Study

Scientists Question Major Hydroxychloroquine Study

More than 100 scientists and clinicians have questioned the authenticity of a massive hospital database that was the basis for an influential study published last week that concluded that treating people who have Covid-19 with chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine did not help and might have increased the risk of abnormal heart rhythms and death.

In an open letter to The Lancet’s editor, Richard Horton, and the paper’s authors, the scientists asked the journal to provide details about the provenance of the data and called for the study to be independently validated by the World Health Organization or another institution.

A spokeswoman for Dr. Mandeep R. Mehra, the Harvard professor who was the paper’s lead author, said on Friday that the study’s authors had asked for an independent academic review and audit of their work.

Use of the malaria drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to prevent and treat Covid-19 has been a focus

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Coronavirus Epidemics Began Later Than Believed, Study Concludes

The first confirmed coronavirus infections in Europe and the United States, discovered in January, did not ignite the epidemics that followed, according to a close analysis of hundreds of viral genomes.

Instead, the outbreaks plaguing much of the West began weeks later, the study concluded. The revised timeline may clarify nagging ambiguities about the arrival of the pandemic.

For example, while President Trump has frequently claimed that a ban on travelers from China prevented the epidemic from becoming much worse, the new data suggest that the virus that started Washington State’s epidemic arrived roughly two weeks after the ban was imposed on Feb. 2.

And the authors argue that the relatively late emergence of the outbreak means that more lives could have been saved by early action, such as testing and contact tracing.

The new analysis is not the last word. Scientific understanding of the coronavirus is evolving almost daily,

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Black Coronavirus Patients Land in Hospitals More Often, Study Finds

As the coronavirus spread across the United States, sweeping through low-income, densely populated communities, black and Hispanic patients have been dying at higher rates than white patients.

Crowded living conditions, poorer overall health and limited access to care have been blamed, among other factors. But a new study suggests that  the disparity is particularly acute for black patients.

The disparity remained even after researchers took into account differences in age, sex, income and the prevalence of chronic health problems that exacerbate Covid-19, like hypertension and Type 2 diabetes.

The finding suggests that black patients may have had limited access to medical care or that they postponed seeking help until later in the course of their illness, when the disease was more advanced.

Black patients were also far less likely than white, Hispanic or Asian patients to have been tested for the virus before going to the emergency room for care.

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Vaccinations Fall to Alarming Rates, C.D.C. Study Shows

As states across the country relax stay-at-home orders and people return to more normal routines, some researchers worry about a spike in vaccine-preventable diseases in addition to the coronavirus’s spread.

Angela Shen, a research scientist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the co-author of the study, said the falling rates in Michigan were concerning and quite likely representative of trends throughout the country.

“Now, you’re not just dealing with Covid,” she said, referring to Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. “Now you’re contending with common vaccine-preventable diseases.”

Over the past two months, the risk of infection for diseases

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