An Abled® Response To A Crisis
As we evolve the updates and upgrades to our Abled®com Networks, our awareness of the often conflicting, confusing and sometimes false information spiraling out of control from the coronavirus pandemic prompted us to create a consolidated and curated COVID-19 information hub.
Our mission is to inspire everyone to live a more Abled® life by producing content, products, services and technology that enable better, self-informed life choices along the way.
At no time has it been more important to be self-informed than now, for ourselves, our family, friends and colleagues, as we are all being faced with potentially life-changing decisions to make during this crisis.
Our Abled®ALERT Network is evolving in real time and we hope you find the impartial information and videos we’re curating, via our non-profit journalism, helpful.
Note: Because of the frequency of use throughout all our content, in some places we have truncated COVID-19 to C19 for brevity.
We also appreciate your patience if you encounter any of our “Content in Production” placeholders as we work under reduced circumstances through these challenging times.
EMERGENCY: Riot Survival
Protests across the U.S. over the police custody death of George Floyd continue to amplify into looting and fires being set. Learn how to keep safe if you’re part of a peaceful protest that escalates into a riot at our Abled.ALERT/EMERGENCY Page >>>
Total Cases Confirmed
COVID-19 Attacking Kids
Growing clusters of cases are emerging in a number of countries where children are being hospitalized with symptoms of Kawasaki Disease and testing positive for COVID-19. In New York State, 110 such cases have been reported and as many as five children have died. We detail what parents need to know.
Parents Be Vigilant
Case reports are coming in from around the world as more children develop what may be a COVID-19 related illness that shows symptoms common in Kawasaki Disease and Toxic Shock syndrome.
Three children have died of the illness (test results are awaited from 2 others who died last weekend) in New York State and a total of
73 110 cases have been reported so far.
Doctors in Montreal are studying 20 cases in Canadian children, and scientists are examining a similar number of cases in the U.K., as well as earlier cases in Italy and Spain.
The children are not suffering the respiratory distress that many adult patients develop. They are being ravaged by the so-called “cytokine storm” – the over-reaction of the body’s immune system and it’s triggering a “multi-system inflammatory state” that attacks multiple organs, weakens blood vessels and the lining of the heart.
In all cases, the children have tested positive for SARS CoVid-2 antibodies.
Most of them are toddlers to elementary school age, however a previously healthy 14 year-old boy in the U.K. died of a stroke after being admitted to hospital. And at least seven other cases at the hospital where he was treated involved children who were clinically obese and from minority ethnic backgrounds.
UPDATE: We’ve made this our Featured Story on our Abled.Health page, with more updated information, including an exclusive report from the MailOnline about a UK study that has confirmed the condition, now being called Pediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome (PIMS-TS), IS triggered by COVID-19 infection.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR:
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo released the following advisory for parents:
Remain Vigilant. Seek care immediately if your child has:
*Prolonged fever (more than 5 days)
*Difficulty feeding (infants) or is too sick to drink fluids
*Severe abdominal pain, diarrhea or vomiting
*Change in skin color – becoming pale, patchy and/or blue
*Trouble breathing or is breathing very quickly
*Racing heart or chest pain
*Decreased amount or frequency of urine
*Lethargy, irritability or confusion
In the cases in the U.K., all the children had unrelenting fever, rash, vomiting, diarrhea and generalized extremity pain. And there are additional symptoms more specific to Kawasaki disease or Toxic Shock Syndrome that may present, including bloodshot eyes, red hands and feet that were also swollen, a large body rash, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, a “strawberry tongue” and red, cracked lips.
Hospitals are now reporting cases to their respective health departments, and as Governor Cuomo said, “This is the last thing we need at this time.”
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WHO Pauses Trial
The World Health Organization is temporarily suspending its trial of Hydroxychloroquine over safety concerns. The announcement comes a day after U.S. President Donald Trump announced he has finished taking his two week prescription of the drug in combination with a zinc supplement.
