What Is It About The Eighth Day, When Patients Can Take An Inexplicable Turn For The Worse?
Doctors are struggling to understand this sudden downturn in health that seems to frequently occur around the second week, a scenario referred to as “the second week crash.” In other public health news: how black Americans are disproportionately hit, patients describe symptoms in their own words, the promise of herd immunity and more.
Doctors Rush To Understand COVID-19's Second-Week Crash
Scientists and doctors are learning more about the novel coronavirus responsible for COVID-19 with each passing week. Doctors have now described alarming situations in which patients with COVID-19 suddenly and inexplicably become critically ill around the eighth day after being infected with the virus. (Baldwin, 5/6)
A New Study Shows Just How Badly Black Americans Have Been Hit By Covid-19
Counties across the country with a disproportionate number of African American residents accounted for 52 percent of diagnoses and 58 percent of coronavirus deaths nationally, according to a new study released Tuesday. The study, conducted by epidemiologists and clinician-researchers at four universities in conjunction with the nonprofit AIDS research organization amFar and PATH’s Center for Vaccine Innovation and Access, attempts to fill in the blanks as states report piecemeal data on race and ethnicity. (Barron-Lopez, 5/5)
The New York Times:
Coronavirus Symptoms: 11 People On How It Actually Feels
There is a clinical list of Covid-19 symptoms that includes a dry cough, a fever and shortness of breath. And then there is how the disease actually feels. It is like a lengthy hangover. An anvil on your chest. An alien takeover. It is like being in a fight with Mike Tyson. More than a million people in the United States have become unwilling hosts to the coronavirus. We spoke with some who were sickened by it — in many cases severely — and have since recovered. In vivid terms, they described what it was like to endure this scary and disorienting illness. (5/6)
The Washington Post:
Americans Are Told To Wash Hands To Fight Coronavirus. But Some Don’t Trust The Tap.
For the Chavez family and many others in California’s fertile San Joaquin Valley, bottled water is the toilet paper of their coronavirus pandemic — an everyday necessity that vanished from supermarket shelves. In the Navajo Nation, where about a third of the population lacks indoor plumbing, volunteers are creating public hand-washing stations by repurposing detergent bottles as makeshift faucets. (Sellers, 5/5)
The New York Times:
Herd Immunity, Or Big 2nd Wave? Israel Antibody Testing Hopes To Find Out
Israel, whose aggressive response to the coronavirus has held its fatality rate to a fraction of those of the United States and other hard-hit nations, is readying a nationwide serological test of 100,000 citizens to see how widely the virus has spread across its population and how vulnerable it may be to a new wave of the contagion. The survey, to be conducted at clinics run by Israeli H.M.O.s beginning in a week or two, is one of the largest efforts yet to determine the prevalence of antibodies to Covid-19. Germany has also announced antibody testing using a representative nationwide sample. (Halbfinger, 5/5)
How To Improve Your Respiratory Health In Case You Get Covid-19
Covid-19 is a respiratory illness, meaning if a person is infected, the condition of their respiratory system is one determinant of how they'll fare with the disease. [T]here are things you can do to improve respiratory health, just by changing a few lifestyle factors, according to Dr. Robert Eitches, an allergist and immunologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Enhancing your respiratory health doesn't prevent you from getting infected, he said. But it does have benefits that may reduce the severity of the illness if you are infected, and therefore your exposure to the virus. (Rogers, 5/6)
The New York Times:
How To Talk About Coronavirus
The coronavirus pandemic has upended all kinds of human behavior, including speech. Conversations are mediated by masks and screens, their sentences strung together with new vocabulary: medical terms, political mandates and slang devised to take the clinical edge off. This new vernacular has many people playing virologist in the group chat, with talk of contact tracing and antibody tests; planning “socially distant” activities like Zoom birthday parties and drive-by greetings; and tweeting about life under “quar,” a pet name for “quarantine” (the term for an imposed period of isolation after exposure to a contagion that has become a catchall for life at home). (Mooney, 5/5)
ICUs Transformed To Care For COVID-19 Patients
Intensive care teams inside hospitals are rapidly altering the way they care for patients with COVID-19. The changes range from new protective gear to new treatment protocols aimed at preventing deadly blood clots. "Things are moving so fast within this pandemic, it's hard to keep up" says Dr. Angela Hewlett, an infectious diseases physician at University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha and medical director of the Nebraska Biocontainment Unit. To stay current, she says, ICUs are updating their practices "on an hourly basis." (Hamilton, 5/5)
Wildland Fire Camps Need Dramatic Change Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
When a wildfire explodes out of control and threatens property and lives, thousands of firefighters and support crews rush to the scene from around the country and even the world. Almost overnight a small city sprouts up, with firefighters camped in dense rows of tents in fields and eating in crowded mess halls. There are the caterers, the contractors, the crew bosses huddled around laptops at the command post. (Siegler, 5/6)