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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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Remdesivir study finally published, and an expert in critical care medicine gives us his verdict

Remdesivir study finally published – an expert in critical care medicine gives us his verdict
A patient receiving supplemental oxygen is likely to benefit the most. Credit: 99Art/Shutterstock

The results of the ACTT-1 trial, which looked at the effectiveness of remdesivir as a treatment for COVID-19, have finally been published. So far the only drug that has been shown to reduce deaths from the disease has been dexamethasone, a steroid that suppresses the immune system through its anti-inflammatory effects. Steroids have a secondary effect on the disease—they don’t target the virus itself. Remdesivir, on the other hand, goes straight to the cause of the disease by inhibiting the virus.

The drug, which was developed by Gilead Sciences, was approved for use by the US Food and Drug Administration under an “emergency use authorisation” on May 1. It was recently used to treat President Donald Trump.

Gilead Sciences has claimed that the drug has significant benefits for patients—but robust data has been lacking until now. This makes the long-awaited results of the ACTT-1 trial important. Having read the study, most physicians treating patients with COVID-19 will be asking themselves the same question: “Should I be using remdesivir for my patients?”

Should all COVID-19 patients get remdesivir?

The trial follows a gold-standard design of being double blind, randomized and controlled, and like most trials published in top medical journals, at first glance the outcomes are fairly impressive. They found that patients receiving the drug improved and recovered more quickly, were less likely to progress to severe disease, were discharged from hospital sooner, and had a lower death rate of 11.4% compared with 15.2% in patients receiving “usual” treatment.

Based on these positive findings, it would be tempting to conclude that all patients who have the disease should receive the drug, but since it costs around US$2,340 (£1,795) to treat one patient, and is likely to be in short supply in the UK for the foreseeable future, the question warrants a more considered analysis.

The use of any drug also has potentially negative consequences. Remdesivir has not been around long enough to have a track record for safety, and the reports of side-effects in COVID patients continue to grow.

When we unpick the data and look at analyzes of smaller groups (subgroup analyzes), the only patients for whom benefit was conclusively demonstrated were those who were less severely ill and receiving only supplemental oxygen rather than being on a ventilator. It is worth remembering that ACTT-1 is a relatively small trial and sicker patients may well benefit, but it has yet to be proven. Another interesting subgroup analysis showed that patients receiving dexamethasone showed added benefit with the addition of remdesivir, which is good news.

No magic bullet

So when I go into my hospital this week and am confronted on the wards with patients who are ill with COVID-19, ACTT-1 tells me that, provided I can find remdesivir on the pharmacy shelf, I should be confident to use it in any patients who are receiving oxygen alone, in the hope that they will recover sooner and, more

Kamala Harris’s and Mike Pence’s Debate Body Language, Decoded by an Expert

In Salt Lake City on Wednesday evening, Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris sat approximately six feet away from each other, behind plexiglass shields, and had a battle of crooked brows, smirks, and head shakes.

There were fewer interruptions — though Pence still managed cut off Harris enough times to get at least one good meme out of the moment — but more rogue flies than last week’s debate between Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump. However, it was those in-between moments that caught our attention.

Body language expert Patti Wood, author of Snap: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma, spoke with InStyle late Wednesday evening after the debate to discuss those cocked heads, the smug smiles, and what it all means.

The Smirks

Both Senator Harris and Vice President Pence smirked plenty while the other was talking during the debate — but not all smirks are equal.

“It’s fascinating that Kamala uses smiles to respond to Pence when he is giving false information,” Wood says. “Smiling and shaking her head in disbelief are the softest ways for her to respond. For those viewers who were expecting her to look angry, they are seeing her maintain her calm.”

Pence’s smirks, too, communicated a sense of control. “I coach executives who are going to be interviewed by the media and we work on their talking points,” Wood tells InStyle. “I can tell when a candidate has had a media coach school them on a talking point.  Pence was coached on the packing the court statement — I can tell because he not only repeated it, it was one of the rare instances where he increased his volume, and when he said it he smirked with ‘gotcha’ delight.”

