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Largest COVID-19 study outside China: symptom ‘clusters,’ obesity risk

Largest COVID-19 study outside China: symptom ‘clusters,’ obesity risk
  • In the largest-ever study of hospitalized coronavirus patients outside China, 26% of patients died and less than half had left the hospital alive by May 3.
  • Unlike in previous studies of this scale, the researchers identified obesity as a risk factor for severe illness or death.
  • Symptoms appeared in “clusters,” like respiratory issues or digestive distress, and many patients had no cough or fever.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Obesity could make coronavirus patients more vulnerable to severe illness, and symptoms may appear in clusters.

In the largest study to date of coronavirus patients outside China, published Friday in the medical journal the BMJ, researchers analyzed data from 20,133 patients hospitalized across the UK.

The study identified four major risk factors that can make a person more susceptible to severe illness or death from COVID-19: age, male sex, obesity, and underlying conditions affecting the heart, lungs, kidney, or liver. 

Previous studies of this scale have not highlighted obesity as a risk factor. The hospitalized patients’ median age was 73, and 60% of them were male.

All in all, 26% of patients in the study died and about one-third remained in the hospital.

Less than half of the patients had left the hospital alive by May 3, when the researchers wrote the study. They were all hospitalized between February 6 and April 19.

coronavirus temperature check gun fever

A cyclist has her temperature checked at the entrance of Idroscalo artificial lake, as Italy eases some of its lockdown measures, in Milan, Italy, May 23, 2020.


Alessandro Garofalo/Reuters



Patients appeared with three “clusters of symptoms,” the study authors wrote.

That includes musculoskeletal symptoms like muscle aches, joint pain, headache, and fatigue. Gastrointestinal symptoms, which appeared in 29% of patients upon their admission to the hospital, include abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. A less common “mucocutaneous cluster” included symptoms like skin ulcers and rash.

Though cough, fever, and shortness of breath — the respiratory cluster — remained the most common symptoms, they each only appeared in roughly 70% of patients. Some patients had no respiratory symptoms at all.

coronavirus patient elderly hospital covid-19

Patient Doreen Mount is comforted by a Radiologist in the X-ray department at The Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital in East Lancashire, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Blackburn, Britain, May 14, 2020.


Hannah McKay/Reuters



“The current case definition of cough and fever, if strictly applied, would miss 7% of our inpatients,” the study authors wrote.

About 4% of the patients had only gastrointestinal symptoms, though the authors noted that “this figure could be an underestimate because these patients fall outside standard criteria for testing.”

The study is ongoing and has recruited more than 43,000 patients, according to a press release. The researchers expect to release more results in the future.

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Philadelphia down due to COVID-19, but far from out

ANALYSIS/OPINION: Washington Times columnist Cheryl K. Chumley is biking the battleground states as part of an ongoing series, visiting 14 states in 14 days to hear what real Americans think of the 2020 election. All of her interviews may be found HERE. PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia may be masked, depressed and a bit down due to…

Philadelphia down due to COVID-19, but far from out

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Washington Times columnist Cheryl K. Chumley is biking the battleground states as part of an ongoing series, visiting 14 states in 14 days to hear what real Americans think of the 2020 election. All of her interviews may be found HERE.

PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia may be masked, depressed and a bit down due to the coronavirus — but it’s definitely not out.

There’s still a spirit hovering about the Liberty Bell; there’s still a sort of hushed awe while staring at the very buildings where the Founding Fathers hashed out America’s great government.

“I’m an American,” said Sabrina Pasquariello, born in New Jersey but a longtime Philadelphia resident, in an interview in the heart of Philly’s rich historic district, Independence Mall. “So I believe in our flag and I believe in protection of our country and I believe in police and our firefighters and everybody to protect us.”

Her voice shook a bit.

“That,” she said, pointing at the building that houses the Liberty Bell, “is special to me.”

Normally, she said, the area would be jam-packed with tourists, school children on field trips and city employees on their way to and from work. But now? late-September, months after the coronavirus shuttered the entire nation’s economy?

Philadelphia streets are near empty. Pedestrians are face-masked and few and far between. The bustling, thriving downtown area of just a few months ago is largely quiet.

And sadly, safe spots have turned unsafe.

Homeless people, Pasquariello said, have taken over areas where restaurants once flourished; where diners once spilled into streets.

The local government just lets it happen, she said.

It is a bit depressing to see.

Another COVID-19 casualty.

Taxi driver Scott, meanwhile — he declined to give his last name — said much of the response to the coronavirus has been overhyped, leading to a city that’s unnecessarily economically depressed.

