Covid update: 11.07.2020
This is the 3rd in a series of articles I have written for the lay public relating to Covid-19 (basic information was sequentially presented in my first two articles).
Since Covid-19 arrived on our shores, we have learned a lot. I will present a bulleted list of more recent revelations.
As of November 6th, there have been about 230,000 deaths in the United States, and as we enter the fall and winter, this number is increasing sharply, mainly because more people are indoors more, in close proximity with each other and not socially distancing.
Remdesavir is an IV medication, usually reserved for critically ill Covid patients, such as those on ventilators. The virus can affect nearly all organ systems, but especially affects the lungs.
Dexamethasone, an anti-inflammatory steroid, has proved to benefit moderately to severely infected people. It can be administered as a pill, in an IV or as an injection in muscle.
Chest CT scan or Ultrasound are better tests than a plain chest x-ray to diagnose Covid infection of the lungs.
It is estimated now that 40% of people infected with Covid have no symptoms, and are probably silently spreading the virus. Elderly people, African-Americans, and Hispanic people are at a higher risk of becoming ill; however, young people and even children can become very ill and die from the virus.
It has been proven that if people are in close proximity (less than 6 feet apart), especially indoors, that the virus is more likely to spread. Large gatherings of people in tight quarters can lead to “spreader events” or “super-spreader” events, where there is a spike in cases a few days after these events. This has been shown to occur with the protests and with mass rallies.
Wearing masks has been shown to decrease the amount of virus put into the air by speaking, coughing, and even just breathing. Think of an infected person spraying fine particles into the air, about 3-6 feet around them, like a little “cloud” of invisible virus.
A recent study out of Spain found that low blood zinc levels are associated with a higher risk of death in COVID patients.
The original Covid virus that started in China has mutated when it spread to Europe, and has again mutated at least once upon spread to the US. Mutating viruses make it more challenging to develop a vaccine.
A realistic vaccine may be developed within the next year or so, but widespread manufacturing and distribution will be challenging, and the vaccine may not be 100% effective.
Mask mandates in Asian or European countries have helped reduce the spread of the virus, but world-wide increase in cases is occurring at an alarming rate.
The Covid virus has a higher death rate than the influenza virus.
Worldwide demand for hospital beds is starting globally.
· WEAR MASKS COVERING NOSE AND MOUTH WHEN NEAR OTHER PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY NEAR THE ELDERLY OR ANYONE WITH OTHER MEDICAL ISSNESSES.
· SOCIALLY DISTANCE BY AT LEAST 6 FEET WHEN IN PUBLIC.
· AVOID SITUATIONS WHERE THERE IS CROWDING, SUCH AS LARGE FAMILY GATHERINGS, CHURCH, SCHOOL, etc.
· IF YOU HAVE BEEN EXPOSED OR HAVE FEVER, SHORTNESS OF BREATH, MUSCLE ACHES, YOU CAN SELF-QUARENTINE FOR 14 DAYS, BUT IF YOU GET WORSE, SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTIO