Coronavirus daily news updates, July 9: What to know today about COVID-19 in the Seattle area, Washington state and the world

A new, second-generation COVID-19 vaccine developed by UW Medicine researchers has been approved in South Korea. If the World Health Organization also approves the vaccine from the Seattle health care system for emergency use, it will become available to countries around the world.

Meanwhile, officials in Beijing, the Chinese capital, appear to have backed away from plans to enact a COVID-19 vaccinate mandate in certain public spaces, after pushback from residents.

We’re updating this page with the latest news about the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the Seattle area, the U.S. and the world. Click here to see the rest of our coronavirus coverage and here to see how we track the daily spread across Washington.

New study indicates anti-diabetes drug helps with COVID

COVID-19 patients were less likely to die or need hospital care if they took the common anti-diabetes drug metformin, according to a long-awaited University of Minnesota study, but not if they took ivermectin.

The results of the ambitious remote clinical trial could steer doctors toward off-label use of one cheap and available drug for the treatment of COVID-19 — just not the one that has drawn the most public attention.

“It does appear that metformin substantially reduces the risk of (emergency department) visits, hospitalization or death from COVID-19, and that reduction is significant,” Dr. Carolyn Bramante, the leader of the trial, said in an interview.

The study of more than 1,300 participants is a third strike against ivermectin, a controversial anti-parasitic drug that also failed to produce a benefit against COVID-19 in large clinical trials in the U.S. and Brazil. However, the finding in the Minnesota trial was not statistically significant, meaning that it neither proved that ivermectin worked or didn’t work when taken over three days in a moderate range of dosages.

Read the full story here.

—Jeremy Olson, Minneapolis Star Tribune


Depressed, anxious, tired and distracted: Since COVID, more help for these conditions

If you’re wondering which pills and how many of them Americans have relied upon to make ourselves feel better since COVID-19 arrived, the answer, in short, is yes.

“I should have gone back on medication sooner in the pandemic than I did,” said Leah Bellow-Handelman, 36. Bellow-Handelman, a nurse who lives in Brooklyn with two small children, has been on and off Prozac for anxiety since her 20s.

In 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that 15.8% of American adults took prescription pills for mental health.

Once the pandemic began, the National Center for Health Statistics teamed up with the Census Bureau to carry out quick online surveys and tracked mental health prescription pill use.

Now, almost a quarter of Americans over 18 are now medicated for being depressed, anxious, tired and/or distracted.

Read the full story here.

—Casey Schwartz, The New York Times

Article Source: The Seattle Times