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Young COVID-19 Patient Becomes First In US To Receive Double Lung Transplant – HuffPost

June 11th, 2020

A young woman whose lungs were destroyed beyond repair by the novel coronavirus received a new set of lungs at Chicago’s Northwestern Memorial Hospital last week, her doctors announced Thursday. It’s reportedly the first time a COVID-19 patient in the U.S. has undergone a double lung transplant.

Dr. Ankit Bharat, who performed the surgery, told reporters that the woman — who is in her 20s and had no serious underlying medical conditions prior to contracting COVID-19 — had some of the most damaged lungs he’d ever seen.

The virus had left her lungs full of holes and “completely plastered to tissue around them, the heart, the chest wall and diaphragm,” Bharat told The New York Times.

Without the transplant, the woman — who spent almost two months on a ventilator and heart-lung machine before the surgery — would have died, he said.  

Bharat said the 10-hour operation, which took place last Friday, was more challenging and took longer than usual because of how damaged the woman’s lungs were. Still, the transplant was a success, he said, and the patient ― though still on a ventilator ― was recovering well.

“Yesterday she smiled and told me just one sentence,” Bharat said, according to the Chicago Tribune. “Thank you for not giving up on me.”

Doctors have hailed the lung transplant as an “important development” in the fight against COVID-19.

Though not a suitable treatment option for all patients, lung transplants could be an option for some ― particularly younger patients with minimal underlying health conditions who sustain irreversible lung damage because of the virus, Bharat said. As The Associated Press noted, a handful of COVID-19 survivors in China and Europe have successfully received new lungs. 

This X-ray image provided by Northwestern Medicine shows the chest of a COVID-19 patient before she received a new set of lun



Northwestern Medicine via Associated Press

This X-ray image provided by Northwestern Medicine shows the chest of a COVID-19 patient before she received a new set of lungs.

Bharat said other medical centers around the country have reached out to find out more about the procedure. 

“This is an important development that could help a number of patients who have sustained severe and irreversible lung damage as a result of COVID-19,” he said, according to the Tribune.

A HuffPost Guide To Coronavirus

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Here’s What The PS5 Looks Like | Save State – GameSpot

June 11th, 2020

I was traveling in Thailand and got cast in Spike Lee’s new movie ‘Da 5 Bloods’ – CNN

June 11th, 2020

(CNN) — If someone would have told me that I would travel to Thailand in the spring of 2019 and leave three months later having worked on a Spike Lee film with “Black Panther” star Chadwick Boseman, I would’ve cackled at the absurdity.

I’d like to think travelers experience some degree of luck on their journeys — benign encounters with locals, free room upgrades, an empty plane row in economy — but my “right place, right time” experience in Chiang Mai sounds literally unbelievable. (Thank goodness I have pictures with the Oscar-winning director himself to prove it.)

How it started

As a luxury travel writer by trade, I was invited to Thailand for a four-day group press trip out of London.

The assignment: fly on a private jet from Bangkok to Phuket, set sail on two private megayachts and take shelter in five-star beach resorts (movie stars aren’t the only ones with dream jobs).

The acclaimed director tells a story of Vietnam vets, PTSD, buried treasure and black history in the Netflix original. Rick Damigella reports.

One would think that this would’ve been the ultimate “pinch-me-I-must-be-dreaming” highlight of my Thailand visit, but life had tremendous tricks up its sleeve.

I arranged to remain in the country for an additional month on a personal trip, which would have meant experiencing Thailand in a much different financial bracket.

However, I was in the middle of reviewing a plush Phuket resort when I glanced at the Facebook group I’d just joined for black travelers in southeast Asia.

The founder, Lawrence “Binkey” Tolefree, posted a video exclaiming: “Spike Lee’s coming to Chiang Mai soon and is looking for folks for his movie!”

I initially thought it was a scam.

Thankfully, I came to my senses and dwelled on the wondrous opportunity at hand.

Spike Lee's new film "Da 5 Bloods" will be released on Netflix June 12.

