17 April 2020 Blog Post: COVID-19 Update

Reported deaths to coronavirus in the US continue to rise exponentially. Reporting them by week:
5 weeks ago: 41 deaths
4 weeks ago: 195 deaths
3 weeks ago: 1,195 deaths
2 weeks ago: 5.983 deaths
1 week ago: 16,684 deahts
Now: 33,268 deaths
Here are some of the latest developments on novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19):
1. Risks associated with smoking and asthma: Not surprisingly, past or current smokers with COVID-19 have double the risk for severe disease outcomes as people who’ve never smoked. About 18% of those with a history of smoking experienced disease progression, compared with 9% of never-smokers. On the other hand, data from NYC has shown that asthma has been underrepresented in patients who were sick enough to get treated in New York. Only 5% of those who died from COVID-19 in the state had asthma. At Santa Monica Primary Care, we have been managing asthma in our patients more aggressively – perhaps because patients are more aware of any chest tightness / congestion or shortness of breath.
2. Convalescent plasma: The FDA is now encouraging people who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate their plasma to help others who are ill. Each donation could be given to as many as four patients through convalescent plasma or hyperimmune globulin. We have been encouraging such in our practice as well and have already referred a number of recovered patients to the Red Cross (www.redcrossblood.org). As part of our testing efforts, we have performed testing post-recovery seeking a negative result. A confirmed negative result after infection is a gating item question in the plasma donation process, at least with the Red Cross.

𝗦𝗶𝗴𝗻 𝗨𝗽 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗢𝘂𝗿 𝗡𝗲𝘄𝘀𝗹𝗲𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿

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