March 20, 2020

Mayo Clinic in the News Weekly Highlights for March 20, 2020

By Emily Blahnik

CNBC, Mayo Clinic CEO assures ‘there’s a significant supply of ventilators’ — Mayo Clinic CEO Gianrico Farrugia said Wednesday the U.S. could have enough ventilators to treat critical COVID-19 patients if Americans take social distancing seriously enough. “There’s a significant supply of ventilators. They may not always be in the right place,” he said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” While it’s impossible to predict how many the U.S. will need, Farrugia said the “less cases we have in the United States, the less ventilators we’re going to need, and if we can space that over time then I do think we’ll have enough ventilators.”

CNBC, ‘I think I have coronavirus’: Symptoms to watch, when to call a doctor, getting tested—and what to expect overall by Jessica Migala — If you feel sick now, it’s possible you might have the common cold or flu (both have similar symptoms to COVID-19), Dr. Gregory Poland, professor of medicine and infectious diseases at the Mayo Clinic, tells CNBC Make It. The only way to tell if you have the disease is to test for it — although there’s more reason to think you do if you’re in the higher risk group, he says.

Washington Post, Worried the coronavirus came home with you? Tips for cleaning your gear post-trip. by Andrea Sachs — Greg Poland, a professor of medicine and infectious diseases at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., said that to contract the virus from your luggage, you would need a very specific series of events to occur. “You’d literally have to have someone sneeze all over it, get mucus on it and then, within minutes to a few hours, you would have to touch your bag and then your face,” he said. To ease any concerns, he said travelers can wipe down the parts of their luggage that might have been handled by other people, such as airline baggage handlers, bellhops and airport shuttle drivers. He suggests swiping the exposed area with a disinfectant towelette or squeezing anti-bacterial gel onto your hand and spreading it over the vulnerable area. When asked about disinfecting the entire bag, he responded, “Power wash your suitcase? I don’t think so.”

Washington Post, Trump says he will partner with private sector to expand coronavirus testing but details are sketchy by Amy Goldstein, Laurie McGinley and Yasmeen Abutaleb — The administration’s push to boost drive-through testing comes as several places around the country have begun ramping up such services. Mayo Clinic opened such a facility this week, according to Jack O’Horo, a Mayo infections disease specialist. “This helps to protect other patients and staff from potentially coming into contact with the covid-19 virus,” he said.

Washington Post, If you feel sick and are worried about the coronavirus, call your doctor. Don’t rush to the ER. by Laurie McGinley — There’s a good chance it’s not covid-19. You may have the flu, especially if you have aches and pains, or a bad cold. “A runny nose and itchy eyes — that’s not a problem,” said Gregory Poland, an infectious disease expert at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. But a high fever, a persistent cough — or signs of respiratory distress such as shortness of breath — means you could have the disease caused by the virus. For doctors trying to make diagnoses, context is key, Poland said. “Am I looking at a 12-year-old kid from a little town in Kansas with no cases or an 80-year-old with a chronic disease in New York City who just got off a cruise ship?”

Los Angeles Times, With the start of spring on Thursday, will the stronger sun chase away the coronavirus? by Paul Duginski — Will more direct sunlight and the warmer temperatures of spring and summer help to clear up the new coronavirus that’s responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic? …“At this point, we don’t know enough about this virus to understand how it’s going to behave over time,” said Dr. Pritish Tosh, an infectious disease specialist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Wall Street Journal, Coronavirus: You Ask, We Answer — Q: How long will this virus last and remain a potential threat? Will it always be a part of our environment, or will it run its course and completely disappear? A: Most forecasters are reluctant to predict—at least publicly—how this will play out… Coronaviruses in general are not as seasonal as the flu. So although they are less prevalent in the spring and summer, they have more of a presence than influenza. A different coronavirus strain called SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) started in November 2002 and was gone by the summer of 2003, notes Gregory Poland, director of the Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group in Rochester, Minn. But that didn’t happen with the MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) strain.'

NBC News, Several drive-through testing sites open in U.S. by Sara G. Miller — Several drive-through testing sites have opened in the U.S., including locations in Colorado, Washington, California, Utah and Indiana…At the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, patients must be screened over the phone before arriving for a test.

NBC News, Coronavirus calls for social distancing and an end to shaking hands. Here's what we're losing. by Carol Kinsey Goman — The power of a handshake begins with the power of touch. Usually considered to be the most primitive and essential form of communication, touch is so powerful and effective that clinical studies at Mayo Clinic show that premature babies who are stroked grow 40 percent faster than those who do not receive the same amount of touching.

CNN, As testing ramps up, many doctors and patients are still experiencing problems by Robert Kuznia, Curt Devine and Drew Griffin — …But even in places where the situation is improving, there still aren't enough tests for people who don't have symptoms but may have been close to infected patients, officials say. "The reality is that patients start to become infectious before they even actually have symptoms, or their symptoms are really mild," said Dr. William Morice, president of the Mayo Clinic Laboratories in Minnesota. "So you have a virus which is easy to transmit -- which a patient can transmit when they don't even know they have it."

Associated Press, NOT REAL NEWS: Falsehoods around the virus and politics by Beatrice Dupuy and Amanda Seitz — …There are many things beyond coronavirus that could lead to restricted breathing, including asthma, anxiety or heart disease, said Dr. Gregory Poland, head of vaccine research at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Also, while staying hydrated by drinking water is important for overall health, it does not prevent coronavirus, according to the WHO. Additional coverage: New York Times

USA Today, Nurses screening patients for coronavirus step outside to a rainbow, 'a sign of hope' by Adrianna Rodriguez — “A sign of hope.” That’s how the Mayo Clinic in Arizona interpreted a rainbow that appeared over health professionals who were screening patients for COVID-19. A photo of the natural phenomenon went viral after the Mayo Clinic posted it on their Facebook page garnering more 2,700 likes and 300 shares as of Tuesday. It showed a man decked out in protective gear with a clear mask over his head standing in an empty parking lot glistening after a day of rain. Right above him is a bright rainbow contrasted by grey skies. According to the clinic’s post, the man standing in the photo is Alex Kruysman, a member of Mayo’s Nursing Resource Pool in Arizona. He was taking a break after screening vulnerable patients for COVID-19 when the rainbow appeared. Additional coverage: AZFamily

USA Today, Too many coronavirus patients, too few ventilators: US situation could get bad, quickly by Ken Alltucker and Nick Penzenstadler — Overrun by critically-ill coronavirus sufferers, Italy’s hospitals are choosing who gets  life-saving breathing machines and who does not. It’s a scenario that could soon repeat in the United States, experts warn…The Mayo Clinic is adopting conservation strategies across its three hospitals due to sporadic supply disruption, said Dr. Pritish Tosh, an infectious diseases specialist.

USA Today, US Olympic medical chief Q&A: American athlete has been tested for coronavirus by Rachel Axon — Finnoff, who started his job on March 2, outlined the committee’s actions in response to the pandemic in an interview with USA TODAY Sports. Since joining the USOPC from the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center, where he was the director, he has been primarily focused on COVID-19 and the committee’s preparations for the Olympics and Paralympics this summer in Tokyo. Finnoff traveled to Monaco last week for a meeting of chief medical officers before the Games.

