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Trick Or Treat? JeffCo Health Department Weighs In On Halloween

JEFFERSON COUNTY, AL — With Halloween just a few weeks away, many families, neighborhoods and communities are looking at options for celebrating the holiday amid a pandemic. The Jefferson County Department of Health weighed in Thursday on trick-or-treating this year, and the opinion may not be what kids want to hear.

Dr. Wesley Willeford, medical director of disease control for the the JCDH, said dressing up for Halloween is fine, but trick-or-treating, at least the way it is normally done, must change in 2020.

“In-person trick-or-treating where a child goes door-to- door, probably isn’t the best idea right now,” he said. “The thing that we worry about is if you have a lot of kids who go around and see lots of people, if one of those kids or one of the adults that are with them has COVID-19 you could potentially spread that to a lot of people. So, we’re really trying to think of ways to let it happen and let it happen safely, but trying to protect everyone at the same time.”

Some suggestions Willeford offered was to put out “goody bags” where the kids can get a bag of candy or treats and go, without any contact.

The Jefferson County recommendations follow closely what the Centers for Disease Control released in September regarding Halloween festivities.

The “high risk” Halloween activities, according to the CDC:

  • Participating in traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door to door

  • Having trunk-or-treat where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots

  • Going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming

  • Going on hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household

  • Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgement and increase risky behaviors

  • Traveling to a rural fall festival that is not in your community if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19

This article originally appeared on the Birmingham Patch

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Nurse who traveled to treat COVID-19 patients donates her kidney to toddler

Taylor Pikkarainen, a traveling nurse, spent over two months this spring on assignment in New Jersey helping to save the lives of patients with COVID-19.

Pikkarainen, 27, then returned to her home state of Minnesota to save the life of a young boy by donating her kidney.

“It just feels really great that he’s healthy and happy,” Pikkarainen told “Good Morning America” of Bodie, who will turn 2 in December. “It’s amazing and I’m very, very grateful.”

PHOTO: Taylor Pikkarainen, 27, poses with Bodie Hall, 20 months, to whom she donated a kidney.

Taylor Pikkarainen, 27, poses with Bodie Hall, 20 months, to whom she donated a kidney.

Taylor Pikkarainen, 27, poses with Bodie Hall, 20 months, to whom she donated a kidney.

Pikkarainen found out about Bodie’s need for a kidney earlier this year through her sister-in-law, who is a close friend of Bodie’s mom, Gloria Hall.

Bodie was born with congenital nephrotic syndrome, a life-threatening condition that causes your body to discharge too much protein in urine and ultimately progresses to kidney failure, according to M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital, where he underwent the transplant in July.

One of Bodie’s four older siblings also has the syndrome and required a kidney transplant five years ago; Hall was the donor. Because Hall had already donated a kidney and her husband, Bodie’s father, was not a match for their son, the family put out a plea for a kidney donor.

Once Pikkarainen heard about the need, she knew almost immediately she wanted to be Bodie’s donor.

“I was sitting there and just quickly looked up the side effects for me as a donor, for giving up a kidney,” she said. “There’s always a risk with surgery but there was no increased risk for kidney disease or kidney failure, having one kidney versus two.”

“And within half an hour I was signing up,” she continued.

Hall, who lives in a town neighboring Pikkarainen, said she remembers the exact moment she received a call “out of the blue” in February that her son finally had a kidney donor.

“I guess the biggest feeling was … of relief because it really was the thing hanging over our heads,” said Hall, who did not know at the time that Pikkarainen was the donor. “We knew it was the point where he needed to have the surgery and we obviously couldn’t have the surgery without a kidney donor.”

Bodie spent one month in the hospital after his birth and has had to undergo frequent infusions to help boost his kidney function. He has also relied on a feeding tube since the age of seven months, according to Hall.

PHOTO: Bodie Hall interacts with nurses while hospitalized for a kidney transplant in Minnesota.

Bodie Hall interacts with nurses while hospitalized for a kidney transplant in Minnesota.

Bodie Hall interacts with nurses while hospitalized for a kidney transplant in Minnesota.

