• Influence of COVID-19 on Delivery and Inpatient Postpartum Care — Because data are sparse, the care of SARS-CoV-2 infected pregnant women and their newborns is predominantly guided by society recommendations and expert opinion. To summarize current practices, Anjali J. Kaimal, MD, MAS, director of the Deborah Kelly Center for Clinical Research, Ilona Goldfarb, MD, maternal-fetal medicine specialist, Lauren Hanley, MD, medical director of the Lactation Clinic in the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Megan Aurora, MD, associate medical director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at MassGeneral Hospital for Children, posted a fast literature update on May 16, 2020. (5/22)
  • Understanding Links Between COVID-19 and Obesity — Obesity is not a risk factor for becoming infected with COVID-19 that we are aware of today. However, new data suggests that patients who have obesity are more likely to require intensive care for COVID-19. (5/12)
  • Neutralizing SARS-CoV-2-specific Antibodies and Virus-Specific T Cells Detected in People Recovering from COVID-19  — Studies of SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV and non-SARS coronaviruses, as well as a non–peer-reviewed, pre-print study of rhesus monkeys, suggest humans should possess protective immunity to SARS-CoV-2 after infection. This research was discussed in a fast literature update posted on April 24, 2020. The newest study of protective immunity in patients recovering from COVID-19, published in Immunity, is the most comprehensive yet. Its promising results are discussed by Tiara Calhoun, MD, Internal Medicine and Global Medicine resident, and Vladimir Vinarsky, MD, a physician in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care, with advisory review by Rod Rahimi, MD, PhD, all of Massachusetts General Hospital, in a fast literature update posted on May 5. (5/12)
  • Mortality in COVID-19 Does Not Appear to Be Driven by Liver Failure — Elevated liver function tests (LFT) are common in patients hospitalized with COVID-19, and occasionally the values are high enough to trigger clinical concern. In a fast literature update posted on May 6, 2020, Patricia P. Bloom, MD, a fellow in Gastroenterology at Massachusetts General Hospital, reviews what's known so far about the causes and consequences of abnormal LFTs in COVID-19. (5/12) 
  • Medical Grand Rounds: Unraveling the Mystery of Clotting in COVID-19 — On May 7, 2020, the Department of Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital held its ninth virtual Grand Rounds presentation related to COVID-19. The presentation featured a panel of experts from the Boston medical community, included Mass General Hematologists Pavan Bendapudi, MD, and Hanny Al-Samkari, MD, who are investigating blood clotting in COVID-19 patients. (5/8)
  • Tracking "COVID Toes" and Dermatologic Symptoms of COVID-19 — In an interview with Healio, Esther E. Freeman, MD, PhD, director of Global Health Dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospital, discussed the COVID toes condition and explained how she is working to track all dermatologic symptoms of COVID-19. (5/8) 
  • What Kind of Lung Disease Does SARS-CoV-2 Cause? — In a fast literature update posted on May 1, 2020, Lida Hariri, MD, PhD, assistant pathologist in the Department of Pathology at Massachusetts General Hospital, reviews common histologic patterns of acute lung injury (ALI) and compares them with the available pathologic evidence in COVID-19. (5/8) 
  • Link Between Diabetes and COVID-19 Is Credible, but Clinical Implications Are Unclear — Case series consistently identify diabetes mellitus as a risk factor for severe COVID-19. In a fast literature update posted on April 28, 2020, Janaki D. Vakharia, MD, a fellow in adult and pediatric endocrinology at Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses that issue and the related question of whether having COVID-19 makes diabetes presentations more severe.(5/7)
  • Study Reveals the Risk of COVID-19 Infection Among Health Care Workers — In an analysis of information from the U.K. and U.S., frontline health care workers had a nearly 12-times higher risk of testing positive for COVID-19 compared with individuals in the general community, and those workers with inadequate access to personal protective equipment (PPE) had an even higher risk. The study, which was conducted by a team led by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, King’s College London and Zoe Global Ltd. is available in medRxiv. (5/5) 
  • Secondary Infections May Increase Morbidity and Mortality in COVID-19 Patients — In the 1918, 1957 and 1968 influenza pandemics, and the 2009 outbreak of H1N1 influenza, bacterial co-infection was a significant driver of mortality and morbidity. A fast literature update posted on April 27, 2020, discusses whether the clinical syndrome following SARS-CoV-2 infection might be partly attributable to secondary infection with other pathogens. The piece is courtesy of Alison Castle, MD, an infectious disease fellow, and the FLARE team with advisory review by Emily Hyle, MD, and Sarah Turbett, MD, physicians in the Infectious Disease Division, and Alyssa Letourneau, MD, MPH, medical director, Antimicrobial Stewardship Program at Massachusetts General Hospital.(5/5) 
