Day: October 7, 2020

By iwano@_84

Battered by 1st wave, Madrid hospital staff stretched by 2nd

TORREJÓN DE ARDOZ, Spain (AP) — With speed and determination, nurses, doctors and caretakers move in and out of glassed rooms with beds hooked up to tubes, cables and monitors. The cadence of beeps serves as a soundtrack to their workday, underpinned by a constant chatter of voices at half pitch and the snapping of rubber gloves as they’re removed by staff ending their shifts.

It’s another day at the intensive care ward at the Torrejón de Ardoz University Hospital, on the outskirts of the European capital that has so far seen the worst of the second wave of the pandemic. Still, hospital staff count themselves lucky: Despite having had to add nine intensive care beds to the usual 16, the hospital hasn’t had to postpone treatment for any other patients.

Many others in the region have.

Hospitals and their workers have been stretched to their limits again in Madrid,

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By iwano@_84

Insulin can be expensive, but there are options for those in need

By Beyond Type 1
Published 10:12 a.m. ET Oct. 5, 2020 | Updated 2:26 p.m. ET Oct. 7, 2020

Christine Kanderski lives with both her son (left), who has Type 1 diabetes, and her mother (right), who has Type 2 diabetes. (Photo: Christine Kanderski)

Living with diabetes in the United States can be expensive. A recent American Diabetes Association study showed that people with diabetes incur an average of about $16,750 in medical expenditures per year.1

The heavy financial burden of diabetes is something Christine Kanderski knows all too well. Kanderski lives with both her mother, who has Type 2 diabetes, and her son, who has Type 1 diabetes.

“We have to factor in quarterly hospital visits, medical supplies, backup medical supplies, understanding our insurance deductible and how that affects our household,” she said. “One of my biggest concerns is insulin and medical supply costs.”

Indeed, one of the

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By iwano@_84

Reproductive Health Tied to CVD in Women

Pregnancy complications and fertility issues that occur throughout the course of life may increase a woman’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) later on in life, according to an umbrella review.

A wide range of female sex-specific reproductive health factors from first menstruation to menopause were associated with increased risk of composite CVD, stroke, ischemic heart disease, and heart failure (HF), reported Krishnarajah Nirantharakumar, MD, of the University of Birmingham in England, and colleagues.

Preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, stillbirth, and preterm birth had the strongest associations with cardiovascular illness later on in life, with women who had history of preeclampsia at four times the risk of developing HF (relative risk 4.19, 95% CI 2.09-8.38), they wrote in The BMJ.

Breastfeeding reduced the risk of poor cardiovascular health. There were also no observed associations between CVD and use of progesterone-only birth control, non-oral hormonal contraceptives, or fertility treatment, according to the

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By iwano@_84

New Drug for Hypochondria Soon to Be OK’d (Satire)

Disclaimer: This post is from GomerBlog, a satirical site about healthcare.

Expect GiantDrugCo’s stock price to hit record levels soon — the company expects to launch the first-ever drug to treat hypochondria.

To be marketed as Placebadil, it’s an enteric-coated sucrose-(2R,3S,4S,5R,6R)-2-(hydroxymethyl)-6-[(2R,3S,4R,5R,6S)-4,5,6-trihydroxy-2-(hydroxymethyl)oxan-3-yl]oxy-oxane-3,4,5-trio, also known as “sugar” and “starch.”

In phase I and II trials, the drug was successful at treating myriad perceived illnesses such as 2-day-old sinus infections, COVID-19, brain cancers, and appendicitis. The trials were so successful that it was placed on the fast track to be approved before the end of the year.

One participant in the study was cured of her perceived endometriosis after only three doses. That study was conducted in a double-blind fashion with the participant not knowing if she was getting the placebo or the placebo. After she declared that she no longer suffered from endometriosis, she learned that she did indeed get the

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By iwano@_84

2014 seal flu outbreak illustrates threat of avian flus to mammals

Oct. 7 (UPI) — Scientists have identified the genetic mutations that allowed an avian flu strain to adapt to mammalian transmission, triggering an outbreak among European seals.

In 2014, an avian flu strain spread rapidly among harbor and gray seals in northern Europe, killing roughly a tenth of the population.

For the new study, published Wednesday in the journal Cell Host and Microbe, researchers exposed ferrets to different strains of H10N7, the virus subtype responsible for the 2014 seal flu outbreak.

