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Targeting of myeloid-derived suppressor cells by all-trans retinoic acid as host-directed therapy for human tuberculosis.

Cell Immunol 2021 Apr 8;364:104359. Epub 2021 Apr 8.

DST-NRF Centre of Excellence for Biomedical Tuberculosis Research, South African Medical Research Council Centre for Tuberculosis Research, Division of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa. Electronic address:

Conventional anti-tuberculosis (TB) therapies comprise lengthy antibiotic treatment regimens, exacerbated by multi-drug resistant and extensively drug resistant mycobacterial strains. We assessed the ability of all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA), as repurposed compound serving as host-directed therapy (HDT), to counteract the suppressive effects of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) obtained from active TB cases (untreated or during week one of treatment) on T-cell responsiveness. We show for the first time that MDSCs suppress non-specific T-cell activation and production of interleukin (IL)-2, IL-4, IL-13 and GM-CSF via contact-dependent mechanisms. Read More

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Modeling the effects of temperature on the migration and transformation of nitrate during riverbank filtration using HYDRUS-2D.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Mar 30;783:146656. Epub 2021 Mar 30.

School of Water Conservancy and Environment, University of Jinan, Shandong 250022, PR China.

Riverbank filtration is a natural aquifer-based process. The nitrogen dynamics in a riverbank filtration system are affected by many factors, including temperature, water quality, and travel time, which cannot be quantified easily. In this study, a field experiment was conducted to investigate nitrogen transport during riverbank filtration. Read More

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J Endod 2021 Apr 14. Epub 2021 Apr 14.

Department of Stomatology, School of Dentistry, University of Granada, Granada, Spain.

Introduction: The aim of this study was to compare the antibiofilm effects of a triple antibiotic solution (TAs), a double antibiotic solution (DAs), and 5%, 2.5% and 1.25% Diclofenac solutions (DCs) against Enteroccocus faecalis biofilm. Read More

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Associations between air pollution exposure and birth defects: a time series analysis.

Environ Geochem Health 2021 Apr 17. Epub 2021 Apr 17.

Department of Occupational Health and Environmental Health, School of Public Health, Anhui Medical University, 81 Meishan Road, Hefei, 230032, Anhui, China.

Air pollution is a serious environmental problem in China. Birth defects are particularly vulnerable to outdoor air pollution. Our study was to evaluate the association between short-term exposure to air pollutants and the risk of birth defects. Read More

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The effect of speed on Achilles tendon forces and patellofemoral joint stresses in high performing endurance runners.

Scand J Med Sci Sports 2021 Apr 16. Epub 2021 Apr 16.

Human Movement and Rehabilitation, School of Health and Society, University of Salford, Salford, UK.

Achilles tendinopathy and patellofemoral pain are common running injuries associated with increased Achilles tendon (AT) forces and patellofemoral joint (PFJ) stresses. This study examined AT forces and PFJ stresses at different running speeds in high performing endurance runners. Twenty runners ran overground at four running speeds (3. Read More

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Quarter of a century of contact lens prescribing trends in the United Kingdom (1996 - 2020).

Cont Lens Anterior Eye 2021 Apr 13:101446. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

School of Optometry and Vision Science, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove, Queensland, Australia. Electronic address:

Purpose: To document contact lens prescribing trends in the United Kingdom over the past quarter of a century.

Methods: An annual survey of contact lens prescribing was conducted each year from 1996 to 2020, inclusive, by asking a random selection of optometrists and contact lens opticians to provide information relating to 10 consecutive contact lens fits between January and March.

Results: Over the 25 year survey period, 2,671 practitioners returned survey forms, reporting a total of 25,575 contact lens fits. Read More

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Computational method for bearing surface wear prediction in total hip replacements.

J Mech Behav Biomed Mater 2021 Apr 8;119:104507. Epub 2021 Apr 8.

School of Engineering, Liverpool John Moores University, Byrom Street, Liverpool, L3 3AF, UK.

Total hip replacement (THR) is a revolutionary treatment when a hip joint becomes severely damaged. Wear is known as one of the main reasons for THR failure. Current experimental techniques to investigate the wear at the bearing surfaces of THRs are time-consuming, complicated and expensive. Read More

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Resilience and life cycle assessment of ion exchange process for ammonium removal from municipal wastewater.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Mar 30;783:146834. Epub 2021 Mar 30.

