A Census Bureau survey found the number of Americans showing signs of clinical anxiety and depression has increased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 30% of respondents showing symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder and 24% demonstrating symptoms of major depressive disorder. Higher rates of anxiety and depression were seen among women, younger adults and the poor, while a state-by-state comparison showed Mississippi had the greatest share of adults with symptoms of depression or anxiety at 48%, followed by Louisiana at 43% and Illinois at 42%.
Bats perform invaluable ecosystem services, but they're also a reservoir for myriad zoonotic diseases, which are becoming more common as barriers between humans and wildlife fall. Researchers are studying bats and other animals to determine the origin of SARS-CoV-2 and to prevent another pandemic.
Zoos are reopening with certain restrictions in place to protect visitors, staff and animals, such as selling tickets only online, encouraging visitors to wear protective face coverings and making paths one-way.
A fifth novel coronavirus pandemic relief bill could be considered in the "next month or so," according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who said it will not be the $3 trillion legislation passed by the House. McConnell said the bill must have liability protection for employers because businesses are worried about a spike in lawsuits, and some moderate Senate Democrats say they are open to such a provision.
Researchers studied cases of 9,884 youths who died by suicide and found that 21% of LGBTQ youths who died by suicide were classified as being bullied, compared with 4.4% of non-LGBTQ youths. The findings in JAMA Pediatrics also showed that 67.7% of LGBTQ youths ages 10 to 13 who died by suicide had experienced bullying.
A study in Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice found that pregnant women with diabetes and albuminuria had higher odds of developing preeclampsia, while those with lower estimated glomerular filtration rate values had higher odds of preterm birth. The findings indicate that both albuminuria status and eGFR could help in identifying women with diabetes who were at high risk of adverse obstetric outcomes.
International researchers found a way to document changes in the retina and detect diabetic retinopathy in its early stages by attaching an adapter with an additional lens to a standard smartphone, which could be useful in identifying the condition among patients in developing countries. Described in the journal Opthalmology, the device detected almost 80% of the eyes with damage and could diagnose advance damage to the retina 100% of the time.
Physicians, a former head of the FDA and the CEO of Merck are tamping down predictions and expectations that a vaccine for the novel coronavirus virus is going to available this year. "I really think a vaccine is probably a 2021 event, in terms of having wide availability of a vaccine for the general population," said Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former FDA commissioner.
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey's pilot program to address social determinants of health in Newark has shown success, so even in the middle of the novel coronavirus pandemic the insurer and its health system partners are expanding it to 11 counties. Horizon's Valerie Harr said the stakeholders did reconsider the expansion but decided to proceed because COVID-19 is hitting vulnerable communities especially hard, and it was possible to deliver services via video and phone.
Various changes have been adapted rapidly by the biotech industry because of the coronavirus pandemic, and in an industry that mostly requires activities to be conducted in person, many scientific collaborations that generate new therapies now are 100% virtual, writes Pearl Huang, CEO of Cygnal Therapeutics. Huang says three ways the pandemic has changed the biotech industry are the de-densification of work environments, the growing viability of global collaboration, and an emphasis on priorities.
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