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CDC Study Details ‘Urgent Need’ to Address Coronavirus Spread Among Young Adults | National News

Coronavirus cases among young adults are on the rise, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there is an “urgent need” to address the trend.

In a study released on Friday, the CDC examined 767 hotspot counties identified during June and July and found that increases in the percent of positive tests among people 24 and younger were followed by several weeks of increasing positivity rates in those aged 25 and older. The trend was particularly true in the South and West.

Photos: Daily Life, Disrupted

TOPSHOT - A passenger in an outfit (R) poses for a picture as a security guard wearing a facemask as a preventive measure against the Covid-19 coronavirus stands nearby on a last century-style boat, featuring a theatrical drama set between the 1920s and 1930s in Wuhan, in Chinas central Hubei province on September 27, 2020. (Photo by Hector RETAMAL / AFP) (Photo by HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images)

Making the findings even more concerning is the fact that a jump in the positivity rate of older age groups is “likely to result in more hospitalizations, severe illnesses, and deaths,” according to CDC.

“There is an urgent need to address transmission among young adult populations, especially given recent increases in COVID-19 incidence among young adults,” the study said.

CDC published a separate, small study on Friday that identified common drivers of behavior that might influence risk for COVID-19 exposure among young adults in Wisconsin. The list included: social or peer pressure, perceived severity of disease outcome and exposure to misinformation, conflicting messages or opposing views regarding masks.

During interviews, young adults said they felt social or peer pressure to not wear a mask and reported receiving “negative reactions” or “odd looks” from people while wearing a mask.

The study said the finding “further underscores the importance of providing clear and consistent messages regarding need for and effectiveness of masks.”

Last week, CDC reported that coronavirus infections among young adults jumped from August to September, with the agency concluding that some of the increase was likely due to colleges and universities resuming in-person classes.

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New AHA Scientific Statement on Heart Health for LGBTQ Adults

Cardiovascular health should be routinely assessed and addressed in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning (LGBTQ) adults, the American Heart Association (AHA) concludes in a new scientific statement.

“Among the most important takeaways from this scientific statement is the need for healthcare providers in clinical settings to routinely assess sexual orientation and gender identity,” Billy A. Caceres, PhD, RN, chair of the statement writing group, told theheart.org | Medscape Cardiology.



Billy A. Caceres, PhD, RN

“This will help healthcare providers engage LGBTQ patients in discussions about their heart health that account for the unique experiences of this population,” said Caceres, assistant professor, Columbia University School of Nursing, New York.

The statement was published online October 8 in Circulation.

“Invisible” Population

There are roughly 11 million LGBTQ adults in the United States, yet they are often “invisible in healthcare settings and cardiovascular research,” Caceres noted. The AHA scientific statement is the first from a national organization in the United States to comprehensively summarize the evidence on cardiovascular (CV) research in LGBTQ adults, he said.

There is mounting evidence that LGBTQ adults experience worse CV health relative to their cisgender heterosexual peers. Disparities in CV health may be driven by unique psychosocial stressors in the LGBTQ individuals such as family rejection and anxiety of concealment of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

While there is limited information on the CV health of LGBTQ people, the writing group says providers should be aware of the following:

  • LGBTQ adults are more likely to use tobacco than their cisgender heterosexual peers.

  • Transgender adults may be less physically active than their cisgender counterparts. Gender-affirming care might play a role in promoting physical activity among transgender people.

  • Transgender women may be at increased risk for heart disease due to behavioral and clinical factors (such as the use of gender-affirming hormones like estrogen).

  • Transgender women and nonbinary persons are more likely to binge drink.

  • Lesbian and bisexual women have a higher prevalence of obesity than heterosexual women do.

“We need to better understand how to support LGBTQ adults in optimizing their CV health. To do this, we will need rigorous research that examines potential explanations for the CV health disparities that have been observed in LGBTQ adults,” Caceres told theheart.org | Medscape Cardiology.

He noted that research is also needed within the LGBTQ population among groups that might be at greater risk for heart disease, including racial and ethnic minority and low-income LGBTQ adults.

“Researchers should also design and test evidence-based interventions to promote the heart health of LGBTQ adults. This is an area that is greatly lacking within CV health research,” said Caceres.

Discrimination in Healthcare

Discrimination against LGBTQ adults in healthcare settings also remains a problem, the authors note.

The writing group cites data showing that nearly 56% of sexual minority and 70% of gender minority adults report having experienced some form of discrimination from clinicians, including the use of harsh/abusive language.

