area

medicine

Stanford Medicine Launches Study Of Greater San Francisco Bay Area Using Safe, Convenient COVID-19 Testing From Home

STANFORD, Calif., Oct. 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The Stanford University School of Medicine today announced the launch of the Community Alliance to Test Coronavirus at Home (CATCH) Study, an effort that seeks to estimate the true population prevalence of COVID-19 across the 8.5 million population of the greater San Francisco Bay Area, and ultimately aid in the effort to reopen schools, workplaces and communities.

The CATCH Study is now seeking participants. A key aim of the CATCH Study is to scale a simple, safe, convenient, and population-scale early diagnostic system to help stop further undetected spread of COVID-19. CATCH utilizes online surveys and home delivered self-collection kits that are able to be rapidly deployed to carry out remote testing in a broad and representative sample of the population, including those underserved and vulnerable populations that might otherwise not be reached or tested. The study is enabled by the Vera Cloud Testing Platform including its novel Vera Home Test Kit, a gentle nasal swab self-collection kit that can be delivered directly to the homes of study participants by existing couriers and package delivery services.

There is no cost to CATCH Study participation, and all residents in the San Francisco Bay Area are welcome to enroll. Every participant joins online, reports their symptoms and exposures to COVID-19 daily, and may also be offered a home test kit at no cost upon reporting. If accepted, within 24 hours a home test kit will be delivered safely and conveniently by express courier to their home, where they can self-collect a sample, which is then delivered to the Stanford Health Care laboratory and tested for SARS-CoV-2 infection. All tested participants are informed of their results privately and securely online via their personal password-protected account within the CATCH website. The unique approach removes any requirement to leave home or shelter-in-place. 

The study is being led by Stanford Medicine researchers Yvonne Maldonado, MD, professor of pediatric infectious diseases and of health research and policy, Lorene Nelson, MD, associate professor of health research and policy, as well as Dr. Stephen Quake, professor of bioengineering and of applied physics and co-president of the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub.

“We encourage as many Bay Area residents as possible to sign-up for the CATCH Study to help increase our knowledge of a virus that has had significant impacts on our communities,” said Dr. Maldonado. “Our main objective is to learn where and how the virus is spreading — whether people are displaying symptoms or not — and which communities are most vulnerable. These insights will help our scientists and local public officials gain a deeper understanding of the distribution of COVID-19 throughout the greater San Francisco Bay Area so that they can stop its spread.”

With the effects of COVID-19 disproportionately affecting minority and vulnerable communities throughout the country, and specifically in the Bay Area, one of the key intentions of the study is to address inequities in testing by researching underserved populations. The testing kits will provide

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health

Residential area may impact risk of chronic conditions

Where you live may increase your risk for uncontrolled diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and depression, according to a study. Results indicate that local and regional factors significantly affect individuals with chronic health conditions.

The new study appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 60% of United States adults have a chronic disease, with 40% having two or more. Chronic conditions are the primary causes of death and disability in U.S. adults, contributing to the nation’s $3.5 trillion annual healthcare costs.

The incidence of risk factors for developing or dying from chronic conditions depends on where you live in the U.S. For example, the prevalence of high blood pressure in 2019 was almost 44% in West Virginia, but only 26% in Utah.

Even within a U.S. city, the incidence of a chronic condition can vary dramatically. Data from the 500 Cities Project reports that adult rates of high blood pressure range from 4.9–71.0% in different areas of Chicago.

It is unclear if these geographic variations in health disparities are due to differences in socioeconomic status, age, and gender between the two areas or caused directly by the place where someone lives.

Previous studies used Medicare claim data to evaluate how diagnosis rates and healthcare use change when individuals move to a location with a different health outcome level.

However, prior research failed to observe health outcomes over time. To address these shortcomings, Aaron Baum, Ph.D., and other Mount Sinai researchers conducted a new study. They evaluated the incidence and changes in health outcomes 3 years before and 3 years after study participants moved once.

They did so in a quarterly fashion, evaluating health outcomes four times each year.

This retrospective study of approximately 5 million adults, conducted at the Veterans Affairs New York Harbor Healthcare System from 2008–2018, examined the national claims data from the Veterans Health Administration’s integrated healthcare records. About 1 million of the trial participants moved once during the study.

Researchers identified individuals who moved based on zip code and tracked primary health outcomes, including uncontrolled diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and depressive symptoms.

The trial used statistical methods to adjust for the participant’s characteristics, the period since they moved, and national trends that could interfere with the results’ accuracy.

The results demonstrate a 27.5% change in the incidence of uncontrolled blood pressure and a 15.2% change in depressive symptoms of the between-area difference after moving.

The incidence of uncontrolled diabetes and obesity changed to a lesser extent in movers: 5.0% and 3.1%, respectively.

The trial also shows an increased risk of an uncontrolled chronic condition after moving to a place where the uncontrolled disease is more prevalent.

Movers had a 7% increase in uncontrolled blood pressure, a 2% increase in obesity, a 1% increase in uncontrolled diabetes, and a 3% increase in depressive symptoms when moving from a 10th to a 90th percentile prevalence zip code for a health outcome.