Higher Mortality Rates
Hydroxychloroquine was first developed to treat malaria and was later approved to treat autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
After seeing a tv report about a politician who beat an almost fatal COVID-19 infection after being administered the drug, , President Donald Trump became its biggest proponent.
However, the World Health Organization (WHO) has just suspended the hydroxychloroquine arm of its Solidarity trial which is examining the efficacy and safety of four potential drugs to fight the SARS CoV-2 coronavirus and the COVID-19 disease it triggers in the body.
The decision was announced a day after President Trump announced he had finished a two-week preventative course of the drug combined with a daily zinc supplement.
The study published in The Lancet looked at more than 96,000 people hospitalized with COVID-19, including those treated with hydroxychloroquine or its analog chloroquine.
Researchers didn’t find any benefit for those patients.
The did find that patients had a higher risk of death and heart arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm) than patients who did not receive the drug.
The authors suggested that hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine should not be used to treat COVID-19 outside of clinical trials until studies confirm their safety and efficacy in such patients.
It’s not clear if the study used hydroxychloroquine in combination with zinc.
In our C19 Video Logs tabs section, under C19 Treatment Updates, Dr. Anthony Cardillo, an ER Specialist and CEO of MEND Urgent Care in Los Angeles, explained to ABC7 news how he was seeing significant success using hydroxychloroquine in combination with zinc and explained the “one-two punch of the combo, with the zinc messing up the SARS CoV-2 virus’ ability to replicate itself.
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HEROES Act Passes House
Senate Democrats jettisoned the Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act that would have given $2,000 monthly to eligible Americans during the pandemic, and for three months after it’s over. Instead, the House passed the HEROES Act on Friday. How it differs is explained below.
The Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives before the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
But it won’t include the monthly checks of $2,000 and up until three months after the pandemic ends that was part of the Democrats’ proposal in the Senate.
The HEROES Act includes another round of one-time, $1,200 stimulus checks, and vows to increase the maximum stimulus amount paid to households with dependent children to $6,000.
The $3 trillion dollar cost means that efforts to get it through the Republican-controlled Senate are set to face stiff GOP opposition.
Indeed, the bill has been described by Republican senators as “dead on arrival” in the upper chamber, while Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, has dismissed the package as “another big laundry list of pet priorities”.
The Republican senators take the position that seems to mirror that of the President’s that reopening states for business is the best way to get the economy back on its feet.
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Can C19 Re-infect?
Studies out of China, and reports from Japan and South Korea are producing frightening headlines about recovered COVID-19 patients testing positive for the new coronavirus after being discharged. Should we be worried?
Sick After Getting Better
Is it a re-infection? Is it a relapse? Is it a virus mutation? Is it the result of a mistake in testing? Many questions have popped-up in the wake of those worrisome headlines out of Asia.
Anecdotal reports from separate friends in California report symptoms similar to coronavirus infection that occurred in late November/early December that went away and then re-appeared a few weeks later in January. This, without the benefit of testing to confirm or rule-out if it was the SARS-CoV2 coronavirus.
That’s because they simply didn’t know about it yet. The government in Wuhan, China didn’t confirm that health officials there were contending with dozens of cases of pneumonia from an unknown cause until December 31, and researchers in China didn’t identify the virus until January 8.
The first case in the U.S. wasn’t identified until January 21 in a man from Washington State who developed symptoms after returning from a trip to the Wuhan region.
It’s also a virus that impacts different people in different ways – some have mild symptoms for a day or two, while others are flat on their backs, out of commission for a week or two. And some who don’t show any symptoms or ill effects have tested positive, meaning that, until that test, they can be invisible “super-spreaders”.
In either scenario, the prevailing wisdom is that the body would be building antibodies to the infection within a week to 10 days after infection. A number of infectious disease experts say testing positive after what seemed like a recovery could be the result of a false negative and that the patient is still infected.
Residual RNA from the virus could be another source of a positive test result, post-recovery, and it’s also possible the virus becomes latent elsewhere in the body after a high immune response, only to rise again “when the coast seems clear.”
