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If you think you have long COVID, here are symptoms to look for

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More than 480,000 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Dallas County, and that number is likely to continue to rise rapidly as the Omicron variant spreads.

For some patients, COVID-19 was little more than a cold and several days of isolation. But the virus has plagued others with what’s known as long COVID, a series of debilitating symptoms that last months after a person’s initial infection.

dr Michael Brode, medical director of the University of Texas Health Austin’s post-COVID-19 program, said in a webinar Friday that some COVID-19 symptoms that aren’t often talked about, like dizziness and high heart rate, make it through can be difficult for people to return to their pre-COVID selves. Here’s some of what Brode has learned after caring for coronavirus patients for the past two years.

What symptoms should I look out for with omicron?

The Omicron variant differs from its predecessors in that it appears to cause milder disease, especially in people who have been vaccinated against the virus. It can also come with some other symptoms.

While the first strains of COVID-19 caused about 50% of people to lose their sense of taste and smell, Brode said only about 15% to 25% of people lose it with omicron.

The symptoms people should watch out for during the Omicron surge are coughing, fatigue, congestion, and a runny nose. And while the new variant is said to be milder than other strains, that doesn’t mean it feels mild to those who are infected.

“Milder doesn’t necessarily mean mild,” said Brode, who is an assistant professor in Dell Medical School’s department of internal medicine. “There are still a lot of people who feel pretty sick or feel like they have the worst cold or flu they’ve ever had.”

What are some additional long-term COVID-19 symptoms?

People infected with COVID-19 may also have other, less commonly mentioned symptoms, Brode said.

Some people experience gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting or abdominal cramps in the first few days of their illness. “What we’ve seen is that the virus can disrupt, and in many cases slow down, the way the gut moves food through the GI tract,” Brode said.

Staying hydrated and maintaining electrolytes is important for people recovering from gastrointestinal symptoms. Eating smaller meals throughout the day can also help those who feel their bowels are functioning more slowly than normal.

Many people feel extreme tiredness, dizziness and heart palpitations during and after being infected with the virus. For those who suffer from vertigo, it’s important to stay hydrated and take it slow when making the transition from lying to sitting or sitting to standing, Brode said.

Here’s more advice from the Texas Medical Association on what to do if you suspect you may have COVID-19.

When should I be worried about long COVID?

It’s hard to tell if someone is slow to recover from COVID-19 or if they’ve had COVID for a long time, Brode said. “Right now the difficulty is that long COVID is not well defined,” he said.

Brode assumes someone has had COVID for a long time if they are still not feeling better three months after being infected. Symptoms can range from fatigue to brain fog to dizziness when changing positions.

If you think you may be developing COVID for a long time, it is important to see a GP to rule out other health issues that could be making your symptoms worse. Once you’ve hit the three-month mark, it may be time to seek out a clinic that specifically deals with post-COVID conditions.

Physical therapy is important to increase your endurance for daily activities when you’ve had COVID for a long time, Brode said. It is just as important to listen to your body.

“If you feel like you’re hitting a wall, respect that wall,” he said. “Try to build on that, and once you feel like you’ve gotten to that point, take a break and slowly build a routine so you can return to your usual pre-disease performance.”

3 West Campus Building, 2001 Inwood Rd., at UT Southwestern Medical Center on Wednesday, August 28, 2019, in Dallas.Jim Doyle with his dog Dempsey at his home in Lewisville, August 11, 2021. Doyle recovered from COVID-19 after months of persistent symptoms while being treated at a COVID recovery clinic.

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Severe problems facing American health sector

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According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, hospitals in nearly half of America’s states are at near capacity as the highly transmissible omicron variant of the coronavirus sweeping the country hits record numbers of infections.

President Joe Biden has ordered more military health workers sent to “hard-hit” states to help with staffing shortages and provide relief efforts.

Announcing the phased deployment of 1,000 military health workers, Biden said, “I know we are all frustrated as we enter this new year,” and reiterated his message that COVID-19 remains a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.” He says the military operation would help hard-pressed hospitals “nationwide.”

Hospitals set to receive the military operations have warned teams ranging in size from seven to 25 may not be enough to slow the surge.

Bob Riney, the president of public health at Detroit’s Henry Ford Health System, which has already received federal aid and expects more military medics, says, “We have systemic challenges[with]an incredible volume and very, very tired doctors… and that goes for everyone Healthcare systems that have been in the midst of this surge,” he adds: “There is no one-size-fits-all solution.”

The military will support health systems in states where patients suffering from other diseases classified as “non-urgent” are postponing their treatment to make way for Covid infections. They will also fill staffing gaps as more infected healthcare workers take days off themselves to recover while patient demand grows.

The Pentagon says it has about 1,000 additional active-duty medical troops ready to deploy to civilian hospitals across the country as needed.

In addition to active-duty support, more than 15,000 National Guard Soldiers have been activated in 49 states to help with the pandemic response in areas such as clinical care, testing and immunizations.

