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From the Sun Sentinel

Confirmed cases of the new coronavirus in Florida leaped sixfold in a week. By many projections, the pandemic will last at least two months. And if Broward County alone follows the current pattern of spread, the area may see 800 new cases in the next two weeks.

What more can Florida expect?

While no emergency or disaster model specifically outlines how this — or any — pandemic will play out in Florida, worried leaders are drawing conclusions based on past epidemics, current epidemiological research and guidance from the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control.

The news isn’t good over the short term: It’s only the beginning.

MAP: Here are the known coronavirus cases in Florida »

“When you see what has been trending around the world, that’s what we are going to be seeing here,” said Lilian Abbo, chief of infection prevention at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. “The cases will continue to go up. There will be people who will get very sick. What we want to minimize is severe cases.”

Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, put it very succinctly in testimony to Congress last week. “Bottom line, it’s going to get worse.”

How quickly will it spread?

How the new coronavirus advances in Florida rests largely on critical decisions made by Gov. Ron DeSantis and his teams at the Departments of Health and Emergency Management as the first infections were confirmed in the state over the past week.

RELATED: Cruise line passengers left at mercy of coronavirus »

Their massive efforts to curtail public events and access to facilities that care for the senior population are based on the rate of infection so far across the world.

In just one week, Florida leaped from zero cases of the new coronavirus to more than 100 on Sunday. Some modeling suggests that a third of Americans will be infected. That’s 7 million people in Florida, a state of more than 21.3 million.

According to estimates shared by the American Hospital Association, the time frame in which the number of COVID-19 cases doubles is 7 to 10 days. But in Florida from Tuesday to Friday, the rate proved faster, more than doubling in those four days.

RELATED: Biggest one-day jump in new coronavirus cases, and Broward case count continues to lead the state »

The numbers are large, but even more of a threat is that many of those cases likely will be among the elderly given Florida’s disproportionately large senior population and the risks that the new coronavirus has for them. Of the people already infected in the state, more than half are older than 60.

By studying China and South Korea, Dr. Glenn Morris, director of the Emerging Pathogens Institute at University of Florida, anticipates the intensity of new cases in Florida could last about two to three months before a drop-off, or a mishandled response could cause the spread to last longer, through the summer. He does not rule out a slowdown in the warmer months and a second wave of the coronavirus in the fall.

Will we be able to get care?

With only 67,000 hospital beds in Florida, a state with more than 21.3 million people, quick and decisive action from government leaders could make a difference in how fast and far the virus spreads.

RELATED: Get the latest updates on the new coronavirus »

But if the number of cases rises rapidly, as it is starting to do, Florida needs to face a harsh reality: those who may need significant care — possibly at the same time — may easily overwhelm the state’s capacity to provide it. Florida hospitals run on tight budgets and have only enough equipment and beds to be cost-effective but still care for people in emergencies.

The new coronavirus is unprecedented in its demands for ventilators and intensive care treatment for people with significant respiratory illnesses.

Florida recently began tracking its intensive care unit beds through a statewide Emergency Status System. Of the state’s 210 hospitals and 21 long-term care facilities that have reported so far, and factoring in the 12 hospitals that have not reported, there are roughly 6,000 to 7,000 ICU beds for adult patients. That works out to one ICU bed for every 3,000 people in Florida.

RELATED: Coronavirus FAQ: What to do to protect yourself, what to do if you have it, whether you should travel and more »

Contrast that with the 4 million seniors in the state who are at risk for the highly contagious virus, the population most often admitted to the ICU and requiring ventilator support.

Florida hospitals are revising their pandemic preparedness plans, preparing for the crush of cases. Most hospitals, including the VA in West Palm Beach, have triage tents set up outside emergency rooms. The worst-case scenario could force Florida’s emergency room doctors to make difficult choices about who receives access to a limited number of respirators, Morris said, based on what he’s seeing happen in Italy.

Evan Boyar, director of emergency management for Broward Health System, recognizes that the trickle of people entering Broward Health with respiratory illness could flood his facility quickly, which is why about 10% of the beds are slotted for isolation. “When the virus first comes it tends to grow exponentially, but we anticipate that and have a strategic plan to accommodate a surge.”