Spike Lee’s new film “Da 5 Bloods” will be released on Netflix June 12.

40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks/IMDB

Lee’s movies have been a cultural staple for millions of Black American families such as my own, spanning decades.

In Brooklyn, around the time I learned to walk, my mom owned VHS tapes of his films. Getting to meet and possibly work with this legend was too good to pass up.

I followed my gut and canceled my second night at the resort, bought a one-way plane ticket and booked a $10/night Airbnb room in Chiang Mai. The very next day I flew into the city to make it in time for the Lee casting meet-and-greet.

Meeting Spike Lee

About 100 or so black travelers and expats came to the private casting event and met the dynamic “BlacKkKlansman” director.

“There’re so many Negroes on this side of Thailand,” Lee said to the crowd, eliciting great laughter. “It’s a beautiful sight.”

He donned a pink button-down shirt with “Boycott Sal’s” written across the chest — a reference to the Brooklyn pizzeria in a certain 1989 hit film of his.

His energy was cool and approachable. During my turn to meet him, I told him I was originally from Brooklyn and his eyes and demeanor lit up immediately.

He later explained to us that “Da 5 Bloods,” though Vietnam War-themed, would mainly be shot in Chiang Mai. Nothing would be produced on American soil, though a crucial scene needed to depict Black Americans in America — and that’s where we came in.

Da 5 Bloods stand-ins

Levius, far left, with the four other “Da 5 Bloods” stand-ins: Bryan Howard, Raphael Florenciano, Andre Scott and Andrew Stokes.

Bryan Howard

“Not all you black folks will be in the muthaf**in movie…but you got a picture!” he joked to our group.

To my relief, I received an email days later from the casting team confirming my place as a film extra for that group scene. I was thrilled!

I received another email later that week: casting also wanted me to be a stand-in for one of the actors, but didn’t say for whom.

“Oh, amazing! What’s a stand-in?” I thought.

I searched the term and found out it’s essentially the off-camera version of a body double for lighting/camera placement then put two and two together: I was standing in for Chadwick Boseman.

It took me a while to lift my jaw off the floor that day.

Life on set

When Lee’s team calls, you answer — and extend your stay for two additional months in Thailand.

My first day on set — inside an international school classroom — was as an extra among many other lucky people. We were giddy even at 5:30 a.m. when we were called to set, as it would be the only chance most of us would have to appear in a Hollywood movie, let alone be directed by a cinema icon for a day.

The remaining working days had me standing in for Boseman, alongside four stand-in men representing the other “Da 5 Bloods” veterans. For multiple dates throughout April, I became the off-camera version of “Norman,” the fallen squad leader, and this is where the real filming adventures began.

Life as a stand-in in Thailand was… hot. No comfy, air-conditioned studio sets for Boseman’s scenes, which meant all my shooting days took place in the sweltering Thai heat, which often reached 33 C (90 F) before 10 a.m.

Da 5 Bloods filming extra Travis Levius

While standing in for Boseman, Levius had to dangle out of a raised, simulated helicopter.

Travis Levius

We shot in multiple locations outside of Chiang Mai in the jungles of Northern Thailand, including the Mork Fa Waterfall area of Doi Suthep National Park and the alluring Chiang Dao region, lined with precipitous limestone peaks.

Most of production involved 4:30 a.m. call-times and 12-plus hour days with no cloud cover, constantly swatting flying insects from our faces while trying to create a war film classic. I now know first-hand that movie making is far from glamorous, no matter how gorgeous the setting.

But my goodness was it exciting.

One day I’m near a gurgling forest stream nervously taking direction from Lee on where to stand; the next day I’m gripping a massive rubber gun while dangling half-way out of a raised, simulated helicopter with the entire production’s eyes towards me.

I certainly never had these experiences on my fancy writing assignments.

Da 5 Bloods filming extra Travis Levius

Prior to securing his once-in-a-lifetime gig, travel writer Travis Levius was roughing it at Anantara’s Layan Residences in Phuket.

Travis Levius

It was surreal to see the actors I’ve watched on television (Norm Lewis and Clarke Peters playing “Eddie” and “Otis,” respectively) and in movies (longtime Lee actor Delroy Lindo as MAGA hat-wearing “Paul” and film phenom Chadwick Boseman) live in the flesh thousands of miles away from the States.

I enjoyed witnessing the organized chaos of production: The wardrobe unit handing us our army uniforms for the day; the “guessing” game on when you’re going to be called (more like yelled at) onto a scene to help a superstar do his job seamlessly; the frequent shouts of “Rolling! Quiet on the Set! Action! Cut!”; darting for the tented lunchtime buffet to fuel on spicy noodles and Thai iced tea with my fellow stand-ins and other crew members; and watching Lee at work, witnessing just how passionate and raw he is about creating his art and getting it right.

I never got a chance to get a picture with Boseman, but the photo I have with Lee, snapped near my final day on set, is the only memento I need from that once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Personally, mind-blowing life events such as these feel like more than random occurrences. I’m of the belief that we can, to an extent, create our own luck and set the tone for serendipity to fall on our lap.

Even without concrete answers, trusting our gut at the right time often leads us to do the right thing.

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‘I thought it was going to be much worse’: Travelers landing in Anchorage navigate Alaska’s new COVID-19 testing rules – Anchorage Daily News

June 11th, 2020

We’re making coronavirus coverage available without a subscription as a public service. But we depend on reader support to do this work. Please consider joining others in supporting local journalism in Alaska for just $3.23 a week.

Omar Jackson’s COVID-19 testing swab occurred just a few minutes after waiting in line near the Alaska Airlines baggage claim on Thursday at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.

“My boys and I were pretty spooked about it,” Jackson said. “We thought it would be a big Q-tip, like, all the way up to the brain,” he said. “But it went pretty smooth.”

The 28-year-old from Portland, Oregon, had come to Alaska for a summer job as a seafood processor. He’s one of hundreds of new travelers to Alaska who are now having to navigate the state’s updated health mandate addressing interstate and international travel during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the revised mandate, which went into effect on Saturday, out-of-state travelers who test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of boarding a plane to Alaska will be able to avoid the state’s 14-day quarantine requirement. Travelers can also get tested when they land and quarantine until they get a negative result.

Jackson chose to get tested upon arrival. So did Damon Yearly, from Seattle, who was here to pick up his kids so they could spend the summer together in Washington.

Both men said the experience was painless.

“I thought it was going to be much worse,” Yearly said when asked how his airport COVID-19 test had gone.

John MacKinnon, commissioner of the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, said during a Wednesday briefing that airline traffic is about 20% of what it would be in a normal season, which has made conducting tests more manageable.

“And we expect as tourism and fishery travel to ramp up, we’ll be in shape, and a well-practiced team able to conduct these tests,” he said.

Still, MacKinnon said, “this is not an easy thing to do,” with 18 flights daily into Anchorage carrying about 1,800 passengers and seven flights daily into Fairbanks carrying about 600 passengers.

He said Alaska Airlines helped by making the now-required travel declarations available on their website and on all flights coming into Alaska.

When asked at the briefing how many positive results the airport tests have yielded so far, Dr. Anne Zink, Alaska’s chief medical officer, said, “I know of at least one case that got picked up at the airport testing that came out of Ketchikan.”

She said that while news of few positive test results was heartening, it is still important for travelers to Alaska to continue to take social distancing seriously even if their initial tests come back negative.

Nate Fonoimoana is swabbed by Jennifer Breton at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport on June 11, 2020. (Marc Lester / ADN)
Kelly Frantz, of Capstone Family Medicine, packages a COVID-19 test. (Marc Lester / ADN)

Jesse Vance, 19, from Fairbanks, was returning home to Alaska after a family trip to Hawaii on Thursday morning. He said this was his first trip out of the state in a while.

