Coronavirus News Roundup

CDC study: Coronavirus can travel as much as 13 feet

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, new research of air samples of hospitals with coronavirus patients found the virus can travel up to 13 feet.

The researchers, from the Academy of Military Medical Sciences in Beijing, tested surface and air samples from an intensive care unit and a ward that housed coronavirus patients at a hospital in Wuhan between Feb. 19 and March 2.

The highest concentrations of the virus were on floors, doorknobs, bed rails, trash cans and other areas and items that receive a lot of contact.

“Furthermore, half of the samples from the soles of the ICU medical staff shoes tested positive,” the team wrote. “Therefore, the soles of medical staff shoes might function as carriers.”

The researchers also found that small concentrations virus-laden aerosols could remain suspended in the air as far as 13 feet away from the infected person, more than twice the recommended 6 feet away. While it isn’t known how contagious the virus is through aerosols, possible risk of an airborne infection led to new CDC guidelines for covering your mouth and nose while in public.

— New York Daily News

‘GMA’ host George Stephanopoulos tests positive for coronavirus

NEW YORK — “Good Morning America” host George Stephanopoulos announced Monday morning on his show that he has tested positive for coronavirus, more than a week after his wife was diagnosed.

“I’ve never had a fever, never had chills, never had a headache, never had a cough, never had shortness of breath,” he said on “GMA.” “I’m feeling great.”

Stephanopoulos, 59, said it came as “no surprise” that he got coronavirus after his wife, actress Ali Wentworth, tested positive.

The couple, along with their two daughters, 14-year-old Harper and 17-year-old Elliott, had been self-isolating at home in New York, with Wentworth quarantined to her own room.

“We are basically acting to the outside world as if we have it,” Stephanopoulos, a former White House communications director under President Bill Clinton, said on “GMA” last Thursday. “We are staying inside the house. I am the only one who goes in and out. Somebody does have to take care of her. That’s me. But so far I feel fine and I am not showing any symptons.”

Wentworth, 55, described her symptoms when she revealed her diagnosis, including a “high fever, horrific body aches and heavy chest.”

— New York Daily News

Chloroquine study in Brazil halted over potentially deadly heart complications

A coronavirus drug trial was halted early in Brazil after hospitalized patients receiving high doses of chloroquine developed irregular heart rates known to cause sudden cardiac death.

Chloroquine and its sister drug hydroxychloroquine have been touted by President Donald Trump and his allies as possible coronavirus treatments. Studies so far have shown scant evidence, if any, that the anti-malaria drugs curb COVID-19.

The Brazilian study, posted on medRxiv for peer review, said researchers halted enrollment in the portion of the 81-person study involving high doses of chloroquine (CQ) early because they noticed “potential safety hazards.”

“We found that a higher dose of CQ for 10 days presented toxicity red flags, particularly affecting QTc prolongation,” the study authors said.

“The trend towards higher fatality associated with the higher dose by day 6 of follow-up resulted in a premature halting of this arm,” the study that involved hospitalized patients in the Brazilian state of Amazonas said.

The study was broken down into two groups. One group was slated to receive 600-milligram doses of chloroquine twice daily for 10 days and the other group was due to receive 450-milligram doses twice on the first day and then once a day after that.

By the sixth day, 11 of the 81 total enrolled patients had died.

— New York Daily News