“Telemedicine” Is The Way To Treat “Coronavirus / Covid-19” Pandemic (NEJM)

From a New England Journal of Medicine article (March 11, 2020):

New England Journal of Medicine logoA central strategy for health care surge control is “forward triage” — the sorting of patients before they arrive in the emergency department (ED). Direct-to-consumer (or on-demand) telemedicine, a 21st-century approach to forward triage that allows patients to be efficiently screened, is both patient-centered and conducive to self-quarantine, and it protects patients, clinicians, and the community from exposure. 

It can allow physicians and patients to communicate 24/7, using smartphones or webcam-enabled computers. Respiratory symptoms — which may be early signs of Covid-19 — are among the conditions most commonly evaluated with this approach. Health care providers can easily obtain detailed travel and exposure histories. Automated screening algorithms can be built into the intake process, and local epidemiologic information can be used to standardize screening and practice patterns across providers.

Telemedicine for Coronavirus Covid-19 New England Journal of Medicine March 11 2020

More than 50 U.S. health systems already have such programs. Jefferson Health, Mount Sinai, Kaiser Permanente, Cleveland Clinic, and Providence, for example, all leverage telehealth technology to allow clinicians to see patients who are at home. Systems lacking such programs can outsource similar services to physicians and support staff provided by Teladoc Health or American Well. At present, the major barrier to large-scale telemedical screening for SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus causing Covid-19, is coordination of testing. As the availability of testing sites expands, local systems that can test appropriate patients while minimizing exposure — using dedicated office space, tents, or in-car testing — will need to be developed and integrated into telemedicine workflows.

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Health News Video: FDA Launches (And Explains) New Nutrition Facts Label

What’s new about the new Nutrition Facts label? Watch this Q&A with Susan T. Mayne, Ph.D., Director of FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. 

New FDA Nutrition Facts Label March 2020

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Health Update: Comparing “Coronavirus / Covid-19” And “Influenza” (W.H.O.)

From an MIT Technology Review article (March 11, 2020):

Here are six differences between coronavirus and the flu:

  • World Health Organization WHOCoronavirus appears to spread more slowly than the flu. This is probably the biggest difference between the two. The flu has a shorter incubation period (the time it takes for an infected person to show symptoms) and a shorter serial interval (or the time between successive cases). Coronavirus’s serial interval is around five to six days, while flu’s gap between cases is more like three days, the WHO says. So flu still spreads more quickly.
  • Shedding: Viral shedding is what happens when a virus has infected a host, has reproduced, and is now being released into the environment. It is what makes a patient infectious. Some people start shedding the coronavirus within two days of contracting it, and before they show symptoms, although this probably isn’t the main way it is spreading, the WHO says.
  • Secondary infections. As if contracting coronavirus wasn’t bad enough, it leads to about two more secondary infections on average. The flu can sometimes cause a secondary infection, usually pneumonia, but it’s rare for a flu patient to get two infections after the flu. The WHO warned that context is key (someone who contracts coronavirus might already have been fighting another condition, for example).
  • Coronavirus Protection from getting sick W.H.O.Don’t blame snotty kids—adults are passing coronavirus around. While kids are the primary culprits for flu transmission, this coronavirus seems to be passed between adults. That also means adults are getting hit hardest—especially those who are older and have underlying medical conditions. Experts are baffled as to why kids seem protected from the worst effects of the coronavirus, according to the Washington Post. Some say they might already have some immunity from other versions of the coronavirus that appear in the common cold; another theory is that kids’ immune systems are always on high alert and might simply be faster than adults’ in battling Covid-19.
  • Coronavirus is far deadlier than the flu. Thus far, the mortality rate for coronavirus (the number of reported cases divided by the number of deaths) is around 3% to 4%, although it’s likely to be lower because many cases have not yet been reported. The flu’s rate is 0.1%. 
  • There is no cure or vaccine for the coronavirus. Not yet, anyway, although work is under way. There is, however, a flu vaccine—and everyone should get it, not least because being vaccinated could help lessen the load on overstretched medical services in the coming weeks.

Read WHO report

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A New Species Of “Bird-Like Dinosaur” Discovered, Preserved In Amber (Video)

A tiny new species of bird-like dinosaur has been discovered, preserved in a lump of 99-million-year-old amber. The tooth-filled skull is only 7.1mm long, suggesting that this ancient creature would have been the size of a hummingbird – far smaller than other dinosaurs known from that time. Unusual features include large, side-facing eyes and a large number of sharp teeth suggesting a predatory lifestyle. The species has been named Oculudentavis khaungraae and is evidence of previously unimagined biodiversity in the Mesozoic era.

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Top New Science Podcasts: 100-Million-Year-Old Bird In Amber And Viking Dental Hygiene (Nature)

nature-podcastsHear the latest science news, brought to you by Shamini Bundell and Nick Howe. This week, a newly discovered bird species from the time of the dinosaurs, and microbes hundreds of metres below the ocean floor.

In this episode:

00:44 A tiny, toothy, ancient bird

Researchers have found a perfectly preserved bird fossil trapped in amber, with some rather unusual features. Research Article: Xing et al.News and Views: Tiny bird fossil might be the world’s smallest dinosaur

08:09 Research Highlights

Dental hygiene in the time of the Vikings, and wildebeest bones feed an African ecosystem. Research Article: Bertilsson et alResearch Article: Subalusky et al.

10:21 Deep sea life

Scientists have uncovered traces of life 750m below the ocean’s surface. Research article: Li et al.

