COVID-19

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The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has lead to unprecedented public health efforts to manage and contain the spread of disease. Physicians, investigators, and public health experts from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine are combining their efforts, mobilizing resources, and developing tools to help save lives and prevent the spread of disease. From laboratories that are delving into the genetics and behavior of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, to the public health experts that are developing models to predict the disease’s spread, efforts to combat this unprecedented challenge are underway all across the medical school.


Campus News

Members of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine community have been stepping forward to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Watch videos with three members of Feinberg labs who detail why they chose to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Podcasts

Daniel Batlle, MD, professor of medicine in the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension at Northwestern, has been studying ACE2 and its potential therapeutic uses for many years. When the pandemic began, he proposed a hypothesis that soluble ACE2 could treat the SARS-CoV-2 virus and lead to survival and full recovery, and now he has some exciting preliminary results.

COVID-19 vaccines are being doled out across the nation, almost exclusively to adults. Pfizer's vaccine has been authorized for ages 16 and up and Moderna's vaccine for 18 and up. So when might younger children be vaccinated for COVID-19? And what needs to happen before then? William Muller, MD, PhD, offers insight.

Since SARS-CoV-2 was discovered in Illinois over a year ago, Feinberg scientists have been tracking the evolution of the disease in the Chicago area. Ramón Lorenzo Redondo, PhD, research assistant professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases, is part of the team leading this work. He talks about the team's research, the new COVID-19 variants and how the vaccines on the market today stand up to them.

A team of Northwestern scientists have come together from across disciplines to develop a COVID-19 antibody test designed for at-home use. Elizabeth McNally, MD, PhD, is part of the team working on this test to determine prior exposure to the virus.

Although COVID-19 doesn't necessarily discriminate, some communities are far more susceptible to the disease. People who are black or African-American are more likely to contract the virus - and to die from it. Clyde Yancy, MD, discusses reasons for these outcomes and the need to fully address health care disparities in America.

While the world anxiously awaits a vaccine for COVID-19, some physicians on the front lines are trying new or repurposed therapies in an effort to help COVID patients. Benjamin Singer, MD, a Northwestern physician-scientist, discusses his experiences in the ICU during this time and his recently published letter warning against the use of unproven therapies.

Media Coverage

NBC News

Dr. Eve Feinberg, a reproductive endocrinologist and associate professor at Northwestern University, works with patients with fertility issues every day. She said although she doesn’t think the virus itself directly leads to infertility, she’s noticed that some of her male patients have experienced infertility due to low sperm counts after having Covid.
National Geographic

The exact mechanisms behind these stubborn symptoms aren’t well understood, but they most likely relate to local inflammation and local infection with COVID-19 virus in the nerves, explains Igor Koralnik, a professor of neurology at the Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine and chief of the division of neuroinfectious diseases and global neurology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.
The Washington Post

“It’s a communications crisis,” said Robert Murphy, executive director of the Institute for Global Health at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, who said he received worried calls Thursday evening from health-care workers who thought they would not be eligible for the shots, followed by messages Friday from colleagues wondering when and where to get them.
Chicago Tribune

“It is certainly frustrating and disruptive to children’s education and their families when students have to quarantine. However, quarantining is one of the non-pharmacologic interventions that we can use to stop the spread of any infectious disease,” said Mercedes Carnethon, vice chair of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.