Clipboard Health Nursing News

Coronavirus Can Survive on Surfaces Up to 28 Days; Total U.S. Deaths May Be 20% Higher

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

Coronavirus Can Survive Up To 28 Days, Study Finds

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A new study from Australia tested how long the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 could survive on different types of surfaces at different temperatures. The temperature findings were as follows for the virus to survive on smooth surfaces:

  • Up to 28 days at 68 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Up to seven days at 86 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Up to 24 hours at 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

For porous surfaces, like cotton, then the survival time dropped:

  • Up to 14 days at low temperatures
  • Less than 16 hours at high temperatures.

The study was conducted in controlled lab environments without ultraviolet light and at a 50% humidity. 

Total U.S. Deaths Exceed Reported Coronavirus Deaths

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A study analyzed the total number of deaths during the pandemic in the United States and compared it to both the average, fairly consistent death rate during the same time period in recent years, and the reported death toll of the coronavirus as reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. 

Through this analysis, researchers found an overall 20% increase in the number of deaths in the United States between March and July 2020. Of the excess deaths, only 67% were attributed to COVID-19. During the same time period, mortality rates for heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia also increased significantly. 

U.S. Could See 20,000 People a Day Classified as Having Preexisting Conditions Due to COVID

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Commonwealth Fund reports that an average of 20,000 Americans per day could likely be labeled as having a preexisting condition for the first time due to COVID-19. 

Insurance companies may list COVID-19 as a preexisting condition when determining health insurance eligibility if the U.S. Supreme Court votes to overturn the preexisting condition clause of the Affordable Care Act when the court reviews the case in a month.

U.S. Signs Deal with AstraZeneca for COVID-19 Antibody Treatment

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Antibody treatments are a new attempt at treating COVID-19 patients. In the wake of the U.S. President Trump receiving a monoclonal antibody treatment shortly after being diagnosed with COVID-19, the U.S. government signed a deal with AstraZeneca to develop and provide 100,000 doses of a COVID-19 antibody treatment that is similar to what the President received.

FDA Releases Guidance on Emergency Use Authorization of COVID-19 Vaccine

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration released its new guidelines on how and when it will issue an emergency use authorization (EUA) for a COVID-19 vaccine. As part of the guidance, the FDA stated that any EUA request will be reviewed by a meeting of its Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee.

This new outline for guidance was released in response to help ease public concern about the safety of an EUA on a coronavirus vaccine. 

FDA Issues Emergency Use Authorization for COVID-19 Antibody Blood Test

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization to Abbott Laboratories for a new COVID-19 antibody test, which tests the blood of patients to see if they have a specific type of antibody that is present after COVID-19 infection. 

The presence of this particular antibody, called Immunoglobulin M (IgM), in a patient’s blood is useful to determine if they had recent exposure to the coronavirus. 

Abbott Laboratories currently has emergency use authorization approval for seven other tests. 

Medical Studies Roundup

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Here’s a brief roundup of recent medical studies and their findings for you to stay up-to-date with the ever-evolving field of medical research.

  • The CDC reported a 75% decrease in COVID-19 cases in Arizona after the state implemented preventative measures, such as mask requirements, limited public events, and the closure of certain types of businesses. 
  • A small-scale pilot study found that receiving traditional acupuncture before surgery reduced the use of post-surgery morphine milligram equivalent usage by almost two-thirds.
  • Researchers examining post-mortem brain samples found that amyloid plaques, the usual type of brain damage seen in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, can also be found in people with sleep apnea
  • A study from the University of Arizona in Tucson found that the COVID-19 virus can block pain pathways and could be why many people with coronavirus feel few to no symptoms during its early stages. 

Race for the Vaccine: Coronavirus Vaccine Updates

Read more about the most recent updates from the past week on COVID-19 vaccine development. 

Covid-19 vaccine status tracker stages
Covid-19 vaccine tracker - phase 1

Russia launches its second human trial of its coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik V, outside of the country in the United Arab Emirates. The first site of its out-of-country trials was in Belarus, and Russia expects to begin a third human trial in Venezuela soon. 

Covid-19 vaccine tracker - manufacturing stage

New Zealand signs a purchase deal with Pfizer and BioNTech for 1.5 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine.