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Covid-19

What You Need to Know about the Coronavirus

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Late December of 2019, the World Health Organization was alerted of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China that were linked with an unknown virus. This new virus was later identified in early January 2020 as a new strain of the coronavirus, which is a family of viruses that include the common cold and is linked with respiratory illnesses. This new strain was named 2019-nCoV and its symptoms include fever, coughing, and respiratory problems. More serious cases can cause pneumonia, SARS, kidney failure, and death. Since this is a new strain of the coronavirus, health officials are on high alert, as not much is known about this virus. Health officials will need to start from scratch on a vaccine, which could take years to complete. According to the Center for Disease Control, this new strain circulated among animals, including camels, cats, and bats and may have been spread to humans through China’s exotic animal market.  Early Tuesday morning, Chinese health officials reported that the death toll has risen to over 100 people with over 6,000 infected people in mainland China. In efforts to restrict the spread of the virus, China has restricted travel to over 20 cities, affecting over 56 million people, and increased the amount of screening stations at bus and subway stations.

 The 2019-nCoV has also spread to over 20 countries worldwide, with five confirmed cases in the United States. The U.S. government has increased screenings at over 20 airports with each of these airports having quarantine facilities. Vice President, Mike Pence, further elaborated on these screenings stating that the 20 airports involved are “the airports that receive 90 percent of all passengers from China.” Currently, there are two confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Southern California, one in Los Angeles and the other in Orange County. Both of these patients were confirmed to have traveled to Wuhan and are currently being quarantined in hospitals for further monitoring. According to the OC Public Health, if you have not been to Wuhan, China or been in contact with someone who has traveled there, then the risk of infection is very low.

Nevertheless, taking precautions to reduce the chance of infection is crucial. The World Health Organization advises to always wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using alcohol-based hand rubs. As mentioned before, due to the 2019-nCoV circulating among animals, practicing food safety is important. This can include avoiding the consumption of raw or undercooked meat, washing your hands after handling raw meats, and prohibiting cross contamination between raw and cooked foods. If you believe you are sick, it is important to avoid contact with others. You can do this by covering sneezes and coughs with tissues or flexed elbow and seeking early medical care with healthcare professionals.

Sources: 

  1. https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
  2. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/01/china-coronavirus-500-words-200127065154334.html?fbclid=IwAR1ofRZyzzKExS-WXmTllT_PIXB4qpeBDqMyflbZDzSeVPqaEJgluNOykjw
  3. https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-01-25/los-angeles-area-prepared-for-coronavirus
  4. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/coronavirus-china-latest-updates/2020/01/27/3634db9a-40a7-11ea-aa6a-083d01b3ed18_story.html?fbclid=IwAR3A-qmCVO38nSaXa-MQGp5JI__ZbgF6aDdMHUPb7-1bMlImgsu7WlUkh9E
  5. https://www.ocregister.com/2020/01/26/coronavirus-patients-confirmed-in-los-angeles-and-orange-counties/?fbclid=IwAR0zkSnpyyvgWMkoiZNhUMZSVX75m6m8uhWrx53GrnhBVzx3IfsZ8yTI5xA
  6. https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

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Covid-19

New Study Finds Children Can Spread COVID-19 as Much as Adults

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A new study from South Korea has discovered that children between the ages of 10 and 19 can spread COVID-19 just as much as adults. The extensive study, published by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, states that household transmission of the virus “was high” for those between 10 and 19 years old

Household transmission rates were lower for patients aged 0 to 9. Researchers examined reports for 59,073 contacts of 5,706 coronavirus patients in South Korea between January 20 and March 27. Dr. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, told The New York Times that this study is one of the best to date concerning the coronavirus and transmission of the disease.

The results arrive as school officials across the nation determine whether or not to reopen schools for the upcoming year. The South Korean study said that the researchers’ findings of coronavirus transmission during school reopenings emphasize the need for a time-sensitive epidemiologic study to safeguard public health policy.

The study also indicated the effectiveness of contact tracing, especially in light of future waves of SARS-CoV-2, that will rely heavily upon social distancing and personal hygiene as primary factors for preventative measures. Awareness of the role hygiene and infection control measure plays is vital to reducing the household spread, and using masks in the home for family members who are at high risk for contracting the coronavirus needs further research.

Michael Osterholm, an infectious disease expert at the University of Minnesota, told The New York Times, that there will be transmission rates of the virus if schools reopen and include that in plans for preventing and limiting the contraction of the virus. 

