Archive for March, 2020

Preparing for Coronavirus: Dos and Don’ts

Sunday, March 22nd, 2020

Editor’s Note: This story was updated March 12, 2020. For the latest updates on the 2020 coronavirus outbreak, see our news coverage

Feb. 28, 2020 — With cases in 42 states and the District of Columbia, coronavirus (and COVID-19, the disease it causes) is spreading rapidly in the United States. Here’s what you need to know to protect yourself right now:

Dos and Don’ts for Everyone


Know the Symptoms of COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS

Sunday, March 22nd, 2020
March 10, 2020 — As testing for COVID-19 expands, cases are being picked up across the U.S., confirming what disease experts have predicted: that the virus has been here for some time and is making people sick.

That can make the occasional cough or sneeze suspicious. Is this COVID-19? How would you know if you have it?

The most detailed breakdown of symptoms of the disease comes from a recent World Health Organization analysis of more than 55,000 confirmed cases in China. Here are the most common symptoms and the percentage of people who had them:


What to Know About Coronavirus If You Have Asthma

Friday, March 20th, 2020
THURSDAY, March 19, 2020 (HealthDay News) — If you have asthma, you are among those at greatest risk in the coronavirus pandemic and must take precautions, the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) says.It’s important to keep your asthma well-controlled, so continue your medications. No asthma medications — including inhaled corticosteroids and biologics — have been shown to increase the risk of getting COVID-19, according to the ACAAI

And, the group added, if you do get the virus, there’s no information that asthma medications will make your infection worse.

The ACAAI recommends contacting your allergist if you have any questions, have trouble breathing or your asthma symptoms become more severe.


Will COVID-19 CORONA VIRUS die down in summer? New tests could help answer that.

Friday, March 20th, 2020

Physicists test empty coronavirus shells under different weather conditions.

(Image: © Images)

Empty, mocked-up shells of the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, may help explain how well the virus stands up to heat, humidity and other environmental changes.

The research, just launched by physicists at The University of Utah, is designed to help public health officials understand how the new coronavirus will react as the seasons change. One major question about the virus, which causes a disease called COVID-19, is whether summer will do anything to slow the spread.


How one small Italian town cut coronavirus cases to zero in just a few weeks

Thursday, March 19th, 2020

The town appears to have drastically reduced coronavirus infections, reaching zero cases last week.

(Image: © Roberto Silvino/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

A small Italian town appears to have drastically reduced coronavirus infections —  reaching zero cases last week  — after implementing an aggressive tactic to curb spread, according to news reports.

The town, Vo Euganeo, in northern Italy, saw a cluster of cases of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the third week of February and was home to the country’s first death from COVID-19, on Feb. 21, according to The Straits Times.

Following this death, the town was put on lockdown, and all 3,300 residents were tested for coronavirus, according to Sky News.

This mass testing revealed that about 3% of residents were infected with the virus, and of these, about half did not show any symptoms, according to ProMarket, the blog of the Stigler Center at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. After two weeks of a strict lockdown and quarantine of cases, only 0.25% of residents were infected. The town isolated these last few cases and has since reopened.


While coronavirus ravages Iran, U.S. sanctions squeeze it

Thursday, March 19th, 2020

Iranians pass closed shops in Tehran. (Abedin Taherkenareh/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

Iran has been hit hard by the novel coronavirus, and things may get far worse. On Tuesday, a state television reporter who is also a medical doctor warned that the death toll could be in the “millions” as worshipers forced their way into two Shiite shrines closed by the outbreak.

That’s not idle speculation. The death toll in Iran from covid-19 infections surged past 1,000 on Wednesday after the largest single-day rise in the number of deaths since Iran’s outbreak began. Deutsche Welle reported this week that researchers at Sharif University of Technology in Tehran created a computer simulator to analyze scenarios.

Under current circumstances, the researchers said, infections would not peak until late May. The death toll could be as high as 3.5 million.


Cheating husband catches coronavirus on trip to Italy with mistress

Thursday, March 19th, 2020

A cheating UK hubby is “in a blind panic” over his extramarital affair — now that he has contracted the coronavirus on a secret trip to Italy with his mistress, according to a new report.

The unnamed patient, in his late 30s — described as “well-heeled and with a high-flying job” — told his wife he was away on a business trip within the UK, the Sun reported.

A man crosses Via della Conciliazione street in Rome, Italy

When the man returned home, he began showing symptoms of the deadly bug, and tests confirmed that he was in fact infected, according to the report.

“This patient is the talk of public health officials,” a source with knowledge of the situation told the outlet. “His case would be funny if it wasn’t quite so serious.”


WHO recommends ‘airborne precautions’ after coronavirus found to survive in air

Thursday, March 19th, 2020

The World Health Organization is considering new “airborne precautions” for medical professionals after a new study suggested that the coronavirus can survive in the air for hours.

Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, head of WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, emphasized Monday the importance of health care workers taking additional steps to protect themselves when performing some procedures on infected patients.

The everyday person shouldn’t be concerned, Van Kerkhove said, but medical staff may be susceptible when performing procedures such as intubation — where a tube is placed down a patient’s throat and into their airway to assist with breathing.

“When you do an aerosol-generating procedure like in a medical care facility, you have the possibility to what we call aerosolize these particles, which means they can stay in the air a little bit longer,” Van Kerkhove said.


Coronavirus in Italy: Health care workers stop counting bodies

Thursday, March 19th, 2020

Italy’s death toll from the coronavirus has surpassed China, with so many dead that soldiers were brought in to haul away coffins and health care workers said they stopped counting bodies.

Officials said Thursday that 427 new deaths were recorded over just 24 hours, bringing the COVID-19 death toll to 3,403, nearly 200 more than China, where the virus originated.

This despite the fact that Italy has 41,035 confirmed cases — just over half as many as China.

Tents are set up outside of the Oglio Po hospital in Italy.

Tents are set up outside of the Oglio Po hospital in Italy.Reuters

“Unfortunately we can’t contain the situation in Lombardy,” said Daniela Confalonieri, a nurse in Milan. “There’s a high level of contagion and we’re not even counting the dead anymore.”


Old malaria drug hydroxychloroquine may help cure coronavirus: study

Thursday, March 19th, 2020

A drug developed over half a century ago to treat malaria is showing signs that it may also help cure COVID-19 — especially when combined with an antibiotic, a promising new study reveals.

Hydroxychloroquine, sold under the brand name Plaquenil — and also used to treat arthritis and other ailments — was determined to be effective in killing the deadly bug in laboratory experiments, Forbes reported, citing findings published March 9 in the Clinical Infectious Diseases journal.

Rheumatoid Arthritis drug

“(W)e predict that the drug has a good potential to combat the disease,” the study’s authors, most from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Wuhan, wrote in a letter published in Cell Discovery on Wednesday, according to the report.