Researchers studied 18,117 pregnant women who exhibited clinical symptoms of Zika virus disease between June 2015 and July 2016, and found that 5,673 had positive serum samples on real-time reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction assays and reported both gestational age at the time of symptom onset and pregnancy outcome, with adverse outcomes seen in 14% of these confirmed cases, of which 2% were eye or brain defects. The findings published in The New England Journal of Medicine also showed that the incidence of eye or brain defects was higher in pregnancies where the mother had an onset of Zika virus disease symptoms in the first trimester, compared with those with an onset in the second or third trimester.
Almost 80% of adults ages 70 years and older had at least one skin disease needing treatment or follow-up, according to a study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The study found 39.1% of those had three or more skin diseases at one time and skin diseases were more common among men than women.
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the US crossed the 5 million mark early Sunday, while the total number of fatalities climbed to 162,851, with over 1,000 deaths reported daily over the last five days. California, Texas, Florida, Georgia and New York account for over 40% of the cases.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in partnership with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, will collaborate with the largest vaccine maker in the world, the Serum Institute of India, to ensure the availability of up to 100 million doses of a potential COVID-19 vaccine to be distributed quickly to low- and middle-income countries, for less than $3 a dose, including an option to purchase additional doses if so required. Upfront capital will be provided by the Gates Foundation partnership to help the Serum Institute scale up manufacturing capacity.
President Donald Trump said he plans to issue an executive order requiring health insurance providers to cover patients with preexisting conditions. Health insurance providers must cover preexisting conditions under the Affordable Care Act, which the Trump administration has asked the Supreme Court to invalidate.
Blue Shield of California has teamed up with Cricket Health to provide personalized and coordinated care to members with late-stage chronic kidney disease enrolled in Blue Shield's fully insured preferred provider organization benefit plans. Under the deal, Cricket will provide Blue Shield members with a multidisciplinary care team who will work with their doctors to develop a personalized care plan.
The development of abbreviated MRI protocols, contrast-free diffusion-weighted imaging and MR spectroscopy, which address time, accuracy and cost concerns of MRI, may help advance the modality's use in breast screening, researchers reported at the Society for MR Radiographers & Technologists annual meeting. MR spectroscopy may be particularly beneficial to patients who have very dense breast tissue and can allow personalized screening for those with average and high breast cancer risk, radiology professor Carolyn Mountford said.
Dr. Mary Scanlon of Penn Medicine said the COVID-19 pandemic has caused her organization to limit its number of on-site trainees, maximize the number of radiologists who can read images from home, set up virtual morning conferences with residents, develop wellness initiatives and adopt physical distancing measures for their workstations. Meanwhile, Dr. Lilja Solnes of Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions said her organization also reduced its number of on-site residents and re-created the image reading experience through virtual rooms, which allowed faculty members to teach residents and monitor their progress. Dr. Pamela Johnson of Johns Hopkins University added, "Educational innovation went even beyond the residency training."
A five-year mobile mammography program deployed by the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center was able to perform more than 9,000 imaging exams in the Houston area, most of them on Hispanic women who were at least 50 years old, and resulted in more than 1,600 abnormality-related recalls, which included 11 invasive malignancies, while the inclusion of multilingual technologists in the mobile unit staff reduced errors, boosted efficiency and improved patient satisfaction, according to a study in Academic Radiology. "These findings support the need for the development of similar programs in other areas in the United States with a mission to care for the underserved community," researchers wrote.
Human resources, especially radiologic technologists, made up the highest cost for operating MRI scanners, accounting for 35% of the total cost of ownership, compared with purchasing an MRI that will be used for 10 years on average, which only accounted for 17% of TCO, according to a study presented at the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine virtual annual meeting. Radiology departments can reduce costs by adopting centralized remote scanning that can also benefit staff members who may be at risk for developing COVID-19, researcher Dr. Elizabeth Jones said.