“Perhaps most alarming,” roughly 8% of sexual minority and 25% of transgender

CDC study: ‘Urgent need’ to slow spread of coronavirus among young adults

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study released Friday warned that there is an “urgent need” to address the spread of the coronavirus among young adults. 

The study found that increases among transmission in younger people are often a precursor to transmission among older, higher-risk people. 

The study examined 767 counties in June and July that were “hot spots,” meaning they had high levels of virus spread. The study found that the spread of the virus, measured by the percentage of positive tests, began rising first in people aged 24 and under, before later rising in older, more vulnerable age groups. 

The findings “provide evidence that among young adults, those aged 18–24 years demonstrate the earliest increases in percent positivity; and underscore the importance of reducing transmission from younger populations to those at highest risk for severe illness or death,” the study said 

“Addressing transmission among young adults is an urgent public health priority,” it added.

The CDC study’s emphasis on slowing the spread of the virus among young people stands in contrast to the strategy often articulated by President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden campaign raises over M on day of VP debate Trump chastises Whitmer for calling him ‘complicit’ in extremism associated with kidnapping scheme Trump says he hopes to hold rally Saturday despite recent COVID-19 diagnosis MORE to “protect the vulnerable” while allowing younger, lower-risk people to go on with their lives. 

“We are aggressively sheltering those at highest risk, especially the elderly, while allowing lower-risk Americans to safely return to work and to school,” Trump said in his Republican National Convention speech in August. 

Many experts have warned that given that young people can transmit the disease to older people, the best way to protect the vulnerable is to reduce the spread of the virus overall. 

“As we often say in public health: there is no peeing section of the swimming pool,” tweeted Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, tweeted last month. “We’re in this together.”

The study found that positivity rates began increasing for people aged 24 and under 31 days before a county was identified as a hot spot. Older groups’ positivity only started rising later and also peaked after the spread of the virus had already peaked among younger people. 

There was regional variation, as the South and West saw more of the trend of transmission among the young later becoming transmission among the old than the Northeast and Midwest. 

A separate CDC study released Friday found that young people reported “social or peer pressure to not wear a mask,” as well as “exposure to misinformation” and “conflicting messages” about the importance of masks. 

“Exposure to misinformation and unclear messages has been identified as a driver of behavior during an outbreak, underscoring the importance of providing clear and consistent messages about the need for and effectiveness of masks,” the study states. 

Serious coronavirus-related inflammatory condition among children now reported in adults: CDC

A rare but serious coronavirus-related inflammatory condition in children was also recently identified among adults, per a report released Friday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) usually involves shock, heart malfunction, stomach pain and hyperinflammation. The CDC drew on reports of 27 adult patients to describe a new, similar condition —  multisystem inflammatory syndrome in adults (MIS-A).

RARE CORONAVIRUS-LINKED SYNDROME AFFECTS 11 CHILDREN IN WASHINGTON STATE: OFFICIALS

“These 27 patients had cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, dermatologic, and neurologic symptoms without severe respiratory illness and concurrently received positive test results for SARS-CoV-2…,” per the report. Fortunately, the vast majority (24 of 27) of MIS-A patients survived, which was said to mirror outcomes seen in MIS-C patients treated in intensive health care settings.

There is still much unknown over MIS-A, with a deal of uncertainty over the timeline from SARS-CoV-2 infection to MIS-A onset, but the report suggests “MIS-A and MIS-C might represent postinfectious processes.” Adults who reported typical COVID-19 symptoms went on to develop MIS-A about two to five weeks later.

Patients with MIS-A may not test positive for COVID-19, given the onset of the syndrome weeks later. The agency emphasized the importance of antibody testing for previous SARS-CoV-2 infection to recognize and treat MIS-A.

Of the 27 MIS-A patients included in the report, 30% of them, along with “45% of 440 children with MIS-C reported to CDC through July 29,” tested negative for current SARS-CoV-2 infection but had positive antibody results.

There is still much unknown over MIS-A, a newly identified coronavirus-related complication in adults that had previously been reported among children. (iStock)

There is still much unknown over MIS-A, a newly identified coronavirus-related complication in adults that had previously been reported among children. (iStock)

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The criteria used to identify MIS-A include severe illness requiring hospitalization in patients over age 21; current or previous SARS-CoV-2 infection in the past 12 weeks; severe dysfunction of one or more organs other than the lungs; lab evidence of severe inflammation and a lack of severe respiratory illness.

Patients were mostly treated with corticosteroids among other treatments like vasopressors (to raise blood pressure) or blood thinners.