Harris’s Smile and Head Tilt

It was a matter of seconds after Harris told Pence, “I’m speaking” — her version of, “Will you please shut up, man?” — before the phrase began trending on Twitter. Moms tweeted that the smile, the head tilt, and the terse tone of voice, was a familiar one.

Wood agrees that the movement was motherly. “When Senator Harris was interrupted again and again, her big smile, tilted head, and firm, low volume voice was that of a mother correcting her toddler,” she says. “She could have gotten angry; we have seen her really angry in congressional hearings. Instead, she was controlled and measured.”

She adds that Harris’s warmth and sincerity play well for her, making her message more memorable in the long run. “Research shows that we love candidates with a broad emotional range,” Wood notes. “We love someone who laughs and smiles big and warmly. We tend to like to know what someone is really feeling, and 4.3 times the message’s impact is sent nonverbally. We remember what people say when

Vaccine expert and whistleblower Rick Bright resigns from federal government

Vaccine expert and whistleblower Rick Bright on Tuesday resigned from the federal government, his attorneys announced in a statement. Earlier this year, Bright was removed from a top position at the Department of Health and Human Services. 

Bright, a high-ranking scientist, has said the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has been slow and chaotic, prioritizing politics over science. Bright earlier this year filed a whistleblower complaint running over 300 pages.

Now, Bright has submitted his resignation to the National Institutes of Health effective immediately and has filed an updated complaint with the Office of Special Counsel alleging constructive discharge based on the failure of NIH leadership to assign him meaningful work, according to Bright’s lawyers.

“Dr. Bright was forced to leave his position at NIH because he can no longer sit idly by and work for an administration that ignores scientific expertise, overrules public health guidance and disrespects career scientists, resulting the in the sickness and death of hundreds of thousands of Americans,” his attorneys, Debra Katz and Lisa Banks, said in a statement.

“After having his work suppressed for political reasons to the detriment of public health and safety, Dr. Bright was sidelined from doing any further work to combat this deadly virus,” their statement continued. “This was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. He can no longer countenance working for an administration that puts politics over science to the great detriment of the American people.”

Before his transfer, Bright led the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, which oversees vaccine development. Bright told CBS News earlier this year that his sense of urgency in the early days of coronavirus was not shared by all.

“I believe my concerns were shared by other scientists in the government. And I believe the NIH was also moving very quickly to start some research in developing a vaccine and starting a clinical trial for an antiviral drug,” he said. “What struck me though was my sense of urgency didn’t seem to prevail across all of HHS.”

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The Latest: UCLA health expert: CDC should trace Trump

LOS ANGELES — Anne Rimoin, an infectious diseases expert at the UCLA, called for full involvement of the CDC in the contact tracing around President Donald Trump.

Rimoin says samples could be taken from people who are infected. By taking genetic material of the virus and sequencing it, scientists can build a “road map of who spread it to whom and reconstruct a much better timeline.”

White House doctor Sean Conley has refused to say when Trump last tested negative, saying he doesn’t want to “go backwards.” Rimoin says that’s exactly what contact tracing requires. Knowing how long the president was infected, and others around him, can help identify who was exposed.


Rimoin calls it “irresponsible and reckless” not to trace and “break trains of transmission to save lives right now and to learn more about super-spreading.”

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

— Virginia Gov. Northam has mild symptoms 2 weeks after virus diagnosis

— 15 vaccine clinical trials underway in Africa

— India has 61,267 new cases, its lowest daily increase since Aug. 25

— Despite decades of warnings about the fragile supply lines bringing protective gear from overseas factories to America’s health care workers, the U.S. was unprepared for the coronavirus pandemic.

— Some survivors and kin of those who have died are angry over Trump’s advice not to fear COVID-19.

— White House blocks FDA guidelines on bringing potential vaccines to market that would almost certainly prevent approval before election.

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

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam says he’s developed mild symptoms of the coronavirus a little less than two weeks after he and the first lady tested positive.

Northam told The Washington Post that he had some cold-like symptoms over the weekend and had lost his sense of taste and smell.