The announcements are strikingly similar to the earlier days of the pandemic in the United States, when the military was called up on active duty and hospitals struggled to treat waves of patients sick with COVID-19. The only difference is that in these difficult times vaccines were not yet approved.

Alabama, Missouri, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Texas and Wisconsin are reportedly among the states suffering from particular shortages of intensive care beds.

At around seven percent, Texas had the fewest free beds in the intensive care unit. Data suggests that Southern and Midwestern states were disproportionately affected.

In Washington state, Gov. Jay Inslee says hospitals will temporarily suspend non-urgent procedures “so that as much capacity and staff can be dedicated to urgent needs, to the people who need it right now.”

In Wisconsin, Gov. Tony Evers says National Guard members are being trained to become certified nursing assistants to support hospitals and nursing homes. He says, “We anticipate that the first round of staffing and relief efforts will allow skilled nursing facilities to open 200 or more beds by the end of February” as the state announced a record number of confirmed cases.

The state of Alabama this week reported a record number of children hospitalized due to the highly transmissible Omicron variant of coronavirus. At least 60 children had been hospitalized and 13 were being treated in intensive care.
The state saw a record series of cases in January, when state health officials told the media they were “extremely concerned” about the increase in hospitalizations for children and parents to get their children vaccinated.

As the surge spreads from state to state, the impact on healthcare systems has worsened with the depletion of even the reserve of traveling nurses, who are also becoming infected in droves.

Lisa Greenwood, associate dean of nursing at Madison College, which trains members of the Guard, has warned that “our healthcare providers are beyond exhausted. We just don’t have enough staff to take care of everyone who is sick.”

Data from the Department of Health and Human Services shows that 19 states had at least 85% of adult intensive care unit beds occupied, while 24 states had at least 80% of staffed hospital beds occupied.

More than 5.5 million new cases were registered in seven days, far surpassing all previous records. The number of people hospitalized with the virus has also hit new highs.

More than 2,224 deaths from COVID-19 were recorded as of Jan. 13, according to US media. The daily average of deaths stands at 1,873, double the level at the end of November 2021. Experts say these trends are expected to continue with the fasting spread of infections.

The average of new cases has reached over 800,000 per day, an unprecedented pandemic high. More than 889,000 new cases were reported as of Jan. 13, and more than nine million cases have been logged since the New Year. At the current rate, the US can expect to have 70 million documented COVID cases at any time, depending on what data is released that the American public considers a reliable source.

The cumulative death toll has reached 870,000. But the extra deaths are now over 1.1 million, according to the Economist. Historically, the magnitude of deaths rivals the magnitude of population deaths during the 1918 flu pandemic.

Meanwhile, the national infection rate has reached 26 percent, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, underscoring the massive undercount announced and the scale of infections that remain widespread across the country.

Biden has also promised he will direct his administration to procure an additional 500 million COVID-19 home tests to meet rising demand. The White House had previously pledged to make 500 million tests available starting in January.

The US President won the presidential race by vowing to eliminate the threat of the pandemic and vowed to deal with the virus much better than his predecessor. After his first year in office, things are not going according to plan. In recent weeks, Covid-19 cases have reached record highs; The number of deaths is rising across the country, and the number of Americans hospitalized with the disease is now higher than at any previous point during the pandemic.

Long queues for a Covid test and low availability of home tests have drawn criticism of White House preparedness, while disparate policies and confused messages from public health officials have left the disease-weary public both frustrated and confused.

This has led to a significant drop in public confidence in the new White House, coupled with a drop in Biden’s overall approval ratings.

Despite attempts by the Biden administration to downplay the dangers posed by Omicron, the pressure on America’s healthcare systems is leading to a severe health crisis caused by staffing shortages, to which the White House has no serious answer other than a pledge to deploy more medical troops.

The US president blames too many Americans for still “sitting on the sidelines” in the fight against the pandemic for not taking the vaccine. “If you don’t get vaccinated, do it,” he says. “But as long as we have tens of millions of people not getting vaccinated, we will have full hospitals and needless deaths,” Biden added.

Critics argue the government hasn’t done enough to convince the public to take the vaccine.

That comes as the Supreme Court last week dealt another blow to the president’s vaccine-only plan by denying a national vaccination or testing requirement for major US companies.

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California tries ‘whole person care’ for social problems

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Faced with myriad social pathologies, California will try a new approach – a more integrated and aggressive treatment.

As it grapples with the stubborn COVID-19 pandemic, California also grapples with a smorgasbord of equally resilient social pathologies, including chronic illness, homelessness, poverty, drug and alcohol abuse, mental illness and street crime.

State and local governments have developed programs to mitigate the effects of these diseases, but they generally operate in silos, each targeting a specific condition, with no apparent coordination with others, even though the individuals they serve very often have multiple issues to have.

For example, a homeless person not only has no shelter, but is poor and likely has medical problems and suffers from mental illness, alcoholism and/or drug addiction affecting the criminal justice system.

Moreover, official approaches have been largely passive, offering those affected opportunities to improve their lot but, except on rare occasions, not requiring them to cooperate.

