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Politics

Kansas governor angered after House Speaker attended meeting, didn’t disclose COVID hospitalization


Needless to say, those in attendance are outraged. In a statement, Gov. Kelly sternly criticized Ryckman for endangering everyone in the meeting, “Speaker Ryckman’s decision to attend the State Finance Council meeting after being released from the hospital, while concealing his diagnosis from those of us in the room and taking his mask off, was reckless and dangerous.”

Dangerous, indeed. Reckless and cruel, possibly even deadly indifference to his fellow lawmakers. One has to seriously wonder how we arrived at this point where Republicans are so selfish and callous during a global health crisis, one that is now estimated to kill 300,000 Americans by early December. 

Of course, Ryckman led the charge, alongside other Kansas Republicans, to limit Gov. Kelly’s ability to issue public health directives, like closing schools and requiring masks, to keep Kansans safe from the disease.

Ryckman claimed he was cleared by a doctor before attending the meeting, but doesn’t common sense and common decency dictate that you inform your peers of such a diagnosis? Shouldn’t they have a choice about whether they want to take a chance on being exposed? It isn’t like Ryckman was walking around asymptomatic—the man was hospitalized for a week. 

Ryckman called Kelly’s statement “fear mongering and public shaming.” Classic Republicanism, always playing the victim. 





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Health

As in Adults, Minority Kids Hit Hardest by COVID


FRIDAY, Aug. 7, 2020 (HealthDay News) — U.S. minorities have been particularly hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic, and a new study suggests kids are no exception.

Researchers found that at one community testing site, nearly half of Hispanic children and teens were positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The same was true of 30% of Black kids.

The rate among white kids hovered around 7%.

At this point, racial disparities in the U.S. pandemic are well-documented — at least among adults.

“But those adults also live with children,” said lead researcher Dr. Monika Goyal.

Her team’s findings — published online Aug. 5 in Pediatrics — offer a glimpse at how the pandemic is disproportionately affecting kids and teens, as well.

What the study cannot discern is why, said Goyal, a pediatric emergency specialist at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C. But there are probably several reasons, she added.

Experts have pointed to a number of explanations for the racial disparities among adults: Many Black and Hispanic Americans are essential workers and cannot stay at home; they are more reliant on public transportation; and they often live in crowded housing, which can fuel COVID-19 transmission among family members.

And then there are the inequities in access to health care, including testing for the new coronavirus.

“COVID has really shined a light on many long-standing disparities in the U.S.,” Goyal said.

Dr. Lawrence Kleinman, a pediatrician and chief of population health, quality and implementation science at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, N.J., said, “The virus doesn’t discriminate — it’s the social conditions.”

Kleinman, whose own research has focused on COVID-19’s impact on kids, said the new findings are not surprising.

“They’re consistent with everything we’ve seen during the pandemic,” he said.

The new study included 1,000 young people, from infants through age 22 — the large majority (87%) being under 18. All were referred to a free testing site affiliated with Children’s National, because they had mild symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 and met certain other criteria — like known exposure to the virus.





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Americans More Stressed by COVID Than Other Nations


THURSDAY, Aug. 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Americans are faring much worse mentally and financially during the COVID-19 pandemic than citizens of other high-income countries around the world, according to an international analysis.

One-third of U.S. adults say they’ve experienced unbearable stress, anxiety and sadness during the pandemic and more than 30% have faced economic hardships, the Commonwealth Fund report revealed.

“Data from our research demonstrates that U.S. adults, when compared to people in eight other high-income countries, face greater mental health and financial consequences from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Reginald Williams II, a vice president at Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation that studies health care issues. “It is also notable that few U.S. adults believe that national leadership has done a good job of managing the pandemic when compared to other countries.”

Only one-third of Americans said President Donald Trump has done a “very good” or “good” job in handling COVID-19 — a lack of faith in government not shared by most people in other developed nations, the survey found.

“It’s no secret that at a time when countries around the world are reopening, ours is still struggling to return to work and daily life,” said Dr. David Blumenthal, president of the Commonwealth Fund.

“As the number of confirmed COVID cases and deaths in the U.S. continue to climb, we need to start implementing public health measures that we know work, like mask-wearing, social distancing, and robust testing and tracing that can help us stop the spread of COVID-19 as so many others have effectively accomplished,” he said.

