COVID-19 effects on neurological conditions
SARS-CoV-2 has been noted to have neurological complications. In this article, the authors discuss the underreporting of conditions such as postinfectious demyelination, encephalitis, seizures, and other neurotropic conditions that may be underreported complications of COVID-19. Clinicians do not often associate these findings with a diagnosis of COVID, however, the authors urge practitioners to consider the virus as a cause for these complications. For example, acute encephalopathy is a relatively common presentation in COVID-19 patients ranging from 7.5-65%. A stroke prevalence of 2.5-6% among hospitalized patients diagnosed with COVID-19 has been reported. Within this article, one study shows that elderly adults with severe infection and increased cardiovascular risk factors are at an increased risk for ischemic complications. Two retrospective studies describe abnormal EEG studies in COVID-19 patients, as well as acute encephalopathy, however these findings are rare. Among patients in the ICU, critical illness polyneuropathy (CIP) and/or critical illness myopathy (CIM) risks have been identified. Studies have reported CIP and CIM with an incidence of up to 44% in patients presenting with sepsis and a diagnosis of COVID-19. The authors urge clinicians to recognize the possibility of neurologic complications when treating COVID patients, and to have a high clinical suspicion for associated neurologic complications when treating these patients.
Prevalence of SARS-COV-2 among frontline healthcare personnel
In this publication by the CDC, the authors sought to determine the prevalence and features of COVID-19 among U.S. health care personnel. Among the 3,248 healthcare workers observed, 6% had evidence of antibodies lending to a previous SARS-COV-2 infection. Only 29% of personnel who had antibodies reported any symptoms in the previous months, and 69% of those personnel were never diagnosed with the virus. Prevalence of COVID-19 was lower among personnel who reported always wearing a face covering when performing patient care (6%) compared to those who did not (9%). The overall notion of this article is that a large proportion of COVID infections in healthcare workers tend to go undetected, and that face coverings are important to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the hospital setting.
Current treatment options for COVID-19
In this article, the authors review the current evidence for multiple treatment options available for the SARS-COV-2 virus and identify potential options for new treatment. The authors searched and reviewed multiple case reports, retrospective analyses, and in vitro studies since the outbreak of COVID-19. Although no current treatments have been approved, this article discusses a few available antimicrobial agents that could be effective in treating COVID-19. They discuss current trials that are in progress to detect and confirm the efficacy of these treatment options.
Otolaryngologic symptoms in COVID-19 patients
In this retrospective study, the author aimed to evaluate the frequency of various otolaryngological symptoms in patients with COVID-19 with regard to age, gender, and pneumonia-related thorax CT characteristics. By studying the medical files of 155 patients who applied to an outpatient clinic, patients who were positive via PCR testing methods were evaluated for the presence of otolaryngologic symptoms. Of these patients, 57.4% reported some type of otolaryngologic symptom. The mean age of the patients was 36.3 years (+/- 8 years), 58.7% female & 42.2% male. Fifty-eight (37.4%) of patients received a clinical diagnosis of viral pneumonia with ground glass findings on CT. The frequency of overall otolaryngological symptoms were highest among females and those aged 18-30 years. Tinnitus, gingivitis, sudden hearing loss, Bell’s palsy, and hoarseness can be seen in COVID-19. The goal of this study was to identify potential otolaryngological symptoms for better management of patient complaints.
Preventing the spread of COVID-19 in overnight camps and congregate settings
At this point in time during the pandemic, nonpharmaceutical interventions are largely relied upon to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Published data on the effectiveness of masking, social distancing, etc. is lacking in the world of research. In this CDC publication, the authors observed four summer camps in the state of Maine during the 2020 summer season to determine if non-pharmalogical interventions (NPI’s) are appropriate in this type of congregate setting. Summer camps are a $26 billion dollar industry in the U.S. with approximately 15,000 day and overnight camps and approximately 1.5 million staff who are employed among these camps. On average, 26 million children annually are hosted by these organizations. Prior to attending the camp, all attendees were instructed to isolate for 10-14 days before arriving at camp. No restrictions were placed on attendance from any part of the country or globally, however, restrictions were advised on the mode of travel. Approximately 5-7 days before camp arrival, 1,010 of the 1,022 attendees were tested by RT-PCR by their PCP or at local labs. Those who reported any symptoms were referred to follow up with their healthcare provider. During the camp dates, attendees were screened daily and usual camp activities were changed to reflect proper protocols. Three asymptomatic attendees at three different camps received positive results and were immediately isolated, as well as their cohorts. The article discusses thorough details of the screening, observation, and isolation procedures. The authors report that diligent use of multiple NPI’s were successful in preventing and mitigating SARS-COV-2 transmission among the four camps involved in this study. The authors highlight that multilayered use of NPI’s is necessary to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 among small, segregated cohorts and quickly identifying symptoms is necessary to maintain operations.