  • The Ventilator: Understanding One of Today’s Most Valuable Devices — How do ventilators actually work? And why do COVID-19 patients need them? George Alba, MD, a clinician in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and a researcher at the Mass General Research Institute spoke with us to answer some of these questions. (5/1) 
  • Review: COVID-19 and Neuromuscular Disorders — Neuromuscular complications of severe coronaviruses (SARS-CoV, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus and now SARS-CoV-2) have rarely been mentioned in medical literature. It is possible, though, that neuromuscular complications occur and are overshadowed by systemic manifestations. Amanda C. Guidon, MD, director of the Myasthenia Gravis Clinic at in the Department of Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Anthony A. Amato, MD, of Brigham and Women's Hospital, recently reviewed in Neurology the potential neuromuscular complications of COVID-19, mitigation of COVID-19–related risks for patients with pre-existing neuromuscular disease and management of immunotherapy during the pandemic. (5/1) 
  • Study Finds Gastrointestinal Complications Likely in Critically Ill COVID-19 Patients — Critically ill COVID-19 patients have a high incidence of gastrointestinal complications, according to a case series reported in the Annals of Surgery by Haytham M.A. Kaafarani, MD, MPH, director of the Center for Outcomes & Patient Safety in Surgery (COMPASS) and Trauma & Emergency Surgery, George C. Velmahos, MD, PhD, division chief of Trauma, Emergency Surgery and Surgical Critical Care, and colleagues at Massachusetts General Hospital. (5/1) 
  • Identifying SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies to Detect Immunity — As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve around the globe, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital are evaluating assays to determine the development of immunity against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. John Iafrate, MD, professor in the Department of Pathology at Mass General, is leading serologic research studies to produce antibody tests for SARS-CoV-2. His team and others are now beginning to identify antibodies specific to the virus and the amount of antibody necessary for immunity. (5/1)
  • Antibody-dependent Enhancement Might Explain Some Cases of Severe COVID-19 — Severe COVID-19 is associated with a failure to clear SARS-CoV-2 despite high levels of inflammatory cytokines. Recently, researchers have proposed in Microbes and Infection that this phenomenon can be explained by antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE), a dysfunctional immune response best described in dengue virus infection. In a fast literature update posted on April 18, 2020, Rod Rahimi, MD, PhD, physician in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care at Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses this possibility. (4/30) 
  • The Difference Between N95s, Surgical Masks and Cloth Masks — What is an N95 mask and how is it different from a surgical mask? Is a cloth mask safe? George Alba, MD, a clinician in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and a researcher at the Mass General Research Institute, helps explain the specifics and best practices according to CDC guidelines. (4/29) 
  • Infectious Disease Experts: Reopening the Country will Hinge on Testing — How can the United States transition from the broadscale strategy of mitigating the spread of COVID-19 through shutdowns and physical distancing to a more focused strategy of containment, where infected individuals are quickly identified and isolated to prevent larger outbreaks? In a viewpoint published in JAMA on April 17, Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, chief of Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Carlos del Rio, MD, from the Emory University School of Medicine, identify several key components of a successful reopening plan. (4/27)
  • Effects of COVID-19 on Pregnant Women and Neonates — With many health systems in resource-limited settings across the globe already struggling to meet the needs of their patients, how can health officials cope with the rising COVID-19 pandemic? (4/24) 
  • Grand Round Session Details the Global Health Implications of COVID-19 — With many health systems in resource-limited settings across the globe already struggling to meet the needs of their patients, how can health officials cope with the rising COVID-19 pandemic? (4/20) 
