June 2022 Newsletter
Rising COVID-19 in the Practice during May
A very similar trend is seen when looking at Santa Monica Malibu School District weekly PCR surveillance data (among students).
Based on prevalence rates seen in schools, we are currently looking at about 1.5% of the population returning with positive tests – now granted these are PCR tests so that number may reflect those who have recovered from the disease but are still testing positive. Extrapolating to Los Angeles County as a whole, we would estimate that about 150,000 positive tests would be reported – yet only 25,000 were over the same time period.
COVID-19 Deaths Continue to Decline
Looking for good news? Mortality rates in Los Angeles County due to COVID-19 are the lowest they have been since the last week of March – 2020!
Blogs This Month
The first blog of the month was a bit of departure from the usual COVID-19 headlines, but was timely nevertheless, looking at the leaked Roe v. Wade SCOTUS decision document. When taken from a public health perspective, the absurdity of limiting abortion access becomes abundantly clear. The other two are more typical reading, with the third in the series being an attempt to quantify spike protein levels in a blood sample that would provide sufficient neutralizing antibodies to prevent COVID-19.
On Roe v. Wade: https://drbretsky.com/3-may-2022-blog-post-on-roe-v-wade/
An Update of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County: https://drbretsky.com/18-may-2022-state-of-covid-in-la-county/
On Antibody Levels: https://drbretsky.com/31-may-2022-blog-post-making-sense-of-antibody-levels/
June’s Epidemiology Definitions
Surveillance: The ongoing systematic collection, analysis and interpretation of health data that are essential to the planning, implementation and evaluation of public health practice. This is generally divided into two categories, passive and active. There are representative examples of each in this newsletter. Passive surveillance (or reportable disease) is that collected by our local health department based on physician or laboratory reports. The COVID-19 case numbers summarized by LA County Health are based on passive surveillance as they do not seek out cases (and, in fact, specifically do not count home tests as valid cases). Active surveillance is illustrated by the SMMUSD data highlighted above. In such, active cases are sought out and reported nearly in real time.
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