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COVID-19 perspectives from three international journals

Keep up with the mass amount of information about COVID-19 being rolled out online. In this perspective we present three of this week’s COVID-19 headlines from Reuters, Medscape & The Lancet.

Medscape: Diabetes is a risk factor in COVID‐19

Observations from the 2003 SARS coronavirus has showed that diabetes worsened outcomes of the viral infection. Now the interaction between diabetes and the new SARS-CoV-2 causing COVID-19, is being investigated.

A detailed editor’s note in Medscape sums up findings from one of the latest Chinese case studies of individuals without diabetes in comparison to individuals with diabetes.

According to Medscape, the study found that diabetes patients diagnosed with COVID-19 and without other comorbidities were having significantly higher risk of:

  • Severe pneumonia, release of tissue injury-related enzymes
  • Excessive uncontrolled inflammatory responses
  • Hypercoagulable state associated with dysregulated glucose metabolism, compared to those with no diabetes

Hence, diabetes is considered a risk factor for both the progression and prognosis of COVID-19, and it is therefore crucial to give intensive attention to patients with diabetes.

Read the full editor’s note here.

JAMA: Pharmacologic Treatments for COVID-19

More than 300 active clinical treatment trials on pharmacologic treatments for COVID-19 are currently underway. So far, no evidence has yet been approved.

JAMA Network has made a review on the current evidence regarding proposed treatments for COVID-19, summarising current clinical experience and treatment guidance.

According to JAMA, the most promising therapy is – so far – thought to be remdesivir, which has shown potent in vitroactivity against SARS-CoV-2. US Food and Drug Administration has not yet approved the drug.

JAMA also conclude:

  • Oseltamivir has not been shown to have efficacy
  • Corticosteroids are currently not recommended
  • Current clinical evidence does not support stopping angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers in patients with COVID-19

Read the full review here.

Reuters: South Korea’s strategy to prevent COVID-19

South Korea has shown great success in bringing COVID-19 under control without strict mandatory lockdown strategies. The country is now evolving ongoing strategies focusing on how to reduce the risk of a second large outbreak continuing without major economic and social restrictions. Reuters has brought an overview of the country’s existing and future initiatives.

So far the success of slowing down the COVID-19 outbreak in South Korea is first and foremost owed to an expansive and well-organized testing program and also extensive efforts to isolate infected people and trace and quarantine their contacts.

Most of the initiatives to control the disease well into the future are relying on technology. Examples on these are:

  • A smartphone tracking app for new airport arrivals.
  • A “smart city” database collecting information about thousands of people infected by the new coronavirus and their contacts.
  • Electronic bracelets that track people breaking quarantine laws.

Read about the rest of South Korea’s strategies towards COVID-19 here.

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