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U.S. COVID Death Toll Hits 200,000 as Cases Climb in 22 States

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 23, 2020 (Healthday News) -- The U.S. coronavirus death toll reached the tragic milestone of 200,000 on Tuesday, with at least 22 states now reporting a rise in new cases.

Just last Monday, only nine states were reporting increases in new COVID-19 cases, CNN reported. For the most part, the case spikes are showing up in the country's heartland and the Midwest.<...

Singing Without a Face Mask Can Spread COVID-19

If you sing indoors without a face mask, you run the risk of spreading COVID-19 through tiny airborne particles known as aerosols.

That's the conclusion researchers reached after studying a choir practice.

In Skagit Valley, Wash., one person with mild symptoms of COVID-19 attended a 2.5-hour-long indoor choir practice on March 10. Over the next several weeks, more than 50 ...

Many Health Care Workers Who Have Coronavirus Don't Have Symptoms: Study

Four in 10 health care workers who test positive for COVID-19 don't have symptoms, which means they could unknowingly spread the disease to co-workers and patients, researchers say.

For the new study, the research team reviewed 97 studies that included more than 230,000 health care workers in 24 countries. Rates of SARS-CoV-2 infection among the health care workers ranged from 7% ...

4 Out of 5 People With COVID-19 Will Develop Symptoms: Study

Folks shrugging off the risk of COVID-19 because they don't think the virus will do them much harm might want to think again.

As many as four out of five people infected with the new coronavirus likely will suffer some symptoms of COVID-19, a new analysis shows.

Only about 20% of infected people remain symptom-free while they carry the new coronavirus, according to a rev...

Certain Cancer Treatments May Heighten Danger From COVID-19

People with cancer are at increased risk for severe COVID-19. Now, a preliminary study suggests that certain cancer therapies may heighten those odds even further.

Researchers found that of 3,600 U.S. cancer patients who contracted COVID-19, the highest risk of death was among those who'd received cancer treatment within the past three months.

And the type of therapy mattere...

Minorities Hit Hardest When COVID Strikes Nursing Homes

Minority residents of U.S. nursing homes and assisted living communities have been especially hard hit in the coronavirus pandemic, two University of Rochester studies show.

The first found that nursing homes with higher percentages of racial and ethnic minority residents reported two to four times more new COVID-19 cases and deaths compared to others for the week of May 25.

Having Flu <i>and</i> COVID Doubles Death Risk in Hospitalized Patients

TUESDAY, Sept. 22, 2020 (Healthday News) -- While health officials worry about a potential "twindemic" of COVID-19 and the flu this winter, a new study finds that hospital patients who were infected with both viruses were more than twice as likely to die as those infected only with the new coronavirus.

British government scientists conducted the research during the early months of the...

U.S. COVID Death Toll Nears 200,000, While Cases Start to Climb Again

MONDAY, Sept. 21, 2020 (Healthday News) -- As the U.S. coronavirus case count neared 200,000 on Monday, public health experts debated whether the spread of the virus will continue to slow or a new surge will come, as cold weather returns to much of the country.

"What will happen, nobody knows," Catherine Troisi, an infectious disease epidemiologist at The University of Texas Health Sc...

Potential COVID-19 Drug Could Increase Heart Risk: Study

The widely prescribed antibiotic azithromycin is being investigated as a COVID-19 treatment, but a new study warns it could increase the risk of heart problems.

Researchers analyzed data from millions of patients (average age: 36) in the United States and found that azithromycin by itself isn't associated with an increase in heart problems.

But the risk increases if it is ta...

Life Expectancy Could Decline Worldwide Due to COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic could cause short-term decreases in life expectancy in many parts of the world, according to a new study.

Using a computer model, the researchers concluded that infection rates of only 2% could cause a drop in life expectancy in countries where average life expectancy is high (about 80 years).

At higher infection rates, the decline would be great...

CDC Reverses COVID Test Guideline After Controversy

Facing strong criticism, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday reversed a prior COVID-19 guideline that had said that people who know they've been in close contact with an infected person but are asymptomatic do not have to get tested.

Instead, the revised guideline now clearly tells Americans who find themselves in such circumstances that, "You need a test."<...

Details Emerge on Unexplained Illness in AstraZeneca COVID Vaccine Trial

FRIDAY, Sept. 18, 2020 (Healthday News) -- New details surfaced on Thursday on an unexplained neurological condition that struck a volunteer who was participating in AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine trial.

In an internal safety report obtained by CNN, company officials describe how a healthy 37-year-old woman "experienced confirmed transverse myelitis" after receiving her seco...

