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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Want to Protect Your Team? Enforce Universal Masking

Want to Protect Your Team? Enforce Universal Masking

It’s been established that viral load and frequency of exposure to infected individuals increases one’s risk of contracting COVID-19. This puts urgent care providers and other healthcare professionals at increased risk compared with nonclinicians who are able to limit contacts. A new study published online by the Journal of the American Medical Association indicates that requiring patients to wear a mask offers significant protection to even those who are most likely to be exposed, supporting …

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Kids May Be Far More Capable Than Adults of Spreading COVID-19; Update Policies Accordingly

Kids May Be Far More Capable Than Adults of Spreading COVID-19; Update Policies Accordingly

Parents may feel conflicted about making their children wear a mask. They’re uncomfortable, it scares them, it’s uncool, and kids are just plain rebellious. But a new study published in the Journal of Pediatrics highlights that it’s essential not only for their protection as they start mingling more with peers, but your protection as well. The essential conclusion of the study is that some children carry very high viral loads—in fact, the study reports, “viral …

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Kids Do Seem Less Susceptible to COVID-19—Unless They Smoke E-Cigarettes

Kids Do Seem Less Susceptible to COVID-19—Unless They Smoke E-Cigarettes

While children are not immune to infection from COVID-19, so far it appears they’re less susceptible than adults. One risk factor that seems to negate whatever protection youth might offer: e-cigarette use. An article just published in the Journal of Adolescent Health reveals that adolescents who have ever used e-cigarettes are five times more likely than nonusers to receive a COVID-19 diagnosis. Kids who acknowledge using e-cigarettes within the past 30 days at the time …

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