Posts Tagged ‘COVID-19’


Human cell types within corresponding organs that express the genes for both ACE2 and CTSL (green dot) or both ACE2 and TMPRSS2 (orange dot).

by Chris Baraniuk

When the SARS-CoV-2 virus enters the human body, it breaks into cells with the help of two proteins that it finds there, ACE2 and TMPRSS2. While there has been much discussion of viral infection in gut and lung cells, researchers have dug into massive gene expression datasets to show that other potential target cells also producing ACE2 and TMPRSS2 are scattered throughout the body—including in the heart, bladder, pancreas, kidney, and nose. There are even some in the eye and brain.

The results, published in a preprint on bioRxiv April 21, show that such cells are strikingly abundant. Many are epithelial cells, which line the outer surface of organs. The new findings add to an emerging picture of SARS-CoV-2 as a virus that can target cells in many places in the human body, rather than being focused on a particular organ or part of the respiratory tract.

Cardiologist Frank Ruschitzka at the University Hospital of Zürich and colleagues separately published a letter in The Lancet April 17 in which they described how virus particles had been found in the vascular endothelium, a thin layer of cells lining blood vessels in various organs of the body, for instance.

“This is not just a virus pneumonia,” Ruschitzka, who was not involved in the latest study, tells The Scientist, referring to COVID-19. “This is a disease like we have never seen before—it is not an influenza, it hits the vessels all over, it hits the heart as well.”

To uncover the locations of cells bearing ACE2 and TMPRSS2, the preprint researchers turned to the Human Cell Atlas, a project that has allowed scientists to pool together data on human cells since 2016.

By scouring single-cell sequencing records of around 1.2 million individual cells from human tissue samples, the team was able to find out which of those cells produce both ACE2 and TMPRSS2, and note their locations in the body. The analysis used 16 unpublished datasets of lung and airway cells and 91 published datasets spanning a range of human organs.

Coauthor Christoph Muus, a graduate student at Harvard University and the Broad Institute, explains that while the data show cells in many locations in the body produce SARS-CoV-2 receptors, it’s not certain that the virus can infect all of those tissues.

“Expressing the receptor is a necessary condition but not necessarily a sufficient condition,” he says. For example, potential target cells were found in the testes, but scientists still don’t know if SARS-CoV-2 infects and replicates in that part of the body.

Jeremy Kamil, a virologist at Louisiana State University Health Shreveport, says the preprint provides important details about the human body that may help scientists understand how SARS-CoV-2 infects hosts. By finding viral protein fragments in tissue samples from patients who died because of COVID-19, scientists might be able to firm up which organs are genuine sites of infection, he adds.

“I’d say this paper gives people a roadmap at where you might want to look in the body to understand where this virus is going,” he says.

One limitation of the work is that relatively little metadata about the people who donated tissue samples were available for the various datasets, though information about age and gender were included in many. The researchers don’t know, for example, whether there was an ethnicity bias in the data, whether patients had pre-existing conditions, or whether they were taking any medications. All of these things could affect gene expression in particular cells.

Smoking status was available for a subset of the data, and the team used this to show that smoking is correlated with a greater expression of the ACE2 gene in the upper airway, but lower expression in certain lung cells. Further research is needed to understand whether this affects smokers’ susceptibility to COVID-19. Data from China suggest that smokers are 14 times more likely to develop a severe form of the disease.

Some researchers from the same group using similar data have also recently published papers in Cell and Nature. In those cases, the researchers focused on certain groups of cells. The study reported in Nature examined cells potentially involved in viral transmission and found that nasal epithelial cells, in particular, were associated with expression of ACE2 and TMPRSS2. The authors report that the virus might exploit cells that secrete fluids in the nasal passage, which might help it spread from one person to another in droplets released, say, when someone sneezes.

The Cell study, meanwhile, also found ACE2 and TMPRSS2 transcripts in nasal, gut, and lung cells but the researchers also found that the protein interferon activated ACE2 expression in vitro. The human body uses interferon to fight infections, so it is not clear whether the protein is of overall benefit or detriment to COVID-19 patients.

