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COVID-19 News
Find the most recent news about COVID-19 research conducted by our clinician scientists, researchers, innovators and faculty.
A Conversation with Wesley Long, MD, PhD on Omicron
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January 24, 2022 – Heather Lander, PhD at Houston Methodist Academic Institute, sits down with Wesley Long, MD, PhD to discuss topics around Omicron variant and COVID-19.
At one-year anniversary of COVID-19 vaccines, CURATOR data still producing vital contributions
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December 8, 2021 – December is the one-year anniversary of the release of the Moderna and Pfizer SARS-CoV-2 virus vaccines. Farhaan S. Vahidy, PhD, MBBS, MPH, Coneway Family Centennial Endowed Directorship in Quality and director, Outcomes, Center for Outcomes Research, arrived at Houston Methodist in January 2020 and began working on a database collection system called CURATOR, which has been the driver in much of what we know about who the virus is affecting the most.
November 23, 2021 – A Houston Methodist study showed a rapid return of seasonal respiratory viruses after COVID-19 restrictions were relaxed in Texas, demonstrating the effectiveness of masking, distancing and other precautionary measures at stopping the spread of many respiratory illnesses, not just COVID-19.
November 4, 2021 – Houston Methodist’s renowned SARS-CoV-2 genome sequencing team has partnered on a study led by scientists from Penn State University that revealed 80% of white-tailed deer sampled across Iowa at the height of the 2020-2021 deer-hunting season tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
October 26, 2021 – Lingering symptoms range from mild to debilitating and last for weeks to months after recovery.
Gov. Abbott Visits Houston Methodist
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January 19, 2021 - Texas Gov. Greg Abbott acknowledged Houston Methodist's efforts throughout the pandemic, including our role as one of 28 state hubs to help vaccinate the public. We also were the first hospital in the country to use convalescent plasma and have conducted numerous clinical trials for newly developed treatments. We have administered such a high volume of monoclonal antibody treatments that we now order directly from the distributor.
Oct 6, 2021 – Mounting evidence suggests that the SARS-COV-2 virus responsible for COVID-19 causes neurological complications in addition to the signature respiratory symptoms. There is a possibility that respiratory symptoms have a neurologic origin.
Study Indicates Men More Susceptible to COVID-19
January 13, 2021 - PLoS One published a study led by Farhaan Vahidy, PhD, of Houston Methodist's Center for Outcomes Research, showing that males are more likely to test positive for COVID-19, have complications and die from the virus than females, independent of age.
June 22, 2021 – Houston Methodist researchers studied COVID-19 effects on the mental health of college students via PSS 10 - a 10 question virtual questionnaire and found moderate stress levels.
COVID-19 REGN-CoV2 Clinical Trial
October 2, 2020 - Medical director of critical care Faisal Masud, MD, and Houston Methodist Research Institute president and CEO Ed Jones are quoted in a Houston Chronicle front page story about recent COVID-19 treatments, including the use of an antibody cocktail, REGN-CoV2, currently in a clinical trial at Houston Methodist.
May 18, 2021 – While young children are generally more prone to infections than older people, COVID-19 seems to be an exception. In this review study, Malgorzata Kloc investigates why children demonstrate this robust immunity specifically towards COVID-19.
April 30, 2021 – A new systematic review and meta-analysis shows that 80% of people with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis continue to have at least one medical complication that lingers beyond at least two weeks after the acute infection resolves. Villapol believes that gut microbes may have a key role to play in these lingering effects.
August 14, 2020 - The first to receive FDA approval to offer convalescent plasma therapy—and the first to publish study results—Houston Methodist is leading medical research on treatments for COVID-19. For this Houston patient, the decision to participate in the research trial made all the difference.
March 24, 2021 - A recently published Houston Methodist study revealed a rapid, widespread and preferential increase of the SARS-CoV-2 UK B.1.1.7 variant throughout the Houston region. The estimated case doubling time is 6.9 days.
Learning Health Care System Takes on COVID-19
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September 14, 2020 - The CURATOR digital repository brought rapid access to data comparing differences between Houston’s first and second surges, allowing Houston Methodist to quickly adapt treatment plans.
August 4, 2020 - The pandemic is bringing a new awareness of the social determinants of health—and possibly a new population health data set that reveals more about health inequities. Director of the Center for Outcomes Research Bita Kash, PhD, discusses the effects on hospital-community partnerships.
July 27, 2020 - An antiviral drug, favipiravir, previously approved in Japan to treat influenza, is now under clinical investigation at Houston Methodist to treat the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. The Phase 2, multicenter, randomized trial is sponsored by Fujifilm Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc.
Wong Participates in COVID-19 Consortium
July 10, 2020 - Stephen T. Wong, PhD, John S. Dunn, Sr. Presidential Distinguished Chair in Biomedical Engineering, participated in an international COVID-19 consortium established to mine shared, secured information from COVID-19 patients across multiple institutions in the U.S., Europe, Middle East and Africa. Oxford University Press published an article in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.
FDA Fast-Tracks RLF-100 Trial for Treating ARDS
June 24, 2020 - Jihad Georges Youssef, MD, professor of clinical medicine, Department of Medicine, and transplant pulmonologist, J.C. Walter Jr. Transplant Center, is leading a multi-center clinical trial fast-tracked by the FDA to test a treatment for acute lung injury and, specifically, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) associated with COVID-19.
Autoclave Protocol for Safe Reuse of N95s
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April 22, 2020 - Houston Methodist’s System Quality & Patient Safety team focused on using an autoclave—a device for immediate-use steam sterilization—to enable reuse of N95 respirator masks. Their new protocol was published in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology.
Remdesivir Proves Promising
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April 16, 2020 - Early results encourage the clinical research team conducting clinical trials of Gilead Sciences’ antiviral drug Remdesivir. Methodist Hospital was the first clinical trial site in Houston to test the antiviral drug.
Protoyping Protection: HMAC Aerosol Box
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March 30, 2020 - Two Houston Methodist doctors develop an aerosol container to help minimize risk from expelled air during intubation.
First Plasma Therapy Fast-Tracked by FDA
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March 28, 2020 - Houston Methodist received FDA approval Saturday to become the first academic medical center in the nation to transfuse donated plasma from a recovered COVID-19 patient into a critically ill patient.
Creating Protocols for COVID-19
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March 25, 2020 - In response to the urgent need for effective, evidence-based approaches to treating coronavirus disease 2019, two Houston Methodist physicians developed management strategies and measuring outcomes.
GeneOne Life Science and Houston Methodist to Develop a COVID-19 Vaccine
March 17, 2020 - Houston Methodist researchers are partnering with GeneOne Life Science Inc. to develop an RNA vaccine against COVID-19, the novel coronavirus that has caused a global pandemic.
July 20, 2020 - During the initial peak of COVID-19, Houston Methodist researchers shared their expertise on ICU staff burnout in a study on "Provider Burnout and Fatigue during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Lessons Learned from a High-Volume Intensive Care Unit." Published in April, it remains among Altmetric's most popular publications.
Trials Aim to Calm Cytokine Storms
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May 6, 2020 - Patients with severe cases of COVID-19 often have a heightened immune response called a “cytokine storm.” To slow this process, Deepa Gotur, MD, studied medications used to treat autoimmune diseases in hopes of decreasing cytokine storms caused by the virus. Now she is enrolling patients in clinical trials.
September 14, 2020 - The CURATOR digital repository brought rapid access to data comparing differences between Houston’s first and second surges, allowing Houston Methodist to quickly adapt treatment plans.
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