Genetic Variations: Background and Considerations

Angie Szumlinski Announcements

The below information is sourced from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s “SARS-CoV-2 Viral Mutations: Impact on COVID-19 Tests:” Genetic Variations: Background and Considerations The SARS-CoV-2 virus has mutated over time, resulting in genetic variation in the population of circulating viral strains over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Molecular, antigen, and serology tests are affected by viral mutations differently …

Effectiveness of Contact Tracing

Angie Szumlinski Studies

During 2020, mitigation of SARS-CoV-2 largely depended on non-pharmaceutical interventions such as physical distancing, hand hygiene, universal masking, isolation, and quarantine. Contact tracing and quarantine of exposed contacts are intended to limit the number of infected contacts and lessen the risk of transmission. Contact tracing is a resource-intensive, multi-step process with many potential steps at which persons with COVID-19 or …

Podcast: Ep. 23 – COVID Long-Haulers

Angie Szumlinski Podcast

While many people who get COVID-19 recover within a few weeks, some will suffer from long-haul symptoms for many months. This syndrome has impacted millions more Americans long after their initial diagnosis. Angie Szumlinski, Director of Risk Management at HealthCap talks with Nicole Tweedie, a “long-hauler” about what it’s been like living with post-COVID symptoms. Joining them Jana Hirschtick, a …

Patterns in COVID-19 Vaccination Coverage – Social Vulnerability and Urbanicity

Angie Szumlinski Health

What do we already know about this topic? “Counties with higher levels of social vulnerability have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Disparities in county-level vaccination coverage by social vulnerability have increased as vaccine eligibility has expanded, especially in large fringe metropolitan (areas surrounding large cities, i.e., suburban) and nonmetropolitan counties. By May 1, 2021, vaccination coverage among adults was lower …

Potential Future of COVID-19 Pandemic

Angie Szumlinski Health

According to a JAMA article published on March 3, 2021, “there is growing optimism and hope that by virtue of ongoing immunization efforts, seasonality (declining infections through August), and naturally acquired immunity, by spring and early summer 2021 in the U.S. there will be a substantial decline in the number of deaths and hospitalizations related to COVID-19. That said, herd …

Hearing Loss and COVID-19 Vaccines

Angie Szumlinski Studies

Many vaccine-related adverse events are associated with otolaryngologic manifestations… The incidence of sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) was examined after influenza vaccination in a large-scale study that demonstrated no association between vaccination and the rate of SSNHL. The CDC VAERS is a national repository of incident reports associated with adverse reactions that occur after any vaccination. This database was queried …

Vaccine or Infection – More Protection

Angie Szumlinski Studies

“Can observational clinical data from commercial laboratories be used to evaluate the comparative risk of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection for individuals who are antibody positive vs those who are antibody negative? [The purpose of a study published in JAMA] was to evaluate evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection based on diagnostic nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) among patients …

COVID-19 Public Education Campaign

Allison Aigner News

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services launched the COVID-19 Public Education Campaign, “a national initiative to increase public confidence in and uptake of COVID-19 vaccines while reinforcing basic prevention measures such as mask-wearing and social distancing”. Their website includes campaign resources and toolkits such as free guides, ads, and social media content, information about the COVID-19 Community Corp, …

Loss of Taste and Smell

Angie Szumlinski Health, Studies

In a study published in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, 89% of the SARS-CoV-2-positive, mildly symptomatic patients who had a sudden onset of altered sense of smell or taste, experienced a complete resolution or improvement of these symptoms. Persistent loss of smell or taste was not associated with persistent SARS-CoV-2 infection. At 4 weeks from the initial survey of mildly …

Harm Our Immune Systems?

Angie Szumlinski Health

An article published on MIT Medical asks the question, “is all this social distancing weakening our immune systems?” According to MIT, the answer is NO, that this is NOT the way our immune system works. The idea that individuals who are exposed to a variety of microbes (i.e., germs) in childhood build better immunity is likely to be true! In …