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COVID 19 Updates from RheumNow

Update on Rheumatic Disease and COVID-19

Numerous recent publications have focused on the risk and outcomes of rheumatic disease (RDD) and autoimmune patients who become infected with SARs-CoV-2.

Latest COVID-19 Numbers from CDC

These are the latest CDC numbers for COVID-19 in the USA:

  • TOTAL CASES  5,119,711  (55,540 New Cases since yesterday)
  • TOTAL DEATHS 163,651   (1,244 New Deaths since yesterday)

States with the highest number of COVID-19 deaths:

DMARD Use Does Not Increase COVID Hospitalization

An observational study of patients with systemic autoimmune inflammatory rheumatic diseases (AIRD) who also had COVID-19 disease shows that AIRD increased the risk of hospitalization, but that the use of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) were not associated with hospitalization.


Kathryn Dao, MD and Deedre Morales

Since the start of the pandemic, my emotions have swung like the pendulum of the hydroxychloroquine efficacy/inefficacy for COVID-19 debate. The highs and lows can be extreme.

Fighting Hydroxychloroquine Misinformation

JAMA Internal Medicine has posted an Editor's note on the use of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19; noting the sequence of dysfunction since the president promoted its use on March 21, 2020, when he said “What do you have to lose? I’ll say it again: What do you have to lose? Take it.”.

RheumNow Podcast - Top 13 Rheumatology Centers (7-31-20)

Dr. Jack Cush reviews the news and TOP 13 list of Best Rheumatology Hospitals.

Colchicine Benefits COVID-19 Patients

A proof-of-concept study published in Annals of Rheumatic Disease suggests that colchicine significantly improves COVID-19 outcomes.

ACR Advice on Reopening Strategies

The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) has issued a guidance document for rheumatologists and rheumatology health professionals to consider as practices, business and patient care begins to reopen in this next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.

RheumNow Podcast – COVID-19 Responds to Steroids (7.24.20)

Dr. Jack Cush reviews the News and Journal Reports from the past week on

Low Risk of COVID in Biologic Treated Rheum Patients

In an Annals of Rheumatic Disease report, Italian investigators performed consecutive testing for SARS-CoV-2 (IgM and IgG) between 25 March to 25 May 2020 and compared test results between rheumatic disease (RMD) patients and the general population. 

Rapid Loss of SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies in Mild Disease

According to a small, observational study out of UCLA published as correspondence in the NEJM on July 21, 2020, those with mild COVID-19 symptoms showed an approximate antibody half-life of 73 days.

Higher Rates of SARS-CoV-2 Seropositivity in the USA

The number of reporting cases of COVID-19 infection tends to underestimate the true prevalence of infection as only the more severe cases (e.g.,acute respiratory syndrome) get tested or go to the hospital.


Virtual Video Joint Exam Pearl #5: Its easier to see gouty Tophi and rheumatoid nodules than nail changes of PsA or subtle rashes. For Rashes and oral lesions its BEST to have the patient take multiple pix with the cell phone and send them in by EMR or Email.

Dr. John Cush RheumNow( View Tweet)

1 week 1 day ago
Virtual Video Joint Exam Pearl #1: pain elicited by cervical lateral bending (in someone w/ otherwise normal Cx ROM) is highly correlated with Tender trigger points in the neck region (hence #FM)

Dr. John Cush RheumNow( View Tweet)

1 week 1 day ago
The RheumNow Podcast is up - Top 13 Rheumatology Centers in the US; anakinra & colchicine in COVID, unload the loading dose, CB2 in Scleroderma. Watch it here>> or listen to the podcast here>>

Dr. John Cush RheumNow( View Tweet)

1 week 3 days ago
The only thing worse than bad covid research is a meta-analysis of bad covid research

Vinay Prasad VPrasadMDMPH( View Tweet)

2 weeks ago
Important finding of marked lung fibrosis (scarring) after severe #COVID19 in 8 patients @TheLancetInfDis (first complete pathologic description of this finding)
Eric Topol EricTopol( View Tweet)
2 weeks ago
Full Read comprehensive overview of Cytokine Storm Syndrome in COVID-19.

Dr. John Cush RheumNow( View Tweet)

2 weeks 1 day ago
Retropective study of 22 French severe COVID-19 pneumonia pts - 10 Rx w/ standard-of-care vs 12 with SOC plus IV anakinra (300 mg⋅d−1 x5 d, tapered over 3 d). All of anakinra pts rapidly improved w/ no deaths, less O2, No mech ventilation (P < 0.01)
Dr. John Cush RheumNow( View Tweet)
2 weeks 3 days ago
The RheumNow Podcast is up - COVID-19 Responds to Steroids & TCZ, statin myopathy, Lung Dz in AOSD, TNFi & Liver, IL-23 in Psoriasis. Watch it here>> or listen to Podcast on iTunes>> or on SoundCloud>>

Dr. John Cush RheumNow( View Tweet)

2 weeks 5 days ago
Here's our experience at @BostonChildrens in managing patients with MIS-C, as well as how to distinguish these patients from those with #kawasakidisease --> Just published in @jclinicalinvest #COVID19
Jonathan Hausmann MD hausmannMD( View Tweet)
2 weeks 6 days ago
One-third of hospitalized COVID-19 patients have evidence of pulmonary embolism by CT scan. Retrospective study 1477 hospitalized COVID-19 pts; diagnostic yield of Chest CT for PE was 37%, w/ higher Ddimer in PE pts.

Dr. John Cush RheumNow( View Tweet)

3 weeks 2 days ago