COVID-19 Literature II

literature published in April 2020
Updated July 13, 2020

Collections/ Resource Centers:

nCov LSR Project: This Living Systematic Review retrieves and deduplicates scientific publications from different sources:

COVID-19 SARS-CoV-2 preprints from medRxiv and bioRxiv

COVID-19 Preprint Index

Italian Society of Medical and Interventional Radiology. Database of Radiology Case Studies.

Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) Epidemiology Collection

COVID19Primer dot com


1 APR 2020: Presymptomatic Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 — Singapore, January 23–March 16, 2020 (CDC early release)
“Investigation of COVID-19 cases in Singapore identified seven clusters (clusters A–G) in which presymptomatic transmission likely occurred. These clusters occurred during January 19–March 12, and involved from two to five patients each (Figure). Ten of the cases within these clusters were attributed to presymptomatic transmission and accounted for 6.4% of the 157 locally acquired cases reported as of March 16.”

1 APR 2020: Obesity and COVID-19 Severity in a Designated Hospital in Shenzhen, China (Lancet preprint)
“This is the first study showing that obesity, especially in men, significantly increases the risk of developing severe pneumonia in COVID-19 patients.”

1 APR 2020: Virological assessment of hospitalized patients with COVID-2019 (Nature)
“Shedding of viral RNA from sputum outlasted the end of symptoms. Seroconversion occurred after 7 days in 50% of patients (14 days in all), but was not followed by a rapid decline in viral load.”

1 APR 2020: The effect of non-pharmaceutical interventions on COVID-19 cases, deaths and demand for hospital services in the UK: a modelling study (Centre for Mathematical Modeling of Infectious Diseases – CMMID)
UK Modeling: “We found that mitigation measures aimed at reducing transmission would likely have decreased the reproduction number, but not sufficiently to prevent ICU demand from exceeding NHS availability. To keep ICU bed demand below capacity in the model, more extreme restrictions were necessary. In a scenario where “lockdown”-type interventions were put in place to reduce transmission, these interventions would need to be in place for a large proportion of the coming year in order to prevent healthcare demand exceeding availability.”

1 APR 2020: Estimating the risk of COVID-19 death during the course of the outbreak in Korea, February-March, 2020 (medRxiv preprint)
“Our estimates of the risk for death in Gyeongsangbuk-do reached 2.4% (95% CrI: 1.6-3.4%), 1.3% (95% CrI: 1.0-1.6%) in Daegu and 0.7% (95% CrI: 0.3-1.4%) in other regions, whereas the national estimate of the risk for death was estimated at 1.4% (95% CrI: 1.2-1.7%) in Korea. Conclusions: The relatively low CFRs are associated with the early implementation of public health interventions including widespread testing, social distancing, and delayed school openings in Korea. Geographic differences in CFR are likely influenced by clusters of nosocomial transmission.”

1 APR 2020: Some Coronavirus Patients Show Signs of Brain Ailments (NYTimes)

3 APR 2020: Respiratory virus shedding in exhaled breath and efficacy of face masks (Nature)
“Our results indicate that surgical face masks could prevent transmission of human coronaviruses and influenza viruses from symptomatic individuals.”

3 APR 2020: The FDA-approved Drug Ivermectin inhibits the replication of SARS-CoV-2 in vitro (in press journal preproof) 

4 APR 2020: ICNARC report on COVID-19 in critical care (Intensive Care National Audit & Research Centre, icnarc)
From Table 2: Characteristics of patients critically ill with confirmed COVID-19, by receipt of respiratory support*‡ (England, Wales, Northern Ireland)

6 APR 2020: ACE2 variants underlie interindividual variability and susceptibility to COVID-19 in Italian population (medRxiv preprint)
“These findings suggest that a predisposing genetic background may contribute to the observed inter-individual clinical variability associated with COVID-19. They allow an evidence-based risk assessment opening up the way to personalized preventive measures and therapeutic options.”

6 APR 2020: An orally bioavailable broad-spectrum antiviral inhibits SARS-CoV-2 in human airway epithelial cell cultures and multiple coronaviruses in mice (Science Translational Medicine)

6 APR 2020: Baseline Characteristics and Outcomes of 1591 Patients Infected With SARS-CoV-2 Admitted to ICUs of the Lombardy Region, Italy (JAMA)
In this retrospective case series that involved 1591 critically ill patients admitted from February 20 to March 18, 2020, 99% (1287 of 1300 patients) required respiratory support, including endotracheal intubation in 88% and noninvasive ventilation in 11%; ICU mortality was 26%.”

7 APR 2020: Coronavirus in New York City
age demographics of NYC hospitalizations & death thru Apr 7

7 APR 2020: Prediction models for diagnosis and prognosis of covid-19 infection: systematic review and critical appraisal (BMJ)
“This review indicates that proposed models are poorly reported, at high risk of bias, and their reported performance is probably optimistic. unreliable predictions could cause more harm than benefit in guiding clinical decisions.”

