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Diabetes is associated with severe COVID-19 manifestations and, conversely, COVID-19 is associated with severe manifestations of preexisting diabetes.

Does COVID-19 Trigger New Cases of Diabetes?

MONDAY, June 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Early in the coronavirus pandemic, doctors learned that people with diabetes face a greater risk of developing serious complications from COVID-19 infections.

What they didn't immediately realize is that the new coronavirus might trigger diabetes in people who didn't have the blood sugar disease before.

To get a better idea of exactly how COVID-19 and diabetes interact, an international group of 17 leading diabetes experts just announced they'll be collecting data through a new global registry called the CoviDiab Registry.

Read the full HealthDay story.

There are currently more than 100 coronavirus vaccines of varying types and in various stages of development, and Dr. Anthony Fauci told the Journal of the American Medical Association that he's "cautiously optimistic" that there will be at least one vaccine that works against the novel coronavirus.

Experts Optimistic in Search for COVID-19 Vaccine

MONDAY, June 8, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Americans are ready to rip off their face masks and just have a nice dinner in a restaurant, but the best shot at returning to normalcy -- vaccines to prevent COVID-19 -- will be in clinical trials for months or longer.

The good news is that there are more than 100 vaccines of varying types and in various stages of development. As of this month, eight of these vaccine candidates were already in early human trials. One research team hopes to have a vaccine available in September. Another is hoping their vaccine will be available by the start of 2021.

Because there are so many vaccine candidates of varying types, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told the Journal of the American Medical Association he's "cautiously optimistic" that there will be at least one that works against the novel coronavirus.

Read the full HealthDay story.

High school and college graduates across the country were hit with canceled proms, online graduations, missed opportunities and no sense of closure as the pandemic made many of their schools shut down during their final months of school.

Proms Gone, Graduations Online: Pandemic Cancels Kids' Rites of Passage

MONDAY, May 18, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- COVID-19 is stealing all the pomp and circumstance from end-of-year celebrations for this year's high school and college graduates.

Take Lily McConnell, 17, a senior at Lakeland High School in Shrub Oak, N.Y. She was looking forward to a lot of things -- big and small -- that were supposed to happen during her final months in high school.

"There are the obvious things that have been canceled, like graduation and prom," McConnell said, also noting that she had been cast as one of the leads in her school play. That has also been canceled.

"Lakeland has a senior picnic, and a day where we go to our elementary schools and say goodbye. Honestly, these things are what I'm most upset about -- classroom celebrations, getting my yearbook signed, the small things," she said.

McConnell pointed out that teenagers know they could have it way worse. "We know that people have lost their jobs, people are sick and dying, but that doesn't mean that we can't be upset about losing our senior year. We are allowed to be upset," she said.

Read the full HealthDay story.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) outlined some guidance on what important factors need to be considered before individual school districts can open again.

Can Schools Really Reopen Safely?

MONDAY, May 11, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- As parts of the United States begin to reopen, two big questions loom for parents -- how quickly can kids get back to school and can it be done safely?

Many factors need to be considered and worked out in partnership with local health departments before individual school districts can open again, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

In newly released guidance, the AAP highlighted some of those factors, such as how do you keep kids at a safe distance from each other when in the classroom or on a playground, and when schools will need to shut down again if infection rates rise.

Read the full HealthDay story.

Deaths of despair are tied to multiple factors — like unemployment, fear and dread and isolation — and the COVID-19 pandemic may be accelerating conditions that lead to these types of death.

COVID-19 Pandemic May Lead to 75,000 'Deaths of Despair'

FRIDAY, May 8, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- COVID-19 has directly claimed tens of thousands of U.S. lives, but conditions stemming from the novel coronavirus -- rampant unemployment, isolation and an uncertain future -- could lead to 75,000 deaths from drug or alcohol abuse and suicide, new research suggests.

Deaths from these causes are known as "deaths of despair." And the COVID-19 pandemic may be accelerating conditions that lead to such deaths.

"Deaths of despair are tied to multiple factors, like unemployment, fear and dread, and isolation. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were already an unprecedented number of deaths of despair. We wanted to estimate how this pandemic would change that number moving forward," said one of the study's authors, Benjamin Miller. He's chief strategy officer for the Well Being Trust in Oakland, Calif.

Read the full HealthDay story.

A new study looked at why the COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionately hitting minority and low-income populations and found that certain social and economic factors that existed long before the COVID-19 crisis may help explain why.

Why Are Blacks, Other Minorities Hardest Hit By COVID-19?

WEDNESDAY, May 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The new coronavirus is disproportionately striking minority populations -- particularly urban blacks and Navajo Indians living on their reservation. Experts say social and economic factors that predate the COVID-19 crisis may help explain why.

"We found that there were large disparities in the proportion of people at risk of COVID-19 from minority and low-income populations," said study co-author Julia Raifman. She's an assistant professor of health law, policy and management at the Boston University School of Public Health.

Raifman believes decades of disparities in education, housing, jobs and stress levels have contributed to an excess risk of chronic disease based on race, ethnicity and income. And those same issues are exacerbating the COVID-19 crisis.

Read the full HealthDay story.

Now that a dog and a few cats in the United States have tested positive for coronavirus, you might be wondering: how safe are your own pets from COVID-19?

Cats, Dogs and Coronavirus: How Safe Are Your Pets?

TUESDAY, May 5, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Nadia, a tiger at New York City's Bronx Zoo, tested positive for the coronavirus. A few pet cats in the United States (and maybe one dog) have, too.

And since the novel coronavirus causing the current pandemic is thought to have originated at a live animal market in China, some people have wondered if they need to worry about their own pets.

The good news is that any risk to humans from Fluffy or Fido is very low, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The bad news? Humans with COVID-19 infections could pose a slight risk to certain animals, such as cats or ferrets, but not dogs.

Read the full HealthDay story.

ECMO at work in an ICU

A device called ECMO can't treat COVID-19, but it could help patients with the virus by doing the work of the lungs and, in some cases, the heart for when a ventilator isn't enough.

ECMO: Technology That Might Help COVID Patients When Ventilators Can't

FRIDAY, May 1, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Many people who are seriously ill with COVID-19 end up on ventilators to help them breathe, but sometimes, even ventilators aren't enough. That's when a device called ECMO may help.

ECMO can do the work of the lungs and in some cases, the heart. ECMO stands for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. It's a machine that oxygenates blood using a complex circuit of pumps, tubes, filters and monitors. Someone on ECMO has to be monitored by a team of experts, and it's not available in all hospitals.

"ECMO doesn't do anything to treat COVID-19, but it buys you time by replacing the function of the lungs to allow recovery of the lungs," explained Dr. Jonathan Haft, director of the ECMO program at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Dr. John Puskas, chair of cardiovascular surgery at Mount Sinai Morningside in New York City, said ECMO is typically used when "patients get to a point where the ventilator is not enough."

He said that ECMO has a "fancy membrane that can exchange gases. It gets rid of carbon dioxide and adds oxygen to the blood, basically replacing the lungs. ECMO is remarkably effective at adding oxygen to the blood." And oxygen is just what many COVID-19 patients desperately need.

Read the full HealthDay story.