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

Covid-19 study suggests to screen recovering athletes for heart inflammation before they return to play

CNN - September 15, 2020

As athletes recover from Covid-19, taking images of their hearts to screen for inflammation may help doctors determine when it could be safe to get back in the game, new research suggests. The small study -- conducted by researchers at Ohio State University -- found in cardiac magnetic resonance images, or MRIs, that among 26 of the university's competitive athletes who were recovering from Covid-19, four showed signs of inflammation of the heart muscle, called myocarditis.

Fewer Kids May Be Carrying Coronavirus Without Symptoms Than Believed: Study

HealthDay - September 15, 2020

Rigorous COVID-19 testing of children and adults admitted to a hospital in Milan for reasons other than coronavirus found that just over 1% of kids tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, compared to more than 9% of adults. That suggests a very low rate of asymptomatic infection among children, and does "not support the hypothesis that children are at higher risk of carrying SARS-CoV-2 asymptomatically than adults," the researchers reported in the Sept. 14 online edition of JAMA Pediatrics.

Kids at 2 Utah Day Cares Easily Spread COVID to Families

HealthDay - September 15, 2020

It's not clear how COVID-19 outbreaks at three Salt Lake City child day care centers began, but a new report finds that 12 infected youngsters enrolled at two of the facilities easily passed SARS-CoV-2 to at least 12 family members. In one case, an infected child with no symptoms of COVID-19 transmitted the illness to their mother, who became so sick she needed to be hospitalized. The tale of these day care-linked clusters illustrate how efficient children are as vectors for COVID-19 infection -- and what steps can be taken to minimize the risk, experts say.

Early research from 23andMe strengthens link between blood types and Covid-19

STAT - September 15, 2020

A forthcoming study from genetic testing giant 23andMe shows that a person’s genetic code could be connected to how likely they are to catch Covid-19 — and how severely they could experience the disease if they catch it. It’s an important confirmation of earlier work on the subject. People whose blood group is O seemed to test positive for Covid-19 less often than expected when compared to people with any other blood group, according to 23andMe’s data; people who tested positive and had a specific variant of another gene also seemed to be more likely to have serious respiratory symptoms. The study, which was released on a preprint server and which has not yet been peer-reviewed … Experts who aren’t affiliated with 23andMe praised the study design and the work.

Some Urban Hospitals Face Closure Or Cutbacks As The Pandemic Adds To Fiscal Woes

NPR - September 15, 2020

While rural hospitals have been closing at a quickening pace over the past two decades, a number of inner-city hospitals now face a similar fate. And experts fear that the economic damage inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic on safety net hospitals and the ailing finances of the cities and states that subsidize them are helping push some urban hospitals over the edge.

COVID Exodus Fills Vacation Towns With New Medical Pressures

Kaiser Health - September 15, 2020

From the shores of Long Island to the resorts of the Rocky Mountains, traditional vacation destinations have seen a major influx of affluent people relocating to wait out the pandemic. But now as summer vacation season has ended, many families realize that working from home and attending school online can be done anywhere they can tether to the internet, and those with means are increasingly waiting it out in the poshest destinations.

Trump officials interfered with CDC reports on Covid-19

Politico - September 14, 2020

The CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports (MMWRs) are authored by career scientists and serve as the main vehicle for the agency to inform doctors, researchers and the general public about how Covid-19 is spreading and who is at risk. Such reports have historically been published with little fanfare and no political interference, said several longtime health department officials, and have been viewed as a cornerstone of the nation's public health work for decades. But since Michael Caputo, a former Trump campaign official with no medical or scientific background, was installed in April as the Health and Human Services department's new spokesperson, there have been substantial efforts to align the reports with Trump's statements, including the president's claims that fears about the outbreak are overstated, or stop the reports altogether.

In defiance of Nevada governor, Trump holds indoor rally

AP - September 14, 2020

In open defiance of state regulations and his own administration’s pandemic health guidelines, President Donald Trump hosted his first indoor rally since June, telling a packed, nearly mask-less Nevada crowd that the nation was “making the last turn” in defeating the virus. … Relatively few in the crowd wore masks, with a clear exception: Those in the stands directly behind Trump, whose images would end up on TV, were mandated to wear face coverings.

