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The National Safety Council shares its advice on how to get back to work safely as businesses start to reopen again.

Getting Back to Work Safely After Lockdown

TUESDAY, May 26, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- With businesses beginning to reopen, the National Safety Council (NSC) has tips for doing it right.

"We hope these universal actions, the detailed playbooks and the recommendations within them will help employers safely navigate reopening operations while prioritizing employees' rights to safe work environments," said Lorraine Martin, NSC president and CEO.

Here are top tips for employers:

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The findings add to the evidence that COVID-19 is associated with an increased risk for clotting, which can trigger a stroke, the researchers said.

Strokes Are Deadlier When They Hit COVID-19 Patients

FRIDAY, May 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- COVID-19 hasn't increased the risk for stroke, but when a stroke occurs it's more likely to be fatal, a new study finds.

According to researchers, less than 1% of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 suffer a stroke. But they also found that people with COVID-19 who suffer a stroke are seven times more likely to die than people who have a stroke but aren't infected with COVID-19.

"Our study suggests that stroke is an uncommon yet important complication of coronavirus, given that these strokes are more severe when compared with strokes occurring in patients who tested negative for the virus," lead researcher Dr. Shadi Yaghi said in a New York University news release. He's an assistant professor in the department of neurology at NYU Grossman School of Medicine in New York City.

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Though emergency rooms across the country are seeing about half as many heart attack patients as usual, that doesn't mean fewer people are having heart attacks — instead, it's people not seeking help at hospitals amid fear of getting COVID-19.

Heart Attack Cases at ERs Fall by Half – Are COVID Fears to Blame?

WEDNESDAY, May 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. emergency rooms are seeing about half as many heart attack patients as usual -- and researchers suspect the new coronavirus is the reason why.

It's not that fewer people are having heart attacks, doctors say. Rather, it's fear of getting COVID-19 keeping people from hospitals.

And the consequences can be deadly.

"I'm certainly not convinced that the true rate of heart attacks going down explains even a large part of this finding," said lead researcher Dr. Matthew Solomon, a cardiologist at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, Calif.

"We definitely think it has something to do with the public's response and fear about coming to the hospital and getting infected," he said.

Solomon noted that after other major events, such as 9/11 and earthquakes, the rate of heart attacks went up.

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Obese patients with COVID-19 may have almost three times the risk of developing blood clots in the lungs, according to a new study. Obesity can make COVID-19 worse because it's associated with an increase in inflammation, which can increase the risk of clotting.

Obesity Ups Odds for Dangerous Lung Clots in COVID-19 Patients

TUESDAY, May 19, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Obesity makes COVID-19 worse and may lead to deadly blood clots in the lungs, a new study finds.

The researchers said that obese patients with COVID-19 may have nearly three times the risk of developing what is known as a pulmonary embolism.

"Clinicians can utilize our findings to aid in determining which patients should have evaluation for pulmonary embolism with pulmonary CT angiography, as the symptoms for COVID-19 and pulmonary embolism overlap," said lead researcher Dr. Neo Poyiadi, from the department of diagnostic radiology at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

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New research shows that people with asthma between 20 and 59 years of age needed a ventilator to help with breathing five days longer than patients without asthma.

Asthma Ups Ventilator Needs of Younger Adults With COVID-19: Study

WEDNESDAY, May 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) Young to middle-aged asthmatics who are hospitalized for COVID-19 are likely to be on a ventilator longer than patients without asthma, new research reports.

Patients with asthma who were between 20 and 59 years of age needed a ventilator to help with breathing five days longer than patients without asthma in that age group, researchers reported.

"Among the patients who developed severe respiratory symptoms requiring intubation [the use of a ventilator], asthma was associated with a significantly longer intubation time in the younger group of patients who would seemingly have a better disease course than patients over the age of 65," said lead author Dr. Mahboobeh Mahdavinia. She's chief of allergy and immunology in the Department of Internal Medicine at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

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A new study find that hospitals in the United States are seeing fewer people for signs of stroke, but it's not likely that the number of strokes has dropped. Instead, it could mean people are going to the hospital less often or waiting a longer time to seek care for stroke symptoms.

More COVID Casualties: Stroke Victims Who Put Off Treatment

THURSDAY, May 14, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- During the current coronavirus pandemic, U.S. hospitals are seeing fewer people for signs of stroke, a new study finds.

Evaluations for stroke have dropped nearly 40%, said researchers who looked at data from more than 850 hospitals across the country.

"Our stroke team has maintained full capacity to provide emergency stroke treatment at all times, even during the height of the pandemic," said researcher Dr. Akash Kansagra, an assistant professor of radiology at Washington University in St. Louis.

"Nevertheless, we have seen a smaller number of stroke patients coming to the hospital and some patients arriving at the hospital after a considerable delay. It is absolutely heartbreaking to meet a patient who might have recovered from a stroke but, for whatever reason, waited too long to seek treatment," Kansagra said in a university news release.

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With families staying in the home together during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are fewer mandated reporters — such as teachers, daycare providers and doctors — who can report abusive behavior.

Pandemic Lockdown Increases Child Abuse Risk

TUESDAY, May 12, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Hunkering down during the coronavirus pandemic has stressed families and raised the risk for child abuse, Penn State researchers report.

"We're very worried about children becoming more seriously injured over longer periods of time before they can get treatment," said Dr. Lori Frasier, chief of the division of child abuse pediatrics at Penn State Children's Hospital.

Data from ChildLine, part of the Pennsylvania child protective services program, show 30% to 50% fewer reports of child abuse from the three weeks before state-mandated COVID-19 restrictions to the first three weeks after closures.

Yet that's different from what Frasier found.

"Most reports to ChildLine are made by mandated reporters -- teachers, doctors and psychologists, daycare providers -- those who work with children," Frasier said in a Penn State news release.

"As children remain isolated in their homes with their families, they lack that safety net of mandated reporters who are obligated under the law to report their reasonable suspicion that child abuse has occurred," she said.

Read the full HealthDay story.

Two new studies suggest a link between the "sunshine vitamin" — which helps immunity — and COVID-19 survival.

Healthy Vitamin D Levels Could Be Linked to COVID-19 Survival

FRIDAY, May 8, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- There's been much speculation about whether vitamin D might prevent or help survival with COVID-19, and two new studies appear to underscore the link.

In the first study -- published in the journal Aging Clinical and Experimental Research -- British researchers found that COVID-19 infections and deaths were higher in countries where people had low vitamin D levels, such as Italy and Spain, compared to northern European countries where average vitamin D levels were higher.

The researchers explained that people in southern Europe may have darker pigmentation, which reduces vitamin D synthesis, while people in northern European countries consume more cod liver oil and vitamin D supplements.

Read the full HealthDay story.