Cranfield Water Sciences Institute, College Road, Cranfield, Bedford MK43 0AL, United Kingdom. Electronic address:

This study was completed to understand the resilience of an ion exchange (IEX) process for its ability to remove variable ammonium (NH-N) loads) and to prove its environmental benefits through a life cycle assessment (LCA). The tertiary 10 m/day demonstration scale IEX was fed with variable NH-N concentrations (<0.006-26 mg NH-N /L) naturally found in municipal wastewater. Read More

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Does functional performance and upper body strength predict upper extremity reaction and movement time in older women?

Hum Mov Sci 2021 Apr 13;77:102796. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

Biomechanics of Balance and Movement Laboratory, College of Kinesiology, University of Saskatchewan, Canada.

Background: Reaction time to initiate upper limb movement and movement time to place hands on the landing surface may be important factors in forward fall landing and impact, contributing to injury reduction. The aim was to investigate the relationship of physical function and upper body strength to upper limb reaction and movement time in older female participants.

Methods: 75 female participants (72 ± 8 yrs) performed 5 arm response trials. Read More

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Can Technological Advancements Help to Alleviate COVID-19 Pandemic? A Review.

J Biomed Inform 2021 Apr 13:103787. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

Dept. of Mechanical Engg., Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Maharashtra-400076, IN. Electronic address:

The COVID-19 pandemic is continuing, and the innovative and efficient contributions of the emerging modern technologies to the pandemic responses are too early and cannot be completely quantified at this moment. Digital technologies are not a final solution but are the tools that facilitate a quick and effective pandemic response. In accordance, mobile applications, robots and drones, social media platforms (such as search engines, Twitter, and Facebook), television, and associated technologies deployed in tackling the COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) outbreak are discussed adequately, emphasizing the current-state-of-art. Read More

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Diagnostic Serial Interval as an Indicator for Effectiveness of Contact Tracing in the COVID-19 Pandemic - A Simulation Study.

Int J Infect Dis 2021 Apr 13. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

Seminar for Statistics, Department of Mathematics, ETH Zurich, Rämistrasse 101, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland.

Background: While the role of contact tracing in the containment of the COVID-19 epidemic remains important until vaccines are widely available, literature on objectively measurable indicators for the effectiveness of contact tracing is scarce. We suggest the diagnostic serial interval, the time between the diagnosis of the infector and infectee, as a new indicator for the effectiveness of contact tracing.

Methods: Using an agent-based simulation model, we demonstrate how the diagnostic serial interval correlates with the course of the epidemic. Read More

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Behavioural response to the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa.

PLoS One 2021 16;16(4):e0250269. Epub 2021 Apr 16.

School of Economics and Finance, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Background: Given the economic and social divide that exists in South Africa, it is critical to manage the health response of its residents to the Covid-19 pandemic within the different socio-economic contexts that define the lived realities of individuals.

Objective: The objective of this study is to analyse the Covid-19 preventive behaviour and the socio-economic drivers behind the health-response behaviour.

Data: The study employs data from waves 1 and 2 of South Africa's nationally representative National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS)-Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey (CRAM). Read More

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Goodbye fouling: a unique coaxial lamination mixer (CLM) enabled by two-photon polymerization for the stable production of monodisperse drug carrier nanoparticles.

Lab Chip 2021 Apr 16. Epub 2021 Apr 16.

Technische Universität Braunschweig, Institut für Mikrotechnik, Alte Salzdahlumer Str. 203, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. and Technische Universität Braunschweig, Zentrum für Pharmaverfahrenstechnik (PVZ), Franz-Liszt-Str. 35a, 38106 Braunschweig, Germany.

Poorly soluble drugs can be incorporated in lipid carrier nanoparticles to achieve sufficient bioavailability and open up diverse routes of administration. Preparation by antisolvent precipitation in microfluidic systems enables excellent control of lipid nanoparticle size. However, particle-containing flows bear the risk of material deposition on microchannel surfaces, limiting reproducibility, prolonged continuous processing and scale-up by parallelization as required for practical use. Read More

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Effect of counter-anions on the aggregation of Thioflavin-T.

