The Daily Dose: Coronavirus infections appears to lessen severity of COVID-19 outcomes.

A coronavirus gonna coronavirus. Whether it’s SARS-CoV-2 or HKU1, they share overwhelming makeups and, as a result, should trigger similar immune responses. Infectious disease experts had wondered whether infection with non-COVID-19 coronaviruses. A recent study has weighed in on the issue. Per The Scientist, “The infection rate for SARS-CoV-2 was no different between those who had a recently recorded endemic coronavirus infection (eCoV+) and those who did not have a positive test (eCoV-). When the researchers peered closer at the data, they observed an important difference between the two groups. ‘The COVID-19 disease is actually much less severe in those patients who had documented endemic coronavirus infections,’ says Sagar. The odds of intensive care unit (ICU) admission were significantly lower in eCoV+ than in eCoV- patients, and there was ‘a trend towards lower odds of mechanical ventilation,’ the authors write in their report.”

The rush towards a COVID-19 vaccine continues. Now, Switzerland has joined the international scientific effort. “Swiss drugs regulator Swissmedic said on Friday it has begun a rolling review of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate from U.S.-based Moderna MRNA.O, which is currently analyzing data from a large-scale clinical trial in thousands of patients.” Expect more companies to join in.

Public health experts have struggled to obtain basic information about healthcare in war torn countries. Yemen is, perhaps, the most glaring example of an international crisis also devolving into a public heath disaster. Now, researchers have turned to mobile-phone aided geospatial analysis to determine how far populations are from hospitals. Per the Lancet Global Health, “In 2018, we estimated that nearly 8·8 million (30·6%) of the total estimated Yemeni population of 28·7 million people lived more than 30-min travel time from the nearest fully or partially functional public primary health-care facility, and more than 12·1 million (42·4%) Yemeni people lived more than 1 h from the nearest fully or partially functional public hospital, assuming access to motorised transport.”

The cost of medicine in the United States has been a commonly voiced concern among patients and doctors. Everyone knows that its a problem but nobody appears to have the right answer. An opinion piece in STAT suggests one theory as to why out-of-pocket prescription medicine costs has risen while industry revenue has remained flat for the past few years. “The age-related rise in the number of prescriptions filled, which I call the prescription escalator, tends to boost individuals’ out of-pocket drug spending year after year, no matter what is happening to the price of drugs. In other words, the very usefulness of medicines to fight the ills of aging, combined with the copayment insurance model, translates into rising spending for individuals.”

Public health experts have been warning about COVID-19 delays in routine vaccination. A joint report by the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control reiterates that warning, Per Al-Jazeera, “Measles surged worldwide in 2019 to reach the highest number of reported cases in 23 years, according to a new report from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States, which blamed falling rates of vaccination for the resurgence of the highly infectious and sometimes deadly disease.”

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