The Latest Science on How COVID Impacts Nursing Homes

  When the novel coronavirus first hit the United States, its impact was greatest in nursing homes throughout the nation. These remain the epicenter of some of the disease’s worst outbreaks. It’s easy to see why: not only do these facilities house those most vulnerable to the illness, many harbor unsanitary conditions and suffer numerous other forms of neglect. The problematic nature of COVID within nursing homes is confirmed in the latest scientific studies, which hold alarming findings. Below, we highlight the implications of the most relevant research — and how it might influence mitigation efforts moving forward. The Importance…

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Coronavirus And Delayed Health Care Procedures

In an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus, many local stay-at-home orders call for limits on elective health care procedures. While some of these can realistically be put off for a few weeks or even months, excessive delays could cause significant health problems down the road. Unfortunately, long waits are likely even as restrictions begin to ease up at the local level. Finally permitted to seek services they’ve waited on for months, patients will flock to clinics and hospitals. Meanwhile, resources will remain scarce as the coronavirus continues to place a burden on the health care system. Patience…

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Visiting the Doctor During a Pandemic: Steps to Take to Avoid Nosocomial Illness

While recent stay-at-home orders have limited our ability to seek elective surgeries and other treatments deemed non-essential, it’s not always possible to avoid the doctor or the emergency room. A variety of health issues persist in a time of coronavirus — and many cannot be properly treated via videoconferencing apps. Unfortunately, the spread of coronavirus dramatically increases the vulnerability of patients suffering unrelated health issues. This is particularly alarming in facilities that continue to face shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other essentials. However, while every appointment carries an element of risk, a few simple steps can shield you…

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How Can You Prepare For a Trip to the Hospital During COVID-19?

Written by Amy S. Griggs Trips to the hospital for any reason during this time of rampant COVID-19 spread are extremely stressful, but there are steps to take before seeking medical care to be sure your family is as prepared as possible. These tips can be applied under any circumstances, but they become more important as the country faces rapid increases in illness and hospitalizations. It is particularly critical to look out for the elderly and vulnerable populations and find ways to help and set their minds at ease. Taking actionable steps like those listed below can help to ease…

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Sweden’s Lack of Coronavirus Lockdown: How Has the Disease Progressed?

  Early responses to the COVID-19 pandemic varied dramatically from one country to the next. It now appears that many failed to act with appropriate urgency, thereby hastening the spread of the disease. Sweden, in particular, has attracted its fair share of criticism due to its government’s initial refusal to ban residents from gathering in public. The Early Response in Sweden As several European countries initiated stringent social distancing and stay-at-home measures, Sweden lagged behind. Swedish elementary schools remained open long after institutions in neighboring nations had been shut down. Likewise, patrons were allowed to continue visiting bars and restaurants….

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What Serological Tests Tell Us About the COVID-19 Pandemic

Coronavirus dominates today’s headlines, with many top stories delving into alarming delays or malfunctions for the tests we so desperately need. While many people believe that an early lack of testing exacerbated the problem in the United States, this issue is finally being addressed. Serological tests, in particular, promise to grant the medical community vital information about the disease’s current status. What Are Serological Tests? How Do They Work? Designed to measure antibodies present within the blood as infected individuals fight COVID-19, serological tests can determine immune response and its implications for recovery. These tests don’t focus on uncovering the…

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Can You Be Reinfected From COVID-19 After You’ve Recovered? A Look at What the Science Tells Us So Far

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, many people take comfort in the assumption that, should they become infected, they’ll at least enjoy immunity upon recovering. Unfortunately, the latest research paints a less optimistic picture. Already, several patients who initially appeared to have recovered have demonstrated signs of reinfection. Why Are Former COVID-19 Patients Testing Positive? The earliest indicators of reinfection trouble appeared in South Korea. Until recently, the nation’s impressive response to the pandemic generated considerable hope for both physical and economic recovery. All that changed when the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 163 supposedly…

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Why Viral Load May Determine the Severity of COVID Infections — And How You Can Protect Yourself

If there’s one constant during this unprecedented pandemic, it’s that our understanding of the disease is always changing. Every day brings new hope that we’ll eventually succeed in flattening the curve. Unfortunately, nearly every positive headline is tempered by sobering news. Such is the case when exploring the concept of viral load, which can tell us a lot about who suffers the most from the disease — and why. What Is Viral Load? How Does it Relate to COVID-19? The term ‘viral load’ references the amount of a given virus found within a test sample taken from a specific patient….

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Nosocomial Infections and Coronavirus: What We Know Now — Part II

COVID-19 may be peaking in some regions, but the pandemic is far from over. Unfortunately, in the midst of social distancing efforts, spread continues to occur at a variety of clinics and hospitals. In the first part of our series on the nosocomial transmission of coronavirus, we examined the possibility for the disease’s takeover within medical settings. Next, we’ll highlight top risk factors, as well as the crucial steps health care facilities are taking to halt the spread of this dangerous disease. The Importance of Personal Protective Equipment It’s no secret that today’s health care facilities face alarming shortages. Protective…

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Nosocomial Infections and Coronavirus: What We Know Now — Part I

Even in the best of times, American hospitals posed huge risks for patients and their loved ones. Data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reveals that a whopping one in 31 patients suffered an illness acquired in the hospital on any given day — before coronavirus took over. That rate has likely increased in recent weeks. Unfortunately, in their desperation to obtain treatment, many patients fail to understand the hazards currently present within health care facilities. Below, we clarify the risk of nosocomial infection as it relates to COVID-19: What Are Nosocomial Infections? Often referred to as hospital-acquired or…

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