Journal: Annals of internal medicine
The hypothesized link between the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism continues to cause concern and challenge vaccine uptake.
Whether and when to mandate the wearing of facemasks in the community to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 remains controversial. Published literature across disciplines about the role of masks in mitigating severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission is summarized. Growing evidence that SARS-CoV-2 is airborne indicates that infection control interventions must go beyond contact and droplet measures (such as handwashing and cleaning surfaces) and attend to masking and ventilation. Observational evidence suggests that masks work mainly by source control (preventing infected persons from transmitting the virus to others), but laboratory studies of mask filtration properties suggest that they could also provide some protection to wearers (protective effect). Even small reductions in individual transmission could lead to substantial reductions in population spread. To date, only 1 randomized controlled trial has examined a community mask recommendation. This trial did not identify a significant protective effect and was not designed to evaluate source control. Filtration properties and comfort vary widely across mask types. Masks may cause discomfort and communication difficulties. However, there is no evidence that masks result in significant physiologic decompensation or that risk compensation and fomite transmission are associated with mask wearing. The psychological effects of masks are culturally shaped; they may include threats to autonomy, social relatedness, and competence. Evidence suggests that the potential benefits of wearing masks likely outweigh the potential harms when SARS-CoV-2 is spreading in a community. However, mask mandates involve a tradeoff with personal freedom, so such policies should be pursued only if the threat is substantial and mitigation of spread cannot be achieved through other means.
Nasopharyngeal swabs are the primary sampling method used for detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), but they require a trained health care professional and extensive personal protective equipment.
Dietary guideline recommendations require consideration of the certainty in the evidence, the magnitude of potential benefits and harms, and explicit consideration of people’s values and preferences. A set of recommendations on red meat and processed meat consumption was developed on the basis of 5 de novo systematic reviews that considered all of these issues.
Influenza may contribute to the burden of acute cardiovascular events during annual influenza epidemics.
The relationship between coffee consumption and mortality in diverse European populations with variable coffee preparation methods is unclear.
Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine have antiviral effects in vitro against severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2).
Coffee consumption has been associated with reduced risk for death in prospective cohort studies; however, data in nonwhites are sparse.
Little is known about how physician time is allocated in ambulatory care.
Diagnostic testing to identify persons infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is central to control the global pandemic of COVID-19 that began in late 2019. In a few countries, the use of diagnostic testing on a massive scale has been a cornerstone of successful containment strategies. In contrast, the United States, hampered by limited testing capacity, has prioritized testing for specific groups of persons. Real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction-based assays performed in a laboratory on respiratory specimens are the reference standard for COVID-19 diagnostics. However, point-of-care technologies and serologic immunoassays are rapidly emerging. Although excellent tools exist for the diagnosis of symptomatic patients in well-equipped laboratories, important gaps remain in screening asymptomatic persons in the incubation phase, as well as in the accurate determination of live viral shedding during convalescence to inform decisions to end isolation. Many affluent countries have encountered challenges in test delivery and specimen collection that have inhibited rapid increases in testing capacity. These challenges may be even greater in low-resource settings. Urgent clinical and public health needs currently drive an unprecedented global effort to increase testing capacity for SARS-CoV-2 infection. Here, the authors review the current array of tests for SARS-CoV-2, highlight gaps in current diagnostic capacity, and propose potential solutions.