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    • Fitbit Receives $2.5M Award from Army for COVID-19 Early Detection

    The U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command selects Fitbit to advance the development of a wearable diagnostic capability for the early detection of COVID-19 infection.

    Fitbit plans to initiate a prospective study with Northwell Health’s Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research to validate its COVID-19 early detection algorithm.

    Northwell Health Study for Fitbit COVID-19 Early Detection Algorithm

    As part of the award, Fitbit is working to initiate a prospective study with Northwell Health’s Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research to validate a Fitbit COVID-19 early detection algorithm. As part of the prospective study, the parties plan to distribute several thousand Fitbit devices to Northwell Health employees, who will receive notifications of potential illness, as well as COVID-19 testing to assess and verify the results.

    Fitbit’s Continued Work in COVID-19 Research

    This prospective study builds upon Fitbit’s work in COVID-19 research, which includes its collaborative research consortium with The Scripps Research Institute and Stanford Medicine that launched earlier this year. As part of that effort, Fitbit is conducting a retrospective study to determine whether it can develop an algorithm to detect COVID-19 before symptoms start. To date, the study has over 187,500 enrolled participants in the U.S. and Canada, including more than 2,700 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19.

    Fitbit COVID-19 Algorithm Study Results

    Early findings from that study show the Fitbit algorithm can detect nearly 50% of COVID-19 cases one day before participants report the onset of symptoms with 70% specificity. This is important because people can transmit the virus before they realize they have symptoms or when they have no symptoms at all. This study reinforces that breathing rate, resting heart rate, and heart rate variability (HRV) are all useful metrics for indicating onset of illness and are best tracked at night, when the body is at rest.

    “The Department of Defense seeks rapid, accurate wearable solutions to identify and isolate pre-symptomatic COVID-19 cases and help track and prevent the spread of the virus. To address this need, our proposal selection process sought mature solutions that could be rapidly and widely deployed,” said Commander Christopher Steele, Director of the Military Operational Medicine Research Program at USAMRDC. “Wearable technologies, valuable data metrics and potentially rapid scaling solutions for broad availability, create ideal conditions for military and industry partnerships in the consumer wearables space.”:
    • Coronavirus Cases: 45,622,457

    Deaths: 1,189,887

    Underreported US death count: 234,544

    American Civil War Casualties (North and South) - 214,938

    Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
    it's been blown way out of proportion.
    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


      • Thailand - CESA gives green light to new economic stimulus measures

      The government’s Centre for Economic Situation Administration (Cesa) resolved to approve new economic stimulus measures in a meeting chaired by the prime minister and attended by Danucha Pichayanan, deputy secretary-general of the National Economic and Social Development Council.

      The new measures, proposed by the Finance Ministry, aim to reduce the cost of living, promote consumption and help small businesses survive.

      Under this scheme, the government will provide a 50 per cent subsidy for products purchased from participating retailers and street vendors, but no more than Bt3,000 per person. Those eligible for this subsidy must be at least 18 years old.

      The scheme aims to provide subsidies to 15 million persons and expects 80,000 retailers and street vendors to participate.

      The Finance Ministry has been instructed to come up with project details to present to Cesa, so the scheme can be implemented by October.

      Meanwhile, the centre has also approved additional domestic stimulus measures under the Rao Tiew Duay Kan (We Travel Together) scheme, but adding two additional measures:

      • Three new offerings for registered users: 40 per cent discount on accommodation for 10 nights per person, food coupons worth Bt900 per person on Mondays to Thursdays, and worth Bt600 on Fridays to Sundays, and a Bt2,000 refund on airline tickets as of September 1.

      An agreement in principle that civil servants and state-enterprise employees can take two days off after registering and using Rao Tiew Duay Kan packages promoting travel on weekdays. These two days off will not be considered leave.

      Labour Ministry moves to create jobs for new graduates

      The government’s Centre for Economic Situation Administration (CESA) also has approved the Labour Ministry’s move to jobs for 260,000 new graduates amid the Covid-19 crisis.

      “The new graduates will be split into three groups when employed by participating businesses. Holders of bachelor’s degrees will be paid Bt15,000 per month, holders of high-vocational certificates will get Bt11,500 per month, while vocational certificate holders will get Bt9,400 per month,” he said.

