Health Care

Evidence shows cloth masks may help against COVID-19

The evidence shows that cloth masks, particularly those with several layers of cotton cloth, block droplet and aerosol contamination of the environment, which may reduce transmission of COVID-19.

“The point is not that some particles can penetrate the mask, but that some particles are stopped, particularly outwardly, from the wearer,” said first author Catherine Clase, associate professor of medicine at McMaster University and a nephrologist of St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton.

“Ideally, we would want a mask to work in both directions, protecting the wearer from the environment and reducing the contamination of the environment — air and surfaces — by the wearer.”

Her international research team examined a century of evidence including recent data, and found strong evidence showing that cloth and cloth masks can reduce contamination of air and surfaces.

“Direct evidence about whether wearing a mask of any sort outside a health-care setting reduces actual transmission of COVID-19 is lacking. This is why public-health decisions about public mask wearing have been difficult to make, and why they differ around the world,” said Clase. “Our review suggests that cloth can block particles, even aerosol-sized particles, and this supports Canadian public health policy on the issue.”

The team’s opinion was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine on May 22.

Whether cloth masks protect others from the wearer was studied in the 1960s and 1970s. A mask made of three layers (muslin-flannel-muslin) reduced surface contamination by 99 per cent, total airborne microorganisms by 99 percent, and bacteria recovered from the smaller particles, aerosols, by 88 per cent to 99 per cent.

A commercial mask made of four-layer cotton muslin was shown to reduce all particles by 99 per cent, compared with 96 per cent to 99 per cent for contemporary disposable medical masks. Even for aerosols, the cloth mask was comparable with the medical masks of the day, the researchers say.

The filtration of cloth is quite variable and single layers of scarf, sweatshirt and t-shirt may be in the 10 to 40 per cent range. But multiple layers increase efficiency, and modern studies have confirmed that some combinations of cloth, for example, cotton-flannel, block more than 90 per cent of particles.

“Our work is just one part of a complex puzzle,” said Clase. “In terms of making masks, it is important to realise that more layers will give more protection, both inward and outward, but will make it harder to breathe. For this reason, it is not recommended that children under two and people with breathing difficulties wear masks.”

She added that more research is also needed into the best materials and design of cloth masks, to help the many people who are sewing masks to protect people in their community.

“Given the severity of this pandemic and the difficulty of control, we suggest that the possible benefit of a modest reduction in transmission likely outweighs the possibility of harm,” said Clase.

Evidence supports physical distancing, masks, and eye protection to help prevent COVID-19

A comprehensive review of existing evidence supports physical distancing of two metres or more to prevent person-to-person transmission of COVID-19, says an international team led by McMaster University and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton.

Face masks and eye protection decrease the risk of infection, too.

The systematic review and meta-analysis was commissioned by the World Health Organization. The findings were published today in The Lancet.

“Physical distancing likely results in a large reduction of COVID-19,” said lead author Holger Schünemann, professor of the departments of health research methods, evidence, and impact, and medicine at McMaster.

Schünemann is co-director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases, Research Methods and Recommendations. He also is director of Cochrane Canada and McMaster GRADE Centre.

“Although the direct evidence is limited, the use of masks in the community provides protection, and possibly N95 or similar respirators worn by health-care workers suggest greater protection than other face masks,” Schünemann said. “Availability and feasibility and other contextual factors will probably influence recommendations that organizations develop about their use. Eye protection may provide additional benefits.”

The systematic review was conducted by a large, international collaborative of researchers, front-line and specialist clinicians, epidemiologists, patients, public health and health policy experts of published and unpublished literature in any language.

They sought direct evidence on COVID-19 and indirect evidence on related coronaviruses causative of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). The team used Cochrane methods and the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, and Evaluation (GRADE) approach which is used world-wide to assess the certainty of evidence.

They identified no randomized control trials addressing the three coronaviruses but 44 relevant comparative studies in health-care and non-health-care (community) settings across 16 countries and six continents from inception to early May 2020.

The authors noted more global, collaborative, well-conducted studies of different personal protective strategies are needed. For masks, large randomized trials are underway and are urgently needed.

The scientific lead is Derek Chu, a clinician scientist in the departments of health research methods, evidence, and impact, and medicine at McMaster and an affiliate of the Research Institute of St. Joe’s Hamilton.

“There is an urgent need for all caregivers in health-care settings and non-health-care settings to have equitable access to these simple personal protective measures, which means scaling up production and consideration about repurposing manufacturing,” said Chu.

“However, although distancing, face masks, and eye protection were each highly protective, none made individuals totally impervious from infection and so, basic measures such as hand hygiene are also essential to curtail the current COVID-19 pandemic and future waves.”

The work was funded by the World Health Organization and involved close collaboration with the American University of Beirut, Lebanon and many international partners.

How to Help Food Banks and Those in Need

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AS STAY-AT-HOME ORDERS extend, we’re all finding ourselves contending with frustration, fatigue and fear as we confront the unknown and try to reconfigure pretty much every aspect of our lives.

I have found that concentrating on we rather than me helps me through these tough times. The idea of helping others and giving back is something that is actionable. And it may help us feel accomplished and empowered, rather than defeated and helpless.