RELATED: Florida locks down nursing homes in Broward County »

“Our goal in the community now is to make the curve as flat as possible, to bring this down to a slow trickle rather than a spike,” said Peter Antevy, an EMS physician and medical director who oversees emergency response for Davie, Coral Springs, Parkland and Palm Beach County.

Test results a mixed blessing

Testing is still ramping up and the number of confirmed cases will continue to rise, according to the Florida Department of Health. Florida had tested only about 700 people as of Saturday.

Jared Moskowitz, director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, said on Thursday the state was testing 100 people per day but had the capacity to test 300 people per day. He said the state also has the capability to tap into commercial testing contracts to test up to 2,500 per day. Testing in Florida still is being limited to people who meet specific criteria, but that could be expanded.

RELATED: Fear and living in South Florida with coronavirus »

The state has purchased COVID test kits that can be used for up to 625,000 people, as the governor announced Thursday. Moskowitz said this, in combination with expanding to more testing sites, will give the state the ability to test anywhere from 5,000 to 40,000 people per day by the end of next week.

And that may result in a massive jump in the number of people confirmed to have the new coronavirus. People with mild or no symptoms may have been allowed to remain under the radar, possibly infecting others, because testing has not been widely available.

“We can’t fight a virus in the state if we don’t know where it is,” said Martha Baker, a registered nurse and the president of the union representing nurses and doctors at Jackson.

TIMELINE: Contradictions and questionable advice: How officials handled South Florida’s coronavirus crisis »

For every confirmed case of the new coronavirus in Florida, another two to three people are infected, according to an estimate UF’s Morris provided based on epidemiological models.

“We are missing a high number of cases so it is hard to know exactly what is happening in Florida,” Morris said. If doctors knew where clusters are — particularly people with milder cases — the state could take extra measures to stop more of a spread, he said.

How sick will we get?

About 80% of the people confirmed to have the new coronavirus will have mild symptoms, similar to the common cold or flu. Those people can be treated at home with over-the-counter medicines and usually make full recoveries, a large study by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention found.

About 14% of COVID-19 patients were considered severe, with symptoms that don’t go away on their own, and they often develop a lung infection.

RELATED: Broward County is not prepared for coronavirus battle, say many on the front line »

Just under 5% were considered critical, mostly the elderly or people with medical conditions who have respiratory complications from the virus and require hospitalization to help with breathing.

The death rate

In one model presented to the American Hospital Association, Professor James Lawler of the University of Nebraska Medical Center forecast the death toll in the United States from the new coronavirus at more than 480,000 deaths if the country’s social distancing and other efforts to mitigate the epidemic fail.

Other national models are similarly dire. The CDC says a fatality rate of 2.3% has been reported among confirmed cases of COVID-19 in China. If even just 1% of the Florida’s 4 million seniors get infected, that could be as many as 40,000 people, resulting in more than 900 potential deaths.

Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees has repeatedly pointed out at news briefings that the World Health Organization found the highest mortality among people over 80 years of age and those with underlying health conditions.

Florida, with more than 4 million seniors in the state, has reported three coronavirus deaths as of Saturday, all people who were 68 or older.

At this point with the new coronavirus, it remains more deadly than the flu. About 20,000 to 50,000 people have died from the flu this season, according to the CDC. The World Health Organization has said the flu kills less than 0.1% of people each year, and the current fatality rate for the new coronavirus appears to be about 2-3%.

There is no vaccine or treatment yet for COVID-19, although the symptoms can be treated.

 

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Coronavirus patient in Spain reportedly recovers after being treated with HIV drug

A 62-year-old man who became Spain’s first coronavirus patient is believed to have made a full recovery after being treated with an HIV drug, according to a report.

Miguel Ángel Benítez was hospitalized at the Virgen del Rocio Hospital in Seville, where he received lopinavir-ritonavir, an antiretroviral drug sold under the brand name Kaletra, according to Metro UK, which cited El Pais.

The drug — which has been used to treat HIV and AIDS for over 10 years — was combined with interferon beta, a protein that prevents cells from becoming infected and is used on people with multiple sclerosis patients, the news outlet reported.

Santiago Moreno, head of infectious diseases at the Ramón y Cajal hospital in Madrid, said the “SARS-CoV-2 protease is very similar to that of HIV,” using another name for the novel coronavirus.