      “The government will cover 50 per cent of their salaries, or a maximum of Bt7,500 per person per month. Businesses wanting to join the programme must be part of the social security scheme and should not have laid off more than 15 per cent of their employees over the past year.

      “This scheme will run from October 1 until September 30, 2021. In case a new employee quits before the 12 months are up, the employer can replace the worker and continue receiving the subsidy,” he added.

      “Only Thai nationals, aged no more than 25, and have graduated in 2019 or 2020 will be eligible for this scheme.”:

      Originally posted by Somchai Boonporn View Post
      Perhaps a blessing in disguise for the Golden Land.
      Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


        • Don’t Ignore the Good News On Covid-19 From Asia

        It’s easy to feel that there’s no light at the end of the Covid-19 tunnel. Europe’s intensive care wards are filling up again, pushing France and Germany into a fresh round of stay-at-home restrictions and lockdowns — albeit ones designed to be softer than the first. Even countries hit hard by the first wave, such as Italy and Sweden, are seeing rising cases, suggesting herd immunity is a long way off. The U.S. looks to have given up on controlling the pandemic until a vaccine arrives.

        Yet we shouldn’t ignore the better news from Asia. The strategies pursued by South Korea, Vietnam, China and others do still seem to be paying off. While the total Covid-19 death toll is between 500-700 per million people in France, the U.K., Spain and the U.S., in China and South Korea it is below 10 per million. Cases are a less perfect measure, but there’s a similar observable gap. Wuhan, once the epicenter of Covid-19, is welcoming tourists again.

        The perception of an Asian advantage in this pandemic often falls prey to essentialist thinking: That somehow the East is doing things the West could never do, and that it’s largely down to profound differences in values, politics and culture. If China is able to contain Covid-19, it must be because of draconian government policy and the social bonds of Confucianism. If Singapore has 28 deaths, credit must lie with Lee Kuan Yew’s founding legacy of authoritarian pragmatism.

        There are likely far less intangible forces at work. If the key to avoiding more lockdowns is finding a way to “live with the virus” — through widespread testing, tracing of contacts and isolating positive cases to slow transmission — Western countries have made structural, not cultural, errors.

        Extensive testing was rolled out in Europe after the first wave, but too slowly and too late to avoid delays and bottlenecks. Contact tracers were too few; digital apps were left to wither on the vine. Positive cases didn’t take isolation seriously, because of a lack of enforcement and patchy financial support. These aren’t questions of philosophy, but about implementation of policy. Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, admitted as much on Thursday when she said European Union leaders should have acted sooner. Even the famously organized Germans failed to halt the second wave.

        Compare that with Asia, where public-health systems have proven more robust. South Korea tested early, and often, using walk-in centers and drive-throughs. In Wuhan, the authorities tested 11 million people over 2 weeks. The share of tests coming back positive in South Korea and Vietnam is below 1%; in France and Spain it has risen to 10%.

        While contact-tracing strategies such as Vietnam’s “third-degree” sweep of personal data — or Hong Kong’s geofencing wristbands — would spook the average Londoner, Europeans failed to implement their own alternatives properly. Between July and August, for example, the number of contacts traced per positive case in France fell to 2.4 from 4.5. If test-and-trace slackens off like this, no wonder we can’t control the virus’s spread.

        As for the quarantining of positive cases, the decision by China and South Korea to monitor — or imprison, some might grumble — patients with milder cases in special-care centers is worth considering. Keeping people cooped up at home doesn’t seem that much more liberal, especially when people are tempted outside by the need to earn a living. It’s also far less effective, with one study estimating that isolation in institutions could avert almost three times as many cases as home-based isolation throughout an epidemic.

        The differences between Asia and Europe look more rooted in recent, not ancient, history. Over the past 20 years, Asia has been hit with several epidemics, such as SARS in 2003 and MERS in 2015, which forced countries to adapt and improve their institutions. This also spurred countries to invest in public health: Between 2000 and 2016, Vietnam’s per-capita health spending increased by an average of 9% per year. By contrast, European countries have been shutting hospitals and beds, with financial crises more front of mind than disease.

