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COVID-19: MIS-C in Kids

Abled.ALERT: Composite images show the symptoms of MIS-C that resemble the symptoms of Kawasaki Syndrome in children including a child's back covered in a rash, bloodshot eyes, strawberry-colored tongue and red, cracked lips, red palms/soles and swollen hands/feet.

The CDC has issued an advisory for parents on MIS-C, the name given to a hyper immune response in children related to COVID-19 infection. Hundreds of cases are emerging around the world, and the following report from NBC News details the symptoms.

What Is MIS-C?

The U.S. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have now confirmed a link between COVID-19 infection and a potentially deadly set of symptoms in children that resemble Kawasaki disease and Toxic Shock syndrome.

After being called PIMS-TS (Pediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome temporarily associated with SARS-CoV-2), the CDC has settled on MISC-C (Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children).

Cases reported around the world have been affecting infants to teenagers between 1 and 14 years of age, and some have died. 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.

About 92 percent of the children displaying symptoms have tested positive for COVID-19 infection or its antibodies.

In the drop-down page below, we’ve listed the symptoms explained in the CDC Advisory for Parents.

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 the U.S., MIS-C has now been reported in almost 50 percent of states, with New York State investigating 161 cases.

 

UK Scientists First To Link COVID-19 to Hyper Immune Response in Children

Prior to the CDC linking the syndrome to COVID-19, , The MailOnline, in an exclusive, reported that a UK team of scientists in Birmingham, have found the first clear evidence that the “Kawasaki-like illness” IS caused by the SARS CoV-2 virus several weeks after being infected when symptoms start to show.

The MailOnline writes: “The syndrome affecting children has been tentatively called PIMS-TS, for ‘paediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome temporally associated with SARS-CoV-2’. However, the British scientists say the condition’s definition is incorrect as it is not ‘temporally associated’ with the pandemic but is instead ‘triggered by SARS-CoV-2 infection.

The team of scientists led by Dr Alex Richter and Professor Adam Cunningham of the University of Birmingham studied eight young patients who were admitted to hospital between April 28 and May 8. All of the children tested negative in the traditional lab-based test used to diagnose COVID-19 in adults.

However, a custom-built antibody test revealed the young patients had been infected with the coronavirus and produced antibodies to fight off the pathogen. 

Six of the patients required admission into paediatric intensive care due to heart-related issues and low blood pressure brought on by the disease.

All showed positive signs after treatment and have since been discharged from ICU.”

Read the full report at the MailOnline

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 New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said, “This is the last thing we need at this time.”

For more information about Kawasaki disease you can check out the Kawasaki Disease Foundation and the Kawasaki Kids Foundation.

We’ve listed the symptoms to watch for in the drop-down page below and provided related stories about several children who’ve survived near-fatal bouts with MIS-C below that, followed by curated videos on the subject .

 

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CDC Advisory For Parents

What we know about MIS-C

Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) is a condition where different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs. We do not yet know what causes MIS-C. However, we know that many children with MIS-C had the virus that causes COVID-19, or had been around someone with COVID-19. MIS-C can be serious, even deadly, but most children who were diagnosed with this condition have gotten better with medical care.

What to do if you think your child is sick with MIS-C

Contact your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic right away if your child is showing symptoms of MIS-C:

  • Fever
  •  
  • Abdominal pain
  •  
  • Vomiting
  •  
  • Diarrhea
  •  
  • Neck pain
  •  
  • Rash
  •  
  • Bloodshot eyes
  •  
  • Feeling extra tired
  •  

Be aware that not all children will have all the same symptoms.

 

Seek emergency care right away if your child is showing any of these emergency warning signs of MIS-C or other concerning signs:

  • Trouble breathing
  •  
  • Pain or pressure in the chest that does not go away
  •  
  • New confusion
  •  
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  •  
  • Bluish lips or face
  •  
  • Severe abdominal pain
  •  

How doctors will care for your child

Doctors may do certain tests to look for inflammation or other signs of disease. These tests might include:

  • Blood tests
  •  
  • Chest x-ray
  •  
  • Heart ultrasound (echocardiogram)
  •  
  • Abdominal ultrasound

Doctors may provide supportive care for symptoms (medicine and/or fluids to make your child feel better) and may use various medicines to treat inflammation.

Most children who become ill with MIS-C will need to be treated in the hospital. Some will need to be treated in the pediatric intensive care unit (ICU).