Another Rapid COVID-19 Test Shows Promise

Yet another rapid COVID-19 test has proven its mettle in spotting infection with the new coronavirus, this time in a British study.

The lab-in-a-cartridge testing device -- which can be performed at bedside, doesn't require a laboratory, and can be performed in cartridges smaller than a mobile phone -- was tested on 386 National Health Service staff and patients in Britain.

...

COVID-19 Poses Added Risk for People With Addiction Disorders: Study

People with addiction disorders are at greater risk for COVID-19 and more likely to become seriously ill if infected, a new study finds.

The researchers analyzed non-identifiable electronic health records of more than 73 million patients in the United States. People with addiction disorders accounted for just over 10% of those in the study, and nearly 16% of COVID-19 cases.

More Pets May Be Getting COVID-19 Than Realized

There are "substantial" rates of coronavirus infection in dogs and cats whose owners have COVID-19, new research shows.

The researchers also found that, in several cases, infected pets had COVID-like respiratory symptoms at the time their owners were infected.

SARS-CoV-2 has been reported to infect a number of animals, but the risks, susceptibility and symptoms in different ...

COVID-19 Prevention Might Translate Into Record Low Flu Rates: CDC

The final statistics are in for America's last flu season, and the news is good: Record low rates of influenza were reported as cases plummeted during the early months of the coronavirus pandemic.

Why? Researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believe the social distancing measures put into place across the country last spring kept more than the new coronavi...

Coronavirus Vaccine Plan for Americans Announced

THURSDAY, Sept. 17, 2020 (Healthday News) -- The details of a plan to rapidly deliver a future coronavirus vaccine to Americans were unveiled by federal officials on Wednesday.

Two of the key parts of the plan are to begin distributing a vaccine with 24 hours of any approval or emergency authorization and offering the vaccine for free, The New York Times reported.

Of...

COVID Conflicts Are Putting Big Strains on Relationships

As the coronavirus pandemic wears on, it's clear that not everyone's on the same page when it comes to preventing the risk of infection.

Lots of people wear masks, try to maintain social distancing and avoid large gatherings. But plenty of others forgo a mask or wear it on their chin, go to busy bars and attend social gatherings, like weddings.

Both sides think they're righ...

COVID-19 Has Taken a Toll on Organ Donation

Transplants of organs from dead donors haven't slowed during the coronavirus pandemic, but living donor transplants remain suspended in many places, an expert says.

Dr. Fauzia Butt, a transplant surgeon at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pa., also said that organ donation and transplant surgery are safe during the pandemic.

"We've put protocols...

For Stroke Survivors, Timely Rehab Has Been Jeopardized During Pandemic

Timely rehabilitation is crucial for stroke survivors, but some may not be receiving it due to the coronavirus pandemic, experts say.

Rehabilitation can help the 795,000 stroke survivors in the United States achieve the best possible recovery, according to the American Stroke Association (ASA).

That's why it's critical to begin rehabilitation within three months of a stroke,...

Pregnant Women With COVID-19 at High Risk for Complications

COVID-19 may hit pregnant women especially hard, U.S. health officials warned in two reports.

In one report, scientists from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urge pregnant women and health care providers to be aware of the risks for severe COVID-19, which include serious birth outcomes.

Diagnosing COVID-19 during childbirth hospitalizations is important ...

Do Ordinary Eyeglasses Offer Protection Against COVID-19?

Eyeglasses keep you from tripping over footstools and walking into walls, but they also might have a side benefit to spark envy among those with 20/20 vision.

People who wear glasses every day might be less susceptible to COVID-19 infection, a Chinese study reports.

Only about 6% of 276 patients hospitalized for COVID-19 at Suizhou Zengdu Hospital in China needed to wear...

New Drug Shows Promise in Preventing Severe COVID

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 16, 2020 (Healthday News) -- A single infusion of an experimental drug dramatically lowers levels of coronavirus in the bodies of newly infected patients and cuts their chances of hospitalization, the drug's maker reported Wednesday.

Eli Lilly's announcement did not include detailed data and hasn't been peer-reviewed or published yet, The New York Times report...

Elevated Blood Clotting Factor Linked to Worse COVID-19 Outcomes

Most people now know that COVID-19 can cause blood clots, potentially leading to paralysis, stroke, heart attack and death.

While it's not clear precisely how SARS-CoV-2 causes clots, a new study suggests that the amount of a particular protein -- called factor V -- in a patient's blood may have something to do with it.

In March, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospit...

Small Study Supports Donor Plasma Therapy for Severe COVID-19

Using the donated blood plasma of COVID-19 survivors to treat patients in the throes of severe coronavirus illness has met with some controversy. But a small new study suggests it could have real merit.