Scientists found most avian flu strains failed to infect the ferrets, but that seal-adapted strains were successfully transmitted via the air from ferret to ferret.

The study suggests avian flu can regularly and repeatedly acquire mutations that make them more transmissible among mammals.

“Usually, these occasional introductions of avian influenza viruses in seals, like in humans, are ‘dead ends’ because the virus is not transmissible from one individual to

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By iwano@_84

Where You Live at 50 Could Determine Life Expectancy

One explanation: “Counties with a higher percentage of residents of color could also have a higher number of segregated neighborhoods and communities,” and segregated communities can concentrate poverty, the report points out, further restricting access to quality schools, safe parks, good jobs, and banks and capital for business development. Chronic stress from systemic racism and discrimination in health care have also put predominantly Black communities at a disadvantage when it comes to life expectancy.

“Evidence is clear that counties with more Black residents are having worse outcomes, and it’s incumbent on all of us to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to live a longer and healthier life,” Tan says.

“Those extra years are another anniversary, potentially another grandchild — that’s what people are missing out on.”

The coronavirus pandemic and life expectancy

Though the data in the report predates the coronavirus pandemic, Tan says COVID-19 — which has

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By iwano@_84

‘Dangerously incompetent’ politicians must go

The New England Journal of Medicine, one of the most prestigious medical journals in the world, on Wednesday broke with a nearly two-century tradition of avoiding politics to lambast U.S. politicians for their handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a first for the journal, the editors called for Americans to vote out leaders who have not done enough to address the pandemic.

“When it comes to the response to the largest public health crisis of our time, our current political leaders have demonstrated that they are dangerously incompetent,” the editors wrote. “We should not abet them and enable the deaths of thousands more Americans by allowing them to keep their jobs.”

While the 35 editors who signed the editorial did not call out President Donald Trump by name, the article is filled with allusions to his actions.

“The response of our nation’s leaders has been consistently inadequate,” they wrote. “The

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By iwano@_84

New England Journal of Medicine editorial takes aim at Trump administration: “This election gives us the power to render judgment”

The New England Journal of Medicine made a rare political move Wednesday, publishing an editorial by dozens of U.S. editors who denounced the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and said this election “gives us the power to render judgment.” 

The editorial, titled “Dying in a Leadership Vacuum,” does not explicitly endorse former Vice President Joe Biden, but the editors’ message is clear — the current leadership must change.

“Our current leaders have undercut trust in science and in government, causing damage that will certainly outlast them. Instead of relying on expertise, the administration has turned to uninformed ‘opinion leaders’ and charlatans who obscure the truth and facilitate the promulgation of outright lies,” the editorial says. 

“Anyone else who recklessly squandered lives and money in this way would be suffering legal consequences,” the editorial added. “Our leaders have largely claimed immunity for their actions. But this election gives us

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By iwano@_84

Coronavirus Debate Safety: A New Issue Grips the 2020 Race

Mr. Biden and his campaign have for months sought to make the race a referendum on Mr. Trump and, in particular, his stewardship of the virus response. Mr. Biden’s team believes that the president’s conduct around his diagnosis has further highlighted the contrasts between the two campaigns and their approaches to a virus that has killed 211,000 people in the United States and caused staggering economic fallout.

Mr. Trump has mocked masks, held large-scale rallies and minimized the risks of the virus even after contracting it. “Don’t be afraid of Covid,” he tweeted on Monday. After taking a drive with Secret Service agents to greet supporters on Sunday — alarming some medical experts — he returned to the White House from the hospital on Monday and ripped off his mask, even as positive cases among his staff continued to grow.

Mr. Biden had moved to take down negative ads after

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By iwano@_84

Second wave may be bad, experts warn continued vigilance


Efforts are gearing up to enlist trusted voices in hard-hit communities of color to help ensure potential COVID-19 vaccines are tested in the minority populations most ravaged by the virus. (Sept. 18)

AP Domestic

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, experts have warned about the horrors of the 1918 flu. After the first dangerous wave of infections that spring, cities and people relaxed their efforts to contain the virus and it came roaring back in the fall and winter, killing far more people.

So far, COVID-19 hasn’t behaved the same way. There was no summer break, and we’re not seeing the ebb and flow that characterized the 1918 outbreak. It’s been more like a forest fire spiking in one area while dying down in another. 

But for months, public health officials have predicted one comparison would stand: We’d have a terrible winter.

The fear is that cases will

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