Parents or caregivers who have concerns about their child’s health, including concerns about COVID-19  or MIS-C,  should call a pediatrician or other healthcare provider immediately.

Healthcare providers can follow CDC recommendations to keep children and their parents or caregivers safe if an in-person visit is needed.

 

What we don’t know about MIS-C

CDC is still learning about MIS-C and how it affects children, so we don’t know why some children have gotten sick with MIS-C and others have not. We also do not know if children with certain health conditions are more likely to get MIS-C. These are among the many questions CDC is working to try to understand.

All CDC recommendations are based on the best data and science available at the time, and we will update them as we learn more.

 

What CDC is doing to learn more

CDC has a team dedicated to investigate MIS-C and gather and communicate information quickly to healthcare providers, parents and caregivers, as well as state and local health departments. The team is working with U.S. and international scientists, healthcare providers, and other partners to learn more about this new syndrome. They are learning about how often it happens and who is likely to get it, creating a system to track cases, and providing guidance to parents and healthcare providers.

Some of the specific actions CDC has taken:

  • Released a Health Advisory on May 14, 2020, through the Health Alert Network. In this advisory, CDC alerted healthcare providers about MIS-C, issued the case definition that it developed with the Council of State, Tribal, and Territorial Epidemiologists, and recommended that healthcare providers report suspected cases of MIS-C to local, state, or territorial health departments. The information the clinicians and health departments provide will help us understand this new condition and how common it is.
  •  
  • Collaborated with public health agencies around the world to share information and knowledge about cases of MIS-C in other countries.
  •  
  • Sent a field team to New York, the first state to report cases of MIS-C, to help health officials investigate the cases.
  •  
  • Set up a method for state and local health departments to report cases of MIS-C .
  •  
  • Asked clinical research and surveillance networks at children’s hospitals that we work with to collect data on cases of MIS-C.
  •  
  • Began communicating information about what we know, what we don’t know, and what we are doing to learn more to support healthcare providers, parents, and caregivers.
  •  
  • Collaborated with other federal agencies, clinical, and professional societies.
  •  

How to protect your child from COVID-19

Based on what we know now about MIS-C, the best way you can protect your child is by taking everyday actions to prevent your child and the entire household from getting the virus that causes COVID-19.

 

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RELATED STORIES

Abled.Health: Photo of Levi Nobles in a hospital bed, wearing a surgical mask.

Levi's Story

Levi Nobles got sick just after his seventh birthday.

His mother thought he just had a stomach bug. However, within four days, he developed some symptoms that were similar to the hyper inflammatory condition that was being reported in children around the world.

Levi had bloodshot eyes, red and dry cracked lips and a fever and had been vomiting.

His mother, Hannah Peck took him to their pediatrician at a local hospital who examined him and suspected what’s now become known as MIS-C (Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children) , and Levi was then transferred by ambulance to another hospital and his symptoms worsened.

On admission, Levi’s obvious symptoms were fever and vomiting. Within a day, his abdominal pain got worse and imaging tests confirmed peritonitis, an inflammation of the membrane lining the abdominal wall, as well as inflammation of the small intestine.

Then, one by one, his lungs filled with fluid and he developed pneumonia. Levi was moved to the ICU and put on oxygen as his blood pressure started dropping and he developed extensive lung disease and what his mother called “heart dysfunction”.

All this after testing negative for coronavirus in three separate swab tests. 

Then, after an antibody blood test, there they were . . . antibodies to SARS CoV-2. Levi had been infected, but didn’t show any symptoms of it until his body went into the hyper immune response.

After almost a week in the hospital, Levi recovered enough to go home. And while he faces follow-up testing, doctors expect him to make a full recovery.

His mother’s advice to other parents: “If your child is sick, get them in. Get them checked out.”

You can read more about Levi’s ordeal in an in-depth report by Kristen Jordan Shamus at The Detroit Free Press.

 

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Abled.Health: Photo of 5 year old Scarlett Roberts lying in an ICU bed hooked up to a respirator and other medical equipment.

Scarlett's Story

Abled.Health: Photo of 5 year-old Scarlett Roberts wearing a blue toque and burgundy parka.

Scarlett Roberts, pictured above before she got sick, is thought to have been infected with the SARS CoV-2 coronavirus at her school in the Yorkshire region of northern England before it closed.

The five year-old appeared to recover from what her step-father and great aunt described  on Twitter as ” a mild bout of the illness about five weeks ago”.

Piers Roberts described his step-daughter as “fit and well” six weeks before she suddenly suffered multi-organ failure.