The report also noted that “all but one” of the patients in the report were among racial or ethnic minorities, adding that “MIS-C has also been reported disproportionately in these communities.” However, due to the small sample size, the CDC said more research is needed before making conclusions about the burden of MIS-A in various groups.

“Findings indicate that adult patients of all ages with current or previous SARS-CoV-2 infection can develop a hyperinflammatory syndrome resembling MIS-C,” authors wrote, adding that measures to limit COVID-19 spread may help prevent MIS-A.

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City of Hope-led study details new strategy to address the barriers that keep older adults out of clinical trials

The study examined what has been done and chartered a roadmap to improve equitable access using the best-available scientific literature on barriers to older adult participation in cancer clinical trials.

A City of Hope-led study revealed little effort has been made to improve older adult representation in clinical trials of new cancer drugs, even when the treatment is aimed at a disease that disproportionately affects this age group.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201001005384/en/

William Dale, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Center for Cancer and Aging Research at City of Hope, the study’s senior author. Photo: City of Hope

“There is currently no incentive to establish real-world effectiveness among older adults. Older adults need a seat at the table,” said Mina Sedrak, M.D., M.S., lead author of the study and deputy director of the Center for Cancer and Aging at City of Hope, a world-renowned independent research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases.

Two in 5 Americans with cancer are age 70 or older, yet fewer than 25% of patients in cancer clinical trials registered with the Food and Drug Administration are in this age group, Sedrak said.

The study was published in the journal CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians on Oct. 1. Researchers reviewed 8,691 studies that evaluated barriers which hindered older adults from participating in cancer trials. Twelve articles defined complex, interrelated problems as root causes, including stringent eligibility criteria, physician concern for toxicity, ageism, transportation and caregiver burden.

Only one study implemented an intervention meant to increase enrollment of older adults in trials – and it was not successful. This finding starkly amplifies the lack of effective strategies to improve participation of this underrepresented group in cancer research.

The researchers report that cancer trials must ask appropriate questions tailored or driven by the needs of older adults with cancer and should measure relevant outcomes. Their call to action applies to all oncologists and primary care providers, not just geriatric oncologists, Sedrak said, adding that patients should advocate for themselves.

“Ask your doctor about clinical trial opportunities when you’re diagnosed with cancer and do your own research because there may be an option that you haven’t heard about. It may benefit you, but perhaps your doctor may not have considered you for the investigational trial,” he said.

William Dale, M.D., Ph.D., the study’s senior author and an oncologic geriatrician at City of Hope, said, “We don’t know enough about treating our largest group of cancer patients. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, when enrollment in trials is lower than ever due to isolation and distancing practices, actively including older adults in clinical trials is incredibly important.” Dale is the Arthur M. Coppola Family Chair in Supportive Care Medicine at City of Hope.

City of Hope is a leader in offering older patients appropriate and personalized cancer care, as exemplified by the fact that Dale and his colleagues co-wrote the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s guidelines

Children 17 and under contract and spread COVID-19 like adults, large new study finds

A study of 85,000 people with COVID-19 in two southern Indian states and 575,000 people they came in contact with found that children 17 and under contract and transmit the new coronavirus at rates similar to the rest of the population. Children age 5 to 17 passed the virus on to 18 percent of close contacts their same age, a team of U.S. and Indian researchers reported Wednesday in the journal Science.

These findings are particularly important given “previous reports suggesting a minor role of children in the pandemic,” Antonio Salas, a Spanish researcher who was not involved in the Indian study, told the Los Angeles Times. “National policies on how to proceed with children in schools and other social activities could change dramatically if the scientific evidence underpins the idea that children can infect as efficiently as adults, and even more, they could also behave as super-spreaders.”

The two Indian states studied, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, have robust contract tracing and other public health programs. The other major finding from the study involved super-spreaders. While 71 percent of people infected with COVID-19 did not appear to pass the virus on to anybody else, just 8 percent of infected people accounted for 60 percent of the new infections, said lead author Ramanan Laxminarayan of the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics, and Policy in New Delhi.

“Super-spreading events are the rule rather than the exception,” Laxminarayan said. “It has lots of implications for modeling COVID, for how to keep places safe.”

While children 17 and under were found to be more efficient disease transmitters than previously understood, they had the lowest death rate of any age cohort. Overall, deaths increased with age up to 65, then appeared to drop off. New York Times science reporter Apoorva Mandavilli said that might be because people who make it past India’s life expectancy of 69 years told tend to be wealthy, with good heath care.