7 APR 2020: Indoor transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (medRxiv preprint)
“Home outbreaks were the dominant category (254 of 318 outbreaks; 79.9%), followed by transport (108; 34.0%; note that many outbreaks involved more than one venue category). Most home outbreaks involved three to five cases. We identified only a single outbreak in an outdoor environment, which involved two cases. Conclusions: All identified outbreaks of three or more cases occurred in an indoor environment, which confirms that sharing indoor space is a major SARS-CoV-2 infection risk.”

8 APR 2020: High Contagiousness and Rapid Spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (CDC Early Release)
“Results show that the doubling time early in the epidemic in Wuhan was 2.3–3.3 days. Assuming a serial interval of 6–9 days, we calculated a median R0 value of 5.7 (95% CI 3.8–8.9).” 

8 APR 2020: For survivors of severe COVID-19, beating the virus is just the beginning (ScienceMag)

8 APR 2020: Coagulopathy and Antiphospholipid Antibodies in Patients with Covid-19 (NEJM)

9 APR 2020: Prevalence of venous thromboembolism in patients with severe novel coronavirus pneumonia (Journal of Thrombosis)
“The incidence of VTE in patients with severe NCP is 25% (20/81), which may be related to poor prognosis.”

10 APR 2020: Coronavirus Disease 2019 in Children — United States, February 12–April 2, 2020 (CDC Early Release)
“In this preliminary description of pediatric U.S. COVID-19 cases, relatively few children with COVID-19 are hospitalized, and fewer children than adults experience fever, cough, or shortness of breath. Severe outcomes have been reported in children, including three deaths.”

10 APR 2020: Incidence of thrombotic complications in critically ill ICU patients with COVID-19 (Thrombosis Research)
“The 31% incidence of thrombotic complications in ICU patients with COVID-19 infections is remarkably high.” 

10 APR 2020: Pulmonary and Cardiac Pathology in Covid-19: The First Autopsy Series from New Orleans (medRxiv preprint)

11 APR 2020: Introductions and early spread of SARS-CoV-2 in the New York City area (medRxiv preprint)

11 APR 2020: Aerosol and Surface Distribution of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 in Hospital Wards, Wuhan, China, 2020 (CDC Early Release)
“This study led to 3 conclusions. First, SARS-CoV-2 was widely distributed in the air and on object surfaces in both the ICU and GW, implying a potentially high infection risk for medical staff and other close contacts. Second, the environmental contamination was greater in the ICU than in the GW; thus, stricter protective measures should be taken by medical staff working in the ICU. Third, the SARS-CoV-2 aerosol distribution characteristics in the GW indicate that the transmission distance of SARS-CoV-2 might be 4 m.”

11 APR 2020: Temporal rise in the proportion of both younger adults and older adolescents among COVID-19 cases in Germany: evidence of lesser adherence to social distancing practices? (medRxiv preprint)
“That increase likely reflects elevated mixing among individuals aged 15-34y (particularly those aged 20-24y) compared to other age groups, possibly due to lesser adherence to social distancing practices.”

11 APR 2020: Offline: COVID-19—bewilderment and candour (Lancet)

13 APR 2020: Who Is Immune to the Coronavirus? (Marc Lipsitch for NYTimes)

13 APR 2020: Universal Screening for SARS-CoV-2 in Women Admitted for Delivery (NEJM)
NOTE from ContraReport: No follow-up available at this time to determine if “asymptomatic” went on to develop symptoms.

14 APR 2020: Projecting the transmission dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 through the postpandemic period (Science)

14 APR 2020: COVID-19 Positive Cases, Evidence on the Time Evolution of the Epidemic or An Indicator of Local Testing Capabilities? A Case Study in the United States (SSRN)

15 APR 2020: Neurologic Features in Severe SARS-CoV-2 Infection (NEJM)
“In this consecutive series of patients, ARDS due to SARS-CoV-2 infection was associated with encephalopathy, prominent agitation and confusion, and corticospinal tract signs. Two of 13 patients who underwent brain MRI had single acute ischemic strokes. Data are lacking to determine which of these features were due to critical illness–related encephalopathy, cytokines, or the effect or withdrawal of medication, and which features were specific to SARS-CoV-2 infection.”

16 APR 2020: Estimating SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence and epidemiological parameters with uncertainty from serological surveys (HarvardLibrary)

17 APR 2020: How does coronavirus kill? Clinicians trace a ferocious rampage through the body, from brain to toes (ScienceMag)

17 APR 2020: Endothelial cell infection and endotheliitis in COVID-19 (Lancet) 
“Here we demonstrate endothelial cell involvement across vascular beds of different organs in a series of patients with COVID-19”

 17 APR 2020: COVID-19 Antibody Seroprevalence in Santa Clara County, California (medRxiv preprint)
Twitter threads responding to this release:
By Richard Neher.
By Natalie E. Dean, PhD.