        As Europeans start their winter lockdown, they should remember that improvements are achievable. And the good news is that countries are collaborating more at the EU level, on efforts such as rolling out quicker antigen tests and sharing resources. If Asia managed to learn from past pandemics, the West should be able to as well.:
        • Coronavirus Cases: 45,833,920

        Deaths: 1,192,175

        Underreported US death count: 234,982

        American Civil War Casualties (North and South) - 214,938

        Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
        it's been blown way out of proportion.
        Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


          • Russia reinstates mask mandate, implements nighttime curfew as COVID cases skyrocket

          Russia has reinstated a nationwide mask mandate starting Wednesday in an effort to slow a record rise in coronavirus infections, consumer safety watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said on Tuesday.

          “All those residing in Russia are obliged to ensure the use of hygienic masks in order to protect the respiratory system in places of mass gatherings, on public transport, including taxis, in parking lots and elevators”, the watchdog said.

          Rospotrebnadzor has also recommended that all restaurants close between 11 pm and 6 am.

          The country passed the 1.5 million mark for COVID-19 infections over the weekend. It set a daily record of 17,347 new cases on Monday. The new rules come amid widespread reports of hospital bed, medication and staff shortages across the country.

          Russia imposed a national mask mandate at the start of its outbreak in spring, and lifted it in July as COVID-19 cases began to decrease. Rospotrebnadzor forecast that the pandemic will likely not decline until the summer of 2021.:
          • Coronavirus Cases: 45,847,484

          Deaths: 1,192,489

          Underreported US death count: 235,085

          American Civil War Casualties (North and South) - 214,938

          Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
          it's been blown way out of proportion.
          Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


            • Regeneron halts trial of COVID-19 antibody drug in sickest hospitalized patients

            Regeneron Pharmaceuticals said Friday it has paused a clinical study of its antibody drug to treat some of the sickest COVID-19 patients because of a potential safety concern.

            The recommendation from an independent monitoring board marks the second time a clinical trial of an experimental coronavirus antibody drug has been paused because of safety issues.

            Regeneron said it is pausing enrollment of hospitalized COVID-19 patients receiving mechanical ventilation or intense oxygen after the independent monitoring committee observed “a potential safety signal and an unfavorable risk/benefit profile at this time.”

            The monitoring board recommended collecting additional data on the patients already enrolled.

            The pause does not impact other studies of Regeneron's antibody drug, which is under consideration for emergency use authorization in mild-to-moderate outpatients at high risk for poor outcomes.

            Earlier this week, the company said a separate study definitively showed a significant reduction in viral load and the need for further medical visits.

            The data monitoring board also recommended continuing trial enrollment of hospitalized patients who require little or no oxygen.

            Earlier this month, a different monitoring board recommended pausing enrollment in a study testing an Eli Lilly antibody drug to investigate a possible safety issue in hospitalized patients.

            On Monday, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which is funding the study, announced there was no longer a safety issue, but the study had been stopped because the board found little clinical benefit in the treatment.

            Monoclonal antibodies are lab-generated versions of one of the human body's main defenses against pathogens.

            No antibody drugs have been authorized for use yet, but they made headlines recently after President Trump said he received Regeneron's antibody cocktail and touted it as a "miracle" and a "cure."

            While treatments are improving, there is no cure, and the available treatments depend on how sick someone is.

            NIAID Director Anthony Fauci this week said treatment is all about timing; dexamethasone and other steroids can help with severely ill patients on ventilation, as can the antiviral drug remdesivir. Studies with experimental antibody treatments, on the other hand, suggest they are most effective when given on an outpatient basis to someone with mild symptoms.:
            • Coronavirus Cases: 45,950,372

            Deaths: 1,194,423

            Underreported US death count: 235,159

            American Civil War Casualties (North and South) - 214,938

            Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
            it's been blown way out of proportion.
            Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


              • Fully at-home rapid COVID test to move forward

              Two companies behind an at-home rapid COVID-19 test are releasing encouraging clinical trial results ahead of applying for an emergency use authorization (EUA), company executives tell Axios.

              Why it matters: Antigen tests that could quickly provide results at home would be a major help in identifying and slowing the spread of COVID-19, but they have to get into the hands of consumers at an affordable price.

