March 5, 2020

How to prepare for the Coronavirus

By Karl W Oestreich

Wall Street Journal
by Sumathi Reddy

Right now the odds are far greater that your cold or fever is caused by influenza or another respiratory disease, says Gregory Poland, director of the Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group in Rochester, Minn. He notes that the fewer-than-100 cases in the U.S. compares to some 20 million cases of influenza in the last four to five months.

ReachThe Wall Street Journal, a US-based newspaper published by Dow Jones & Company, is second in newspaper circulation in America with an average circulation of 1.2 million readers and its website receives nearly 43.6 million unique visitors each month.

Context: Gregory Poland, M.D. is a Mayo Clinic infectious disease expert. Dr. Poland and his team within the Vaccine Research Group aim to improve the health of individuals across the world by pursuing challenges posed by infectious diseases and bioterrorism through clinical, laboratory and epidemiologic vaccine research.

You can read more about COVID-19 on Mayo Clinic News Network and Mayo Clinic's website.

Contact: Bob Nellis

Additional COVID-19 media coverage:
Reuters, Laboratories meet with White House, form consortium for coronavirus tests by Jeff Mason, Carl O’Donnell — The Trump administration met with private lab test developers on Wednesday to discuss increasing the availability of tests for the coronavirus and said that the companies had formed a consortium. …Participants in Wednesday’s White House meeting included LabCorp, Quest Diagnostics Inc , Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc, Abbott Laboratories and the Mayo Clinic. Additional coverage: New York Times

Wall Street Journal, FDA to Allow Labs to Begin Use of High-Complexity Tests for Coronavirus by Thomas M. Burton — Among the sites with the largest volumes of test capability are the Mayo Clinic and the University of Utah. The Mayo Clinic, which didn’t immediately respond for comment, does about 30 million tests annually, including for patients whose lab samples are sent by air delivery from around the country and the world.

STAT, How blood plasma from recovered patients could help treat the new coronavirus by Matthew Herper — In February, doctors in Shanghai set up a special clinical to administer convalescent plasma to select patients who were newly infected with coronavirus. “In China, we’ve only heard anecdotal reports of encouraging results. Nothing has been published yet,” said Greg Poland, a physician and infectious disease expert at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. “But this approach is definitely worth trying.”

Bloomberg, U.S. to Expand Coronavirus Testing After Delays in Surveillance by Robert Langreth — In the meantime, health experts have expressed worries that the expanding number of independent outbreaks around the world will make it harder to keep the disease from the U.S. “Someone in China exposed somebody, who exposed this patient,” Greg Poland, director of the Vaccine Research Group at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, said in a phone interview. “We haven’t seen that here yet, but it’s very widespread in China.”

TIME, Responding to Coronavirus Testing Problems, U.S. Government Expands Number of Labs That Can Run Tests by Alice Park — “It’s really good overall that we can now offer this testing for patients,” says Dr. Robin Patel, president of the American Society for Microbiology and chair of the division of clinical microbiology at the Mayo Clinic. “It’s a big advantage because it means people can go in and get tested and find out if they test positive or negative for this virus.”

KIMT, New COVID-19 Information Center being created in Olmsted County by Mike Bunge — Several Olmsted County organizations are forming a Joint Information Center on COVID-19. Olmsted County Public Health Services, City of Rochester, Federal Medical Center – Rochester, Mayo Clinic, Olmsted County, Olmsted Medical Center, Rochester International Airport, and Rochester Public Schools say they’ll be working together to make sure the public is informed and repaired to deal with COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus.

KTTC, Mayo Clinic officials delay appointments for certain patients amid Coronavirus outbreak by Ubah Ali — We checked in with Mayo Clinic experts about how well prepared local healthcare systems are should the infection show up here. Friday afternoon, Mayo Clinic officials said they indeed have a contingency plan in place. "This is concerning what was starting as a localized outbreak of a new disease may very well turn into a worldwide pandemic," Mayo Clinic Medical Director of Emergency Management Dr. Pritish Tosh. "Mayo Clinic has been prepared and will continue to be prepared to take care of patients with COVID-19." Additional coverage: Post-Bulletin, KAAL

Star Tribune, As the coronavirus spreads, should you cancel vacation? by Kerri Westenberg — Currently, the U.S. has barred all travel to Iran and barred all non-U.S. citizens entry into our country from China and Iran. Travelers landing here from Italy and South Korea are subjected to screening. If a trip to Italy is on the books, you might skip it since the virus is on the loose, and you may not be able to communicate effectively with hospital staff unless you’re fluent in Italian. But Arizona? At least Phoenix has a Mayo Clinic.