His aunt, June, also shared the heartbreaking picture of Scarlett hooked up to a ventilator in ICU.

The little girl then developed heart problems and doctors gave her a 20 percent chance of survival.

Remarkably, like other children who were on fatal-looking downward trajectory, Scarlett started to get better as the immune system’s cytokine storm passed.

Her mother, Naomi Roberts, shared the news on Facebook:”Amazing news! Moos heart scan may have completely normalized with the inflammation gone. Her [blood has] gone from a CRP of nearly 300 to 25. The rest of [her blood is] normalizing.”

Roberts added that Scarlett “may be home in a few days to return for scans later.” She also thanked the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS (National Health Service) Trust as well as the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust.

Throughout Scarlett’s ordeal, her family has been absolutely appalled by U.K Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan to reopen schools by June 1. The plan is also facing backlash from 13 councils and teachers’ unions over safety concerns about going back too soon.

Scarlett’s step-father, who is a teacher, has summed-up the dilemma rather succinctly, posting on Twitter: “I want to get back to face-to-face teaching. “However, I don’t want my daughter as an experiment. The torture is real.”

You can read more of his comments and see a video of his appearance on ‘Good Morning Britainin this report at Yorkshire Live.

 

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Abled.Health: Photo of 13 year-old George Mitchell lying in a hospital bed wearing an oxygen mask.

George's Story

Just like the families of Levi and Scarlette, as outlined in the two previous stories, the family of 13 year-old George Mitchell was, at one point, afraid they were going to lose him.

Described as a “fit and active boy” from Barnsley, a city in the South Yorkshire region of northern England, George became ill with a high fever two weeks ago and it continued to rise despite being treated with paracetamol.

It got so bad, his mother rang the emergency services and they told her to take him to the hospital.

George’s blood pressure was “dangerously low” upon arrival, and a subsequent x-ray showed a “fog on his chest”. He was tested for the SARS CoV-2 coronavirus. The first results were negative and a second test showed positive.

The teen was then rushed to hospital in Leeds so his deteriorating heart and lungs could be treated by cardiology experts and he was put on a ventilator. 

George’s body had gone into toxic shock from his body’s hyper immune response. And on top of that, it triggered bacterial sepsis.

Multiple organs were failing and doctors called his parents, who had been kept away by social distancing rules, to come and see him because his “outlook was bleak”.

His mother Andrea said the doctors told her that “if he didn’t respond to the treatment, the likelihood was that he was going to die and that likelihood at the time was high because of how his heart was beating and how his lungs were operating.”

But just like the outcomes for Levi and Scarlett, George responded to heavy antibiotic treatment and was eventually allowed to go home.

And just like Scarlett’s set-father, Andrea Mitchell  is also eager for the saga of her son’s ordeal to act as a warning to others who are calling for schools in the UK to reopen on June 1.

You can read more about George’s story and see more photos in this report by Alex Grove at YorkshireLive.

 

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RELATED VIDEOS

The "Tip Of The Iceberg"

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday that the state has now confirmed 137 cases of a rare illness in children connected to COVID-19.

Governor Cuomo said he believes the state’s discovery is just the “tip of the iceberg” for the illness known as Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C).

 

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93 Cases In NY

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo said Monday that there are now 93 cases of Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome, a mysterious illness with symptoms similar to Kawasaki Disease that is believed to be related to COVID-19, in New York

As of Sunday, at least 38 of those cases were in New York City, with at least three deaths believed to be linked to the illness reported statewide.

Officials say the majority of patients test negative for the novel coronavirus but positive for antibodies, indicating they had previously had COVID-19.

More details: https://7ny.tv/2LjgqSd

Check out more Eyewitness News – http://7ny.tv/2suJHTd

 

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Global Cases Emerging

A mysterious illness potentially linked to Covid-19 has killed several children in the US and at least one in Britain.

The syndrome shares symptoms with toxic shock and Kawasaki disease, which can cause potentially fatal damage to the heart.

The rise in cases has left officials scrambling for answers.

This video from TRTWORLD – Turkish Radio and Television Corporation is the national public broadcaster of Turkey. 

 

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PUBLIC SERVICE AD

The elderly are most at risk from Coronavirus. But children are affected too. What parents should know. Public service announcement for Unicef USA over a photo of a child washing hands with soap and water. Link to Unicef site.

