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Riskiest behaviors to avoid during coronavirus pandemic, according to an expert

Despite the fact that some may be experiencing so-called “caution fatigue,” the coronavirus pandemic is still raging, with certain areas across the country — namely the Midwest — seeing a surge in cases and hospitalizations. 

And with autumn officially here, bringing with it flu season, experts are urging the public to remain diligent in taking precautions to protect against both the seasonal illness and the novel virus. 

“Wearing a mask the wrong way. I've seen so many people not cover their nose, or letting it slide up their chin. I'm glad you are wearing a mask but when you wear it wrong, the effectiveness drops dramatically,” Dr. John Whyte said. (iStock)

“Wearing a mask the wrong way. I’ve seen so many people not cover their nose, or letting it slide up their chin. I’m glad you are wearing a mask but when you wear it wrong, the effectiveness drops dramatically,” Dr. John Whyte said. (iStock)

“I know everyone is tired of COVID but now is not the time to give up or go easy on the safeguards,” Dr. John Whyte, the chief medical officer of the health care website WebMD, told Fox News. 

Read on for a look at the worst things to do amid the pandemic, according to Whyte. 

DO YOU HAVE CORONAVIRUS ‘CAUTION FATIGUE’?

Gong to work when you feel unwell 

“Do not be around people —  whether at work or socially — when you aren’t feeling well,” said Whyte. “You could be infectious with COVID even before you test positive so listen to your body.  If you feel lousy, stay home and rest in bed. Don’t go out infecting others.”

Wearing your face mask incorrectly 

“Wearing a mask the wrong way. I’ve seen so many people not cover their nose, or letting it slide up their chin. I’m glad you are wearing a mask but when you wear it wrong, the effectiveness drops dramatically,” he said. 

 Avoid the buffet line 

“Sampling the buffet line” should be avoided, warned Whyte. “You often have to wait until it’s your turn. People are touching the same utensils. I’d wait a while until I’d hit the salad bar.”

THE NOVEL CORONAVIRUS MAY INADVERTENTLY FUNCTION AS A PAIN RELIEVER, STUDY SUGGESTS

Going to large events — especially indoors 

“Going to an event of 50 or more people inside, not socially distanced, without masks” is a dangerous game to play, said Whyte. “I know everyone is tired of COVID but now is not the time to give up or go easy on the safeguards.”

Assuming a cure is ‘around the corner’

“Thinking there’s a cure around the corner. Although we have made progress in treatments and various vaccines are in development, you don’t want to let down your guard,” said Whyte. 

CLICK FOR COMPLETE CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE 

Bonus: Avoid this popular Halloween activity

Thrill-seekers should avoid at least one popular Halloween activity this year, said Whyte: haunted houses. 

“It’s dark, crowded, and people are screaming. The chances of getting COVID-19 just aren’t worth it this year,” he said. 

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Coronavirus On The Rise; Avoid These 2 NJ Counties

HOBOKEN, NJ — Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla said on Friday that coronavirus cases are on the rise in the mile-square city, and he cautioned residents to avoid indoor parties and travel to places with spikes.

Bhalla updated the city’s coronavirus case numbers Friday, saying the city had confirmed 28 new cases in the previous five days, a larger increase than in months.

“The Hoboken University Medical Center (HUMC) has reported additional hospitalizations, as well as patients on ventilators,” Bhalla said.

He said that the Hoboken Health Department has reported the following new COVID-19 cases in Hoboken:

Oct. 4: 5
Oct. 5: 7
Oct. 6: 4
Oct. 7: 4
Oct. 8: 7
Oct. 9: 1

That meant that as of Friday, 833 residents have tested positive for coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic.

Fatalities remain unchanged at 31 total, with no new resident deaths since May.

The age group with the highest rise in cases remains those residents in the 17-30 age group, he said.

(Also on Friday, a local charter school went all-remote after a student tested positive for the virus. Related story here).

Avoiding the shore counties, and indoor birthday parties

Bhalla said in his Friday update that there are surges in Monmouth and Ocean counties — popular shore destinations for North Jersey residents. He urged residents to avoid traveling there.