The Commonwealth Fund has been comparing health systems around the world for decades, but the COVID-19 pandemic presents a rare instance in which every nation surveyed is facing the same crisis at the same time, Blumenthal said.

Between March and May, the organization interviewed more than 8,200 adults in nationally representative samples from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The results were not flattering to the United States, which has lost quite a bit of international stature due to its COVID-19 response:

  • 33% of Americans reported emotional problems related to the pandemic, compared with between 10% in Norway and 26% in the United Kingdom and Canada.
  • 31% of U.S. adults said they were able to get the mental health care they needed, compared with 47% in Canada and 54% in Australia.
  • 31% of Americans said they were unable to pay for basic necessities and were either draining their savings or borrowing money to get by, compared with between 6% in Germany and 24% in Canada.
  • Americans are the least pleased with their government’s response to COVID-19, with only 33% saying Trump is meeting the challenge and 51% praising their state or local government leaders. In all other countries, at least half of people are happy with their nation’s response.





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Many COVID Patients Get Useless Antibiotics: Study


Those numbers are, however, from earlier days. And things are likely different now, according to Clancy, who is also chief of infectious diseases at the VA Pittsburgh Health Care System.

Nori agreed, and said that since the study period, antibiotic use at Montefiore has “reset” to more typical levels.

With this report, Nori said, one goal was to document what happened during the COVID surge. “If it happens again, let’s not be so ubiquitous with our antibiotic use,” she said.

Beyond that, Nori added, “if hospitals in other states can benefit from this experience, that would be huge for us.”

That does not mean COVID-19 patients should never get antibiotics before tests confirm a bacterial infection.

Clancy said that “some empiric use” of the drugs will continue in hospitals. Empiric means based on doctors’ clinical experience; in some cases, he said, it is reasonable to give antibiotics to a seriously ill patient before test results are in.

But if those results turn out to be negative, Clancy added, antibiotics should be stopped.

The main concern with unnecessary prescribing is that it will feed antibiotic resistance — where bacteria develop defensive strategies against the drugs that kill them. And in this study, Nori’s team found that even in a short time frame, certain bacteria isolated from patients harbored signs of increased resistance.

Antibiotic resistance is already a huge problem in the United States, Clancy said.

Each year, almost 3 million Americans fall ill with antibiotic-resistant infections — and more than 35,000 of them die, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Now, Clancy said, there is a “major concern” that antibiotic overuse during the pandemic could fuel the problem.

But it’s actually antibiotic misuse outside of hospitals that is the bigger threat, he noted.

Many people, Clancy said, want an antibiotic when they are miserably sick — often unaware the drugs cannot kill viruses.

“Don’t go to the doctor expecting to get an antibiotic,” Clancy said. “If you’re diagnosed with COVID-19 and you don’t get an antibiotic, your doctor is doing the right thing.”


WebMD News from HealthDay


Sources

SOURCES: Priya Nori, M.D., assistant professor, medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, medical director, Antibiotic Stewardship Program, Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, N.Y.; Cornelius Clancy, M.D., chief, infectious diseases section, VA Pittsburgh Health Care System, associate professor, medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and spokesperson, Infectious Diseases Society of America, Arlington, Va.;Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, July 24, 2020, online




Copyright © 2013-2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.





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Celebrity

‘Teen Mom 2’ Season 10 Trailer Includes STDs, Covid Tests, More: Video


The cast of Teen Mom 2 is ready to explode. In Us Weekly’s sneak peek at the upcoming 10th season, the ladies are shown facing some dramatic highs and lows.

Chelsea Houska hints at a “s–tty situation” that her daughter, Aubree, is going through and wonders if she’ll have “to go to court again” over the issue. In the next scene, Leah Messer then admits to her past struggles with substance abuse, saying: “I’ve never said this before, but I was addicted to pain medication.”

At one point in the clip, Briana DeJesus tells a friend via FaceTime that she had sex with Luis Hernandez — the father of her 3-year-old daughter, Stella. Later on during a confessional, the 21-year-old bluntly shares that she has “not processed” that Hernandez “gave me an STD.”

Kailyn Lowry is gearing up for the arrival of her fourth child, a son whom she welcomed on July 30. The 28-year-old MTV vet says she needs to “put my big girl pants on” as she continues her pregnancy journey.