The use of so many different data sources backs up the validity of the preprint authors’ findings, says Marta Gaglia, a molecular biologist at Tufts University. She agrees with the researchers that discovering ACE2- and TMPRSS2-producing cells in various places around the body does not prove the virus can always infect such cells.

“I think the reality is that most of the problems come from the lung,” she adds. Plus, while doctors treating COVID-19 patients may detect problems in multiple organs, those issues might not necessarily be caused directly by SARS-CoV-2 infection, says Gaglia. A problematic immune system response, for instance, could damage certain tissues in the body as an indirect consequence of viral infection.

https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/receptors-for-sars-cov-2-present-in-wide-variety-of-human-cells-67496?utm_campaign=TS_DAILY%20NEWSLETTER_2020&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=87213170&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_vGzY0JSZbqON-CbrWnU2wp22vNPAa-zcPDPoSZR69MA0qXhi3ukYIXekJJKZ_A_GfMi8lV1cuO5y2DnnkhV-rdYFrPQ&_hsmi=87213170


The unprecedented explosion of video calling in response to the pandemic has launched an unofficial social experiment.

BY JULIA SKLAR

JODI EICHLER-LEVINE FINISHED teaching a class over Zoom on April 15, and she immediately fell asleep in the guest bedroom doubling as her office. The religion studies professor at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania says that while teaching is always exhausting, she has never “conked out” like that before.

Until recently, Eichler-Levine was leading live classes full of people whose emotions she could easily gauge, even as they navigated difficult topics—such as slavery and the Holocaust—that demand a high level of conversational nuance and empathy. Now, like countless people around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has thrust her life into a virtual space. In addition to teaching remotely, she’s been attending a weekly department happy hour, an arts-and-crafts night with friends, and a Passover seder—all over the videoconferencing app Zoom. The experience is taking a toll.

“It’s almost like you’re emoting more because you’re just a little box on a screen,” Eichler-Levine says. “I’m just so tired.”

So many people are reporting similar experiences that it’s earned its own slang term, Zoom fatigue, though this exhaustion also applies if you’re using Google Hangouts, Skype, FaceTime, or any other video-calling interface. The unprecedented explosion of their use in response to the pandemic has launched an unofficial social experiment, showing at a population scale what’s always been true: virtual interactions can be extremely hard on the brain.

“There’s a lot of research that shows we actually really struggle with this,” says Andrew Franklin, an assistant professor of cyberpsychology at Virginia’s Norfolk State University. He thinks people may be surprised at how difficult they’re finding video calls given that the medium seems neatly confined to a small screen and presents few obvious distractions.

Zoom gloom

Humans communicate even when they’re quiet. During an in-person conversation, the brain focuses partly on the words being spoken, but it also derives additional meaning from dozens of non-verbal cues, such as whether someone is facing you or slightly turned away, if they’re fidgeting while you talk, or if they inhale quickly in preparation to interrupt.

These cues help paint a holistic picture of what is being conveyed and what’s expected in response from the listener. Since humans evolved as social animals, perceiving these cues comes naturally to most of us, takes little conscious effort to parse, and can lay the groundwork for emotional intimacy.

However, a typical video call impairs these ingrained abilities, and requires sustained and intense attention to words instead. If a person is framed only from the shoulders up, the possibility of viewing hand gestures or other body language is eliminated. If the video quality is poor, any hope of gleaning something from minute facial expressions is dashed.

“For somebody who’s really dependent on those non-verbal cues, it can be a big drain not to have them,” Franklin says. Prolonged eye contact has become the strongest facial cue readily available, and it can feel threatening or overly intimate if held too long.

Multi-person screens magnify this exhausting problem. Gallery view—where all meeting participants appear Brady Bunch-style—challenges the brain’s central vision, forcing it to decode so many people at once that no one comes through meaningfully, not even the speaker.

“We’re engaged in numerous activities, but never fully devoting ourselves to focus on anything in particular,” says Franklin. Psychologists call this continuous partial attention, and it applies as much to virtual environments as it does to real ones. Think of how hard it would be to cook and read at the same time. That’s the kind of multi-tasking your brain is trying, and often failing, to navigate in a group video chat.