17:31 News Chat

Updates on the Coronavirus outbreak, and peer review in predatory journals. News: Coronavirus: latest news on spreading infectionNews: Labs rush to study coronavirus in transgenic animals — some are in short supplyNews: Hundreds of scientists have peer-reviewed for predatory journals

Art: “Eve” Sculpture By Auguste Rodin (1899)

John Swarbrooke from Dickinson Gallery explains the beauty and play of light behind the cast of Auguste Rodin’s Eve.

François Auguste René Rodin (12 November 1840 – 17 November 1917) was a French sculptor. Although Rodin is generally considered the progenitor of modern sculpture, he did not set out to rebel against the past. He was schooled traditionally, took a craftsman-like approach to his work, and desired academic recognition, although he was never accepted into Paris’s foremost school of art.

Eve is a nude sculpture by the French artist Auguste Rodin. It shows Eve despairing after the Fall.

n 1880 Rodin was commissioned to produce The Gates of Hell, for which he exhibited Adam at the 1881 Paris Salon. In a sketch for Gates Rodin showed a central silhouette possibly intended as Eve (both the sketch and Gates are now in the Musée Rodin), but in October 1881 he decided to produce Eve as a pair for Adam, with the two sculptures flanking a huge high-relief bas-relief. This would be the first free-standing female sculpture he had produced since the destruction of his Bacchante in an accident between 1864 and 1870. He began Eve in 1881, later abandoning his intended colossal version of it when he realised his model, probably Adèle Abruzzesi, was pregnant. It was first exhibited to the public at the 1899 Paris Salon. It shows a strong influence from Michelangelo, picked up by Rodin in Italy in 1876.

He also produced an autograph white marble version in 1884 (now in the Museo Soumaya in Mexico City), a version in patinated plaster and a much-reproduced 71 cm high bronze version in 1883 (known as the Petite Ève or Little Eve, whose original is also in the Musée Rodin in Paris). He also reused the same figure of Eve in his marble Eve and the Serpent (1901) and his plaster Adam and Eve (1884).

From Wikipedia

Elderly & Coronavirus: Nursing Homes Increase Guest Symptom, Travel And Exposure Reviews

From a Harvard Gazette online article (March 10, 2020):

Harvard Gazette Elderly Coronavirus Risk Article March 10 2020There’s a symptom review, there’s a travel review, and there’s an exposure review. And if the answer to any of those questions is yes, then you’re asked to not come in. And so far people have been compliant and have left. So that is a good thing.

If you have a cough and a fever, if you’ve got respiratory symptoms and you’re short of breath, if you’ve traveled to a place of concern or if you may have been exposed to someone who did — especially if you’re symptomatic — then I would definitely ask, “Do I really need to visit my grandma today? Can I wait and can I Skype her? Can I do FaceTime?”

I know that’s hard for some of our older adults who aren’t technologically savvy, but maybe now is the time to get them hooked up. It really would be heartbreaking if, in wanting to do something positive for someone’s emotional or mental health, you ended up infecting them.

Harvard-affiliated Hebrew SeniorLife offers a continuum of care for 3,000 elderly people daily, with a range of services including residential assisted living, short-term rehabilitation, outpatient services, and long-term care for those with chronic illness. In a Q&A interview aimed at understanding the challenges involved, Harvard Medical School Assistant Professor Helen Chen, Hebrew SeniorLife’s chief medical officer, discussed steps the facility has taken to combat the virus and the outlook going forward.

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Political News: Joe Biden Wins Michigan Primary On March 10 (The Telegraph)

Joe Biden won Michigan’s Democratic primary on Tuesday, extending his lead over main rival Senator Bernie Sanders. Michigan is a key general election battleground, and one which Sanders narrowly won in 2016 against Hillary Clinton.

In 2020, the state emerged as a battleground for black and white blue-collar voters as well as suburban moderates. The Democratic contest has effectively become a two-horse race between Biden and Sanders The former vice president’s victory in Michigan, as well as Missouri and Mississippi, dealt a serious blow to Sanders, who is urgently seeking to jump-start his flagging campaign.

New Wine Books: “The 100 Burgundy” – Building A “Dream Cellar” (Assouline)

The 100 Burgundy Jeannie Cho Lee AssoulineAn exceptional Burgundy is not only well crafted and well balanced, it also must have essential qualities reflecting its own terroir as well as those unique to the particular vintage, distilling the very essence of the vine itself and the earth from which it springs.

Essential reading for all fine wine aficionados, whether curating a dream cellar or selecting the best Burgundy wines to experience with friends and family, The 100 Burgundy: offers a fresh perspective by a dedicated professional who visits the region regularly and recognizes the best it has to offer.

For wine enthusiasts discovering Burgundy—and those already smitten with the region’s seductive wines—The 100 Burgundy: is the first guide of its kind to the region’s best wines and makers, detailing the domaines and highlighting each chosen wine with tasting notes. Considering factors such as a wine’s quality, its ability to evolve and improve over time, and its ability to evoke emotion, Master of Wine Jeannie Cho Lee invites readers to explore 100 memorable Burgundy wines of the Côte d’Or, from benchmark domaines to rising stars.

The 100 Burgundy Exceptional Wines to Build a Dream Cellar Jeannie Cho Lee Assouline 2020

With a foreword by Lalou Bize-Leroy, owner of Domaine Leroy and co-owner of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, this enlightening volume is a journey through the countryside of Burgundy, capturing the context, people, and history that inspire the creation of these masterful wines.

Jeannie Cho Lee is the first Asian Master of Wine (MW), an award-winning author, wine critic, judge, and educator. Currently a professor at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, where she helped launch the Master of Science program in International Wine Management, she is also a consultant for Singapore Airlines since 2009.

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