Teen Mom 2 MTV

Jade Cline, for her part, deals with building tension in her family and says she’s “done being people’s doormat.” The 23-year-old is then seen screaming about how she doesn’t “want to f–king film.” She also yells at someone to “get out.”

For a brief moment, MTV gives a glimpse at how the coronavirus pandemic comes into the season 10 narrative. Chelsea, 28, notes how the deadly illness is “actually a big deal” and is next shown getting a COVID-19 nose swab test.

Teen Mom 2, which is a spinoff to 16 and Pregnant, debuted on MTV in 2011. The popular reality series wrapped its 9th season in November 2019.

Briana tweeted in May about what’s to come for her story line, in particular, this coming season. However, she later deleted the updates from social media.

“Ugh Teen Mom OG is ending, which means Teen Mom 2 will start soon and that means I gotta disappear,” she previously wrote, per The Sun. “If I go missing, it’s cause I needed a break. I’m praying it won’t even air, but whatever it’s out of my hands now anyways.”

Briana added, “This season will be trash for me. I cannot take it. Ready for everything to be over with.”

Teen Mom 2 returns to MTV for its 10th season on Tuesday, September 1, at 8 p.m. ET.

Listen to Watch With Us to hear more about your favorite shows and for the latest TV news!



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Health

Even With PPE, Frontline Workers Face COVID Risk


By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter


MONDAY, Aug. 3, 2020 (HealthDay News) — At the peak of the pandemic in the United States and United Kingdom, frontline health care workers, especially minorities, had much higher risks for COVID-19 than other individuals, a new study finds.

Paramedics, who are often the first to see sick patients, are at far greater risk of testing positive for COVID-19 than others, the researchers said. That’s especially true for frontline health care workers who are Black, Asian or from other minority ethnic backgrounds.

For the study, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston reviewed data collected on a smartphone app from more than 2 million members of the general public and nearly 100,000 frontline health care workers in the United States and the United Kingdom. Between March 24 and April 23, more than 5,500 respondents tested positive for COVID-19.


Health care workers had at least a threefold increased risk of COVID-19, the study found. Black, Asian and minority health care workers had nearly twice the increased risk of their white counterparts.

Workers who reported lacking adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) — such as masks, gloves and gowns — had an especially higher risk. But even when adequate protection was available, some risk remained.

“Although it is clear that health care workers on the front line of the fight against COVID-19 have an increased risk of infection, our country continues to face vexing shortages of PPE,” said senior author Dr. Andrew Chan, chief of Mass General’s clinical and translational epidemiology unit.

“Our results underscore the importance of providing adequate access to PPE, and also suggest that systemic racism associated with inequalities to access to PPE likely contribute to the disproportionate risk of infection among minority frontline health care workers,” he added in a hospital news release.

The findings were published July 31 in The Lancet Public Health.



WebMD News from HealthDay


Sources

SOURCE: Massachusetts General Hospital, news release, July 31, 2020




Copyright © 2013-2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.





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Covid reminds us of polio epidemic in Wytheville, Va.



“People would cross the street when they saw you coming. Everybody knew about the polio epidemic and how bad it was here,” my mother would tell me, recalling how, in summer 1950, the world treated our western Virginia town of Wytheville, described by a Richmond newspaper as “the nation’s hardest hit.”

Our town, with a population of 5,000, suffered greatly from the polio epidemic, when 189 people were stricken, almost two dozen died and the only fully operating businesses were the two funeral homes. Wytheville had the highest per capita rate of polio in the country, the Virginia State Health Bulletin reported in 1951.

My 9-year-old brother, nicknamed Skipper, died of polio that summer, six weeks before I was born.

I always knew how hard my brother’s death had been on our family. My brother suffered the bulbar type of polio, the kind that can paralyze the circulatory and respiratory system, and his originated in the throat. His illness was not the more familiar “infantile paralysis” that left victims such as President Franklin D. Roosevelt on crutches and in leg braces.

Skipper was ill for only one day. He’d been admitted to a hospital in Roanoke, about 75 miles from Wytheville, after he woke up and had lost the power of speech. He’d been to a doctor that day. That night, before he went to sleep, my brother told my mother he was no longer normal.

