COVID-19 Information Briefs

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The Translational Research Center at the University of California Merced is looking to provide current and accurate information about the COVID 19 pandemic to aid public health officials, academic researchers, and the public. The summaries of selected topics have been prepared by a group of researchers from various disciplines after a thorough review of the scientific literature. We have attempted to provide answers to several important questions in the form of informational briefs, some of which include the following:

  1. What are the most effective mitigation strategies to prevent the occurrence of the disease?
  2. What are the vaccines being prepared to fight the disease?
  3. What are drugs being considered for the treatment of the disease?
  4. What is the role of non-invasive ventilation in the management of the disease?
  5. What is the Solidarity trial?
  6. What can individuals, families, and organizations do to improve everyday experiences in regards to child care and mental health?
  7. What are some mitigation strategies?
  8. What are the recommendations with regards to masks and personal protective equipment?


COVID-19 Information Briefs

UC Merced COVID-19: Solidarity Trial Information Brief

APRIL 10, 2020

"Solidarity” is an international clinical trial launched by the World Health Organization in partnership with multiple countries to help find an effective treatment for COVID-19. As of March 27 2020, over 70 countries have already confirmed their participation including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Indonesia, Iran, Norway, Peru, Qatar, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Romania, Malaysia. It will compare four treatment options to assess their relative effectiveness against the standard of care. WHO has cautioned physicians and medical associations against recommending or administering these drugs to patients except in the settings of a clinical trial due to lack of sufficient evidence about their safety and efficacy.

UC Merced COVID-19: Other Drug Therapies Information Brief

APRIL 10, 2020

COVID-19 is a disease caused by the virus SARS CoV2. This paper explores certain drugs being examined as potential treatment options for the disease. These drugs include: Lopinavir/ritonavir, Remdesivir, Melatonin, Convalescent plasma, Monoclonal antibody therapy, Tocilizumab (TCZ), and other antiviral drugs.

UC Merced COVID-19: Mitigation- Masks and PPE Information Brief

APRIL 23, 2020

This information brief includes the recommendations for personal protection equipment (PPE). PPE may offer a false sense of security against COVID-19. It is important to wear and dispose of all PPE properly. Current supplies of PPE are limited as of 4/19/2020. The CDC has announced that first line responders should be the first to receive any PPE. Once supplies are adequate it should be available to the public.

UC Merced COVID-19: Mitigation- Personal Impacts Information Brief

APRIL 23, 2020

This brief provides a summary of COVID-19 related findings that focus on what individuals, families, and organizations are doing to improve everyday experiences in regards to child care and mental health. Although specific to city and county levels, we have included resources that may be useful for community members (i.e. caregivers and children) and child care providers.

UC Merced COVID-19: Mitigation Information Brief

APRIL 23, 2020

In the absence of treatment and immunization therapies to treat and prevent COVID19 related disease, decision-makers have instituted non-pharmacological interventions (NPIs) to reduce human mobility and social mixing. The goal of such NPIs is to decrease the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and protect the public’s health.

UC Merced COVID-19 Treatment HCQ Information Brief

APRIL 15, 2020

COVID-19 is a disease caused by the virus SARS CoV2. As yet the disease has no known cure. Several treatment strategies have been employed with varying degrees of efficacy. Some non-clinician members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force have promoted the use of hydroxychloroquine(HCQ), with or without azithromycin, as a low-risk potentially life-saving intervention that may be appropriate for any consenting patient while other members of the Task Force favor restricting HCQ use to the setting of clinical trials pending additional evidence of safety and efficacy. On 3 April 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for hydroxychloroquine from the strategic national stockpile for unapproved use in certain hospitalized patients with Covid-19. Till now, 15 clinical trials have been reported using data from China to test the efficacy and safety of Chloroquine (CQ) or HCQ in the treatment of COVID-19, 8 of which were CQ, 6 were HCQ, and another included both CQ and HCQ

UC Merced COVID-19 Vaccines Information Brief

APRIL 23, 2020

Approximately 80 research universities and private industries in the U.S. are currently working to find an effective vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID19. Many of these laboratories are still in the development phase of a vaccine, and 78 with confirmed active development. Anticipated timeline for a vaccine to be developed and distributed on a large-scale is estimated to take 12 to 18 months. As of April 10, 2020, there are 5 vaccine candidates that have moved to Phase 1 of clinical trials.

UC Merced COVID-19 Non-Invasive Respiratory Support Information Brief

APRIL 23, 2020

According with initial studies from China, up to 20% of the patients with COVID-19 require hospitalizatio. From those, 5 to 12% required ICU admission with rates varying across countries and groups of patients, being as high as 81% in high risk groups. Patients with critical illness frequently develop Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) (from 45 to 99% of cases), being hypoxemic respiratory failure one of the most common findings(19%). Mechanical ventilation is needed in 2.3 to 12% of cases and noninvasive ventilation is used between 4 to 12% of patients.

UC Merced COVID-19 Serological Tests Information Brief

MAY 2, 2020

Serological tests are done to detect the presence of antibodies, which are specific proteins made in response to infections. These antibodies can be found in the blood and other tissues after an infection. These tests detect whether a person had an immune response to the SARS-CoV-2 virus which is responsible for causing COVID-19 infection. These tests are important in detecting infections in individuals with few or no symptoms. Currently, CDC’s serologic test is designed and validated for broad-based surveillance and research. The test is not currently designed to test individuals who want to know if they had been infected with COVID-19.


*Disclaimer* - These information briefs represent the best estimate of a group of academics at the University of California, Merced to summarize the latest developments regarding the COVID 19 virus. They are not intended to replace peer-reviewed scientific studies, and as this is a fast-changing environment, some of the information may be out of date by the time you read this. We suggest that any decisions regarding the COVID treatment or planning be discussed with the relevant authorities and not based solely on the information provided here