Novel Coronavirus/COVID-19 COVID-19 News from Around the Web

COVID-19 Patients Have Similar Survival When Hospitalized, Regardless of Race

HealthDay - October 2, 2020

As has been seen nationwide, black and Hispanic people were more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than white people, the findings showed. And Black and Hispanic people who were hospitalized were more likely to have two or more pre-existing conditions (38% and 43%, respectively) than white people (34%). However, survival rates among Black and Hispanic patients were at least as good as those for white patients after the researchers controlled for age, sex, income levels and pre-existing conditions, according to the study. The results were published online Sept. 25 in JAMA Network Open.

Loss of smell could be a ‘highly reliable indicator’ of Covid-19, research says

CNN - October 2, 2020

Loss of smell and taste are a strong sign that someone is infected with the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 -- and in some cases it may occur without the other symptoms of cough or fever, according to new research published Thursday. … Among those 567 people who were tested, 77.6% tested positive for Covid-19 antibodies. In total, 80.4% of participants reporting smell loss and 77.8% of those reporting taste loss had a positive test result, the researchers reported in the journal PLOS Medicine.

COVID nightmares are becoming frighteningly common

Live Science - October 2, 2020

Having nightmares about being stuck maskless in a crowd or coming down with COVID-19? You're not alone. A suite of new studies finds that pandemic dreams are remarkably common across multiple countries. People in Finland, Italy, the U.S., Canada and elsewhere around the world report many of the same themes, from dreams about becoming infected to anxiety dreams about social distancing. Some of the examples are metaphorical, such as a cluster of dreams about being attacked by bugs.

Health officials urge Americans to get flu vaccine as concerns mount over possible ‘twindemic’

ABC News - October 2, 2020

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, health care experts have been urging Americans to get vaccinated against influenza during the 2020-2021 flu season, to prevent a "twindemic," overlapping epidemics of the flu and COVID-19, which could overwhelm hospitals and increase people's risk of death. … "Everybody, 6 months of age or older, should get an annual flu vaccine," asserted Fauci.

U.S. schools in suburbs, small cities reopening without COVID spike; big cities up next

Reuters - October 2, 2020

U.S. schools from kindergarten to high school have avoided a spike in COVID-19 cases, early data show, but medical experts say the real test is coming as students in large densely-populated cities such as New York and Miami return to classrooms. The CDC this week said more than 270,000 COVID-19 cases had been reported in children aged 5-17 since March. Cases in school-age children ticked slightly higher in mid-September as more schools reopened, but remains well below the peak set in mid-July.

US housing roars back despite recession, high unemployment

ABC News - October 2, 2020

After stalling in the first few weeks of the pandemic, U.S. home sales have surged in recent months to the highest level in more than a decade. The strength in housing has been driven by ultra-low mortgage rates, fierce competition for a chronically low inventory of properties on the market and a wave of millennials and others increasingly vying to become homeowners.

CDC Extends ‘No Sail’ Order for U.S. Cruise Ships Through End of October

PEOPLE - October 2, 2020

The CDC have extended their no sail order, banning cruise ships from U.S. ports until Oct. 31. In a news release published Thursday, the health organization noted that cruise ship travel “continues to transmit and amplify the spread” of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19).

The Southern Hemisphere skipped flu season this year, likely because of social distancing

CNN - October 2, 2020

Flu season in the Southern Hemisphere, though, came and went with so few cases that there was "virtually no influenza circulation," according to the CDC. CDC experts believe that efforts like social distancing, mask-wearing and school closures might have critically crippled flu season in countries in the Southern Hemisphere.

Men overwhelmingly dominate the decision-making on Covid-19

CNN - October 2, 2020

An analysis of 115 decision-making and key advisory bodies from 87 countries found that over 85% contain mostly men and only 11% contain predominantly women, with gender parity in just 3.5%. The situation wasn't much better at the international level, according to the research that published Thursday in the journal BMJ Global Health. For instance, the WHO’s first, second and third International Health Regulations Emergency Committee members consisted of 23.8%, 23.8% and 37.5% women, respectively.

Jobless claims: Another 837,000 Americans filed new unemployment claims last week

Yahoo! Finance - October 1, 2020

Another 837,000 individuals filed new jobless claims last week, for a marginal step down from the 870,000 reported during the prior period. This marked the fifth straight week that new jobless claims come in below 1 million. But six months since the pandemic took hold in the US and decimated economic activity, new jobless claims are still running far above levels from before the outbreak. As recently as in February this year, new jobless claims were coming in at a rate of around 200,000 per week.

U.S. coronavirus cases rise month-over-month in 27 states in September, led by Wisconsin

Reuters - October 1, 2020

New cases of COVID-19 rose in 27 out of 50 U.S. states in September compared with August, led by an increase of 111% in Wisconsin, according to a Reuters analysis. The Midwest states of North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin all saw cases surge more than 50% month-over-month, as did Montana, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming. Illinois had the smallest increase among the 27 states with rising cases, up 5% month-over-month. The only Midwest states where cases fell were Ohio and Indiana.

Moderna CEO says its coronavirus vaccine won’t be ready until spring of next year

CBS News - October 1, 2020

Speaking at a health conference on Wednesday, Bancel said Moderna would not be ready to seek FDA approval for the vaccine for use in the general population until at least late January. If the vaccine is proven to be safe and effective, approval is unlikely until late March or early April.

Big contact tracing study shows role of kids and superspreaders in coronavirus pandemic

CNN - October 1, 2020

Children can spread coronavirus among themselves efficiently, but young adults are the primary source of coronavirus spread, according to a study published Wednesday. The study, based on a giant contact tracing effort involving more than 3 million people in India, shows most Covid-19 patients never infected anyone else. The researchers found that 70% of infected people did not infect any of their contacts, while 8% of patients accounted for 60% of observed new infections.

Coronavirus: Delirium ‘key symptom’ in frail older people

BBC - October 1, 2020

Doctors and carers should look out for signs of confusion or strange behaviour in frail older people because it could be an early warning sign of Covid-19, research suggests. Even if they have no cough or fever, delirium is more common in vulnerable over-65s than other, fitter people of the same age. But it's not yet clear why this extreme confusion or delirium happens.

Mental Health Issues Double the Odds of Dying With COVID-19, Study Finds

HealthDay - October 1, 2020

Li and her colleagues tracked the health of 1,685 patients hospitalized at Yale New Haven Health, a five-hospital system in Connecticut, between February and April. Of those patients, 28% had received a psychiatric diagnosis prior to hospitalization. People who'd struggled with a mental problem were more likely to die, particularly early in their illness: 36% of COVID-19 patients with a psychiatric diagnosis died within two weeks of hospitalization, compared with 15% of those with no such diagnosis.

Web Of ‘Wellness’ Doctors Promote Injections Of Unproven Coronavirus Treatment

NPR - October 1, 2020

An NPR investigation has found that Fradin-Read's practice is one of more than 30 medical practices and compounding pharmacies across more than a dozen states that have made unproven claims about this drug on their websites and on social media. It remains unclear how many Americans may have taken the drug since the pandemic began, though one doctor told NPR she had prescribed it to more than 100 patients. The cost of the drug can run up to $400 for a month's supply - all out of pocket.