Phys Chem Chem Phys 2021 Apr 16. Epub 2021 Apr 16.

Radiation & Photochemistry Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay, Mumbai 400 085, India. and Amity Institute of Biotechnology, Amity University, Mumbai-Pune Expressway, Bhatan, Panvel, Mumbai 410206, India.

The aggregation of small molecules in aqueous solution is known to be influenced by the ionic strength of the medium; however, the role played by the identity of salt in the phenomenon of small molecule aggregation is rarely investigated. In the present contribution, we have investigated the effect of counter-anions on the aggregation of a popular cationic amyloid sensing probe, Thioflavin-T (ThT), by taking six different anions, viz. chloride, bromide, acetate, iodide, tetrafluoroborate, and perchlorate. Read More

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History of health care use and disease burden in older adults with different levels of alcohol use. A register-based cohort study.

Alcohol Clin Exp Res 2021 Apr 16. Epub 2021 Apr 16.

Unit of Clinical Alcohol Research, Institute of Clinical Research, University of Southern, Denmark.

Background: Only a smaller part of all individuals with problematic alcohol use ever seek alcohol treatment. Knowledge of general help-seeking behavior in the health-care system can identify possibilities for prevention and intervention.

Method: The current study described health care use, burden of disease, and prior morbidities over a 15-year-period by current alcohol use behavior among Danish adults aged 60-70. Read More

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Synthesis of wheat bran sawdust/FeO composite for the removal of methylene blue and methyl violet.

Environ Monit Assess 2021 Apr 16;193(5):276. Epub 2021 Apr 16.

Department of Chemical Engineering, Bushehr Branch, Islamic Azad University, Bushehr, Iran.

Magnetically modified nanomaterials have recently gained a great attention in wastewater treatment. In this study, the uptake process of methylene blue (MB) and methyl violet (MV) from aqueous media using wheat bran sawdust/FeO composite was studied. To specify the surface and structural properties of the wheat bran sawdust/FeO composite, various analyses such as FTIR, XRD, EDX, Map, TGA/DTG, SEM, VSM, and BET were performed. Read More

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Using WhatsApp messenger for health systems research: a scoping review of available literature.

Health Policy Plan 2021 Apr 16. Epub 2021 Apr 16.

The African Centre for Migration & Society (ACMS), University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Solomon Mahlangu House, Braamfontein Campus East, Private Bag 3, Johannesburg 2000, South Africa.

Globally, the use of mobile phones for improving access to healthcare and conducting health research has gained traction in recent years as rates of ownership increase, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Mobile instant messaging applications, including WhatsApp Messenger, provide new and affordable opportunities for health research across time and place, potentially addressing the challenges of maintaining contact and participation involved in research with migrant and mobile populations, for example. However, little is known about the opportunities and challenges associated with the use of WhatsApp as a tool for health research. Read More

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Risk factors of SARS-CoV-2 infection in healthcare workers: a retrospective study of a nosocomial outbreak.

Sleep Med X 2020 Dec 14;2:100028. Epub 2020 Oct 14.

Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, State Key Laboratory of Environmental Health (Incubating), School of Public Health, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, 430030, China.

Background: Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at the forefront of fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic. However, they are at high risk of acquiring the pathogen from infected patients and transmitting to other HCWs. We aimed to investigate risk factors for nosocomial COVID-19 infection among HCWs in a non-COVID-19 hospital yard. Read More

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December 2020

Efficiency evaluation of some novel disinfectants and anti-bacterial nanocomposite on zoonotic bacterial pathogens in commercial Mallard duck pens for efficient control.

J Adv Vet Anim Res 2021 Mar 6;8(1):105-115. Epub 2021 Mar 6.

Department of Hygiene, Zoonoses and Epidemiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Beni-Suef University, Beni-Suef, Egypt.

Objective: This work aimed to detect the frequency of pathogenic bacteria of zoonotic importance in ducks' dropping, their surrounding environment, and farmworkers in contact with them. Furthermore, the susceptibility pattern of isolated bacteria to antimicrobial drugs and the efficiency of disinfectants (CID 20, Durak plus, and hydrogen peroxide (HO), nano zinc oxide (ZnO NPs), and hydrogen peroxide loaded nano zinc oxide (HO/ZnO NPs) composites against isolated bacteria were evaluated.

