Research Roundup: Covid; Obesity; Cancer; TB; Cyclospora; Chikungunya

Each week, KHN compiles a selection of recently published health policy studies and briefings.

CIDRAP: Swiss study: almost 40% of patients had long-term COVID after 7 to 9 months

Seven to nine months after acute COVID-19 infection, 39.0% of 410 adults still had symptoms of long-term COVID-19, according to a study published yesterday in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The researchers included symptomatic outpatients in Geneva who were enrolled from March 18 to May 15, 2020. Of those who responded to follow-up 7 to 9 months after infection, 39.0% still had symptoms, half of whom had one or two symptoms (27.6). % and 26.4%, respectively). (7/7)

CIDRAP: Pain Associated with Worse COVID-19 in Sickle Cell Disease

A history of pain in patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) – the most common complication of the disease – is associated with worse COVID-19 outcomes in children and adults, according to a Blood Advances study yesterday. SCD-related organ comorbidities were also related to worse COVID-19 outcomes in children. The researchers looked at 750 international patients with COVID-19 and SCD from March 2020 to 2021. Nearly half (48.5%) were children, median age 11, and the rest were adults, median age 31. About 91% were black and 7% were Latino. (7/2)

CIDRAP: COVID risk from patient encounters appears low among emergency responders

The COVID-19 incidence for emergency medical services (EMS) employees was not affected by work encounters with a COVID-19 patient, according to an emerging infectious disease survey yesterday. The researchers looked at EMS responses in King County, Washington, from February 16 to July 31, 2020, and found that about 1% of all encounters occurred with a COVID-19 patient (1,115), of whom about one in six had a aerosol-generating procedure (AGP), the most common being nonrebreather masks. (During the study period, EMS employees received COVID-related protocols, including guidelines for personal protective equipment. For example, whenever an AGP was performed, the employees were required to use N95 respirators.) (7/2)

In other research news –

ScienceDaily: Impulsivity Linked to Faster Eating in Kids May Lead to Obesity

Children who eat more slowly are less likely to be outgoing and impulsive, according to a new study co-led by the University at Buffalo and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The study, which sought to uncover the relationship between temperament and eating behavior in early childhood, also found that children who responded very well to external food cues (the urge to eat when food is seen, smelled, or tasted) were more likely to experience frustration. and discomfort and difficulty calming themselves. (University at Buffalo, 7/7)

ScienceDaily/Nature Communications: New Research Optimizes the Body’s Immune System to Fight Cancer

A groundbreaking study led by technical and medical researchers at the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities shows how engineered immune cells used in new cancer therapies can overcome physical barriers to allow a patient’s own immune system to fight tumors. The research could improve cancer therapies for millions of people worldwide in the future. The research is published in Nature Communications, a peer-reviewed, open access, scientific journal published by Nature Research. (5/14)

CIDRAP: WHO recommends new rapid molecular testing for tuberculosis

The World Health Organization (WHO) today released an update of its consolidated guidelines for the detection of tuberculosis (TB) and drug-resistant tuberculosis. The update includes three new classes of rapid molecular assays recommended by the WHO: automated moderate complexity NAATs (nucleic acid amplification assays) for the initial detection of tuberculosis and resistance to rifampicin and isoniazid, automated low complexity NAATs for detection of isoniazid resistance, and second-line anti-TB agents, and high-complexity hybridization-based NAATs for the detection of pyrazinamide resistance. An accompanying operational manual is intended to facilitate the implementation and roll-out of the tests by national TB programmes. (7/7)

CIDRAP: FDA Announces Plan to Prevent Cyclospora-Related Foodborne Illness

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a new Prevention, Response and Research Action Plan yesterday to help the agency prevent Cyclospora contamination of food and respond quickly to outbreaks. Cyclospora is a parasite that can cause intestinal disorders in humans if ingested. It was first identified in domestically grown herbs in the United States in 2018. Since then, infections have increased and there have been 6,000 domestically acquired cases of Cyclospora in the past 3 years. (7/2)

CIDRAP: Valneva Receives FDA Breakthrough Designation for Chikungunya Vaccine

Valneva, a pharmaceutical company based in France, announced today that its single-dose vaccine candidate against the chikungunya virus, called VLA1553, has received a breakthrough therapy from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a move that will speed up the assessment process. In a statement, Juan Carlos Jaramillo, MD, the company’s chief medical officer, said: “Chikungunya is a major, growing threat to public health and VLA1553 focuses on long-term protection against the chikungunya virus with one shot. We will continue to work closely together. with the FDA to bring a preventative solution to market as soon as possible.” (7/7)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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