China testing entire city after just 12 cases end COVID-free streak

Beijing — China’s 56-day coronavirus clean streak has been broken. Six people with symptoms and another six without any have tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 in one city, prompting a dramatic response.



a group of people standing in front of a bus: Medical workers in protective suits collect swabs for nucleic acid tests in Qingdao


© cnsphoto/STRINGER/REUTERS
Medical workers in protective suits collect swabs for nucleic acid tests in Qingdao

All of the cases are linked to a single hospital, the Qingdao Chest Hospital, in the city of Qingdao on China’s eastern coast. The city’s health commission posted the news to Chinese social media site Weibo, and the hospital, about 250 miles southeast of Beijing, has been closed.

Qingdao is home to about 9 million people, more than New York City and twice as many as Los Angeles, and authorities are now in the process of testing every single one of them. They’re determined to finish that process by the end of this week — a remarkable feat, but not unexpected in China. 

Sunday Journal: China emerges from the pandemic

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a group of people standing in front of a bus: Medical workers in protective suits collect swabs for nucleic acid tests during city-wide testing following new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in Qingdao, Shandong province, China, October 12, 2020. / Credit: cnsphoto/STRINGER/REUTERS


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Medical workers in protective suits collect swabs for nucleic acid tests during city-wide testing following new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in Qingdao, Shandong province, China, October 12, 2020. / Credit: cnsphoto/STRINGER/REUTERS

Photos and video making the rounds on both social and state-run media show citizens lining up to be tested.

Officials in Wuhan, which has a slightly larger population, said all of its citizens were tested in just 10 days earlier this year, when it tackled a resurgence of the virus.

For many, the news of new cases, even after almost two months without any, may come as little surprise. The entire country recently came back to work after an 8-day national holiday that saw millions of Chinese on the move.

It was the first major holiday since the coronavirus pandemic was brought under control here. Some 637 million trips were made over the National Day break. To put that in perspective, it’s almost equivalent to every single American doing two trips in the same time frame.



a man standing in front of a refrigerator: Alarming spike of COVID-19 cases across the U... 01:37


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Alarming spike of COVID-19 cases across the U… 01:37

People bought out plane and train tickets and jammed highways to release pent-up frustration after being stuck at home for most of this year.

In the grand scheme of things the new cases in Qingdao are a small blip in China’s officially reported coronavirus numbers. The World Health Organization, which relies on data provided by the Chinese government, has recorded just over 91,000 COVID-19 infections in China, and fewer than 5,000 deaths.

Critics say China’s reported numbers are too low — likely a fair criticism in a country known to cover up bad news.

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Study Probes Links in Asthma, Food Sensitivity and Irritable Bowel Syndrome | Health News

By Robert Preidt, HealthDay Reporter

(HealthDay)

MONDAY, Oct. 12, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Teens who had asthma and food hypersensitivity when they were younger are at increased risk of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), researchers report.

For the study, the investigators examined the health of 2,770 children from birth to age 16. Kids with IBS at age 16 were more likely to have had asthma at age 12 (about 11% versus 7%).

In addition, the researchers found that 16-year-olds with IBS were more likely to have had food hypersensitivity at age 12 (41% versus 29%).

Asthma, food hypersensitivity and eczema (a condition that makes your skin red and itchy) were all associated with an increased risk of concurrent IBS at age 16, the findings showed.

“The associations found in this large study suggest there’s a shared pathophysiology between common allergy-related diseases and adolescent irritable bowel syndrome,” said study leader Jessica Sjölund, of the Institute of Medicine at the University of Gothenburg, in Sweden.

Sjölund noted that previous studies on allergy-related diseases and IBS have been contradictory.

These new findings could lead to development of new treatments for adolescent IBS, targeting processes of low-grade inflammation seen in the allergy-related diseases, she said.

The study findings were scheduled for presentation Monday at a United European Gastroenterology virtual meeting. Research presented at meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

IBS affects more than one in 10 people and is the most common functional gastrointestinal disorder, the study authors noted in a meeting news release. It can cause abdominal cramps, bloating, diarrhea and constipation, and can be extremely disabling for patients.

