Read AMA Morning Rounds®’ most popular stories in medicine and public health from the week of July 27, 2020 – July 31, 2020.

Report: Young, previously healthy adults with mild COVID-19 may take weeks to recover

Reuters (7/24, Chander) reported, “Young, previously healthy adults can take weeks to fully recover from even a mild COVID-19 infection, with about a fifth of patients under 35 years reporting not returning to their usual state of health up to 21 days after testing positive,” according to the CDC. A 13-state telephone survey “of symptomatic adults with mild COVID-19 found 35% had not returned to their usual state of health when interviewed two to three weeks after testing, the CDC reported in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on Friday.”

The Hill (7/24, Hellmann) reported, “Of the 35% of people surveyed still experiencing symptoms, a quarter were aged 18 to 34, 32% were between the ages of 35 and 49 and 47% were 50 years and older.”

Healio (7/24, Dreisbach) reported, “According to the current report, 43% of interviewees who reported cough, 35% of patients who reported fatigue and 29% of patients who reported shortness of breath at their test date continued to experience these symptoms at the interview date.”

Review finds U.S. vaccines are safe

NBC News (7/27, Sullivan) reports, “A comprehensive review of 20 years worth of data finds that U.S. vaccines are remarkably safe, thanks in part to ongoing safety surveillance after a vaccine hits the market, according to an Israeli study the Annals of Internal Medicine.”

CNN (7/27, Thomas, Erdman, Kane, Hetter) reports, “The only vaccine that was withdrawn for safety reasons,” a “rotavirus vaccine...was taken off the market less than a year after it was initially marketed.” That vaccine “was linked to a rare condition called intussusception, which can [cause] the intestines to tangle in infants.”

Scientists develop blood test that can diagnose Alzheimer’s disease as well as more expensive and invasive methods

The New York Times (7/28, Belluck) reports scientists developed a blood test that can diagnose Alzheimer’s disease “as accurately as methods that are far more expensive or invasive.” The blood test could “make diagnosis simpler, more affordable and widely available.” The findings were published in JAMA.

HealthDay (7/28, Foster) reports the new blood test not only can distinguish between Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, but it can also detect “signs of Alzheimer’s two decades before symptoms appeared in people who were genetically predisposed to develop the degenerative disease.” The blood test “measures levels of a specific tau protein, called p-tau217, that has long been linked to Alzheimer’s.”

Spring school closures may have saved tens of thousands of lives from COVID-19, study suggests

The New York Times (7/29, Carey, Belluck) reports, “In a new analysis, pediatric researchers have estimated that the states’ decisions to close schools last spring likely saved tens of thousands of lives from [COVID-19] and prevented many more coronavirus infections.” The study, published in JAMA, “focuses on a six-week period in the spring and concluded that school closure ‘may have been associated with approximately 1.37 million fewer cases of [COVID-19] over a 26-day period and 40,600 fewer deaths over a 16-day period.’”

STAT (7/29, Boodman) reports “the point at which officials made that call [to close schools] mattered: Those states that adopted the policy while few people were testing positive saw a correlated flatter curve of cases.”

Researchers say poor health in teens and 20s tied to dementia in later life

CNN (7/30, LaMotte) reports researchers found in three studies that “a lack of access to high-quality education at an early age; being overweight during early adulthood; or having high blood pressure, diabetes and two or more heart health risk factors in the teen years, 20s and midlife were significantly connected to cognitive issues and dementia in later life.” The findings were presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2020.

MedPage Today (7/30, George) reports the research suggests that “about 40% of dementia cases may be prevented or delayed by modifying 12 risk factors.”

AMA Morning Rounds news coverage is developed in affiliation with Bulletin Healthcare LLC. Subscribe to Morning Rounds Daily.

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