Target Health Blog

COVID-19 Update

April 20, 2020


2019-20 coronavirus outbreak - Symptoms of 2019-nCoV (coronavirus). There are reports that it may spread even without symptoms.
Graphic credit: by Mikael Haggstrom, M.D.- Author info- Reusing images - Own work, CC0; Wikipedia Commons

Rolling Coronavirus Patients On To Their Stomachs

A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine (5 September 2013) found that a 1) _____ position helped lower mortality rates for patients with severe acute respiratory distress syndrome 2) (_____), a type of respiratory failure caused by inflammation in the lungs that patients with severe cases of COVID-19 are experiencing. That study, however, only looked at patients who were on ventilators, meaning that it is unclear what would happen to patients who were not as severely ill. A more recent study, conducted at a hospital in Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the global pandemic, found that lying prone was in some cases more helpful than applying positive pressure in the lungs using ventilators in COVID-19 patients. Despite the early successes, these trials are still limited in size and may not be generalizable to the larger population. Many patients also may not be physically able to spend all day at the hospital while on their stomachs. Clinical trials in the US are now looking at the effects of turning those patients, who need oxygen supplementation, on their stomachs.

3) _____ Cards

Is the US considering issuing identification cards that indicate if somebody has already been infected by the coronavirus and thus possibly has become immune? The idea is is as follows: 4) _____ testing could establish who has had the virus already. Then, through the use of an identification system, probably through our cell phones, we could keep track of the immune status of individuals. A number of US companies have also already started selling antibody tests for COVID-19, but none of them have yet to be approved by the 5) _____.

Some in 6) _____ have suggested using “immunity passports“ to eventually allow a subsection of the population to get back to work. Then, once herd immunity is achieved in area, restrictions could start to be lowered and the beginning to the return to normal society. Unfortunately, no one knows how long this immunity actually lasts.

New Outbreaks

When faced with an outbreak of COVID-19, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea took swift, harsh action to get the coronavirus under control. But now they are at risk of having to start all over again, due to travelers from the U.S. and Europe coming back into their countries. Even when China claimed last month to have 7) _____ new cases of COVID-19, authorities conceded that the number excluded those who traveled into the country while sick. Part of the problem is that people from Taiwan went to Europe for vacation while their children were home from school. When they returned, they may have inadvertently brought the disease back home.

Artificial Intelligence

The IBM supercomputer called “8) _____“ located at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, has identified 77 treatments that may be able to treat COVID-19. The research, uploaded to the preprint server ChemRxiv, could be an important first step to treat the COVID-19. The massive supercomputer was tasked with finding compounds that could bind to the “9) _____ _____“ or “S-protein“ of the virus that it uses to infect host cells. By rendering the protein ineffective, the virus would be inhibited from spreading. Using previously-created models of the coronavirus spike, the researchers simulated how particles in the viral protein would react to different drug compounds. The team cut down the list from 77 to the top seven most promising candidates to treat the 10) _____ virus. The Summit supercomputer's findings could be used to develop new treatments.

ANSWERS: 1) prone; 2) ARDS; 3) Identification; 4) antibody; 5) FDA; 6) Germany; 7) zero; 8) Summit; 9) spike protein; 10) SARS-CoV-2

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