A summary of some of the latest scientific research on coronavirus this week and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19 recycles the risks posed by abnormal blood sugar levels, examines the effects of disease, and finds a challenge for the health sector.
High blood sugar is associated with the risk of COVID-19 in non-diabetics
High blood sugar may herald a rocky course for COVID-19 patients requiring hospital care, even if they do not have diabetes, according to a new study by 11,000 COVID-19 patients in Spain.
No one was seriously ill when they arrived at the hospital. The researchers found that those who reached higher than normal blood sugar levels were more likely to die there, whether they had diabetes or not.
Overall, 20% of patients died while hospitalized, accounting for 16% of those with less than 140 milligrams of blood sugar (mg / dL), 34% of those aged 140 to 180 mg / dL, and 41% of those over 180 mg / dL patients with. (A level of 200 mg / dL or higher indicates diabetes.)
Considering age and medical conditions, patients with the highest levels are 50% more likely to die in the hospital than the lowest levels. People with high blood sugar also had a higher risk of needing intensive care and support for mechanical breathing.
In a report published in the journal Annals of Medicine, the researchers say that blood sugar control should be mandatory in the management of patients hospitalized with COVID-19, whether they have diabetes or not.
There is still no good response to decontaminating reusable masks
The only method of non-contamination of methods of reuse of personal protective equipment (PPE) by health care workers stands out best, according to a study published in the American Journal of Infection Control, and avoidance of reuse is not recommended.
The researchers looked at 40 studies that tested different methods for sterilizing N95 masks and high-end filters. There was steam, hydrogen peroxide, ultraviolet light, microwaves, and electric stoves, among others. Disinfectants such as bleach, soap, and water and alcohol were also tested. The results were different depending on the mask model, the manufacturer, and the sterilization or disinfection process.
Moreover, most methods seem to weaken at least the ability to filter structural damage or masks, says Vanessa de Brito Poveda, author of the University of Sao Paulo (Brazil).
Along with disinfection or sterilization processes, health systems that reuse masks should consider the need for traceability if the same mask can be shared by different professionals; controlling the number of reuses of each mask; training staff to inspect the integrity and functionality of the mask after regular wear and tear and cleaning methods to remove organic matter and dirt (such as cosmetic residues).
“The scientific evidence gained so far does not support any process,” said Brito Poveda, although he believes automated methods are safer than manual ones.
Pain following COVID-19 can be nerve damage
Patients who experience pain after COVID-19 may have nerve injuries, according to a report published in Radiology last week.
The researchers said that persistent pain in COVID-19 survivors could be due to nerve dysfunction caused by the virus itself or a side effect of treatment received in hospital. These can include nerve problems that result in the recovery of the lungs but pressure on other parts of the body or blood pressure that builds up after the prevention of blood clots.
High-tech imaging methods such as magnetic resonance imaging and very high-resolution ultrasound can help identify the location and extent of nerve damage, the researchers found when they first examined the study reports.
“Clinicians in the case of COVID patients with chronic pain and weakness (should be suspected of nerve injury), especially because early diagnosis and proper treatment are essential to prevent irreversible damage,” Dr. Swati Deshmukh told Reuters at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois he says.
During the pandemic of Deshmukh, when patients experience new symptoms of nerve and muscle unexplained symptoms, physicians should be examined for COVID-19.