“Honestly, it’s really nice they’re offering this,” he said, gesturing to the testing site nearby. “It seems like they’re taking precautions to protect Alaskans.”

Nearby, Kathy Fit from Massachusetts wore a cloth mask and a visor with “Alaska” embroidered on it.

She is staying in Alaska for the summer — she has a house and some family in Healy, she said, and wasn’t nervous at all about the COVID-19 test she was about to receive.

Fit said she had considered getting tested before she left, but she’d heard that in Massachusetts, the current turnaround time for tests was about five business days.

“It didn’t make sense,” she said, knowing that it was unlikely her test result would come back in time for her flight to Alaska.

Besides, “a lot can happen in five days,” she added — she was worried about getting infected during the window between getting tested and landing in Anchorage.

On a rainy afternoon earlier this week, Elaine Lewis, 69, from Oregon, was in good spirits as she waited just outside the baggage area for her daughter, who she was visiting, to pick her up.

“I did the pre-test, so it was quick!” she said with a smile.

But there was a snag: finding a local testing site that was willing to test her without symptoms. She ended up having to drive across state lines to Moscow, Idaho, where a clinic was willing to test her as a travel precaution.

Omar Jackson, of Portland, talks with fellow travelers after he was swabbed for a COVID-19 test at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. (Marc Lester / ADN)

Nearby, Aden Murphy, 32, checked his phone. He was searching online for local food options as he waited for his luggage to appear.

A mechanic from Oregon who recently accepted a job in Alaska, Murphy said that for weeks, he’d been having to push back his flight. The delays came from confusion around what travel was considered essential, and how best to comply as an out-of-state worker.

It wasn’t until new travel restrictions provided an opportunity for him to get tested at the airport that his employer gave the green light, he said.

Since then, Murphy said life has gotten easier.

“It took me two minutes to get tested,” he said, gesturing upstairs to one of the new airport testing locations.

Which is not too bad, he said, considering: “I’ve been trying to get here for two months!”

[Because of a high volume of comments requiring moderation, we are temporarily disabling comments on many of our articles so editors can focus on the coronavirus crisis and other coverage. We invite you to write a letter to the editor or reach out directly if you’d like to communicate with us about a particular article. Thanks.]

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Sony PS5 looks like a router, an Oreo and Sauron’s tower, Twitter decides – CNET

June 11th, 2020

New Sony PS5 looks like a router, a reverse Oreo and Sauron’s tower – CNET

June 11th, 2020

Coronavirus Can Set Off a ‘Cytokine Storm.’ These Drugs May Calm It. – The New York Times

June 11th, 2020

Many coronavirus patients seem to get better at first, then rapidly decline and are overtaken by an overwhelming immune response that causes the body to turn on itself.

This “cytokine storm” was once an arcane phenomenon familiar mainly to rheumatologists who study when and how the immune system’s safeguards fail.

But it has become increasingly clear in the past few months that, at least in a subset of people who have the virus, calming the storm is the key to survival.

At least a dozen candidate drugs to treat the coronavirus rely on this premise. A few devices that purify the blood, as dialysis machines do, are also being tested. One promising drug made by Roche is in several clinical trials, including a late-stage trial in combination with the antiviral drug remdesivir. And a recent paper in the journal Science Immunology described preliminary data on a drug that stems the flood of cytokines at its source, and seems to lead to rapid recovery.

When immune cells first encounter a pathogen, they release molecules called cytokines to recruit even more cells to the fight. Once the danger recedes, the immune system usually turns itself off. But occasionally “it doesn’t shut up,” said Dr. Jose Scher, a rheumatologist at New York University Langone Health. “The immune system goes on and on and on and on.”

This unrelenting response can exhaust the immune system; shut down lungs, kidneys and liver; and prove fatal. It can do so even in young people and children who have no underlying conditions. In a milder form, this same mechanism is at play in autoimmune diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Most of the drugs that doctors have tried for the coronavirus, including steroids and hydroxychloroquine, are treatments for those diseases, disrupting their supplies.

