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COVID-19 Cases Drop in Warm Weather, But Not Much  - web md

COVID-19 Cases Drop in Warm Weather, But Not Much

In search of an answer, researchers at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Mass., studied the effects of temperature, precipitation and sunlight (UV index) on the number of COVID-19 cases across the United States during the spring.
web md - 10 hours ago
Metformin Recalled for Possible Cancerous Chemical  - web md

Metformin Recalled for Possible Cancerous Chemical

The recall for all lots of metformin hydrochloride extended-release tablets 500 mg from Apotex comes after one lot tested by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had higher NDMA levels than allowed by the FDA.
web md - 1 day ago
COVID Rates Lower Than Thought for Pregnant Women  - web md

COVID Rates Lower Than Thought for Pregnant Women

The new study included 770 hospital patients who hadn't previously been diagnosed with coronavirus infection. Of those, 30 tested positive for COVID-19. Of those who tested positive, 22 had no symptoms -- meaning the rate of positive tests among asymptomatic women was 2.9%.
web md - 1 day ago
Postponed Surgeries Resume, Stretching Hospitals  - web md

Postponed Surgeries Resume, Stretching Hospitals

For months, the coronavirus pandemic forced hospitals to delay elective surgeries as doctors turned their attention to treating COVID-19 patients, but the spigots on non-urgent procedures are about to reopen.
web md - 1 day ago
Get my books (Happy Hour is 9 To 5 and Leading With Happiness) free of charge - positive sharing

Get my books (Happy Hour is 9 To 5 and Leading With Happiness) free of charge

Times are tough for for workplaces all over the world right now. I would like to share some of my tools in the hope that maybe it can help a little. So I’m making my two main books available as pdf downloads free of charge for anyone who wants them. There’s also no annoying email … Continue reading Get my books (Happy Hour is 9 To 5 and Leading With Happiness) free of charge →
5 winning ways for kids burn energy - harvard

5 winning ways for kids burn energy

After a couple of months of sheltering in place, and with warm weather upon us, your children probably have plenty of excess energy. Here are five suggestions for activities that will get them moving—and there's nothing stopping parents from joining in. The post 5 winning ways for kids burn energy appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 2 days ago
COVID-19 Virus Found in Stool May be Infectious  - web md

COVID-19 Virus Found in Stool May be Infectious

A new study has shown that COVID-19 virus isolated from the stool of a sick patient can infect cells in a petri dish -- a step toward proving that this might be a new route of transmission for the infection with the coronavirus.
web md - 6 days ago
Medicare Recipients May Get Insulin at $35 Per Month  - web md

Medicare Recipients May Get Insulin at $35 Per Month

Beginning next year, people on some Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage Plans who need insulin will be able to access the lifesaving medication for just $35 a month, according to a new plan announced by the White House.
web md - 6 days ago
Dirty City Air Might Raise MS Risk  - web md

Dirty City Air Might Raise MS Risk

places with low levels of tiny particles of air pollution called Particulate matter, the risk for MS was lower than in areas where those levels were high. In urban areas, the risk was 29% higher than in rural areas.
web md - 1 week ago
1 in 5 Hospitalized NYC COVID Patients Needed ICU  - web md

1 in 5 Hospitalized NYC COVID Patients Needed ICU

More than one-fifth of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in New York City have critical illness, and nearly 80% of critically ill patients need ventilators to help them breathe, according to a new study.
web md - 1 week ago
Telephone vs Telemedicine: Code and Bill Correctly During COVID-19  - web md

Telephone vs Telemedicine: Code and Bill Correctly During COVID-19

CMS says it will reimburse for telephone-based consults the same as for office visits during COVID-19. Expert Betsy Nicoletti explains how to code and bill these services properly during the pandemic.
web md - 2 weeks ago
COVID-19 Severity in Pregnancy Appears Lower Than H1N1  - web md

COVID-19 Severity in Pregnancy Appears Lower Than H1N1

Single case reports describe harrowing births and outcomes for women with COVID-19, but preliminary data suggest that overall, pregnant women do as well as the general public when it comes to COVID-19.
web md - 2 weeks ago
The Fellows Behind the COVID-19 Literature Updates  - web md

The Fellows Behind the COVID-19 Literature Updates

Two HIV research fellows are about to do their fifth biweekly deep-dive presentation on the COVID-19 literature. We asked them how they choose what to include and what they find most intriguing about SARS-CoV2.
web md - 2 weeks ago
COVID-19 May Trigger Rare Complication In Children  - web md

COVID-19 May Trigger Rare Complication In Children

As COVID-19 continues to spread, there is growing evidence that children may be vulnerable to a rare but serious complication triggered by the infection that has features of Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome.
web md - 2 weeks ago
New warning on coronavirus symptoms in children — what parents need to know - harvard

New warning on coronavirus symptoms in children — what parents need to know

A rare syndrome in some children that affects the heart and other organs may be a reaction to a current or past COVID-19 infection, but test results for the coronavirus are sometimes negative. The post New warning on coronavirus symptoms in children — what parents need to know appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 2 weeks ago
Beauty Industry Group Sues Over Shop Closings  - web md

Beauty Industry Group Sues Over Shop Closings

A beauty industry group in California and others filed a law suit Tuesday against California Gov. Gavin Newsom for his decision to keep nail salons and beauty shops closed while allowing other businesses to open.
web md - 3 weeks ago
Hospital Volumes Slashed by More Than Half During Pandemic  - web md

Hospital Volumes Slashed by More Than Half During Pandemic

A new report shows the number of patients who sought care at hospitals dropped 54% in late March and early April compared with the prior-year period, suggesting a wave of demand as surgical bans lift.
web md - 3 weeks ago
Obesity Can Shift Severe COVID-19 to Younger Age Groups  - web md

Obesity Can Shift Severe COVID-19 to Younger Age Groups

A new analysis is the first to specifically examine the link between age, obesity, and treatment in ICU. The findings add to evidence indicating threshold for testing should be lowered in this 'susceptible population.'
web md - 3 weeks ago
Do adults really need tetanus booster shots? - harvard

Do adults really need tetanus booster shots?