Hans Törnblom is a leading IBS expert in Europe who was involved in the research. He said, “Even though functional gastrointestinal disorders are common, many patients are, unfortunately, negatively stigmatized and labeled. The fact that many IBS sufferers do not seek medical advice should be of great concern.”

The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has more on IBS.

Copyright © 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Acupuncture before surgery may reduce pain, opioid use

A new pilot study concludes that using acupuncture before surgery can reduce a person’s need for opioids following surgery. The Detroit-based researchers believe that acupuncture is a low-cost, safe method that reduces pain and anxiety in some people.

In the United States, the opioid crisis claimed the lives of 47,000 people in 2018, and almost a third of those deaths involved prescription opioids.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2018, two-thirds of drug overdose deaths involved an opioid. A 2018 report from Substances Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) states that 10.3 million people in the U.S. aged 12 or older misused opioids in the past year.

Opioids are a class of drugs that include the illegal drug heroin and the prescription drug fentanyl. Other prescription opioids include oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, and codeine.

According to a 2017 paper, over 80% of people receive a prescription for opioids after low-risk surgery. Almost 87% of these prescriptions include oxycodone or hydrocodone, which are the most common culprits in drug overdose deaths.

Doctors often use these opioids in inpatient settings and prescribe them to people when they leave the hospital.

In 2020, researchers found that opioid-related overdoses are 28% higher than reported because of incomplete death records.

Veterans are twice as likely to die from an accidental overdose compared with the general U.S. population. One study showed that the number of veterans’ who died due to an opioid overdose increased by 65% from 2010 to 2016.

In light of this opioid epidemic, there is an urgent need to decrease opioid use before or during surgeries.

In a recent pilot study, a team of researchers evaluated the efficacy of two different acupuncture techniques before a group of veterans underwent surgeries: battlefield acupuncture and traditional acupuncture.

They presented their findings at the Anesthesiology 2020 annual meeting in Chicago, IL, on October 5.

The researchers conducted two experiments. In the first, they divided participants into two groups of 21 veterans due to undergo hip replacement surgery.

The first group received traditional acupuncture before their surgery, and the second group received sham acupuncture. Sham acupuncture, or placebo acupuncture, mimics acupuncture.

People in the control group needed an average of 56 of morphine milligram equivalent (MME) in the first 24 hours after surgery. MME is a method of calculating a patient’s cumulative intake of any opioid drugs over 24 hours.

In comparison, those who had traditional acupuncture received an average of only 20.4 MME. Almost two-hirds less than the control group.

The veterans who underwent traditional acupuncture also reported higher satisfaction with their pain management 24 hours post-surgery.

After rating their treatment satisfaction on a scale of 1–10, those who had acupuncture reported less pain. They also experienced 15% less anxiety than the control group, although this was not statistically significant.

In the second experiment, 28 veterans scheduled for general surgery procedures received battlefield acupuncture. In the control group, 36 participants received sham acupuncture.

Battlefield acupuncture involves putting needles on ear acupoints.

Free Flu Shots Available This Weekend At MD State Fairgrounds

BALTIMORE COUNTY, MD — Residents can take advantage of a flu vaccination clinic to be held this weekend at the Maryland State Fairgrounds. Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch, Baltimore County’s health officer, said the coronavirus pandemic is a “game changer” this flu season.

“People who do not traditionally get a flu vaccine must make sure to get vaccinated this season. This is especially true for African Americans who often shy away from getting flu vaccinations, but are disproportionately affected by the coronavirus,” Branch said in a statement.

Appointments are required in order to obtain a free vaccination at what’s being called the “super weekend clinic” at the Cow Palace at the Maryland State Fairgrounds. Schedule an appointment by visiting www.baltimorecountymd.gov/flu. Attendees must wear a face covering at the event. Free flu vaccinations will be available while supplies last. Residents are asked to wear short-sleeved or sleeveless shirts for quick and easy access to the portion of the arm where the vaccination is administered.

