Methods: This interview-questionnaire study used a test-negative case-control design, enrolling persons who received a positive (case-participants) or negative (control-participants) SARS-CoV-2 test result, from among all California residents, without age restriction, who received a molecular test result for SARS-CoV-2 during February 18–December 1, 2021. A total of 652 case- and 1,176 control-participants were enrolled in the study equally across nine multi-county regions in California.
Limitations included the following:
This study did not account for other preventive behaviors that could influence risk (eg distancing)
This analysis relied on an aggregate estimate of self-reported face mask or respirator use across, for some participants, multiple indoor public locations
Estimates do not account for face mask or respirator fit
Data collection occurred before the expansion of the SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.529 (Omicron) variant
Topical steroids were most effective in inducing histologic remission: 54.8% compared to 36.1% for PPIs and 18.5% for empiric elimination diet; histologic remission and response was 67.7%, 49.7%, and 48.1% respectively.
Topical steroids were most effective in inducing clinical and histologic remission or response (in 67.7% of patients), followed by empiric elimination diets (in 52.0%), and PPIs (in 50.2%).
However, PPIs were the first-line treatment for 76.4% of patients, followed by topical steroids (for 10.5%) and elimination diets (for 7.8%).
My take: This data (and others) indicate that topical steroids are most effective pharmacologic therapy; at some point, I expect that they will become the most frequently used.
“Layering two less specialized masks on top of each other can provide comparable protection [to N95]. Dr. Marr recommended wearing face-hugging cloth masks over surgical masks, which tend to be made with more filter-friendly materials but fit more loosely. An alternative is to wear a cloth mask with a pocket that can be stuffed with filter material, like the kind found in vacuum bags.”
In this issue of JAMA, Wang et al present evidence that universal masking of health care workers (HCWs) and patients can help reduce transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections.1 In the largest health care system in Massachusetts with more than 75 000 employees, in tandem with routine symptom screening and diagnostic testing of symptomatic HCWs for SARS-CoV-2 infection, leadership mandated a policy of universal masking for all HCWs as well as for all patients. The authors present data that prior to implementation of universal masking in late March 2020, new infections among HCWs with direct or indirect patient contact were increasing exponentially, from 0% to 21.3% (a mean increase of 1.16% per day). However, after the universal masking policy was in place, the proportion of symptomatic HCWs with positive test results steadily declined, from 14.7% to 11.5% (a mean decrease of 0.49% per day). Although not a randomized clinical trial, this study provides critically important data to emphasize that masking helps prevent transmission of SARS-CoV-2…. the public needs consistent, clear, and appealing messaging that normalizes community masking. At this critical juncture when COVID-19 is resurging, broad adoption of cloth face coverings is a civic duty, a small sacrifice reliant on a highly effective low-tech solution that can help turn the tide favorably in national and global efforts against COVID-19.
Briefly noted: G Bommelear et al. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol; 2020; 18: 1553-60. Oral Curcumin No More Effective Than Placebo in Preventing Recurrence of Crohn’s Disease After Surgery in a Randomized Controlled Trial
Double-blind randomized controlled trial at 8 referral centers in France, from October 2014 through January 2018, with 62 consecutive patients with CD undergoing bowel resection.
Patients received azathioprine (2.5 mg/kg) and were randomly assigned to groups given oral curcumin (3 g/day; n = 31) or an identical placebo (n = 31) for 6 months, and were then evaluated by colonoscopy.
The primary endpoint: postoperative recurrence of CD in each group (Rutgeerts’ index score ≥i2) at month 6
Postoperative recurrence at 6 months: (Rutgeerts’ index score ≥i2): 58% receiving curcumin vs 68% receiving placebo (P = .60).
Severe recurrence: 55% receiving Curcumin 55%vs 26% receiving placebo –had a severe recurrence of CD (Rutgeerts’ index score ≥i3) (P = .034).
Clinical recurrence of CD (CD activity index score >150) at 6 months: 30% with curcumin compared with 45% receiving placebo (P = .80)
My take: Curcumin was ineffective in preventing recurrent post-operative Crohn’s disease
The surgical masks used in risky settings like hospitals offer much less protection against the coronavirus, an analysis found…
The results, published on Monday in The Lancet, make it clear that the W.H.O. and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should recommend that essential workers like nurses and emergency responders wear N95 masks, not just surgical masks
N95 masks offered 96 percent protection, the analysis found, while the figure for surgical masks was 77 percent. The findings are particularly important as the United States moves to reopen the economy, Dr. Michaels said…
Workers in health care settings are not the only ones at high risk of coronavirus infection: employees in meatpacking plants and some farms are all also at high risk of coronavirus infection and could benefit from N95 masks..
The new analysis also suggests that covering the eyes with face shields, goggles and glasses may provide additional safeguards for health care workers and people in the community.