Young woman smiling with her sleeve rolled up as she gets an injection from a doctor on her upper arm

August 02, 2023

Clinical Reports

  • NIH has launched several phase 2 long-COVID treatment trials
    • Today, the National Institutes of Health launched and is opening enrollment for phase 2 clinical trials that will evaluate at least four potential treatments for long COVID, with additional clinical trials to test at least seven more treatments expected in the coming months. Treatments will include drugs, biologics, medical devices and other therapies. The trials are designed to evaluate multiple treatments simultaneously to identify more swiftly those that are effective. Part of the NIH’s Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery (RECOVER) Initiative(link is external), the trials were informed by findings from other RECOVER research over the past two years and focus on several of the symptoms described as most burdensome by people experiencing long COVID. With its complementary research efforts, RECOVER has positioned NIH to design and conduct trials that have the potential to provide long COVID patients who experience varying symptoms with relief sooner than any individual study can alone.

Antiviral Therapeutics and Vaccines

  • Effectiveness of Oral Nirmatrelvir/Ritonavir vs. Intravenous Three-Day Remdesivir in Preventing Progression to Severe COVID-19: A Single-Center, Prospective, Comparative, Real-Life Study
    • Nirmatrelvir/ritonavir (NMV/r) and three-day course remdesivir (3RDV) have been approved as early treatments for COVID-19 outpatients not requiring supplemental oxygen. Real-life data on the efficacy of antivirals among immunocompromised patients or directly comparing their effectiveness in preventing hospitalization and/or death are scarce. Methods: Prospective, observational study conducted in a tertiary care hospital, from 1 January 2022 until 15 March 2023, during the prevalence of the Omicron variant. Inverse probability of treatment weighting (IPTW) was used to account for differences between treatment groups. Results: Researchers included 521, mainly immunocompromised (56%), patients in our analysis; 356 (68.3%) received 3RDV and 165 (31.7%) NMV/r. Overall, 15/521 (2.9%) patients met the primary end-point of hospitalization at 30 days (3RDV arm: 10/356, 2.8% vs. NMV/r arm: 5/165, 3%, p = 1). On IPTW-adjusted univariable analysis, the choice of treatment did not affect outcomes. In multivariable logistic regression analysis, we found that one (OR 0.26, 95%CI 0.07–0.99, p = 0.049) or two (OR 0.06, 95%CI 0.01–0.55, p = 0.014) vaccine booster shots reduced the risk for adverse outcomes. Conclusion: In this patient population of high-risk, mainly immunocompromised, vaccinated patients during the prevalence of the Omicron variant, NMV/r and 3RDV were equally effective early treatments for the prevention of hospitalization and/or death.


  • Rapid Direct Detection of SARS-CoV-2 Aerosols in Exhaled Breath at the Point of Care
    • Airborne transmission via virus-laden aerosols is a dominant route for the transmission of respiratory diseases, including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Direct, non-invasive screening of respiratory virus aerosols in patients has been a long-standing technical challenge. Here, researchers introduce a point-of-care testing platform that directly detects SARS-CoV-2 aerosols in as little as two exhaled breaths of patients and provides results in under 60s. It integrates a hand-held breath aerosol collector and a llama-derived, SARS-CoV-2 spike-protein specific nanobody bound to an ultrasensitive micro-immunoelectrode biosensor, which detects the oxidation of tyrosine amino acids present in SARS-CoV-2 viral particles. Laboratory and clinical trial results were within 20% of those obtained using standard testing methods. Importantly, the electrochemical biosensor directly detects the virus itself, as opposed to a surrogate or signature of the virus, and is sensitive to as little as 10 viral particles in a sample. Our platform holds the potential to be adapted for multiplexed detection of different respiratory viruses. It provides a rapid and non-invasive alternative to conventional viral diagnostics.


