COVID-19 Courses Available at the APTA Learning Center
If you want to learn the latest in managing patients with or recovering from COVID-19, you can access a variety of free courses in APTA's Learning Center.
U.S. COVID-19 Cases Surpass 32 Million, Deaths at More Than 574,000
Total coronavirus cases have reached 32,228,003 as of May 3, according to the CDC COVID-19 Data Tracker. A total of 574,220 people have died from the virus so far. Health care workers have administered 247 million vaccine doses to date.
Post-vaccination COVID-19 Outbreak at Skilled Nursing Facility Linked to R.1 Variant
In a COVID-19 outbreak at a Kentucky SNF involving the R.1 variant, unvaccinated residents and health care personnel had three and four times the risk of infection, respectively, compared with residents and staff who had been vaccinated. The vaccine was 86.5% protective against symptomatic illness among residents and 87.1% protective among health care personnel. CDC urges continued focus on vaccination and infection control.
In the Media
U.S. COVID Cases, Deaths Continue to Fall
From Reuters: "New cases of COVID-19 in the United States fell for a third week in a row, dropping 15% last week to 347,000, the lowest weekly total since October, according to a Reuters analysis of state and county data."
U.S. May Not Reach Herd Immunity, But Could Reach "Tipping Point"
From USA Today: "It may not take true 'herd immunity' to see a dramatic drop in COVID-19 cases. Some researchers say another 30 to 40 million first shots could be enough for the United States to reach a vaccine tipping point and containment of the disease caused by the coronavirus."
NIH Plans Research on Post-Acute Sequelae of COVID-19
From Roll Call: "The National Institutes of Health is preparing to award grants in the next three weeks to researchers studying the long-term effects of COVID-19 and patients experiencing 'long COVID.' NIH Director Francis Collins told the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee this week that the agency expects laboratory research and imaging studies to be underway by the summer. The agency received 273 research proposals after Congress provided more than $1 billion for research into the long-term effects of COVID-19."
COVID-19 Can Kill Months After Infection
From Bloomberg: "One of the largest studies of Covid-19 'long haulers' has proved what many doctors suspected: Not only are many patients suffering a raft of health problems six months after infection, they’re also at significantly greater risk of dying."
Increased Risk of COVID-19 Cases and Deaths Linked to Income Inequality
From UPI: "Areas with higher levels of unequal distribution of income have up to a 30% increased likelihood of rising coronavirus caseloads and an up to a 50% raised risk for more deaths from the disease."
Post-COVID-19 Neuropathic Pain May Last for Months
From MedPage Today: "Treating pain in recovered COVID-19 patients poses unique challenges, a pain expert said at the American Academy of Pain Medicine virtual meeting. 'A lot of these patients are going to need rehabilitation' or physical therapy, noted Natalie Strand, MD, of the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, at the meeting. 'There can be quite a bit of deconditioning that occurs, especially after a prolonged ICU stay. Neuropathic pain is also quite common.'"
New in Research
VA Study Examines Post-COVID-19 Sequelae
In a Veterans Health Administration study published in Nature, researchers found that after the first 30 days of illness, people with COVID-19 have a higher risk of death, as well as neurocognitive, mental health, metabolic, cardiovascular, and gastrointestinal disorders. Patients also had increased use of pain and other medications.
Research Community's Response to COVID-19 "Inefficient and Wasteful"
While acknowledging the need for rapid research response to the coronavirus pandemic, authors of a review in The Lancet assert that the pressure has produced too many studies with "questionable methodological quality," with most clinical trials conducted at a scale that's too small. They advocate more coordination and collaboration among research entities, as well as the establishment of a single data repository.
Study Points to Potential of "Nanobody Cocktail" in Neutralizing SARS-CoV-2
Researchers in Australia have identified nanobodies — smaller, single-domain antibodies — that they say have blocked the coronavirus' ability to connect to cells in animal experiments. Authors of the study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, say that the nanobody could recognize both SARS-CoV-2 and emerging global variants. The findings may pave the way for more effective treatment of individuals who contract COVID-19.