USA Today, You asked us tons of questions about the coronavirus. We're answering them. by Grace Hauck — Is it the same as when they do a nasal swab for influenza? To collect a sample for a diagnostic test for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease, doctors typically use the same method of collection as they would for influenza: a nasopharyngeal swab. For this swab, a tiny Q-tip on plastic or a wire stem is put up your nose about 3 or 4 inches. "I've had it done, and it's mildly uncomfortable for a few seconds," said Gregory Poland, director of the Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group. A doctor may also do a throat swab. In some cases, if you have a "wet" cough, a doctor may also have you cough up some phlegm into a collection cup. These specimen are then packed with ice and shipped to a lab for testing. To determine if someone has recovered from the coronavirus, at least two different nasal swabs taken at least 24 hours apart must test negative, Poland said.

USA Today, Minnesota Timberwolves' Karl-Anthony Towns will help Mayo Clinic with coronavirus testing by Mark Medina — Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns plans to donate $100,000 to the Mayo Clinic to help with testing patients for the coronavirus.  The Timberwolves said in a statement that the Mayo Clinic expects Towns' donation to help increase its testing capacity from 200 to 1,000 tests per day "in the coming weeks."  “Our team has been working around the clock for the past month to develop a test for COVID-19,” Dr. William Morice II, chair of the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at Mayo Clinic, said in a statement released by the Timberwolves. “We are blown away by Karl’s gesture to help us fast-track offering testing to more patients across Minnesota and the nation.” Additional coverage: Pioneer Press, Star Tribune, Arizona Republic, Bring Me the News, NBC Sports, KSTP, Bleacher Report, Yahoo! Sports,, San Luis Obispo Tribune, Courier Journal, WKYT

USA Today, How to care for your dry, raw hands after washing them to prevent coronavirus by Carly Mallenbaum — When you’re washing your hands to avoid disease, the last thing you want is to make your mitts so raw that they're blotchy, or so ripped that a bacterial or fungal infection appears in the open area of the skin. So what should you do to care for your hands, and why do they get so chapped anyway? Mayo Clinic dermatologist Alina Bridges can explain. Bridges compares hands’ natural oils with a car’s shiny, new wax coating: It looks good, and it’s protective. “On your hands, there's usually oil, waxy substances, and then if you use anything harsh on your skin or if you wash your hands frequently, you're just going to strip away those natural oils and then your hands will start to get cracked, dry, raw.”

USA Today, Can coronavirus survive on your Apple Watch or Fitbit? Yes, experts say by Dalvin Brown — We use our dirty fingers to open notifications and count our steps. Then go to the sink, lather up and kill germs on our hands, before proceeding to tap away at unclean screens on our wrist. That's a common way to "reinfect" your hands, according to Dr. Blanca Lizaola-Mayo, an internal medicine doctor who works at Mayo Clinic Scottsdale. Your dirty hands can then transport viruses into your eyes, nose and mouth. "The period we're in right now, you need everything possible to be as clean as possible, including your watch and Fitbit," Goff said.

BBC, Coronavirus: Will US be ready in the weeks ahead? by Ritu Prasad — Dr Gregory Poland, director of Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group, says analysing a new disease is like looking at a pixelated image - when you've only rendered 30%, it's impossible to tell what the photo is. Once you load 70%, the picture gets clearer, and so on. "We're in that 30 to 50%," Dr Poland says of Covid-19. "There's a lot we genetically know about coronaviruses [and] a huge amount we don't know, clinically, epidemiologically and seasonally with regards to this virus." Worst case, Dr Poland says, based on early models, between 40 to 70% of the US will be infected. That's between 132 and 231 million people.

BBC, How should people protect family members they are taking care of from #COVID-19? — Dr. Greg Poland provides tips on BBC Radio 5 Live’s “Up all Night”.

Inforum, Mayo Clinic working on antibody test by Paul John Scott — A so-called serology test looks into a blood sample for disease-specific blood proteins known as antibodies, then determines if your body's immune system is pre-loaded to fend that illness off the next time you are exposed. Because it takes the body time to develop antibodies, an antibody test is less effective at identifying new cases, but decidedly important for telling society that's fighting a sometimes invisible illness whether it is safe to return to normalcy. This makes the news all the more meaningful that Mayo Clinic has announced it is just weeks away from delivering an antibody test for coronavirus. Only Singapore has developed such a test, and it has yet to be validated. "We are actively pursuing options for serologic testing for COVID-19, which would allow us to determine whether a patient has developed an antibody response to the infection," said Matthew Binnicker, Ph.D., and Elitza Theel, Ph.D. of the department of laboratory medicine at Mayo Clinic in a statement.

Post-Bulletin, Mayo CEO visits White House to discuss COVID-19 virus by Jeff Kiger — The leader of Mayo Clinic was at the White House on Wednesday to meet with the national coronavirus task force. Mayo Clinic CEO and President Dr. Gianrico Farrugia was invited to the meeting by Vice President Mike Pence, the task force's leader. Hours later, President Donald Trump spoke to the nation about the crisis, announcing that U.S. borders would be closed to anyone arriving from Europe, except for Great Britain. Wednesday's meeting included a dozen other hospital leaders, plus the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The task force wanted to talk to the leaders directly and to spur more collaboration.

Post-Bulletin, Is coronavirus a germaphobe's worst nightmare, sudden validation or surprise emancipation? by Paul John Scott — "One of the classic presentations of obssessive compulsive disorder is an obsession that you're going to get sick from getting dangerous germs from common, everyday social surfaces, like railings and doorknobs and being near people," says Dr. Stephen Whiteside, a clinical psychologist at the Mayo Clinic and a national authority on the treatment of OCD. "The fear of getting sick is larger than the actual risk," Whiteside says of OCD patients. "It's very unpleasant, and people respond to that by avoiding public surfaces and washing their hands repeatedly and thoroughly throughout the day, frequently to the point where their hands become chapped and bloody."

Post-Bulletin, Mayo Clinic is prepared in case employees test positive for COVID-19 by Jeff Kiger — So, would Mayo Clinic release information to the public, if one of its 34,000 Rochester employees tested positive? “No, all information would be released through public health authorities, as it has been to date. Mayo Clinic collaborates with public health authorities, including, as necessary, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), state and local health authorities. These public health entities are best positioned to provide relevant and appropriate information to the public,” Mayo Clinic's Ginger Plumbo wrote on Sunday.

Post-Bulletin, Mayo Clinic declares new travel, gathering rules to limit COVID-19 exposure by Jeff Kiger — The number of U.S. cases of the COVID-19 virus topped 1,000 on Tuesday, with three in Minnesota, prompting Mayo Clinic to institute new guidelines on employee travel and gatherings. A letter from the Executive Dean for Practice Dr. Amy Williams and the Chair of Practice Administration Roshy Didehban was sent to all Mayo Clinic staff on Tuesday afternoon. The letter called for employees to limit their travel in the near future.

