health

Updated at 9:00 a.m. ET

Michelle Sweeney could barely sleep. The nurse in Plymouth, Mass., had just learned she would be furloughed. She only had four hours the next day to call all of her patients.

"I was in a panic state. I was sick over it," Sweeney said. "Our patients are the frailest, sickest group."

Sweeney works for Atrius Health as a case manager for patients with chronic health conditions and those who have been discharged from the hospital or emergency room.

Savannah Maher

This story is powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative.

For the past 140 years, the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes have both called the Wind River Valley home.

They didn't choose to share this reservation - and it's no secret that the two tribal governments don't always agree. But since the start of the pandemic, they've been on the same page about one thing.

The White House coronavirus task force rejected detailed guidance drafted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on how workplaces ranging from schools to bars to churches should resume operations to prevent the spread of the virus because it was viewed as "overly prescriptive."

As the pandemic decimates local budgets across the Mountain West, another threat looms large at local fire stations across the region: wildfires. That has lawmakers and firefighters demanding more federal support.

Communities across the globe are trying to understand what percent of their population has been exposed to COVID-19 by searching random samples of residents for antibodies against the virus. 

Updated on May 8 at 11:54 a.m. ET

Sixty-four children and teens in New York State are suspected of having a mysterious inflammatory syndrome that is believed to be linked to COVID-19, the New York Department of Health said in an alert issued Wednesday. A growing number of similar cases — including at least one death — have been reported in other parts of the U.S. and Europe, though the phenomenon is still not well-understood.

When the coronavirus pandemic first emerged, public health officials told the world to watch out for its telltale symptoms: fever, dry cough and shortness of breath. But as the virus has spread across the globe, researchers have developed a more nuanced picture of how symptoms of infection can manifest themselves, especially in milder cases.

Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., officials have been warning about the prospect of a second wave. Some even say additional COVID-19 spikes in the country could be worse than the first wave.

Dr. Ali Khan, former director of the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says he is confident that a second wave will happen. That's because, he says in an interview with NPR's Morning Edition, the vast majority of people in the U.S. are likely still at risk of contracting the virus.

Intensive care teams inside hospitals are rapidly altering the way they care for patients with COVID-19.

The changes range from new protective gear to new treatment protocols aimed at preventing deadly blood clots.

Updated on May 5 at 3:02 p.m. ET to include additional White House reactions.

On Monday the New York Times published what appeared to be an explosive finding: an internal document from the Trump Administration that forecast many more coming deaths from the coronavirus than the president has predicted publicly.

A global alliance responded to calls to fight the coronavirus pandemic on Monday, as world leaders pledged some $8 billion to develop vaccines and treatments to fight COVID-19. The cavalcade of donors did not include the U.S., which did not participate despite being a major contributor to global health initiatives.

The Food and Drug Administration is stiffening its rules to counteract what some have called a Wild West of antibody testing for the coronavirus.

These tests are designed to identify people who have been previously exposed to the virus. The FDA said more than 250 developers have been bringing products to the market in the past few weeks.

This week the governors of Colorado and Nevada joined West Coast states in something called the Western States Pact. Its stated aim is to bring together states with a “shared vision for modifying stay at home orders and fighting COVID-19.” 

The U.S. now has at least three such regional collaborations. 

As states around the country begin lifting stay-at-home orders, individuals face their own choice over whether it feels safe to resume activities we all used to take for granted.

We asked NPR listeners to tell us how they are making these decisions and nearly 250 people responded.

In general, it's clear that even as local officials lift restrictions, many people plan to wait longer before resuming their old routines.

Donor Alliance

National Donate Life Month just wrapped up. Every April, advocates celebrate and recognize organ, eye and tissue donation, something that anyone can sign up to do at the time of their death. Wyoming Public Radio's Catherine Wheeler spoke with Donor Alliance's Wyoming Community Relations Coordinator Ryea' O'Neill.  

Public Domain

As Wyoming slowly begins to reopen, the Department of Health says widespread testing is critical. In the simplest terms, the COVID-19 test works by taking a sample from a potentially infected individual, and it's scanned for the virus. But it turns out like any test, the COVID-19 test is not 100 percent accurate. Wyoming Public Radio's Kamila Kudelska spoke with University of Wyoming Associate Professor of Community and Public Health Dr. Christine Porter about why it matters that there is a possibility of false negatives.

Alissa Eckert, MS, Dan Higgins, MAMS

At the end of March, Curtis Harnish started getting sick.

"I had what seemed like a really sore throat and chest tightness," said Harnish, a resident of Laramie. "It felt like someone was sitting on my chest. Like it wasn't hard to breathe, but taking a deep breath was very taxing and when I did it, I had a cough."

Updated at 4:59 p.m. ET

The Food and Drug Administration has given emergency use authorization to the antiviral drug remdesivir to treat hospitalized patients with the coronavirus, President Trump on Friday told reporters at the White House.

Gilead CEO Daniel O'Day said remdesivir maker Gilead Sciences is donating 1.5 million vials of the drug and will work with the federal government to distribute it to patients in need.

More than 1 million people around the world have recovered from COVID-19, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.

Around 154,000 people in the United States have recovered from the deadly virus.

Libraries across the Mountain West may be closed, but that doesn't mean librarians are idle. 

Many libraries these days have 3D printers. And that means anyone with a blueprint and the right ingredients can become mini manufacturers of, say, plastic face shields. 

CDC

As providers throughout the nation start to offer Serological (Antibody) Tests for COVID-19, federal and state officials say be cautious of the results.

There's a chance that hundreds of millions of doses of a potential COVID-19 vaccine could be available by early next year, Dr. Anthony Fauci, a key member of the White House coronavirus task force, said Thursday, even though the federal government has not approved a vaccine against the virus.

The Mountain West News Bureau is taking questions from listeners across the region about the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have a question, email us at mountainwestnewsbureau@gmail.com or give us a call at 208-352-2079 and leave us a message. This service is powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative.

Many big cities are seeing the number of COVID-19 cases fall, but rural counties are seeing the opposite, according to a new analysis by the Daily Yonder, a rural nonprofit news outlet.

 


A whole lot has changed in the past three months.

As far as understatements go, that one outdoes most — but it still bears mentioning, given that Thursday marks precisely three months since the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a global health emergency.

As millions of people remain socially isolated and anxious about COVID-19, several U.S. governors are at least making plans to relax controls in their states and revive economic activity — against the advice of many public health professionals.

When COVID-19 patients began flooding emergency departments at New York hospitals in March, doctors saw some unusual cases of stroke.

"We had a young woman in her early 30s who came in with a profound stroke, the kind of stroke that leaves someone permanently paralyzed and possibly unable to survive," says Dr. J. Mocco, a professor of neurosurgery and director of the cerebrovascular center at Mount Sinai Health System in New York.

More Americans have now died from the coronavirus in less than two months than in the entire nine years of the Vietnam war — more than 58,000. But the United States crossed another threshold Tuesday — 1 million known coronavirus cases.

The Wyoming Department of Health announced it's easing some restrictions on personal care services, starting this Friday, May 1. That includes gyms, daycares, barbershops, hair salons and other personal care services.

Updated on May 19 at 8:51 a.m. ET

The World Health Organization describes its job as "the global guardian of health."

It is now possibly facing the most devastating global health threat in its 72-year history: the coronavirus pandemic. WHO is devoting hundreds of millions of dollars and an all-hands-on-deck approach to the effort to vanquish the virus.

And it is being accused of failing to uphold its mission.

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