Dear Church Family,
And so we begin month number 4 of COVID-19!! The hope is our “reopening” will last and businesses will not all be decimated. Did you ever think hospitals would have to lay off workers?!!! (Over 3,000 in the Rochester area.) Keeping 30% of the area hospitals empty just in case we have a huge surge of COVID-19 makes me wonder how many people who needed surgery, found an unusual lump, or had a host of other potentially serious problems are going to be really sick later on due to no treatment now. I have two family members who have had to wait to be treated for health issues I considered serious. It is prudent to be aware there is a slight possibility of a spike in COVID cases, but to deny people who have an existing problem access to medical care on a “what if” seems unfair to me. Since when do we give one illness (that hasn’t over run local hospitals) the right to close down hospital wings that would otherwise be filled with people with cancer or other medical issues? That will end my rant.
On a more hopeful note, there are several treatments and potential vaccines that look very promising on the horizon. The President talked about Operation Warp Speed on May 15th. I researched it a bit, and the people he has in charge have very good credentials. Dr. Slaoui is the head of vaccine creation, and he has led the development of 5 novel (new) vaccines. They have already started several human trials. They are hoping for a vaccine by January 2021. We will see.
There is a biopharmaceutical company in California, Sorrento Therapeutics, which claims to have isolated an antibody that will not allow COVID-19 to enter into cells. They are partnering with Mount Sinai to develop an antibody cocktail containing 3 antibodies. This would be used as a prophylactic to keep people from getting COVID-19.
Clinical trials for Remdesivir at the University of Chicago are showing promise in treating COVID-19. Favipiravir is an antiviral being tested in Boston that is also showing success in treating the virus. Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine testing data is looking good at this time also.
The latest “new” thing possibly linked to COVID-19 is a syndrome similar to Kawasaki disease. It is being seen in very small numbers, mostly around NYC presently.
It is virtually impossible to find consistent data on how many cases of actual Kawasaki are diagnosed in the US each year, 3,000 to over 10,000 are figures floating around in different articles. It was discovered in Japan in 1961 and was first noted outside Japan in 1967 in Hawaii.
Kawasaki disease causes swelling in arteries in the body, most notably the coronary arteries. Symptoms include a high fever (over 102), red eyes, rash, red cracked lips, red swollen tongue, red swollen and peeling skin on palms and soles of feet, swollen lymph nodes, diarrhea, vomiting and joint pain. Yuck!! To make matters worse, the average age of children who get this is under 5. Starting treatment within 10 days of the start of the disease is crucial to minimize the possibility of lasting damage. Treatment generally consists of IV gamma globulin (an immune protein) and high doses of aspirin. This is generally done in the hospital.
The syndrome is being treated in a similar way. Be alert for the symptoms, but remember it is very rare at this point so don’t panic!
As I’m ready to finish up the newsletter I found an article on something called Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (PMIS). It is a combination of Kawasaki disease and Toxic Shock Syndrome. This is being seen in Connecticut, affecting kids from 0-18, again rare. It might be connected with COVID. (I’m beginning to think everything might be connected to COVID!!)
The press loves drama. Be discerning when you read things and hear things. Don’t panic. Be careful, wear the mask, wash your hands, and stay away from sick folks. Get outside!!! Stay healthy. Call me with questions!
God Bless! Beth