“The State of New Jersey has reported significant recent increases in positive COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and patients in intensive care as well,” he wrote. “On Thursday, the State saw the largest single-day increase in COVID-19 cases (1,301) since May. The statewide positivity rate from Oct. 4 was 3.69 percent, while the statewide rate of transmission is currently 1.22. (anything above a rate of 1 means the virus is spreading). Gov. Murphy has reported a surge of cases in Ocean County and Monmouth County, and I urge residents to avoid traveling to cities in these two counties if at all possible.”

Bhalla also reminded people to avoid maskless indoor gatherings. He said he’s been concerned about house parties as well as birthday parties.

“As always, the best way to stay safe is to take the following precautions: wear a face mask when around others, social distance, avoid large gatherings, and wash your hands,” he wrote. “And, as mentioned in the previous update, please continue to assume that anyone you come into contact with could have the virus, especially now that cases are rising in New Jersey.”

He noted, “Additionally, we’re also hearing reports of house parties that have occurred over the past several weeks, with the police having to be called in one instance, as well as residents attending house parties in other locations. I am urgently asking all residents, of all ages — please avoid indoor parties, which could easily turn into superspreader events with cases that are difficult to trace, like ones we have seen on the news.”

Hoboken coronavirus testing, dining, reopening info

To read a Patch report last week about reopenings and

Avoid large gatherings without masks

WASHINGTON — Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious-disease expert, is again cautioning against large-scale gatherings of people without masks.

President Donald Trump is planning to convene another large crowd outside the White House on Saturday. Trump’s Rose Garden event announcing Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his Supreme Court nominee on Sept. 26 has been labeled a “super-spreader” for the coronavirus.

Fauci said of the Rose Garden event in an interview with The Associated Press on Friday: “I was not surprised to see a super-spreader event given the circumstances. Crowded, congregate setting, not wearing masks. It is not surprising to see an outbreak.”

Fauci says the CDC guideline for getting people back into society generally “is 10 days from the onset of your symptoms.”

That onset for Trump was Oct. 1, according to his doctors. The president’s White House doctor, Navy Cmdr. Sean Conley, said Trump could return to holding events on Saturday. Organizers says attendees are required to bring masks or masks will be provided for the outdoor White House event.

___

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— Dr. Fauci cautions against large gatherings without masks, social distancing ahead of President Trump’s White House event

— India coronavirus cases approach 7 million; averaging more than 70,000 daily cases this month

— Czech Republic sees surge in new daily infections at nearly 9,000

— Queen Elizabeth II honored the work of doctors and nurses, delivery drivers, fundraisers and volunteers during the coronavirus pandemic.

— China’s first classical music festival since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic is featuring musicians from the former epicenter of Wuhan.

— The NFL’s Tennessee Titans and the New England Patriots had no positive coronavirus tests Saturday and both teams will be allowed to go back to their facilities.

___

— Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

___

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

TRENTON, N.J. — Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he’s been discharged from a New Jersey hospital where he spent a week after contracting the coronavirus.

Christie says in a Saturday post on Twitter that he’d been released from the Morristown Medical Center. He tweeted his thanks to hospital staff and says he’d “have more to say about all of this next week.”

Christie announced Oct. 3 he had tested positive and checked himself into the hospital as “an important precautionary measure,” given his history of asthma.

Christie was among several coronavirus cases connected to President Donald Trump’s inner circle. Along with Trump and first lady Melania Trump, multiple people who traveled with the president or attended his events recently contracted the virus.

___

PRAGUE — The Czech Republic and neighboring Slovakia have registered big jumps in new coronavirus infections, setting a new record for the fourth straight day.

The Health Ministry says the day-to-day increase reached 8,618 confirmed cases on Friday, over 3,000 more than the previous record set a day earlier in the nation of over 10 million.

The Czech Republic

The Latest: Dr. Fauci: Avoid Large Gatherings Without Masks | World News

WASHINGTON — Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious-disease expert, is again cautioning against large-scale gatherings of people without masks.

