Tag: Coronavirus

US-Based Medical Expert, Dr Samson Arigbamu, Invents Equipment For Detecting COVID-19-Infected Lungs

Ibadan – A Nigerian US-based medical expert, Dr Samson Arigbamu, has invented a stethoscope equipped with components capable of immediately identify adventitious lung such as COVID-19-infected lungs that will immediately announce its findings.

Arigbamu disclosed on Sunday in a mail to journalists in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital, that the stethoscope is in production at prototype and optimization stage, which the final product would commence by December, noting that however, the process could be expedited with resources from individuals, organizations or even the Nigerian government.

Dr Arigbamu have been living in the USA for about 22 years and currently the Director of Nursing at Future Care Lochearn, a 200-bed capacity health rehabilitation center in Baltimore Maryland.

He has been on employment of the company for 10 years, prior to that, he was a director of nursing at Manor Care Woodbridge in Baltimore Maryland for over three years.

Also, currently own and operate a private clinic called Upsurge Health Associate in Freeland, Maryland.

Dr Arigbamu maintained that the eventual production of the stethoscope would be a great achievement of pride to Nigeria government for a simple fact that a citizen of the country invented such critical medical equipment worthy of a USA patent, hence, soliciting support from Nigeria government.

Arigbamu explained that having worked in the healthcare field for over 20 years, he had seen healthcare providers including nurses, mid level providers and physicians struggle with identifying lung and heart sounds.

As a result, chest x-rays, EKGs and other cardiac interrogative tests are often ordered to identify adventitious lung and heart conditions.

He noted that clinical issue with these expensive tests and devices is that, they are incapable of identify adventitious sounds and providing immediate and accurate feedback, consequently, utilization of such devices often result in significant clinical and health issues for the patients as well as a waste of valuable resource.

He said, “As a result of these challenges, in 2018 I started working on inventing a digital stethoscope that could identify lung and heart sounds, interpret the sounds and immediately announce its findings to the users. The stethoscope is also capable of integrating its data into electronic medical record.

“With such capabilities, it will enhance physical assessment vital to health care providers and novice users. It will also ensure opportunities for timely intervention and prevention of further health decline in patients.

“The stethoscope is also equipped with electronic medical record (EMR) integration capabilities (essential to telemedicine) in order improve care coordination and patient information portability.

“The project received a USA patent on June 2nd 2020 and is currently in prototype phase of production in the USA and Ukraine.

“The eventual production of the stethoscope would be a great achievement of pride to Nigeria for a simple fact that a citizen of the country invented such critical medical equipment worthy of a USA patent.”

sourcelink: http://www.emrindustry.com/us-based-medical-expert-dr-samson-arigbamu-invents-equipment-for-detecting-covid-19-infected-lungs/

Blood types and COVID-19 risk confirmed

Blood type may play a pivotal role in driving disease severity among coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients. Genetic analysis of COVID-19 patients has shown that people with blood type O seemed to be protected against severe disease. In contrast, those with blood type A may experience complications tied to the viral infection.

A team of European scientists has found that two genetic variations may show who is more likely to get very sick and even die from the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Further, they found a link to blood type, suggesting that some people are predisposed to COVID-19 severe disease.

The study findings, published in The New England Journal of Medicineshed light on why some people have a higher risk of being infected with the coronavirus and developing worse symptoms.

In three completely separate studies, researchers from Columbia UniversityIran’s Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, and various Chinese institutions all arrived at similar findings.

Respiratory failure in COVID-19 patients

The pathogenesis of severe COVID-19 and the associated respiratory failure is still unclear, but the higher mortality is consistently tied to older age and being male. Further, people with underlying health conditions are more likely to develop severe COVID-19, including hypertension, diabetes, being obese, and cardiovascular disease.

The relative role of clinical risk factors in determining the severity of COVID-19 has not been clarified. Now, the new study underscores other predisposing factors that may make some people vulnerable to the infection.