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Moderna says coronavirus vaccine boosts immune system response in older adults

Biotech company Moderna announced on Tuesday that its coronavirus vaccine candidate elicited immune responses in older adults from a Phase 1 study in levels comparable to those seen in younger adults. The findings were published Tuesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The vaccine candidate, dubbed mRNA-1273, “induced consistently high levels” of neutralizing antibody levels in 40 healthy participants across two age cohorts – 56-70 and 71 and over – per the company announcement.

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Biotech company Moderna announced on Tuesday that its coronavirus vaccine candidate elicited immune responses in older adults from a Phase 1 study in levels comparable to those seen in younger adults. (iStock)

Biotech company Moderna announced on Tuesday that its coronavirus vaccine candidate elicited immune responses in older adults from a Phase 1 study in levels comparable to those seen in younger adults. (iStock)

“These interim Phase 1 data suggests that mRNA-1273, our vaccine candidate for the prevention of COVID-19, can generate neutralizing antibodies in older and elderly adults at levels comparable to those in younger adults,” Dr. Tal Zaks, chief medical officer of Moderna, said in the announcement. “Given the increased morbidity and mortality of COVID-19 in older and elderly adults, these data give us optimism in demonstrating mRNA-1273’s protection in this population, which is being evaluated in the Phase 3 COVE study.”

MODERNA SEES ‘POSITIVE’ PHASE I DATA FOR POTENTIAL CORONAVIRUS VACCINE

The data stemmed from a second interim analysis which assessed a two-dose vaccination administered 28 days apart in two dose levels, 25 micrograms (µg) and 100 micrograms, reporting findings one month after the second dose.

“This analysis found that both the 25 µg and 100 µg dose levels were generally well-tolerated in both age cohorts,” per the announcement.

The 100 microgram dose elicited higher antibody levels, “supporting the selection of the 100 µg dose for further study in the Phase 3 trial.” Moderna previously announced plans to use the 100 microgram dose in its late-stage trial, which will enroll up to 30,000 volunteers in the U.S. As of Sept. 25, there were 27,232 participants enrolled, 30% of which were from diverse communities.

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Company officials said the majority of adverse events were mild to moderate, like headache, fatigue and chills, among others.

After the second vaccination, one patient in the 56-70 cohort with the 25 microgram dose experienced a fever, and a second patient in the older cohort and higher dose had fatigue, but officials said “clinical laboratory values of Grade 2 or higher revealed no pattern of concern” and that the patients would be followed through 13 months for a longer assessment.

The findings were said to be confirmed through three live virus assays, and “robust neutralizing activity was observed in all participants 14 days after the second vaccination.”

The U.S. government already struck a deal with Moderna for 100 million doses of the vaccine, with an option to buy an additional 400 million doses.

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Moderna COVID-19 vaccine appears safe, shows signs of working in older adults – study

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Results from an early safety study of Moderna Inc’s coronavirus vaccine candidate in older adults showed that it produced virus-neutralizing antibodies at levels similar to those seen in younger adults, with side effects roughly on par with high-dose flu shots, researchers said on Tuesday.

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, offers a more complete picture of the vaccine’s safety in older adults, a group at increased risk of severe complications from COVID-19.

The findings are reassuring because immunity tends to weaken with age, Dr. Evan Anderson, one of the study’s lead researchers from Emory University in Atlanta, said in a phone interview.

The study was an extension of Moderna’s Phase I safety trial, first conducted in individuals aged 18-55. It tested two doses of Moderna’s vaccine – 25 micrograms and 100 micrograms – in 40 adults aged 56 to 70 and 71 and older.

Overall, the team found that in older adults who received two injections of the 100 microgram dose 28 days apart, the vaccine produced immune responses roughly in line with those seen in younger adults.

Moderna is already testing the higher dose in a large Phase III trial, the final stage before seeking emergency authorization or approval.

Side effects, which included headache, fatigue, body aches, chills and injection site pain, were deemed mainly mild to moderate.

In at least two cases, however, volunteers had severe reactions.

One developed a grade three fever, which is classified as 102.2 degrees Fahrenheit (39°C) or above, after receiving the lower vaccine dose. Another developed fatigue so severe it temporarily prevented daily activities, Anderson said.

Typically, side effects occurred soon after receiving the vaccine and resolved quickly, he said.

“This is similar to what a lot of older adults are going to experience with the high dose influenza vaccine,” Anderson said. “They might feel off or have a fever.”

