By Nancy Lapid (Reuters) - The following is a brief roundup of some of the latest scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus.
Simulated sunlight inactivates the coronavirus on surfaces
Simulated sunlight rapidly inactivates the novel coronavirus on non-porous surfaces like stainless steel, according to researchers from the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate's National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (NBACC). "These results suggest that natural sunlight may be effective for significantly reducing the amount of virus on exposed surfaces, such as mailboxes, playground equipment, and shopping carts left outdoors in the sunlight," a spokesman for the researchers told Reuters. While significant reductions of the virus were observed after just a few minutes of simulated sunlight, the risk of exposure from contact with surfaces may not be fully eliminated, the researchers cautioned in the Journal of Infectious Diseases. More research is needed on how much virus is shed onto surfaces from infected individuals, how easily the virus is transferred from surfaces, and what amount is needed to cause infection. (bit.ly/3e4cxNg)
Hold off on blanket ‘DNR’ orders for critically ill COVID patients
In the desperate early days of the coronavirus pandemic, reports from China that few critically ill COVID-19 patients could be revived after a cardiac arrest led doctors in some countries to consider issuing blanket "Do Not Resuscitate" orders. But for U.S. COVID-19 patients, at least, that would not be appropriate, researchers said. Adequate data is not yet available on U.S. survival rates for in-hospital resuscitation of COVID-19 patients and the Chinese data may not be applicable, researchers wrote in a paper published on Friday in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, an American Heart Association journal. "Early experience of the pandemic in the U.S. reveals that about a quarter of COVID-19 patients are younger than 50 years of age and otherwise healthy. Cardiac arrest in such patients will likely have a different prognosis" than it would in older patients, researchers said. The study authors are members of the American Heart Association "Get With The Guidelines" Resuscitation Investigators panel. (bit.ly/3gaxBDI)