The study of 39 patients with severe COVID-19 who were treated at one New York City hospital found the treatment appeared to bump up survival, researchers said.

Plasma is th...

Most Americans Don't Trust Trump's Vaccine Comments: Poll

TUESDAY, Sept. 15, 2020 (Healthday News) -- In a sign that Americans are becoming more wary about the safety of a new coronavirus vaccine, a new poll shows a majority of adults don't trust what President Donald Trump has said on vaccine development.

More than half (52%) of adults said they don't trust the president's vaccine comments, the NBC News/Survey Monkey poll found,...

Could COVID-19 Someday Become Seasonal, Like Flu?

COVID-19 is unlike other respiratory viruses known to humans, but in time it could evolve into a seasonal scourge like the flu.

That's according to a new report in which researchers lay out the case for a possible seasonal COVID.

The scenario depends on many unknowns, and assumes the new coronavirus will bend to weather factors. And that would not happen until enough people ...

'Flattening the Curve' Saves More Lives Than Thought

Failure to "flatten the coronavirus curve" in the United States could lead to even more deaths than previously believed, a new study claims.

The researchers concluded that every six additional intensive care unit (ICU) beds or seven additional non-ICU beds filled by COVID-19 patients leads to one additional COVID-19 death over the following week.

"A spike in hospitalization ...

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

Are infected-but-healthy children major "silent spreaders" of the new coronavirus? New research out of northern Italy, once a COVID-19 hotspot, suggests they might not be.

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% o...

AstraZeneca COVID Vaccine Trial Restarts

MONDAY, Sept. 14, 2020 (Healthday News) -- Oxford University has announced that final-stage testing of a coronavirus vaccine it is developing with drug maker AstraZeneca will restart following a pause last week after a serious side effect showed up in a volunteer.

"The independent review process has concluded and following the recommendations of both the independent safety review comm...

COVID-19 Takes Heavy Toll on Kidneys

COVID-19 can damage the kidneys and increase patients' risk of needing kidney dialysis, researchers report.

The study authors also warned that doctors should prepare for a significant rise in chronic kidney disease cases due to the pandemic.

For the study, the investigators analyzed data from nearly 4,000 COVID-19 patients, aged 18 and older, hospitalized at the Mount Sinai ...

Kids at 2 Utah Day Cares Easily Spread COVID to Families

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.

...

COVID Hits Young Adults Harder Than Thought: Study

FRIDAY, Sept. 11, 2020 (Healthday News) -- 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 hosp...

COVID-19 May Strike More Cats Than Believed

Cat lovers, be aware: New research suggests that COVID-19 may be more common in cats than previously thought.

Scientists analyzed blood samples taken from 102 cats between January and March 2020 in Wuhan, China, after the world's first known outbreak of COVID-19 began in that city.

Fifteen of the cats had COVID-19 antibodies in their blood, and 11 of those cats had neutraliz...

Just How Reliable Are COVID-19 Tests? Experts Weigh In

You're feeling pretty darned sick -- headache, fever, fatigue, a cough -- but your COVID-19 test came back negative.

What do you do now?

Well, chances are good that you don't have COVID-19 if that's what the test says, according to experts.

Labs that are testing for COVID-19 rely on what's called a PCR test, a slow and complex molecular scan that looks for t...

Study Confirms Restaurants, Bars Are COVID Infection Hotspots

Relaxation of face mask requirements in restaurants, coffee shops and bars could make those venues prime areas for transmission of the new coronavirus, research shows.

The new study compared the behaviors of people diagnosed with COVID-19 and those without such diagnoses. It uncovered one clear difference: Newly ill people without any known contact with a person with COVID-19 were al...

Colleges in 50 States Seeing COVID Cases on Campus

THURSDAY, Sept. 10, 2020 (Healthday News) -- Just weeks into the fall semester, universities and colleges in all 50 states are now struggling to contain the spread of coronavirus on their campuses.

More than 40,000 cases of COVID-19 have been reported among students, staff and faculty nationwide, CNN reported. That number is likely higher due to a lag from schools that update t...

Join the Chorus: Singing Can Be Safe During Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic silenced choirs around the globe, but researchers in Sweden say it may be safe to sing with others if you take precautions.

"There are many reports about the spreading of COVID-19 in connection with choirs singing. Therefore, different restrictions have been introduced all over the world to make singing safer," said Jakob Löndahl, an associate professor o...

Over Half a Million U.S. Kids Already Infected With COVID-19

More than 500,000 U.S. children had been diagnosed with COVID-19 as of early September, with a sizable uptick seen in recent weeks, a new report reveals.