Fauci says normal life may not be back until the end of 2021

CNN - September 14, 2020

Dr. Anthony Fauci said it could be the end of 2021 before life gets back to how it was before Covid-19. "If you're talking about getting back to a degree of normality which resembles where we were prior to Covid, it's going to be well into 2021, maybe even towards the end of 2021," Fauci said Friday. A vaccine will help, but there are caveats, Fauci said in a series of interviews Friday.

Study: Kids infected at day care spread coronavirus at home

AP - September 14, 2020

Children who caught the coronavirus at day cares and a day camp spread it to their relatives, according to a new report that underscores that kids can bring the germ home and infect others. Scientists already know children can spread the virus. But the study published Friday by the CDC “definitively indicates — in a way that previous studies have struggled to do — the potential for transmission to family members,” said William Hanage, a Harvard University infectious diseases researcher.

Covid-19 school closings linked to increase in depression and suicide, study finds

CNN - September 14, 2020

Primary school students in China experienced more depressive symptoms and made more suicide attempts after schools closed for the pandemic, a new study found. When Covid-19 hit China in January, the Ministry of Education postponed the start of spring semester to late April. That closure separated children from their friends and their broader community network, and seems to have had an impact on their mental well-being. The study, published Friday in JAMA Network Open, compared reports of mental health problems in November -- before the pandemic started -- to mid-May, two weeks into the new spring semester when schools had re-opened.

Teacher departures leave schools scrambling for substitutes

AP - September 14, 2020

With many teachers opting out of returning to the classroom because of the coronavirus, schools around the U.S. are scrambling to find replacements and in some places lowering certification requirements to help get substitutes in the door. Several states have seen surges in educators filing for retirement or taking leaves of absence.

COVID Hits Young Adults Harder Than Thought: Study

HealthDay - September 14, 2020

New research suggests that COVID-19 is far from benign when it strikes young adults: Once they are hospitalized, 1 in 5 wind up in the ICU and many need ongoing medical care even after they are free of the virus, scientists report. The Harvard University doctors reviewed more than 3,200 coronavirus cases where adults aged 18 to 34 needed hospitalization. Twenty-one percent ending up requiring ICU admission and 10 percent needed a ventilator to breathe. Overall, 2.7 percent of young hospitalized patients died. Another 3 percent required care in a post-acute treatment facility even after clearing the virus from their bodies.

Redefining Covid-19: Months after infection, patients report breathing difficulty, excessive fatigue

CNN - September 14, 2020

About three-quarters of those hospitalized for Covid-19 could become long haulers, according to a paper uploaded to the pre-print server medRxiv on August 14 without having yet been vetted by outside experts or accepted for publication. Researchers from the Academic Respiratory Unit of the North Bristol NHS Trust in the UK looked at 110 Covid-19 patients, whose illnesses required hospital stays for a median of five days between March 30 and June 3. Twelve weeks after patients were released from the hospital, 74% of them reported symptoms, including breathlessness and excessive fatigue. Despite these symptoms, however, 104 of the 110 patients in the study had normal basic blood test results, with just 12% showing an abnormal chest X-ray and 10% showing restrictive lung function through spirometry tests.

Blood Pressure Meds Can Affect COVID-19 Care

HealthDay - September 14, 2020

…One of three studies presented at a virtual meeting of the American Heart Association on Thursday. Among more than 11,000 people across 22 studies from eight countries, 42% of COVID-19 patients had high blood pressure, the researchers found. ... High blood pressure on its own was associated with a higher likelihood of death, the combined results showed. However, it's not high blood pressure itself that presents the most danger to COVID-19 patients. Instead, it's when their blood pressure plummets that they are at their most vulnerable, a smaller second study suggests.

Canada reports no new deaths from coronavirus for the first time since March

CBS News - September 14, 2020

Canada reported no new deaths from COVID-19 on Friday for the first time in six months. The last time the country reported no new deaths from the virus on March 15, at the start of lockdowns in North America due to the pandemic, Reuters reports.