This week in Clipboard Health’s Nursing News round-up …
New Study Groups COVID-19 Into Six “Types”
A new study from King’s College London looked at data from a symptom study app for COVID-19 and used that data to identify six types of COVID-19 based on symptoms. The six cluster types are the following:
- Flu-like symptoms with no fever.
- Flu-like symptoms with fever.
- Gastrointestinal symptoms.
- Severe symptoms level one with fatigue.
- Severe symptoms level two with confusion.
- Severe symptoms level three with abdominal and respiratory symptoms.
The hope is that using this system to identify what type of COVID-19 a patient may have will help identify what treatments work best for which patients, such as those who will likely need hospitalization.
Research Looks at Why COVID-19 Patients Lose Sense of Smell
New research looked at what underlying effects of COVID-19 could be affecting patient loss of smell, a common symptom of the virus. The data from the research suggests that the virus affects all the supporting cells in olfactory function that you need to smell, but that it doesn’t affect the neurons, which would lead to permanent damage.
U.S. Company Moderna Enters Final Phase of COVID-19 Vaccine, May Be Ready by End of Year
Moderna Inc. is one of several U.S. companies racing to finish development of a COVID-19 vaccine. The company is starting the final phase of its trials before it can be approved for global distribution. With the start of that trial, U.S. officials said that, if all goes well, it’s likely the vaccine could be ready to go into mass production by the end of the year.
Nurses’ Group Says Health Care Workers Must Be Top Priority for COVID-19 Vaccines
The International Council of Nurses (ICN) released a statement on Monday asking governments to make health care and frontline workers the first priority for COVID-19 vaccines once they are available. The ICN cited an estimate that 8% to 10% of worldwide COVID-19 cases are health care workers and that there are still many reports of medical staff not getting the protective equipment they need. Prioritizing health care workers would help keep health care systems operating as cases continue to climb.
Flu Shot and Pneumonia Vaccine Might Help Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
At the annual Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, researchers presented two studies that looked at how vaccines could affect Alzheimer’s risk.
In the first study from the University of Texas, researchers found through studying medical records that those who got seasonal flu shots reduced their risk of Alzheimer’s by 17%, and those who got other vaccines reduced it by another 13%.
In the second study from Duke University and the University of North Carolina, researchers found that those who got the pneumonia vaccine before the age of 75 reduced their risk of Alzheimer’s by about 25%. In their study, however, they didn’t notice a decrease in risk for those who got a flu vaccine.
Medicare Could Run Out of Money As Early As 2022
The impact of COVID-19 is accelerating a problem that already existed with Medicare funding. Before COVID-19, Medicare estimated it would run out of money by 2026. But with the current pandemic heavily affecting Medicare funds, new predictions from outside sources put Medicare running out of money as early as 2022.