“I think this is overplayed,” he said. “The face mask mandates — beyond ridiculous. … I think [COVID-19] is getting confused with the everyday obituary column. You know, 10,000 people die in this country every day from old age. For the people who have [COVID-19], it’s awful. I’m not discounting that … but when it’s time to go, it’s time to go.”

Politically incorrect — but true.

And that’s sort of like Philadelphia these days: Politically incorrect for the anti-America, anti-police, socialist-loving Constitution hating crowds who gather in the streets to smash windows and toss bricks and set fires. But a true-blue taste of what makes America so great, even today: The clear bell ringing of freedom.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE.

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COVID-19: US passes ‘unfathomable’ 200,000 death toll |NationalTribune.com

Sorry, we can’t find the page that you are looking for. Don’t let that stop you from visiting some of our other great related content.EXPLORE MOREPalestine quits Arab League role in protest over Israel dealsPalestine was meant to chair Arab League meetings for next six months, but FM Riyad al-Maliki has declined the position.At UN,…

COVID-19: US passes ‘unfathomable’ 200,000 death toll |NationalTribune.com

Sorry, we can’t find the page that you are looking for. Don’t let that stop you from visiting some of our other great related content.EXPLORE MOREPalestine quits Arab League role in protest over Israel dealsPalestine was meant to chair Arab League meetings for next six months, but FM Riyad al-Maliki has declined the position.At UN, Qatar emir questions world inaction on Israeli occupationQatar’s leader says Israel continues to carry out ‘flagrant violation of international resolutions’.Lebanon: Hezbollah arms depot blast caused by ‘technical error’Lebanon’s official news agency said explosion took place in southern village of Ein Qana, about 50km south of Beirut.
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US COVID-19 deaths near 200,000, one in five of global toll |NationalTribune.com

The death toll from COVID-19 in the United States was nearing 200,000 on Tuesday – accounting for more than one in five deaths globally, putting US President Donald Trump’s handling of the pandemic in the spotlight as he campaigns for a second term in office. According to Johns Hopkins University, the US has reported at least…

US COVID-19 deaths near 200,000, one in five of global toll |NationalTribune.com

The death toll from COVID-19 in the United States was nearing 200,000 on Tuesday – accounting for more than one in five deaths globally, putting US President Donald Trump’s handling of the pandemic in the spotlight as he campaigns for a second term in office.
According to Johns Hopkins University, the US has reported at least 199,818 deaths, while the number of cases has reached more than 6.8 million, also the highest in the world. More than 70 percent of the fatalities in the US have been among people over the age of 65, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
On a weekly average, the US is now losing about 800 lives every day to the virus, according to a Reuters analysis. The death rate has risen by five percent in the last week, after four weeks of decline.
The University of Washington’s health institute forecasts fatalities could reach 378,000 by the end of 2020, with the daily death toll skyrocketing to 3,000 per day in December.

The US coronavirus response: An F for failure? | Upfront (Arena)

‘He failed to act’
Critics say the data shows the Trump administration’s failure to meet its sternest test ahead of the November 3 election.
“Due to Donald Trump’s lies and incompetence in the past six months, [we] have seen one of the gravest losses of American life in history,” his Democratic rival Joe Biden charged on Monday.
“With this crisis, a real crisis, a crisis that required serious presidential leadership, he just wasn’t up to it. He froze. He failed to act. He panicked. And America has paid the worst price of any nation in the world.”
The US accounts for four percent of the world’s population and 20 percent of its coronavirus deaths, while its daily fatality rate relative to the overall population is four times greater than that of the European Union.
The southern states of Texas and Florida contributed the most deaths in the US in the past two weeks, closely followed by California.

Trump adviser warned of potential pandemic in January

On Monday, Trump insisted that the worst was over even as the number of cases climbed in some parts of the country including Wisconsin, a key swing state for the election.
Trump has previously admitted to playing down the danger of the coronavirus early on because he did not want to “create a panic”.
Trump is behind Democratic rival Joe Biden nationally in every major opinion poll and is neck and neck in key swing states. Trump’s handling of the pandemic and subsequent economic downturn has battered his standing among many voters.
Trump has frequently questioned the advice of scientific experts on everything from the timing of a vaccine to reopening schools and businesses to wearing a mask. He has also refused to support a national mask mandate and held large political rallies where few attendees wore masks.
On Monday, Trump held campaign stops in the state of Ohio and many of those who were there did not wear masks.

People in Los Angeles hold a demonstration against US President Donald Trump as the country’s death toll from coronavirus nears 200,000 [Eugene Garcia/EPA]

CDC Director Robert Redfield recently told Congress that a face mask would provide more guaranteed protection than a vaccine, which would only be broadly available by “late second quarter, third quarter 2021.”
Trump has also refuted the timeline for the vaccine and said that it may be available in a matter of weeks and ahead of the November 3 election.
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