COVID-19 weekly news: February 23 – March 1

COVID-19 drugs: What are they and how do they work?

The FDA has approved an antiviral drug called remdesivir (Veklury) to treat COVID-19 in adults and children who are age 12 and older. Remdesivir may be prescribed for people who are hospitalized with COVID-19. It's given through a needle in the skin (intravenously). The FDA has granted an emergency use authorization for the rheumatoid arthritis drug baricitinib (Olumiant) to treat COVID-19 in some cases. Baricitinib is a pill that seems to work against COVID-19 by reducing inflammation and having antiviral activity. The FDA states baricitinib may be used in combination with remdesivir in people who are hospitalized with COVID-19 who are on mechanical ventilators or need supplemental oxygen.

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What to know about kids, COVID-19 vaccines and returning to school

Dr. Robert Jacobson, a Mayo Clinic pediatrician and vaccine researcher at Mayo Clinic Children's Center, discusses the CDC plan, when a COVID-19 vaccine will be available for kids, and the importance of children and adolescents staying up to date on other preventive care.

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Monoclonal antibody treatment helps couple recover quickly from COVID-19

When Bob and Joyce Wachsmuth were diagnosed with COVID-19, their care team told them about two programs that could help with their care and recovery: remote patient monitoring and monoclonal antibody therapy. They quickly signed on for both.

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Changes for visitors at Mayo Clinic in Rochester

Because of consistently low COVID-19 infection positivity rates in the community, Mayo Clinic in Rochester will start allowing two visitors for each patient during their inpatient and outpatient visits.

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Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast: COVID-19 variants and the evolving science

"As we learn new science, we use that science to modify our recommendations," says Dr. Poland. "It's not that scientists are flip-flopping. It is that new data allows us to begin expanding those recommendations."

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Monoclonal antibodies: Update on this COVID-19 experimental therapy

Current experimental treatments for COVID-19 focus on two targets: the virus or the immune system.  On the immune system side, the number of experimental treatments is growing. The vast majority are called monoclonal antibodies. This type of drug is not new, and many are currently approved to treat conditions such as cancer or rheumatoid arthritis. But some are being developed from scratch to boost the initial immune response for patients who are at risk of severe COVID-19 disease. These experimental drugs may provide patients with a way to get ahead of the virus and help manage the strain on hospital intensive care services. But what are monoclonal antibodies?

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Samantha Rossi

Samantha Rossi is a Digital Marketing Manager at Mayo Clinic Laboratories. She supports marketing strategies for product management and specialty testing. Samantha has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2019.