Month: April 2020

Why Days 5 to 10 Are So Important When You Have Coronavirus

When a relative of mine recently became seriously ill with what seemed to be a coronavirus infection, my first question was about timing. How many days ago did your symptoms start?

Marking your calendar at the first sign of illness, and tracking your fever and oxygen levels, are important steps in monitoring a coronavirus infection. Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, has been unpredictable in the range of symptoms it can cause. But when it turns serious, it often follows a consistent pattern.

While most patients recover in about a week, a significant minority of patients enter “a very nasty second wave” of illness, said Dr. Ilan Schwartz, assistant professor of infectious disease at the University of Alberta. “After the initial symptoms, things plateau and maybe even improve a little bit, and then there is a secondary worsening.”

While every patient is different, doctors say that days five through

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New Coronavirus Test Offers Advantages: Just Spit and Wait

A new test for the coronavirus is so simple and straightforward, almost anyone could do it: Spit a glob of saliva into a cup, close the lid and hand it over.

While not as fast to process as the speediest swab tests, saliva tests could transform the diagnosis of Covid-19. If manufactured in enough numbers and processed by enough labs across the country, they could alleviate the diagnostic shortages that have hampered containment of the pandemic and offer a less onerous way for companies to see if workers are infected.

The first saliva-based test, already being offered in parts of New Jersey, detects genetic material from the virus, just as the existing tests do, but it avoids a long swab that reaches disturbingly far up a person’s nose. For the saliva-based, health care workers do not need to wear and discard precious gowns and masks. And early evidence suggests it

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Remdesivir Shows Modest Benefits in Coronavirus Trial

Modest results from a federal trial of an experimental drug helped send the stock market soaring on Wednesday, another sign of the desperation for a viable treatment against the coronavirus.

Just before markets opened, Gilead, maker of the antiviral drug remdesivir, announced that it was “aware of positive data” about the drug’s performance in a federal trial, sending futures upward. Trading in the company’s shares was briefly halted.

Later, in a briefing at the White House, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the trial had shown that treatment with the drug could modestly speed recovery in patients infected with the coronavirus.

The improvement in recovery times “doesn’t seem like a knockout 100 percent,” Dr. Fauci conceded, but “it is a very important proof of concept, because what it has proven is that a drug can block this virus.”

Sitting at Dr.

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Abortion by Telemedicine: A Growing Option as Access to Clinics Wanes

Ashley Dale was grateful she could end her pregnancy at home.

As her 3-year-old daughter played nearby, she spoke by video from her living room in Hawaii with Dr. Bliss Kaneshiro, an obstetrician-gynecologist, who was a 200-mile plane ride away in Honolulu. The doctor explained that two medicines that would be mailed to Ms. Dale would halt her pregnancy and cause a miscarriage.

“Does it sound like what you want to do in terms of terminating the pregnancy?” Dr. Kaneshiro asked gently. Ms. Dale, who said she would love to have another baby, had wrestled with the decision, but circumstances involving an estranged boyfriend had made the choice clear: “It does,” she replied.

Now, the coronavirus pandemic is catapulting demand for telemedicine abortion to a new level, with much of the nation under strict stay-at-home advisories and as several states, including Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas, have sought to suspend

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