COVID-19 Trending Stories for Monday, April 20, 2020

Here are the stories I'm tracking that I think others ought to notice. 

  • The Association of Healthcare Journalists published a tip sheet warning members about reading too much into studies published in advance because they have not gone through full peer review yet. Both of the studies cited above are such pre-review releases.
  • The public needs to hear more about the ways medical professionals are learning more about COVID19 every day and adapting at a rapid pace. One of the reasons hospitals have managed ventilator supplies successfully is wider use of HFNC - "high flow nasal cannula." This alternate way to deliver emergency oxygen does not require intubation, which poses considerable risk to healthcare providers. This technique is still risky, however, especially when the devices are disconnected. 
  • A new study from one of the first places in Italy hard-hit by COVID19 bolsters the evidence for rampant contagion before symptoms appear. The good news: the town halted new infections rapidly by locking-down immediately after the first COVID19 death occurred.
  • A report published online in advance of full review concludes that an asymptomatic COVID19 patient infected nine other people dining in the same restaurant. The researchers suspect that the restaurant's HVAC system helped carry droplets from the infected person to other diners outside the patient's own family. Individuals who were not along the airflow were not infected, according to the researchers.
  • As amusement parks in some places make plans to reopen soon, prepare for more bickering over numbers. Especially with the realization that some non-hospital deaths almost certainly are attributable to COVID19, a growing number of people both in government and elsewhere dispute what the actual number of COVID19 cases and deaths may be. These disputes may play prominent roles as anti-public health activists ramp up protests with advice from a Trump-supporting organization that was founded by the Koch Brothers.
  • Mother Jones has an article shining the light on the gut-wrenching frontline diaries posted to KevinMD.com from physicians and others facing COVID19 every day.
  • For more on testing, here's a blog post that I wrote about the confusion over coronavirus testing and why it matters to businesses and communicators.

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