“Our medicines have been co-opted from us,” said Dr. Scher, adding that they are often being deployed with little insight into their proper use or pitfalls.

Early in the pandemic, doctors in China and Italy recognized the telltale signs of a body in cytokine shock — fever, a racing heart and plummeting blood pressure — and treated patients with the drug tocilizumab. That drug is marketed by Roche as Actemra, which blocks a cytokine called interleukin-6.

Anecdotal evidence and preliminary trials soon confirmed their hunch. Since then, several studies have shown that high levels of IL-6 portend respiratory failure and death, and that Actemra lowers these risks.

Other drugs that quell IL-6 activity have shown promising results, as has Kineret, a drug that quiets a different cytokine called IL-1.

A more efficient solution than blocking any single cytokine would be to break the cycle of inflammation at its origin, experts said. For example, blood pressure drugs that mute the chemical signals that precede cytokines have shown some benefit in mouse studies and are being tested in people.

In the paper published in Science Immunology, scientists identified that the cancer drug Calquence, made by AstraZeneca and also called acalabrutinib, can cut off the cytokine supply at its source.

Treating patients with drugs like tocilizumab is “like cutting the branches off a tree,” said Dr. Louis Staudt, a scientist at the National Cancer Institute who was one of the lead investigators of the study. “Acalabrutinib is going for the trunk of the tree.”

The study was small and did not have a control group, but the results were promising: After about two weeks of treatment, eight of 11 people who had needed supplemental oxygen and two of eight people who were on ventilators could breathe on their own and went home. Another two on ventilators were able to come off the machines, and two others died.

The two patients who died had been sick for a long period, the researchers said, but overall the drug appears to be safe. The patients who did respond also showed a rapid decrease in levels of IL-6, as well as another measure of inflammation.

The team identified macrophages — scavenger cells that chew up bacteria and viruses — as the key source of the cytokine surge in Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

“These patients get in trouble because their house is on fire in their lungs,” Dr. Staudt said. “This drug can put out this inflammatory fire by disabling macrophages.”

The involvement of macrophages might also explain why some people suddenly deteriorate weeks into infection. Large number of the cells would become involved only after the virus had substantially damaged the lungs. “There’s a time delay there,” he said.

People who have diabetes, obesity and hypertension have a higher baseline of inflammation, so it’s also possible, he said, that this may explain why they are particularly vulnerable to becoming seriously ill. AstraZeneca plans to test Calquence in larger trials.

The insights gained from studying Covid-19, especially because of the large numbers of people affected, might allow researchers to understand inflammatory syndromes that have long remained mysterious, Dr. Staudt said.

The pandemic has also popularized an approach that is commonplace for treating some diseases, but has not been proved in clinical trials to work for coronavirus patients.

ImageThe F.D.A. has authorized the use of CytoSorb, a device that filters excess cytokines from the blood, which is then pumped back into the patient’s body.
The F.D.A. has authorized the use of CytoSorb, a device that filters excess cytokines from the blood, which is then pumped back into the patient’s body.Credit…Dominik Gutzler

For example, the Food and Drug Administration has authorized the use of a cartridge that continually filters excess cytokines from the blood, similar to the way a dialysis machine removes toxins. The purified blood is then pumped back into the body.

The device, called CytoSorb, is about the size of a drinking glass and is filled with coarse polymers, each roughly the size of a grain of salt. Every grain, or bead, has millions of pores and channels that add up to a surface area of roughly seven football fields and filter out molecules roughly the size of cytokines. One cartridge can purify an entire body’s blood volume roughly 70 times in a 24-hour period.

Bigger objects like cells go around the beads and are unaffected, and smaller things like electrolytes go straight through, said Dr. Phillip Chan, the chief executive of CytoSorbents Corporation, which makes the device. CytoSorb may also remove some proteins that the body needs.

