What You Need to Know About Approved COVID-19 Medications

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With the arrival of COVID-19, hospitals and medical offices have seen an influx of patients. Medical administrators have also had to implement new policies and procedures to keep track of COVID-19 cases, protect doctors and nurses, and safeguard their patients as much as possible. For this reason, it is important to learn about the different COVID-19 medications that are being used today, and how they work to fight the infection.

Approved COVID-19 Medications

The following is a list of six medications that have all been approved to treat COVID-19. Each medication, however, is used to treat patients under specific circumstances. Let’s take a look at each of these medications, and how they are being used to treat COVID-19.

Remdesivir

You may have heard about remdesivir on the news. This antiviral drug has been used to treat malaria for years. Now, it is being used as a successful treatment for COVID-19, primarily for patients on supplemental oxygen. It interrupts the production of the COVID-19 virus and shortens the overall duration.

Baricitinib

When used in conjunction with remdesivir, baricitinib from Eli Lilly shortens the lifespan of COVID-19. Barcitinib was originally created to treat moderate-to-severe cases of rheumatoid arthritis. It blocks enzymes that cause inflammation and is only being used to treat patients receiving oxygen. It does not appear to be a successful treatment unless it is used in conjunction with remdesivir.

Dexamethasone

Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid that has been around for many years. It treats inflammation and acts as an immunosuppressant. This COVID-19 medication can potentially reduce mortality rates associated with the COVID-19. It mitigates the impact of the virus on the lungs and has led to lower mortality rates.

Convalescent Plasma

Many people who have recovered from COVID-19 have donated plasma. This is because their recovered plasma can be used to help other patients who have been diagnosed with COVID-19. It can both shorten the duration and lessen the severity of the virus by boosting the body’s immune response. The infusion takes about two hours and patients need to be closely monitored afterward.

ExoFlo

If you know someone who has acute respiratory distress, ExoFlo could be the answer. It is created from human bone marrow stem cells and triggers the body to reduce inflammation. This, in turn, helps the body begin to heal itself. It has been shown to reduce the mortality rate for patients with respiratory complications.

Monoclonal Antibodies

These antibodies fight COVID-19 by clinging to the virus and destroying it. It is commonly referred to as the Regeneron antibody cocktail, although both Eli Lilly and Regeneron currently make the antibodies that are being used as treatment. It is not recommended for patients who are receiving supplemental oxygen or are on a ventilator, as their condition could worsen.

More is being learned about COVID-19 medications every day, and as a result, we are seeing more medical breakthroughs. Promote healthy habits such as hand washing and social distancing. If you know someone who has COVID-19, or may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, encourage them to seek medical advice, because there are multiple treatment options available.

Follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog to stay up-to-date on everything in healthcare. If you are considering a career in healthcare, you need to know how to build your medical terminology skill set. Go to Avidity Medical Design Academy. Enroll in the course entitled, “How to Learn Basic Medical Terminology (in 5 EASY Steps!) (and USE IT in EVERYDAY Living)” to learn how to learn new medical terms and use them in your career, as well as in everyday living.

man in a face mask handing over a thermal bag to another man

Looking for a New Job? Here are Five New Careers Created By COVID-19

Whenever you think about the Coronavirus, maybe what comes into mind is how it rendered many people jobless. Probably, you associate the virus with the closures of stores, restaurants, theaters, and many other businesses. Do you think the pandemic may have opened up new career opportunities?

Yes, it is true that COVID-19 created a significant health and economic mess. But, it created some new jobs, too. How was that even possible? In a recent report by Forbes, Coronavirus has created thousands of new jobs.

Let me take you through five careers that were created due to the pandemic:

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1. Temperature Screeners

As you know, high fever is one of the most common symptoms of COVID-19. Hence, temperature screening has become the new norm almost everywhere.

If you visit restaurants, schools, organizations, airports, and stadiums, be ready to encounter a person with a thermal gun ready to take your temperature. It is a simple job that does not require much education or prior experience. However, it is quite tedious and tiresome.

As recently reported by CNBC, temperature screeners’ hourly pay is up to $25. So, I may not advise you to leave your current career for it, but it’s a good starting point if you are jobless.

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2. COVID-19 Testers

This is among the most common career opportunities that have been created by the pandemic. You will find the virus testers conducting swab tests in nursing homes, hospitals, workplaces, and even on the streets.

Basically, you cannot conduct the tests if you are not a trained health professional, probably a nurse or a nurse assistant. This opportunity is a golden opportunity for you if you recently left school and wish to gain some experience.

As a full-time COVID-19 tester, you can make up to $45 per hour. This is a good amount, particularly if you are jobless. However, be ready to work for long hours. Also, you have to bear with handling people’s mouths and noses when collecting the swabs.

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3. Caregivers

As you are aware, people who have contracted the virus, especially the elderly or those with underlying conditions, need special care. If you are a trained nurse or social worker, this can be a perfect career opportunity for you.

As a caregiver, you would be working in hospitals or nursing homes. In the United States, there has been a surging demand for these professionals. The job is flexible, though its pay is quite little.