The Democratic governor, who is a physician, says he feels fine otherwise. While discussing his own illness, Northam says he was alarmed that President Donald Trump was playing down the severity of the disease even after being diagnosed with the virus.

In a tweet Monday, the president said of COVID-19, “Don’t let it dominate your life.” More than 210,000 Americans have died from the virus.

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HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has loosened coronavirus-related crowd restrictions for indoor and outdoor events.

No indoor venue can hold more than 3,750 people and no outdoor venue can exceed a cap of 7,500 people. The new rules take effect Friday.

The state health secretary, Dr. Rachel Levine, cautioned officials “can and will dial back these new limits” if events are linked to outbreaks.

Wolf’s previous limits of 25 people indoors and 250 outdoors were thrown out by a western Pennsylvania federal judge. But the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the governor’s limits on Oct. 1 while that decision is appealed.

The Democrat called Tuesday’s shift “a gradual adjustment to our lives as we

Expert Breast Cancer Treatment Recommendations Based on Latest Evidence Updating for Multiple Languages

Expert Breast Cancer Treatment Recommendations Based on Latest Evidence Updating for Multiple Languages

PR Newswire

PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa., Oct. 5, 2020

Ongoing updates are underway for NCCN Guidelines for Breast Cancer in Chinese, English, French, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Polish, and Portuguese, free online at NCCN.org/global. Follow #NCCNGlobal for more.

NCCN Foundation is hosting free metastatic breast cancer webinars for patients and caregivers on October 8 and 12 at NCCN.org/patients.

PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa., Oct. 5, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — During Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) is sharing and updating evidence- and expert consensus-based management recommendations which lead to optimal outcomes for people with breast cancer.1 Translations of the English-language NCCN Guidelines® for Breast Cancer have recently been updated in Chinese, Japanese, and Spanish. The currently-available Korean, French, Polish, and Portuguese versions will be updated by the end of the month. All are free at NCCN.org/global.

NCCN Guidelines® for Breast Cancer in Chinese, French, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, and Spanish.
NCCN Guidelines® for Breast Cancer in Chinese, French, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, and Spanish.

“Breast cancer has a very high cure rate, but remains the most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer-related death for women worldwide,” said Robert W. Carlson, MD, Chief Executive Officer, NCCN and Professor of Medicine (Emeritus), Stanford University Medical Center, who specialized in breast cancer. “We want health care providers everywhere to have access to the carefully-vetted treatment recommendations included in the NCCN Guidelines. That’s why we’re always looking for ways to increase the readability and accessibility of these resources.”

NCCN also adapts NCCN Guidelines into tiered and pragmatic approaches for varying resource availability in low- and middle-income countries, called the NCCN Framework for Resource Stratification of NCCN Guidelines (NCCN Framework™). There are also International Adaptations of the NCCN Guidelines for Breast Cancer for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and Spain, as well as NCCN Harmonized GuidelinesTM for Sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean, all written in collaboration with regional oncology experts.

The NCCN Guidelines for Breast Cancer have also served as the basis for creation of three volumes of NCCN Guidelines for Patients®, to help cancer patients talk with their physicians about the best treatment options for Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS), Invasive Breast Cancer, and Metastatic Breast Cancer.

“We are expanding our knowledge of this disease at a rapid pace,” said William J. Gradishar, MD, Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, Chair, NCCN Guidelines Panel for Breast Cancer. “We’ve made six updates to the main breast cancer guidelines already this year. They include multiple new treatment recommendations covering management, staging, and special circumstances such as pregnancy.”

NCCN also has separate guidelines on topics like screening, genetic/familial risk assessment, risk reduction, and supportive care.

The NCCN Guidelines for Breast Cancer were downloaded more than 890,000 times in 2019, making it the most-downloaded NCCN guideline across all cancer types. At least 335,000 of those downloads came from outside the United States

Expert looks at how COVID-19 problems can turn into lifelong chronic diseases

Once a patient is finished fighting COVID-19, their battle might not be over, as some effects could linger and even be worse than the virus itself.