But “in a life-threatening illness when you have a cytokine storm,” Dr. Chan said, “it’s more or less a race to remove what will kill you versus the temporary inconvenience of removing things that your body manufactures all the time anyway.”


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  • Frequently Asked Questions and Advice

    Updated June 5, 2020

    • Does asymptomatic transmission of Covid-19 happen?

      So far, the evidence seems to show it does. A widely cited paper published in April suggests that people are most infectious about two days before the onset of coronavirus symptoms and estimated that 44 percent of new infections were a result of transmission from people who were not yet showing symptoms. Recently, a top expert at the World Health Organization stated that transmission of the coronavirus by people who did not have symptoms was “very rare,” but she later walked back that statement.

    • How does blood type influence coronavirus?

      A study by European scientists is the first to document a strong statistical link between genetic variations and Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Having Type A blood was linked to a 50 percent increase in the likelihood that a patient would need to get oxygen or to go on a ventilator, according to the new study.

    • How many people have lost their jobs due to coronavirus in the U.S.?

      The unemployment rate fell to 13.3 percent in May, the Labor Department said on June 5, an unexpected improvement in the nation’s job market as hiring rebounded faster than economists expected. Economists had forecast the unemployment rate to increase to as much as 20 percent, after it hit 14.7 percent in April, which was the highest since the government began keeping official statistics after World War II. But the unemployment rate dipped instead, with employers adding 2.5 million jobs, after more than 20 million jobs were lost in April.

    • Will protests set off a second viral wave of coronavirus?

      Mass protests against police brutality that have brought thousands of people onto the streets in cities across America are raising the specter of new coronavirus outbreaks, prompting political leaders, physicians and public health experts to warn that the crowds could cause a surge in cases. While many political leaders affirmed the right of protesters to express themselves, they urged the demonstrators to wear face masks and maintain social distancing, both to protect themselves and to prevent further community spread of the virus. Some infectious disease experts were reassured by the fact that the protests were held outdoors, saying the open air settings could mitigate the risk of transmission.

    • How do we start exercising again without hurting ourselves after months of lockdown?

      Exercise researchers and physicians have some blunt advice for those of us aiming to return to regular exercise now: Start slowly and then rev up your workouts, also slowly. American adults tended to be about 12 percent less active after the stay-at-home mandates began in March than they were in January. But there are steps you can take to ease your way back into regular exercise safely. First, “start at no more than 50 percent of the exercise you were doing before Covid,” says Dr. Monica Rho, the chief of musculoskeletal medicine at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago. Thread in some preparatory squats, too, she advises. “When you haven’t been exercising, you lose muscle mass.” Expect some muscle twinges after these preliminary, post-lockdown sessions, especially a day or two later. But sudden or increasing pain during exercise is a clarion call to stop and return home.

    • My state is reopening. Is it safe to go out?

      States are reopening bit by bit. This means that more public spaces are available for use and more and more businesses are being allowed to open again. The federal government is largely leaving the decision up to states, and some state leaders are leaving the decision up to local authorities. Even if you aren’t being told to stay at home, it’s still a good idea to limit trips outside and your interaction with other people.

    • What’s the risk of catching coronavirus from a surface?

      Touching contaminated objects and then infecting ourselves with the germs is not typically how the virus spreads. But it can happen. A number of studies of flu, rhinovirus, coronavirus and other microbes have shown that respiratory illnesses, including the new coronavirus, can spread by touching contaminated surfaces, particularly in places like day care centers, offices and hospitals. But a long chain of events has to happen for the disease to spread that way. The best way to protect yourself from coronavirus — whether it’s surface transmission or close human contact — is still social distancing, washing your hands, not touching your face and wearing masks.

    • What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

      Common symptoms include fever, a dry cough, fatigue and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Some of these symptoms overlap with those of the flu, making detection difficult, but runny noses and stuffy sinuses are less common. The C.D.C. has also added chills, muscle pain, sore throat, headache and a new loss of the sense of taste or smell as symptoms to look out for. Most people fall ill five to seven days after exposure, but symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days.