“As our fight against the deadly COVID-19 pandemic continues, it’s more important than ever to take precautions to protect yourself from the seasonal flu,” Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski said in a statement. “This two-day flu vaccination clinic will help residents across Baltimore County take steps to safeguard against this potentially dangerous illness. We hope as many people as possible will take advantage of this accessible, convenient and free clinic to help prevent themselves and their loved ones from getting the flu this season.”

This article originally appeared on the Dundalk Patch

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Prostate Cancer Highlights From ESMO 2020

Dr Johann S. de Bono, of The Institute of Cancer Research in London, reviews key studies on prostate cancer presented at the 2020 ESMO Virtual Congress, including the phase 3 PROfound trial, which led to the approval of the PARP inhibitor olaparib for patients with metastatic prostate cancer.

He also discusses updated results of the STAMPEDE phase 3 trial of abiraterone plus ADT and the IPATential150 study of the AKT inhibitor ipatasertib plus abiraterone for patients with advanced prostate cancer.

Finally, he reviews several emerging new immunotherapies for prostate cancer that are showing promise in early clinical trials.

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Prominent Journal of Medicine Makes Unprecedented Political Statement

There’s no doubt the scientific community has been struck with Trump Derangement Syndrome, but reading the latest screed against the administration over its coronavirus response raises questions about whose pocket one of the most prominent scientific journals may be in.

For the first time since its founding in 1812, The New England Journal of Medicine has taken a position on a presidential election. Titled “Dying in a Leadership Vacuum,” it’s no surprise which direction it’s taking, though it does not name either political candidate. What is surprising about its criticism, however, is how pro-China it is.

Right off the bat, we’re told about the “magnitude” of the administration’s failure in the U.S. in terms of the number of COVID-19 deaths — “far exceeding the numbers in much larger countries, such as China.” To claim this with a straight face, as if China is truthful about its death count, is beyond the pale. The U.S. intelligence community has warned the CCP is lying as have residents of Wuhan and countless others.

The editors then went on to not only criticize federalism but praise China’s authoritarian crackdown on citizens: “We know that we could have done better. China, faced with the first outbreak, chose strict quarantine and isolation after an initial delay. These measures were severe but effective, essentially eliminating transmission at the point where the outbreak began and reducing the death rate to a reported 3 per million, as compared with more than 500 per million in the United States.”

As a reminder, those “severe” measures included literally locking residents in their homes to stop the spread. 

There are other head-scratching criticisms found in the article, such as the editors’ chastisement of people who don’t wear masks, despite the Journal’s own admission in May that “wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection…In many cases, the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic.”

The Journal’s nearly three dozen editors urging Americans to “not abet them and enable the deaths of thousands more Americans by allowing them to keep their jobs,” follows other scientific journals taking a political stand this year. The Lancet and Scientific American also urged Americans to vote Trump out with the latter actually endorsing Joe Biden.

The Lancet and the NEJM took heat earlier this year after publishing a total fraud of a study on hydroxychloroquine that claimed patients with COVID were dying at higher rates than those who didn’t take it. The studies prompted WHO and other governments around the world to halt studies on the drug and change positions on prescribing it, potentially costing people their lives.

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Trump campaign manager returns to office 10 days after positive COVID-19 test

President TrumpDonald John TrumpDes Moines mayor says he’s worried about coronavirus spread at Trump rally Judiciary Committee Democrats pen second letter to DOJ over Barrett disclosures: ‘raises more questions that it answers’ Trump asks campaign to schedule daily events for him until election: report MORE‘s campaign manager Bill StepienBill StepienTrump Jr. returning to campaign trail after quarantining The Memo: Trump searches for path to comeback Bob Dole claims no Republicans on debate commission support Trump MORE resumed working at the campaign’s Virginia headquarters on Monday, 10 days after he tested positive for COVID-19.

Stepien told reporters on a conference call that he was back in the office after his recent positive test, “in full accordance with” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.

The CDC guidelines say adults with mild to moderate COVID-19 cases can be around others 10 days after the onset of symptoms so long as they have gone 24 hours without a fever and other symptoms are improving. Severe cases require longer isolation periods. Public health experts have also encouraged individuals to obtain two negative tests before resuming regular activities.