My older sister, Melva Stephens Potts, who had polio and recovered but died of cancer in 1996, remembered squeezing oranges to get her strength back.

I remember confronting my mother repeatedly, when I was at least 8 years old, about how people treated each other during the epidemic. I would tell her that my aunts had told me not one nurse attended my birth, coming as it did during the epidemic, and the doctor came into her room only in time to “catch” me.

I always conveyed how angry that made me. “Those people were mean,” I told her.

“No, they were afraid,” she always said. “I can’t make you understand.”

Misinformation and lack of information frightened people during the polio epidemic, not unlike today.

Earlier this year, I would watch New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s daily briefings on my television as he cautioned us not to “underestimate this virus,” urging action over fear. “We’re fighting the virus and we’re fighting panic,” he would say.

Often, when my mother talked about the epidemic, she’d say that if people didn’t cross the street to avoid you, “They’d put handkerchiefs over their mouths.” And now it’s happening to me.

At 69, I am in an age group vulnerable to the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease covid-19. I wear a mask and gloves. My husband, who is in remission from acute myeloid leukemia, was tested three times for covid-19 when he spiked a fever while undergoing chemotherapy. He tested negative. He didn’t have the virus; he did have pneumonia.

He was treated at the University of Virginia Medical Center. Before he was discharged I had to go to the hospital to learn to flush his PICC line, a tube leading from inside his body to the outside so he can receive chemo easily. The hospital was closed to visitors and before I could enter my temperature was taken, and I was stopped by three security guards. I was not surprised. Now, as then, people are cautious.

Then, as now, it was a virus, and people didn’t know exactly how it spread. Swimming pools were closed during the polio epidemic because it was thought that water could be a factor.

Then children were ordered to stay in their own yards. Now it’s called social distancing.

I didn’t learn until more than 20 years ago that a local family generously offered their cabin in Hungry Mother State Park, 25 miles from Wytheville, and my family sought sanctuary there.

In its 1951 report on the epidemic, the Virginia State Health Bulletin concluded: “Investigations were made of water, milk supplies, sewage disposal, fly prevalence and personal contact with other cases. To date the study has revealed no common dominator among the cases reported.”

One difference between today’s pandemic and the 1950 polio epidemic was the open racial discrimination, which the oral history called “an ugly fact of life in the South.” Racial differences affected health care then, as now, but in different ways.

The Roanoke hospital, which treated the area’s White victims, refused to accept stricken African Americans as patients. Wytheville’s African Americans, the history reads, “Had to go to Richmond’s St. Philip Hospital over three hundred miles away, in the summer heat and humidity. Even when a local doctor tried to persuade Roanoke by phone to take one, the hospital administrators refused admission.”

Mrs. Sammie Cook, the mother of victim Betty Jean Cook-Brown, had this to say: “It took all that time to make that drive to Richmond, which, we think, may be what caused the paralysis in her jaw.”

The coronavirus will probably live long in our memories, but the polio epidemic has been mostly forgotten.

In a social history titled “In the Shadow of Polio,” published in 1996, author Kathryn Black writes, “So thoroughly have we expunged polio from our memory that today the historian David Halberstam could write an eight-hundred-page social history of the fifties without addressing the disease, not even the discovery of the vaccines.”

I remember, as an adult, learning that a writer wanted to interview my pharmacist father about the epidemic and went to his drugstore to see him. My father wouldn’t talk to him.



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Which HCPs Are Most Likely to Get COVID Vaccine?



What your doctor is reading on Medscape.com:

By Marcia Frellick

July 31, 2020 — Physicians are the most likely group of healthcare professionals to get a COVID-19 vaccine when one is available, according to a new Medscape poll.

More than 7000 healthcare professionals, including clinicians, medical students, and administrators, responded to the poll.

US physicians who responded were as likely as physicians outside the United States to say they would get a vaccine when it’s ready. Nurses and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) were much less likely than physicians overall to say yes.


Table. Do You Plan to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine When it Becomes Available?*








Answer

% US Physicians

% Physicians Outside US

% Nurses/APRNs**
Yes717553
No13824
Unsure171623

*Percentages may not equal 100% due to rounding
**Advanced Practice Registered Nurses


Which Specialists Are Most Likely to Get Vaccinated?