              Driving the news: Cellex, a biotechnology company, and Gauss, a computer vision startup, are announcing today that their rapid at-home coronavirus test achieved sensitivity rates of 94% and specificity rates of 97% compared to the PCR gold standard of lab tests, in a recent clinical trial.

              Sensitivity refers to a test's ability to identify true positive cases, while specificity refers to its ability to find true negatives.

              Those results are encouraging enough for the companies to move forward for an application for an EUA from the FDA, which is needed to fast track the test for home use.

              The big picture: Cellex and Gauss are among dozens of companies racing to produce and market rapid at-home tests, but according to the Washington Post this week, no firm has yet applied to the FDA for authorization.

              One concern about at-home tests is that the results may not flow to officials, leaving them in the dark on COVID-19 spread, though Cellex and Gauss have partnered with a data integration platform to transmit test results.

              The bottom line: Cheap at-home tests could be a game changer for the pandemic, but only if they're accurate — and only if people take steps to isolate themselves after a positive result.:
              • Coronavirus Cases: 46,177,574

              Deaths: 1,197,454

              Underreported US death count: 235,453

              American Civil War Casualties (North and South) - 214,938

              Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
              it's been blown way out of proportion.

              Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                • British PM says England will enter into second lock down

                British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Saturday that England will enter into a second lockdown after the United Kingdom (U.K.) surpassed 1 million coronavirus cases.

                The U.K.’s health department reported 21,915 cases on Saturday, bringing the nation’s total to 1,011,660 cases since the pandemic began.

                Johnson was originally expected to announce the measures on Monday, according to the British Times. Before Johnson's announcement Saturday evening, a senior government official told the news outlet earlier in the day that no final decision had been made yet, but added that “the data is really bad.”

                "We're seeing COVID-19 rising all over the country and hospitals are struggling to cope. There has been a shift in our position,” the source reportedly said.

                Under the new lockdown, non-essential shops, leisure and entertainment venues will be closed. Pubs, bars, and restaurants will only be open for takeout and delivery services.

                People can only leave their homes if they cannot work for home, for education, to get food and essential items, and for outdoor exercise and recreation with that person’s household or with one person for another household.

                People can also leave for medical reasons and to escape injury or harm, as well as to provide care for vulnerable people. Workplaces can also stay open where people cannot work from home, such as construction or manufacturing jobs.

                The shutdown will go into effect on Thursday after a vote in Parliament next week, Johnson said, and will remain in effect until the start of December. The prime minister was hesitant to call for another lockdown as the U.K. economy is still recovering from the first lockdown in the spring.

                The measures come as both France and Germany announced lockdowns on Wednesday as Europe experiences another wave of infections. The World Health Organization said on Thursday that Europe had once again become the epicenter of the pandemic.

                There have been 10 million confirmed cases in the region since the pandemic began, according to the Associated Press.:
                • Coronavirus Cases: 46,459,261

                Deaths: 1,201,194

                Underreported US death count: 236,077

                American Civil War Casualties (North and South) - 214,938

                Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
                it's been blown way out of proportion.
                Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                  • Vanderbilt study reveals how easily COVID-19 spreads inside a home

                  We’ve known for months about the dangers of the coronavirus spreading in crowded public places but we are now learning new information about the danger of COVID-19 spreading inside your home.

                  The new study from Vanderbilt University Medical Center reveals how vulnerable family members can be inside a home where someone has contracted the coronavirus.

                  "What we found is COVID spreads very rapidly and very quickly inside a home," said Dr. Keipp Talbot of Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

                  Just how fast? The study found half of all family members in a home with someone infected with COVID-19 will also get COVID-19, usually within just five days.

                  "Once it's in your house, it's very hard to keep from spreading, and you don't know who in your home will be susceptible, and they'll need to be hospitalized," Talbot said.

                  The research adds a new dimension to public health guidelines that largely focus on social distancing outside your home -- guidelines that doctors say work if everyone in the home follows those guidelines while outside.

                  "However, if you or anyone in the family goes outside the bubble, and does anything that's risky -- large groups, bars, not wearing your mask -- they can come back into that bubble and put everyone in that bubble at risk," Talbot said.:
                  • Coronavirus Cases: 46,709,570

                  Deaths: 1,203,780

                  Underreported US death count: 236,254

                  American Civil War Casualties (North and South) - 214,938

                  Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
                  it's been blown way out of proportion.
                  Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                    • Researchers continue study of COVID-19's long-term impacts

                    The long-term side effects of COVID-19 can be as puzzling to doctors and patients as the virus itself. It can cause inflammation in the heart, lungs and other organs.