“This enzyme is essential for the virus to replicate. The combination of lopinavir and ritonavir inhibits and blocks HIV,” he said, according to Metro.

Jose Manuel Vidal/EPA-EFE/Shutte

“The results that we have so far regarding its use against coronaviruses are encouraging.”

Researchers in Spain cautioned that not all coronavirus patients would necessarily respond to the treatment the way Benítez did.

But a research professor at Imperial College London said that if the widely available HIV drugs prove to be successful against COVID-19 on a large scale, they could quickly be administered to the coronavirus patients.

“There is some evidence from laboratory studies that some HIV drugs might also be active against SARS-CoV-2 and a trial has been underway for a while using these drugs against MERS,” Professor Graham Cooke told Metro, referring to Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.

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Thursday group has been postponed for two weeks and we’ll re-evaluate at that point.   We’ll be back.    To read full article  CLICK HERE

There’s a good reason to “cancel everything.” All these decisions by public officials and businesses are aimed at one goal: slowing down the spread of the virus to avoid overburdening a healthcare system that doesn’t have the infrastructure to handle a sudden surge of tens of thousands of cases at once. Without mass closings, that surge is exactly what will happen, just as it has in Italy.

It’s called “flattening the curve.” And that’s exactly what it is when you see it visually. Here’s what is looks like in an illustration from Max Roser at Our World in Data, very similar to the figure in a recent Emerging Infectious Diseases study on social distancing to reduce pandemic influenza.

 

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On 03-12-20 we raised $23 for SunServe bringing that total to $182

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FYI Group Members:

(CNN) Reports

Coronavirus and older adults: What to know and how to prepare:

People ages 60 and up are at higher risk of novel coronavirus infection. Symptoms include fever, dry cough and difficulty breathing, and it’s primarily spread between people. Here’s how older adults can prepare and protect themselves from the novel coronavirus. This guidance comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Drs. Carla Perissinotto and Samir Sinha, both geriatricians.

Note: Recommendations for Covid-19 may change as officials learn more, so monitor your local health department and the CDC for updates.

Take precautions

  • Cancel non-essential doctor’s appointments
  • Schedule telehealth sessions for appointments you can’t miss
  • Designate an emergency contact
  • Wash your hands frequently (scrub for 20 seconds with soap and water)
  • Use hand sanitizer when soap isn’t available

Stock up

  • Make sure you have enough groceries and household products to last you a “prolonged period of time” at home
  • Prescription medication may be difficult to get ahead of time, so consider mail ordering

Travel

  • Avoid nonessential plane travel
  • Don’t go on a cruise —— cruise ship passengers are at a higher risk of infection

Life

  • Stay at home as much as possible if you live in an area where there’s an outbreak
  • In public, avoid crowds and poorly ventilated buildings
  • Keep several feet of distance from people
  • Wash your hands with soap after going in public
  • If you need to isolate, keep in touch with family and friends

Nursing homes

  • Most long-term care facilities have pandemic plans
  • Call facility staff for information on their plan
  • If you’re sick, do not visit a nursing home
  • If you’re visiting a nursing home in an outbreak area, get screened before entering
  • Figure out an alternative mode of communication if a nursing home bans visitors

If you think you’re sick

  • Call your doctor before going in for a test
  • Don’t use public transportation and stay at home as much as possible
  • Call a local coronavirus hotline for more information

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NOTICE:

POZITIVE ATTITUDES is now meeting on Thursday nights, 7 PM, at SUNSERVE at 2312 Wilton Dr. Wilton Manors, FL 33305  All Parking around the building is FREE (disregard towing signs). Enter from door on left side of front entrance.

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John Ramos will be facilitating Group this Thursday in Steve’s absence. 

Coronavirus Precaution:  Please refrain from attending Group if you are experiencing the following: The virus is human-to-human transmissible. Contamination occurs through droplets (coughing, sneezing) and through direct contact (hands). Elbow bump instead of kissing, hugging or shaking hands. *See more info below.    – CDC

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***********

THURSDAY TOPIC MARCH 12, 2020

SPECIAL DOCUMENTARY:

LIVING PROOF: HIV AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS”

(71 Minutes Long)

Followed by Q & A

by R.J. Hadley, featured in film. 