Willingness to get a COVID-19 vaccine varied substantially by specialty. Eighty-two percent of ophthalmologists said they would get a vaccine, followed by radiologists (79%); obstetricians/gynecologists (77%);   psychiatrists/mental health providers (76%); pathologists (72%);  anesthesiologists (70%); family physicians (69%); emergency physicians (63%); and internists (62%). (Responses listed are based on specialties that provided an adequate amount of poll data.)

Physicians’ willingness to recommend that their patients get the vaccine as soon as one is available ranged from 65% among ophthalmologists to 46% among emergency physicians. Between 48% and 53% of the other specialists said they would advise immediate uptake.

Willingness to get vaccinated for COVID-19 also appeared to increase by age. Among physicians, 56% of those younger than 35 said they would take the vaccine while 79% of those 65 and older said they would. Fewer than half of younger nurses (46%) said they would take it compared with 66% of those at least 65 years old. While 58% of younger pharmacists said they would get the vaccine, the number grew to 83% for those at least 65 years old.


Patients More Reluctant Than Providers

These results contrast with those from a similar WebMD poll of patients, which found much more reluctance to get vaccinated. Slightly more than 40% of patients said they plan to get a vaccine, while 28% said they do not. Another 30% were unsure.


Continued

Of those responding to the Medscape poll who said they had concerns about a vaccine, potential safety risks and lack of effectiveness were the two top reasons.

Physicians were the least concerned (58%) about effectiveness while 71% of medical students were most concerned. Among other clinicians, 63% of pharmacists were concerned about effectiveness, followed by physician assistants (62%); other healthcare providers (61%); and nurses/APRNs (60%).

Among specialists, confidence in a vaccine varied considerably, but overall the expectations were low, with less than half of respondents across almost all specialties confident that the first vaccine would be effective or very effective.

About 50% of ophthalmologists and anesthesiologists were confident a vaccine would be effective, but only 28% of family physicians answered that way.

Medscape previously reported that nearly half of respondents (48%) to an Ipsos/Reuters poll in May said they were cautious about any COVID-19 vaccine that was quickly approved in a process that usually takes at least a decade. One third of respondents said they did not trust the people making vaccines.

John Whyte, MD, chief medical officer of WebMD, said the high level of concern among patients should serve as a wake-up call.

“If immunization rates are low, then we’re not going to achieve the level of herd immunity needed to protect us from this virus.”


Physicians Have Fewest Concerns About Adverse Effects

Physicians were the least likely health professional (47%) to say they were worried about potential adverse effects of a vaccine that would outweigh the risks of COVID-19. Next among providers with that thinking were pharmacists (48%); nurses/APRNs (58%); other healthcare providers (60%); and PAs (61%). Nearly 60% of medical students said they were concerned about potential adverse effects that could outweigh COVID-19 risks.

US physicians were more likely than those outside the United States to say they were concerned about lack of effectiveness in a COVID-19 vaccine (58% vs 48%).

Patients responding to the WebMD poll also said they were concerned about the safety of a new vaccine; 78% cited concerns about adverse effects. Another 15% weren’t convinced it would be effective.


Continued


Few Predict a Vaccine in 2020

Asked when they thought a vaccine would be readily available, few healthcare professionals predicted that would happen by the end of this year. Only 22% of physicians, 17% of pharmacists, and 14% of nurses/APRNs expected that.

But confidence is high that a vaccine will be widely available sometime in 2021.  


Table 2. When Do You Think an Effective COVID-19 Vaccine Will Be Widely Available?










Answer

% Physicians

% Nurses/APRNs

% Pharmacists

% Health Business/Administration
By end of 202022141715
In 202165646763
In 20228111011
Later than 20222635
Never3536

When a COVID-19 vaccine is available, healthcare facilities will have to make policy decisions about who must get it.

One commenter on the poll said, “I’ll be interested to see how various institutions handle vaccination policies. For example, the hospital where I work has a mandatory flu vaccination policy. Many of our employees resent this mandatory vaccination but still go along with it because the flu vaccines have been around for so long that they have some reassurance of safety.”


Marcia Frellick is a freelance journalist based in Chicago. She has previously written for the Chicago Tribune, Science News and Nurse.com and was an editor at the Chicago Sun-Times, the Cincinnati Enquirer, and the St. Cloud (Minnesota) Times. Follow her on Twitter at 

@mfrellick



Medscape Medical News


© 2020 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.