President Donald Trump is planning to convene another large crowd outside the White House on Saturday. Trump’s Rose Garden event announcing Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his Supreme Court nominee on Sept. 26 has been labeled a “super-spreader” for the coronavirus.

Fauci said of the Rose Garden event in an interview with The Associated Press on Friday: “I was not surprised to see a super-spreader event given the circumstances. Crowded, congregate setting, not wearing masks. It is not surprising to see an outbreak.”

Fauci says the CDC guideline for getting people back into society generally “is 10 days from the onset of your symptoms.”

That onset for Trump was Oct. 1, according to his doctors. The president’s White House doctor, Navy Cmdr. Sean Conley, said Trump could return to holding events on Saturday. Organizers says attendees are required to bring masks or masks will be provided for the outdoor White House event.

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— Dr. Fauci cautions against large gatherings without masks, social distancing ahead of President Trump’s White House event

— India coronavirus cases approach 7 million; averaging more than 70,000 daily cases this month

— Czech Republic sees surge in new daily infections at nearly 9,000

— Queen Elizabeth II honored the work of doctors and nurses, delivery drivers, fundraisers and volunteers during the coronavirus pandemic.

— China’s first classical music festival since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic is featuring musicians from the former epicenter of Wuhan.

— The NFL’s Tennessee Titans and the New England Patriots had no positive coronavirus tests Saturday and both teams will be allowed to go back to their facilities.

— Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

TRENTON, N.J. — Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he’s been discharged from a New Jersey hospital where he spent a week after contracting the coronavirus.

Christie says in a Saturday post on Twitter that he’d been released from the Morristown Medical Center. He tweeted his thanks to hospital staff and says he’d “have more to say about all of this next week.”

Christie announced Oct. 3 he had tested positive and checked himself into the hospital as “an important precautionary measure,” given his history of asthma.

Christie was among several coronavirus cases connected to President Donald Trump’s inner circle. Along with Trump and first lady Melania Trump, multiple people who traveled with the president or attended his events recently contracted the virus.

PRAGUE — The Czech Republic and neighboring Slovakia have registered big jumps in new coronavirus infections, setting a new record for the fourth straight day.

The Health Ministry says the day-to-day increase reached 8,618 confirmed cases on Friday, over 3,000 more than the previous record set a day earlier in the nation of over 10 million.

The Czech Republic has had a total of 109,374

Study: 7 in 10 appendicitis patients treated with antibiotics avoid surgery

Oct. 5 (UPI) — Antibiotics and surgery are both good options for treating appendicitis, according to a study published Monday in the New England Journal of Medicine that found 7 in 10 patients treated with the drugs ultimately avoid surgery.

“About three in 10 patients in the antibiotic group ultimately underwent an appendectomy within 90 days,” study co-principal investigator Dr. David Flum said in a statement.

“There were advantages and disadvantages to each treatment, and patients will value these differently based on their unique characteristics, concerns, and perspectives,” said Flum, professor and associated chair of surgery at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

The Comparison of the Outcomes of antibiotic Drugs and Appendectomy is the largest study to date comparing antibiotics for appendicitis to appendectomy, which is a surgery to remove the appendix, researchers said.

The goal of the study is to help nearly 300,000 people who visit the hospital each year for appendicitis-related issues choose the treatment that would be best for them with support from the evidence in the study.

Inflammation of the appendix, usually occurring in the teens or 20s, is the most common cause of acute abdominal pain requiring surgery though some mild cases are treated with antibiotics alone.

The study involved 1,552 participants from 25 sites across 14 states, researchers said. One month after treatment, participants rated their general health as about the same in both groups.

In the antibiotics group, about 71% did not have surgery within three months, and participants in the antibiotic group missed missed about 3 1/2 fewer days of work.

However, more participants in the antibiotics group needed to visit an emergency room or urgent care clinic within three months, 9%, compared with the surgery group, at 4%.

When surgery is successful, the appendix is fully removed, but with the antibiotics, appendicitis can come back and researchers said they will determine how often that happens in follow-up reports.

For every 100 participants in the antibiotics group, there were about eight unexpected problems. By comparison, in the surgery group, there were about four such problems.

