Coronavirus Update

             

         Part 1 - Prepared By Dr. Howard Topoff


SUMMARY OF LOCAL REPORTED CASES (September 26, 2020)


  Portal:0  Rodeo:1  Animas:9  Douglas:910 (Active: 15) 
  Lordsburg:91

ARIZONA - September 26, 2020


The Arizona Poison & Drug Information Center Is Available To Take Calls From Arizona Providers & The General Public: 1-844-542-8201


Cochise County:1887 (31 Active)

Zip Code 85632: 17 (0 Active)


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Deaths By County Due To Covid-19

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NEW MEXICO - September 26, 2020

Coronavirus Hot Line: 1-855-600-3453 

The state is offering help to New Mexico seniors. The Aging and Long Term Services Department says if you’re a senior or a disabled adult who cannot access groceries to call the number 1-800-432-2080 due to the coronavirus.

Leave a message with your name, telephone number, and the city/town you reside in. Aging and Long Term Services will be in contact with you within 2 hours of your call if not sooner. 


Ninety-Nine In Hidalgo County

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September 25, 2020

States With The Most Covid-19 Cases

September 25, 2020

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Countries With The Most Covid-19 Cases

September 25, 2020

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Part 2 - Prepared By Dr. Eskild Petersen


Update 9/26/20 9AM

Data tables and graphs are updated daily. Cochise and Hidalgo County section includes data on active infections as of 9/25 (updated twice weekly) Cochise County recorded 8 cases on 9/26/20 and none in Portal/San Simon. Hidalgo County last recorded a new case more than a week ago

U.S. Surpasses 7 Million Coronavirus Cases



Covid-19 News:

Less than 10 percent of Americans have antibodies to the new coronavirus, suggesting that there is even less herd immunity to the disease than had been previously estimated, according to a study published Friday in The Lancet.


These Secret Safety Panels Will Pick the COVID Vaccine Winners

Kaiser Health News

Houston Study: More Contagious Coronavirus Strain Now Dominates

Reuters health Information

US Still in First Wave of COVID-19, Fauci Says

WebMD Health News

Coronavirus: Two million deaths 'very likely' even with vaccine, WHO warns

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-54303628

Trump Says May Block Stricter FDA Guidelines for COVID-19 Vaccine

Reuters Health Information

US Vaccine Program Chief Backs Stricter Rules for Emergency Use of COVID-19 Shot

Reuters Health Information

Finland Uses Coronavirus-Sniffing Dogs at Airport

WebMD Health News








We do have Covid-19 in Cochise and Hidalgo Counties. The hotspots are in Douglas and Lordsburg. The threat of Covid-19 spreading in our communities is for real.


You can make it less likely by following common sense when interacting with other people:  outside is better than inside, crowd is better than large crowd, observe social distancing and use a mask when that is not possible.


Schools Reopening:



San Simon School district appears safe and is succeeding with on site education as there are no active cases as of 9/21/20 in San Simon/Portal, no active cases in Bowie and 1-5 cases in Willcox. 


Active cases as of 9/25.



In general Hidalgo County looks very good.. As of 9/25/20



State of the epidemic in US:

America's deeply flawed COVID response based on politics-first and disregarding any science has made us reach yet another milestone with over 6.9 million cases and 200.000 reported deaths from the coronavirus pandemic, nearly a quarter of the global total. Since we have trouble once again with testing and are not do enough testing the numbers of cases and deaths are much higher than recorded. We continue to have the highest caseload and number of deaths in the world by far. 


The global picture is also grim with a total confirmed cases reaching 31 million

.



Nearly every country has struggled and made mistakes, but the U.S. is in a class by itself and the only affluent nation to have suffered a severe, sustained outbreak for so long.


When it comes to the virus, the United States has come to resemble not the wealthy and powerful countries to which we like to compare ourselves but performs instead like far poorer countries, like Brazil, and Colombia. South Africa actually performs much better than us.

Our reputation has been shattered in the world and this damage to our country will be long lasting.


 





In no other high-income country — and in only a few countries, period — have political leaders departed from expert advice as frequently and significantly as this administration. It is now clear that as early as February the president wasn’t oblivious to the danger but deliberately misled the public and continue to do so. 





https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-51235105?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/coronavirus&link_location=live-reporting-story

 Covid-19 will likely be with us forever. To coexist successfully we will need both effective antiviral treatments and good vaccines. You cannot wish, lie or bully a virus into making it disappear.

  1. Data for Arizona and New Mexico with emphasis on Cochise and Hidalgo Counties




 Arizona lost control of the epidemic when it re-opened too early. It has now regained control.  Cases, hospitalizations and deaths are all down. 