Post-Bulletin, Mayo expands testing regime; state lacks testing supplies by Matthew Stolle — Even as Mayo Clinic prepared to expand its testing for COVID-19 by adding a second screening site, the Minnesota Department of Health said a national shortage of testing kits is forcing the state to tighten its criteria for those getting the test.  The new guidance to health care providers from MDH said highest priority should be given to hospitalized patients, health care workers and those living in "congregate living settings" such as long-term care.  The MDH message to Mayo and other health care providers said they should assess whether they can send specimens to a commercial laboratory, and determine their own priorities for testing and assess whether these labs have restrictions.

KAAL, Mayo Clinic limiting hospital visitors during COVID-19 threat — The Mayo Clinic announced Sunday that there will be a limit in the number of visitors on its campuses while there's a threat of COVID-19 transmission. According to the release, Rochester's location will only have up to two visitors per patient at a time. The visitors will also be asked to limit the number of visits and they will be screened for respiratory illness. The limiting is temporary but is being done to safeguard the health of all who come to Mayo Clinic. Additional coverage: KSTP, KTTC, Med City Beat

KAAL, Visitor restrictions at Mayo Clinic Health System — Effective today, Mayo Clinic Health System is putting new visitor restrictions in place for its facilities in Southeast Minnesota in an effort to protect healthcare workers and patients from COVID-19 (coronavirus disease). Visitor restrictions in Southeast Minnesota hospitals and clinics include: For hospitalized patients, two visitors per patient. For all other patients, one visitor per patient. Visitors are being asked to limit the number of visits.

KAAL, VIDEO: Rep. Hagedorn on efforts to fight COVID-19 — ABC 6 News Anchor Betsy Singer talks with Congressman Jim Hagedorn about his meeting with Mayo Clinic officials Tuesday and what they're working on to combat COVID-19.

KTTC, Mayo Clinic Ambulance taking actions to protect against COVID-19 by Sarah Gannon — Responding paramedics will wear gowns over their normal uniforms, gloves, and a mask with a face shield for calls with possible COVID-19 patients. "I think the big thing is for the public to know the appropriate numbers to call and get through the system so they are not all rushing to the emergency department," said Mayo Clinic Ambulance Medical Director Emergency Physician Dr. Anuradha Luke. "This isn't a panic situation." Paramedics will need to add this extra layer of protection for all possible COVID-19 related cases until Mayo Clinic and the CDC tell the ambulance service otherwise.

KTTC, Mayo Clinic tests hundreds for COVID-19, two patients recovering — Mayo Clinic has tested hundreds of people for COVID-19 as businesses and schools temporarily close across the country in response to the outbreak. According to Olmsted County Public Health Director Graham Briggs, as of Monday morning, 326 people have been tested at Mayo Clinic for COVID-19. Health officials are reporting that there are two cases of COVID-19 in Olmsted County, and 35 in the state.

KTTC, Mayo Clinic constructing 2nd coronavirus testing facility in downtown Rochester — Another coronavirus testing facility is being constructed in downtown Rochester. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, as of Tuesday, there are 60 cases of COVID-19 in the state. Mayo Clinic's first testing facility was established in northwest Rochester and continues to see patients.

KTTC, Blood donations needed amid coronavirus pandemic by KaMaria Braye —There's a blood shortage across the United States due to coronavirus. The Mayo Clinic's Blood Donation center is one organization that had been feeling that shortage. It had fewer donors last week than normal. However, donations are now picking back up.

KTTC, Mayo Clinic has been screening visitors by Ubah Ali — Mayo Clinic announced Tuesday, it will deter all elective care that can be deferred for eight or more weeks. As well as take extra precautions when allowing people in to Mayo facilities.

KIMT, How will warmer weather impact the spread of coronavirus by Raquel Hellman — How will warmer weather impact the spread of Coronavirus? A Mayo Clinic Infectious Disease Specialist explains the possible scenarios. Additional coverage: KIMT

KIMT, Mayo Clinic: ‘We are well-prepared to meet the needs of our patients and communities’ — Below is a message Mayo Clinic sent its patients: Thank you for trusting Mayo Clinic with your health care. Your trust is important to us. We are all aware of the public health concerns due to the outbreak of coronavirus disease or COVID-19. COVID-19 is a newly identified respiratory virus that can spread easily. It shares several symptoms with influenza, but is treated differently…

KIMT, Mayo Clinic is suspending its volunteer activities in Rochester by Mike Bunge — As of Tuesday, Mayo Clinic is suspending volunteer activities at the Saint Marys Campus, the Methodist Campus and the Mayo Clinic (Outpatient) Campus. This move is being taken to reduce the risk of transmitting the COVID-19 coronavirus.

KROC-Radio, COVID-19: Mayo Clinic implements ER changes by Kim David — Mayo Clinic has made a move to protect patients and employees in its emergency room from possible COVID-19 exposure. Mayo said Sunday “effective immediately, anyone who comes to the emergency department with respiratory symptoms will be taken to a separate room. They will also be asked to wear a mask. These patients will be kept separate from other people in the emergency department.”

KROC-Radio, Mayo expert: Most COVID-19 victims won’t know they’re infected by Kim David — Mayo Clinic infectious disease expert Dr. Gregory Poland says one problem is that most people who become infected with the virus may not realize it because they won't develop symptoms. He says "The majority of people who get infected with this virus will never know it."  He says this could be as high as 80-percent of those who become infected. .

Med City Beat, Mayo Clinic preparing second COVID-19 testing site downtown — Mayo Clinic has begun setting up a second testing site for COVID-19. On Monday evening, crews could be seen installing temporary trailers in an empty parking lot at the corner of Third Avenue SW & Fourth Street SW. Mayo spokesperson Ginger Plumbo said the specimen collection area will be similar to the one outside the Northwest Clinic. The new temporary site, she said, will accommodate ambulatory patients on the downtown campus.

Star Tribune, Mayo finds no coronavirus in first 90 tests by Christopher Snowbeck — The Mayo Clinic’s first batch of coronavirus tests found no sign of the virus in 90 samples, a clinic official said Friday, and suggests the virus in Minnesota is likely not widespread at this point. Mayo Clinic Laboratories announced this week that it has begun rolling out a new coronavirus test as concerns have been building across the country about whether there’s a lack of testing capabilities. In its first 36 hours of testing, the lab at Mayo received about 200 samples, said Matthew Binnicker, director of the clinical virology lab at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Mayo says it can perform up to 300 tests per day and could be adding technology in the coming weeks to greatly expand the volume. Additional coverage: Med City Beat

Star Tribune, Mayo Clinic, Allina among four Minnesota providers postponing elective surgeries by Joe Carlson — Mayo Clinic announced Tuesday that it would defer all elective care that can be put off for at least eight weeks, including elective surgeries and office visits. The decision to defer elective care is effective March 23, but semi-urgent, urgent and emergency care will continue. The decision applies at Mayo’s major campuses in Rochester, Florida and Arizona, as well as in the community hospitals in the Upper Midwest that make up the Mayo Clinic Health System. “This decision is being made to ensure the safest possible environment for our patients and staff and to free up resources to assist in Mayo Clinic’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff working in impacted areas will be redeployed where needed most,” Mayo Clinic said. Additional coverage: Florida Times-Union, KTTC, WCCO, KMSP, WEAU Eau Claire, KEYC Mankato

