Today’s Top Story

FDA Sends Warning Letters to Companies Over COVID-19 Antibody Tests

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent three companies warning letters for advertising adulterated and misbranded COVID-19 antibody tests. The letters went to Medakit Ltd. of Sheung Wan, Hong Kong; and Yama Group; and Jason Korkus, DDS, and Sonrisa Family Dental d/b/a My COVID19 Club of Chicago, Ill. Violations included offering tests directly to consumers for at-home use without marketing approval, clearance, or authorization from the FDA; falsely labeling the products as “FDA approved”; and using the FDA logo on the label.

Read the FDA press release…

In Other News

Researchers Find Possible Link Between COVID-19, Blood Type

A study suggested that a patient’s blood type may influence COVID-19 disease severity, finding that type A patients are at greater risk for severe disease, while type O patients have a lower risk. The genetic analysis, published in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), observed a correlation between six genes and disease severity. Some experts have urged caution about the findings, calling the results tentative and pointing to the small patient size.

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COVID-19 Vaccine Will Be Covered by Insurance, Administration Predicts

A Trump administration official predicted at a briefing for reporters that a vaccine for COVID-19 will be covered by insurance and patients will not have to pay a copay, according to Modern Healthcare. President Donald J. Trump previously predicted that a vaccine may be available before the end of the year. Anthony Fauci, MD, of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said a vaccine will only be available by then if all goes smoothly during the testing phases.

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Study: Presymptomatic COVID-19 Transmission

A study published online in NEJM evaluated COVID-19 transmission by presymptomatic patients in a skilled nursing facility. Two serial point-prevalence surveys were conducted one week apart. Facility residents who underwent COVID-19 testing were assessed for symptoms during the preceding 14 days; asymptomatic patients who tested positive were reevaluated one week later. Of 89 residents, 57 (64 percent) tested positive 23 days after the first positive test result at the facility. Of the 76 who participated in the surveys, 48 (63 percent) tested positive, of whom 27 (56 percent) were asymptomatic upon testing; at a median four days, 24 patients developed symptoms.

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Study: Which Patients Are More Likely to Use Telemedicine?

A study published online in JAMA Network Open identified patient characteristics associated with choosing telemedicine versus in-office visits for the same primary care physician. Between Jan. 1, 2016, and May 31, 2018, 1,131,722 patients scheduled 2,178,440 primary care visits, of which 86 percent were scheduled as in-office and 14 percent as telemedicine visits. Older patients were less likely than younger patients to choose telemedicine. Technology access and in-person visit barriers also played significant roles in choosing telemedicine or in-office visits.

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COVID-19 and a Surgeon’s Guilt

In this article, Courtney Toombs, MD, a resident physician at Yale New Haven Hospital in New Haven, Conn., discusses feelings of powerlessness and guilt as orthopaedic surgeons are unable to perform surgeries during the COVID-19 pandemic. “A new generation of surgeons will start their training this summer, eager to learn. An entire generation of future doctors is watching right now, inspired by the courage of our profession and the austerity of our specialty. We must remain humbled by the changes occurring and garner lessons from this time that can inform our future practice,” writes Dr. Toombs.

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JAAOS Unplugged ® Podcast: COVID-19 Special Edition

In an episode of JAAOS Unplugged ®, host Cory Smith, MD, interviews guest editors William N. Levine, MD, FAAOS, and Peter Rose, MD, FAAOS, about the June 1 COVID-19 special edition of the Journal of the AAOS ® (JAAOS ®). Dr. Smith also interviews James R. Ficke, MD, FAAOS, FACS, and Adam S. Levin, MD, FAAOS, about their article titled, “Departmental Experience and Lessons Learned With Accelerated Introduction of Telemedicine During the COVID-19 Crisis.”

Listen to the episode…