                    One Utah man who was sickened by the virus in March hopes he can actually enjoy a meal again someday.

                    "It's been almost eight months now, and my taste and smell still haven't recovered yet," said Matt Newey, who caught the virus in Steamboat Springs along with four of his friends in early March.

                    KSL first introduced you to Matt Newey when he was recovering from COVID-19. He still has no appetite, and meats and fruits make him nauseous.

                    Gov. Gary Herbert has said his granddaughter has experienced similar nausea around foods after her bout with COVID-19.

                    "It's a chore to eat," Newey said. "I forget that I'm hungry."

                    The 24-year-old has lost 20 pounds. At some point, he thinks his body went into survival mode.

                    "I now can eat foods," he said. "I still don't desire them. But, I can manage just to get by to eat them."

                    Doctors have seen a variety of side effects from COVID-19 that start in the acute phase and can last for months.

                    Dr. Emily Spivak, an associate professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at University of Utah Health, said the long-term side effects can be serious, and even deadly.

                    "I think it's definitely possible that these are the chronic symptoms or side effects that they will have for the rest of their lives, potentially," she said.:
                    • Coronavirus Cases: 46,933,431

                    Deaths: 1,206,809

                    Underreported US death count: 236,501

                    American Civil War Casualties (North and South) - 214,938

                    Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
                    it's been blown way out of proportion.
                    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                      • Australia reports no new COVID-19 cases for first time in five months

                      Australia for the first time in almost five months recorded zero new coronavirus cases for a 24-hour span this past weekend.

                      According to The New York Times, the nation went without recording a single case between 8 p.m. Friday and 8 p.m. Saturday. One case was reportedly recorded in New South Wales later on Saturday, however.

                      The news indicates the nation has made great strides since July, when at one point it was seeing over 700 new cases daily.

                      The report also comes after Melbourne, which had previously been the epicenter for the virus in Australia, recently ended an 111-day lockdown implemented in August following a surge in cases, the Times noted.

                      As a result, residents have seen a number of businesses reopen as officials ease coronavirus restrictions.

                      In bid to curb the spread of COVID-19, the country also imposed traveling restrictions between states earlier this year. As part of the restrictions, visitation from New South Wales and Victoria, where Melbourne is located, was prohibited to some states.

                      However, Australian health minister Greg Hunt said states could also begin to see travel restrictions lifted before the end of the year due to the country's improving numbers.:
                      • Coronavirus Cases: 46,972,765

                      Deaths: 1,207,112

                      Underreported US death count: 236,505

                      American Civil War Casualties (North and South) - 214,938

                      Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
                      it's been blown way out of proportion.
                      Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                        • T-cell study adds to debate over duration of COVID-19 immunity

                        A small but key UK study has found that “cellular immunity” to the pandemic SARS-CoV-2 virus is present after six months in people who had mild or asymptomatic COVID-19 - suggesting they might have some level of protection for at least that time.

                        Scientists presenting the findings, from 100 non-hospitalised COVID-19 patients in Britain, said they were “reassuring” but did not mean people cannot in rare cases be infected twice with the disease.

                        “While our findings cause us to be cautiously optimistic about the strength and length of immunity generated after SARS-CoV-2 infection, this is just one piece of the puzzle,” said Paul Moss, a professor of haematology at Britain’s Birmingham University who co-led the study.

                        “There is still a lot for us learn before we have a full understanding of how immunity to COVID-19 works.”

                        Experts not directly involved with the study said its findings were important and would add to a growing body of knowledge about potential protective immunity to COVID-19.

                        The study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed by other experts but was published online on bioRxiv, analysed the blood of 100 patients six months after they had had either mild or asymptomatic COVID-19. It found that while some of the patients’ antibody levels had dropped, their T-cell response - another key part of the immune system - remained robust.

                        “(Our) early results show that T-cell responses may outlast the initial antibody response,” said Shamez Ladhani, a consultant epidemiologist at Public Health England who co-led the work.

