health

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.

U.S. Surpasses 1 Million Coronavirus Cases

Apr 28, 2020

More than 1 million cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed in the U.S., marking a grim milestone in the country with the most reported coronavirus infections in the world, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

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.

Debony Hughes remembers driving last week to a national park in the nation's capital where not everyone was practicing social distancing.

"It was a beautiful day; it was really crowded. We noticed that there were so many people without masks," Hughes says, recalling that it made the friend she was with particularly angry. "She started screaming out of the car, 'Put on your mask! Where's your mask!' "

Note: The graphic in this story is no longer being updated. For more recent data, go to our new post on this topic.

Updated May 7, 5:36 p.m. ET: This story was originally published on April 28. We've updated it throughout to reflect updates and new data from several states.

Testing is the key that will unlock normalization for millions of Americans.

It's the doorway between the disaster response mode of the pandemic and confidence about returning to work, school and life. And it's also still apparently weeks or more away from scaling to a level that will make a big difference for most people in most places.

Precisely how far away isn't clear, although President Trump and a pageant of guests attempted on Monday to sell the idea that victory is just around the corner.

The White House released guidance on coronavirus testing on Monday, which reiterates the administration's work on testing and includes recommendations for states to further develop and implement their own testing plans.

Neal Herbert / NPS


You might have seen it on social media - Italians on lockdown stepping out onto their balconies to sing together, or New Yorkers applauding health care workers at the same time each night.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has added several new symptoms to its existing list of symptoms for COVID-19.

The CDC has long said that fever, cough and shortness of breath are indications that someone might have the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. It has now added six more conditions that may come with the disease: chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell.

Two leading former federal health officials who served in recent Republican and Democratic administrations are spearheading a call for a $46 billion public health investment in a future coronavirus aid package in order to safely reopen the economy.

Coronavirus antibody tests have garnered attention from officials as a potential tool to evaluate people's immunity to the illness. But the majority of companies creating the tests have had little to no regulatory oversight, according to the chair of the House Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy.

The World Health Organization has pushed back against the theory that individuals can only catch the coronavirus once, as well as proposals for reopening society that are based on this supposed immunity.

In a scientific brief dated Friday, the United Nations agency said the idea that one-time infection can lead to immunity remains unproven and is thus unreliable as a foundation for the next phase of the world's response to the pandemic.

As health officials across the country try to slow the coronavirus pandemic, a growing body of evidence and research suggests the virus may have been silently spreading in different parts of the country far earlier than initially believed and officially reported.

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