There were 70,630 new child cases reported between Aug. 20 and Sept. 3, 2020. That brings the total to 513,415 cases -- a 16% increase over two weeks, according to state-by-state data compiled by the American Academy of Pediatric...

Could Your Mask Be a Kind of Vaccine Against COVID-19?

The world is still waiting for a safe, effective coronavirus vaccine. But new research now suggests that billions of people may already be using a crude vaccine of sorts: face masks.

The theory -- and it remains largely a theory -- is that by filtering out airborne coronavirus droplets and thereby lowering the dose of SARS-CoV-2 a person inhales, infections have much less chance of pr...

Vaccine Maker Halts Trial Following Unexplained Illness in Volunteer

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 9, 2020 (Healthday News) -- Final testing of a leading coronavirus vaccine candidate was paused by drugmaker AstraZeneca on Tuesday after a trial volunteer experienced a serious adverse reaction.

The company did not release specifics on the case, and whether the reaction was caused by the vaccine or was coincidental is still unclear, The New York Times reported...

COVID-19 Is Tougher on Older Men, and Scientists May Now Know Why

Key differences in immune system function may help determine why severe, life-threatening COVID-19 tends to target older men, scientists say.

A new study found that among elderly people and in men, especially, certain factors may lead to a weaker immune system response against infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

That could help explain high rates of in...

Rates of Child Hospitalization Similar Between COVID-19, Flu: Study

While adults face raised odds for hospitalization with COVID-19, a new study shows that the risk for kids infected with SARS-CoV-2 is about equal to that seen with influenza.

The researchers found that kids with COVID-19 or the seasonal flu have similar rates of hospitalization, admission to intensive care units (ICUs) and ventilator use.

But the average age of children hosp...

Kids Can Have Coronavirus And Antibodies at Same Time: Study

The new coronavirus and antibodies that fight it can be in children's bodies at the same time, surprised researchers have found.

"With most viruses, when you start to detect antibodies, you won't detect the virus anymore. But with COVID-19, we're seeing both," said Dr. Burak Bahar, director of laboratory informatics at Children's National Hospital in Washington, D.C.

"This m...

As Tough COVID Summer Ends, Experts Warn of a Tougher Fall, Winter

TUESDAY, Sept. 8, 2020 (Healthday News) -- In a sobering illustration of the toll the coronavirus pandemic took this summer, tallies now show the number of Americans who have died of COVID-19 jumped from just under 100,000 to over 186,000 between Memorial Day and Labor Day, while cases more than quadrupled, to over 6.2 million.

As troubling as those statistics are, public health exper...

Watch Out for Coronavirus Scams on Social Media

Social media has been rife with fake health products and financial scams during the coronavirus pandemic, a new study finds.

Thousands of posts have touted illegal or unapproved testing kits, untested treatments and purported but counterfeit cures, according to researchers who analyzed posts on Twitter and Instagram.

"From March to May 2020, we have identified nearly 2,000 f...

Permanent Nerve Damage for Some COVID-19 Survivors

Placing a hospitalized COVID-19 patient in a face down position to ease breathing -- or "proning" -- has steadily gained traction as a pandemic lifesaver. But a small new study warns that it may lead to permanent nerve damage.

The concern is based on the experience of 83 COVID-19 patients who were placed face down while attached to a ventilator. Once they improved, all began post-COVI...

Too Little Vitamin D Might Raise Odds of Coronavirus Infection

There's evidence that low blood levels of the "sunshine vitamin" -- vitamin D -- may increase a person's risk of infection with the new coronavirus, researchers say.

"Vitamin D is important to the function of the immune system and vitamin D supplements have previously been shown to lower the risk of viral respiratory tract infections," said study lead author Dr. David Meltzer. He's ch...

Chief of U.S. Vaccine Initiative Says October Timeline 'Extremely Unlikely'

FRIDAY, Sept. 4, 2020 (Healthday News) -- The chief adviser for the White House vaccine program said Thursday it was "extremely unlikely, but not impossible" that a vaccine could be available by the end of October.

Speaking with National Public Radio, Dr. Moncef Slaoui said that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's guidance to states to prepare for a vaccine as...

Asthma May Not Boost Odds of Severe COVID-19

New research may have people with asthma breathing a little easier: Doctors found the airway disease doesn't raise the risk of being hospitalized due to COVID-19.

The researchers also noted that people with asthma weren't more likely than people without it to need a ventilator to help them breathe.

"A lot of people with asthma think they have a predisposition to severe COV...

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