Quarantine Era Surgery And Diagnostic Delays: What Dangers Do They Cause?

  In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, several quarantine initiatives placed a moratorium on elective surgeries and other healthcare procedures. Additionally, many patients replaced traditional in-person checkups with virtual appointments, which, while helpful, do not always provide a sufficient substitute. These strict measures are beginning to ease up, but many patients still struggle to determine whether greater risk lies in avoiding medical settings or seeking critical care. We offer insight into this difficult decision below: The Risk of Delayed Diagnosis While the dangers of delayed diagnosis vary considerably based on the condition in question, early detection is always…

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Highway Fatality Rates Increase Despite Less Drivers on the Road

  The National Safety Council has reported that, based on preliminary nationwide data from May, people traveling by roads had a higher risk of dying from a motor vehicle crash for the third month in a row. We previously wrote about this issue in May, and the trend of more dangerous driving has continued. The fatality rate is a measure of deaths due to collisions per 100 million vehicle miles. The fatality rate includes deaths of drivers, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists, etc., and is a good indicator of dangerous driving. The number of miles driven in May 2020 decreased by 25.5%…

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Surge of New COVID Cases: What’s Happening? What Comes Next?

  The COVID era feels like an eternity. We know a lot more about the disease than we did a few short months ago, but unfortunately, our will to follow CDC guidelines seems to be waning. Hence, the recent surge of cases in states such as Florida, Texas, and Arizona. Prompted in part by efforts to open the economy, these hotspots indicate that the pandemic is far from over. The Origins of the Surge Signs of a surge first became evident in late June, as new cases and hospitalizations increased dramatically over a period of several days. Since then, several…

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Vacationing During COVID: Safety Insights And Resources

  In a time of COVID, no excursion is completely risk-free. Some measured risks, however, may be worth taking — especially if accompanied by the right precautions. With a little planning, it’s possible to reduce the potential for infection. Keep the following suggestions in mind as you plan a much-needed vacation: Stay Close to Home Despite airlines’ efforts to keep passengers safe, airports and planes remain some of the riskiest settings in the midst of the pandemic. The CDC highlights air travel as more hazardous than other forms of transportation. Long road trips should also be avoided, as they may…

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Excessive Heat in DC Prompts Heat Emergency Procedures

  Due to the expected high heat index in the city, Mayor Bowser activated DC’s Heat Emergency Plan for the period of Saturday July 18th through Wednesday, July 22nd. Cooling Centers During the heat emergency, cooling centers around the city will open for residents to seek relief from the heat. Certain public recreation centers, public libraries, and public schools are open to the public as places to cool down. Unlike previous years, public pools and spray parks will not be open as cooling centers; these places will remain closed until further notice due to the Coronavirus Public Health Emergency. All…

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Camp Safety in the COVID Era

  Despite continued concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, summer camp is back in session for kids across the nation. It looks little like it did in the past, however, with digital and hybrid offerings taking over. Some camps are exclusively virtual, while others allow kids to meet in person during the day — but only if they take extra safety precautions. Despite these measures, camp is far from risk-free. A youth camp outbreak in Georgia, for example, led to infections among 85 children and counselors. Another camp in Missouri has led to an outbreak of more than 80 campers, counselors,…

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The Lancet’s Retracted COVID-19 Study And What It Says About Treating a New Disease: Part II

  The debate surrounding possible COVID-19 treatment hydroxychloroquine remains as vicious as ever. In the previous portion of our two-part series on The Lancet‘s ill-fated study, we examined how a lack of available data led to the study being retracted. While this research previously attracted the most attention, other studies still cast doubt on whether the drug is worth pursuing as a treatment option. Alternate Research The Lancet is far from the only publication to examine the role of hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 treatment. Several other studies also highlight how this drug could be used to assist vulnerable patients — and…

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The Lancet’s Retracted COVID-19 Study And What It Says About Treating a New Disease: Part I

  As the research surrounding COVID-19 reveals new findings, even the most trusted scientific authorities are forced to occasionally walk back previous statements. Such was the case for the trusted publication The Lancet, which previously published a noteworthy study suggesting that drugs such as hydroxychloroquine could pose a significant threat to COVID patients. Keep reading to learn more about The Lancet‘s retracted study — and its implications for future treatments. The Hydroxychloroquine Drama Hydroxychloroquine attracted attention for several months after President Donald Trump touted the drug as an effective treatment for coronavirus. Medical experts quickly dismissed this assertion, stating that…

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The Scientific Debate Over Coronavirus: Part II

  As the science surrounding the coronavirus evolves, disagreements are sure to appear. While many of these have involved the concept of asymptomatic spread — as highlighted in the first half of our two-part series — other sources of contention also limit consensus within the scientific community. Chief among these? The ongoing strength of the disease. Is COVID-19 Conquered in Italy? While it may seem as if the world has lived with the coronavirus for ages, it’s still less than a year old. Much remains unknown about its current — and future — volatility. Italian doctor Alberto Zangrillo made headlines…

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The Scientific Debate Over Coronavirus: Part I

  There’s no denying the inherent frustration of our efforts to halt the spread of the coronavirus. Much of this stems from advice that seems to change on a daily basis. From surface spread to the value of masks, shifting recommendations from the CDC leave many of us deeply confused about how this virus spreads — and what can realistically be done to contain it. Because the coronavirus is novel, many scientists share this overwhelming sense of confusion. While we know far more about the disease than we did just a few short months ago, researchers have yet to reach…

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