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What can a COVID-19 antibody test tell me? - The Associated Press
What can a COVID-19 antibody test tell me? An antibody test might show if you had COVID-19 in the recent past, which most experts think gives people some protection from the virus. The tests...
What can a COVID-19 antibody test tell me? An antibody test might show if you had COVID-19 in the recent past, which most experts think gives people some protection from the virus. The tests are different from the nasal swab tests that determine if youre currently sick. But studies are still underway to determine what antibody level would be needed for immunity. Its also not yet known how long any immunity might last. For now, the tests are most helpful for researchers trying to track how the virus spreads in communities. Dozens of companies are making rapid antibody tests to help identify people who had the virus and may have developed some immunity to it. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration initially allowed companies to launch antibody tests with minimal oversight. After reports of faulty results and fraud emerged, the agency reversed course and is now requiring companies to show that their tests work. ___ The AP is answering your questions about the coronavirus in this series. Submit them at: [email protected]
Study: Virus death toll in NYC worse than official tally - The Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) — New York City’s death toll from the coronavirus may be thousands of fatalities worse than the tally kept by the city and state, according to an analysis released Monday by the U.S....
NEW YORK (AP) New York Citys death toll from the coronavirus may be thousands of fatalities worse than the tally kept by the city and state, according to an analysis released Monday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Between March 11 and May 2, about 24,000 more people died in the city than researchers would ordinarily expect during that time period, the report said. Thats about 5,300 more deaths than were blamed on the coronavirus in official tallies during those weeks. Some of those excess fatalities could be COVID-19 deaths that went uncounted because a person died at home, or without medical providers realizing they were infected, the researchers at New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said. It might also represent a ripple effect of the health crisis, they wrote. Public fear over contracting the virus and the enormous strain on hospitals might have led to delays in people seeking or receiving lifesaving care for unrelated conditions like heart disease or diabetes. Tracking excess mortality is important to understanding the contribution to the death rate from both COVID-19 disease and the lack of availability of care for non-COVID conditions, the report said. The report underscored the challenges authorities face in quantifying the human toll of the crisis. Deaths caused by the coronavirus are believed to be undercounted worldwide, due in large part to limits in testing and the different ways countries count the dead. Through Sunday, New York City had recorded nearly 14,800 deaths confirmed by a lab test and another nearly 5,200 probable deaths where no test was available but doctors are sure enough to list the virus on the death certificate. In its analysis, the report released Monday said the 5,293 excess deaths were on top of both confirmed and probable fatalities. Here are other coronavirus-related developments in New York: SLOW REOPENING OF UPSTATE Several regions of upstate New York that have shown progress in taming the coronavirus outbreak are ready to restart some economic activity by the end of the week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday. Three upstate regions have met all criteria for opening some businesses Friday: the Southern Tier, Mohawk Valley and the Finger Lakes. Other upstate regions are making progress and could follow soon after. The loosening of shut-down rules will be gradual. Construction and manufacturing, agriculture, forestry and fishing can resume, as well as retail stores, but only with curb-side pickup. Customers wont be able to enter shops. Additionally, landscaping and gardening businesses and drive-in theaters can open statewide, the governor said. Cuomo said the state also is relaxing restrictions on low-risk outdoor activities such as tennis. The reopening regions still need to work out logistics, such as creating regional control rooms to monitor the effects of the reopening. This is the next big step in this historic journey, Cuomo, a Democrat, said at his daily briefing. The virus killed 161 people in New York on Sunday, he said, its lowest total since close to the start of the crisis in mid-March. Cuomo shut down most workplaces and barred people from gathering in groups of any size starting March 22 as New York emerged as a global pandemic hot spot. Cuomo last week said parts of the state could phase in reopening if they met seven conditions related to hospitalization trends and capacity to test and trace people who might have the virus. ___ CONTACT TRACERS New York is poised to launch its training plan for the huge corps of disease detectives it plans to deploy to track people who might have been exposed to the virus. The effort, seen as a key to keeping the outbreak from flaring again, will likely involve hiring several