Star Tribune, Mayo Clinic among Minnesota health care providers postponing elective surgeries because of coronavirus by Joe Carlson — Mayo Clinic announced Tuesday that it would defer all elective care that can be put off for at least eight weeks, including elective surgeries and office visits. The decision to defer elective care is effective March 23, but semi-urgent, urgent and emergency care will continue. The decision applies at Mayo's major campuses in Rochester, Florida and Arizona, as well as in the community hospitals in the Upper Midwest that make up the Mayo Clinic Health System. "This decision is being made to ensure the safest possible environment for our patients and staff and to free up resources to assist in Mayo Clinic's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff working in impacted areas will be redeployed where needed most," Mayo Clinic said. Additional coverage: Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal

MPR News, New Mayo Clinic test could speed detection of COVID-19 by Catharine Richert — Mayo Clinic scientists said Thursday they’ve developed a new test to detect COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, that could help public health officials in their struggle to contain the outbreak. "This test should help ease some of the burden that is currently being felt at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state public health laboratories," said Dr. William Morice president of Mayo Clinic Laboratories. "We are doing everything we can to help relieve the burden during this time to provide answers for patients here in Rochester and around the world."

MPR News, Limited access to COVID-19 tests frustrates patients, health professionals by Catharine Richert — As state and public health officials criticize the Trump administration for being too slow to respond to the pandemic — and for not releasing enough tests to states, Rochester’s Mayo Clinic has developed its own COVID-19 test. Since late last week, Mayo has performed at least 500 tests — and found some positive cases — according to Matthew Binnicker, Mayo Clinic’s director of clinical virology. That test is available to Mayo patients — and, increasingly, to non-Mayo clients served by Mayo Clinic Laboratories. The clinic’s current capacity is between 200 and 300 tests a day, though Binnicker said Mayo hopes to ramp up to be able to test 1,000 samples daily sometime this week.

MPR News, COVID-19: Hard Questions, Real Answers with Mayo Clinic by Kerri Miller — MPR News host Kerri Miller spoke with two doctors from Mayo Clinic as part of our two-day national special, COVID-19: Hard Questions, Real Answers, about the science behind the virus, the country’s medical response and their advice to Americans as the crisis continues. Guests: Dr. Greg Poland is the director of the Vaccine Research Group at Mayo Clinic. Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse is a pediatric infectious diseases physician with Mayo Clinic.

MPR News, How 'Med City' prepares for pandemic by Catharine Richert — For a city whose lifeblood is health care, and has more than 3 million visitors annually who arrive from around the world to take advantage of that health care, managing a pandemic presents unique challenges, where providing treatment and keeping the workforce healthy go hand in hand. The approach marries Mayo’s expertise and planning with a school, city and county response that is taking steps to limit contact between people living in Rochester. “Our community is no less prone to COVID-19 infection than the rest of the country,” said Dr. Pritish Tosh, an infectious disease specialist and the medical director for Mayo's emergency planning. “Complicating matters is that we have people coming here with other things — complex medical problems — and people in our community with normal medical problems that need attention as well.” Additional coverage: Post-Bulletin

KARE 11, Off school, two Rochester sisters pair teen sitters with Mayo Clinic workers — Like everyone else, sisters Rioghna and Hannah Pittock spent the first few minutes feeling sorry for themselves. Rioghna, a junior at Rochester Mayo High School, had spring sports to play. Hannah, a senior at University of Chicago, was headed to spring break in Aruba. All of it cancelled by COVID-19, the sisters now sit at home – solving Rochester’s problems…The daughters of two Mayo Clinic doctors birthed their plan Saturday on the drive home from picking up Hannah in Chicago. Additional coverage: Post-Bulletin

Twin Cities Business, Odonata Health Named Finalist in Female Founders Competition — Odonata’s lead clinical partner is the Mayo Clinic, where Dr. Paul Friedman, chair of the Mayo Clinic Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, and his team developed the algorithm utilized by Odonata’s technology. He and Odonata hope to help reduce the high rate of maternal morbidity and mortality around the world; according the Centers for Disease Control, more than 700 women in the U.S. die in childbirth each year.

Florida Times-Union, Coronavirus: Mayo Clinic and St. Vincent’s confirm treating positive COVID-19 cases by Emily Bloch — St. Vincent’s Clay and Riverside are each treating a patient with the virus. In addition, The Mayo Clinic confirmed it was treating patients, but would not disclose how many. Hospitals in Jacksonville and Clay County confirmed treating multiple patients with COVID-19 on Sunday evening. As reported by Times-Union news partners First Coast News, Ascension St. Vincent’s Clay and Riverside are each treating a patient with the virus. In addition, The Mayo Clinic confirmed it was treating patients, but would not disclose how many. Additional coverage: News4Jax, Action News Jax

Florida Times Union, Coronavirus: New Mayo Clinic test expected in Jacksonville by end of month by Matt Soergel — Mayo Clinic in Minnesota has developed a test for the coronavirus. That test is expected to be available at Mayo’s Jacksonville campus this month. The Mayo Clinic in Minnesota has created tests that can detect the coronavirus in patients, something it says could “ease the burden” on federal and state agencies to combat the fast-growing pandemic. It also could have positive implications for Jacksonville’s Mayo campus, according to a Friday statement from the medical center.

Florida Times-Union, Coronavirus: St. Vincent’s postpones ‘non-urgent’ surgeries, offers drive-thru testing — Kevin Punsky, a spokesman at Mayo Clinic’s Jacksonville campus, said surgical patients there haven’t been affected yet. “At this time, Mayo Clinic is not canceling elective surgeries,” he said. “We are continuously evaluating this situation, based on capacity and safety. At some Mayo Clinic sites, elective surgeries are being delayed on a case-by-case basis, and patients are being notified.”

News4Jax, Drive-thru coronavirus testing arrives in Jacksonville — Mayo Clinic said it also anticipates having a drive-through testing option. “While COVID-19 testing is currently available at Mayo Clinic in Florida through the Florida Department of Health, we anticipate offering drive-through testing once Mayo Clinic developed test kits become available as part of more extensive local site test processing capabilities on our campus in a few weeks.

First Coast News, How to stay safe from the 'toilet cloud plume' during coronavirus outbreak by Jeannie Blaylock — Ever heard of the toilet cloud plume?  "It is gross," says Dr. Greg Poland, Mayo's infectious disease expert at Mayo Clinic Rochester. "It's what's produced when you flush the toilet...effectively distributing whatever on EVERYTHING in that washroom," he says. Dr. Poland calls the public restroom "the most dangerous place you can go in public."

First Coast News, 3 things that may help you avoid the coronavirus by Jeannie Blaylock — Dr. Greg Poland, an infectious disease expert from Mayo Clinic Rochester says you probably don’t.  “Let me be clear. I’ve never, never seen a layperson wash their hands properly," he said.  The doctor says you should grab each thumb and twist your fingers around it over and over to wash off germs. He says don’t forget your fingertips, as well.  He says to think about how important that is. You put your fingertips in your eyes, nose and mouth and that’s how Coronavirus can infect you. Jimmy Kimmel invited Poland onto his show, “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” on ABC to run an experiment. 

