CMAAO Coronavirus Facts and Myth Buster: Around the globe

With inputs from Dr Monica Vasudev

976: Good news: So far, there has been no documented outbreak of COVID-19 in the U.S. that can be traced to a dental office, states the American Dental Association.

977:  The SARS-CoV-2 IgG assay has been found to have a sensitivity and specificity of 0.976 and 0.988, respectively, when the test is performed at least 14 days after onset of symptoms. If the tests were done earlier, the sensitivity was found to be lower. The IgG levels continued to remain high up to 58 days. Levels of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 were shown to be correlated to the risk for acute respiratory distress syndrome. There was a 62% increase for every twofold increase in IgG. In all, 11,066 patients received NAAT; of these, 457 had repeatedly negative results. Serum samples were collected from 18 of these patients – six were COVID-19 case-patients and 12 were non-COVID-19 controls. Five of the six patients COVID-19 case-patients and none of 12 controls had antibodies detected (P=0.001). It was thus concluded that antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 can point to infection if measured 14 or more days after symptom onset, are associated with clinical severity, and can provide diagnostic support when patients have negative results on NAAT but COVID-19 is still suspected. [July 6 Annals of Internal Medicine]

978: An inexpensive two-drug regimen of sofosbuvir and daclatasvir taken for 14 days led to a significant reduction in time to recovery from COVID-19 and improved survival in individuals hospitalized with severe disease, suggests research from an open-label Iranian study led by Andrew Hill, PhD, from the University of Liverpool, United Kingdom.

979: A recent study from two hospitals in Wuhan, China, has revealed that the highest aerosol concentration was found in a bathroom; however it was a temporary, single-toilet room with no ventilation. According to the study, sanitization and ventilation could limit the virus concentration in aerosols.

Another  study evaluated samples from COVID-19 patients who were hospitalized and noted that attempts to isolate the virus from stool samples were not successful, and the existing fragments were not infectious.

Flushing is a one-time event, and any direct plume is from a person’s own feces. Presence of the virus means that the person would already be infected. Our own fecal plume does not pose any risk to us.

980: If an unmasked interaction within six feet lasts less than 15 minutes and doesn’t include coughing or sneezing, the risk of transmission is low.

981: Indoor activities where music might be playing may cause people to lean and speak to each other.

982: Alcohol can make people relax and they may forget about maintain distance. When there’s singing involved, breaths are forced into the air. In many of these settings, masks might not be worn, thus encouraging the spread of the virus.

983: When you use a public bathroom, before leaving, use your foot, elbow, or a paper towel to open the door, and once you are outside, use a hand sanitizer.

984:  Bodies that are affected by severe COVID-19 could produce abnormally high levels of blood sugar, even in those without diagnosed diabetes. This seems to be associated with double the odds of dying from COVID-19, suggest Chinese researchers. High blood sugar levels at admission to the hospital were also associated with more severe disease and complications, reported researchers led by Dr. Yang Jin, of the Union Hospital and Tongji Medical College, in Wuhan, China. [ July 10 Diabetologia]

985:  Even if the virus landed on food that you ate, there’s no evidence to suggest that swallowing the virus leads to infection. It has to be transmitted to the respiratory system (the nose, sinuses or lungs).

Dr KK Aggarwal

President CMAAO, HCFI and Past National President IMA

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