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With Precautions, Unlikely Baby Gets COVID from Mom


FRIDAY, July 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Mothers are unlikely to pass COVID-19 to their newborns if they follow recommended precautions, a small study suggests.

“We hope our study will provide some reassurance to new mothers that the risk of them passing COVID-19 to their babies is very low. However, larger studies are needed to better understand the risks of transmission from mother to child,” said co-leader Dr. Christine Salvatore, a pediatric infectious disease specialist from Weill Cornell Medicine-New York Presbyterian Komansky Children’s Hospital in New York City.

The research included 120 babies born to 116 mothers with COVID-19 infection. The infants, born at three New York hospitals between March 22 and May 17, were allowed to room with their mothers and breastfeed, if moms were well enough.

The babies were in enclosed cribs, 6 feet from their mothers, except during feeding. Moms were required to wear masks while handling their babies and to follow frequent hand- and breast-washing guidelines.

There were no cases of coronavirus transmission to the babies during birth or after two weeks of breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact. At 1 month of age, 53 babies had a virtual checkup and were well and growing normally, according to the study published July 23 in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health journal.

The findings suggest it’s safe for mothers with COVID-19 to breastfeed and room with their newborn — if they follow infection control procedures, researchers concluded.

Study co-leader Dr. Patricia DeLaMora, another pediatric infectious disease specialist at Weill Cornell, noted that skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding are important for bonding between mother and child and for the baby’s long-term health.

“Our findings suggest that babies born to mothers with COVID-19 infection can still benefit from these safely, if appropriate infection control measures are followed,” she said in a journal news release.

Dr. Melissa Medvedev, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco, wrote an editorial that accompanied the study.

While she said the findings provide valuable safety data, key questions remain unanswered.

“Robust population-based data are needed to quantify the incidence of complications among pregnant women and neonates, and to understand rates and routes of vertical and horizontal transmission, including asymptomatic transmission,” Medvedev wrote. “Studies are also required to determine the effectiveness of infection prevention and control practices in the neonatal care setting.”





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COVID Fears Shouldn’t Keep You From the ER


THURSDAY, July 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Fear of COVID-19 is keeping keep some people from getting medical help for critical conditions like stroke and heart attack, experts say.

In the first months of the pandemic, doctors at the Penn State Health Hershey Medical Center saw a 50% drop in the number of patients going to the emergency room for serious illnesses.

Although these numbers are starting to trend upward, patients need to understand that hospitals provide safe care and quick treatment is essential to prevent death and disability, doctors say.

“There is a lot of concern about COVID-19 — and you should be concerned as it is very serious — but you are 10 times more likely to die from an untreated heart attack than you are from COVID-19,” said Dr. Chad Zack, an interventional cardiologist at Penn State Heart and Vascular Institute.

“Other things we worry about would be sudden cardiac arrest at home, heart failure symptoms in the short term and in the long term, and even delayed complications that can be associated with heart muscle rupture or acute onset valvular heart disease,” Zack said in a center news release.

Classic symptoms of a heart attack include chest pain, chest tightness, and aches in the chest or arms that radiate to the neck or jaw. Some people may experience nausea, abdominal pain or even shortness of breath.

“If you experience any of these symptoms, especially if you have a history of cardiac disease, we urge you to call 911 and be seen promptly — especially if symptoms persist for more than 15 minutes,” Zack said.

With stroke, fast medical care is also critical, said Dr. Ray Reichwein, a neurologist and co-director of the Penn State Stroke Center.

“A number of people who have milder symptoms may feel that they are going to ride it out at home. It turns out individuals who suffer a mini-stroke or a mild stroke have a much higher likelihood of having another stroke over the next 90 days,” Reichwein said.

“I encourage everyone that it is critical, even with milder symptoms, to get checked out and determine why it happened and hopefully change the management, so they don’t end up with a subsequent, disabling stroke,” he added.

Hospitals are working hard to protect patients and staff from the coronavirus. When patients arrive at most hospitals, they are screened for symptoms of COVID-19 and isolated if they have them. That means you’re unlikely to come in contact with someone who has the virus.





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