The higher rate of problems in the antibiotics group was related to participants with an appendicolith, which is a calcified deposit within the appendix. These participants had a higher rate of having surgery within three months at 41% compared to the overall group rate for participants using antibiotics of 29%.

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Melania Trump didn’t visit husband to avoid exposing Secret Service and medical staff to COVID-19

Doctors and infectious disease experts were highly critical of President Trump’s decision to get driven in a hermetically sealed SUV around Walter Reed Medical Center to wave to supporters while he is contagious with COVID-19, endangering his Secret Service detail, photographed wearing the wrong type of personal protective equipment. The Secret Service has noticed.

Somebody at the White House had considered the safety of Secret Service agents. On Saturday, a White House official told NBC News’ Peter Alexander that first lady Melania Trump would not leave her isolation in the White House residence to visit her husband because “she has COVID” and “that would expose the agents who would drive her there and the medical staff who would walk her up to him.”

The White House defended what spokesman Judd Deere called Trump’s “short, last-minute motorcade ride to wave to his supporters outside.” Deere told Axios‘ Alayna Treene, the White House pool reporter on duty, that “appropriate precautions were taken in the execution of this movement to protect the president and all those supporting it, including PPE. The movement was cleared by the medical team as safe to do.” Deere did not, Treene note, “answer additional questions, such as whether the drive-by happened at the president’s request.”

More stories from theweek.com
7 insanely funny cartoons about the chaotic first debate
Report: GOP Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania to retire in 2022
Doctor slams Trump for leaving hospital to drive by supporters: ‘The irresponsibility is astounding’

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High demand for flu shots? Experts hope to avoid ‘twindemic’

October is prime time for flu vaccinations, and the U.S. and Europe are gearing up for what experts hope is high demand as countries seek to avoid a “twindemic” with COVID-19.

“Take flu out of the equation this fall,” said Dr. Daniel Jernigan of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A record number of flu vaccine doses are on the way, between 194 million and 198 million for the U.S. alone — seemingly plenty considering last year just under half of adults got vaccinated and there usually are leftovers.

Still, there’s no way to know how many will seek shots this year and some people occasionally are finding drugstores or clinics temporarily out of stock.

Be patient: Flu vaccine ships gradually, in batches, and the CDC and manufacturers say more is in transit.

“This year I think everyone is wanting to get their vaccine and maybe wanting it earlier than usual,” Jernigan told The Associated Press. “If you’re not able to get your vaccination now, don’t get frustrated” but keep trying.

Pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Pasteur, which is supplying nearly 250 million doses worldwide including 80 million for the U.S., says it has shipments staggered into November.

Vaccine maker Seqirus is exploring if it could squeeze out “a limited number of additional doses” to meet high demand, said spokeswoman Polina Miklush.

Brewing flu vaccine is time-consuming. Once production ends for the year, countries can’t simply order more — making for a stressful balancing act as they guess how many people will roll up their sleeves.

Germany usually buys 18 million to 19 million doses, and this year ordered more. As German Health Minister Jens Spahn put it: “If we manage, together, to get the flu vaccination rate so high that all 26 million doses are actually used, then I’d be a very happy health minister.”

Spain purchased extra doses in hopes of vaccinating far more older adults and pregnant women than usual, along with key workers in health facilities and nursing homes.

In contrast, Poland, which last year had 100,000 doses go unused, didn’t anticipate this fall’s high demand and is seeking more.

The good news: The same precautions that help stop spread of the coronavirus — wearing masks, avoiding crowds, washing your hands and keeping your distance — can help block influenza, too.

Winter just ended in the Southern Hemisphere and countries like South Africa, Australia, Argentina and Chile diagnosed hardly any flu thanks to COVID-19 restrictions combined with a big push for influenza vaccinations.

With the coronavirus still circulating and cold weather coming just as more schools and businesses reopen, there’s no guarantee that countries in the Northern Hemisphere will be as lucky with flu.

“How much flu, we don’t know — but there will be flu,” predicted Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University and the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.

A flu vaccine only protects against influenza, not the coronavirus. And while its effectiveness varies from year to year, people vaccinated against flu don’t