17 APR 2020: Imbalanced host response to SARS-CoV-2 drives development of COVID-19 (Cell Preproof)

17 APR 2020: A systematic review of antibody mediated immunity to coronaviruses (medRxiv preprint)

20 APR 2020: Human monoclonal antibodies block the binding of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein to angiotensin converting enzyme 2 receptor (Nature)

24 APR 2020: The impact of changes in diagnostic testing practices on estimates of COVID-19 transmission in the United States (medRxiv preprint)
“Changes in diagnostic testing and reporting processes should be monitored and taken into consideration when interpreting estimates of the reproductive number of COVID-19.”

24 APR 2020: Coronavirus Disease Outbreak in Call Center, South Korea (CDC Early Release)
“Of 1,143 persons who were tested for COVID-19, a total of 97 (8.5%, 95% CI 7.0%–10.3%) had confirmed cases. Of these, 94 were working in an 11th-floor call center with 216 employees, translating to an attack rate of 43.5% (95% CI 36.9%–50.4%). The household secondary attack rate among symptomatic case-patients was 16.2% (95% CI 11.6%– 22.0%). Of the 97 persons with confirmed COVID-19, only 4 (1.9%) remained asymptomatic within 14 days of quarantine, and none of their household contacts acquired secondary infections. Extensive contact tracing, testing all contacts, and early quarantine blocked further transmission and might be effective for containing rapid outbreaks in crowded work settings.”

24 APR 2020: Presymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 Infections and Transmission in a Skilled Nursing Facility(NEJM)
“Of these 48 residents, 27 (56%) were asymptomatic at the time of testing; 24 subsequently developed symptoms (median time to onset, 4 days).”

26 APR 2020: Population-Based Estimates of Chronic Conditions Affecting Risk for Complications from Coronavirus Disease, US (CDC Early Release)
“We estimated that 45.4% of US adults are at increased risk for complications from coronavirus disease because of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, hypertension, or cancer. Rates increased by age, from 19.8% for persons 18–29 years of age to 80.7% for persons >80 years of age”

29 APR 2020: Changes in contact patterns shape the dynamics of the COVID-19 outbreak in China (Science) 
“While proactive school closures cannot interrupt transmission on their own, they can reduce peak incidence by 40-60% and delay the epidemic.”

29 APR 2020: An analysis of SARS-CoV-2 viral load by patient age (Preprint)
“Based on these results, we have to caution against an unlimited re-opening of schools and kindergartens in the present situation. Children may be as infectious as adults.” 

29 APR 2020: Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest during the Covid-19 Outbreak in Italy (NEJM)
“During the study period in 2020, a total of 9806 cases of Covid-19 were reported in the study territory. During this period, 362 cases of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest were identified, as compared with 229 cases identified during the same period in 2019 (a 58% increase).” 

29 APR 2020: Characteristics and Clinical Outcomes of Adult Patients Hospitalized with COVID-19 — Georgia, March 2020 (CDC Early Release)
“In a cohort of 305 hospitalized adults with COVID-19 in Georgia (primarily metropolitan Atlanta), black patients were overrepresented, and their clinical outcomes were similar to those of nonblack patients. One in four hospitalized patients had no recognized risk factors for severe COVID-19.” 

29 APR 2020: Effectiveness of isolation, testing, contact tracing and physical distancing on reducing transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in different settings (medRxiv preprint)
“our analysis estimates that a high proportion of cases would need to self-isolate and a high proportion of their contacts to be successfully traced to ensure an effective reproduction number that is below one in the absence of other measures. If combined with moderate physical distancing measures, self-isolation and contact tracing would be more likely to achieve control.”

29 APR 2020: Moving Personal Protective Equipment Into the Community (JAMA)
Face shields, which can be quickly and affordably produced and distributed, should be included as part of strategies to safely and significantly reduce transmission in the community setting.”

30 APR 2020: Spike mutation pipeline reveals the emergence of a more transmissible form of SARS-CoV-2 (medRxiv preprint)

30 APR 2020: The Possible Role of Vitamin D in Suppressing Cytokine Storm and Associated Mortality in COVID-19 Patients (medRxiv preprint)
“Interpretation: Given that CRP is a surrogate marker for severe COVID-19 and is associated with Vit D deficiency, our finding suggests that Vit D may reduce COVID-19 severity by suppressing cytokine storm in COVID-19 patients. Further research is needed to account for other factors through direct measurement of Vit D levels.”