Materials And Methods: A total of samples were collected from duck pens, including 35 fecal droppings, 200 environmental samples, and 36 from the hands of pen workers for isolation and identification of bacterial strains using standard microbiological procedures. Read More

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A guideline to limit indoor airborne transmission of COVID-19.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2021 Apr;118(17)

Department of Mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139.

The current revival of the American economy is being predicated on social distancing, specifically the Six-Foot Rule, a guideline that offers little protection from pathogen-bearing aerosol droplets sufficiently small to be continuously mixed through an indoor space. The importance of airborne transmission of COVID-19 is now widely recognized. While tools for risk assessment have recently been developed, no safety guideline has been proposed to protect against it. Read More

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Use of Kids Helpline by Children and Young People in Australia During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

J Adolesc Health 2021 Apr 12. Epub 2021 Apr 12.

Australian Institute For Suicide Research and Prevention, WHO Collaborating Centre For Research and Training in Suicide Prevention, School of Applied Psychology, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia. Electronic address:

Purpose: The benefits of helplines are particularly valuable during a pandemic when face-to-face services and natural supports are difficult to access. Kids Helpline, Australia's national youth helpline, provides children and young people with free 24/7 information and counseling through telephone, WebChat, and e-mail. We aimed to examine the use of Kids Helpline during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read More

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O-enriched microbial activity with pH-sensitive solvo-chemical and electro-chlorination strategy to reclaim critical metals from the hazardous waste printed circuit boards.

J Hazard Mater 2021 Mar 30;416:125769. Epub 2021 Mar 30.

Department of Mineral Resources and Energy Engineering, Jeonbuk National University, Jeonju, Jeonbuk 54896, Republic of Korea; Department of Environment and Energy, Jeonbuk National University, Jeonju, Jeonbuk 54896, Republic of Korea. Electronic address:

An innovative process integration for the sustainable recovery of critical metals from waste printed circuit boards (WPCBs) is demonstrated. In the acid pre-treatment of WPCBs, > 95% of highly toxic metals lead and tin could dissolve after 240 min of contact in 4.0 mol L HNO. Read More

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A novel ball-milled aluminum-carbon composite for enhanced adsorption and degradation of hexabromocyclododecane.

Chemosphere 2021 Apr 8;279:130520. Epub 2021 Apr 8.

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 238 Harbert Engineering Center, Auburn University, Auburn, AL, 36849, USA. Electronic address:

Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) is one of the priority persistent organic pollutants (POPs), yet a cost-effective technology has been lacking for the removal and degradation of HBCD. Zero-valent aluminum (ZVAl) is an excellent electron donor. However, the inert and hydrophilic surface oxide layer impedes the release of the electrons from the core metallic Al, resulting in poor reactivity towards HBCD. Read More

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Fixed-bed flow experiments with supported green nZVI for the remediation of contaminated waters: Effect of pH and background solution composition.

Chemosphere 2021 Apr 8;279:130472. Epub 2021 Apr 8.

School of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, 15780, Greece.

Aim of this study is to evaluate the performance of a nanocomposite material (R-nFe), consisting of nano zero valent iron (nZVI) and a cation exchange resin, for Cr(VI) reduction and heavy metals removal from contaminated water streams. The effect of pH and the background solution composition was investigated by conducting three columns tests. In Column I, the experiments were carried out using NaCl as background electrolyte while in Column II and III the background solution consisted of 50% tertiary effluents of a waste water treatment plant and 50% deionized water. Read More

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STED and parallelized RESOLFT optical nanoscopy of the tubular endoplasmic reticulum and its mitochondrial contacts in neuronal cells.

Neurobiol Dis 2021 Apr 12:105361. Epub 2021 Apr 12.