Arizona Republic, The race to find a coronavirus treatment: One strategy might be just weeks away, scientists say by Mark Johnson — Gregory Poland, director of Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group, said the use of monoclonal antibodies "needs to be designed and tested in this specific disease, but I wouldn't see any reason it wouldn't work. The idea is right." Like other scientists, Poland was less hopeful that a vaccine would be developed anytime soon. "We won't have a vaccine for this outbreak," he said. "It will be before the next (outbreak)."

Arizona Republic, Arizona to expand coronavirus testing as doctors raise concerns about lack of preparation by Ryan Randazzo and Stephanie Innes — The Mayo Clinic has set up a mobile unit to collect samples for testing of its own patients. "We are also supporting other providers in the Valley, sharing what we have learned, as they look to open their own alternative testing locations," Mayo said in a statement.

KTAR-Radio, Commercial lab testing for coronavirus begins in Arizona by Griselda Zetino — In a statement sent to KTAR News 92.3 FM, Mayo Clinic said it has set up “a mobile unit to collect samples for testing of our highly vulnerable Mayo Clinic patient population.” “We are also supporting other providers in the Valley, sharing what we have learned, as they look to open their own alternative testing locations,” Mayo added in the statement.

AZ Family, Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale sets up mobile coronavirus testing for its patients —The Mayo Clinic is Scottsdale is setting up shop in its parking lot for coronavirus testing. When the Arizona’s Family News Chopper flew over the campus on Shea Boulevard just east of the Loop 101 this morning, we could see tents set up. “The current recommendation from our Public Health agencies is to reach out to your primary care provider if you feel that you have been exposed or are experiencing symptoms. To accommodate more requests to our primary care providers and emergency department, we have set up mobile units to collect samples for testing of our highly vulnerable Mayo Clinic patient population,” Mayo spokesman Jim McVeigh said in an email to Arizona’s Family. Additional coverage: Arizona Republic, KNPX Arizona

Austin Daily Herald, Mayo expanding drive-thru testing — As more people are diagnosed with COVID-19, the coronavirus that is sweeping across the globe, Mayo Clinic has stepped up its detection efforts once again. Mayo has expanded its drive-thru testing to all of its satellite sites in southeast Minnesota including Austin, Albert Lea, Mankato and Red Wing. "I'm impressed with Mayo Clinic," Chief Medical Officer Dr. Steven Brass from Adventist Health Glendale in California said. Brass is in Rochester to receive heart surgery, and said there is a reason why he feels that way. "Upon entering every entrance of the Mayo Clinic there are about four or five greeters with security and they actually screen you," Brass said. Adding, "To make sure every single person is reliably being screened they give you a sticker so that allows you allows you entrance."

Austin Daily Herald, Mayo Clinic Health System responds to COVID-19 — Mayo Clinic has released a game plan for people to follow in the event they come down with COVID-19. The United States is the latest country to deal with the coronavirus and now Minnesota is seeing a rise in numbers, reaching 54 cases Monday, a jump from 35 just the day before.

Caledonia Argus, Mayo Clinic Health System offers pre-screened patients a local testing site for specimen collection for COVID-19 testing — Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse is conducting a process to collect specimens for COVID-19 testing from patients with symptoms. Transmission of COVID-19 is increasing nationwide and other Mayo Clinic sites have successfully used the drive-through approach. As a first step, patients must call their Mayo Clinic Health System primary care clinic. “The drive-through test is only for those who have been approved by our offices at this time. Patients can help us manage this process by only coming to the drive-through testing site if they have been told they meet the criteria for testing,” says Kevin Fitzgerald, M.D., Family Medicine chair, Mayo Clinic Health System.  “Providing this dedicated testing location away from other clinical spaces will help limit possible exposures to staff, patients and visitors in other patient care areas.”

Owatonna People’s Press, Hospitals announces restrictions, as many fear health care shortage by Andrew Deziel — Allina Health and the Mayo Clinic Health System have announced sweeping restrictions to restrict visitor access and conserve resources amid fears that COVID-19 could soon overwhelm the capacity of the state’s health system. Allina, which owns and operates Owatonna and District One hospitals, announced that it would suspend all non-essential/non-urgent visits in clinics and restrict all in person visitors, with compassionate exemptions available. It also announced that elective surgeries would be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and could be postponed or cancelled upon the discretion of the care team. Mayo Clinic took that a step farther, suspending all non-essential surgeries for at least eight weeks. Additional coverage: St. Peter Herald

Owatonna People’s Press, External, isolated COVID-19 testing sites set up across southern Minnesota by Bridget Kranz — The region’s first drive-through setting was launched Wednesday in Rochester, at the same time that the provider was developing its own test to detect the virus in clinical samples, typically collected via oral and nasal swabs. According to Dr. Jason Wray-Raabolle, chair of primary care for the Mayo Clinic Health System in Owatonna, these specimens are currently being processed internally but may also be sent to the Minnesota Department of Health laboratory in the future.

Fairmont Sentinel, Fairmont area community partners respond to virus by Jason Sorensen — Kicking off the conference was Dr. Marie Morris, medical director for Mayo Clinic Health System in Fairmont. “Our main takeaway is that residents should be prepared but not panic,” she said. “The number of cases is growing very rapidly, but to my knowledge, as of this moment, we don’t have any cases in Martin County.

Fairmont Sentinel, Mayo, UHD, city of Fairmont limiting public access by Larry Weig — In a press release, Mayo states it has evaluated the readiness of its facilities, personnel, capacity and supply availability, and assessed community transmission within its regions. Based on this review, Mayo will defer all elective care that can be deferred for eight or more weeks. This will include elective surgeries, procedures and office visits. Semi-urgent, urgent and emergency care will continue in clinic and hospital settings. The deferment will be effective March 23 at all Mayo Clinic locations nationwide. Mayo says the decision is being made to ensure the safest possible environment for patients and staff, and to free up resources to assist in Mayo Clinic’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mankato Free Press, Health systems gearing up for pandemic by Brian Arola — With the Mankato area not having any confirmed cases yet, medical, public health and school leaders shared how they’re gearing up for potential cases during a press conference at South Central College. For local health care providers, the preparations include setting up drive-thru testing sites. The sites should be ready by Monday, according to doctors from Mankato Clinic and Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato. Patients will need to consult with a provider first to determine if they should be tested. Health workers will swab patients at the sites before the samples are sent off to be confirmed. “We don’t want you to go directly to the clinic or hospital if you don’t have an emergency,” said Dr. Eric Gomez, an infectious disease physician at Mayo in Mankato. “We want that physician to be prepared to receive you and not expose other patients in that clinic.” Additional coverage: KTOE-Radio, KEYC Mankato, Fairmont Sentinel

Mankato Free Press, Medical drive-thrus open by Brian Arola — Mankato Clinic has a drive-thru site at its North Mankato clinic, while Mayo in Mankato’s site is at its Eastridge clinic. Mayo in Mankato is asking patients to call their primary care clinic/provider for a phone screening. “The virus spreads rapidly, and this process will help minimize potential exposure to other patients and staff,” stated a release from Mayo in Mankato. The specimens collected at Eastridge will be sent to Mayo Clinic in Rochester for testing. Additional coverage: KEYC Mankato

Mankato Free Press, Minnesota tightens criteria for COVID-19 testing — Mayo in Mankato and other facilities in its health system are deferring elective care beginning March 23 to free up resources needed for COVID-19 response. Some staff will be redeployed to areas of need, according to a release from the health system. “This will include both elective surgeries, procedures and office visits,” said Dr. Amy Williams, Mayo Clinic’s dean of practice, in the release. “Semi-urgent, urgent and emergency care will continue in clinic and hospital settings.”