Norman Hulme, a 65-year-old senior multimedia developer at Emory who took the lower dose of the vaccine, said he felt compelled to take part in the trial after watching first responders in New York and Washington State fight the virus.

“I really had no side effects at all,” said Hulme, who grew up in the New York area.

Hulme said he was aware Moderna’s vaccine employed a new technology, and that there might be a risk in taking it, but said, “somebody had to do it.”

Reporting by Julie Steenhuysen; Editing by Bill Berkrot

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CDC Survey Shows Slight Uptick in Uninsured Adults

The number of uninsured adults in the U.S. crept up to 14.5% in 2019, from 13.3% in 2018, according to data from the CDC’s National Health Interview Survey (NHIS).

Put into context, the share of adults 18-64 who were uninsured last year was still much lower than the 20.4% of adults who reported being uninsured in 2013 — 3 years after passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

While she’s not “especially surprised” by the slight uptick in the percentage of uninsured adults, given the “incremental increases” seen in the last few years, Rachel Garfield, PhD, co-director of the Program on Medicaid and the Uninsured for the Kaiser Family Foundation, said it is “troubling” given the turmoil of the last 6 months, between the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn.

The survey also found that slightly more men than women, more young adults than older adults, and far more Hispanic adults than non-Hispanic adults lacked insurance. Additionally, more adults in “fair or poor” health were uninsured compared with those who said their health was “excellent, very good, or good.”

When asked their reasons for not having insurance, 73.7% said plans were not affordable. The percentage of adults who found coverage unaffordable increased with age: 66.8% of adults 18-29 compared with 80.9% of those 50-64 stated that cost was a reason they did not have a health plan.

“We have seen pretty consistently, for a very, very long time that most people who are uninsured say that they’re uninsured because of costs,” Garfield said.

While some people expected the ACA to make coverage affordable for everyone, she noted, “there are people who are falling through the cracks in that coverage and [who] still can’t afford health insurance.”

The percentage of older adults who said they could not afford coverage also troubled Garfield, given the ACA’s restriction on underwriting health coverage based on age.

But it’s unclear whether the individual reporting affordability issues actually shopped for a health plan, she said.

The report highlighted other key findings, including:

  • 16% of men were uninsured versus 13.1% of women
  • 17.5% of adults 18-29 were uninsured versus 10.5% of adults 50-64
  • 30.2% of Hispanic adults were uninsured versus 14.3% of non-Hispanic Black and 10.2% of non-Hispanic white adults
  • 17.6% of adults who described their health as “fair or poor” lacked insurance, while 14.1% of adults in “excellent, very good, or good” health reported being uninsured

Beyond cost, respondents gave other reasons for not having a health plan: 25.3% said they were not eligible for insurance; 21.3% did “not need or want” coverage; 18.4% said enrollment was “too difficult or confusing”; 18% said they “could not find a plan” that met their needs; and 8.5% said that they had enrolled but their coverage had not started. (Respondents were allowed to provide more than one reason for not having insurance.)

In drilling down into these responses, the survey found that the percentage of adults currently ineligible for insurance was higher, at 30.4%, among Hispanic adults compared with 22.3%

Even before pandemic struck, more US adults were uninsured

Updated


WASHINGTON (AP) — About 2.5 million more working-age Americans were uninsured last year, even before the coronavirus pandemic struck, according to a government report issued Wednesday.

The study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 14.5% of adults ages 18 to 64 were uninsured in 2019, a statistically significant increase from 2018, when 13.3% lacked coverage.


The increase in the uninsured rate came even as the economy was chugging along in an extended period of low unemployment. The findings suggest that even during good times, the U.S. was losing ground on coverage gains from the Obama-era health care overhaul.

Health insurance coverage has eroded under President Donald Trump, who is still trying to overturn the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare.” By contrast, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden wants to expand the ACA and add a new public plan in a push to eventually cover all Americans.



The new numbers come from the CDC’s National Health Interview Survey, which is considered one of the government’s most authoritative reports. Lack of affordable coverage was the top reason given for being uninsured, cited by nearly 3 out of 4 surveyed.


In 2018, 26.3 million adults ages 18 to 64 were uninsured. Last year, that number rose to 28.8 million, CDC said.

The situation has only worsened since COVID-19 began to spread in the U.S. early this year, forcing a sudden economic shutdown that left millions out of work. How much worse is not yet known, because government surveys like the CDC’s have a significant lag time.


Initial estimates from private experts that suggested more than 25 million people could have become uninsured due to pandemic job losses appear to have been too high.

More recent estimates suggest there are 5 million to 10 million newly uninsured. In