                        The study also found the size of T-cell response differed, and was considerably higher in people who had had symptomatic COVID-19 than those who had no symptoms when infected.

                        The researchers said this could be interpreted in two ways: It is possible that higher cellular immunity might give better protection against re-infection in people who had symptoms, or equally, that asymptomatic patients are better able to fight off the virus without the need to generate a large immune response.: -
                        • Coronavirus Cases: 47,227,393

                        Deaths: 1,209,722

                        Underreported US death count: 236,797

                        American Civil War Casualties (North and South) - 214,938

                        Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
                        it's been blown way out of proportion.
                        Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                        • Thailand - Govt showers more soft loans on shrivelling tourism sector

                          The Cabinet approved raising the ceiling for government soft loans from Bt20 million to Bt100 million. The Government Savings Bank (GSB) will apply annual interest of 0.01 per cent to banks who offer the loans to tourism businesses. The two-year loans are being offered by commercial banks at annual interest of 2 per cent.

                          The soft-loan scheme has also been extended to June 30 next year, said Arkhom.

                          The Thai Credit Guarantee Corporation (TCG) will provide loan guarantees worth Bt57 billion, for which small and medium-sized businesses will also be eligible.

                          The TCG will collect a 1.75 per cent annual insurance fee from the third year of borrowers’ eight-year contracts.

                          The GSB will also extend its Bt5-billion soft-loan scheme for micro businesses engaged in tourism activities and supply chains to June 30 next year. Each can borrow up to Bt500,000 on a five-year term with no repayments in the first year and annual interest of 3.99 per cent.

                          The Small and Medium Enterprise Development Bank of Thailand will extend its Bt10-billion cash loan scheme until June 30 next year. Individuals or SME’s can borrow up to Bt3 million on a five-year term at 3 per cent interest in the first two years.

                          To help airlines to reduce costs, the Cabinet approved cutting tax on jet fuel from Bt4.726 per litre to Bt0.20, effective from November 3 at midnight until April 30 next year. The tax cut will cost Bt700 million, but the government expects it to help boost travel and tourism by keeping prices low. The Transport Ministry will also ask Thai airlines not to raise fares too high, said Arkhom.

                          Airlines have requested soft loans worth Bt24 billion, but the Finance Ministry would look into details before sending requests to Cabinet for approval, he said

                          The Finance Ministry expects the new financial aid will cover everyone in the tourism industry and ease their burdens during the Covid-19 crisis, he added.:

                          Originally posted by Somchai Boonporn View Post
                          Perhaps a blessing in disguise for the Golden Land.

                          Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                            • Pregnant women with Covid-19 face higher risk of severe illness and death, study says

                            Pregnant women infected with the coronavirus are more likely to become severely ill and die from Covid-19, and they're at increased risk for premature delivery, according to a pair of reports released Monday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

                            Although the overall risk of severe illness or death remains low, CDC researchers found that pregnant women with coronavirus are more likely to need intensive care, ventilation and heart and lung support than non-pregnant women with the virus.

                            A separate report found that the rate of preterm birth, when a baby is born before 37 weeks of pregnancy, is 12.9% among women with coronavirus, compared to 10.2% among the general population.

                            The new research adds to a growing body of evidence that pregnant women are at increased risk when it comes to coronavirus, said Dr. Denise Jamieson, chair of the gynecology and obstetrics department at Emory University School of Medicine.

                            "It also demonstrates that their infants are at risk, even if their infants are not infected, they may be affected," Jamieson noted on a call with reporters Monday.

                            Increased risk for severe illness and death

                            For one of the reports, researchers reviewed data on 461,825 women between the ages of 15 and 44 who tested positive for Covid-19 between January 22 and October 3. They focused only on those who experienced coronavirus symptoms.

                            The team adjusted for outside factors and found that pregnant women were more likely to need intensive care, with 10.5 per 1,000 pregnant women admitted to the ICU, compared to 3.9 per 1,000 women who aren't pregnant.

                            Pregnant women were 3 times more likely to need help breathing with invasive ventilation than women who aren't pregnant. Similarly, they were at greater risk of requiring lung and heart support with oxygenation.

                            They were also more likely to die, with 1.5 deaths per 1,000 pregnant women, compared to 1.2 per 1,000 women who aren't pregnant.