We may not be health care providers on the front line, but we all have a role to play in providing support to our community – our families and our friends. Improving the welfare of others could be as simple as offering to assist with chores, cooking for someone in need or donating time, money, food or supplies to a local food bank.

One of the ways to do more is to help others with their chores. If you’re interested in helping others, do make sure to follow the health and safety recommendations. Mask up, wash your hands frequently and maintain a safe physical distance.

You may have a neighbor who’s a first responder and cannot get to the grocery store. Perhaps you can offer to do their food shopping, but do be sure to practice smart and safe hygiene practices.

Maybe you have an elderly relative who needs someone to cut their lawn, plant flowers or take out the garbage.

Someone who’s homebound may be in need of a go-fer to pick up their medications or supplies. If you have friends who are working long hours, you may want to offer to feed their pets or take them for walks

You may want to consider cleaning and sanitizing a kitchen or providing the products to do so for elderly relatives, friends, neighbors or those with pre-existing illnesses that put them at higher risk of getting the virus.

COOKING

If you are going to cook for others, be sure to follow the rules of food safety. Shopping for groceries is more than wearing a mask and maintaining a safe distance in the store. For food safety, separate raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs from other groceries. When you get home, bring in the bags and wash your hands right away.

Ideally put grocery bags on the floor rather than the counter. Put away perishable items first, then the rest of your groceries. And then wash your hands again and all countertops.

If you have never before thought about cleaning produce, now is the time. Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly, then dry with a paper towel. Do not give your produce a bubble or bleach bath! The bottom line is clean often and adequately: your hands, cooking surfaces, utensils, pots and pans and serving dishes.

So what about the foods we make? A pot of soup, a loaf of bread or fresh rolls are always welcome. You can package up individual meals and include instructions for reheating.

Do you have more produce than you can use? You can put together share packages, or make a fruit tart or a fruit sorbet. Perhaps you belong to a CSA and have extra vegetables. You can blanch, freeze and give to someone in need.

Soups, stews and chili are always welcome, but consider packaging in smaller containers for those that are single. Or you can provide the ingredients and let the recipient assemble the meal themselves.

Or provide a care package with shelf stable foods and a recipe, so the recipient can choose to make now or later:

  • Pasta with beans and tuna.
  • Lentils, rice and canned tomatoes with spices.
  • A dry oatmeal mix of oats, milk powder, dried fruit, nuts and spices.
  • A brownie or cookie mix, where the only ingredients necessary to add are liquid and oil.

You may also want to consider a face time or zoom dinner with family and friends. You can cook together while apart for a virtual dinner table

If you’re a whiz at seasoning and flavoring foods, your expertise may be appreciated by those with a limited meal repertoire who are getting bored with their food choices. A flavoring kit with herbs, spices, vinegar and oils and recommendations for what to pair may be a great gift to share.

Many of us may be doing spring cleaning, but most donation sites cannot accept our furniture, clothes, books and other stuff right now. However, more and more people are now relying on food banks.

Clancy Cash Harrison, founder of the Food Dignity Project and president of the Al Beech West Side Food Pantry in Kingston, Pennsylvania, recommends the following for food donations in the era of COVID-19:

Your food donations require inspection, sorting and storing, not to mention the fact that food pantries need to maintain the appropriate social distancing, so you may not be able to drop off your donations. However, ask whether or not your local food pantry needs specific food items. For instance, there may be a peanut butter and jelly drive or a request for specific canned produce

If your food pantry is taking donations, do be sure that:

  • Food is not expired.
  • Boxes, containers are sealed and have not been opened.
  • Canned foods are not dented or rusty.
  • Foods are not in soiled containers.

Do not donate:

  • Unpasteurized milk.
  • Home canned, vacuum packed or pickled foods.
  • Foods with an “off” odor.
  • Perishable foods.
  • Leftovers.
  • Foods in glass jars.
  • Foods that require a can opener – many guests of food pantries are homeless and would not have a can opener

What Foods Should You Donate?

Protein-containing foods:

  • Canned meats, such as beef or chicken.
  • Canned chili or stew.
  • Canned fish.
  • Canned beans, such as cannellini, kidney, garbanzo.
  • Peanut butter
  • Nuts/seeds.
  • Evaporated milk.
  • Powdered milk.

Produce:

  • Canned fruits.
  • Dried fruits.
  • Canned vegetables.
  • Instant mashed potatoes.
  • Applesauce.

Grains:

  • Pasta.
  • Rice.
  • Boxed meals such as pasta or rice based dishes.
  • Crackers.
  • Granola bars.
    • Plastic grocery bags.
      • Whole grain cereals.
      • Oats or other hot cereals.

      Fats and Condiments:

      • Cooking oils.
      • Herbs and spices.

      Beyond food, there may be other ways to donate. Monetary donations are always appreciated. Capitalize on your connections. You may know farmers with excess produce or dairy farmers, whom you can connect with your local food bank(s). Maybe you know someone who has a truck to pick up and distribute food boxes.

      Food pantries are in need of supplies now, including:

      • Disinfectant sprays and wipes.
      • Masks.

      Food pantries also need volunteers to assemble bags/boxes, distribute food and, in some cases, drivers to get the food to those in need. You can also assist from home by using your social media skills to spread the word about local food pantries.

