People

After Recovery From the Coronavirus, Most People Carry Antibodies

As time goes on, more people are wondering, did I have coronavirus already. “I can help the next patient [INAUDIBLE].“.” Now, Stanford hospitals in northern California are giving their health care workers the answer with antibody testing for all. We were given exclusive access to follow two caregivers and their blood through the antibody testing process. “I do have a loved one at home, my mother, who is high risk. So I want to get tested just to make sure I’m O.K., and kind of maybe surprise her and say, I get to come see you.” First, they’re swabbed to make sure they’re not currently infected. “Oh my god.” And then they give a vial of blood for the antibody test. “There’s so many asymptomatic carriers around, and there’s so many people that may have had it or had mild symptoms, and not had known. If I have the antibodies

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Just What Older People Didn’t Need: More Isolation

When the committee looked for promising solutions, it found studies showing that attending exercise programs helped reduce isolation — not a useful approach at the moment. The evidence for much-heralded technological approaches, from robotic pets and Zoom to voice-activated assistants, remains thin thus far.

How, then, to help older people maintain their social connections when they’re supposed to be socially, or at least physically, distanced? Individuals and organizations around the country are proposing and trying a variety of tactics.

Dr. Covinsky, particularly concerned about restrictions on visitors to older people at home or in senior facilities, has suggested that as coronavirus testing becomes more broadly available, family members or friends who repeatedly test negative could become “designated visitors,” permitted to spend time with their quarantined loved ones.

“We have restricted something that’s pretty essential,” he said. “We need to move away from thinking of visitors to old people as optional.”

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Why Are Some People So Much More Infectious Than Others?

As the coronavirus tears through the country, scientists are asking: Are some people more infectious than others? Are there superspreaders, people who seem to just spew out virus, making them especially likely to infect others?

It seems that the answer is yes. There do seem to be superspreaders, a loosely defined term for people who infect a disproportionate number of others, whether as a consequence of genetics, social habits or simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But those virus carriers at the heart of what are being called superspreading events can drive and have driven epidemics, researchers say, making it crucial to figure out ways to identify spreading events or to prevent situations, like crowded rooms, where superspreading can occur.

Just as important are those at the other end of the spectrum — people who are infected but unlikely to spread the infection.

Distinguishing between those

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