Clipboard Health Nursing News

Tough Fall Season for Health Coming, and Obesity May Reduce Vaccine Efficacy

This week in Clipboard Health’s Nursing News round-up … 

New Study Finds COVID-19 Symptoms Commonly Appear in Particular Order

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A team of researchers at the University of Southern California looked at the medical records of 55,000 COVID-19 patients and found that the disease’s symptoms commonly appeared in the same order. The first symptom to appear was a fever, then a cough, then aches and pains, which can appear all at once. After those symptoms came nausea and vomiting, and then diarrhea.

While not all patients will have all symptoms, finding common patterns like this can help with diagnoses and detecting who might need additional testing and monitoring. 

CDC Warns of Tough Fall Season for Health

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that this year’s fall might be the worst season the U.S. has ever had for health. With the flu season starting up and COVID not slowing down, the director encouraged everyone to closely follow public health guidelines, like wearing masks and avoiding crowds, and to get a flu shot to try to lessen the impact of disease on hospital systems. 

July Ends with 97,000 Children Testing Positive for Coronavirus

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As schools begin to open around the country, the American Academy of Pediatrics and Children’s Hospital Association reports that the last two weeks of July saw at least 97,000 children test positive for the coronavirus. Those numbers increased the cumulative total of positive coronavirus cases in children by almost 40%. 

The report points out that there has been an increase in testing and that each state can define what they consider as a child for counting cases. Information and understanding about how effective children are at spreading infection and how children respond to infection are still minimal.

Obesity Can Reduce Vaccine Effectiveness, Bringing Worry to COVID-19 Vaccination Plans

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There is a known link between obesity and a reduced effectiveness of vaccines in people with obesity. This has been identified in relation to vaccines for hepatitis B, influenza A/H1N1, rabies, and tetanus, and researchers are concerned that this will hold true for the new COVID-19 vaccines. With more than 40% of the U.S. population considered obese, this link could potentially have a major effect on how effective vaccine efforts will be once vaccines start being distributed.

Study Identifies Social Connection as the Best Protective Factor to Fight Depression

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Researchers looked at a variety of factors that people can control and change in their lives to determine which factors were the most important in preventing and treating depression. The number one protective factor out of the list was a person’s social connection and interactions with other people in their lives, like friends and family members. 

FDA Authorizes New Saliva Test for COVID-19

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization for a new saliva-based COVID-19 diagnostic test developed by the Yale School of Public Health. This new test doesn’t require special equipment to collect the sample, can be collected by the patient under observation of a health care professional, and also doesn’t require certain extraction kits for processing the sample in the lab. Previous tests need to use the extraction kits, which are sometimes in short supply.