Pikkarainen said she thought about remaining anonymous as Bodie’s donor, but then decided to tell the Halls by sending a letter and a stuffed animal for Bodie.

She also met Bodie in person for the first time a few days before the transplant,

Regeneron Asks FDA for Emergency Use Authorization of Coronavirus Therapy Used to Treat President Trump | Health News

Regeneron announced Wednesday night that it has asked the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization for the experimental coronavirus antibody therapy used to treat President Donald Trump after he tested positive for the virus.

The biotechnology company said in a statement that it made that emergency use request for its REGN-COV2 investigational antibody combination for COVID-19. If the emergency authorization is granted, the government has committed to making it available to Americans at no cost and would be responsible for its distribution, the statement said.

Enough doses are currently available for 50,000 coronavirus patients, and the company expects to have 300,000 doses within the next several months.

Cartoons on the Coronavirus

The experimental treatment is still in large-scale clinical trials but has been available for compassionate use, something the FDA approves on a case-by-case basis, such as the case with the president.

REGN-COV2 is a combination of two monoclonal antibodies designed specially to block SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Regeneron scientists sorted through thousands of human antibodies, including from people who recovered from COVID-19, to choose ones that fought the virus most effectively.

Scientists chose two virus-neutralizing antibodies, scaled them up and put them into a medication in hopes that it could treat virus symptoms and possibly be used as a preventative measure.

The president received an 8 gram dose of the treatment on Friday at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center following his coronavirus diagnosis. Trump called the treatment “unbelievable” and said he “felt good immediately.”

Early data from the company’s clinical trials have shown that the treatment is effective and safe, with few side effects.

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How Precision Medicine Can Unravel How We Treat COVID

By Colin Allen and David Feingold, The Conversation

Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, were among the earliest celebrities to catch the novel coronavirus. In an interview at the beginning of July, Hanks described how differently COVID-19 had affected each of them in March.

“My wife lost her sense of taste and smell, she had severe nausea, she had a much higher fever than I did. I just had crippling body aches,” he said. “I was very fatigued all the time and I couldn’t concentrate on anything for more than about 12 minutes.”

Why does COVID-19 present such different symptoms—or none at all—in different people?

Pre-existing conditions can only be part of the story. Hanks is over 60 and is a Type 2 diabetic, putting him in a high-risk group. Nevertheless, he survived his brush with the virus with no pneumonia and apparently without any long-lasting effects. Knowing what causes variation in different patients could help physicians tailor their treatments to individual patients—an approach known as precision medicine.

In recent years, a gene-centric approach to precision medicine has been promoted as the future of medicine. It underlies the massive effort funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health to collect over a million DNA samples under the “All of Us” initiative that began in 2015.

But the imagined future did not include COVID-19. In the rush to find a COVID-19 vaccine and effective therapies, precision medicine has been insignificant. Why is this? And what are its potential contributions?

We are a physician geneticist and a philosopher of science who began a discussion about the promise and potential pitfalls of precision medicine before the arrival of COVID-19. If precision medicine is the future of medicine, then its application to pandemics generally, and COVID-19 in particular, may yet prove to be highly significant. But its role so far has been limited. Precision medicine must consider more than just genetics. It requires an integrative “omic” approach that must collect information from multiple sources—beyond just genes—and at scales ranging from molecules to society.

Inherited diseases such as sickle cell anemia and Tay-Sachs disease follow a predictable pattern. But such direct genetic causes are perhaps the exception rather than the rule when it comes to health outcomes. Some heritable conditions—for instance, psoriasis or the many forms of cancer—depend on complex combinations of genes, environmental and social factors whose individual contributions to the disease are difficult to isolate. At best, the presence of certain genes constitutes a risk factor in a population but does not fully determine the outcome for an individual person carrying those genes.

The situation becomes yet more complicated for infectious diseases.