      Stepping up helps keep us engaged, feeling productive and useful. Creating a community of we, not me, can bring a sense of unity.

       

Infinet Wireless solutions boost provision of healthcare to the most vulnerable in South American city

  • Wireless networks allow healthcare administration to deliver better services, catering especially to vulnerable patients
  • Number of people attended to daily by health professionals increases five-fold

Cartagena, Colombia, 26th May 2020Infinet Wireless, the global leader in fixed broadband wireless connectivity, has helped significantly improve the ability of a major South American city to provide healthcare services to residents via its new wireless network platform.

In Cartagena, Colombia, Infinet Wireless’ network of radio solutions has been deployed and used by its local partner Fibraxo to create a network for The Social Company of the State of Bolivar (ESE), responsible for healthcare provision. This new network gives ESE the means to reach even more citizens, expand its geographical coverage and unify its information to improve health services to the entire population in primary and secondary care headquarters throughout the district.

Infinet Wireless solutions boost provision of healthcare to the most vulnerable in South American city

Infinet Wireless solutions boost provision of healthcare to the most vulnerable in South American city

“Since the new infrastructure was deployed, we have witnessed a major increase and improvement in patient care, rising from an average of 100 people seen per day to approximately 500 people over the same period of time,” said Carlos de la Madrid, Regional Business Development Director for LATAM at Infinet Wireless. “Further benefits include providing ESE with the ability to upload patient data quicker and more accurately. ESE’s Local Hospitals of Cartagena are now able to synchronize digital clinical records to the data centres of the administrative headquarters, via a Health Manager application that allows the browsing of patients’ clinical histories.”

The new data network was implemented to cater for the increased number of patients attended to on a daily basis, rising above an average of 300 extra daily patients to emergency centres.

Wireless points of presence (PoP’s) have been created around the geographical area to be covered in order to connect the main data and processing centre with the 43 administrative ESE hospital branches. This replaces a legacy wireless platform which suffered from major delays for data transfers and sharing, resulting in poor service, loss of critical information and loss of financial revenue streams for the hospitals.

Further connectivity hubs have been installed in urban and rural areas, with the objective of satisfying the needs of the health care centres in the most vulnerable and remote places of the State. The wireless infrastructure enables ESE to deliver quality services to the entire population, especially in areas facing extreme poverty, such as Arroyo Grande, Arroyo de Piedra and Arroyo de las Canoas.

The deployed network consists of two types of overlay platforms: a cabled layer based on fibre optics, and a wireless layer using multiple radio links and Wi-Fi zones operating in frequency bands between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. Unprecedented service quality and performance was achieved over the entire territory covered, especially in remote and rural areas.

The heart and hub of this platform was deployed in the strategic location of Cerro de la Popa, where point-to-point (PtP) links and point-to-multipoint (PtmP) base stations were installed using the InfiMAN 2×2 R5000-Qmxb beamforming technology, as well as a number of high-capacity InfiLINK 2×2 R5000-Lmn and R5000-Smn wireless units. All remote subscribers are now able to enjoy a bandwidth of up to 50Mbps.

“We chose Infinet Wireless’ solutions because of their performance levels that rival that of fibre optics, as well as its high throughputs, even at the subscriber end, and their ultra-low latency. The solution also offers interference mitigation and lightning protection solutions, as well as advanced data management utilities such as traffic prioritization, full Quality of Service (QoS), firewalling and routing,” said Wilmer Fabián Barros González, Project Manager at Fibraxo SAS.

González also said his firm intention is to expand the deployment of Infinet Wireless’ solutions in future projects in order to reach even more urban and rural areas, for example to the Sucre department.

Hernán Dager Peña, IT coordinator of the ESE Hospitals in Cartagena, said: “Our main requirement was a service that offered reliability, quality and stable connectivity in the 43 hospital branches, which includes the administrative headquarters, three hospitals, ten emergency health centres and ten external consultation centres.”

Peña added: “Fibraxo SAS offered us a robust platform based on both fibre optics and radio connectivity, with the latter provided by Infinet Wireless and working perfectly to meet the needs and requirements of our hospitals network. The health centres are spread around the state with long distances between them, yet the Fibraxo network has managed to cover seamlessly the entire area, as well the surrounding towns and islands.”

To read more about Infinet Wireless, its solutions, and latest news and case studies, please visit: https://infinetwireless.com/

– Ends –

About Infinet Wireless:
Infinet Wireless is in a unique position, being one of the largest privately owned Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) development and manufacturing companies in the world. Since its foundation, Infinet has maintained organic growth through innovation and the ability to deliver complete customer satisfaction throughout. Listening to its customers for more than 26 years, coupled with its innovative approach in research and development, have resulted in a range of advanced fixed wireless connectivity solutions that are a perfect fit for many requirements, making Infinet Wireless the natural choice for global communication corporations and governments, all of whom require uncompromised connectivity. With over 500,000 deployments from the plains of Siberia to the deserts of the Sahara, Infinet Wireless is active in market segments that deliver Broadband Wireless Access to service providers of all types, government entities, transportation sector (including mobile and nomadic functionality) and Oil & Gas. For more information, please visit our website at www.infinetwireless.com or connect with Infinet Wireless on social media: @InfinetW.