As reported by CNBC, most caregivers make up to $25 per hour. This is quite little compared to the nature of the job. However, it can be a good venture if you have the relevant training and skills, and you are jobless.

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4. Face Mask Makers

It is one of the most booming businesses globally. As noted by the Society for Human Resource Management, most employed persons have even quit their current jobs to venture into this new career.

You don’t need a lot of experience to do it. If you are not a good tailor, you can start your face-making company, equip it with the relevant machines, and hire professionals in the field.

As companies are now buying a logo-branded business, having the right equipment to do the job might give you an added advantage. As an employed face-maker, you can make up to $18 per hour. The job is simple and flexible. However, you may be needed to make many masks per day to make a substantial amount of cash.

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5. Door-to-Door Deliveries

As governments introduce stricter containment measures, such as stay at home orders, movement restrictions, and lockdowns, door-to-door deliveries are rapidly becoming popular. People are skeptical of physical shopping due to fear of contracting the virus, and delivery services have become viable delivery alternatives for no-contact delivery.

This is a simple business that’s easy to do, as long as you have starting capital and a delivery truck, motorcycle, or bicycle. You can establish an online store where customers can make orders.

No training is needed to start this business. However, you need to be experienced in eCommerce. You also need to have good interpersonal skills. On a good day, a delivery agent can make up to $200 profit.

However, the job is tiresome and may take time to establish a reputable online store. Nonetheless, it can be an excellent career opportunity for those who cherish freedom. You can also choose to sign up with an established delivery service, such as such as DoorDash, Grubhub, or Uber Eats, pick up food orders from restaurants in your area, deliver the orders to customers, make your own hours, and keep your own tips. This is a great way to supplement your income, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Although the COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone, frontline soldiers, especially healthcare professionals, have been hit harder. In due time, the virus will be contained, and life will go back to normal. In the meantime, if you are interested in pursuing a new career in healthcare, visit Avidity Medical Academy and enroll in the course entitled,  How to Learn Professionalism in Healthcare (With REAL-WORLD Examples). Follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog to stay up to date on the latest news in healthcare.

Vaccine 101: How the COVID-19 Vaccine Works in Your Body

Side view shot of male nurse wearing protective mask and gloves preparing medical syringe for giving COVID-19 vaccine injection to senior patient

COVID-19 vaccines have gone through numerous tests, with Russia being the first nation in the world to register such a vaccine. Russia’s president approved the Sputnik V vaccine after yielding positive clinical trial results in the early stages. Currently, mRNA, protein subunit, and vector vaccines are going through phase 3 clinical trials on a large scale in the U.S. 

To understand how the COVID-19 vaccine works in your body, you need to know how your immune system fights the virus.

How Your Immune System Works: Your Body’s Defense

When your body gets an infection from a virus, your immune system fights that infection. Blood has two types of cells – red cells and white cells. Red cells carry oxygen to all parts of your body. White blood cells fight infections. Here are three different types of white blood cells and how they fight infections in your body.

• Macrophages 

They swallow and digest dead cells and germs, but leave parts of the germs called antigens. Your body will identify antigens as dangerous to the body and stimulate antibodies that will attack them.

• B-lymphocytes

These are white blood cells that produce antibodies that attack any pieces of the virus that macrophages leave behind.

• T-lymphocytes

This is another type of white blood cell. They attack infected cells in your body.

How the COVID-19 Vaccine Works in Your Body

These three types of vaccines will prompt your body so that it recognizes and protects you from the COVID-19 virus.

• mRNA Vaccine

This type of vaccine has material from the COVID-19 virus that instructs your cells to make a unique, harmless protein. Your body will realize that the protein is a foreign substance and will build T-Lymphocytes and B-Lymphocytes. These cells will remember how to destroy and fight the virus in case of future infections.

• Protein Subunit

A protein subunit vaccine carries a harmless protein of the virus. The vaccine recognizes that the protein is foreign to your body and begins to make T-lymphocytes and antibodies that will remember how to fight the virus in future infections.

• Vector Vaccine

This vaccine contains a live virus that is a weak version of COVID-19. Once the vaccine is injected inside your body, it causes your body to remember how to fight the COVID-19 virus in case of future infections.

Vaccination is one of the ways you can protect yourself and others from the COVID-19 virus. The vaccine will work with your immune system to fight this virus. If you want to learn more about preventing diseases in your body, enroll in the course entitled “How to Prevent Disease in Your Body (By Eating Fruits and Vegetables!)” offered by Avidity Medical Design Academy

Things You Should Know About Getting a Flu Shot During COVID-19

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While COVID-19 is on everyone’s mind as we wait for a vaccine and an end to the pandemic, we cannot forget about the common flu. It is more important than ever to get your annual vaccine. Fortunately, you can still get a flu shot, even during the pandemic.