HEADLINES

Disinfectant: Not For People

Abled.Health: Photo close-up of a person wearing rubber gloves and wiping a table top with a cloth in one hand while holding a spritz bottle of disinfectant in the other hand.

Presidential “musings” about using UV light or disinfectant in the body against C19 trigger calls to Poison Control Centers and a warning from manufacturers of the products.

Disinfectant Warning

Do not drink disinfectant or bleach or try to inject it into your body!

What’s prompted the warning? U.S. President Donald Trump conjecturing out loud about the possibility of getting disinfectant or UV light inside the body to kill the SARS-CoV-2 virus that leads to COVID-19 disease.

Jaws dropped when the President said “I see the disinfectant — where it knocks it out in a minute, one minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning?”

Even Dr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Task Force looked quietly aghast, but later said the President was just musing on the subject.

The backlash was swift as Mr. Trumps remarks were pilloried on social media. He walked back his remarks the next day, calling them a sarcastic question to reporters, “just to see what would happen.”

The British maker of Lysol, Reckitt Benckiser, warned in a statement “We must be clear that under no circumstance should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body.”

The backlash even extended to the wife of CNN Anchor Chris Cuomo (and sister-in-law of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo) who admitted to pouring Clorox bleach into her bathwater as a preventative for COVID-19 infection. Both she and her husband tested positive for the infection, and she says there is “no danger in doing this,” comparing it to “a simple naturopathic treatment.”

USA Today reports that doctors ands the makers of Clorox bleach disagree. In an online statement, Clorox corporate says their bleach “”is NOT recommended for personal hygiene of any kind – consumers should always avoid direct skin and eye contacts with both undiluted bleach, as well as prolonged contact with the various bleach solutions we recommend for household cleaning and laundry . . . using a bleach and water solution for bathing is not approved by the EPA and should not be done.”

And perhaps as a gauge to the gullibility of some people, New York City’s Poison Control Center reported 30 cases in an 18 hour period the day after the President’s remarks, with “9 specifically about exposure to Lysol, 10 cases about bleach and 11 cases about exposure to other household cleaners.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cases of exposure to cleaners and disinfectants have gone up 20% from January through March 2020, compared with the same time period last year.

 

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COVID-19: Plasma Donors Needed

Abled.Health: Illustration of a sectioned blood vessel showing a central line of plasma and other component parts such as red blood cells, White blood cells and Platelets floating off from it.

Several organizations are reaching out for donations of blood plasma from people who’ve recovered from COVID-19 infection. We have more detailed information below.

How To Donate Plasma

Two weeks ago, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the use of what it calls “COVID-19 convalescent plasma” for patients with life-threatening forms of the illness.

The serum is derived from the donated blood of COVID-19 survivors who have built up antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

The move came after initial promising results in China where doctors began using the protocol last month.

In the wake of the approval several organization have been reaching out for donations of plasma from people who’ve recovered from COVID-19 infection.

They include the American Red Cross, COVIDPlasma.org – an initiative of the American Association of Blood Banks, and The National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project – an initiative of Michigan State University.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is serving as an advisory partner and Microsoft is providing technology, including a website and a Plasma Bot for the CoVIg-19 Plasma Alliance, which sees experts from the world’s leading plasma companies coming together to create a new alliance to accelerate the development of am potential treatment for COVID-19.

The “I” and “g” in CoVIg-19 stand for immune globulin, which the CoVIg-19 Plasma Alliance will use to concentrate the antibodies into an investigational medicine.

Microsoft expects to make the bot available through other web, social and search channels as well to maximize awareness for potential plasma donors.

Donation should be fairly convenient in most cases: more than 50% of the eligible donor population in the U.S. lives within 15 miles of one of the 500 centers operated by CoVIg-19 Plasma Alliance member companies.

Recruitment will start in the United States, and then expand to Europe.

If you’ve recovered from COVID-19 infection and want to donate plasma, click on the “Get Started” button on their website.

 

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PPE: Frontline Protection Crisis

Abled.Health: Photo of nurses protesting in front of a hospital in California. One holds up a sign reading "Frontline need PPE.

Frontline healthcare workers are being fired, suspended or reprimanded for refusing to treat C19 patients without proper PPE. At least 9,200 of them have tested positive.

Protecting Our Heroes

How many frontline healthcare workers across the United States have died because of exposure to the SARS-CoV2 coronavirus while treating COVID-19 patients?

Nobody knows. At least not in an accurate way.

Last week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) put the number at 27, out of an estimated 9,200 healthcare workers who’ve tested positive for infection.