This leads to problems in which group video chats become less collaborative and more like siloed panels, in which only two people at a time talk while the rest listen. Because each participant is using one audio stream and is aware of all the other voices, parallel conversations are impossible. If you view a single speaker at a time, you can’t recognize how non-active participants are behaving—something you would normally pick up with peripheral vision.

For some people, the prolonged split in attention creates a perplexing sense of being drained while having accomplished nothing. The brain becomes overwhelmed by unfamiliar excess stimuli while being hyper-focused on searching for non-verbal cues that it can’t find.

That’s why a traditional phone call may be less taxing on the brain, Franklin says, because it delivers on a small promise: to convey only a voice.

Zoom boon

By contrast, the sudden shift to video calls has been a boon for people who have neurological difficulty with in-person exchanges, such as those with autism who can become overwhelmed by multiple people talking.

John Upton, an editor at the New Jersey-based news outlet Climate Central, recently found out he is autistic. Late last year, he was struggling with the mental load of attending packed conferences, engaging during in-person meetings, and navigating the small-talk that’s common in work places. He says these experiences caused “an ambiguous tension, a form of anxiety.”

As a result, he suffered a bout of autistic burnout and struggled to process complicated information—which he says is normally his strength—leading to feelings of helplessness and futility. To combat the issue, he began transitioning to working mostly from home and stacking all in-person meetings on Thursdays, to get them out of the way.

Now that the pandemic has pushed his coworkers to be remote as well, he has observed their video calls lead to fewer people talking and less filler conversation at the beginning and end of each meeting. Upton says his sense of tension and anxiety has been reduced to the point of being negligible.

This outcome is supported by research, says the University of Québec Outaouais’s Claude Normand, who studies how people with developmental and intellectual disabilities socialize online. People with autism tend to have difficulty understanding when it’s their turn to speak in live conversations, she notes. That’s why the frequent lag between speakers on video calls may actually help some autistic people. “When you’re Zooming online, it’s clear whose turn it is to talk,” Normand says.

However, other people on the autism spectrum may still struggle with video chatting, as it can exacerbate sensory triggers such as loud noise and bright lights, she adds.

On the whole, video chatting has allowed human connections to flourish in ways that would have been impossible just a few years ago. These tools enable us to maintain long-distance relationships, connect workrooms remotely, and even now, in spite of the mental exhaustion they can generate, foster some sense of togetherness during a pandemic.

It’s even possible Zoom fatigue will abate once people learn to navigate the mental tangle video chatting can cause. If you’re feeling self-conscious or overstimulated, Normand recommends you turn off your camera. Save your energy for when you absolutely want to perceive the few non-verbal cues that do come through, such as during the taxing chats with people you don’t know very well, or for when you want the warm fuzzies you get from seeing someone you love. Or if it’s a work meeting that can be done by phone, try walking at the same time.

“Walking meetings are known to improve creativity, and probably reduce stress as well,” Normand says.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2020/04/coronavirus-zoom-fatigue-is-taxing-the-brain-here-is-why-that-happens/

by Emma Yasinski

Paul Matewele, a microbiologist who identified pathogenic bacteria on surfaces that humans contact everyday, died as a result of COVID-19 on April 7 at the age of 62.

Matewele was a senior lecturer at London Metropolitan University for 30 years and is best known for his work characterizing potentially pathogenic microbes that people are likely to come in contact with in their homes and public places, according to Úna Fairbrother, an interim head of the School of Human Sciences at London Metropolitan University.

Matewele was born in Zimbabwe in 1958 and earned a master’s degree in biochemistry from St. Andrews University and a PhD in microbiology from Southampton University.

Partially inspired by the growing crisis of antibiotic resistance, Matewele conducted studies identifying sometimes-deadly microbes living on handbags, McDonald’s touch screens, reusable water bottles, makeup, vehicle air conditioners, drinks served in cinemas, London transport systems, and coins. His work on the London transportation system led to a deep cleaning of 50 stations in the London Underground in June 2017.

But among colleagues, he was best known for the time he spent lecturing and tutoring thousands of students. “Paul was a warm, kind, intelligent and conscientious man. He was dedicated to his students and a brilliant colleague to have,” Fairbrother tells The Scientist in an email. “He was a genuinely happy, open person and will be much missed from our team on a personal and professional level.”