Genetic analysis

The team studied more than 1,900 severely ill coronavirus patients in Spain and Italy, two of the hardest-hit countries at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic. They compared the patients from seven hospitals to 2,300 people who were not sick. Overall, they analyzed more than 8 million single-nucleotide polymorphisms and conducted a meta-analysis of the two case-control panels.

The team has found that a cluster of variants in genes that are involved with immune responses was more common in people with severe COVID-19. The genes are also associated with a cell-surface protein known as angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), which the coronavirus uses to enter and infect cells in the body.

One of the gene clusters increased the risk of getting severe COVID-19 by 77 percent. The researchers believe that discovering these gene clusters may ramp up the development of new vaccines and therapeutics for the coronavirus disease.

Blood type

The researchers also found that people with blood type A had a 45 percent increased risk of contracting the coronavirus and developing respiratory failure compared to people with other blood types. On the other hand, people with blood type O had a 35 percent lower risk of developing severe COVID-19 illness.

However, it is not clear why blood type might influence susceptibility to severe disease. Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency medicine doctor at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, noted that the genes controlling blood type might play a role in the makeup of cell surfaces. The changes in cell-surface structures might influence the susceptibility of the cell to be infected by the novel coronavirus.

“We also know from previous research that blood type affects clotting risk, and it’s now quite evident that critically ill patients with coronavirus demonstrate significant clotting,” Dr. Glatter explained.

The team emphasized that their findings may need further validation and investigation. This way, more information can be gathered on the link between blood type and coronavirus disease severity.

“Further exploration of current findings, both as to their usefulness in clinical risk profiling of patients with Covid-19 and toward a mechanistic understanding of the underlying pathophysiology, is warranted,” they wrote on the paper.

Global toll

The coronavirus pandemic has ravaged across the globe, actively spreading in many countries. The United States remains the country with the highest number of cases. The country’s case toll has surpassed 2.189 million infections, and its death toll topped 118,000.

Brazil trails behind the U.S., with over staggering 978,000 infections in since April. The death toll in the country has topped 47,000. Russia, India, and the United Kingdom have reported an increasing number of infections, with more than 560,000, 366,000, and 301,000, respectively.

sourcelink:https://www.news-medical.net/news/20200618/Blood-types-and-COVID-19-risk-confirmed.aspx

As Summer begins, CDC Updates Social Guidelines

As states lift restrictions and people begin to resume normal activities such as hosting cookouts or going to the nail salon, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued tips for reducing the risk of catching or spreading the coronavirus.

“I know that the people are eager to return to normal activity and ways of life,” Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said on Friday, according to CNN. “However, it is important that we remember that this situation is unprecedented, and that the pandemic has not ended.”

In the guidance titled “Deciding to Go Out,” the CDC urges people to follow the basic rules of life in 2020: Wash your hands often, practice social distancing, wear face coverings, disinfect surfaces, and stay home if you’re sick.

The CDC also offers specific tips for different activities.

If you’re hosting a cookout or some other gathering, encourage guests to bring their own food and drinks. If food is being served, only one person should do it. Provide face masks and seating spaced for social distancing. Keep a list of guests in case contract tracing is necessary.

Before you visit a nail salon, make your appointment in advance. Wait in your car until it’s time for the appointment, if possible, or stay socially distant in the waiting area. Wear a mask and wash your hands — and make sure the employees are doing the same.

Call restaurants in advance to make sure the staff will be wearing masks and that socially distant seating is available. Sit outside if possible. Choose food and beverage options that are not self-serve. Ask about self-parking to avoid the use of valet parking.

Going to the library? Use advance checkout systems, if possible, and seek out digital materials over print. Curbside pickup of materials is best. Disinfect library materials in plastic containers, such as CDs or audio books, during returns and/or exchanges.

