Coronavirus and COVID-19

Coronavirus and COVID-19 Articles

Caregiving during the pandemic

Overseeing care for a loved one who is in a nursing home or an assisted living facility is challenging when phone calls are the primary means of communication. Asking certain questions during a phone call with a loved one—such as whether the person has seen anyone that day or been outside of his or her room—may offer clues. When speaking with staff, it helps to inquire about the loved one’s social contacts, mood, muscle strength, eating and sleeping habits, medication changes, continence, hygiene, and thinking skills. (Locked) More »

Sorting falsehoods from facts

Inaccurate health information is everywhere these days, from conspiracy theories about COVID-19 to unsubstantiated product claims. This includes both misinformation, which is spread by someone who essentially doesn’t know better, and disinformation, which is spread deliberately to promote an agenda. Both mass media and social media are allowing bad information to reach large swaths of people quickly, making it difficult for many people to tell the good from the bad. People can ensure what they’re seeing is accurate by relying on their doctors, public health officials, and other trusted resources. (Locked) More »

What are mRNA vaccines?

An mRNA vaccine is a new approach to vaccination. It induces human immune cells to make the same protein that’s on the surface of a virus, which then educates the immune system to attack the virus. In the case of the COVID-19 vaccine, the mRNA gets cells to produce the spike protein that’s on the virus. An mRNA vaccine may also have the potential to treat other conditions, such as cancer. There has already been some success in treating melanoma with an mRNA vaccine. (Locked) More »

Should I get a COVID-19 antibody test?

A test for COVID-19 antibodies, which shows past infection, can be helpful in the rare situation of a person who has COVID like symptoms but a persistent negative nasal swab test. Also it may help diagnose people who have long-term symptoms post COVID, known as "long COVID." (Locked) More »

COVID-19 vaccines

The FDA has authorized three COVID-19 vaccines, which were found to be safe and effective in clinical trials. As more people get their shots, we will learn how long protection lasts. And we will gain answers to important questions, including whether vaccinations reduce the risk of infecting others. Though we cannot yet let up on masking and physical distancing, the vaccines offer hope that an end to this pandemic is in sight. On December 11, 2020, the FDA granted emergency use authorization (EUA) to an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech. One week later, the FDA granted EUA to an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine developed by Moderna. On February 27, 2021, the FDA granted EUA to an adenovirus vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson. More »

What are the long-lasting effects of COVID-19?

Fewer people who get COVID-19 are dying, but not all of the survivors are recovering fully. Some people are left with evidence of injury to the heart and kidneys. It is too soon to know whether the damage is permanent and whether it will affect their level of function. And some people, called "COVID long-haulers," experience debilitating symptoms for many months after beating COVID-19. Symptoms include fatigue, body aches, shortness of breath, difficulty concentrating, inability to exercise, headache, and trouble sleeping for many months after beating COVID-19. (Locked) More »

What to expect after COVID

COVID-19 may have lingering effects, such as headaches, fatigue, and cognitive problems, and possibly lung, heart, or kidney damage. Because so little is known about why this happens, there are no official follow-up guidelines or recommendations. Some experts say it may be worth a conversation with a doctor. It is hoped that research may yield more information in the future. (Locked) More »