COVID-19 Daily: More Will Die, First Antibody Test Authorized

By | April 6, 2020

What your doctor is reading on

APRIL 04, 2020 — Here are the coronavirus stories Medscape’s editors around the globe think you need to know about today: 

ID Experts: More Will Die Than Predicted 

Anticipate a higher death rate from COVID-19 than originally predicted. That’s the message from leaders of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), who spoke at a press briefing yesterday. 

Previous estimates of 100,000 to 240,000 deaths were based on assumptions that Americans would cooperate with proper social distancing — a practice that is not happening at optimal levels, according to infectious disease leaders.  

The society highlights what it’s going to take to mitigate and contain the virus, and it provides further insights on test accuracy, social distancing, and containment strategies.

FDA Authorizes Rapid Antibody Test

A newly available antibody test may help evaluate the SARS-CoV-2 virus in 20 minutes or less. The US Food and Drug Administration has granted Cellex an emergency use authorization to market the first rapid antibody test for COVID-19.

The test, which indicates the presence of IgM, IgG, or both antibodies against the virus, demonstrated a nearly 94% positive percent agreement with reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) during premarket testing and a 96% negative percent agreement with RT-PCR.

MDedge explains how the test works and that negative test results do not rule out infection. 

Muzzling of Healthcare Workers Can Threaten Public Health

Hospitals who attempt to silence frontline workers about poor conditions, including lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilators, are putting clinicians and the public at risk, physician groups say. In recent weeks, healthcare professionals have reported being reprimanded or even terminated for publicly discussing PPE shortages or sharing safety concerns. Other clinicians say they can’t share their experiences for fear of reprisal by their hospitals. 

Read More:  U.S. emergency approval broadens use of Gilead's COVID-19 drug remdesivir

COVID-19 and Skin Conditions   

A new study by dermatologists in Italy finds that a marked portion of COVID-19 patients may experience skin manifestations. Of 88 COVID-19 patients studied, about one fifth developed skin manifestations, according to an analysis conducted at the Alessandro Manzoni Hospital in Lecco, Italy. About 44% of those with skin manifestations experienced skin eruptions at symptom onset, while the rest occurred following hospitalization. 

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