We’re still relatively early into this pandemic, and as more time goes by, researchers will hopefully be able to compile more definitive data.
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Heart Attack Or C19?
More evidence is emerging from around the world that the COVID-19 coronavirus may be damaging the heart as well as the lungs in many patients because it triggers a cytokine storm. We explain what that is below.
The C19 Cytokine Storm
With every new diagnosis of COVID-19 disease caused by the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, doctors are accumulating more knowledge that raises more troubling questions.
One of them is: “Should every coronavirus patient be tested for high blood levels of troponin to see if the virus has attacked the heart?”
That’s a question New York Times science and medicine reporter Gina Kolata raises in documenting the case of a 64 year-old patient rushed to a Brooklyn hospital with all the signs of a serious heart attack, including high levels of a protein called troponin, and an “ominous heart rhythm”.
Yet in surgery, doctors didn’t find any blocked arteries. They concluded it wasn’t a heart attack. It was coronavirus.
That conclusion appears to concur with similar cases in China and Italy documented in the Journal of American Medicine Cardiology (JAMA Cardiology), with a study lead at Wuhan University saying they found 20% of COVID-19 patients had some evidence of heart damage.
The resulting question is whether that damage is caused by the virus itself, or the body’s immune response to it? When bacteria or viruses invade the body, our immune system cells “spray the battlefield” with cytokines, a family of molecular messengers that have various functions. If the response gets out of control and turns into a flood – the aforementioned “cytokine storm” – the resulting inflammation and potential for blood clots damages the lungs and the heart.
Damaged lungs can increase the risk for arrhythmias. Some COVID-19 patients have reported a rapid heartbeat that felt like it was going to “beat out of their chest”.
The Wuhan study found that the risk of death was over four times higher among COVID-19 patients with heart complications than those without. That becomes an ominous clarion for medical professionals around the world to assess the heart, as well as the lungs in treating COVID-19 infection.
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Allergies, Flu Or C19?
The global COVID-19 pandemic has collided head-on with cold and flu season, and is now spreading well into allergy season. The dilemma for many people is how to tell the symptoms apart? We compare them below.
In this mashup of cold, flu and now allergy season, the biggest symptom a cough or sneeze may trigger is fear – fear that it’s COVID-19.
Because so much is unknown about the new coronavirus, possible symptoms are evolving as the pandemic spreads and more cases are treated by doctors.
Dr. Bruce Aylward of the World Health Organization told npr that 90% of COVID-19 patients have a high fever as an early symptom and 70% have a dry cough. “It’s not the sniffles,” he says. “It’s not a runny nose. That can be a symptom, but that’s rare.”
Spring has come early for the estimated 19 million allergy sufferers in the U.S., and with it a paranoia that their usual seasonal symptoms of red eyes, a runny nose, scratchy throat, coughs, sneeze and body aches may be the signs of the more sinister coronavirus.
Time/AP reports that Jessica Tanniehill, 39 of Adamsville, Alabama ran that gamut of symptoms and figured her seasonal allergies had started. But then they were followed by shortness of breath. She had tested positive for COVID-19, but the report points out that this “doesn’t preclude the possibility she’d had allergies as well.”
For more detailed information on differentiating symptoms between conditions, we’ve placed a “Symptoms Map” compiled by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) based on shared data from the CDC and WHO in a drop-down tab on our COVID-19 Directory page.