                            In keeping with trends seen across the general population, researchers found some racial and ethnic minorities had an even greater potential for infection or severe disease. Among pregnant women, Hispanic women were 2.4 times more likely to die and Asian and Native Hawaiian/ Pacific Islander women had a more pronounced risk for ICU admission, they found.

                            The team noted that regardless of whether they were pregnant, women over 35 were more likely to experience severe illness.

                            The researchers said that the greater probability for severe illness among pregnant women might be due to physiological changes in pregnancy, including increased heart rate and decreased lung capacity.

                            "To reduce the risk for severe illness and death from COVID-19, pregnant women should be counseled about the importance of seeking prompt medical care if they have symptoms and measures to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection should be strongly emphasized for pregnant women and their families during all medical encounters, including prenatal care visits," the team wrote.:
                            • Coronavirus Cases: 47,392,484

                            Deaths: 1,212,524

                            Underreported US death count: 237,009

                            American Civil War Casualties (North and South) - 214,938

                            Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
                            it's been blown way out of proportion.
                            Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                              • More than 61,000 American children caught COVID-19 over one week

                              More than 61,000 new COVID-19 cases in children were reported across the U.S. in just less than two weeks, according to a weekly report from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

                              The report says 61,447 children in the U.S. were diagnosed with COVID-19 from Oct. 22 through Oct. 29, the highest increase of cases in kids since the pandemic began.

                              Our country is in a historic fight against the Coronavirus. Add Changing America to your Facebook or Twitter feed to stay on top of the news.

                              The percentage of pediatric cases has increased steadily since mid-April when kids accounted for just 2 percent of the nation’s coronavirus cases. More than 853,000 children have contracted the coronavirus since the onset of the pandemic, making up 11.1 percent of all U.S. cases.

                              “This is a stark reminder of the impact this pandemic is having on everyone — including our children and adolescents,” Sally Goza, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said in a statement. “This virus is highly contagious, and as we see spikes in many communities, children are more likely to be infected, too.”

                              The report found that children make up less than 3.5 percent of current coronavirus hospitalizations, and 121 have died over the course of the pandemic. The organization says the number of reported cases in children is likely an undercount as children often experience mild or no symptoms and may not be tested for the illness.

                              While severe illness and death from COVID-19 appears to be rare among children, the organization said there’s an urgent need to collect more data on the long-term effects of the virus on kids, including the emotional and mental health impacts.

                              The report uses state health data from 49 states, New York City, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam.

                              The increase in cases among children comes as the U.S. is experiencing an alarming surge of cases and hospitalizations heading into the colder months.

                              The U.S. is currently averaging more than 83,000 cases per day with more than 906 deaths. Nearly 50,000 people are hospitalized across the country, according to The COVID Tracking Project.:
                              • Coronavirus Cases: 47,609,932

                              Deaths: 1,215,586

                              Underreported US death count: 237,261

                              American Civil War Casualties (North and South) - 214,938

                              Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
                              it's been blown way out of proportion.
                              Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                                • Pollution levels may influence COVID-19 death risk, study finds

                                Long-term exposure to high levels of air pollution may increase a COVID-19 patient's risk of death, according to a study published Nov. 4 in Science Advances.

                                Researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston estimated long-term air pollution levels for 3,089 U.S. counties. Researchers also analyzed cumulative COVID-19 death data for each county through June 18.

                                While it's unclear whether pollution exposure directly affects COVID-19 death risk, the study showed there was an association between increased pollution levels and higher virus death tolls.

                                Researchers found just a slight jump in air particulate matter was associated with an 11 percent increase in a county's COVID-19 deaths. They suggested that poor air quality may worsen COVID-19 symptoms, leading to poorer outcomes.

                                "The results of our study suggest that in counties with high levels of pollution is where we need to implement social distancing measures now more than ever, knowing that people here will be more susceptible to die from COVID-19," said study author Francesca Dominici, PhD, a professor of biostatistics at the T.H. Chan School of Public Health, told STAT.:
                                • Coronavirus Cases: 48,687,336

                                Deaths: 1,234,464

                                Underreported US death count: 239,943

                                American Civil War Casualties (North and South) - 214,938

                                Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
                                it's been blown way out of proportion.
                                Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


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