Get a savvy journalist on what’s going on in California every Friday with a weekly roundup of Dan’s column.

The 2022-23 state budget proposed by Gov. Gavin Newsom last week signals that the state will begin to address chronic social problems differently, integrating services aimed at “whole care,” intervening more aggressively, and, in some cases, taking responsibility take over those whose lives are out of control.

At the heart of this new approach is California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal, or CalAIM for short, which Newsom hailed as a “unique opportunity to completely transform California’s (Medi-Cal) system.” when he signed an enabling law. Medi-Cal, California’s health care system for the poor, has more than 14 million enrollments, more than a third of the state’s residents.

CalAIM is described in the budget as “a framework that encompasses broad-based delivery system, program and payment reform across the Medi-Cal program (that) recognizes the opportunity to advance the holistic approach to care that integrates health care and other social determinants.” of health at the national level with a clear focus on improving health and reducing health gaps and inequalities, including improving and expanding behavioral health care.”

“Previous research has shown that the most costly (Medi-Cal) enrollments tend to be treated for multiple chronic conditions (such as diabetes or heart failure) and often suffer from mental illness or substance use disorders,” said Legislative Budget Counsel Gabe Petek , says in an analysis by CalAIM. “The costs for this demographic are often driven by frequent hospitalizations and high prescription drug costs. In part, social factors such as homelessness play a role in the high utilization of these enrolled students.”

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Because Medi-Cal serves such a large portion of the state’s population, CalAIM could have a massive societal impact – especially since it envisages a greatly expanded role. For example, insurance companies and other Medi-Cal providers will assign their customers Personal Care Managers who will not only oversee their medical care but also improve other aspects of their lives, such as: B. Housing and income support.

The state’s new approach will also impact California’s criminal justice system, which has evolved away from punishment and toward rehabilitation over the past decade. Newsom also suggests that inmates be enrolled in Medi-Cal prior to their release from prison and thus receive a wider range of supportive services.

This automatic registration is symbolic of the more activist or pushy attitude Newsom advocates, and another example could be a huge shift in mental health. During his budget press conference, he again hinted that he wants to put people with serious mental illnesses through a “conservatory” process that could force them into housing and treatment rather than allowing them to roam the streets.

These are major shifts in direction in the medical and human services of a state that does not have a positive track record of administering highly conceptual policies. We can only wait and see if it works.

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Tewksbury Board of Health issues advisory | News

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TEWKSBURY – Following an emergency meeting on Friday, January 8, 2022, the Tewksbury Board of Health, along with the Tewksbury Health Department, debated and then voted unanimously to issue a health advisory in the wake of skyrocketing COVID-19 case numbers across the community.

Health Director Shannon (Sullivan) Gillis said the city is “in the middle of a surge” and cases are not limited to the elderly. In fact, “most cases are between 10 and 40 years old,” Gillis said.

Gillis explained that the city only knows of those infected who have taken a lab test and are being tracked across the state. COVID-positive at-home testing isn’t included, and so the city knows the positivity rate is far higher.

Health Committee Chair Raymond Barry said the city has been surpassing the state rate of COVID-19 infections since early September.

“I’m worried about that spike,” Barry said.

Several factors are at play, including the challenge of finding a test kit, long lines to get a PCR test, and the revelation that some home test kits are fake.

“I thought I just had a cold and when I tested [earlier this season] I found myself being positive,” Barry said.

To inform residents and businesses and remind them of previous protocols, the board issued the recommendation to refocus awareness.

“Face masks are still recommended, and they can also protect you against the flu,” Barry said.

Social distancing should continue to be observed, hand washing is encouraged and people should avoid staying in close contact with groups of people for long periods of time whenever possible. Barry suggested that older people and those at high risk should consider returning to stores for the early hours or off-peak hours.

The advice comes close to an indoor mask mandate but aims to urge people to exercise caution with their day out in the community. Member Maria Zaroulis said gatherings of large groups are contributing to the “increasing numbers” and said people “need to be extra careful” and that people are spreading the virus without even realizing it, citing the fact that a person can have no symptoms but still have COVID-19 and spread the disease.

Member Charles Roux said: “The virus is not going anywhere,” saying, “I’m not against masks, I’m not against vaccination, but people know better and people know when to wear masks.”

The advisory includes a reminder of all the steps to take to minimize the spread of COVID and flu. Roux asked companies to come back to some of the hygiene protocols “as a recommendation”.

The recommendation was issued Friday and included a Code Red appeal to residents. The advisory includes recommendations to get vaccinated or boosted, wear a mask, stay two meters away from others, avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces, take tests to prevent spread to others, wash hands frequently, cover, clean and disinfect coughs and sneezes and take precautions when travelling, and it urges companies to use best practice protocols for disinfection and social distancing.

According to the CDC, the Omicron variant is highly contagious. While the effects of the variant do not appear to cause as many illnesses individually as the delta variant, the impact on health and education infrastructures has been devastating.

For the full guide, visit the city’s website at www.tewksbury-ma.gov.

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