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Genes and COVID-19

Scott LaFee on

COVID-19 hits some people harder than others, with more severe or longer-lasting symptoms and consequences. Gene hunters are beginning to turn up clues as to why by probing dozens of parts of the human genome for evidence that some genes confer greater susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection or severe illness.

Findings thus far aren't changing how patients are currently treated, but they may help scientists find drugs that could be repurposed to lessen the severity of disease in those infected.

Doctors, Take Note

A small analysis of doctors' notes in electronic health records finds that physicians often write comments that may be stigmatizing or influence how they care for patients. For example, doctors sometimes used the word "claim" when describing a patient's complaint, suggesting that they doubted its credibility, or they used common vernacular that furthered race or social class stereotyping.

A provision of the 21st Century Cures Act now allows patients to see what their doctors have written in their medical records.

Body of Knowledge

 

The corneas of the eyes are the only human body parts with no blood supply. Oxygen and nutrients are diffused directly from tear fluid and the aqueous humor -- the thick, watery substance between the lens and cornea.

Get Me That, Stat!

A new report from the Commonwealth Fund and Yale School of Public Health estimates that COVID-19 vaccinations have prevented nearly 280,000 deaths in the United States.

Counts

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