- I am learning that some patients with definite Covid-19 do not have IgG antibodies on the testing I have sent them for. This includes one positive swab test and two people with high likely disease based upon symptoms. If you do have antibodies, you are likely to be immune at that point, but continue with precautions. Avoid being a courier even if you’re not a carrier!
- Antibody tests that are positive (IgG) are accepted now for convalescent plasma donation at Cedars or UCLA. For Cedars, call 310-423-4170, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also be a candidate if you had a positive swab test and have not yet been tested for antibodies. This plasma donation can be lifesaving for a severely ill patient who needs the antibodies as a treatment for his disease.
- I have changed my mind as to the best current antibody testing. I believe it is the Abbott test at Quest so I am encouraging patients to be tested there at this time. Right now they only do IgG (see prior newsletter) and in a few weeks should be doing IgM as well. IgG is the more important one.
- Physicians and scientists are progressing with treatment protocols for severe cases. Modifications in how to do mechanical ventilation treatment, medication ‘cocktails’ and the like are improving and there has been a lot of communication between major hospitals on best results. There is still no ‘cure’, but treatment is improving.
- The ICU’s at local hospitals remain uncrowded so that is good news. Hospital admissions for Coronavirus are even or down in Los Angeles from three weeks ago.
- A study at a local hospital found that about 1% of people tested for no symptoms at all have the Covid-19 virus in their swab so if that number carries forth it means that if you talk to someone who is not sick it’s 99:1 against that you are speaking to someone who could pass you the disease. That is why we mask and keep our distance. The asymptomatic carrier is a risk, but statistically right now in LA, a low risk.
- Another hospital in LA reported that about 3% of the employees had antibodies. So that is a small percentage, even at a hospital. Compare that to regular New Yorkers among whom 25% already have antibodies, maybe higher by now. We are lucky so far.
- This week and next are about transitioning from avoiding the virus (full stay at home orders) to living with the virus in the community (some opening up of stores, restaurants, etc.). Do what you are comfortable with, no more, within the guidelines. I continue to emphasize that outdoor contact with people, at a distance, is the safest. Prolonged indoor exposure is usually how this is passed from person to person. Also, handwashing or sanitizing regularly and wearing a mask,makes it less likely you’ll touch your mouth and nose. Don’t touch your eye area either without handwashing first.
- If you are overweight, this is a great time to lose weight. Eat better. Cook for yourself. Obesity is a risk factor for poor outcomes in Covid-19.
- Keep walking or exercising. We all need that outdoor time and our bodies and minds need something other than sitting or working at home. Force yourself, make it a new healthy habit.