Problem spots are the Universities:

University of AZ with 2149 cases and ASU with 1701 cases


Yuma and Show Low are among the top 10 places hardest hit in the US since the beginning of the epidemic.





Hospitalizations:

The most accurate metric for severity of the epidemic is the hospitalization numbers. Hospitals can handle current number of patients. In most of the country we are ok.






https://covidactnow



Cochise County, AZ 

Cochise County is doing very well.



https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/arizona-coronavirus-cases.html


New Mexico Data: 






Hidalgo County.

Hidalgo County is doing extremely well with 1 new case 9/17/20






Metrics for comparing AZ to NM

From the beginning New Mexico has handled the epidemic so much better than Arizona. Recently Arizona has markedly improved.

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  1. US Data

Hospitalizations and deaths are trending down but still very high. The epidemic has now shifted to the Midwest and rural areas.




 



https://www.theguardian.com/world/ng-interactive/2020/jul/15/covid-19-coronavirus-us-map-latest-cases-state-by-state


The true number of infected is estimated to be about 10 times higher at more than 65 million. It is clear we still have many months with widespread infection and deaths. More than 300,000 deaths by December!!


There is a marked racial/ethnic difference in both cases and death

The toll of the virus in the United States has fallen disproportionately on poorer people and groups that have long suffered discrimination. Black and Latino residents of the United States have contracted the virus at much higher rates than white residents.



s  

https://covidtracking.com/data/charts/us-all-key-metrics



Coronavirus hospitalizations and deaths are very high. 









How do we compare to other countries?

Comparisons of US versus Germany, UK and Canada

We have now caught up with UK in the number per 100,000 population that was killed by the virus. Not where we should be.





https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/world/mapping-spread-new-coronavirus/





  1. What can we do to prevent Covid-19 from spreading?

Masks

At the heart of dismal U.S. coronavirus response, a fraught relationship with masks

If it’s not blatantly obvious, masks are the linchpin in both preventing you from spreading coronavirus and preventing you from getting COVID-19


Face masks are not political statements but sound public health measures.

More than 100 countries in the world require masks in public because they endorse masks as effective in preventing COVID-19


WHAT'S OLD IS NEW AGAIN: Government-ordered mask mandates are sweeping the country as facial coverings have emerged as a powerful tool to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. 










COVID-19 is not just a respiratory infection but a systemic infectious disease. It infects lungs, blood, heart, liver, kidney and intestinal tract. People die mainly from respiratory failure, but many deaths are caused from heart involvement. Diabetes, obesity, chronic lung disease, hypertension and cardiovascular disease are risk factors for severe disease. All ages get Covid-19 but the severity and mortality are higher in age 65 and older. 


Transmission: Human to human COVID-19 is primarily spread from person to person. You can become infected from respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. You may also be able to get it by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it, and then by touching your mouth, nose, or eyes. Fecal-oral route is possible but likely rare. Food is not thought to be a factor. After a person gets infected the virus spreads throughout the body to nearly all organs.








  1. What are the treatments available for Covid-19  

There are three broad approaches being investigated:

  • Antiviral drugs that directly affect the coronavirus's ability to thrive inside the body
  • Drugs that can calm the immune system - patients become seriously ill when their immune system overreacts and starts causing collateral damage to the body
  • Antibodies, either from survivors' blood or made in a lab, that can attack the virus


Coronavirus Treatment 


The New York Times has an excellent site for tracking drug treatments

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/science/coronavirus-drugs-treatments.html


Antivirals:

STRONG EVIDENCE EMERGENCY USE AUTHORIZATION
Remdesivir
Remdesivir, made by Gilead Science, was the first drug to get emergency authorization from the F.D.A. for use on Covid-19. It stops viruses from replicating by inserting itself into new viral genes. Preliminary data from trials that began this spring suggested the drug can reduce the hospital stays of people with severe cases of Covid-19 from 15 to 11 days. These early results did not show any effect on mortality, though retrospective data released in July hints that the drug might reduce death rates among those who are very ill.

TENTATIVE OR MIXED EVIDENCE
Favipiravir
Originally designed to beat back influenza, favipiravir blocks a virus’s ability to copy its genetic material. A 
small study in March indicated the drug might help purge the coronavirus from the airway, but results from larger, well-designed clinical trials are still pending.


NOT PROMISING
Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine
German chemists synthesized chloroquine in the 1930s as a drug against malaria. A less toxic version, called hydroxychloroquine, was invented in 1946, and later was approved for other diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. 

