5 Ways the CDC Guidance Shows How Physical Therapy Is Leading the Way in Post-COVID-19 Care
"When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its guidance document "Evaluating and Caring for Patients With Post-COVID Conditions" last month after a year in development, APTA's Cross Academy/Section COVID-19 Core Outcome Measures Task Force was pretty excited: In our guidance document and accompanying algorithm released in October 2020, we had the same or similar recommendations in many instances."
COVID-19 Rehab Patients Often in Worse Health Than Cancer Rehab Patients: CDC
As outpatient rehabilitation providers continue to work with patients who've survived COVID-19, a growing body of evidence points to just how debilitating the disease can be, and its lasting impact on recovery. The latest example, based on a study of outpatient rehab clinics conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shows that post-COVID-19 patients tend to have worse overall health and functional capacity at baseline than patients referred for cancer rehab services.
U.S. COVID-19 Deaths, New Cases Continue To Rise
Total coronavirus cases have reached 34,380,019 as of July 25, according to the CDC COVID-19 Data Tracker — an increase of more than 64,000 over the previous week. A total of 608,403 people have died from the virus to date. Only 69% of U.S. adults have received at least one dose of the vaccine. As of July 17, the delta variant of the virus was responsible for 83.2% of new cases in the U.S.
HHS Extends Public Health Emergency
Department of health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra announced the extension of the public health emergency for an additional 90 days, through Oct. 20, 2021.
HHS and DOJ Issue Guidance on “Long COVID” and Disability Rights
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights and the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division are jointly publishing guidance on how "long COVID" can be a disability under the ADA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act. The guidance explains how these laws may apply and provides resources for additional information and best practices.
In the Media
CDC Revises Guidance on Masks—Recommends Use by Everyone in Most Areas of U.S.
From CNN: "The change in CDC guidance recommending all Americans wear a mask indoors in areas with high Covid-19 transmission is a sign of the change the Delta variant has carved into the pandemic landscape, Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN."
American Academy of Pediatrics Urges "Universal Masking" in Schools This Fall
From AAP News: "Pediatricians should emphasize a layered approach that prioritizes attending school in person, while protecting students and staff from SARS-CoV-2 variants that may be more transmissible, said Sonja O'Leary, M.D., FAAP, chair of the AAP Council on School Health Executive Committee. The AAP continues to recommend that all staff and students who are two years or older wear face masks unless medical or developmental conditions prohibit their use."
COVID-19 Surge Could Continue for Months, Projection Says
From USAToday: "New projections released by a COVID-19 research consortium forecast the current surge of cases lasting through the fall and peaking in mid-October, accelerated in part by the rapid spread of the delta variant."
Children's National Hospital and NIAID Launch Study on Long-Term Impacts of COVID-19 and MIS-C
From Children's National Hospital: "Up to 2,000 children and young adults will be enrolled in a study from Children's National Hospital in collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) that will examine the long-term effects of COVID-19 and multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) after these patients have recovered from a COVID-19 infection."
Rising Number of Children Struggle With COVID's Effects, Especially in Black and Latino Communities
From PBS Newshour: "Since the pandemic began, children have largely been spared from severe illness and hospitalization. But nearly a year and a half later, the number of adolescent COVID cases is rising. While rare, for many it includes debilitating symptoms that can drag on for months. Black and Latino children have been especially impacted."
Half of Severe COVID Patients Developed New Medical Issues
From Medscape: "Nearly half of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 experienced at least one complication, researchers found in a prospective study. … The most frequent COVID-19 complications were renal (24.3%), respiratory (18.4%), and systemic (16.3%)."
Many Older Adults With Severe COVID Presented With Atypical Symptoms
From MedPage Today: "Over a third of older adults who were hospitalized with COVID-19 during the early months of the pandemic had an atypical presentation, with a mix of typical and atypical symptoms, researchers found. Almost a quarter of patients ages 65 and older presented with functional decline, while 11.3% presented with altered mental status and around 9% had gastrointestinal symptoms…."
Doctors Worry That Memory Problems After COVID-19 May Set Stage For Alzheimer's
From NPR: "PET scans taken before and after a person develops COVID-19 suggest that the infection can cause changes that overlap those seen in Alzheimer's. And genetic studies are finding that some of the same genes that increase a person's risk for getting severe COVID-19 also increase the risk of developing Alzheimer's."
New in Research
Children With Underlying Conditions at Higher Risk for Severe COVID-19 Illness
A nationwide study of children diagnosed with COVID-19 during a hospital-based encounter found that 28.7% had underlying medical conditions. There was a higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness among children with a complex medical history and underlying conditions including type 1 diabetes, cardiac and circulatory congenital anomalies, and obesity.
AHA Says New Guidance on Myocarditis in Children Relevant to Treatment of Patients Post-COVID-19
The American Heart Association released a new scientific statement on the diagnosis and management of myocarditis in children. In a press release, AHA noted that although the document was in development prior to the pandemic, the information it contains is "useful in informing the clinical care of suspected cases of myocarditis after COVID-19."
Wearable Data Shows Long-Term Physiological and Behavioral Changes After COVID-19
In a study published in JAMA Network Open, researchers compared wearable data over several months for users who were tested for COVID-19 after experiencing symptoms of acute respiratory infection. Those who tested positive took two to three months longer to return to their baseline resting heart rate, sleep, and activity levels compared with the individuals who tested negative.