Several of Matewele’s students and colleagues shared thoughts and memories in a tribute on the university’s webpage describing him as a “dedicated teacher,” “a kind soul,” and someone who “never stopped smiling.”

Sean Frost, a former colleague of Matawele who is currently a lecturer at the University of Hull, writes on the university page that Matewele “took on the biggest challenges and was never afraid to fight for what he believed in, McDonalds being particularly memorable. Even up until March he was broadcasting warnings about risk of infection from cash, Paul always took the side of the little guy, be it colleagues, students or society. He was a fine example of what an academic should aspire to become.”

Matawele is survived by his 18-year-old son, William.

https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/microbiologist-who-studied-deadly-bacteria-in-public-places-dies-67452?utm_campaign=TS_DAILY%20NEWSLETTER_2020&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=86856096&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-8BKRYRGs_fo90ZncO_fmihHmxcb7igfgKB79gkfdKckRdyLVHnViIWWELwSyNw7QIkAcI47O7ksk1iFQ0kJDaX39xITA&_hsmi=86856096

It’s Easter Sunday, just after Passover, just after another exhausting13 hour shift. I can’t watch the news. I’m too busy and too frustrated by all the misinformation. Forgive me, but I need to debunk a few viral myths.

Myth #1: COVID-19 is a disease of the old and sick

This cannot be further from the truth. As a critical care physician, I’m caring for the sickest of the sick. I know the data. What little good data there is shows that 80% of ICU patients are under 65 (in a Wuhan study) or that 40% in ICU were under 60 (in an Italian study). The highest death age group was 60-69. The third highest was 50-59. The most common co-morbid conditions were high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity. These are not weird immune-related illnesses, they’re common, and this hits close to home. I’m 53, I have high blood pressure, diabetes and, like millions of Americans, I’m a little obese. Our stats? 60% of our intubated patients are under 65. Most of my ICU patients have never been sick enough to be hospitalized before this. Sure, many who die are old and have other illnesses, but the popular narrative almost says if you’re not in a nursing home you’re safe. Nothing can be further from the truth. It’s a myth.

Myth number #2: The main concern is a lack of PPE and ventilators

Partially false. Sure, some NYC and UK caregivers have had to use cooking aprons, garbage bags, and other scraps to protect themselves, but many hospitals have all the PPE they need. Luckily, my hospital has been able keep up with all our PPE needs. But many unanticipated shortages go unreported: COVID test swabs, dialysis machines and dialysis fluid needed to keep people alive (COVID causes kidney failure), sedative medications, and we need more oxygen, we’re using so much.

But most of all, we need more amazing people. Especially nurses and respiratory therapists, because many are now sick and some have died. Over 100 doctors have died in Italy. Doctors, therapists, pharmacists, students, and others now have a new career as nursing assistants. No-one is a specialist anymore, we are all COVID care providers. Thank you to the many volunteer doctors and nurses from all across the US that have come to NYC to help. Recovery for patients can take weeks to months, so we’ll need your help and sacrifice for a while yet.

Myth #3: Hydroxychoriquine is a “game changer” and it’s safe.

This potentially false idea was launched on the back of a very small trial from France. I’ve read the paper and it has major flaws. Three larger and more recent trials were negative but they don’t get press. These “game changer” drugs have dangerous side-effects. A recent trial in Brazil was stopped early for fear that high-dose chloroquine was killing people. Other drugs, however, show promise. Watch this space but no “game changers” yet.

Myth #4: Social distancing is our only option and it’s easy to do

This is also untrue. My home, NYC, is one of the most densely populated cities in the world. Many of my patients are poor and immigrated here. They live in small apartments with large families. Social distancing is impossible for many parts of NYC. And in the US more than 10% of the work force is unemployed. Sure, we’re finally flattening the curve, but as a Korean-American, I am proud to say that South Korea did it better and they didn’t shut down their economy. They tested, tested, tested, tracked, and isolated people and provided a mobile app, food, masks, and a thermometer to track their fever. This was done for visitors as well as citizens. The US hasn’t tested widely or efficiently enough. And we need to talk about the painful economic and human impacts of social distancing. Banning all hospital visitors means many terrified patients dying lonely deaths. The loss of human dignity is unimaginable.