Media Contact Information:
Ekaterina Safronova
Infinet Wireless
+356 2034-15-14
e.safronova@infinetwireless.com

Proactive International PR
+44 (0)1636 704888
infinetwireless@proactive-pr.com

FAQs About Coronavirus and Long-Term Care Insurance

THE CORONAVIRUS pandemic has focused a lot of attention on nursing homes and long-term care. Some nursing homes have been hot spots for outbreaks, and all long-term care facilities have had to increase protections for their residents, who are at the greatest risk from the pandemic. Meanwhile, some home-care providers are charging extra to work during this challenging time.

The situation highlights the importance of having a plan to pay for potential long-term care expenses, which can give you more options if you end up needing care yourself. But it’s also made it more difficult to qualify for long-term care insurance, especially as you get older or have had a positive COVID-19 test. And if your aging parents already have a long-term care policy and are receiving care now, you may be wondering if any changes to their care from the pandemic will affect their insurance payouts.

It can be more difficult to qualify for coverage now if you’re older, in a high-risk group or have had a positive COVID-19 test. But the specifics vary a lot by company. Some insurers have been limiting the age for applications or adding new restrictions for older applicants. Brian Gordon, president of MAGA Long Term Care Planning in Bannockburn, Illinois, says about eight out of 10 of the long-term care insurance companies he works with have made changes to the age requirements. Some aren’t accepting applications from people over age 69 to 71, and a few reduced the ages to as low as 64 and 65 until further notice. These rules are frequently changing, he says.

Can you still get coverage if you’ve had a positive COVID-19 test or have recovered from COVID-19?

If you had a positive COVID-19 test, insurers generally want you to wait for three to six months after receiving a negative test before applying for a policy, says Gordon. “Some are requiring a six-month wait from the virus clearing, and no residual lung damage,” he says. But these standards also vary a lot by insurer. One company Gordon works with only requires applicants to be cleared of the virus for one month if they have no residual lung damage and are back to normal activity.

Some companies want to wait three months or see two negative tests, he says. Gordon says that you generally won’t qualify for the best rate after having a positive COVID-19 test, but you may still qualify for the second-best rate, depending on your health condition.

“If someone has had a positive COVID-19 test, we would recommend waiting a few months before submitting an application so you can present your health in the best possible light,” says Dennis Ho, a life actuary and co-founder of Saturday Insurance, an online insurance agency that specializes in long-term care insurance. He says that insurers are treating positive COVID-19 tests in a similar way to other medical conditions.

Have insurance companies changed the application procedure for long-term care insurance because of the coronavirus?

Yes, although long-term care insurers have already been doing more of the application process remotely. “The good news about long-term care insurance is it has generally been a ‘simplified’ issue product with in-person exams only requested for a limited number of situations,” says Ho.

Insurers have been adapting to the current challenges and are finding alternatives to face-to-face meetings. “We transitioned from having the normal in-person assessment for cognitive screening to doing that over the phone,” says David Simbro, senior vice president of risk products for Northwestern Mutual.

What happens if you (or your aging parent) already has long-term care insurance but you want to make changes to their care because of the coronavirus – will their long-term care policy still pay out?

Most long-term care insurance policies cover care received in a variety of locations – a nursing home, assisted-living facility or home care – as long as you meet the benefit triggers (usually defined as needing help with two out of six activities of daily living or severe cognitive impairment). “Our coverage is much broader than any particular facility – there’s a wide range of options as to who provides the care,” says Simbro.

Most insurers require the caregiver or facility to be licensed. Some insurers have care coordinators who can help you find another facility or caregiver who meets the policy’s standards. Check with your insurer before making any changes – some of the oldest policies have restrictions on the type of care that can be covered, such as providing coverage for nursing homes but not for home care or assisted living.

The insurer may also provide additional benefits to help in this situation. For example, if your parent is in a nursing home where there is a COVID-19 outbreak and you’d like them to move out of the facility temporarily, the policy may be able to pay a bed-reservation fee to keep their spot in the nursing home. Northwestern Mutual, for example, provides a bed-reservation benefit, which people tend to use in regular circumstances if they have to leave the nursing home temporarily to spend time in a hospital. “We’ve extended that beyond 30 days during the current environment,” says Simbro.

Families are also dealing with home-care changes. Some home-care workers are charging more because of the coronavirus pandemic, which can be covered by the policy if you haven’t already hit your daily or monthly coverage limits. “We’re seeing some home health care workers charging an extra $7 per hour” or more to work during the pandemic, says Gordon

Byron Cordes, a geriatric care manager with Sage Care Management in San Antonio, says one of his clients who needed 24-hour home care changed from having a series of shift workers to having fewer live-in caregivers working longer hours during the pandemic to reduce potential exposure. The cost of caregivers already exceeded her daily benefit, so she has to pay a portion of the cost herself. But her insurer provided a service to help find eligible caregivers. “Her policy does pay for care management, which has been helpful in coordinating her care,” he says.