Viruses and bacteria have their own genomes that interact in complex ways with the cells in the people they infect. The genome of SARS-CoV-2 underlying COVID-19 has been extensively sequenced. Its mutations are identified and traced worldwide, helping epidemiologists understand the spread of the virus. However, the interactions between SARS-CoV-2 RNA and human DNA, and the effect on people of

M Health Fairview Applauds PreferredOne as First in Minnesota to Cover Innovative Prescription Digital Therapeutics to Treat Addiction

Largest Minnesota health system urging others to cover the FDA-authorized treatments

PreferredOne, Fairview’s health benefits management company, is the first health insurance provider in Minnesota to cover two innovative prescription digital therapeutics (PDTs) to treat addiction: reSET® and reSET-O®, which are manufactured by Pear Therapeutics, Inc. The software-based treatments are authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are indicated to treat substance use disorder and opioid use disorder, respectively.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:

PreferredOne, Fairview’s health benefits management company, is the first health insurance provider in Minnesota to cover two FDA-approved prescription digital therapeutics to treat addiction. (Provided by Pear Therapeutics)

reSET and reSET-O are the first two PDTs to receive market authorization to treat disease from FDA. PDTs are apps that are downloaded to a patient’s mobile device after being prescribed. Both products, which are adjunctive to outpatient counselling, provide patients with algorithm-driven cognitive behavioral therapy, fluency training, and contingency management, while clinicians receive access to clinical dashboards to inform in-office and tele visits. reSET is used as a monotherapy and reSET-O is used in combination with transmucosal buprenorphine.

“M Health Fairview is committed to ensuring our patients have coverage for these innovative mental health resources, and we’re excited that PreferredOne is leading the way in Minnesota by offering these products,” said Beth Heinz, executive of mental health and addiction services for M Health Fairview. “The only way to ensure broad access is for other payors to join us in reimbursing these products. Patients in all systems will benefit when more providers join this effort and enable physicians to prescribe these solutions.”

The COVID-19 pandemic arrived amid an ongoing addiction crisis, and it exacerbated health issues for many Minnesotans. Only 1 in 10 people with a substance use disorder receive treatment in the U.S., according to the Minnesota Department of Health.

“We applaud PreferredOne and M Health Fairview’s commitment to addiction and mental health coverage,” said Corey McCann, M.D., Ph.D., President and CEO of Pear Therapeutics. “Now, more than ever, people struggling with substance use disorders need access to recovery support and treatment due to the impact of the pandemic. Together we can address this unmet need, and we hope that other health plans in Minnesota will join in taking this step to ensure access to innovative evidence-based therapeutics for all Minnesotans.”

About M Health Fairview

M Health Fairview is the newly expanded collaboration between the University of Minnesota, University of Minnesota Physicians, and Fairview Health Services. The healthcare system combines the best of academic and community medicine – expanding access to world-class, breakthrough care through our 10 hospitals and 60 clinics.

About PreferredOne

PreferredOne, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fairview Health Services, leads the market with products and services that conserve employer health plan dollars while helping more than 364,000 members achieve their best health. Comprehensive local and national provider networks together with an emphasis on health care cost and quality maximize the value of employee health

How To Treat Inflamed Gums

When trying to find a dentist for you and your loved ones, you might wish to take into account one that focuses on different areas of dentistry. Your local municipality has every proper to establish a “free” healthcare system and watch it wilt, simply as long as I can vote with my toes and get the hell out of there. They might immediately suppose that you don’t brush your tooth, you may have dangerous breath, and you simply do not care about oral health.

I am in the department of dental remedy below preventive dentistry, I want an on a regular basis information on tips on how to graduate profitable and get employed. I discovered that certain positions earn on common more cash than other positions, generally a lot more.

If you experience sensitive tooth, dentists recommend that you just change back to a delicate toothpaste, comparable to Crest Sensitive or Colgate Delicate. My enamel was not affected, but my gums had been sanded” down to reveal the nerve in considered one of my tooth.

Folks with inborn defects can also method esthetic dentists for restoration of the deformation. Although many economic and healthcare specialists imagine that the one payer system is essentially the most efficient, self sustainable and the most suitable choice for us in America, many Individuals remain opposed to the idea.

The dentist, however, is a medical skilled who makes a speciality of diagnosing and treating diseases, problems, infections, and other issues associated to oral care and oral hygiene. Gum illness is another seemingly problem for these that do not care for their tooth.…