More than three-quarters of recently recovered COVID-19 patients had heart muscle problems show up during magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests, German doctors reported on Monday in JAMA Cardiology. Among 100 patients ages 45 to 53, “a considerable majority” – 78 – had inflammation in the heart muscle and lining. Sixty-seven had recovered at home while 33 had required hospitalization. Compared with similar people who had not had COVID-19, the recently recovered patients’ hearts pumped more weakly and displayed other risk factors for heart failure.
A genetic mutation that made the new coronavirus more infectious may also make it more vulnerable to vaccines, researchers believe. The mutation, designated D614G, increases the number of “spikes” on the surface of the virus and makes them more stable, allowing the virus to more efficiently break into and infect cells. The mutation will not pose problems for vaccines now in clinical trials, however, because the extra spikes retain the targets for the “neutralizing antibodies” the vaccines are designed to induce.
Canada Gives Conditional Approval to Gilead’s Remdesivir for COVID-19
Canada on Tuesday granted conditional approval to Gilead Sciences Inc’s antiviral treatment remdesivir to treat patients with severe symptoms of COVID-19, making it the first approved treatment for the fast-spreading illness in the country. Remdesivir has become the treatment of choice for many countries against severely ill COVID-19 patients after the intravenously-administered medicine helped shorten hospital recovery times in a clinical trial.
The drug, remdesivir, has been granted emergency or conditional authorization in several countries including the United States, Japan, Singapore and Australia. Under a program, a small number of patients have been or are being treated with remdesivir in Canada until now. With the authorization of remdesivir, the program will no longer be required to access the drug.