Meanwhile, some families are cutting back on the hours for home-care workers and providing more care for their aging parents themselves, especially if they’ve been working remotely during the pandemic. Long-term care insurance policies usually don’t pay for family members to provide care (although some “indemnity policies” pay out as long as you meet the benefit triggers, no matter who is providing care). But if you’re not paying for as much care every month, your coverage may end up lasting for longer. “We wouldn’t pay the family member, but we provide the reimbursement for licensed caregivers,” says Simbro.

Will the cost of long-term care insurance go up because of the coronavirus?

Long-term care insurance prices may not go up because of the coronavirus, but they may be affected by low interest rates, which makes it more difficult for insurers to earn money on their investments.

“Deaths from the virus will not have a significant impact on future pricing, especially if the sickness is short term (less than six months),” says Ryan. “The biggest impact on pricing will be the lower interest rates that insurer’s reserves will receive as interest earnings, or lack thereof, (which) has a major effect on long-term profitability and pricing.”

Will the cost of care in a nursing home or assisted-living facility become more expensive because of the coronavirus?

That’s a great question, especially as facilities have to implement new protections because of the coronavirus. “Facilities have had to staff up during this crisis – putting more aides on shift to keep residents apart, especially in memory care facilities. There is also the increasing cost of personal protective equipment they will need to have on hand for the foreseeable future,” says Cordes.

But the majority of nursing home costs are paid by Medicaid, rather than by individuals or insurance, so you may not see a direct impact on the cost for private payers as much as you might think. “I think that either federal or state financing needs to step up,” says Katherine Hempstead, senior policy advisor with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. More of the cost of assisted living and home care is covered by individuals, so you might see more of an impact there. Keep an eye on changes to care costs through time as you’re making your future financial plans.

The lasting impact of the pandemic may also affect the way that care is provided in the future. For example, there has been more interest in nursing homes that are being built on a smaller scale, says Hempstead. There may end up being some new ways of providing care that are very different than the current options. If you do buy a long-term care insurance policy, make sure the coverage can adapt to new types of care. Northwestern Mutual’s policy provides reimbursement for care from a certified care provider in a wide range of locations, as long as the insured meets the benefit triggers for needing care. “Care continues to evolve in this country in terms of how it’s provided and who provides it,” says Simbro. “The definitions of certified providers will likely change over time.”

Wyld Networks works with NHS Highland and Highland Health Ventures to integrate mesh technology into new mobile app to help prevent spread of COVID-19 in care homes

Specialist app will provide safer environments and better communications by creating geozones

20 May 2020: Wyld Networks has signed an agreement with Highland Health Ventures Ltd (HHVL) to test and deploy its mobile mesh technology into care homes in Scotland to help protect residents, staff and visitors and prevent the spread of COVID-19 or other viruses. HHVL is an independent company with a Collaboration Agreement with NHS Highland for the purpose of developing innovations in healthcare.

Alastair Williamson

Alastair Williamson

The Wyld technology will provide digital access and anonymised social distance monitoring and alerting through a mobile app and a mesh wireless network of connected smartphones and IoT (Internet of Things) devices. Wyld and HHVL have already started the first project for implementation in a care home in Scotland, while the technology may also have broader applications in helping other businesses get back to work.

Statistics from the National Records of Scotland (NRS) show that more than half of the recorded coronavirus deaths in Scotland over recent weeks were in care homes. Data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) also reports that 12,526 care home residents have died due to Coronavirus in England and Wales during the four months to May.

“Supporting innovation across the healthcare system is more important than ever and will be central to securing transformation and improved care,” said Frances Hines, Research, Development and Innovation Manager in NHS Highland. “Creating the conditions for more collaborative approaches to innovation and enabling the adoption of cost-effective new technologies will be key, and we are pleased to be working together with Wyld and HHVL to deliver innovative potential solutions for care homes.”

“HHVL was established to assist innovative companies interacting with the NHS and with our collaboration agreement with NHS Highland, we are now involved in selected projects which are introducing and deploying technology into healthcare settings,” said Dr David Heaney, Director Highland Health Ventures Ltd (HHVL).

How it works
Wyld’s innovative mesh technology harnesses the power of people’s mobile phones without relying on connections to cellular or Wi-Fi networks. Data simply finds the quickest and easiest route by hopping between phones to deliver notifications, alerts and other content quickly and reliably, while also accurately measuring social distancing. The Wyld system is able to create virtual geozones around the care home and particularly sensitive or quarantined areas to control access as well as dynamic personal two-metre geozones around everyone with the app.

All staff and visitors will have to download the mobile application and input COVID-19 test results and enter any symptoms into a self-diagnostic algorithm embedded in the application to create a risk profile. Residents without a smartphone could be given electronic wristbands or similar.

Anyone approaching a geozone will be sent a message instantly to let them know if they are allowed to enter. By using Wyld’s real-time data analytics platform, care home managers will be able to contact and advise anyone who has been in close contact with someone who is tested positive with COVID-19 or develops symptoms.

“Our mesh technology was originally designed for applications such as major sporting events, music festivals, retail centres and transport hubs to deliver relevant, location-aware information,” said Wyld Network’s CEO, Alastair Williamson. “But it quickly became clear that our Wyld mesh could play a vital role in protecting residents, staff and visitors in care homes, hospitals and hospices. We hope the system created with Highland Health Ventures will provide a model that can be adopted more widely to deal with the current crisis, as well as deliver post-COVID benefits.”