Myth #5: We can blame China for the current US pandemic

This is false. Recent research shows that our outbreak in NYC came from Europe. And how helpful are country labels anyway? The 1918 Spanish Flu apparently didn’t originate in Spain, so should we rename it? When it comes to infectious diseases, borders mean nothing in our global economic village, but anti-Asian sentiment has spiked all over the world. Just read the online hate speech about the “KungFlu” and the “WuhanVirus”. As an Asian American, who is doing as much as I can, this is very distressing.
Andrew Yang wrote “We need to step up, help our neighbors, donate … and do everything in our power to accelerate the end of this crisis.” This is what my wife and I and so many others are doing. I work 12-15 hours days alongside residents, doctors, nurses, pharmacists and others. (BTW, many of these heroes are Asian-American.) We’re active in our local church, and my wife has a Facebook group that donates tens of thousands of dollars to food and supplies for front-line workers. Daily, she buys food from struggling restaurants, delivers it to the hospital, and I distribute it in between seeing my patients. This has been our life for months and will be our future for a while.

Does it really matter if the virus is from China, Europe or Mars? Our response would have been the same: to save as many lives as we can.

Myth number #6: This is all overblown, COVID is just like the Flu

I’m just shocked by this one. The infectivity of COVID 19 is three times that of the flu, and it is 40 times more deadly (Dr. Fauci says “10 times”). On Good Friday in NYC, 783 patients died; that’s one death every 2 minutes. In the US, it was one death every 42 seconds. Brace yourself. This is nothing like the flu. If you don’t believe me, just walk into any emergency room in New York, Detroit, Miami, LA or New Orleans.

On a final and personal note, I’m blown away by the response of my residents, my colleagues, the people around me, and all NYC hospital staff. Never have I been more proud to be a health care worker and a residency director. I’m impressed by the sacrifice and commitment of all my residents. I’m in awe of their hard work. These are the finest people on earth. I am humbled by their sacrifice and courage to go above and beyond the call of duty. Oddly, it took a pandemic to bring us this level of mass cooperation. But it’s also frightening. I have practiced critical care medicine for more than 25 years and never have I been so challenged, saddened and emotional. Almost every hour of every shift, someone needs intensive care. I’m very used to comforting patients and their families to prepare for death. I used to do this for someone weekly; , now it’s hourly. Death has become very common: every shift, every ward, and in every emergency room. It feels like a bomb went off somewhere and the whole of New York is slowly suffocating.
The 7pm cheering for health care workers moves me. Previously, at parties, I’d say “I work in an ICU and I ventilate people”. That was a big conversation killer. Now, I feel like a rock star or a military veteran. Who knows? Maybe one day I’ll get to priority board an airplane. But seriously; this experience will lead to future PTSD, pain, scars, and tears, for me and so many residents and health care workers. For now, however, we really need your prayers and support.

I hope this demystifies a few things. Thanks for reading. #columbiamedicine #columbiastrong


Across the globe, wildlife is exploring empty places usually occupied by people.

As humans are remaining indoors in response to the coronavirus pandemic, it appears that wildlife around the world took notice of our absence. There seems to be a never-ending list of animals becoming emboldened during this time to explore areas that are typically heavily populated: Buffalo have taken to the deserted highways in India. Mountain lions have rested in trees in Boulder, Colorado. Wild boar walk the streets of Barcelona while peacocks strut along open streets in Brazil.

Rats in New York City have somehow become even more confident in their quest for food. And a groundhog appeared to stare down two dogs watching through a window while eating a piece of pizza, which probably doesn’t have anything to do with the lockdown, but was a welcome distraction on social media nonetheless.

The Washington Post reports that a tribe of goats overtook the streets of Wales. Video taken by resident Andrew Stuart shows the animals nonchalantly roaming the empty streets and helping themselves to a meal of hedges and flower gardens.

According to SFGate, an employee from Yosemite National Park claims that since the park closed to the public in late March, the sightings of large animals including bears, bobcats, and coyotes have gone up fourfold.

“It’s not like [bears] aren’t usually here,” Yosemite employee Dane Peterson tells SFGate, “it’s that they usually hang back at the edges, or move in the shadows.”

