Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Otolaryngology for April 2020. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Symptomatic Health Care Staff in U.K. Screened for COVID-19

THURSDAY, April 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Screening symptomatic health care workers for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is feasible during the pandemic, according to a research letter published online April 22 in The Lancet.

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Rate, Timing of Altered Smell, Taste in Mild COVID-19 Examined

THURSDAY, April 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Mildly symptomatic patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection often have alterations in smell or taste, according to a research letter published online April 22 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Almost All COVID-19 Patients Have Diminished Sense of Smell

WEDNESDAY, April 29, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Quantitative smell testing shows that decreased smell function is a major marker for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, according to a study published online April 17 in the International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology.

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David Shulkin, M.D., on COVID-19 Financial Consequences for Health Care System

MONDAY, April 27, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Health care organizations are facing hard financial decisions amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but an end is in sight as some are beginning to slowly open back up around the country, according to David Shulkin, M.D. Shulkin, who served as ninth secretary for Veterans Affairs and is former president and CEO of Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, spoke with HealthDay during a live stream on the HealthDay YouTube channel and live blog.

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KIMT3 Article

Roadmap Developed for Resuming Elective Surgery During COVID-19

MONDAY, April 27, 2020 (HealthDay News) — A roadmap for resuming elective surgery after new cases of COVID-19 begin to wane is presented in a joint statement published by the American College of Surgeons and other societies.

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Hearing Loss Linked to Postural Instability in Older Adults

MONDAY, April 27, 2020 (HealthDay News) — The odds of postural instability are increased in older adults with moderate or worse hearing loss, even when hearing loss is present on only one side, according to a study published online April 23 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

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Scoring System Helps Guide Surgical Care During COVID-19

WEDNESDAY, April 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) — A scoring system for medically necessary time-sensitive (MeNTS) procedures can facilitate decision making and triage in the setting of COVID-19, according to a study published online April 9 in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

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COVID-19 Tied to Unique Nasal Symptoms

TUESDAY, April 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) — COVID-19 is not associated with the symptoms typically associated with a viral cold or allergies, such as nasal blockage or mucus production, according to a review published online April 10 in Laryngoscope Investigative Otolaryngology.

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Benefit of Social Distancing Outweighs Economic Impact

MONDAY, April 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) — The economic benefits of lives saved through social distancing substantially outweigh the value of the projected losses to the U.S. economy, according to a study to be published in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis.

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COVID-19 Patients May Require ENT Consults for Varied Reasons

MONDAY, April 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Patients with COVID-19 may require ear, nose, and throat (ENT) consultations for many reasons, including tracheotomy, and protective strategies can prevent infection of otolaryngologists, according to a case series study accepted for publication in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

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CDC: 2009 to 2017 Saw Increase in Oral Cavity, Pharynx Cancers

FRIDAY, April 17, 2020 (HealthDay News) — From 2007 to 2016, the incidence of cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx combined increased, according to research published in the April 17 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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SARS-CoV-2 Contamination of Air, Surfaces Examined in ICU, Wards

WEDNESDAY, April 15, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Considerable severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) contamination of air and object surfaces is reported in intensive care units (ICUs) and general coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) wards (GW), according to a study published online April 10 in Emerging Infectious Diseases, a publication of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Smell, Taste Impairment Linked to COVID-19 Positivity

TUESDAY, April 14, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Smell and taste impairment are strongly associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) positivity, according to a study published online April 12 in the International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology.

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Medical Masks May Be Sufficient During COVID-19 Routine Care

TUESDAY, April 14, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Use of medical masks, such as surgical or procedural masks, does not increase the risk for viral infection or respiratory illness, and their use may serve as a protective measure in instances of N95 respirator shortages, according to the results of a meta-analysis published online April 4 in Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses.

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High Rates of Appropriate E-Consults Seen Across Specialties

MONDAY, April 13, 2020 (HealthDay News) — The rates of appropriate electronic consultations (e-consults) are high across specialties, according to a study published online April 14 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Majority of Physicians Report Serious Concerns About COVID-19

MONDAY, April 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) — According to a national survey conducted by Harvard Medical School, the RAND Corporation, and Doximity, practicing physicians currently report substantial concerns about supplies, the government response, and availability of testing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Unemployed Workers Less Likely to Be Uninsured Post-ACA

THURSDAY, April 2, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Following implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), unemployed workers were less likely to be uninsured, and uninsurance rates decreased more in states with Medicaid expansion, according to a report from the Urban Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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Guidelines Developed for Head and Neck Care During COVID-19

THURSDAY, April 2, 2020 (HealthDay News) — In a special article published online March 31 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, guidelines are presented for head and neck physical examination and associated procedures during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

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