New Prague Times, Mayo Clinic Health System offers drive-through COVID-19 testing site — Mayo Clinic Health System in New Prague now offers a drive-through screening process for patients who meet criteria for COVID-19 testing. Transmissions of COVID-19 are increasing statewide and across the nation and other institutions have successfully used the drive-through approach.

KTOE-Radio, Mayo Clinic Health System Preparations for COVID-19 by Ashley Hanley — Please visit our Mayo Clinic Health System COVID-19 online resource site for contact information and the most up-to-the-minute information about COVID-19 and what to do if you have symptoms. You can also view updates via Mayo Clinic Health System’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels.

St. Peter, Mayo Clinic: The not-so-sweet truth of added sugars by Allyn Wergin — You have yogurt and cereal for breakfast, a salad for lunch and make a stir-fry for dinner. You haven't had a sweet all day. Or so you think. But chances are you've consumed countless grams of added sugar, which is hiding in many foods. There is added sugar in everything from breakfast cereal to salad dressings to prepared sauces. It can be shocking where you find it once you start reading labels, and all that added sugar adds a lot of negatives to your life. — Allyn Wergin is a registered dietitian with Mayo Clinic Health System in Le Sueur and New Prague., With shortage of materials, local hospitals limit COVID-19 testing by Philip Weyhe —The Mayo Clinic Health System is resistant to the shortage in testing materials, because it has developed its own test in the Mayo lab. That means that drive-thru test sites set up around southern Minnesota will continue to be active. “We’re closely monitoring supplies,” said Dr. Deepi Goyal at Mayo. “We’ve been fortunate so far in that we’ve been able to maintain supplies of swabs to ensure that appropriate patients can get tested. We have had some delays with reagents and other supplies that can affect how quickly the test results are available, but so far, we have been able to maintain turnaround times of 72 hours.”

Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, Health officials answer COVID-19 questions, say EC County still at low risk for virus by Sarah Seifert — A fever, cough, trouble breathing or shortness of breath. But people with COVID-19 have a range of symptoms, and some may display few or no symptoms at all, according to Wisconsin DHS. Some people also experience nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, said Dr. Janki Patel, an infectious disease expert at Mayo Clinic Health System, who spoke at a UW-Eau Claire forum Thursday.

Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, Mayo Clinic in EC offering drive-through COVID-19 testing today, phone screening required — Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire will begin offering drive-through testing for COVID-19 today, only for pre-screened patients who meet criteria for COVID-19 and are referred for testing. Patients who want to be tested must first call their Mayo Clinic Health System primary care clinic and talk with a provider or nurse, who will decide if patients meet criteria and schedule a test at a specified location, according to a news release from Mayo Clinic. Additional coverage: Volume One, WQOW Eau Claire, WEAU Eau Claire, Here's the Mayo Clinic Health System response to coronavirus — We’re monitoring this ever changing situation, and we’re prepared and ready to serve your needs. We’re proud to be at the forefront at confronting this novel virus. Our researchers and doctors have developed a diagnostic test for determining if our patients, and those across the country, have this virus. The ongoing safety of our patients, staff and communities will remain our primary focus. With that in mind, here’s some important information about receiving health care in the upcoming weeks…, Mayo Clinic announces visitor restrictions effective March 16 — Hospital patients at Mayo Clinic Health System locations are restricted to two visitors — and those visitors will be screened for respiratory symptoms — under new rules announced Monday, March 16, to halt the COVID-19 pandemic. All other patients will be allowed one visitor, according to a news release. Any visitor showing signs of respiratory illness will be turned away. Exceptions to the visitor limit will be made for end-of-life patients, child patients and patients with language barriers, Mayo Clinic Health System said. Additional coverage: Faribault Daily News, Mayo Clinic Health System -- including Red Wing -- offers drive thru coronavirus testing, but only with pre-screening; defers elective care — As Mayo Clinic Health System continues to monitor the outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease), the ongoing safety of their patients, staff and communities remains their primary focus. To protect patients and staff, Mayo Clinic Health System is putting new visitor restrictions in place for their facilities in Southeast Minnesota. Effective March 16, 2020, visitor restrictions in Southeast Minnesota hospitals and clinics include: For hospitalized patients, two visitors per patient. For all other patients, one visitor per patient. Visitors are being asked to limit the number of visits.

WKBT La Crosse, Local hospitals offering drive-up coronavirus testing with specific protocol by Tyler Job — Local hospitals are beginning drive-through testing for the coronavirus. Both Gundersen and Mayo Clinic Health Systems are allowing people to get tested where they don’t have to walk-in. “We have instituted a policy here of not having more than 10 people in the room at one time,” Mayo Clinic Health System physician Paul Molling said. Both Mayo Clinic and Gundersen health systems are giving people tests for the virus in their cars.

WXOW La Crosse, House passes Coronavirus relief bill — Republican Representative Jim Hagedorn of Minnesota's 1st Congressional District voted for the bill. “This bill is an important step toward protecting seniors, children, families and veterans against the spread of COVID-19. I will continue to keep in regular contact with federal health authorities and medical experts at Mayo Clinic to keep my constituents informed about access to COVID-19 testing and employment and health benefit resources available from federal and state agencies,” said Hagedorn in a statement released by his office.

WXOW La Crosse, Mayo Clinic Health System opening specimen collection for COVID-19 testing for pre-screened patients by Kevin Millard — In a statement, MCHS said patients must contact their primary care clinic. “The drive-through test is only for those who have been approved by our offices at this time. Patients can help us manage this process by only coming to the drive-through testing site if they have been told they meet the criteria for testing,” says Kevin Fitzgerald, M.D., Family Medicine chair, Mayo Clinic Health System.  “Providing this dedicated testing location away from other clinical spaces will help limit possible exposures to staff, patients and visitors in other patient care areas.”

Prevention, 10 Surprising Facts About Female Hormones That Every Woman Should Know by Meryl Davids Landau — 2. Tiny shifts have massive consequences. “As with the oil in your car, you want the right amount of each hormone,” says Victor Bernet, M.D., chair of the division of endocrinology at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL. For instance, as thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) gets out of range, even by milliunits, memory, body temperature, and many other functions can be altered. Hormone levels are tested primarily in blood, but sometimes in urine or saliva. If you’ve peed on a pregnancy-test stick, you’ve checked for one yourself (human chorionic gonadotropin, or HCG).

Newsweek, Exclusive: A spike coronavirus cases could overwhelm U.S. Hospitals by the end of March, Defense Department monitoring shows by Jenni Fin and Naveed Jamali — "If we had a scenario like what was seen in Wuhan, you move from hospital-based containment to community-based and reserve the hospital for people who cannot care for themselves or need sophisticated care," Dr. Greg Poland, a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic said, although he added that he doesn't expect America to reach Wuhan-levels.