.
We‘ll WALK to eat at

SPENCER’s On The Drive (Cafe/Bar)

2390 Wilton Drive
33305 

5652E8D0-3AAE-411A-9A54-B4BA8390CAAF

****************

 

* coronavirus precautions

COVID-19 – new coronavirus

COVID-19 (Corona virus disease-19) is caused by a new corona virus, SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Respiratory Syndrome – Corona Virus-2).

The virus is human-to-human transmissible, but it is not yet clear exactly how the infection takes place. Probably contamination occurs through droplets (coughing, sneezing) and through direct contact (hands), as with other corona viruses.

Symptoms may occur two days to two weeks after the infection. The symptoms vary from mild flulike symptoms to severe pneumonia with fever, coughing and shortness of breath. Serious symptoms are more common in the elderly and in persons with a chronic disorder. A very small number of seriously ill people die.

Prevention

Basic hygiene

Wash or disinfect your hands regularly and especially:

After a visit to the toilet.  Before eating.  After you have touched a possibly contaminated object like a door handle or a shared keyboard.

Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a disinfectant containing at least 60% to 95% alcohol. If your hands are visibly dirty, wash them with soap and water.

Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid sick persons

1/2 Stay away from sick people and make sure no one coughs or sneezes in your face.

Mouth masks Wearing a mouth mask is not recommended because it does not provide good protection.

Do you have any symptoms that could point to COVID-19?

Cover your mouth and nose with a disposable handkerchief when sneezing or coughing. Dispose of the handkerchiefs in a bin with a lid and wash hands.

Wash or disinfect your hands regularly, especially after sneezing or coughing.

 

 

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Read Full Post »

NOTICE:

POZITIVE ATTITUDES is now meeting on Thursday nights, 7 PM, at SUNSERVE at 2312 Wilton Dr. Wilton Manors, FL 33305  All Parking around the building is FREE (disregard the towing signs). Enter from the door on the left side of front entrance.

.

John Ramos will be facilitating Group this Thursday in Steve’s absence. 

Coronavirus Precaution:  Please refrain from attending Group if you are experiencing the following: The virus is human-to-human transmissible. Contamination occurs through droplets (coughing, sneezing) and through direct contact (hands).  *See more info below.  – CDC

.
***********

THURSDAY TOPIC MARCH 12, 2020

SPECIAL DOCUMENTARY:

LIVING PROOF: HIV AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS”

(71 Minutes Long)

Followed by Q & A

by R.J. Hadley, featured in film. 

.
We‘ll WALK to eat at

SPENCER’s On The Drive (Cafe/Bar)

2390 Wilton Drive
33305 

5652E8D0-3AAE-411A-9A54-B4BA8390CAAF

****************

 

* coronavirus precautions

COVID-19 – new coronavirus

COVID-19 (Corona virus disease-19) is caused by a new corona virus, SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Respiratory Syndrome – Corona Virus-2).

The virus is human-to-human transmissible, but it is not yet clear exactly how the infection takes place. Probably contamination occurs through droplets (coughing, sneezing) and through direct contact (hands), as with other corona viruses.

Symptoms may occur two days to two weeks after the infection. The symptoms vary from mild flulike symptoms to severe pneumonia with fever, coughing and shortness of breath. Serious symptoms are more common in the elderly and in persons with a chronic disorder. A very small number of seriously ill people die.

Prevention

Basic hygiene

Wash or disinfect your hands regularly and especially:

After a visit to the toilet.  Before eating.  After you have touched a possibly contaminated object like a door handle or a shared keyboard.

Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a disinfectant containing at least 60% to 95% alcohol. If your hands are visibly dirty, wash them with soap and water.

Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid sick persons

1/2 Stay away from sick people and make sure no one coughs or sneezes in your face.

Mouth masks Wearing a mouth mask is not recommended because it does not provide good protection.

Do you have any symptoms that could point to COVID-19?

Cover your mouth and nose with a disposable handkerchief when sneezing or coughing. Dispose of the handkerchiefs in a bin with a lid and wash hands.

Wash or disinfect your hands regularly, especially after sneezing or coughing.

 

 

.

 

 

 

 

.

 

.

Read Full Post »

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