  • COVID-19 Does Not Lead to "Atypical" ARDS — In recent weeks some have argued that COVID-19–associated respiratory failure is distinct from acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Most of these comments were made in social media or the popular press, but one group of clinicians published a letter in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine and an editorial in Intensive Care Medicine. Corey Hardin, MD, PhD, physician in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care at Massachusetts General Hospital, critiques multiple allegations that it is different in a fast literature update posted on April 10, 2020. (4/20)
  • COVID-19 Severity Risk in Smokers, Vape Users: Q&A with Jonathan Winickoff, MD, MPH — Individuals with respiratory illnesses and immunosuppression are amongst the high-risk group for severe COVID-19. But many physicians wonder about the risk level for patients who smoke or vape tobacco products. In this Q&A, Jonathan Winickoff, MD, MPH, pediatrician and director of Pediatric Research at the Massachusetts General Hospital Tobacco Research & Treatment Center, explains what is known and unknown about COVID-19 in regards to smoking and vaping. (4/16) 
  • Exploring the Mental Health Impact of COVID-19 on New Mothers — Sharon Dekel, PhD, a researcher and psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, is launching a study to understand how COVID-19 could be affecting the mental health and childbirth experience of women who recently gave birth. (4/16) 
  • Most Critically Ill Patients with COVID-19 Can Be Expected to Survive — On April 6, 2020, research published in JAMA reported on the largest ICU cohort of patients with COVID-19 to date. Camille Petri, MD, a fellow in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, summarized and critiqued the publication in a fast literature update posted on April 8. (4/16) 
  • Tracking the Footprint of COVID-19 in Pediatric Populations — Fortunately, children and adolescents represent only a small proportion of patients infected with SARS-CoV-2. In a fast literature update posted on April 7, 2020, Alexandra K. Wong, MD, a physician in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, adds that the virus rarely causes severe illness in these populations. (4/15)
  • The Possibility of a COVID-19 Viral-mediated Myocarditis — According to a few case reports and anecdotes, myocarditis can occur in patients with COVID-19. The evidence for that is at present limited, but clinicians should stay alert to cardiac compromise, according to a Massachusetts General Hospital fast literature update (FLARE) on April 1, 2020, by David M. Dudzinski, MD, director of the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit in the Corrigan Minehan Heart Center at Mass General. (4/15)
  • "Inflammatory Tsunami" Causes Severe Disease After Infection with the SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus — After infection with SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that's causing the pandemic of COVID-19, one of the first signs of severe disease is a remarkably strong cytokine storm—an "inflammatory tsunami," according to Galit Alter, PhD, principal investigator at the Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University and Samana Cay MGH Research Scholar. Dr. Alter described the pathogenesis of COVID-19 during a Medical Grand Rounds at Mass General on March 12, 2020, presented by members of the Greater Boston Consortium for Pathogen Readiness. (4/15)
  • What Makes This Coronavirus So Unique? A Look at the Virology of SARS-CoV-2 — At a recent Morning Rounds presentation, infectious disease researcher Galit Alter, PhD, discussed what scientists have learned about the virology of SARS-CoV-2, and what makes it different from diseases we have seen before. (4/9)
  • Acute Respiratory Distress in COVID-19: Experts Outline Current Clinical Strategies and Research Opportunities — The third lecture in Massachusetts General Hospital's Medical Grand Rounds COVID-19 series focused on the clinical care of acute respiratory failure and the potential for new therapies and treatment strategies. (4/3) 

  • Smoking, Vaping and COVID-19: About the Connection and How to Quit — Learn how smoking and vaping can put your body at a higher risk of catching COVID-19 and how to quit smoking and vaping to protect yourself and others. (3/26)

  • Food vs. Mood: Eating for Physical and Mental Health During COVID-19 — Uma Naidoo, MD, director of MGH Nutritional and Lifestyle Psychiatry, offers advice to help keep mentally and physically healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. (3/25)
  • Mass General Physicians Answer Key Questions About the Coronavirus — Paul Biddinger, MD, director of the Center for Disaster Medicine and Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, chief of the Infectious Disease Division answer pressing questions about COVID-19. (3/23)
  • The Use of NSAIDs in COVID-19 Patients: Q&A with Bryan D. Hayes, PharmD — Dr. Hayes, the clinical manager of Emergency Medicine & Overnight Pharmacy Services, clarifies the risks and benefits of drugs like ibuprofen for use in patients with COVID-19. (3/20)