COVID-19 Daily: Hydroxychloroquine 'Concerns,' Financial Aid Request

What your doctor is reading on Medscape.com:

APRIL 08, 2020 -- Here are the coronavirus stories Medscape's editors around the globe think you need to know about today: 

Hydroxychloroquine Study "Concerns"

The International Society of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (ISAC) has issued a statement expressing "concerns" about the paper that sparked hope that hydroxychloroquine may be a promising treatment for COVID-19, which an ISAC journal published in late March. 

"The ISAC Board believes the article does not meet the Society's expected standard, especially relating to the lack of better explanations of the inclusion criteria and the triage of patients to ensure patient safety," the ISAC president wrote in the statement. 

Clinician Groups Seek Financial Help

The American Medical Association and scores of other specialty and state medical associations have written to the federal government to request payment of 1 month's worth of prepandemic revenue to every physician, nurse practitioner, and physician assistant enrolled in Medicare or Medicaid to make up for their current financial losses. 

"We've heard from many physician practices that they have trouble making payroll," an official at the American College of Physicians told Medscape Medical News. "Many of them are not seeking any money out of the practices for themselves right now. They're just trying to keep their staff employed." 

Testing Viral Transmission Through Masks

In a simulation study, four COVID-19 patients in South Korea wore cotton or surgical masks and coughed into petri dishes so scientists could test how effectively the masks blocked viral spread through aerosols. Even when the patients wore masks, scientists still detected SARS-CoV-2 in the petri dishes in most cases, they reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine

However, the scientists acknowledged that their study, "does not reflect the actual transmission of infection from patients with COVID-19 wearing different types of masks."

New York and New Jersey 

The number of COVID-19 cases in New York and New Jersey may be starting to level off, the two state's governors said in separate briefings earlier this week. On Wednesday, the single-day death counts were the highest yet in both states — 779 in New York and 275 in New Jersey. 

Hero, or Outcast? 

As an emergency medicine physician, Amy Faith Ho, MD, has never seen her field more publicly lauded than during the current COVID-19 pandemic, she writes in Medscape. But despite the headlines calling healthcare workers "heroes," she also hears stories of doctors pushed away by family, friends, neighbors, and strangers out of fear of contagion. 

Medscape Medical News
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