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Your first stop for the latest Alerts from the global pandemic, and data on the latest global, national and regional cases. We’ve compiled C19 FAQs and curated videos to answer all your coronavirus questions at our COVID-19 Directory >>>
C19 News Logs
This is your destination for a consolidated & curated collection of the most important news & issues evolving during the global COVID-19 pandemic. We focus on topics with relevance to potential personal decision-making at our COVID-19 News Logs >>>
C19 Video Logs
This is where we’ve curated a collection of videos that provide additional background and context on the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes reports from the frontlines, the search for treatments, and global impacts. Go to our COVID-19 Video Logs >>>
COVID-19 Rx Logs
This is our consolidated hub where you can monitor the latest developments as scientists around the world develop Tests, Treatments and Vaccines for deployments in responding to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Go to COVID-19 Rx Logs >>>
C19 Case Logs
This channel of our Abled®ALERT Network curates and compiles notable cases of COVID-19 infection, tracking data, and paying tribute to notable passings and recoveries as the pandemic rages across social classes at our COVID-19 Case Logs >>>
Here you can find COVID-19 audio/video briefings we’ve produced for the benefit of blind and low-vision users as a companion to downloadable PDF summaries of the latest pandemic developments, along with global video briefings at COVID-19 Briefings >>>
A Pivot For Extraordinary Times
As we “pivot” to be of service during this world crisis, we are focusing on providing you with curated information to help you evaluate the best choices and decisions for yourself, your family, your friends and colleagues.
We’re progressively integrating content from our Abled®com Networks as we evolve our design and production upgrades. We’re innovating new layouts and functions to provide you with a more interactive way of navigating concise, curated content, and we hope you find it to be a valuable and enjoyable experience.
Social Media: Twitter War
U.S. President Trump signs an executive order aimed at weakening legal protections for social media companies after Twitter fact-checks two of his tweets. Is it all political bark and no bite or does it pose a threat to free speech on the Internet? Read more on our Abled.Tech Network >>>
COVID-19: Plasma Need
Several organizations are reaching out for urgently needed donations of blood and plasma, the latter from people who’ve recovered from COVID-19 infection. Your donation of “convalescent plasma” can help to save lives. Learn how to give on our Abled.Health Network >>>
Rights: Frontline Safety
Meat processing plants have become bigger hotspots than nursing homes for COVID-19 infection because of close-quarters working conditions. How do we balance worker safety with the food supply needs of the nation? See more on our Abled.Issues Network >>>
COBOL: Programmers Needed
Know how to program COBOL? Your country needs you. Millions of COVID-19 related unemployment claims are overwhelming aging federal and state computer systems and the call has gone out for volunteers. More data on our Abled.Tech Network >>>
Stimulus: Beware Of $cams
Criminals have no conscience in a global pandemic. Even before governments announced aid packages, scammers have been trying to defraud millions of consumers. Learn how to keep your money safe on our Abled.Money Network >>>
Airlines: DOT Warning
If you’ve called an airline you had booked a flight on to cancel and request a refund because of coronavirus issues, but got a runaround, you’re not alone. Should you accept a voucher or demand cash? Check your rights on our Abled.Travel Network >>>
Col. Tom: Arise Cpt. Sir Thomas
“A shining light in dark times” describes Captain Tom Moore, the distinguished but humble UK WWII veteran who’s raised over $36 million for National Health Service Charities. Find out the latest honor he will receive at our Abled®People Network >>>
Rx Costs: Get Help
The “hoarding” mentality during the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted many people who rely on a steady supply of medication. We detail where and how you can get help with paying for your prescription medications on our Abled.Money Network >>>
HOW TO HELP
URGENT NEED FOR PPE
The growing scale of the COVID-19 pandemic is overwhelming medical facilities and medical professionals world-wide, and causing a critical shortage in PPE (Personal Protection Equipment).
#GetUsPPE is a coalition of people in medicine that is trying to coordinate donation and distribution of masks, gloves, goggles and other essential items through an online data base that connects donors with healthcare workers and facilities.
They are also trying to unite with the maker community to validate designs that can be widely shared among the medical community and easily printed in local manufacturing facilities.
You can request or give as follows:
CONSOLIDATING AND CURATING
In the same way we consolidate and curate information throughout our Abled.ALERT and Abled.News networks, we’re building our new platform to do the same in major cities around the world so that you can find community, content, products and services that are relevant to you in a quick, convenient and equally accessible way.
If you are an advertiser, marketer or entrepreneur and wish to list your accessible enterprise, or if you’re interested in being an affiliated partner in your city, drop us a line at [email protected] and we’ll be happy to discuss what we can build together!
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