At the gym, don’t use shared items that can’t be easily disinfected, such as resistance bands and weightlifting belts. Wear a mask and perform vigorous exercises outside when possible. Don’t be surprised if showering is not allowed. No high fives.

If you’re traveling, ask the motel or hotel about their cleaning policies. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Avoid places like fitness centers and game rooms where socially distancing is difficult.

The CDC provides a list of questions each person should ask before going out, such as: Is COVID-19 spreading in my community? What are the local orders in my community? Will my activity put me in close contact with others? Will I have to take mass transit?

The CDC emphasizes these guiding principles for gatherings:

  • The more people an individual interacts with and the longer the interaction lasts, the higher the potential risk of becoming infected.
  • The higher the level of community transmission in the area that the gathering is being held, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spreading.
  • The size of an event or gathering should be determined based on state, local, territorial or tribal safety laws and regulations.

“As communities and businesses are opening, you may be looking for ways to resume some daily activities as safely as possibly,” the CDC said on its website. “While there is no way to ensure zero risk of infection, it is important to understand potential risks and how to adopt different types of prevention measures to protect yourself and to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.”

sourcelink:https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20200615/cdc-updates-social-guidelines-for-summer

Is the New Coronavirus Getting Weaker? What to Know

  • Some doctors say people with COVID-19 don’t seem to be getting as sick, and that people recently tested are showing a lower viral load compared to those who tested positive for COVID-19 a few months ago.
  • Health experts say it doesn’t look like the virus has mutated to be weaker. Rather, this observation is likely a result of amplified testing capabilities and increased physical distancing measures.
  • The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases are rising quickly in certain states, including Texas and Arizona.

COVID-19 cases may be on the rise in at least 20 states, but some doctors suspect the severity of the disease may be decreasing a bit.

Doctors at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) say people with COVID-19 don’t seem to be getting as sick, and those who recently tested show a lower viral amount than what was being detected in people earlier in the pandemic.

According to the doctors at UPMC, the number of COVID-19 patients needing ventilators has also decreased.

A similar trend was recently observed in Italy.

One Italian doctor suggested the new coronavirus was weakening, as some people in Italy newly diagnosed with an infection showed a smaller viral load than those who were tested a month ago.

But health experts are skeptical.

Many say there’s not enough evidence to conclude that the virus is, in fact, losing steam.

The changes in severity may have less to do with mutations within the virus itself, and more so with improvements in treatment and testing.

No evidence the virus is mutating

Health experts say there’s no evidence the new coronavirus has mutated into a weaker version.

Research has shown the virus mutated already, which is normal for a virus, but there’s no proof it’s going through more mutations affecting the severity of the disease it causes.

“I don’t think we have evidence of this yet,” says Dr. Heidi Zapata, a Yale Medicine infectious disease doctor and assistant professor at the medical school. “The study concluded that most of the mutations were largely neutral and did not affect its lethality.”

Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease physician and senior scholar for Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security, suspects the changes in the new coronavirus’s behavior are caused by multiple factors — the first of which is testing.

At the start of the pandemic, we hadn’t yet ramped up testing, and there were delays between when people developed symptoms and when they were tested.

Now it’s become routine to test people for COVID-19 earlier in the disease process.

We’re also testing more people with milder symptoms who may have lower viral loads, according to Adalja.

“We are getting much better at testing, and we test much quicker now,” Adalja said.

Another theory is that people may be getting infections with lower-infecting doses of the virus.

With physical distancing, people’s exposure to infectious viral material is likely much less than it was before safety guidelines were mandated.

The amount of the virus a person is exposed to when they get an infection might influence their later viral loads, according to Adalja.

“It may be that people are getting infected with a lower amount of virus now because so much social distancing has been put into place,” Adalja said.

Could the weather have a role? 

One of the bigger questions about COVID-19, especially as we dive into summer, is if the warmer weather will affect transmission. It’s a possibility infectious disease experts have toyed at for months.