thousand people who have no background in public health. And since getting huge groups of people together in one place for a contact-tracing boot camp is impossible, the training will be done through a five- to six-hour online course launching Monday. Theres all this discussion about using technology in some way. But fundamentally, this is a pretty human activity, said Josh Sharfstein of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, which developed the course with Bloomberg Philanthropies, the charitable foundation of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. When someone becomes newly infected with the virus, tracers will be tasked with figuring out everyone who might have had contact with that person, reaching out to them, and advising them how to quarantine. Bloomberg is putting up $10.5 million through his foundation to help the state roll out its tracing plan. Cuomo has made hiring at least 30 contact tracers per 100,000 residents a requirement for any part of the state to reopen. ___ VIRUS SURVIVOR SPEAKS A man who was the second person in New York to officially be diagnosed with COVID-19 said he didnt suspect he had the virus when he went to the emergency room, and woke up from a coma weeks later with no memory of his time in the hospital. So its as if three weeks of my life had completely disappeared, and I was asleep for all of it, Lawrence Garbuz, a lawyer from New Rochelle, said on NBCs Today show Monday in his first television interview. Garbuz, 50, was the first New Yorker to be publicly identified as having contracted the virus without having traveled internationally. His case quickly became linked with an outbreak in New Rochelle that prompted the governor to shut schools and houses of worship. Garbuzs wife, Adina Garbuz, said she and her husband originally thought he had pneumonia, but he kept getting worse. He has now fully recovered. ___ ARRESTS IN BIAS ATTACK A man and woman are charges with trying to pull the masks off people who had gathered in an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn. Police said Clelia Pinho, 46, and Paulo Pinho, 35, accosted three men Sunday, pulling the masks off their faces and making anti-Semitic remarks falsely blaming Jews for the coronavirus outbreak. The pair were arrested on charges of aggravated harassment as a hate crime. Information on their lawyers wasnt immediately available. Mayor Bill de Blasio called the attack unacceptable and said Monday: We dont accept bias in New York City. We dont accept hate in any form. ___ Associated Press writers Marine Villeneuve, Karen Matthews and Michael Hill contributed.
Wildlife photographer Peter Beard found dead near his home - The Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) — Artist, adventurer and celebrated wildlife photographer Peter Beard was found dead in woods near his cliff-side home at the tip of Long Island nearly a month after his family...
NEW YORK (AP) Artist, adventurer and celebrated wildlife photographer Peter Beard was found dead in woods near his cliff-side home at the tip of Long Island nearly a month after his family reported him missing. He was 82. He died where he lived: in nature, his family said in a statement posted on Beards website Sunday night. In recent years, the once-swashbuckling explorer had developed dementia and had at least one stroke, according to the New York Times. His family confirmed that a body found Sunday in Camp Hero State Park in Montauk was Beards. The Suffolk County Medical Examiner hasnt made an official identification but East Hampton Police Capt. Christopher Anderson said Monday were reasonably confident its Beard. He said the cause of death hasnt been determined but neither foul play nor suicide is suspected. Peter defined what it means to be open: open to new ideas, new encounters, new people, new ways of living and being, his family said in its statement. Always insatiably curious, he pursued his passions without restraints and perceived reality through a unique lens. Beard was renowned for his photos of African wildlife, taken in the decades when he lived and worked at his tent camp in Kenya. His best-known work was The End of the Game, published in 1965. It documented the beauty and romance of Africa and the tragedy of its endangered wildlife, especially the elephant. He also photographed women in magazine fashion shoots and had well-documented romances with many of them, including Candice Bergen and Lee Radziwill, sister of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, according to the New York Times. He was married for a time to model Cheryl Tiegs and was friends with Andy Warhol, Truman Capote, Salvador Dali and the Rolling Stones. Beard was born into a wealthy family in Manhattan in 1938 and graduated in 1961 from Yale, where he studied with the artist Josef Albers and art historian Vincent Scully. After graduation, he traveled to Denmark and met and photographed Karen Blixen, who had written the memoir Out of Africa under the pen name Isak Dinesen. He later bought 45 acres abutting the African coffee farm where Blixen had lived. Beard is survived by his wife Nejma Beard, and daughter Zara.
Rising from sick beds, COVID medics head back to front lines - The Associated Press
PARIS (AP) — “Be strong, mum, we really love you," is what Dr. Aurelie Gouel's kids tell the ICU physician when she sets off for long hospital shifts trying to save critically ill coronavirus...