For more information visit www.wyldnetworks.com

About HHVL
Highland Health Ventures Ltd (HHVL) works collaboratively with NHS Highland, organisations such as the European Space Agency and companies based in the NEXUS life sciences cluster on the Inverness Campus. Together, they seek to develop innovative health and care solutions that are central to the delivery of these services in the Highlands of Scotland and more widely. www.highlandhealth.ventures/

About Wyld Networks
Wyld Networks Limited is a Cambridge-based technology company developing advanced mobile mesh and IoT networking technologies and applications. Wyld securely connects smart devices, people and things, to deliver data-driven, intelligent solutions that give businesses a competitive advantage.

For more information please contact:
Eric Hewitson, Business Development Manager, Wyld Networks, eric.hewitson@wyldnetworks.com

Issued by:
Peter Rennison, PRPR, + 44 (0)1442 245030, pr@prpr.co.uk

Mobile Growth Association and MRACLE2020 Team Up to Raise Money to Flatten the COVID-19 Curve

Press Release


Help purchase PPE for hospitals by registering for MGS Global Virtual Conference 1.0 for just $5.

May 19, 2020, San Francisco, CA – In April, Siberia Su, and a group of friends launched MRACLE2020-a nonprofit on a mission to accelerate the flattening of the COVID-19 curve. Currently, they are raising funds for the 100K Miracle Mask Campaign to help frontline workers who need better access to personal protective equipment. MGA is teaming up with the 501(C)(3) charity to help raise money and support their worthy mission.

Graphic with promo code

Graphic with promo code

Visit mobilegrowthassociation.com/events/virtual to register for MGS GVC 1.0 using code MRACLE2020 and get a pass for just $5 – all of which will be given to the charity.

“As we live through these unprecedented times, Mobile Growth Association wants to bring the most relevant content to all growth marketing leaders while dedicating our support to help those on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic,” says MGA CEO, Jen Laloup. “We’re excited to team up with a great cause while also bringing great content to mobile professionals who are trying to keep up with the changes the industry is undergoing.”

MGS GVC 1.0 will take place entirely online June 2-4 and bring together an unprecedented line-up of global mobile experts to help app marketers and developers continue to thrive.

About MGA:
Mobile Growth Association (MGA) is a global association providing mobile marketing professionals with frontline content and community events to help grow their app businesses. Drawing on its roots as a non-profit organization dedicated to education, MGA is committed to building the world’s most helpful, friendly, and knowledgeable community of mobile experts.

About MRACLE2020:
MRACLE2020 connects international suppliers of personal protective equipment (PPE) with the institutions that need it most during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Media Contact Info:
Theresa Cramer
Communications Director
theresa@mobilegrowthassociation.com
860-266-2824

Half of companies ill-equipped to support employee mental health

  • Half of companies report lack of resources to support mental health issues in their business
  • 45% of businesses report rise in mental health issues for workforce during lockdown
  • 1 in 5 companies have zero oversight of employee mental health issues

London, UK. 19th May 2020. Half of all companies don’t have the resources to properly support employee mental health, according to a new survey from workforce intelligence platform e-days.

Released during Mental Health Awareness Week (18th-24th May), the survey results from more than 100 HR leaders found that over 53% of businesses felt that had inadequate resources to support mental health issues in their business.

Tired manager

Tired manager

On a webinar co-hosted by e-days and Doctor Care Anywhere, the digital healthcare company, 100 HR leaders and decision makers shared their preparedness for tackling the growing issue of poor mental health in the workplace, which is reported to cost the UK economy £99 billion each year. 45% of respondents confirmed that they had seen a rise in mental health-related illness in their business in the last month. Only 15% said that there had been no rise.

With the impact of lockdown on employee mental health well-documented, over half of businesses still lack the capability to see which of their staff has been affected by Covid-19 either mentally or physically. Worryingly, one in every five companies are completely blind to issues with employee mental health, and 40% of respondents only receive updates monthly or even more rarely.

As UK businesses begin preparations to return to ‘business as usual’, e-days’ survey reinforces the importance of tracking who might be suffering from poor mental health as a result of the UK’s lockdown measures. The findings show that occupational health and extensive support should be a prerequisite for any business looking to re-open their place of work.

Steve Arnold, CEO of e-days, commented: “It’s never been more important for employees and employers to be having open and honest conversations about mental health in the workplace. Poor mental health is a growing problem, and many businesses find themselves without adequate resources to help their staff. Promoting good employee mental health now will also offer wider benefits that outlast the Covid-19 crisis. If relationships are strong and there is a strong sense of trust between employer and employee, then businesses will be far more resilient to whatever the future holds.”

Dr Lia Ali, head of mental health strategy at Doctor Care Anywhere, commented: “Unfortunately, when it comes to mental health, there is still a stigma around discussions. People are not sure whether they should be addressing issues when they see them. We don’t have these thoughts when we consider physical health, so why would any employer allow mental health to impact an employee’s performance?

“Early intervention can make all the difference- and as we adjust to life after lockdown, we can do this by looking at patterns in data and understanding our employees. When we know our employees well, then we can spot warning signs sooner.”