Good Housekeeping, Here’s How You Can Help Prevent the Spread of Coronavirus, According to Experts by Alyssa Jung — You’ve heard it before but we’ll say it again: Get your hands soapy and scrub, scrub, scrub. This is one of the most important things you can do. “It's the most effective way to prevent illness and infection," says Nipunie Rajapakse, M.D., M.P.H., a Mayo Clinic infectious diseases specialist. "We know viral particles that end up on your fingers and hands can be transmitted to other people.”

Bloomberg, Drive-Through Virus Testing So Popular They Had to Shut it Down by Margaret Newkirk and Vincent Del Giudice — The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and the M Health Fairview system in Minneapolis both launched free drive-through testing Thursday. UW Medicine in Seattle has been using it for staff and University of Washington faculty since March 6, and is planning to expand it to patients. Additional coverage: NBC News

Bloomberg, Flu Watchdog Spots More With Fever and Cough, But It’s Not Flu by Drew Armstrong — Influenza levels naturally start to fall at about this time every year, said William Morice II, chair of laboratory medicine and president of Mayo Clinic Laboratories, a lab testing group associated with the famed health-care system. The existing flu surveillance system isn’t designed to catch subtle changes that the initial stages of a coronavirus outbreak would create. “We just don’t know, to be completely honest,” Morice said. The researchers who analyzed the national data warned that the rise in people going to the doctor could be because of the media attention on the outbreak. Additional coverage: Live Science

New York Daily News, Cold, flu or coronavirus? A look at the potential symptoms by Tim Balk — With the coronavirus, “You probably won’t have a runny nose,” Dr. Greg Poland, who studies immunogenetics of vaccine response with the Mayo Clinic, told CNN. “But what you might have is a sore throat, a cough, a fever or shortness of breath. So it’s a subtly different clinical diagnosis.” The best way to confirm if you have the coronavirus? Talk to your doctor, and get tested, if you can.

Fortune, The greatest designs of modern times by Daniel Bentley — 17. Polaroid SX-70 - Designed by James Gilbert Baker + Edwin Herbert Land, 1972. Kodak gave us the camera; Polaroid gave us an entire film lab….“It was so easy to use and came with tips that could make anyone be—or feel like—an expert photographer.” — Barbara Barry, design strategist, Mayo-Clinic School of Medicine

SHAPE, Why Active Women Are at Risk for Blood Clots by Hollace Schmidt — As many as 100,000 people a year die from DVT/PE in the United States—more than the number of deaths from breast cancer, HIV, and car accidents combined—according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Women need to be aware of the symptoms of DVT/PE and seek medical attention immediately if they have any of them," says John A. Heit, M.D., a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota.

Yahoo! Lifestyle, How to Tell the Difference Between Psoriasis and Eczema by Claire Gillespie, Sarah Jacoby — Dyshidrotic eczema is yet another form of this condition. It appears as small, itchy blisters on the edges of the fingers, toes, palms, and soles of the feet, and may be triggered by stress, allergies, or exposure to metals like nickel and cobalt, according to the Mayo Clinic. Symptoms include pain, itching, redness, flaking, and scaly, cracked skin. (FYI: You can find more information and photos of eczema from the Mayo Clinic here.)

Live Science, Woman's transplanted 'man hands' became lighter and more feminine over time by Mindy Weisberger — Candidates for hand transplants undergo evaluations and consultations that can span months, according to the Mayo Clinic. Experts assess the patient's overall health, conducting blood tests and X-rays and evaluating nerve function in the amputated limbs. Eligible applicants are then placed on a waiting list and are matched with hand donors based on factors such as skin color, hand size and blood type, the Mayo Clinic says.

Healthline, How the Novel Coronavirus Spreads in Public Places and How to Protect Yourself — “I do think this is a legitimate way to prevent the spread or try to prevent the spread of the virus,” said Dr. Robin Patel, Mayo Clinic infectious disease specialist and president of the American Society for Microbiology. “This virus is concerning. It is spreading in the United States, and really our best strategy to deal with it currently is to contain it,” she said. Patel added: “Containment means where there are cases, we need to keep them from spreading so that other people don’t become infected… It’s at those events that people come together, and from the standpoint of transmission, not congregating in that manner does make sense.”

Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 7 ways to stay physically active when you’re stuck at home by Courtney Kueppers —Try taking a break in the day to go for a walk. Experts at the Mayo Clinic note that walking everyday can help you maintain a healthy weight and improve your mood. “As a general goal, aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day. If you can't set aside that much time, try several short sessions of activity throughout the day. Any amount of activity is better than none at all,” the Mayo Clinic notes on its website.

WVXU Public Radio, Live Call-In Specials On COVID-19 — Wednesday, March 18: Kerri is joined by guests from the Mayo Clinic to talk about the science of treating COVID-19  - the challenges medical professionals are facing, what they know about the spread, and their plans for stopping it.

WMFE-Radio, Answering Questions About The Coronavirus In Florida — Joining us to discuss and answer questions surrounding COVID-19 were…Dr. Joseph Sirven, Neurologist, Mayo Clinic.

Indiana Gazette, Is worry about coronavirus disrupting your life? — People need facts to protect themselves from contacting the infection, but information overload can spur excessive worry. Dr. Sheila Jowsey-Gregoire, a Mayo Clinic psychiatrist, says anxiety can build when people feel that a situation is out of their control, and when rumors spread. “Many unique situations are going to arise that need to be considered on a case-by-case basis,” said Jowsey-Gregoire. “Using problem-solving and flexibility as key coping strategies, rather than relying on emotional coping — anger and despair — will help you feel, and be, in control.”

NNY 360, COVID-19 vs. seasonal flu: What you need to know about both — Many are worried, as officials and medical experts urge people to take precautions to contain the virus. Dr. Gregory Poland, a Mayo Clinic infectious diseases and vaccine specialist, says that the threat of the coronavirus is real, but the seasonal flu still remains a bigger issue for most people. “Right now, seasonal flu is causing many more deaths than COVID-19, and the tragedy is that many people die because they consider it ‘just the flu,’” says Dr. Poland.

Bring Me the News, Coronavirus: Pandemic perspectives from U of M expert, Mayo Clinic doctor — On the other hand, the head of Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group, Dr. Gregory Poland, says fear levels should go down knowing that most people who get COVID-19 won't even know they have it.  "The majority of people who get infected with this virus will never know it. Maybe 80 percent – they will have no or very minimal symptoms," said Poland in a Mayo Clinic podcast published March 10.  Poland added that it's certainly possible to pass it on even if you're not experiencing symptoms, but it's likely that it'd be much harder to do so compared to someone who has physical symptoms.

Mirage News, Most surgeons in pain after surgery, Mayo research finds —“At the end of an operating day, a majority of surgeons hurt because of their profession,” says Samuel Money, M.D., a Mayo Clinic vascular and endovascular surgeon, and study co-author. “It may not be like the NFL, but it’s a physically demanding profession. It’s clearly concerning that we’re putting ourselves at physical risk to do our jobs.” The bigger picture, Dr. Money says, is that physical injuries ― just like emotional distress ― can lead to missed work and burnout for surgeons, and this affects patient access to care.