Department of Applied Physics and Science for Life Laboratory, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden. Electronic address:

The classic view of organelle cell biology is undergoing a constant revision fueled by the new insights unraveled by fluorescence nanoscopy, which enable sensitive, faster and gentler observation of specific proteins in situ. The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is one of the most challenging structure to capture due the rapid and constant restructuring of fine sheets and tubules across the full 3D cell volume. Here we apply STED and parallelized 2D and 3D RESOLFT live imaging to uncover the tubular ER organization in the fine processes of neuronal cells with focus on mitochondria-ER contacts, which recently gained medical attention due to their role in neurodegeneration. Read More

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Pyrazoles as novel protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B) inhibitors: An in vitro and in silico study.

Int J Biol Macromol 2021 Apr 12. Epub 2021 Apr 12.

LAQV-REQUIMTE, Laboratory of Applied Chemistry, Department of Chemical Sciences, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Porto, 4050-313 Porto, Portugal. Electronic address:

Type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) is a complex chronic disorder and a major global health problem. Insulin resistance is the primary detectable abnormality and the main characteristic feature in individuals with type 2 DM. Protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B) is a key negative regulator of the insulin signaling pathway, which dephosphorylates insulin receptor and insulin receptor substrates, suppressing the insulin signaling cascade. Read More

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Demographic, clinical, and epidemiologic characteristics of persons under investigation for Coronavirus Disease 2019-United States, January 17-February 29, 2020.

PLoS One 2021 15;16(4):e0249901. Epub 2021 Apr 15.

CDC COVID-19 Response Team, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America.

Background: The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), evolved rapidly in the United States. This report describes the demographic, clinical, and epidemiologic characteristics of 544 U.S. Read More

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Factors Associated with Participation in Elementary School-Based SARS-CoV-2 Testing - Salt Lake County, Utah, December 2020-January 2021.

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2021 Apr 16;70(15):557-559. Epub 2021 Apr 16.

During December 3, 2020-January 31, 2021, CDC, in collaboration with the University of Utah Health and Economic Recovery Outreach Project,* Utah Department of Health (UDOH), Salt Lake County Health Department, and one Salt Lake county school district, offered free, in-school, real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) saliva testing as part of a transmission investigation of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in elementary school settings. School contacts of persons with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, including close contacts, were eligible to participate (1). Investigators approached parents or guardians of student contacts by telephone, and during January, using school phone lines to offer in-school specimen collection; the testing procedures were explained in the preferred language of the parent or guardian. Read More

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Incontinence-associated dermatitis: who is affected?

J Wound Care 2021 Apr;30(4):261-267

Joint Appointment Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital and School of Nursing, Queensland University of Technology Nursing, Brisbane, Australia.

Objective: Intensive care unit (ICU) patients possess multiple risk factors for developing loss of skin integrity, particularly incontinence-associated dermatitis (IAD). IAD is an inflammatory skin condition resulting from repeated and prolonged contact with urine, faeces or both. This study aimed to measure the incidence and clinical characteristics of adult ICU patients with IAD. Read More

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A Spatiotemporal Tool to Project Hospital Critical Care Capacity and Mortality From COVID-19 in US Counties.

Am J Public Health 2021 Apr 15:e1-e10. Epub 2021 Apr 15.

Alexis Zebrowski and Brendan G. Carr are with the Department of Emergency Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY. Andrew Rundle, Tonguc Yaman, Wan Yang, James W. Quinn, and Charles C. Branas are with the Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York. Sen Pei and Jeffrey Shaman are with the Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University. Sarah Sims is with Patient Insight, Santa Monica, CA. Ronan Doorley is with Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge. Neil Schluger is with the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine, and Departments of Epidemiology and Environmental Health Sciences, Columbia University Irving Medical Center, Columbia University.

To create a tool to rapidly determine where pandemic demand for critical care overwhelms county-level surge capacity and to compare public health and medical responses. In March 2020, COVID-19 cases requiring critical care were estimated using an adaptive metapopulation SEIR (susceptible‒exposed‒infectious‒recovered) model for all 3142 US counties for future 21-day and 42-day periods from April 2, 2020, to May 13, 2020, in 4 reactive patterns of contact reduction-0%, 20%, 30%, and 40%-and 4 surge response scenarios-very low, low, medium, and high. In areas with increased demand, surge response measures could avert 104 120 additional deaths-55% through high clearance of critical care beds and 45% through measures such as greater ventilator access. Read More

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