    • How can I protect myself while flying?

      If air travel is unavoidable, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself. Most important: Wash your hands often, and stop touching your face. If possible, choose a window seat. A study from Emory University found that during flu season, the safest place to sit on a plane is by a window, as people sitting in window seats had less contact with potentially sick people. Disinfect hard surfaces. When you get to your seat and your hands are clean, use disinfecting wipes to clean the hard surfaces at your seat like the head and arm rest, the seatbelt buckle, the remote, screen, seat back pocket and the tray table. If the seat is hard and nonporous or leather or pleather, you can wipe that down, too. (Using wipes on upholstered seats could lead to a wet seat and spreading of germs rather than killing them.)

    • Should I wear a mask?

      The C.D.C. has recommended that all Americans wear cloth masks if they go out in public. This is a shift in federal guidance reflecting new concerns that the coronavirus is being spread by infected people who have no symptoms. Until now, the C.D.C., like the W.H.O., has advised that ordinary people don’t need to wear masks unless they are sick and coughing. Part of the reason was to preserve medical-grade masks for health care workers who desperately need them at a time when they are in continuously short supply. Masks don’t replace hand washing and social distancing.

    • What should I do if I feel sick?

      If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms like a cough or difficulty breathing, call a doctor. They should give you advice on whether you should be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.


In Europe, where CytoSorb has been commercially available since 2013, it has been used more liberally. But in the United States, the device had been allowed only for patients who had exhausted all other options. Even now, during the pandemic, its use is authorized only in coronavirus patients who are critically ill, with imminent or confirmed respiratory failure.

Dr. Stephan Ziegeler, who leads a specialized pulmonary intensive care unit at a hospital in Ibbenbüren, Germany, has so far treated eight people with CytoSorb. (Since 2018, he has received speaking fees from CytoSorb’s manufacturer, totaling 5,000 euros, or about $5,600.) Of these people, three have been discharged, three are being weaned off ventilation and two have died.

Patients with bacterial sepsis typically need a maximum of three cartridges — one per day at $1,200 — but coronavirus patients have such astronomical levels of cytokines, Dr. Ziegeler said, that some have needed dozens of cycles, with two fresh cartridges per day.

“It seems that Covid-19 has a prolonged cytokine storm — a prolonged, really effective inflammatory state compared to other sepsis states,” he said.

Some patients who are severely ill have only moderately high levels of cytokines, however, and Dr. Ziegeler said it was not yet clear whether they would benefit.

He recalled the case of one 45-year-old physician who had been hooked up for three weeks to an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation machine, or ECMO, which removes blood from the body, infuses it with oxygen and then returns it to the body. Coronavirus patients who get to that point tend to stay sick for a long time, Dr. Ziegeler said, and since they are already having their blood pumped out to be oxygenated, adding on the CytoSorb filter does not add risk.

So, even though this patient did not have levels that were “sky-high,” doctors treated him with 14 rounds of cytokine adsorption. The man responded well, Dr. Ziegler said, and was discharged soon after.

CytoSorb is not the only mechanical approach being used; the F.D.A. has also authorized the use of another device, called Oxiris, for coronavirus patients. And there are plans to try CytoSorb in combination with tocilizumab.

All of these approaches are worth pursuing, Dr. Scher said, but they all must be tested in rigorous clinical trials with the right control groups: “That will be the only way to learn for sure.”

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“The Voice” judge recently revealed she’s been social distancing at her ranch in Montana with her husband, their kids, as well as the singer’s stepchildren, Seth, 13, and Savannah, 18. In fact, she posted a photo of Brandon on her Instagram just two months ago. Last December, Kelly Clarkson opened up about the couple’s sex life and claimed it was on fire.

Months ago, she told her talk show viewers that they were still extremely active in the bedroom. During an “Ask Me Anything” segment on “The Kelly Clarkson Show,” she revealed what went down before bedtime and the details were juicy.

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