Becker’s Hospital Review, How 6 hospital CEOs are responding to the coronavirus by Morgan Haefner — 6. Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic's CEO Gianrico Farrugia, MD, said the organization is prepared to address the outbreak, but acknowledged that staffing and beds could become an issue. "It all depends on how seriously the population takes social distancing," Dr. Farrugia told MedCityBeat. "That is what will determine how many hospital beds we need; and about a tenth of them are ICU beds. And those tend to be ones … yes, we can make more — we have ways of increasing hospital capacity — but that's a limit that's pretty hard to exponentially increase."

Health Day, Belly Fat Can Lead to a Sudden Attack of Pancreatitis: Study by Kayla McKiski — Obesity is not only tied to chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, researchers now say it's also linked to a painful condition known as acute pancreatitis. "We were able to demonstrate that fat within the belly is rapidly degraded during acute pancreatitis, but not during diverticulitis [another condition that causes abdominal pain]," said researcher Vijay Singh. He's a gastroenterologist at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix.

Healio, Most Graves’ disease treated with antithyroid drugs — “We are noticing that more people with Graves’ disease are treated with antithyroid drugs than radioactive iodine or surgery; and one fourth of people treated with antithyroid drugs will receive it as long-term — more than 2 years,” Juan P. Brito, MD, MSc, principal investigator for the Knowledge and Evaluation Research Unit in Endocrinology in the division of endocrinology, diabetes, metabolism and nutrition of the department of medicine at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, told Healio. “A significant number of people with Graves’ disease are receiving antithyroid drugs chronically. This way of treatment was known in other countries, particularly in Asia, but unknown here in the U.S.”

Neurology Today, Have You Heard of the Neurologist Behind Louis-Bar Syndrome? Now You Will. by Dawn Fallik — When Elizabeth A. Coon, MD, started researching Denise Louis-Bar, MD, the neurologist who helped define the eponymous pediatric neurologic syndrome, Dr. Coon wasn't sure if she'd chosen the right subject. As an adult neurologist, Dr. Coon, an assistant professor of neurology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, had never met someone with the disease Dr. Louis-Bar helped discover—ataxia telangiectasia. But that very afternoon in her clinic, she met a gentleman with familial ataxia and ocular telangiectasia, which has symptoms very similar to those in Louis-Bar syndrome. “It was meant to be,” Dr. Coon said.

Medscape, Are Warnings Against NSAIDs in COVID-19 Warranted? by Nancy A. Melville and Lisa Nainggolan — Gregory Poland, MD, a professor of medicine and infectious disease and director of the Vaccine Research Group at the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minnesota, said that, without clarification of any new data detailing effects, additional risks of NSAIDs related to COVID-19 are questionable. Poland told Medscape Medical News: "I think there is far inadequate information to make a blanket statement like that [which the French Health Minister has made]."

Medical Xpress, Surgery with anesthesia not linked to indicator of Alzheimer's, study finds — "This finding suggests that the modest cortical thinning is not related to Alzheimer's disease pathology, but is caused by other processes," says Juraj Sprung, M.D., Ph.D., a  Mayo Clinic anesthesiologist and first author of the study. "These results are reassuring and consistent with the conclusion that surgery and anesthesia do not increase the risk for development of Alzheimer's disease."

Medical Xpress, Critical blood shortages because of COVID-19 — The COVID-19 pandemic is creating critical blood shortages in the U.S. "It's not due to more COVID-19 patients needing blood products. Rather, it's a lack of donations coming in," says Dr. Justin Kreuter, transfusion medicine specialist with the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Center.

Guam Daily Post, Why social distancing, having a personal plan is important —"In terms of social distancing, it's important to understand how this virus is transmitted," says Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse, an infectious diseases specialist at Mayo Clinic… "Now is the time for people to plan and prepare for this outbreak and to stay informed and get their information from valid news sources," says Dr. Rajapakse. "Some of the places we recommend is the CDC and the Mayo Clinic News Network. There is a lot of misinformation circulating out there, especially on social media, so I would encourage people to check where their information is coming from and try to avoid sharing and spreading information that is coming from invalidated sources."

Jordan Times, Reduce salt to improve heart health — Those with high blood pressure or who are at risk may want to consider simply saying no to sodium. Dr Amy Pollak, a Mayo Clinic cardiologist, says 75 per cent of the amount of salt you get in your day-to-day diet is from processed foods or going out to eat. A new study found that cutting salt intake not only reduced blood pressure in patients with existing hypertension, but it did so for those who were not yet at risk. The study also showed that the more salt you take out of your diet, the greater the fall in blood pressure.

Time Out Dubai, How to stay happy when you’re stuck at home — “Research has shown you have control over your happiness,” explains Stacy Blackburn, D.O., Mayo Clinic Health System family physician. “It all relates back to your personality and also your thoughts and behaviors, which can be changed.” While some people think landing their dream job or driving a fancy car will bring them lots of joy, this is not often the case. On average, people who have wealth, beauty or less stress are no happier than anyone else.

Ahram Online, INTERVIEW: Receiving sustained research funding is vital to stem the tide of coronavirus, says Gregory Poland, vaccine research director at Mayo Clinic — Dr Gregory Poland, a professor of medicine and director of the Vaccine Research Group at Mayo Clinic, stressed the importance of personal protective measures to reduce infection rates, the necessity of sustained research funding in the field of virology and cooperation between countries to conduct clinical trials and extract valid antivirals and vaccines.

Latin Times, Coronavirus Or Flu? Here's How To Tell The Difference by Louise Bonquin — To know the difference between the common cold, flu, allergy and the coronavirus, CNN interviewed Dr. Greg Poland, director of the Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group and a professor of medicine and infectious diseases at the Mayo Clinic.   He said that having a runny nose and itchy eyes only mean that a person has allergies or a cold. These symptoms are not really present in people infected with the COVID-19.  "The issue with seasonal allergies is that they affect the nose and eye," Poland told CNN News. "They tend to be nasal and most symptoms are localized to the head unless you also experience a rash. Coronavirus and flu symptoms tend to be more systemic and they affect the whole body.” Additional coverage: Dhaka Tribune

ADN Radio, Clínica Mayo sobre coronavirus: “El 20% de los pacientes evolucionan a síntomas respiratorios más severos” — El médico Pablo Moreno aconsejó evitar el contacto con muchas personas debido al alto riesgo de transmisibilidad del virus.

El Comercio, Coronavirus | ¿Cuánto se ha avanzado en el desarrollo de vacunas y medicamentos? — El pasado lunes, la empresa Moderna, junto a los Institutos nacional de Salud (NIH, por sus siglas en inglés), comenzaron el ensayo clínico de la vacuna experimental RNA-1273. Inyectaron la primera dosis a uno de los voluntarios. El estudio durará seis semanas y se espera que cierre con 45 participantes. Richard Kennedy, codirector del Grupo de Investigación de Vacunas de la Clínica Mayo (EE.UU.), le dijo a El Comercio que la RNA-1273 funciona mediante un innovador método de prevención.

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