The

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dentist

Dentist Dr. Frank Roach Atlanta Explains the Field’s Most Common Area of Practice, Centered Around Preventive and Restorative Care

Press release content from Accesswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

ATLANTA, GA / ACCESSWIRE / October 9, 2020 / Focused on preventive and restorative services intended to promote optimum oral health, general dentists make up more than two-thirds of the profession. A popular dentist based in the so-called Peach State of Georgia, Dr. Frank Roach Atlanta explains more about the field.

“Often I’m asked, ‘What is general dentistry?’” says Dr. Frank Roach Atlanta, speaking from his office in the Gwinnett County city of Norcross.

According to Dr. Frank Roach Atlanta, as many as 80 percent of all qualified individuals-those using their dental degree in some fashion-in the United States are considered general dentists. “Distinct from those who are focused primarily on one area of dental practice, such as periodontics, general dentists handle an array of different services, vital to the continued oral health of their patients,” he explains.

The general dentistry field, Dr. Frank Roach Atlanta goes on to illustrate, primarily covers preventive and restorative services. “General dentists may also take care of cosmetic procedures,” adds the expert, “as well as overall health concerns, such as in the case of obstructive sleep apnea.”

For many people, the one healthcare provider that they see more than any other is their dentist. Invariably, this will be a general dentist, says Dr. Frank Roach Atlanta. “As general dentists, we are the primary providers of dental care to patients of all ages,” he points out.

Routine visits, Dr. Frank Roach Atlanta suggests, to a family dentist, are the most common occurrence in a general dentistry practice, followed by professional cleaning, and, in the presence of decay, the process of filling an affected tooth.

The majority of patients are advised, Dr. Roach says, to visit their dentist at regular intervals to keep their pearly whites in tip-top condition. “Anywhere from quarterly to once or twice per year should be the norm for a typical patient,” proposes Dr. Frank Roach Atlanta, “although a quick conversation with your chosen dentist will provide a more concrete idea.”

All general dentists, Dr. Frank Roach Atlanta reports, have successfully completed four years of education at an accredited dental school. “They will also have fulfilled the requirements of their local state licensing board,” he explains, “including testing and, in some instances, continuing education.”

Proudly practicing dentistry for more than two decades, Dr. Frank Roach is based in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta metropolitan statistical area city of Norcross. Norcross, in turn, is located in Gwinnett County – a suburban county of Atlanta in the north-central portion of Georgia. Home to almost a million people, Gwinnett County is the second-most populous in the so-called Peach State after Fulton County.

In addition to general dentistry, Dr. Frank Roach Atlanta also focuses on dental implants, veneers, and teeth whitening, among a number of other services. In his spare time, Dr. Roach is a keen scuba diver, an avid tennis player, and is the proud guardian

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health

Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what happened Oct. 16 with COVID-19 in the Chicago area

The state also said the seven day-average of coronavirus tests coming back as positive has climbed to 5.1%, surpassing a threshold recommended by the World Health Organization for safely reopening economies.

The record comes as the state also reports the highest number of test results returned in a 24-hour period. The 87,759 results reported Friday outstrips the previous high of 74,286 on Sept. 19. There were 2,529 newly confirmed cases that day.

There also were 38 more fatalities reported Friday, bringing the statewide death toll to 9,165 since the pandemic began. In all, there have been 336,174 known cases of COVID-19 in Illinois.

Meanwhile, Chicago Public Schools announced Friday that all students will continue with remote learning when the second quarter starts in November but that some of the district’s “most vulnerable” children will have the option to begin returning to schools before the end of the calendar year.

In explaining their rational for offering in-person classes first to pre-kindergarten and some special education students, CPS officials cited enrollment figures they released Friday that show a drop of 34% in total preschool enrollment from last year.

Here’s what’s happening Friday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area and Illinois:

5:40 p.m.: Lake County moved off COVID-19 warning status, but officials warn return to all-remote schooling is a possibility

Lake County was removed from orange COVID-19 warning status by the Illinois Department of Public Health Friday, and is now the only county along the Wisconsin state line not so situated, according to department’s website.

While the reclassification may give residents a temporary sigh of relief, Hannah Goering, the marketing and communications manager for the Lake County Health Department, said it could be short-lived.

5:25 p.m.: COVID-19 numbers are rising in Illinois. How worried should the Chicago area be?

Illinois just announced a record number of new COVID-19 cases. Positivity rates for coronavirus testing are up too. So are hospitalizations and deaths.

But a deeper look at the data can soften the sense of alarm somewhat — at least for the Chicago area, where many pandemic metrics have remained steady for months until some recent upticks. And the state as a whole is still in better shape than its neighbors on most of those same statistics.

As a pandemic-weary public braces for winter, the latest Illinois figures have prompted researchers and public health officials to offer a mix of warnings and reassurance. They worry a second surge may be starting in Illinois while also noting that the shifting pandemic threatens some areas more than others.

3:45 p.m.: Kane, Will counties back on state COVID-19 warning list; Kane health director outlines ‘concerning’ trends

Kane and Will counties have returned to the state’s list of those showing “warning signs” of increased coronavirus risk.