PARIS (AP) Be strong, mum, we really love you, is what Dr. Aurelie Gouels kids tell the ICU physician when she sets off for long hospital shifts trying to save critically ill coronavirus patients. Although aged just 4 and 6, Gouels children are acutely aware of how dangerous the disease can be not only because their mother has briefed them but also because she is among the more than 1.6 million people worldwide who have fallen sick. Tell-tale symptoms fever, cough, intense fatigue, difficulty breathing floored Gouel in March. It was very tough for three, four days, she told The Associated Press. But as soon as she felt well enough, she plunged straight back to work at her Paris hospital that treated Europes first fatal case. It was quite frustrating being at home and seeing how badly the hospitals needed help, the 38-year-old said. We were trained for this, she added. The world needs us. In the brutal months since France reported Europes first coronavirus cases in January and then, in February, the first death on the continent, the scourge has infected so many thousands of doctors, nurses and other health workers in Europe that some have now recovered and are going from their sick beds back to the front lines. Its a bit like what happened in the First World War. People were wounded and came back to the battlefield, said Dr. Philippe Montravers, head of anesthesiology and critical care at Bichat Hospital in Paris. The hospital treated the 80-year-old Chinese tourist who in mid-February became the first person outside Asia to die from COVID-19. They feel ... very guilty staying at home, Montravers said. As soon as they are feeling better, they come back to help. As scientists race to unravel the new coronavirus mysteries, as yet unsure of how resistant people become to re-infection after exposure, health workers hope that those among them who recovered and are returning to hospitals are now armed not only with a deeper, more personal understanding of the virus but also with some degree of immunity. That armor against possible reinfection could make them especially useful in the drawn-out battle until a vaccine is found. It helps a lot for them to return to work, and especially for them to return with immunization. Thats really fantastic because it takes away the fear that we have for a second wave of infections, said Dr. Julio Mayol, medical director of the San Carlos Clinic Hospital in Madrid. Nearly 15% of its 1,400 staffers have been infected. For most people, coronavirus symptoms clear up in two to three weeks. But for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death. In Italy, those back on duty include Elena Pagliarini, a nurse who was photographed before her diagnosis slumped exhausted next to a computer keyboard, an image that came to symbolize the plight of the worst-hit country, with more than 18,000 dead. Coping with the Outbreak: In Paris, the returnees include Sebastien, an intensive-care medic at Bichat, the hospital where Gouel also works. Sebastien doesnt want his surname published because he fears that his already very scared neighbors will freak out completely if they learn that he and his wife, a surgeon who is 5 months pregnant, both fell ill. His infection was so severe that he spent three days nailed to my bed. I was so exhausted by the symptoms that I couldnt get up. Yet he was back at the hospital less than two weeks later, even as his wifes symptoms worsened. She was really in a bad away and she was hospitalized on the day that I went back to work, he said. I felt useless. I had to work. I would have been completely stressed out had I stayed home, he added. I wanted to help my colleagues. Assuming that he may have developed some immunity, Sebastien says he now volunteers for ICU tasks that carry a higher risk of infection, such as taking viral swabs and inserting bronchoscopes into patients diseased lungs so they can be inspected. I prefer to expose myself than colleagues who havent been infected, he said. Gouel also says the possibility of immunity reassured her when she went back to dealing with the crush of patients. I feel that Im now a durable strength, she said. If there are things that need to be done with heavily infected patients, things that are risky, Im easier with me doing them, rather than my colleagues. Despite being very worried when she was sick, Gouels husband supported her rapid return to work, she said. He knows that I will be careful, that I wont take risks, that I will wear masks and gloves and that I wont put myself and our family in danger, she said. And although her kids know all about the coronavirus, that it is serious and people die of it, they also understand that her drive to fight it means she cant always be with them. They give me a kiss and say, Be strong, mum, we really love you, she said. Even though they are small, they know that my rightful place is with the sick. ___ Associated Press writers Aritz Parra in Madrid and Frances DEmilio in Rome contributed. ___ Follow John Leicester on Twitter at http://twitter.com/johnleicester ___ Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak