Adult man testing breathing function by spirometry having health problem. Diagnosis of respiratory function in pulmonary disease.

October 12, 2023

Clinical Reports

  • Disease Severity of Respiratory Syncytial Virus Compared with COVID-19 and Influenza Among Hospitalized Adults Aged ≥60 Years — IVY Network, 20 U.S. States, February 2022–May 2023
    In June 2023, CDC recommended the first respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccines for adults aged ≥60 years using shared clinical decision-making. Understanding the severity of RSV disease is needed to guide this clinical decision-making. During February 2022–May 2023, hospitalizations for RSV were less frequent but were associated with more severe disease than were hospitalizations for COVID-19 or influenza, including receipt of standard flow oxygen therapy, high-flow nasal cannula or noninvasive ventilation, and intensive care unit admission. The potential for severe RSV disease among older adults is important to consider as part of shared clinical decision-making when assessing the benefit of RSV vaccination among adults aged ≥60 years.
  • Local budesonide therapy in the management of persistent hyposmia in suspected non-severe COVID-19 patients: Results of a randomized controlled trial
    Consequences of COVID-19 on olfactory functions remained unclear during the pandemic. Researchers assessed the efficacy of local budesonide in addition to olfactory rehabilitation when managing non-severe COVID-19 patients with persistent hyposmia. A multicentric, randomized, superiority trial was conducted. The experimental group (EG) received budesonide and physiological saline nasal irrigations administered via three syringes of 20 ml in each nasal cavity in the morning and evening for 30 days. The control group (CG) received a similar protocol without budesonide. Patients were included if they were >18 years old, with a SARS-CoV-2 infection and presenting an isolated hyposmia persisting 30 days after symptom onset. The primary endpoint was the percentage of patients with improvement of more than two points on the ODORATEST score after 30 days of treatment. In total, 123 patients were included and randomized (EG: 62 vs CG: 61). Two patients from the EG met the primary endpoint with no statistical difference between the two groups (P = 0.5). To researchers knowledge, this is the first study evaluating local budesonide for COVID-19 related hyposmia treatment even though previous trials were performed with other local corticosteroids. Local budesonide efficacy was not demonstrated for persistent hyposmia related to COVID-19.

Antiviral Therapeutics and Vaccines

  • Nirmatrelvir-Ritonavir and COVID-19 Mortality and Hospitalization Among Patients With Vulnerability to COVID-19 Complications
    In this cohort study of 6866 individuals with COVID-19, treatment with nirmatrelvir and ritonavir was associated with lower risk of death or hospitalization in the most clinically extremely vulnerable individuals but not in less vulnerable individuals. Individuals who were not extremely vulnerable to experiencing complications from COVID-19, whose median age was 79 years, had greater risk of the outcome while receiving nirmatrelvir and ritonavir, but the finding was not statistically significant. In this study, treatment with nirmatrelvir and ritonavir was not associated with reduced risk of death or hospitalization among individuals who were not extremely vulnerable to complications from COVID-19 infection, regardless of age.
  • Effect of monovalent COVID-19 vaccines on viral interference between SARS-CoV-2 and several DNA viruses in patients with long-COVID syndrome
    Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) reactivation may be involved in long-COVID symptoms, but reactivation of other viruses as a factor has received less attention. Here researchers evaluated the reactivation of parvovirus-B19 and several members of the Herpesviridae family (DNA viruses) in patients with long-COVID syndrome. Researchers hypothesized that monovalent COVID-19 vaccines inhibit viral interference between SARS-CoV-2 and several DNA viruses in patients with long-COVID syndrome, thereby reducing clinical symptoms. Clinical and laboratory data for 252 consecutive patients with PCR-verified past SARS-CoV-2 infection and long-COVID syndrome (155 vaccinated and 97 non-vaccinated) were recorded during April 2021–May 2022 (median 243 days post-COVID-19 infection). DNA virus–related IgG and IgM titers were compared between vaccinated and non-vaccinated long-COVID patients and with age- and sex-matched non-infected, unvaccinated (pan-negative for spike-antibody) controls. Vaccination with monovalent COVID-19 vaccines was associated with significantly less frequent fatigue and multiorgan symptoms (p < 0.001), significantly less cumulative DNA virus–related IgM positivity, significantly lower levels of plasma IgG subfractions 2 and 4, and significantly lower quantitative cytomegalovirus IgG and IgM and EBV IgM titers. These results indicate that anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccination may interrupt viral cross-talk in patients with long-COVID syndrome.


  • Antiviral efficacy of molnupiravir versus ritonavir-boosted nirmatrelvir in patients with early symptomatic COVID-19 (PLATCOV): an open-label, phase 2, randomized, controlled, adaptive trial
    Molnupiravir and ritonavir-boosted nirmatrelvir are the two leading oral COVID-19 antiviral treatments, but their antiviral activities in patients have not been compared directly. The aim of this ongoing platform trial is to compare different antiviral treatments using the rate of viral clearance as the measure of antiviral effect. PLATCOV is an open-label, multicentre, phase 2, randomised, controlled, adaptive pharmacometric platform trial running in Thailand, Brazil, Pakistan, and Laos. The component of the trial reported here was conducted in the Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand. We recruited low-risk adult patients aged 18–50 years with early symptomatic COVID-19 (<4 days of symptoms). Eligible patients were randomly assigned using block randomisation via a centralised web app to one of seven treatment groups: molnupiravir, ritonavir-boosted nirmatrelvir, casirivimab–imdevimab, tixagevimab–cilgavimab, favipiravir, fluoxetine, or no study drug. The no study drug group comprised a minimum proportion of 20% of patients at all times, with uniform randomisation ratios applied across the active treatment groups. Results for the concurrently randomised molnupiravir, ritonavir-boosted nirmatrelvir, and no study drug groups are reported here. The primary endpoint was the rate of oropharyngeal viral clearance assessed in a modified intention-to-treat population, defined as patients with more than 2 days of follow-up. Safety was assessed in all participants who took at least one dose of the medication. The viral clearance rate was derived under a Bayesian hierarchical linear model fitted to the log10 viral densities in standardised duplicate oropharyngeal swab eluates taken daily over 1 week (18 measurements). Treatment groups with a probability of more than 0·9 that viral clearance was accelerated by more than 20% compared with no drug entered a non-inferiority comparison (with a 10% non-inferiority margin) compared with the platform's current most effective drug. Between June 6, 2022, and Feb 23, 2023, 209 patients in Thailand were enrolled and concurrently randomly assigned to molnupiravir (n=65), ritonavir-boosted nirmatrelvir (n=59), or no study drug (n=85). 129 (62%) of the patients were female and 80 (38%) were male. Relative to the no study drug group, the rates of viral clearance were 37% (95% credible interval 16–65) faster with molnupiravir and 84% (54–119) faster with ritonavir-boosted nirmatrelvir. In the non-inferiority comparison, viral clearance was 25% (10–38) slower with molnupiravir than ritonavir-boosted nirmatrelvir. Molnupiravir was removed from the study platform when it reached the prespecified inferiority margin of 10% compared with ritonavir-boosted nirmatrelvir. Median estimated viral clearance half-lives were 8·5 h (IQR 6·7–10·1) with ritonavir-boosted nirmatrelvir, 11·6 h (8·6–15·4) with molnupiravir, and 15·5 h (11·9–21·2) with no study drug. Viral rebound occurred more frequently following nirmatrelvir (six [10%] of 58) compared with the no study drug (one [1%] of 84; p=0·018) or the molnupiravir (one [2%] of 65; p=0·051) groups. Persistent infections following molnupiravir had more viral mutations (three of nine patients had an increased number of single nucleotide polymorphisms in samples collected at 7 or more days compared with those at baseline) than after nirmatrelvir (zero of three) or no study drug (zero of 19). There were no adverse events of grade 3 or worse, or serious adverse events in any of the reported treatment groups. Both molnupiravir and ritonavir-boosted nirmatrelvir accelerate oropharyngeal SARS-CoV-2 viral clearance in patients with COVID-19, but the antiviral effect of ritonavir-boosted nirmatrelvir was substantially greater. Measurement of oropharyngeal viral clearance rates provides a rapid and well tolerated approach to the assessment and comparison of antiviral drugs in patients with COVID-19. It should be evaluated in other acute viral respiratory infections.
  • Antibiotic use among hospitalized patients with COVID-19 in the United States, March 2020–June 2022
    Researchers conducted a retrospective study to describe antibiotic use among U.S. adults hospitalized with a COVID-19 diagnosis. Despite a decrease in overall antibiotic use, most patients hospitalized with COVID-19 received antibiotics on admission (88.1%) regardless of critical care status, highlighting that more efforts are needed to optimize antibiotic therapy.
  • One Week of Oral Camostat vs Placebo in Nonhospitalized Adults With Mild-to-Moderate COVID-19: A Randomized Controlled Phase 2 Trial
    Camostat inhibits severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in vitro. Researchers studied the safety and efficacy of camostat in ACTIV-2/A5401, a phase 2/3 platform trial of therapeutics for COVID-19 in nonhospitalized adults. Researchers conducted a phase 2 study in adults with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 randomized to oral camostat for 7 days or a pooled placebo arm. Primary outcomes were time to improvement in COVID-19 symptoms through day 28, proportion of participants with SARS-CoV-2 RNA below the lower limit of quantification (LLoQ) from nasopharyngeal swabs through day 14, and grade ≥3 treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) through day 28. Of 216 participants (109 randomized to camostat, 107 to placebo) who initiated study intervention, 45% reported ≤5 days of symptoms at study entry and 26% met the protocol definition of higher risk of progression to severe COVID-19. Median age was 37 years. Median time to symptom improvement was 9 days in both arms (P = .99). There were no significant differences in the proportion of participants with SARS-CoV-2 RNA <LLoQ on days 3, 7, and 14. Through day 28, 6 (5.6%) participants in the camostat arm and 5 (4.7%) in the placebo arm were hospitalized; 1 participant in the camostat arm subsequently died. Grade ≥3 TEAEs occurred in 10.1% of camostat versus 6.5% of placebo participants (P = .35). In a phase 2 study of nonhospitalized adults with mild-to-moderate COVID-19, oral camostat did not accelerate viral clearance or time to symptom improvement, or reduce hospitalizations or deaths.
  • Assessment of the available therapeutic approaches for severe COVID-19: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
    The study aimed to evaluate severe COVID-19 treatment approaches. Researchers conducted a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RTCs) with standard of care (SoC) as a control group and/or placebo. Database searching was performed separately for severe COVID-19 treatment such as anakinra, remdesivir, baricitinib, ivermectin, ritonavir, tocilizumab, sarilumab, sotrovimab, casirivimab/imdevimab. The results are presented as Risk Ratio (RR), 95% Confidence Interval (CI), and heterogeneity (I2). Researchers obtained the most statistically significant outcomes favorable tocilizumab compared to SoC for death incidents RR 0.87 [95% CI 0.80, 0.95], overall effect p = 0.002, heterogeneity p = 0.85, I2 = 0%, need for mechanical ventilation RR 0.78 [95% CI 0.68, 0.89], overall effect p = 0.0004, heterogeneity p = 0.55, I2 = 0%, and number of patients discharged from hospital. RR 1.13 [95% CI 1.07, 1.20], overall effect p < 0.00001, heterogeneity p = 0.009, I2 = 85%. This meta-analysis has revealed that a considerable amount of research characterized by a very diverse methodology is available. Despite the limited data that met the criteria for inclusion in the meta-analysis, this showed that the available treatment options for severe COVID-19 are effective.
  • Optimal Duration of Systemic Corticosteroids in Coronavirus Disease 2019 Treatment: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
    Corticosteroids confer a survival benefit in individuals hospitalized with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) who require oxygen. This meta-analysis seeks to determine the duration of corticosteroids needed to optimize this mortality benefit. Electronic databases were searched to 9 March 2022, for studies reporting corticosteroid versus no corticosteroid treatment in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Researchers estimated the effect of corticosteroids on mortality by random-effects meta-analyses. Subgroup analyses and meta-analyses were conducted to assess the optimal duration of corticosteroid treatment while adjusting for the severity of disease, age, duration of symptoms, and proportion of control group given steroids. Researchers identified 27 eligible studies consisting of 13,404 hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Seven randomized controlled trials and 20 observational studies were included in the meta-analysis of mortality, which suggested a protective association with corticosteroid therapy (risk ratio [RR], 0.71 [95% confidence interval {CI}, .58–.87]). Pooled analysis of 18 studies showed the greatest survival benefit for a treatment duration up to 6 days (RR, 0.54 [95% CI, .39–.74]). Survival benefit was 0.65 (95% CI, .51–.83) up to 7 days, and no additional survival benefit was observed beyond 7 days of treatment (RR, 0.64 [95% CI, .44–.93]). The survival benefit was not confounded by severity of disease, age, duration of symptoms, or proportion of control group given steroids. In this meta-analysis, optimal duration of corticosteroid treatment for hospitalized COVID-19 patients was up to 6 days, with no additional survival benefit with >7 days of treatment.

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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