain Prescription Meds Linked to COVID-19 Mortality

MONDAY, Jan. 10, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- A potential COVID-19 survival benefit is suggested in association with initiation or continuation of an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor, an angiotensin receptor blocker, or metformin for hospitalized patients, according to a study published in the December issue of The BMJ.

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Severe COVID-19 Outcomes Rare After Primary Vaccination

MONDAY, Jan. 10, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Severe COVID-19 outcomes are rare after primary vaccination, but those who are 65 years or older, are immunosuppressed, or have underlying conditions may be at increased risk, according to research published in the Jan. 7 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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