  • Predicting COVID-19 Incidence Using Wastewater Surveillance Data, Denmark, October 2021–June 2022
    • Analysis of wastewater is used in many settings for surveillance of SARS-CoV-2, but it remains unclear how well wastewater testing results reflect incidence. Denmark has had an extensive wastewater analysis system that conducts 3 weekly tests in ≈200 sites and has 85% population coverage; the country also offers free SARS-CoV-2 PCR tests to all residents. Using time series analysis for modeling, researchers found that wastewater data, combined with information on circulating variants and the number of human tests performed, closely fitted the incidence curve of persons testing positive. The results were consistent at a regional level and among a subpopulation of frequently tested healthcare personnel. We used wastewater analysis data to estimate incidence after testing was reduced to a minimum after March 2022. These results imply that data from a large-scale wastewater surveillance system can serve as a good proxy for COVID-19 incidence and for epidemic control.
  • Use of Wastewater Metrics to Track COVID-19 in the US published in JAMA Network Open
    • This observational cohort study with a time series analysis was conducted from January to September 2022 in 268 US counties in 22 states participating in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Wastewater Surveillance System. Participants included the populations of those US counties. In the first quarter of 2022, use of the wastewater percentile detected high reported case (area under the curve [AUC], 0.95; 95% CI, 0.94-0.96) and hospitalization (AUC, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.84-0.88) rates. The percentage change metric performed poorly, with AUCs ranging from 0.51 (95% CI, 0.50-0.53) to 0.57 (95% CI, 0.55-0.59) for reported new cases, and from 0.50 (95% CI, 0.48-0.52) to 0.55 (95% CI, 0.53-0.57) for hospitalizations across the first 3 quarters of 2022. The Youden index for detecting high case rates was wastewater percentile of 51% (sensitivity, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.80-0.84; specificity, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.92-0.95). A model inclusive of both metrics performed no better than using wastewater percentile alone. The performance of wastewater percentile declined over time for cases in the second quarter (AUC, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.82-0.86) and third quarter (AUC, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.70-0.75) of 2022. In this study, nationwide, county wastewater levels relative to the county maximum were associated with high COVID-19 case and hospitalization rates in the first quarter of 2022, but there was increasing dissociation between wastewater and clinical metrics in subsequent quarters, which may reflect increasing underreporting of cases, reduced testing, and possibly lower virulence of infection due to vaccines and treatments. This study offers a strategy to operationalize county wastewater percentile to improve the accurate assessment of community SARS-CoV-2 infection prevalence when reliability of conventional surveillance data is declining.
  • Wastewater-based epidemiology predicts COVID-19-induced weekly new hospital admissions in over 150 USA counties
    • Although the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) emergency status is easing, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect healthcare systems globally. It is crucial to have a reliable and population-wide prediction tool for estimating COVID-19-induced hospital admissions. Researchers evaluated the feasibility of using wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) to predict COVID-19-induced weekly new hospitalizations in 159 counties across 45 states in the United States of America (USA), covering a population of nearly 100 million. Using county-level weekly wastewater surveillance data (over 20 months), WBE-based models were established through the random forest algorithm. WBE-based models accurately predicted the county-level weekly new admissions, allowing a preparation window of 1-4 weeks. In real applications, periodically updated WBE-based models showed good accuracy and transferability, with mean absolute error within 4-6 patients/100k population for upcoming weekly new hospitalization numbers. This study demonstrated the potential of using WBE as an effective method to provide early warnings for healthcare systems.
  • Association between duration of SARS-CoV-2 positivity and long COVID
    • In an observational study, researchers analyzed 1,293 healthcare workers previously infected with SARS-CoV-2, of which 34.1% developed long COVID. Using a multivariate logistic regression model, researchers demonstrate that the likelihood of developing long COVID in infected individuals rises with the increasing of duration of infection and that three doses of the BNT162b2 vaccine are protective, even during the Omicron wave.

Situation Dashboards


World Health Organization (WHO)

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Situation from World Health Organization (WHO)

Johns Hopkins University (JHU)

Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at JHU

COVID-19 in US and Canada

1Point3Acres Real-Time Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates in US and Canada with Credible Sources

Genomic Epidemiology COVID-19

Genomic Epidemiology of (COVID-19) Maintained by the Nextstrain team, enabled by data from GISAID.

Sources for COVID-19 Information


World Health Organization (WHO)


Centers for Disease Control, US


International Society for Infectious Diseases


This Week in Virology (TWIV)

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