In Mexico, crocodiles that generally stay hidden in lagoons near the beaches in La Ventanilla, Oaxaca, have been coming out in the open since the beaches were closed to the public about two weeks ago, Mexico News Daily reports.

Endangered sea turtles have also taken advantage of empty beaches to nest in Brazil and Florida. It’s too early to tell how lockdown measures will affect sea turtle numbers when it is time for the eggs to hatch. Decreased traffic could create less artificial light to confuse the hatchlings about which direction to go, Shanon Gann, the program manager at Brevard Zoo Sea Turtle Healing Center in Florida, tells weather.com.

A mixed bag for animals that depend on humans

In urban areas where wildlife is, for better or worse, dependent on human activity, the lockdown brings new challenges. The New York Times describes scenes in Thailand, where macaques have come to rely on humans for food. Their populations have become so dense in these areas because of that food supply that people staying home has quickly created a scarcity of resources, leading to aggressive behavior.

The same goes for duck ponds, ecologist Becky Thomas of Royal Holloway in London writes for The Conversation. Although feeding bread to ducks is harmful to their health and the water around them, there will be an adjustment as they compete for healthier resources.

Thomas notes that decreased traffic will lead to less hedgehog roadkill as well as reduced noise pollution that negatively affects the ability of bats, birds, and other animals to communicate.

The lack of human presence hasn’t benefited all animals, as the Times reports, particularly animals in African nature preserves. With fewer tourists around, poachers are killing rhinos with an increased frequency in Botswana and South Africa.

“We’re in a situation of zero income, and our expenses are actually going up all the time just trying to fight off the poachers and protect the reserve,” Lynne MacTavish, operations manager at Mankwe Wildlife Reserve in South Africa, tells the Times. “To say it’s desperate is an understatement. We’re really in crisis here.”

Some of the earliest widely shared reports of wildlife emerging in populated areas turned out to be false, according to National Geographic’s debunking of some of the more common untruths. One such tale says baby elephants in China got drunk on corn wine and passed out in a tea field, which might be very relatable during these times, but never happened. The absence of boats in the canals of Venice brought claims of dolphins appearing for the first time in decades, but the images were from the island of Sardinia, nearly 500 miles away.

There may not be dolphins in Venice, but the waters have gotten astonishingly clear, as the lack of gondolas and other boats on the water haven’t been stirring up sediment, CNBC reports.

Right now, it isn’t clear what the long-term effects of this lockdown will be on nature, primarily because this is occurring when many species in the Northern Hemisphere are mating, giving birth, or coming out of hibernation. Air pollution in some areas has been cut in half since the lockdowns began, Forbes reports, due to the lack of emissions from vehicles and factories. Some cities notorious for smoggy skies, including Los Angeles and Beijing, are enjoying some of the cleanest air they’ve experienced in decades. While the tolls of air pollution on human health are widely known, animals are also at risk, according to the National Wildlife Refuge System.

As many are still sheltering-in-places as we approach the 50th annual Earth Day, this resurgence of wildlife is giving some cause for hope that this evidence will ultimately lead to better policies to protect the environment and create a new normal.

“I am hopeful,” anthropologist Jane Goodall tells the Post. “I am. I lived through World War II. By the time you get to 86, you realize that we can overcome these things. One day we will be better people, more responsible in our attitudes toward nature.”

https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/with-humans-indoors-animals-go-wild-67434?utm_campaign=TS_DAILY%20NEWSLETTER_2020&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=86538478&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-92e5YchE_c5eEZJOR2VWChyXs-TUYFALDBiX0cEwNWRvtMhsuRr4MWSGBf0DCvU1hKkYi4eEAJ3QErLAitWrBijvumwg&_hsmi=86538478


Second Breath will help save lives during coronavirus pandemic

It’s called “Second Breath,” and this piece of equipment will save lives.

“Without this ventilator there are a lot of folks who might not have a chance at a breath,” said Dr. Mada Helou, from University Hospitals.

Three Cleveland organizations put their innovative skills, knowledge and can-do attitude together to create and manufacturer a breathing pump that will alleviate some of the demand for ventilators, all across the country.

“We like to respond to things, and more importantly the team likes to respond. There were eight engineers that developed this and these guys wanted to do something and they came to me,” said Dan T. Moore, president and CEO, Dan T. Moore Co.