Stepien, 42, tested positive on Oct. 2 and dealt with mild flu-like symptoms, the campaign said at the time. He went into quarantine and worked from home until Monday.

Stepien did not say on Monday’s call whether he had tested negative for the virus but cited being beyond the 10 day window from the onset of symptoms for his decision to return to the office.

“We take a lot of precautions here at the headquarters every single day,” Stepien said, pointing to signage about health protocols and noting that the campaign has a nurse on staff to ensure everyone is healthy.

Stepien’s decision to resume working in-person reflects the broader attitude of the president and his team toward the virus, which has killed more than 210,000 people in the U.S. and infected nearly 8 million.

Trump, who revealed that he had tested positive for the coronavirus on Oct. 2, is set to resume campaign rallies on Monday night in Florida despite the White House refusing to say when he last tested negative, and some top White House officials, such as chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsAdministration officials call on Congress to immediately pass bill to spend unused PPP funds Trump claims he is ‘immune’ from coronavirus, defends federal response Senate Republicans rip new White House coronavirus proposal MORE, have continued to work from the building despite being in close contact with the president, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and others who have tested positive. 

The president’s physician said late Saturday that Trump is no longer a risk to spread the virus but stopped short of saying he had tested negative.

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4 Women With Parkinson’s Share What They Wish They Knew When They Were First Diagnosed

Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

From Good Housekeeping

While Parkinson’s disease affects men twice more often than women—Michael J. Foxx has been one of the most famous to be afflicted by it—data shows that women experience a faster progression of the disease and a higher mortality rate.

With symptoms like tremors, rigid muscles, slowed movements, and speech changes, a Parkinson’s diagnosis can wreak havoc on the body. These four women, who have been living with Parkinson’s for up to two decades, open up about what they wish they knew when they were first diagnosed, including how important it is to have a rock solid support network.

“You can live a great life with Parkinson’s, but you have to accept help along the way.”

Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

After Kelly Weinschreider, 47, of Chicago, Illinois, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at just 29 years old, she was prescribed several medications that lessened her symptoms. Since she felt fine, it made it easier for her to ignore what was going on, especially since she didn’t tell many people about it. “I didn’t want people to feel sorry for me, or for my diagnosis to change my relationships, personally or professionally, ” she said.

That denial—plus side effects from the medicine and the disease’s progression—forced her to leave her job as a quality manager 10 years later. “I should have been seeing a behavioral health specialist to understand how Parkinson’s affected me and how to accept it,” she says. “Instead, I took my medications sporadically. I mismanaged time and commitments, and I had trouble performing my job and, ultimately, spun out. I wish I would have been more forthcoming with family and friends as to how the disease was affecting me.”

After living with the condition for 18 years, Weinschreider came to terms with her diagnosis. She also realized it truly takes a village to live life with Parkinson’s to its fullest and started to communicate with friends and family when she needed help. “You need the support of family and friends, the care of multiple specialists, and the foresight to plan for the future. You can live a great life with Parkinson’s, but you have to accept help along the way,” Weinschreider says.

“I wish I hadn’t dismissed early symptoms.”

Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

Denise Coley, 68, of Morgan Hill, California was diagnosed with Parkinson’s two years ago, after months of having trouble balancing and experiencing insomnia and mood changes—all things she thought were unrelated to each other, not signs of a slow degenerative disease. “It wasn’t until the motor symptoms appeared, like the tremors, that I realized what was going on was a bigger issue than I originally thought,” Coley says.

In hindsight, Coley wishes she had responded differently, and run to the doctor first thing. “If I had realized sooner,” she says, “I would have spent more quality time with family. I would have looked into what changes in my life and home were needed earlier in order

New Game Changers in Medicine Episode About the Discovery of the X-Ray Premieres October 14

NEW YORK, Oct. 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Game Changers in Medicine, the new monthly podcast from Dramatic Health, premieres its fourth episodeX-Rays: This invisible diagnostic light was born in the dark 125 years ago” on October 14, 2020. The use of radiation in medicine and dentistry revolutionized diagnostic techniques, and its applications went beyond the healthcare field to areas like airport security.  Produced by Dramatic Health co-founder and CEO Sean T. Moloney, the series is hosted by renowned medical futurist Dr. Rubin Pillay of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).

For details on the podcast series, visit www.gamechangersinmedicine.com 

The Dramatic Health and Game Changers in Medicine teams have gathered a distinguished group of experts to discuss the science and serendipity behind the discovery of the X-ray. Dr. Daniel Margolis, professor of radiology for Weill Cornell Medical College and the head of the department’s Prostate MRI program, is joined by Kathy Joseph, a physics teacher and historian who runs the up-and-coming YouTube channel, Kathy Loves Physics and History, on the history of scientific discoveries. Dr. David Rosenthal, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and former medical director and president of the Leonard P. Zakim Center for Integrated Therapies at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, is an advisor to the series. 

Dramatic Health, a national healthcare video company, is the producer of the six-part podcast series Game Changers in Medicine. Previous episodes have included: the premiere podcast about Vitamin K and an enterprising Boston house doctor; the creation of a smallpox vaccine and its parallels to today’s urgent search for a COVID-19 vaccine; and the history of the blood thinner warfarin, a rat poison turned game-changer in cardiology.  All episodes, a series backgrounder, and additional material about the podcast series are available at  www.gamechangersinmedicine.com and can be accessed wherever you find your podcasts.

Contact: Mark G. Auerbach. [email protected]

SOURCE Dramatic Health, Inc.

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Study finds COVID-19 coronavirus can survive 28 days on some surfaces

The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can survive on items such as banknotes and phones for up to 28 days in cool, dark conditions, according to a study by Australia’s national science agency. Researchers at CSIRO’s disease preparedness centre tested the longevity of SARS-CoV-2 in the dark at three temperatures, showing survival rates decreased as conditions became hotter, the agency said Monday.

The scientists found that at 68 degrees Fahrenheit, SARS-CoV-2 was “extremely robust” on smooth surfaces — like cell phone and other touch screens — surviving for 28 days on glass, steel and plastic banknotes.

At 86 degrees Fahrenheit, the survival rate dropped to seven days and plunged to just 24 hours at 104 degrees Fahrenheit.


Alarming spike of COVID-19 cases across the U…

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The virus survived for shorter periods on porous surfaces such as cotton — up to 14 days at the lowest temperatures and less than 16 hours at the highest — the researchers said.

This was “significantly longer” than previous studies which found the disease could survive for up to four days on non-porous surfaces, according to the paper published in the peer-reviewed Virology Journal.

Trevor Drew, director of the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness, said the study involved drying samples of the virus on different materials before testing them, using an “extremely sensitive” method that found traces of live virus able to infect cell cultures.

“This doesn’t mean to say that that amount of virus would be capable of infecting someone,” he told public broadcaster ABC.

He added that if a person was “careless with these materials and touched them and then licked your hands or touched your eyes or your nose, you might well get infected upwards of two weeks after they had been contaminated.”

Critical for “risk mitigation”

Drew said there were several caveats including that the study was conducted with fixed levels of virus that likely represented the peak of a typical infection, and there was an absence of exposure to ultraviolet light, which can rapidly degrade the virus.

Humidity was kept steady at 50 percent, the study said, as increases in humidity have also been found as detrimental to the virus.

According to the CSIRO, the virus appears to primarily spread through the air but more research was needed to provide further insights into the transmission of the virus via surfaces.


CDC says COVID-19 is “sometimes” airborne

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“While the precise role of surface transmission, the degree of surface contact and the amount of virus required for infection is yet to be determined, establishing how long this virus remains viable on surfaces is critical for developing risk mitigation strategies in high contact areas,” CSIRO’s Debbie Eagles said.

The main message remains that “infectious people are far, far more infectious than surfaces”, Drew told the ABC.

“But nevertheless, it may help to explain why even when we got rid of the infectious people, we do occasionally get these breakouts again, sometimes even in a country which is considered to be free,” he