Pregnant Women Pose Special Challenges—and Carry Certain Risks—in the Pandemic

Pregnant Women Pose Special Challenges—and Carry Certain Risks—in the Pandemic

Recently, we told you about new research showing that many children who’ve been infected with COVID-19 are asymptomatic, calling into question the value of school-based screening for common symptoms like fever and cough. Possibly more concerning for urgent care operators and staffs, who by now have also instituted screening procedures for all patients, is new data showing that more than half of pregnant women with COVID-19 may also be asymptomatic. A new study of pregnant …

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Be Aware: Patients Will Be Confused as CDC Waffles on How COVID-19 Is Spread

Be Aware: Patients Will Be Confused as CDC Waffles on How COVID-19 Is Spread

Several times over the past week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has proclaimed new information on how the coronavirus spreads. First they announced new evidence that the virus spreads mainly through the air via respiratory aerosols and droplets, not just through direct propulsion of exhaled droplets as previously stated. Aerosol experts cheered. Then the CDC deleted that information from its website, but kept the suggestion that exhaled droplets launched from one person to …

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If You’ve Treated an Addict, You’ve Treated Someone at High Risk for COVID-19

If You’ve Treated an Addict, You’ve Treated Someone at High Risk for COVID-19

Patients with substance use disorders (SUDs) are at up to 10-times the risk for COVID-19 compared with nonaddicts, according to a study published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry. After analyzing the electronic health records of more than 73 million patients, researchers discovered that patients addicted to opioids were at the greatest risk (10-fold higher than nonaddicts), buy by no means the only group whose addiction leaves them at increased vulnerability for the virus. Tobacco use …

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Screening for Symptoms May Be a Futile Gesture in Trying to Contain COVID-19

Screening for Symptoms May Be a Futile Gesture in Trying to Contain COVID-19

We told you recently how capable asymptomatic children are of spreading COVID-19. Now Anthony Fauci, MD says that statement is too limiting. The truth, according to the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is that between 40% and 45% of all infections are asymptomatic. Fauci’s comments to the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) don’t bode well for the near future, as schools continue to welcome students back on campus and …

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Wildfires Turn Up the Heat on Efforts to Slow COVID-19 and Prevent a Severe Flu Season

Wildfires Turn Up the Heat on Efforts to Slow COVID-19 and Prevent a Severe Flu Season

Mounting cases of COVID-19 (and associated deaths), coupled with concern that the U.S. could experience a severe flu season this year, may have given some people the sense that “things just couldn’t get any worse” from a public health standpoint. Wrong. A study published in the journal Environment International reports a link between intense wildfire seasons—like the one going on right now in western U.S. states right now—and higher incidence of influenza. Based on study …

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Is COVID-19 Opening the Door to Increased Antibiotic Resistance?

Is COVID-19 Opening the Door to Increased Antibiotic Resistance?

Even though COVID-19 is a viral illness, some infectious disease experts are concerned about its possible effects on antibiotic resistance. It’s not that clinicians are inappropriately prescribing antibiotics for coronavirus-infected patients, but the fact that so many patients wind up with bacterial infections as a result—including those that become infected in the hospital. The Partnership to Fight Infectious Disease notes that the pandemic “has reinforced the critical importance of treatments for infectious disease, as many …

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With No Respite Between COVID-19 and Influenza, It’s Time to Start Banging the Flu Shot (and Testing) Drum

With No Respite Between COVID-19 and Influenza, It’s Time to Start Banging the Flu Shot (and Testing) Drum

When COVID-19 first became a widespread concern in the U.S., it wasn’t unusual to hear  consoling murmurs along the lines of “Well, at least it’s not flu season.” Unfortunately, the persistent nature of the pandemic has reduced that to wishful thinking for a quick resolution. The term “twindemic” is now being bandied about. The one piece of good news is that the Food and Drug Administration has issued an Emergency Use Authorization for a combination …

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Get Ready—Schools Are Open, and the Data Indicate that Could Cause COVID-19 to Spike

Get Ready—Schools Are Open, and the Data Indicate that Could Cause COVID-19 to Spike

While it’s not always reliable to look at the inverse of scientific data, there are times when considering their deeper meaning can be illuminating. Take data just published by JAMA Network, illustrating that vacating school buildings across the U.S. in response to the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with a significant decline in not just incidence of COVID-19 (which fell by 62% per week over the study period) but also mortality (which dropped 58% per week)—all …

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Alert: Patients with Less Severe COVID-19 Symptoms May Be a Significant Threat

Alert: Patients with Less Severe COVID-19 Symptoms May Be a Significant Threat

Recently, we shared new data published in the Journal of Pediatrics indicating that nonsympomatic children are more than capable of infecting others with COVID-19. It turns out the same may be true in adults. A study published in The American Journal of Pathology reveals that nonhospitalized adults with less-severe symptoms of COVID-19 can actually have a higher SARS-CoV-2 viral load than hospitalized patients with more severe symptoms. The study population included 205 patients treated at a tertiary care …

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Update: New Phase III Data Show 5 Days of Remdesivir May Improve COVID-19 Outcomes

Update: New Phase III Data Show 5 Days of Remdesivir May Improve COVID-19 Outcomes

We’ve cycled through any number of possible treatments for patients with COVID-19, some more likely to succeed than others. The latest regimen to show promise, according to an open-label, Phase III study just published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, is a 5-day course of remdesivir. The authors posit that it could significantly improve outcomes for patients with “moderate” COVID-19. The study’s population was 600 hospitalized patients with SARS-CoV-2 and moderate COVID-19 pneumonia, …

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