They were among 34 counties statewide on the list Friday, based on measures of the virus’ spread. Their addition to the warning list came the same day Illinois public health officials announced a record-high number of new COVID-19 cases for the second

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health

UCSF study in Bay Area neighborhood reveals 10% of those tested have COVID-19 antibody

UC San Francisco released a preliminary analysis Thursday of data from a coronavirus testing effort in Oakland’s Fruitvale neighborhood and it confirmed what other similar studies have found: The novel coronavirus disproportionately affects the Latino community.

UCSF, in conjunction with local community groups, offered free, voluntary COVID-19 testing Sept. 26 and 27 in Fruitvale, a corner of Alameda County that has had the highest rates of COVID. Fruitvale is 50% Latino and home to one of the largest Mayan-speaking populations outside of Mexico, according to UCSF. Many residents live in multigenerational households.

Nearly 2,000 people were tested for either active infection or antibodies.


A total of 1,099 people were tested for active infection with nose swabs, and of those, 4% tested positive (29 adults and 10 children).

Of those with coronavirus, 95% were Latino, though they represented 62% of individuals tested, according to UCSF.

Of the 859 individuals (803 adults and 56 children) who were tested for the COVID-19 antibody, 10% were positive, suggesting past infection. Latino individuals had a positivity rate of 12% and those of Mayan heritage 27%.

At a Friday morning press conference, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf called the study results “disturbing but not unexpected data” revealing the health disparities in the city. “And let’s be honest, in the world,” she added.

“Our data further identifies the Mam speaking, Mayan population as particularly high risk within the Latino community,” Dr. Alicia Fernandez, a professor of medicine and director of the UCSF Latinx Center of Excellence, said in a statement. “More testing and targeted public health messaging are needed, as are efforts to make essential work safer.”

Researchers also gathered data to examine the overall impact of the pandemic and found 25% of Latinos who received a nose swab test have seen a reduction in income, 15% have lost their jobs and 42% face food insecurity. Sixty-one percent of Mam (Mayan) speakers said they were food insecure.
 
“It is not new that we are the underserved and one of the most vulnerable groups in the area, and now with COVID-19 we are facing an even greater crisis especially with access to health services, housing, food and financial support. That is why we are here today, we are here to ask for more testing and assistance with essential needs,” Rosendo Aguilar, Fruitvale community member and Mam speaker, said in a statement.

UCSF study conducted a similar effort in San Francisco’s Mission District in April and found 95% of positive individuals were of Latino heritage.

Source Article

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health

COVID-19 numbers are rising in Illinois. How worried should the Chicago area be?

Illinois just announced a record number of new COVID-19 cases. Positivity rates for coronavirus testing are up too. So are hospitalizations and deaths.



a group of people standing on a sidewalk: Wearing masks to protect from transmitting COVID-19, people stand in line for early voting at Truman College in Chicago on Oct. 14, 2020.


© Jose M. Osorio / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Wearing masks to protect from transmitting COVID-19, people stand in line for early voting at Truman College in Chicago on Oct. 14, 2020.

But a deeper look at the data can soften the sense of alarm somewhat — at least for the Chicago area, where many pandemic metrics have remained steady for months until some recent upticks. And the state as a whole is still in better shape than its neighbors on most of those same statistics.

As a pandemic-weary public braces for winter, the latest Illinois figures have prompted researchers and public health officials to offer a mix of warnings and reassurance. They worry a second surge may be starting in Illinois while also noting that the shifting pandemic threatens some areas more than others.

“Chicago is doing a little better than downstate Illinois, Illinois is doing a little better than Wisconsin, etc. But broadly, COVID is not going well,” Chicago’s public health commissioner, Dr. Allison Arwady, said in a Facebook Live session on Thursday.

A day earlier, Gov. J.B. Pritzker told reporters the figures were a reminder of the importance of wearing masks and avoiding close contact with others.

“To date, Illinois has had relative success keeping this virus at bay,” Pritzker said, “and we’re still doing better than many of our neighbors. But we can’t let up.”

At the same time, researchers caution that — even seven months into the pandemic — its trajectory remains hard to predict. Without frequent, random testing to gauge the virus’s true spread, the public is left with a buffet of data options that have various quirks and can be tricky to interpret.

Here are the figures researchers cite most often, how the Chicago area measures vs. other parts of Illinois, and reasons for concern as fall moves into winter:

Case counts are rising, but …

Researchers and public health officials agree there’s reason to be nervous in the greater Chicago region. Look no further than the count of new COVID-19 cases reported each day.

The Chicago region — defined by the state as Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kankakee, Lake, McHenry and Will counties — peaked this spring at roughly 2,350 reported cases per day, based on a seven-day rolling average.

After “bending the curve,” that average fell below 500. Then cases began increasing slowly this summer. That growth eased a bit in September but took a sharper turn higher this month. The latest case figures have averaged more than 1,800 daily.

In other words, we saw a dramatic drop in cases, only to see much of that improvement wiped out.

There are caveats. To start with, assume more people have been infected than these numbers show, as some people never develop symptoms and many don’t get tested. In Chicago, according to Arwady, roughly 3% of residents have officially tested positive

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