Long-haulers are starting to realize the long-term effects are no joke. The effects could stay with a person for months, years or possibly the rest of a person’s life.

A long-hauler and an expert who studies the new part of the coronavirus fight spoke with sister station KOCO about the lingering effects.

“It’s important to know COVID is not an all or nothing, you die or you’re fine. There’s a whole lot in the middle ground that could impact lives for a very long time,” said Eliza Chakravarty, with the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.


That’s what Brad Benefield, of Moore, Oklahoma, is now realizing.

“I feel like I have the energy to go do stuff and then, whenever I start, it’s like, ‘Oh no. You don’t have the energy,’” Benefield said.

He tested positive for COVID-19 in March.

“Started feeling a little tickle in my throat at night,” Benefield said. “Like, you have this virus and people are dying from it.”

He said symptoms and panic immediately set in. Benefield recovered from active COVID-19 months ago, but now he’s seeing something else and is becoming a coronavirus long-hauler.

Chakravarty said COVID-19 long-haulers can have lung issues, brain fog, shortness of breath, inflammation of the heart – all affecting younger, healthy people.

“Interspersed in a lot of cells where they’re inflamed so they’re not functioning properly, so the heart is not beating as well as it should,” she said. “People running 7 miles a day now are struggling going down the driveway, so it can really take you out from the knees.”

Chakravarty added that these problems can turn into lifelong chronic diseases.

“Just because you don’t die from COVID doesn’t mean that you’re OK,” she said. “There’s no telling what it’s done long term. It’s scary.”

The virus is too new to know for sure how many patients will become long-haulers, but OMRF officials said a study in Europe showed that 43% of COVID-19 patients had shortness of breath months after the virus ran its course.

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Covid causing ‘historic decimation’ of Latinos, expert says

A global health expert said Wednesday that the coronavirus is causing “the historic decimation” of the Latino community, ravaging generations of loved ones in Hispanic families.

Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of Tropical Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, spoke at a virtual Congressional Hispanic Caucus briefing Wednesday, when he read off descriptions of people who died on Aug. 13 in Houston alone.

“Hispanic male, Hispanic male, Hispanic male, black male, Hispanic male, black male, Hispanic male, Hispanic female, black female, black male, Hispanic, Hispanic, Hispanic, Hispanic, Hispanic, Hispanic” Hotez said, adding that many are people in their 40s, 50s and 60s.

“This virus is taking away a whole generation of mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters, you know, who are young kids, teenage kids. And it occurred to me that what we’re seeing really is the historic decimation among the Hispanic community by the virus,” he said.

Hotez contacted other medical officials in Texas and found that the pattern is similar in other cities. He added that the pattern also applies to the Latino population in other parts of the country, particularly in the southern U.S.

Before Hotez spoke at the briefing, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, said that hospitalizations among Latinos as of Sept. 19 were 359 per 100,000 compared to 78 in whites. Deaths related to Covid-19 are 61 per 100,000 in the Latino population compared to 40 in whites, and Latinos represent 45 percent of deaths of people younger than 21, Fauci said.

Fauci said the country can begin to address this “extraordinary problem” now by making sure the community gets adequate testing and immediate access to care. But he said this is not a one-shot resolution.

“This must now reset and re-shine a light on this disparity related to social determinants of health that are experienced by the Latinx community — the fact that they have a higher incidence of co-morbidities, which put you at risk,” Fauci said.

“That’s something that you do not fix in a month or a year. It’s something that requires a decades-long commitment to change those social determinants, which make that community more susceptible to diabetes, to obesity, to hypertension, to kidney disease,” he said. “We need to look at what we need to do now to make this to be an enduring and burning lesson of a challenge that we have for the Latino community.”

Fauci also urged the Latino congressional members on the call to get their Latino constituents to consider enrolling in vaccination trials so they can be proven to be safe in everyone, including African Americans and Latinos.

“We need to get a diverse representation of the population in the clinical trials,” he said.

Fauci said he believes there will be an “answer” by the end of the year or beginning of next year on whether one of five potential vaccines is safe and effective. “We only will know after the tests are over, so anyone who