November 5, 2020
CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 11/05/2020
There were 3 new cases of Covid in our area and 4 new cases in MISD. Gregg county had 27 new cases and Smith County had 43.
From Hopkins Selections:
1. Case-Control Study of Use of Personal Protective Measures and Risk for SARS-CoV 2 Infection, Thailand This case-control study included 211 cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and 839 controls in Thailand. Wearing masks all the time during contact was independently associated with lower risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection compared with not wearing masks; wearing a mask sometimes during contact did not lower infection risk. Researchers found the type of mask worn was not independently associated with infection and that contacts who always wore masks were more likely to practice social distancing. Maintaining >1 m distance from a person with COVID-19, having close contact for <15 minutes, and frequent handwashing were independently associated with lower risk for infection. (CDC EID, 11/2020)
2. Spike in Prescribing Dexamethasone to Covid-19 Patients May Do More Harm Than Good (STAT) Authors raise this issue because there is no evidence that dexamethasone benefits Covid-19 patients who aren’t severely ill and because it has known side effects, such as depression, mood swings, and psychosis. Until there is evidence of effectiveness and safety, authors believe it is premature for clinicians to prescribe dexamethasone for Covid-19 patients who are not severely ill.
3. Europe is Locking Down a Second Time. But What is its Long-term Plan? (Science) With COVID-19 cases mounting and threatening to overwhelm health care capacity, much of Europe has taken similar measures to curb human contacts. Two months ago, as numbers began to creep up after a blissful summer lull, countries still held out hope that more limited, targeted measures could prevent a second wave. Now, that wave is here, with the force of a tsunami.
Preparing for the 2020-2021 Influenza Season
The clinical and public health effects of influenza in the US for the upcoming winter during the COVID-19 pandemic are difficult to predict and could vary widely by location and by extent of SARS-CoV-2 community mitigation measures. Annual vaccination remains the best tool for preventing influenza, and vaccine availability is projected at record levels. Initiation of antiviral treatment as soon as possible is recommended for persons with suspected or confirmed influenza who are hospitalized, have progressive disease, or are at high risk for complications.
(J. Harris: The same protective measures used for Covid should help keep down the flu this winter.)
(J. Harris: Pregnant women need to be exceeding careful to avoid situations where Covid might be caught – which covers most everything.)
“In a paper published in Science earlier this week, researchers provide a glimpse into what may be driving the clots triggered by COVID-19 infection. The group found that a specific set of antibodies known as autoantibodies—which are rogue versions of cells meant to defend the body from pathogens, but instead attack its own cells (in this case the body’s own blood vessel cells)—may be partly responsible for the clotting risk associated with the disease. Among 172 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, they found that half produced these autoantibodies. In addition, when the scientists injected the autoantibodies into lab mice, the animals developed blood clots.”
(J. Harris: Time is back. This is the second good recent article review that I have seen from that magazine that I thought had gone under. I compared it to the scientific version which is cited and which is very difficult to understand.)
In this small crossover study, wearing a 3-layer nonmedical face mask was not associated with a decline in oxygen saturation in older participants. Limitations included the exclusion of patients who were unable to wear a mask for medical reasons, investigation of 1 type of mask only, Spo2 measurements during minimal physical activity, and a small sample size. These results do not support claims that wearing nonmedical face masks in community settings is unsafe.
(J. Harris: Many people feel short of breath when wearing a mask; I do, especially a mask that properly fits tight. However, the oxygen level in the blood remains normal. After all, surgeons wear masks for hours at a time when in surgery. Incidentally, would you let anyone operate on you if he didn’t wear a mask? They were proven to be efficient over 100 years ago!)
The following statement is attributable to:
President, American Medical Association
“Throughout this pandemic, physicians, nurses, and frontline health care workers have risked their health, their safety and their lives to treat their patients and defeat a deadly virus. They did it because duty called and because of the sacred oath they took. The suggestion that doctors—in the midst of a public health crisis—are overcounting COVID-19 patients or lying to line their pockets is a malicious, outrageous, and completely misguided charge. COVID-19 cases are at record highs today. Rather than attacking us and lobbing baseless charges at physicians, our leaders should be following the science and urging adherence to the public health steps we know work—wearing a mask, washing hands and practicing physical distancing.”
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