But the numbers come from a small collection of test results, and health officials admit they have no centralized, coordinated way to track healthcare fatalities from the pandemic.

The best they can do is give an estimate based on more comprehensive tracking by some states of the occupations of people who test positive, and about 11% of those are healthcare workers.

More and more doctors and nurses on the frontlines are speaking out about their fears and frustrations of being vulnerable to potentially fatal infection because of the dwindling or non-existent amounts of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment).

Some are being reprimanded, suspended, and in some cases – fired for refusing to treat COVID-19 patients if they don’t have access to proper PPE, especially N95 respirator masks which are said to block about 95% of the small virus particles that become airborne when a patient coughs or sneezes.

The nurses say they are being forced to use surgical masks which won’t provide the same level of protection, or nothing at all. And in both cases, there are no guarantees they will prevent viral infection.

Much of this is based on guidance from the CDC. Janelle Griffith of NBC News reports on what that guidance is, and how it’s forcing more nurses across the country to protest what they call unsafe working conditions.

And The Guardian newspaper in London is collaborating with Kaiser Health News on a special series “Lost On The Frontline” as it chronicles the tragic cases of America’s healthcare workers who are dying on the frontlines.

The project aims to document the life of every health care worker in America who dies from COVID-19. If you have a colleague or loved one you think they should include, please share their story.

GetUsPPE is a grassroots coalition of volunteers mobilized to address the PPE shortage and get healthcare heroes the protection they need.

Click here if you need PPE. Click here if you have PPE to donate.
 

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Heart: Heart Attack or C19?

Abled.Health: Computer illustration shows a simulated heart attack seen through a transparent male torso.

More evidence is emerging from around the world that the COVID-19 coronavirus is damaging the heart as well as the lungs in many patients because it triggers a cytokine storm. We explain what that is below.

The 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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COVID-19: Can It Re-infect?

Abled.Health: Stock photo of an African American couple sitting together. He holds a tissue in both hands while she looks at a thermometer she is holding.

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. 

Hillary Leung has examined this in more detail at Time.com, including the data results from Shenzhen, China where almost 15% of coronavirus patients tested positive after they were discharged.

 

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Symptoms: Allergies, Flu or C19?

Abled.Health: Photo of middle-aged woman sneezing into a handkerchief as she stands near blooming roses against a leafy hedge.

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.

Symptoms Comparison

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.”

Below, 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 that differentiates symptoms between conditions.

Click on the image to open a full-size version of it.

Abled.ALERT: Symptoms comparison map for Allergies, Cold, Flu and COVID-19. Text list in previous FAQS section.

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HEALTH DIRECTORY

Abled.Health: Health icon of a shield with a cross in the middle is centered within a white rounded triangle. Photo of a middle-aged couple sitting side by side with the ocean in the background as they do yoga.
Abled.Health: Photo of Doctor Kwang-Soo Kim holding up and examining a large measuring test tube in a lab.

Parkinson's: Breakthrough?

A 69 year old doctor with Parkinson’s disease is showing remarkable progress in being able to swim and tie his shoes again.

The 2017 experiment, in which  George ‘Doc’ Lopez became the first in the world to receive a transplant of brain cells made from his own skin, saw the team of neurosurgeons transplant dopamine neurons into his brain.

In an exclusive report, StatNews details that Harvard stem cell biologist Dr. Kwang-Soo Kim and collaborating neurologists will publish the full details  of the case in a medical journal this week.

The estimated 10 million people with Parkinson’s worldwide suffer from loss of motor control because their brains stop making enough dopamine.

High profile patients have included actor Michael J. Fox who formed a foundation to fight the disease, as well as  the late U.S. President George H.W. Bush and the late boxer Muhammad Ali.

Parkinson’s disease affects one in 500 people, including about one million Americans. There is no cure and treatments consist of drugs that synthetically replace dopamine. 

Although Dr. Lopez’s swimming laps are a far cry from clinical proof that Parkinson’s can be stopped, the treatment he underwent could be the first glimmer of a breakthrough treatment in reducing symptoms of the disease.

Read the full report at StatNews.

In our Curated Videos section below, we’ve embedded a video of an interview with Dr. Lopez at the time he received the Distinguished Achievement Award from his alma mater, The University of Colorado School of Medicine.

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Abled.Health: Computer illustration of a narrowed blood vessel causing a stroke.

Stroke Prevention

The three most important elements in lowering your risk of having a stroke are diet, exercise and stress reduction.

