APTA Learning Center Courses on COVID-19
APTA's Learning Center features 41 courses related to patient care for individuals with or recovering from COVID-19, as well as physical therapy education, telehealth, and practice management. The majority of courses were developed by APTA academies and sections, and are free to members.
U.S. Counts 116,000 New COVID-19 Cases in a Day, as Deaths Continue To Rise
Total coronavirus cases have reached 37,996,672 as of Aug. 24, according to the CDC COVID-19 Data Tracker — jumping 115,901 over the previous day. A total of 628,000 people now have died from the virus to date. As of Aug. 21, the delta variant of the virus was responsible for nearly 99% of new cases in the U.S. The percentage of U.S. adults who have received at least one dose of the vaccine has surpassed 73%.
Pfizer, Moderna Vaccines Show Sustained Effectiveness
In an Aug. 18 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, authors followed 3,089 patients ages 18 and older who had been hospitalized for COVID-19 or other conditions in 18 states to determine the effectiveness rate of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna mRNA vaccines. The overall effectiveness of the vaccine at avoiding hospitalization, as measured between March and July 2021, declined only 2% at 24 weeks, from 86% to 84%. Authors note that they did not measure vaccine effectiveness against the Delta variant specifically, as it only became predominant in mid-June, and urge continued monitoring as new variants emerge.
Vaccine Effectiveness in Nursing Home Residents Declined With Delta Variant
According to CDC data, two doses of mRNA vaccines were 74.7% effective against infection among nursing home residents from March to May 2021. However, during June and July, when the Delta variant became predominant, the vaccines' effectiveness "declined significantly" to 53.1%. Authors recommend considering third doses for individuals residing in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
FDA Approves Pfizer-BioNtech Vaccine
On Monday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 16 years of age and older. The vaccine has been known as the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, and will now be marketed as Comirnaty. The vaccine also continues to be available under emergency use authorization for individuals 12 through 15 years of age and for the administration of a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals.
In the Media
CMS To Require Nursing Home Staff To Get Vaccinated
From Fierce Healthcare: "The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is developing an emergency rule to require all nursing home staff to get vaccinated if they work in a Medicare and Medicaid-participating facility. The agency did not say when it plans to issue the rule but noted on Wednesday that it is going through the 'necessary steps in the rule-making process over the course of the next several weeks,' according to a release on the move on Wednesday."
With Pfizer's COVID-19 Vaccine Approval, 145 Health Systems Now Require Mandatory Vaccination for Their Workforces
From Fierce Healthcare: "Hospitals and health systems, which are bearing the brunt of the pandemic, are now starting to look inward at the vaccination rates of their own workforces. A growing number of providers are shifting their policies away from simply encouraging staff vaccination to requiring the shots as a condition of employment."
Over 121,000 New Pediatric COVID-19 Cases Reported Over Week Span
From Fox News: "Over 121,000 children tested positive for COVID-19 last week, data revealed, marking a 5% increase in cases since the beginning of the month. The new cases, which include data reported up to Aug. 12, brings the total number of COVID-19 cases involving children in the U.S. to over 4.4 million, representing about 14.4% of the nation’s total, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)."
Rates of COVID-19 Hospitalizations for Children and Adults Under 50 Reach Highest Levels Yet: CDC
From CNN: "Every age group under 50 has surpassed its previous record of hospitalizations, which were recorded in the first half of January. The biggest increase was in adults ages 30 to 39 and children under 18, both of which were more than 30% higher than their previous peak, according to the CDC data."
Booster Review Delayed by CDC as Debate Swirls Over 3rd Shot
From Bloomberg: "The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has pushed back by one week a meeting by a group of outside advisers who were set to review Covid booster shots as debate swells about the need for a third dose. The Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices, originally scheduled to meet and possibly make a recommendation about the need for boosters on Aug. 24, is now set to convene over two days starting Aug. 30."
Study Shows Possible Link Between 'Long' COVID-19, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
From UPI: "'Long-haul' COVID-19 shares some symptoms and biologic abnormalities with chronic fatigue syndrome, researchers said in a paper published Monday by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. As a result, people who experience persistent symptoms following coronavirus infection, sometimes lasting months, also will show signs of chronic fatigue syndrome, or myalgic encephalomyelitis, they said."
New in Research
In a July study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, authors found that health care providers in one health system who displayed symptoms of COVID-19 were more likely to test positive for infection if they held a nonphysician/advanced practice provider role, had contact with someone with suspected or known COVID-19, and had any of seven specific symptoms. The study was conducted from March to November 2020.
PASC Collaborative Guidance Statement on Post-COVID-19 Fatigue
In a consensus statement accepted for publication in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, authors make recommendations on the assessment and treatment of post-COVID-19 fatigue. The document's development was supported by the American Academy of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation.
Younger Children More Likely Than Older Children To Transmit SARS-CoV-2
Authors of a study in JAMA Pediatrics found that children up to age three and between ages four and eight were, respectively, 1.43 and 1.40 times as likely to transmit coronavirus to household members compared with children aged 14 to 17.