Top 5 Most-Read COVID-19 News of 2020

A look at some of our most-read news coverage of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

When very early reports of a mysterious illness began emerging from Wuhan, China, nearly a year ago, it was primarily thought of as a respiratory illness. Now, with more than 77 million cases around the world and approaching 1.7 million deaths, including nearly 320,000 fatalities in the United States, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which caused the pandemic, is known to act as more of a systemic disease in some cases. While the majority of those afflicted with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) will have mild to moderate symptoms, other individuals will not be as fortunate.

Here are the most-read stories about the pandemic on AJMC.com during the past year that discuss some of these topics.

5. Most Americans Unaware of COVID-19's Effects on the Kidneys

A survey conducted in the spring found that fewer than 1 in 5 American realized that COVID-19 can cause renal damage. Just 17% were aware of the potential effects of the virus on the kidneys, whereas more than half knew about the possibility of acute respiratory failure (58%), pneumonia (54%), and acute respiratory distress syndrome (52%). In addition, the survey found that less than half (46%) of Americans realized that COVID-19 will likely increase the number of people with long-term chronic kidney disease (CKD) and kidney failure, because patients who have no history of kidney damage are ending up with acute kidney injury, which could leave them at higher risk of CKD.

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4. COVID-19 May Be Transmitted Through the Eye, Report Finds

Preliminary data suggested that SARS-CoV-2 might be transmitted through the eye. The report in JAMA Ophthalmology, about data from 38 patients infected with COVID-19 from Hubei Province, China, found that individuals had ocular manifestations, including epiphora, conjunctival congestion, or chemosis. The American Academy of Ophthalmology in March had issued a set of guidelines for ophthalmologists recommending protection of the mouth, nose, and eyes when caring for patients potentially infected with the virus.

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3. First Case of COVID-19 Reinfection Detected in the US

Reinfections are rare but possible, and in October, the first US report of a man with his second case of COVID-19 emerged from Nevada. The second reinfection was more serious than the first, but the man, a 25-year-old with no known immune disorders, recovered. After testing positive in April and becoming mildly ill, he tested negative on 2 subsequent occasions. In June, he was hospitalized and retested positive after experiencing severe COVID-19 symptoms, including fever, headache, dizziness, cough, nausea, and diarrhea. He also needed oxygen. Before that, there were 4 other reinfection cases, in Hong Kong, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Ecuador.

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2. Months After COVID-19, Report Describes Case of the Constant Headache

Numerous reports have described how some patients who have had COVID-19 suffer for months with a variety of ailments; in August, a case report described a female patient with COVID-19 who, at the time of publication, had a headache for 85 straight days, starting shortly after she first became sick. The patient, aged 40 years, had a previous diagnosis of migraine with and without aura. With COVID-19, her headaches set in on the fifth day. She described her headache pain as continuous and severe for 7 days and even as other symptoms eased, the intensity of her headache worsened. During the 2 months following the symptomatic phase of the virus, she had a headache 3 days or more during all of the weeks, including suffering a headache 6 of 7 days for 2 weeks straight.

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1. A Timeline of COVID-19 Developments in 2020

AJMC.com’s updated tally of developments in 2020’s COVID-19 crisis.

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