The F.D.A. warns that the drug can cause a host of serious side effects to the heart and other organs when used to treat Covid-19.

Despite negative results, a number of hydroxychloroquine trials have continued. A recent analysis by STAT and Applied XL found more than 180 ongoing clinical trials testing hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine, for treating or preventing Covid-19.


Mimicking the Immune System

Most people who get Covid-19 successfully fight off the virus with a strong immune response. Drugs might help people who can’t mount an adequate defense.


TENTATIVE OR MIXED EVIDENCE 
Interferons
Interferons are molecules our cells naturally produce in response to viruses, rousing the immune system to attack. Injecting synthetic interferons is now a standard treatment for a number of immune disorders. Rebif, for example, is prescribed for multiple sclerosis. Early studies, including experiments in mice and cells, hint that injecting interferons may help against Covid-19. An open-label study in China suggested that the molecules could  help prevent healthy people from getting infected. On July 20, the British pharmaceutical company Synairgen announced that an inhaled form of interferon called SNG001 lowered the risk of severe Covid-19 in infected patients in a small clinical trial. The full data have not yet been released to the public or published in a scientific journal.



Immune modulators

The most severe symptoms of Covid-19 are the result of the immune system’s overreaction to the virus. Scientists are testing drugs that can rein in its attack.

STRONG EVIDENCE
Dexamethasone
This cheap and widely available steroid blunts many types of immune responses. Doctors have long used it to treat allergies, asthma and inflammation. In June, it became the first drug shown to 
reduce Covid-19 deaths. That study found that dexamethasone reduced deaths by one-third in patients on ventilators, and by one-fifth in patients on oxygen. 

 

PROMISING EVIDENCE EMERGENCY USE AUTHORIZATION
Cytosorb
Cytosorb is a cartridge that 
filters immune-signaling molecules called cytokines from the blood. Although cytokines are essential for fighting off diseases, they can sometimes trigger a runaway response. The body produces so much inflammation that it damages itself. By removing excess cytokines, Cytosorb may be able to cool this so-called cytokine storm. The machine can purify a patient’s entire blood supply about 70 times in a 24-hour period. It was granted emergency use authorization by the F.D.A. for Covid-19 after reports in March suggested that it had helped dozens of severely ill Covid-19 patients in Europe and China. 


Pseudoscience and Fraud

False claims about Covid-19 cures abound. The F.D.A. maintains a list of more than 80 fraudulent Covid-19 products, and the W.H.O. debunks many myths about the disease.

WARNING: DO NOT DO THIS
Drinking or injecting bleach and disinfectants
In April, President Trump 
suggested that disinfectants such as alcohol or bleach might be effective against the coronavirus if directly injected into the body. His comments were immediately refuted by health professionals and researchers around the world — as well as the makers of Lysol and Clorox. Ingesting disinfectant would not only be ineffective against the virus, but also hazardous — possibly even deadly. In July, Federal prosecutors charged four Florida men with marketing bleach as a cure for COVID-19.

WARNING: NO EVIDENCE
UV light
President Trump also speculated about hitting the body with “ultraviolet or just very powerful light.” Researchers have used UV light to sterilize surfaces, including killing viruses, in carefully managed laboratories. But UV light would not be able to purge the virus from within a sick persons’ body. This kind of radiation can also damage the skin. Most skin cancers are a result of exposure to the UV rays naturally present in sunlight.

WARNING: NO EVIDENCE
Silver
The F.D.A. has threatened legal action against a host of people claiming silver-based products are safe and effective against Covid-19 — including televangelist 
Jim Bakker and InfoWars host Alex Jones. Several metals do have natural antimicrobial properties. But products made from them have not been shown to prevent or treat the coronavirus.


Prevention


Vaccine: 


The New York Times has an excellent site for tracking vaccine development

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/science/coronavirus-vaccine-tracker.html

 

I have selected what I consider the most promising candidates below


“The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally represents a situation where many of the ‘worst-case scenarios’ for superspreading occurred simultaneously: the event was prolonged, included individuals packed closely together, involved a large out-of-town population (a population that was orders of magnitude larger than the local population), and had low compliance with recommended infection countermeasures such as the use of masks,” the researchers wrote.

“The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally represents a situation where many of the ‘worst-case scenarios’ for superspreading occurred simultaneously: the event was prolonged, included individuals packed closely together, involved a large out-of-town population (a population that was orders of magnitude larger than the local population), and had low compliance with recommended infection countermeasures such as the use of masks,” the researchers wrote.


