Are neurological complications really common with COVID-19?

Over the past few days I’ve been concerned about several news stories focused on an exceptional number of severe neurological complications associated with COVID-19 infection. While these complications are not surprising, since almost every human viral infection is associated with some type of neurological disease, the spectrum of these complications was worse, and the implied frequencies seemed higher thanContinue reading “Are neurological complications really common with COVID-19?”

Waiting on the Big Ten’s decision and an update on the numbers in the US.

Tonight, I was going to do a blog about the Big Ten canceling the football season and the medical reasons why it was done. Then, the league issued a press release saying that they had not actually taken the vote that was reported in the Detroit Free Press. Therefore, I’m going to hold judgment untilContinue reading “Waiting on the Big Ten’s decision and an update on the numbers in the US.”

The back story to Dr. Fauci’s comments about the “slim chance” for a 98% effective COVID-19 vaccine.

Yesterday there were a number of news stories highlighting Dr. Anthony Fauci’s belief that the chances of having a “highly effective” coronavirus COVID-19 vaccine were “slim.” The statement given during a session at the Brown University School of Public Health drew much attention, but the actual meaning of his statement needs clarification. Dr. Fauci definedContinue reading “The back story to Dr. Fauci’s comments about the “slim chance” for a 98% effective COVID-19 vaccine.”

In response to yesterday’s post on schools in NY reopening.

Comment Dr. Baker, I realize the pressure working parents are under but a recent covid death of a 7 year old in Ga. contradicts Trumps comment that kids are immune. Certainly teachers, administrators and staff are vulnerable. Wouldn’t the prudent move be to halt in person schools until this country gets a handle on thisContinue reading “In response to yesterday’s post on schools in NY reopening.”

New York opens schools. Can this be a model for other states?

New York’s governor announced that the state’s schools would be able to open this fall. Several criteria were provided, some that allowed the schools to open and others that would cause in-person classes to be suspended. I thought it would be of value to review these criteria. Since many other states are still making decisions,Continue reading “New York opens schools. Can this be a model for other states?”

The COVID-19 epidemic appears to have become chronic, endemic phase with occasional cluster outbreaks.

It is getting harder to define the course of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. Statements about different states and cities define rates of infection that seem to vary greatly between different sources. Therefore once a week I’m going to try and look at several sources of information and gather epidemiological data to getContinue reading “The COVID-19 epidemic appears to have become chronic, endemic phase with occasional cluster outbreaks.”

Is wearing a mask a bad thing?

Tonight I am doing a short post to draw attention to a WSJ editorial today that suggested wearing a mask is problematic. The basic premise is that masks are predominantly a political statement and are giving people a false sense of security. They cite an arcane 2015 study that suggests that masks had no effectContinue reading “Is wearing a mask a bad thing?”

Are there really six strains of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19?

Today headlines declared that there are six different strains of SARS-CoV-2 circulating the globe. This seemed to imply that the virus causing COVID-19 had significantly mutated into multiple different forms. But the data presented in the article these press releases were based upon gives a very different story. First, a strain is defined as a genetic variant or subtypeContinue reading “Are there really six strains of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19?”

What did Dr. Deborah Birx say about the pandemic on CNN on Sunday?

Dr. Birx was interviewed on CNN yesterday by Dana Bash on the program “State of the Union.” It was the type of interview that public figures regret, as she spent most of the time defending herself. While she has been criticized politically over the interview, I am more concerned by the medical and scientific implicationsContinue reading “What did Dr. Deborah Birx say about the pandemic on CNN on Sunday?”

More school aged children will die from measles than COVID-19 if we don’t get them vaccinated!

In examining the health risk for school age children from COVID-19 several issues are noted. Approximately 4,000 to 5,000 children have been infected with COVID-19. Despite this, the overall mortality risk for school age children from COVID-19 is minimal. As of July 29th, the CDC has reported 42 deaths from COVID-19 in children less thanContinue reading “More school aged children will die from measles than COVID-19 if we don’t get them vaccinated!”