Sources: 

  1. https://www.health.com/syndication/children-aged-10-19-spread-coronavirus-just-as-much-as-adults-new-study-finds
  2. https://wordofhealth.com/2020/06/27/young-californians-attribute-in-coronavirus-spike/
  3. https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/10/20-1315_article
  4. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/ashish-jha/
  5. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/18/health/coronavirus-children-schools.html
  6. https://wordofhealth.com/2020/04/02/is-social-distancing-helping-californians/
  7. https://wordofhealth.com/2020/06/17/how-to-fix-this-type-of-n95-mask-to-limit-the-spread-of-the-coronavirus/
  8. https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/about-us/cidrap-staff/michael-t-osterholm-phd-mph

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Covid-19

Video Laryngoscope Released in the U.S. for Faster Intubation During COVID-19

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Healthcare facilities worldwide are on the front lines during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic by providing treatment for patients. Those who are in critical condition in intensive care units need intubation, but this process can be complicated by obtaining an airway precisely. Each patient varies; some can take a minute or more during intubation, potentially leading to fatal consequences. 

Nihon Kohden is launching its NK AWS-S200 video laryngoscope in the United States under the Pentax brand outside the United States. This device is designed to achieve intubation faster and on the first try. Furthermore, the company claims the product “can help protect clinicians while intubating patients suffering from COVID-19 or other respiratory infections”.

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The NK AWS-S20 features a high-definition color display targeting cross-hairs that help deliver the working end into the airway. A functioning channel allows for the endotracheal tube to be pushed while viewing the airway properly. 

There is a built-in-channel to guide the endotracheal tube and continuously observe the intubation process. The video laryngoscope can decrease the risk of oral and pharyngeal injury, such as mild mucosal bleeding and sore throat.

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Nihon Kohden mentioned that the NK AWS-S200  allows healthcare professionals to intubate challenging patients quicker than other competitor’s devices. The company expressed the device can help clinicians intubate patients with even difficult airways in  22.9 seconds, well below the 30-second threshold suggested for intubations and up to 33 seconds faster than other devices. 

Genoveffa Devers, DNP, MSHA, RN, CPHQ, VP of clinical and strategic alliances at Nihon Kohden stated the importance of tools to establish an airway quickly and efficiently as possible for healthcare providers. She added that the NK AWS-S200 video laryngoscope is designed to attain this while maintaining clinicians’ safety by limiting contact trying to visualize the vocal cords and larynx. 

Using the firm’s disposable NK PBLADE blades, which are available in four different sizes, help clinicians reduce cross-contamination between patients and those providing treatment.

In addition, when administering CPR, the video laryngoscope can be used to intubate patients without delaying life-saving treatment. 

Sources: 

  1. https://www.medgadget.com/2020/07/nihon-kohden-releases-video-laryngoscope-in-u-s-for-faster-intubation-during-covid.html
  2. https://www.webmd.com/lung/intubation-explained
  3. https://www.nihonkohden.com/

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Covid-19

‘COVID Symptom Study’ App Tracks Various COVID-19 Symptoms

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A new smartphone COVID-19 app that tracks symptoms has gathered information from more than 4 million people worldwide and gives doctors the ability to examine the different symptoms patients are experiencing with the virus. The mixture of various symptoms people are exhibiting with COVID-19 is unexpected.

According to Dr. Troy Pennington of Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton, there are various forms of COVID-19 symptoms in patients. The application is called the COVID Symptom Study, was designed by healthcare professionals and scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital, The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, King’s College London and Stanford University School of Medicine, working beside ZOE, a health science company. Users can input their health information and get statistics on those participating around their region. 

Researchers grouped patients into six different clusters. The first cluster of patients are those experiencing mild symptoms who had flu-like symptoms, according to Pennington. The symptoms included body aches, possibly a sore throat, mild shortness of breath, and mostly mild symptoms, but no fever.

The second cluster of patients displayed similar symptoms, but with a fever. The third group of patients included gastrointestinal issues. Pennington added that there was a GI component with mild diarrhea or even an upset stomach. 

The fourth cluster of patients added severe fatigue, while the fifth added confusion as part of their symptoms. The sixth cluster consisted of patients experiencing the most severe symptoms, including abdominal and respiratory problems. This group had all of the common attributes of flu-like illness, but it had a very significant GI component with persistent abdominal pain and diarrhea. 

Pennington stated some of his patients at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center had exhibited even more peculiar symptoms such as unusual rashes and rashes that also looked like hives or chickenpox. Another patient was complaining of number fingers and toes. 

According to the study, the only common symptoms in all six clusters were headaches and loss of smell.

The COVID Symptom Study app has allowed physicians to get a closer look at COVID-19 symptoms patients experience to help healthcare professionals identify and treat patients accordingly. 

Sources: 

  1. https://abc7.com/covid-19-covid-symptoms-coronavirus-is-upset-stomach-and-diarrhea-a-symptom-of/6345955/
  2. https://wordofhealth.com/2020/07/11/pink-eye-symptom-of-covid-19/
  3. https://covid.joinzoe.com/us
  4. https://wordofhealth.com/2020/05/14/how-does-covid-19-affect-the-lungs/

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