 

Vaccines: Sputnik-V.

Russia’s way of copying US in putting politics-first, science-second. 

“This is all beyond stupid”: Experts are worried about Russia’s rushed vaccine.  A decision on mass vaccination has been carried out after combined first- and second-phase tests on 76 people, and that it is impossible to confirm the efficacy of a drug on this basis.



The next 2 vaccines are using tobacco plants to produce the surface proteins of the COVID-19 virus without the viral RNA. This approach has successfully used the tobacco plant to produce antibodies to Ebola virus


  1. Other information relevant to Covid-19

Useful Websites & Phone Numbers

Arizona Department of Health website ihttps://www.azdhs.gov/preparedness/epidemiology-disease-control/infectious-disease-epidemiology/index.php#novel-coronavirus-home 

New Mexico Department of Health Website

 https://cv.nmhealth.org/

Cochise County Website

 https://covid-cochisehealth.hub.arcgis.com/


Information about how, where and criteria for getting tested for COVID-19:

Arizona: 1-844-542-8201 The Arizona Poison Control System at the University of AZ in Tucson is available for the general public for information relating to testing, isolation, and quarantine guidance. Anyone in Arizona can now be tested.  

New Mexico: 1-855-600-3453 Coronavirus hotline. 

In Hidalgo County the Animas Valley Clinic has test kits 


Seniors in AZ and NM that have problems getting groceries:

AZ Helpline information for seniors is posted above.

For Cochise County 520-432-2528

NM Senior Food Hotline: 1-800-432-2080



During this time of unprecedented health risks, we are extremely fortunate to have Frances Grill and her staff providing care here in Portal and San Simon.



News from Walker Family Medicine Clinic in Portal 7/1/20

Thank you all for following good physical distancing and washing your hands often. We’ll get through this if we keep vigilant.


Lastly, for those Portal/Rodeo residents who are not WFM patients:  If you have symptoms, questions, concerns and are not able to reach your PCP, please feel free to call Jackie, 558-2287, Carolyn, 558-1234, Deborah, 558-0119 or Frances, 558-2345.  Any one of us is willing to do a phone or home assessment as to the severity of your symptoms.  We do this as community-oriented Samaritans and not as representatives of Portal Rescue or WFM.  
Debb, Frances and Dawn



This is our time to be kind, to be calm and to be safe.

Social Distancing is really:  Physical distancing but Social engaging. Keep your distance from each other at 6 feet. Wear a mask if you cannot keep a safe distance.

Our Post Offices are essential to us. Please be extremely careful when you pick up mail- wear a mask. Be nice to our postmasters and follow their instructions. 


Let us support our local businesses like Sky Island Grill and Grocery and Portal Caféé. Please use them as they are vital to our community. Consider buying gift cards for future use. Order from their menus to take out. Buy from their groceries. 


______________________________________________________________
 
How To Wash Your Hands

It's generally best to wash your hands with soap and water. Over-the-counter antibacterial soaps are no more effective at killing germs than is regular soap.

Follow these steps:

  • Wet your hands with clean, running water — either warm or cold.
  • Apply soap and lather well.
  • Rub your hands vigorously for at least 20 seconds. Remember to scrub all surfaces, including the backs of your hands, wrists, between your fingers and under your fingernails.
  • Rinse well.
  • Dry your hands with a clean towel or air-dry them.

                           How To Use An Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers, which don't require water, are an acceptable alternative when soap and water aren't available. If you use a hand sanitizer, make sure the product contains at least 60% alcohol. Follow these steps:

  • Apply the gel product to the palm of one hand. Check the label to find out the appropriate amount.
  • Rub your hands together.
  • Rub the gel over all the surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry.

How To Wash Your Hands

It's generally best to wash your hands with soap and water. Over-the-counter antibacterial soaps are no more effective at killing germs than is regular soap.

Follow these steps:

  • Wet your hands with clean, running water — either warm or cold.
  • Apply soap and lather well.
  • Rub your hands vigorously for at least 20 seconds. Remember to scrub all surfaces, including the backs of your hands, wrists, between your fingers and under your fingernails.
  • Rinse well.
  • Dry your hands with a clean towel or air-dry them.

                           How To Use An Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers, which don't require water, are an acceptable alternative when soap and water aren't available. If you use a hand sanitizer, make sure the product contains at least 60% alcohol. Follow these steps:

  • Apply the gel product to the palm of one hand. Check the label to find out the appropriate amount.
  • Rub your hands together.
  • Rub the gel over all the surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry.
© Howard Topoff 2011