What you need to know about coronavirus on Wednesday, October 7

 What you need to know about coronavirus on Wednesday, October 7

In just eight months, Covid-19 has killed more Americans than the flu did during the last five flu seasons combined.

The novel coronavirus is also much more contagious than the flu. While research shows that someone with the flu infects an average of about 1.28 other people, someone with Covid-19 infects an average of about 2 to 3 other people when mitigation efforts such as stay-at-home orders or masks are not in place.

On top of that, the coronavirus can be spread for many days without symptoms. The incubation period for the flu is much shorter, meaning people are likely to start feeling sick earlier and avoid contact with others.

There’s also a vaccine available for the flu and experts say the number of flu deaths could be drastically reduced if more people got flu shots.

Even Facebook has pushed back against the claim by removing a post from Trump about the flu, but it’s unlikely that will have any effect on the President’s approach. His advice to not let the coronavirus “dominate your life” has left loved ones of Covid-19 victims furious.
“It not only has dominated the lives of the people we’ve lost. It’s dominated the families of those people. It’s dominated, and it still does, the hospital, the health heroes that were working every day to save my husband, the doctors, and nurses … it’s insulting,” Amanda Kloots, wife of Broadway star Nick Cordero, told CNN. Cordero fought the virus for 95 days and died. Cordero and Kloots have a 1-year-old son together.

YOU ASKED. WE ANSWERED

Q. Is it safe to get a flu shot in the fall?

A: Yes. And please do so, doctors say.

This year, it’s “more important than ever to get a flu shot because we will almost certainly face the double whammy of flu season coinciding the same time as surging cases of Covid-19,” emergency room physician Dr. Leana Wen said.

And a flu/coronavirus double whammy could be disastrous if it overwhelms the healthcare system. An estimated 410,000 to 740,000 Americans were hospitalized with the flu this past flu season, from October to April, according to the CDC.

Wen said the flu shot is about 40% to 60% effective. But even if you do get the flu after having been vaccinated, the flu shot “still reduces your chance of having severe effects from the flu.”

And yes, it is possible to have the flu and Covid-19 at the same time.

Send your questions here. Are you a health care worker fighting Covid-19? Message us on WhatsApp about the challenges you’re facing: +1 347-322-0415.

WHAT’S IMPORTANT TODAY

The White House coronavirus outbreak is spreading

Stephen Miller, a top policy adviser to Trump, has become the latest White House official to test positive. After working from home for several days, Miller showed up to work yesterday and tested positive, a source familiar with what happened told CNN.
Despite the growing outbreak, the White House has declined offers from the CDC to help investigate the outbreak, according to a federal health official. On top of the White House outbreak, all but one member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are in quarantine after having attended meetings in the Pentagon’s secure spaces.

Trump abruptly scraps coronavirus stimulus talks

President Trump has announced an end to new stimulus talks until after the election yesterday. The decision is a major blow to millions of Americans still out of work as well as small businesses and major airlines that are struggling to stay afloat.
Another round of federal funding was seen as vital to propping up the nation’s economy at a time when the recovery is weakening. Just hours before Trump’s announcement, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reiterated his calls for more fiscal stimulus, saying that “the risks of overdoing it seem, for now, to be smaller” than not providing more help.

Most patients hospitalized with Covid-19 have neurological symptoms

A new study published in the journal Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology said more than four-fifths of Covid‐19 patients hospitalized across nine hospitals in the Chicago area earlier this year have shown neurological symptoms.

The researchers found that overall, 82% of the 509 Covid-19 patients had neurological symptoms at any time during the course of their Covid-19 illness. The most frequent manifestations were muscle pain, headaches, encephalopathy and dizziness.

FDA wants two months of safety data before considering Covid-19 vaccine

The US Food and Drug Administration made clear Tuesday it will want to see two months of follow-up data after volunteers get their second vaccine doses for clinical trials testing potential coronavirus vaccines.

That would make it difficult, if not impossible, for any vaccine maker to apply for emergency use authorization by Election Day, as President Trump has suggested, or by the end of October, as the CEO of Pfizer has hinted.

ON OUR RADAR

Dr. Fauci's figurine is dressed in a white coat and removable mask.

TODAY’S TOP TIP

With everything going on this year, mental health has become a major focus for employers, and some companies are increasing their offerings to help their workers stay healthy amid so much uncertainty.

Here are some of the ways companies are trying to help their workers:
  • Scheduling meeting-free times
  • Increasing access to professional help
  • Offering apps and subscriptions
  • Being candid and empathetic

TODAY’S PODCAST

“Every rally, every protest — it doesn’t matter — if you’re gathering together in a large group of people, there has almost certainly been transmission.” — Erin Bromage, CNN Medical Analyst

Since the September 26th ceremony at the White House’s Rose Garden, at least 15 people have tested positive for Covid-19, leading some to declare it as a possible super-spreader event. But what does that mean? CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta talks with Bromage, a Professor of Biology and Immunology at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, about what we can learn from this potentially dangerous event. Listen Now.

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