Latest News Regarding COVID-19

Masks Not Enough to Stop COVID-19’s Spread Without Distancing

tips during the coronavirusResearchers tested how five different types of mask materials used to produce COVID-19 masks that have impacted the spread of droplets that carry the coronavirus when we cough or sneeze. Every material tested dramatically reduced the number of droplets that were spread. But at distances of less than 6 feet, enough droplets to potentially cause illness still made it through several of the materials.

“A mask definitely helps, but if the people are very close to each other, there is still a chance of spreading or contracting the virus,” said Krishna Kota, an associate professor at New Mexico State University and one of the article’s authors. “It’s not just masks that will help. It’s both the masks and distancing.”

Source:  American Institute of Physics (AIP)

Brush Your Teeth.

Why is that so important this year? According to  a new study published in the British Dental Journal, poor oral hygiene may be connected to serious COVID-19 complications due to high levels of harmful oral bacteria.  The mouth is the gateway to the body, and the study suggests that good oral health practices could help reduce COVID-19 symptoms, such as respiratory infections.

COVID-19 patients at higher risk of death, health problems than those with flu

Almost a year ago, COVID-19 began its global rampage, going on to infect about 69.5 million people and kill about 1.6 million as of early this month. From the beginning, most scientists have said that COVID-19 is deadlier than the seasonal flu, while fringe theories have circulated widely, suggesting it is less deadly or flu’s equal.

Evidence is accumulating, however, to show just how much deadlier COVID-19 is compared with the flu and the extent of complications related to the two illnesses.

The new research — a deep dive into federal data by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Veterans Affairs St. Louis Health Care System — reveals a clearer distinction between the two contagious viruses: Among hospitalized patients, COVID-19 was associated with an increased need for ventilators, more admissions into intensive care units (ICUs), longer hospital stays and nearly five times the risk of death than faced by those with the flu.

And although both illnesses attack the lungs, the analysis showed COVID-19 also can damage other organs. It revealed that COVID-19 was associated with a higher risk of complications such as acute kidney and liver damage, as well as heart disorders, stroke, severe septic shock, low blood pressure, excessive blood clotting and new-onset diabetes.

The findings are published online in the journal The BMJ.

How COVID-19 is Negatively Impacting Those Who are not Infected

COVID-19 has acutely impacted the agriculture industry and many farmers have been forced to make drastic changes to their business proceedings and their daily lives. Margaret Beetstra, MPA, Ohio State University, evaluated farmer experiences during the pandemic to determine what they are doing to mitigate their risk, how their short- and long-term goals have changed, and the extent to which they feel in control at this time.

The COVID-19 pandemic affected workers in our nation’s meat-packing plants disproportionately, especially in the early months. In April 2020, meatpacking facilities were deemed an essential business and forced to remain open, but many meatpacking workers have fallen ill from COVID-19 as a result of hours spent in high-risk facilities, leading to plant closures that have caused economic problems for livestock producers, meat processors, grocery stores, and consumers. 

Office workers, educators and students have had to grapple with the shift from face-to-face communication to web interactions, predominantly through the Zoom platform. After several months of ‘Zooming,’ and no end in sight, people are reporting a sense of exhaustion with this type of communication, now being referred to as ‘Zoom fatigue.’ David M. Berube, Ph.D., North Carolina State University, has been studying the underlying complaints behind Zoom fatigue to better understand the impacts they have on our ability to communicate during this pandemic, and how we may communicate moving forward.

Hw have you been impacted by the pandemic?

CBD to Treat COVID-19 – Does it Work?

Exciting new research provides evidence that a strain of high CBD cannabis may be able to suppress inflammation to a great enough degree that it inhibits infection with Covid-19.

Source: Dr. Jon Kaiser

Is CBD effective in treating COVID-19

Cannabidiol, or CBD, may help reduce the cytokine storm and excessive lung inflammation that is killing many patients with COVID-19, researchers say.

While more work, including clinical trials to determine optimal dosage and timing, is needed before CBD becomes part of the treatment for COVID-19, researchers at the Dental College of Georgia and Medical College of Georgia have early evidence it could help patients showing signs of respiratory distress avoid extreme interventions like mechanical ventilation as well as death from acute respiratory distress syndrome.

At least one way CBD is thought to calm the immune response is because it looks similar to endocannabinoids, a natural cell signaling system in our bodies believed to be involved in a wide variety of functions from sleep to reproduction to inflammation and immune response. CB1 and CB2, the main receptors for this system, are found extensively throughout the body including the brain and respiratory system, where we breathe in humanmade and natural irritants in the air — as well as viruses and bacteria — that might inflame.  The work was supported in part by the National Institutes of Health.

Source:  Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.


Keep your eyes healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic

During the coronavirus pandemic, people should guard their eyes with glasses or face shields to protect their eyes from virus infection. People also need to know, even though there are many concerns about COVID-19, common-sense precautions can significantly reduce the risk of infection.

  • Wash hands frequently
  • Follow good contact lens hygiene
  • Avoid rubbing or touching our mouth, nose, and especially our eyes.

For people over 60, it’s better to stay home and do telehealth over the phone or video consultation until the pandemic flattens.

Source: Dr. Daniel Laroche, Director of Glaucoma Services and President of Advanced Eyecare of New York

Can coronavirus be transmitted by food or food packaging?

The good news is that it’s safe to eat food. The U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Administration) states on its website that, “Currently there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with the transmission of the coronavirus.” The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Department of Agriculture and World Health Organization are in agreement, saying that food is not a known way for coronavirus to be spread. Likewise, there’s no evidence that food packaging transmits the virus.

Source CDC

What do I do with my purchases once I get home?

Great job! You made it safely through your shopping trip. But you’re not done yet. You need to get your purchases inside and put away.

Wash your hands.

Once you get home, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Wipe down.

Don’t forget to clean off areas that you’ve touched when you get home, such as door handles, the doorbell, light switches, counter tops, faucets and refrigerator handles.

Wipe down your items?

Maybe. A recent issue of The New England Journal of Medicine featured a somewhat disturbing study that looked at the stability of the coronavirus on different types of surfaces. Researchers found that the virus remained active on plastic and stainless steel for up to 72 hours, and on cardboard for up to 24 hours. But health experts believe that risk of packages having coronavirus on them is pretty low, as most virus particles will degrade quickly once on a surface. If you’re worried, you can certainly wipe down cans, jars and plastic containers with a disinfecting wipe.

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