ENDS

About e-days
Founded by CEO Steve Arnold and CTO Chris Moseley, e-days is an award-winning, cloud-based absence management and intelligence platform that makes holiday and absence management easy and accurate for organisations of all sizes, anywhere in the world. e-days delivers for more than 1,500 customers across 120 countries, including brands such as Canon, ASOS, AXA, Monster Energy, Barclays, and Sony.

The e-days mission is to provide organisations with key intelligence regarding staff absence – enabling them to build better staff management and wellbeing strategies. Absence intelligence allows businesses to achieve better resourcing insights, save time and money associated with employee absence, and promote excellent employee wellbeing and better health for organisational success.

Website: https://www.e-days.com
Twitter: @edayssoftware

About DCA
Doctor Care Anywhere is a doctor-founded digital healthcare company. From anytime appointments, fast and convenient prescriptions, to safe and secure patient records, Doctor Care Anywhere is a complete virtual GP service that simplifies healthcare for patients, clinicians and businesses that can be used anywhere in the world.

Patients are empowered through easy access to their medical records, virtual consultations, repeat prescription management, personalised health tracking and medication reminders.

Website: https://doctorcareanywhere.com/
Twitter: @DrCareAnywhere

Media enquiries
For all media requests, please contact Edward Clark:
eclark@thecommsco.com // 0203 697 6680

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hospitalized for Gallbladder Treatment

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The Supreme Court said she expected to participate in Wednesday’s oral arguments by telephone from the hospital.

WASHINGTON — Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was hospitalized for treatment of a gallbladder condition, the Supreme Court announced on Tuesday. She had participated in oral arguments held by conference call on Tuesday morning, and the court said she planned to take part in Wednesday’s arguments by telephone from the hospital.

The court said Justice Ginsburg was treated for acute cholecystitis, a benign gallbladder condition, at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. “Following oral arguments on Monday,” a statement from the court said, “the justice underwent outpatient tests at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C., that confirmed she was suffering from a gallstone that had migrated to her cystic duct, blocking it and causing an infection.”

The treatment did not involve surgery, the statement said without elaboration. Gallstones can sometimes be removed through a scope passed down the digestive tract. If the blockage has caused an infection, it may be treated with antibiotics.

Gallstones are more common in women than in men, and are more likely to form in people over 40. The most common type are made mostly of cholesterol.

When a stone blocks a duct, it causes pain and sometimes nausea and vomiting. If there is an infection, there may be fever.

The statement said Justice Ginsburg was resting comfortably and “expects to stay in the hospital for a day or two.”

Justice Ginsburg, 87, has had a series of recent health scares. Last summer, she underwent three weeks of radiation treatment for a malignant tumor on her pancreas. “The tumor was treated definitively and there is no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body,” the court said in a statement at the time.

That was Justice Ginsburg’s fourth brush with cancer, following surgery in 2018 to remove two malignant nodules from her left lung, surgery for early-stage pancreatic cancer in 2009 and treatment for colon cancer in 1999.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, Justice Ginsburg had maintained a remarkably busy schedule, often making public appearances at least twice a week.

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The court stopped hearing arguments in its courtroom in early March in light of health concerns, postponing arguments in about 20 cases. The court started hearing two weeks of arguments by conference call on Monday, providing the public with live audio for the first time. At arguments on Monday and Tuesday, Justice Ginsburg’s questions were characteristically crisp and cogent.

Justice Ginsburg is the senior member of the court’s four-member liberal wing. She has repeatedly vowed to stay on the court as long as her health holds and she stays mentally sharp.

President Trump has appointed two members of the Supreme Court, Justices Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh. The last president to appoint more than two justices in his first term was Richard M. Nixon, who put four on the court from 1969 to 1972. Those appointments spelled the end of the liberal court that had been led by Chief Justice Earl Warren and created a conservative majority that remains to this day.

The current court is closely divided, with five Republican appointees and four Democratic ones. A third Trump appointee would not only make the balance more lopsided but would also almost certainly move the court’s ideological center to the right.

Justice Ginsburg was named to the court in 1993 by President Bill Clinton. She was the first Democratic appointee since 1967, when President Lyndon B. Johnson nominated Thurgood Marshall.

During the Obama administration, some liberals urged Justice Ginsburg to step down so that President Barack Obama could name her successor. She rejected the advice.

“I think it’s going to be another Democratic president,” Justice Ginsburg told The Washington Post in 2013. “The Democrats do fine in presidential elections; their problem is they can’t get out the vote in the midterm elections.”

Mr. Trump, whose election proved her wrong, has been critical of Justice Ginsburg, saying in 2016 that “her mind is shot” and suggesting that she resign. His sharp words came after Justice Ginsburg criticized Mr. Trump in a series of interviews. She later said she had made a mistake in publicly commenting on a candidate and promised to be more “circumspect” in the future.

More recently, he urged Justices Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor to recuse themselves in all cases involving him.

The ‘boogeyman’ of pediatrics: What is Kawasaki disease and is it linked to the coronavirus?

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Symptoms of a rare inflammatory condition have been identified in at least 15 children in New York City hospitals, alarming pediatricians across the country and raising concerns about a possible link to the coronavirus.