They are all factors that can affect your risk of developing hypertension, caused by high blood pressure.

Hypertension doesn’t really display any symptoms, and if left untreated, can lead to heart disease, a heart attack as well as a stroke.

If you have the condition, don’t feel alone, it affects nearly half of all Americans – that’s over 100 million people.

But while there is no “cure” for hypertension, it is possible to reduce the risk and manage it with the right kind of lifestyle changes. Research shows that simply losing 10 pounds of body weight can reduce blood pressure by as much as 12 mm Hg. 

If you hear your doctor or nurse saying you’re blood pressure is 120 over 80, that’s great news because it means your readings are normal.

The 120 refers to the Systolic Pressure: that’s a measurement of the amount of pressure in the arteries when your heart muscle contracts.

The 80 refers to the Diastolic Pressure: that’s a measure of the amount of pressure in your arteries between heart beats.

So the official reading of 120/80 mm Hg or lower is considered normal blood pressure.

Your blood pressure is considered elevated with a reading of 120-129 over 80.

Stage 1 Hypertension is diagnosed from a reading between 130-139 over 80-89.

Stage 2 Hypertension is diagnosed from a reading of over 140 Systolic or over 90 Diastolic.

Hypertensive CrisisSeek immediate medical attention – results from a reading over 180 Systolic and/or over 120 Diastolic.

So if you’ve been diagnosed with or suspect that you may have hypertension, talk with your doctor about what kind of exercise would be safe for you, as well as planning a heart-healthy diet, and how to work out a stress management regime.

You can find more information about hypertension at Healthline.com, including detailed symptoms, treatments and dietary changes you can make.

 

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Anxiety: Calming Foods

These Foods May Help To Ease Anxiety And Panic Attacks

“I’ve actually seen in my patients a significant reduction in their level of anxiety as they pay more clear attention to what they’re consuming.“

That’s the observation of Dr. Uma Naidoo, director of nutritional and lifestyle psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and a psychiatry instructor at Harvard Medical School.

 Dr. Naidoo told NBC’s TODAY show: “But if you’re eating poorly . . .  it will drive your anxiety in the wrong direction.”

She says certain foods like sugar and processed fare lead to a rise in the brain chemicals that don’t help us feel good, and warns that a sugar rush can mimic a panic attack.

Go for complex carbs

Dr. Nadoo explains that the advantage of complex carbohydrates, found in foods like oatmeal, quinoa and sweet potatoes, is that they break down more slowly in the body. You feel fuller longer and this provides a more even, steady state to your blood sugar. You’ll experience calmer feelings psychologically as well.

Pay attention to nutrients

Foods rich in magnesium, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B may help ease anxiety and may help to balance out your body. However, Dr. Nadoo is not advising taking supplements without knowing if you’re deficient.

 

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CURATED VIDEOS

Parkinson's Benefactor

In this video from 2018, Dr. George Lopez, the subject of the story, above, on a potential breakthrough in Parkinson’s Disease research, discusses his medical career and a number of inventions he has pioneered to help medical professionals and patients.

He had received the Distinguished Achievement Award from his alma mater, The University of Colorado School of Medicine.

 

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'Infodemic' Debate

Whether it’s false cures or conspiracy theories, disinformation is going viral – so much so, that the United Nations says we’re fighting two enemies: the scourge of Covid-19 and an “infodemic.

” Who’s behind the spread of fake Corona news and who can stop it? Can social media be compelled to take responsibility? And how is the crisis being instrumentalized for political purposes?

France24 and DW join up for “The Debate.” Our guests: sociologist Jen Schradie, German politician Franziska Brantner (Green Party) and European parliamentarian Sandro Gozi (Liste Renaissance)

Subscribe: https://www.youtube.com/user/deutsche… For more news go to: http://www.dw.com/en/

 

 

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The Diabetes Epidemic

Blood Sugar Rising follows the diabetes epidemic in the U.S. Diabetes and pre-diabetes affect over 100 million people in the US, costing more than $325 billion each year.

Blood Sugar Rising puts human faces to these statistics, exploring the history and science of the illness through portraits of Americans whose stories shape the film.

Official Website: https://www.pbs.org/bloodsugar | #BloodSugarPBS

Subscribe to the PBS channel for more clips: https://www.youtube.com/PBS/

Enjoy full episodes of your favorite PBS shows anytime, anywhere with the free PBS Video App: https://to.pbs.org/2QbtzhR

 

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