NBPA Cardiologist Opens Up About League’s COVID-19 Concern

(J. Harris: Good Sports Illustrated type article for those connected with athletes who have had Covid.)

 NBA CARDIOLOGIST: “… what we found in general was we’re not seeing a lot of cardiac involvement amongst asymptomatic or mild cases of COVID-19. We were also better able to identify what separates a mild case from a moderate case and a severe case, which is pretty straightforward. If you’ve got low oxygen levels and you require a hospital stay, then you’re a severe case…Moderate symptoms we describe as fevers, chills, if you’re breathless, if you have chest pressure, you fall in that moderate group…

 “If we test you and find SARS-CoV-2, that you’ve been infected by the virus, then we do three tests. One, an electrocardiogram or an EKG. Two, an echocardiogram, which is an ultrasound that looks at the heart muscle itself. And the third is a blood test known as troponin. …We know after the bubble that we haven’t had any significant or bad outcome, and we’re probably not going to identify any new findings, but until we have better data—six months, a year, two years from now—we want to make sure the athletes are safe…For the NBA it’s an annual echocardiogram, electrocardiogram and stress echo. Every single year [before the season]. For all the players.”


1.  Large Clinical Trial Will Test Combination Monoclonal Antibody Therapy for Mild/Moderate COVID-19 A Phase 2/3 clinical trial has begun to evaluate a combination investigational monoclonal antibody therapy for its safety and efficacy in people who have mild or moderate COVID-19. The two experimental antibodies, BRII-196 and BRII-198, target SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The trial, known as ACTIV-2, is sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. 

 (J. Harris: some man-made antibodies against Covid are already being used successfully with EARLY cases of Covid and have had some luck in preventing hospitalization and/or decreasing length of stay in some admitted patients. )

2.  HHS Continues Community Based Testing Sites for COVID-19 The Department of Health and Human Services announced the extension of the Community Based Testing Site program for COVID-19 testing, through partnership with national pharmacy and retail chains CVS, Rite-Aid, Walgreens, Quest (through services at Walmart) and service provider eTrueNorth (through services at Health Mart and Topco locations). The partnership has resulted in establishing more than 3,300 COVID-19 testing locations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. To date, more than 5.6 million tests have been conducted as a result of this partnership. (HHS, 1/7/2021)

3  Allergic Reactions Including Anaphylaxis After Receipt of the First Dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine — United States, December 14–23, 2020 During December 14–23, 2020, monitoring by the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System detected 21 cases of anaphylaxis after administration of a reported 1,893,360 first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (11.1 cases per million doses); 71% of these occurred within 15 minutes of vaccination. Locations administering COVID-19 vaccines should adhere to CDC guidance for use of COVID-19 vaccines, including screening recipients for contraindications and precautions, having the necessary supplies available to manage anaphylaxis, implementing the recommended postvaccination observation periods, and immediately treating suspected cases of anaphylaxis with intramuscular injection of epinephrine. 

(J. Harris: This is fabulous news regarding the Pfizer vaccine; REACTIONS ARE RARE AND ARE EASILY HANDLED.)


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