Can childhood tetanus vaccinations offer sufficient protection during adulthood without regular booster shots? Although a new study posits this, the CDC continues to recommend booster shots every 10 years. The post Do adults really need tetanus booster shots? appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 3 weeks ago
COVID-19 in ICE Facilities Could Overwhelm Local ICUs  - web md

COVID-19 in ICE Facilities Could Overwhelm Local ICUs

Results from a new modeling study, along with news of the first reported death of an ICE detainee, increase concerns among experts who fear local hospitals may be unable to care for those who need it.
web md - 3 weeks ago
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How does cardiovascular disease increase the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19?

How does cardiovascular disease increase the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19?

harvard - 2 months ago

Based on reports from China, we know that most COVID-19 patients (about 80%) will develop mild flulike symptoms, including fever, dry cough, and body aches that can be managed at home. 20% will develop more serious symptoms, such as pneumonia requiring hospitalization, with about a quarter of these requiring ICU-level care.

Initial reports focused on the respiratory effects of COVID-19, such as pneumonia and difficulty breathing. But more recent literature has described serious cardiovascular complications occurring in about 10% to 20% of hospitalized patients.

Someone with pre-existing heart disease who becomes ill with COVID-19 may suffer a heart attack or develop congestive heart failure. This rapid worsening of cardiovascular health is likely due to a combination of the severe viral illness and its increased demands on the heart (fever causes rapid heart rate, for example), compounded by low oxygen levels due to pneumonia and increased propensity for blood clot formation. In addition to the increase in these heart problems, a more unusual condition called myocarditis has also been observed in COVID-19 patients.

COVID-19 triggers inflammation of the heart muscle

Some COVID-19 patients who appear to be having a heart attack are instead suffering from marked inflammation of the heart muscle, called myocarditis. The electrocardiograms in these patients show changes suggestive of a major heart attack, and blood tests reveal elevated levels of troponin, a cardiac enzyme that is released when heart muscle is damaged. The heart muscle becomes weak, and dangerous heart rhythms may develop. Severe injury to the heart muscle, as measured by troponin levels, has been strongly associated with increased risk of death in people with COVID-19, according to a review published in JAMA Cardiology.

It is not clear whether myocarditis is due to a direct effect of the virus on the heart muscle, or whether it is due to an overactive immune response to the virus, so doctors do not yet know how best to treat these patients.

Increased risk of severe illness and death in heart patients with COVID-19

About 10% of patients with pre-existing cardiovascular disease (CVD) who contract COVID-19 will die, compared with only 1% of patients who are otherwise healthy. Increased risk has also been seen in people with high blood pressure (hypertension) and coronary artery disease (CAD), though it is not clear why. Some experts have suggested that the missing link may be the use of certain blood pressure medications called angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs).

ACE inhibitors and ARBs harm or help?

ACE inhibitors and ARBs are among the most commonly prescribed medications for the treatment of high blood pressure. These medications have been proposed as a possible factor in the increased incidence of COVID-19 in people with high blood pressure. Thats because of the observation that the coronavirus attaches to the ACE2 receptor, which is found in lung and heart tissue. People who take ACE inhibitors and ARBs produce increased numbers of these receptors, raising the question of increased susceptibility to infection.

However, ACE2 has been found to protect against viral lung injury in mice. And a study is ongoing to test whether losartan, an ARB, may protect patients infected with COVID-19.

As of today, there is insufficient evidence of either harm or benefit. The American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association, and Heart Failure Society of America therefore recommend that we neither stop the use of ACE inhibitors and ARBs in patients already taking them, nor prescribe them anew.

Do all you can to prevent infection

There are no special protocols for higher-risk cardiac patients to prevent COVID-19 exposure, but these individuals should be especially careful to follow the CDC recommendations, including frequent handwashing and physical distancing.

It is also important to stay up to date on the flu and pneumonia vaccines, because any illness can weaken the bodys ability to fight off COVID-19. Heart patients should avoid close contact with children 18 and under, because although children rarely develop serious illness from COVID-19, they may be asymptomatic carriers who can transmit disease to vulnerable family members.

In addition to these recommendations, it remains vitally important to exercise (outdoors when possible, keeping safe distance from others), get enough sleep, manage stress, and eat a balanced diet. These healthy habits will not only bolster the immune system to help ward off COVID-19, but will help prevent CVD progression in the longer term. After all, once the pandemic has subsided, we will still have heart disease to contend with.

For more information, listen to our podcasts and see our Coronavirus Resource Center.

The post How does cardiovascular disease increase the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19? appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.

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