It collaborated with several other organizations and in three weeks, designed “Second Breath.”

“Coronavirus’ main target is the lungs. It effects many organs, but it has a profound effect on our ability to hold oxygen within our blood,” said Dr. Helou.

Experts said an average ventilator costs anywhere from $20,000 and up to $100,000. Second Breath costs about $6,000.

Dan T. Moore Co. has made about 36 ventilators and they’re ready to ship out around the world. Engineers told 19 News they can design about a hundred ventilators a day.

The team tells 19 News they are proud.

“I think great innovation comes under pressure and when the COVID-19 surge showed up folks thought you know what, we need to respond to this quickly,” said Dr. Helou. “Everything about this says Cleveland. It speaks helping people and it speaks collaboration,” she said. “Cleveland, you’ve done this!”

https://www.fox19.com/2020/04/16/ohio-company-invents-second-breath-ventilator-that-will-save-lives-during-coronavirus-pandemic/


A patient is moved out of Gateway Care and Rehabilitation Center, a skilled nursing facility in Hayward, Calif., on Thursday.

People with severe COVID-19 may experience neurological symptoms, including confusion, delirium and muscle pain, and could be at higher risk for a stroke, a new study out of Wuhan, China has suggested.

Nearly 40 percent of people with the disease caused by the new coronavirus suffered brain-related complications, according to findings published Friday in JAMA Neurology.

Among those with serious infection as a result of the virus, nearly 6 percent experienced a stroke or stenosis, roughly 15 percent had dementia-like symptoms and roughly 20 percent reported severe muscle pain, researchers in China reported.

“This study indicates that neurological complications are relatively common in people who have COVID-19,” S. Andrew Josephson, professor and chair of the Department of Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco and editor-in-chief of JAMA Neurology, told UPI. Josephson also co-authored a related commentary on the study findings.

“However, the majority of those complications are are also relatively common in people with severe pneumonia and viral infections in hospital intensive care units,” he added.

That includes symptoms such as muscle pain and “confusion or difficulty thinking,” according to Josephson, although he emphasizes that if these neurological issues develop in people who know they have COVID-19 — or have symptoms of the disease and are among those at high risk for serious illness — they should be considered a “red flag like shortness of breath,” he said.

“Somebody who has COVID-19 and is at home and experiences difficulty thinking or confusion or anything that indicates a possible stroke, that is a sign they should come into the hospital for additional care,” Josephson continued. “But a symptom like muscle pain is common in viral infections. People don’t need to come into hospital with that.”

To date, nearly 1.7 million people worldwide have been infected with COVID-19, and nearly 100,000 have died from the disease. Although numbers vary by country and region, it is believed that approximately 20 percent of people infected by the new coronavirus become ill enough to require hospital care, and roughly 5 percent experience life-threatening symptoms, including pneumonia.

Those at highest risk for serious illness are believed to be the elderly, as are people with a history of diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. Of course these same people are also at increased risk for cerebrovascular diseases like stroke and stenosis, Josephson noted.

The new study looked at 214 patients with the disease at three Wuhan hospitals, all of whom were hospitalized between Jan. 16 and Feb. 19.

Of the 214 patients, who had mean age of 53, 87 were men and 126, or 59 percent, had severe infection based on respiratory status — with shortness of breath caused by a severe lower respiratory tract infection, like pneumonia.

As in prior studies, those with serious illness were older, had more underlying conditions — particularly high blood pressure — and had fewer typical symptoms of COVID-19, like fever and cough, when compared to patients with mild to moderate infection.

Additionally, 6 percent of patients experienced “taste impairment” and 5 percent had “smell impairment.” What causes people with the virus to experience these neurological complications remains unclear, according to Josephson. Because of the known heart-related complications associated with the virus, it’s possible they are the result of blood clots emanating from the heart, he added.

“As with all of the research coming out about the virus, this study shows we still have a lot more to learn,” Josephson said. “The bottom line is that people should be aware of these neurological symptoms, and seek medical attention if they need it.”

https://www.upi.com/Health_News/2020/04/10/40-of-people-with-severe-COVID-19-experience-neurological-complications/2491586526495/?ur3=1