Star Tribune, A coronavirus case in a Minnesota school wouldn't automatically mean closings by Kim Hyatt — Rochester Public Schools said they are continually coordinating with Olmsted County Public Health Services to keep up with the latest information. District spokeswoman Heather Nessler said in a statement that Rochester has a strong network with Mayo Clinic and health services to “assure we are working together to prepare, plan, and respond in the best way possible for the health and safety of our community.”

Duluth News Tribune, Minnesota Health Department: Local coronavirus testing finally in hand by Paul John Scott — Mayo Clinic confirmed on Tuesday it is in the process of developing its own coronavirus test. "Mayo Clinic Laboratories is developing a real-time PCR test that can detect SARS-CoV-2 (i.e., the cause of COVID-19) in clinical samples," said Mayo spokesperson Ginger Plumbo in a statement. "We hope to have the test available in the next few weeks." PCR stands for polymerase chain reaction tests, genetic assays capable of determining exposure to the virus without antibodies having had time to form. Mayo said the test would be a saliva swab, and that the cost is not yet determined.

Florida Times-Union, Coronavirus: Preparation for earlier infectious diseases gave Jacksonville-area hospitals ‘jump start’ for new virus by Beth Reese Cravey — Hospitals should be readily prepared for potential cases of the coronavirus disease, given the number of other infectious-disease scares that have arisen in the United States over the past 20 years, according to a Mayo Clinic expert. There was SARS in 2003, followed by the Avian flu, MERSA infection and in 2014 Ebola, among others. “There is no excuse,” said Greg Poland, Rochester, Minn.-based director of Mayo’s Vaccine Research Group, which studies the challenges posed by infectious diseases and bioterrorism through clinical, laboratory and epidemiologic vaccine research. “How many more do you need?”

Albert Lea Tribune, Minnesota looking closely at COVID-19 by Eric Johnson — According to the Centers for Disease Control, the COVID-19 is part of a large family of coronaviruses commonly found in animals including camels, cattle, cats and bats. “It’s similar to influenza,” said Dr. Deepi G. Goyal, Mayo Clinic Health Systems Regional Chair of Clinical Practice and Emergency Medicine physician for southeast Minnesota. “The most common symptoms are fever, cough and trouble breathing.”

Mankato Free Press, Local groups on alert for COVID-19 spread by Brian Arola — Statements from Mayo Clinic Health System and Mankato Clinic confirmed they have plans and protocols in place for patient care and staff protection. “Mayo Clinic is one of many health care organizations that is prepared, with support from public health authorities, to care for patients with COVID-19,” Mayo’s statement read. “Within our service areas, we have plans for patient care and protecting staff.” Mankato Clinic stated it has adopted national and state guidelines for handling patients.

Owatonna People’s Press, Doctor says coronavirus is ‘novel,’ influenza still bigger threat by Annie Granlund — “Steele County, just like the rest of the U.S., could be vulnerable as this virus spreads,” said Dr. Deepi Goyal, the regional chair of clinical practice for Mayo Clinic Health System in southeast Minnesota. “We already know that many patients that are infected don’t get very sick, and that it can take five to 14 days for people to show symptoms. That means that people could be infectious and spread the virus without knowing they’re infected.”

La Crosse Tribune, Gundersen, Mayo preparing for COVID-19 but say La Crosse community shouldn't panic by Emily Pyrek — Mayo Clinic Health System nurse administrator Lisa Bungum and infection prevention specialist Melissa Moran agree national risk of COVID-19 remains low but say their facility is actively in touch with local and federal agencies and has multiple weekly meetings to stay up to the minute on information. “We’re being over prepared — at the ready for every situation,” Bungum says.

HealthDay, Coronavirus Strikes Men, Older People the Hardest by Dennis Thompson — Dr. Greg Poland is a vaccine researcher and infectious disease specialist with the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minn. He said, "In general, females respond better to infectious diseases than males. That's even known with influenza virus. Men are sicker than women when they get influenza." Additional coverage: US News &World Report, Health 24

KTBS ABC 3, Coronavirus - Dr. Joseph Sirven, Neurologist, Mayo Clinic —The panic over Coronavirus - Is it justified?

Tags: coronavirus, COVID-19, Dr. Gregory Poland, Mayo Clinic Vaccine Research Group, Uncategorized, Wall Street Journal

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