The patients exhibited symptoms typically seen in Kawasaki disease or toxic shock syndrome, including a persistent fever, according to the city’s health department.

The children were between 2 and 15 years old and were identified between April 29 and May 3. While all the patients had a fever, more than half of them reported a rash, abdominal pain, vomiting or diarrhea.

In an alert issued to doctors, the NYC health department said less than half of the patients exhibited respiratory symptoms. Four of the cases tested positive for COVID-19, while 11 tested negative.

No deaths have been reported, but many of the patients required blood pressure support and five of them required mechanical ventilation, the city’s health department said.

 

Both Kawasaki disease and COVID-19 are illusive conditions that doctors are still studying. Some experts doubt there’s a link between the two while others don’t believe the mysterious symptoms belong to Kawasaki at all.

What is Kawasaki disease?

“Kawasaki disease is one of the great mysteries in pediatrics,” said Dr. Frank Esper, a physician at the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Center for Pediatric Infectious Diseases. “It’s something we’ve been dealing with for decades.”

Symptoms include a fever of at least 101 degrees that lasts for five days or more, a rash and swollen glands in the neck, according to Britain’s National Health Service. Esper says that it predominately affects children between the ages of 2 and 6, tends to run during “mini-epidemics,” and is more likely to happen in the winter than the summer.

 

While doctors know how to treat Kawasaki disease, they still don’t know what causes it or why some people get it. Esper says “a cemetery of different reports” have hypothesized the disease is caused by viruses while others say people may be genetically predisposed.

“Kawasaki disease is the boogeyman to pediatricians,” he said. “It’s extremely difficult to diagnose. Even with the most astute clinicians, we have a hard time figuring out who has it and who doesn’t.”

 

Esper says the main indicator of the disease can be found in the heart. Coronary artery aneurysm, or a dilation of the coronary arteries, is what distinguishes Kawasaki from any other inflammatory disease.

First cases with COVID-19 concern appeared in Europe

The condition was first reported by doctors in Britain, Italy and Spain in late April. Britain’s Paediatric Intensive Care Society issued an alert noting there had been an increase in the number of children with “a multi-system inflammatory state requiring intensive care” across the country.

 

The group said there was “growing concern” that either a COVID-19 related syndrome was emerging in children or that a different, unidentified disease might be responsible.

Spain’s Association of Pediatrics recently made a similar warning, telling doctors that in recent weeks, there had been a number of school-age children suffering from “an unusual picture of abdominal pain, accompanied by gastrointestinal symptoms” that could lead within hours to shock, low blood pressure and heart problems.

In Italy, Dr. Angelo Ravelli of Gaslini Hospital and a member of the Italian Paediatricians’ Society, sent a note to 10,000 colleagues raising his concerns. He and his team reported an unusual increase in the number of patients with Kawasaki disease in regions of Italy hit hard by the pandemic, noting some children had COVID-19 or had contacts with confirmed virus cases.

Some possible cases have also been reported in France and Belgium.

Is Kawasaki disease related to the coronavirus?

Experts say it’s too early to tell if the disease can be associated with COVID-19.

“We’ve never seen the coronavirus before but we’ve been dealing with Kawasaki disease for decades,” Esper said.

He also said that experts aren’t even sure if the mystery disease popping up in parts of Europe and the U.S. can be definitively identified as Kawasaki disease. So far, he hasn’t seen any the reports mention coronary artery dilation, which would be a major indication.

“I will caution that there are many things that look similar to Kawasaki disease,” Esper said. “It could be that what they’re calling Kawasaki is not Kawasaki but an inflammatory disease caused by the coronavirus.”

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Dr. Sunil Sood, a pediatric infectious disease physician at Northwell Health’s Southside Hospital and Cohen Children’s Medical Center, doesn’t believe the condition is Kawasaki.

Sood says patients he’s treated have been sicker, with inflammatory markers 10 to 100 times higher than average child with Kawasaki disease.

Although the New York City Health Department only mentioned 15 cases in their alert, Sood says he’s had at least 20 cases between the two hospitals where he works. Only three of his cases tested positive for coronavirus with the regular PCR test, but the rest tested positive for coronavirus antibodies.

He estimates his patients may have had the virus, even unknowingly, four weeks before developing the inflammatory condition.

“The immune system can overreact in a delayed timeline many weeks later,” Sood said. “We know this from other infectious diseases.”

He advises parents and pediatricians to look out for a fever as well as a combination of any of these symptoms: Abdominal pain, confusion, diarrhea, red eyes, rash, swollen hands and feet, difficulty breathing and passing out. Sometimes the abdominal pain can be so severe that it mimics appendicitis.

Sood urges parents to bring their children to the hospital if they develop any symptoms because it could lead to further heart complications, even acute heart failure.

“Initially, I thought it was Kawasaki … but it’s going beyond those symptoms,” he said. “Pediatricians and parents should be aware that there’s an outbreak of this right now.”

While there’s a spike in these cases, Sood says that children are still among the least affected group by the coronavirus. Data from more than 75,000 cases in China showed they comprised 2.4% of all confirmed cases and mostly suffered only mild symptoms.

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