Zapata says it’s definitely a possibility that environmental factors — like ultraviolet light, heat, and humidity — are influencing the virus’s behavior. For example, influenza becomes more transmissible during the winter months due to the cold, dry air.

However, we still don’t know for certain how weather and the environment will affect the new coronavirus, Zapata notes.

Early studies find heat and dry air may help keep the virus from surviving on surfaces. But the virus is mainly spread via people’s respiratory droplets, not through surface contamination.

“One should note that rising COVID-19 in tropical countries may go against the idea that with summer will come the end of COVID-19,” Zapata said.

Just look at what’s unfolding in South America, where countries like Brazil, Chile, and Peru have become new epicenters of the pandemic.

It’s much more plausible that physical distancing has led to a decline in cases in some areas.

“This most likely has to do with the effectiveness of social distancing and the precautions we are taking,” Zapata said.

It’s worth noting that SARSTrusted Source — the coronavirus that struck in 2003 — mysteriously burnt out 7 to 8 months after it had been spreading.

Scientists still don’t understand how or why SARS died out.

COVID-19 and SARS share genetic material, but SARS was much easier to contain since all people with an infection had symptoms.

With this new coronavirus, many people with infections are asymptomatic, making it difficult to blunt the spread of the virus and disease.

More research needed

We don’t have clear answers as to why the virus appears to be changing.

“I think it’s important to study to see what’s going on,” Adalja said.

Researchers will have to look at all the patients and their disease characteristics at the start of the pandemic and now to identify any changes in people’s viral loads or disease trajectories.

Adalja says we need more data to help us “understand if there is a real phenomenon going on here, or if it’s a testing artifact.

The bottom line

Some doctors say people with COVID-19 don’t seem to be getting as sick, and that people recently tested are showing a lower viral load compared to those who tested positive for COVID-19 a few months ago.

Health experts say it doesn’t look like the virus has mutated to be weaker, but this observation is likely a result of amplified testing capabilities and increased physical distancing measures.

More research is needed before scientists can say whether this is a phenomenon or simply due to better testing.

sourcelink:https://www.healthline.com/health-news/is-the-new-coronavirus-getting-weaker-what-to-know#The-bottom-line

Fauci Warns That Pandemic ‘Isn’t Over Yet’

Anthony Fauci, MD, told a group of biotechnology executives on Tuesday that he’s surprised by the speed with which the coronavirus has spread across the globe.

“In a period of 4 months, it has devastated the whole world,” Fauci said during a conference held by the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, according to The New York Times. “And it isn’t over yet.”

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said a disease like the coronavirus was “his worst nightmare” because it is new, highly contagious, and causes lots of illness and death. Fauci also is a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

“Oh my goodness,” Fauci said. “Where is it going to end? We’re still at the beginning of really understanding.”

He noted the coronavirus spread across the globe in about a month, whereas other diseases might spread like that in about 6 months. The contagiousness of the virus and international travel by infected people likely caused the rapid increase in cases, he said.

Fauci said the coronavirus has been a “double whammy” for African Americans, who have a high rate of positive cases.

African Americans often have underlying health conditions such as diabetes that make them vulnerable to the virus, he said, and they’re more likely to be exposed to the virus because they often hold jobs that cannot be performed remotely.

Fauci said a vaccine will be necessary to stop the coronavirus and he expects more than one will be needed to supply billions of doses needed around the world.

“You’re not going to have 100 vaccines,” he said, Bloomberg reported. “There’s going to be more than one, I’ll guarantee.”

When asked about vaccine pricing, Fauci said the government shouldn’t try to force drug companies to lower costs. The companies have to make a profit or they won’t participate, he said.

“I have a lot of experience over the years dealing with pharmaceutical companies in which we’re trying to develop an intervention,” he said. “And the one thing that is clear is that if you try to enforce things on a company that has multiple, different opportunities to do different things, they will walk away.”

sourcelink:https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20200610/fauci-warns-pandemic-isnt-over-yet