Here are a few tips on getting your flu shot during the COVID-19 pandemic:

Protect Against the Flu

Fighting off the flu is just as important as fighting off COVID-19. It is vital to your health that you get a flu shot this year. People who got the flu shot last year are 363% more likely to get the flu shot this year in the wake of the pandemic. The flu is still lethal, killing many people each and every year. Do not forget about the flu because COVID-19 is getting all the attention.

Plan Your Flu Shot Ahead of Time

If you usually get your flu shot at a drugstore where you wait in a long line of people, things will be different this year. Pharmacies, doctors’ offices, and other flu shot locations are taking precautions this year to ensure there are not long lines of people waiting for their vaccinations. Social distancing because of COVID-19 is still important. Call ahead of time to the location where you are going to get your flu shot and make arrangements. In most cases, you will now need an appointment for your flu shot, even if you did not in years past. This is to enforce social distancing. 

Remain vigilant about COVID-19, but protect yourself against the flu by getting a flu shot. For more information about staying healthy during the pandemic, follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog, and consider enrolling in a healthcare course at Avidity Medical Design Academy.

How COVID-19 Has Changed the Field of Healthcare and What It Means to You

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There are a lot of lessons to be learned from what went wrong and what went right in the early days of the COVID-19 crisis.

COVID-19 has affected every industry in the entire world. As a global pandemic, the effects of the virus have been far-reaching. Perhaps no industry has been impacted as much as the healthcare industry.

Let’s take a look at how the healthcare industry has been affected by COVID-19, and what changes the industry will make for the future.

COVID-19 Has Changed the Career Outlook for Healthcare Practitioners

While a career in any medical profession has always been stable, lucrative, and in very high demand, the coronavirus has increased the demand for skilled healthcare workers, and made it clear that healthcare workers are truly essential workers who are on the front line in hospitals. If you are on the fence about starting a career in medicine – whether as a doctor, nurse, or something else, jump in and go for it. The need for healthcare workers will always be there, and the coronavirus has proven that the need will only increase, especially in times of healthcare crisis and healthcare emergencies. Even if you are not directly on the front lines in healthcare, your skills are still in demand, as the coronavirus has created a shortage of skilled healthcare workers to replace those who are working directly with patients, if they become infected with the coronavirus.

COVID-19 Has Placed the Focus on ICU Bed Utilization

Hospital crisis teams were developed in order to get the most out of ICU beds. With COVID-19, traditional emergency rooms are being used and reorganized in non-traditional ways. Outpatient surgery centers have now become emergency rooms, and other areas of hospitals have been restructured in order to deal with the challenges of treating patients with COVID-19. If you are new to the field of healthcare, or you are considering a career in healthcare, you can read new case studies pertaining to how COVID-19 has reshaped the healthcare landscape. These new case studies will be used as an educational tool for decades to come. There are a lot of lessons to be learned from what went wrong when treating patients diagnosed with the coronavirus, and what went right in terms of how ICU beds, ICU ventilators, and other supplies were used in the ICU in the early months of COVID-19.

COVID-19 Has Led to a Reevaluation of Medical Treatment Strategies

Medical treatment strategies was an area that was in flux for a while during the early days of the virus. Since COVID-19 was a new virus, healthcare practitioners had to learn the best way to treat patients. There was a lot of trial and error as healthcare practitioners adapted to the challenges of treating patients diagnosed with coronavirus. There is no doubt that the treatment strategies for COVID-19 will be put into medical textbooks and studied for decades to come, leading to better preparedness in the unfortunate event that another pandemic occurs which may be similar to COVID-19.

COVID-19 Has Led to an Emphasis on Preventative Measures

The vaccine to prevent COVID-19 has not yet been developed. Drug companies are furiously working to create this vaccine, which could go a long way to returning the world to a “new normal.” More than ever before, the pharmaceutical industry is taking off. Money is being poured into these companies for work towards the vaccine. 

For more information, take a look at the Avidity Medical Design Blog. You also might want to consider enrolling in a course offered by Avidity Medical Design Academy.

10 Ways to Avoid Summer Health Problems During and After COVID-19

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It’s summer. The days are long, the sun is shining, and all the kids want to do is play outside, in spite of COVID-19. However, it’s important to keep in mind that, in addition to the COVID pandemic, summer itself does pose its fair share of health risks, even if you are quarantining in your own backyard. Here are the top ten summer health issues and how to prevent and care for them, during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

1. HEAT STROKE

Heat stroke is caused by the body overheating as a result of extended exposure to the sun or other forms of heat. Common symptoms include confusion, dry skin when you should be sweating, racing heart rate, and nausea. If you think you’re experiencing heatstroke, immediately get inside and douse yourself in cold water. If symptoms persist, head to your local emergency room. Avoiding heatstroke is as simple as staying inside on blistering days.

2. DEHYDRATION

When you’re losing more fluids than you’re taking in, your body is dehydrating and weakening. Although it’s more common in young children and older adults, dehydration can occur to anyone spending prolonged periods of time in high heat. Even if you wish you were sipping something sweet, the sugars in smoothies and fruit juices counteract the necessary water your body needs. Dehydration is solved by drinking water, Gatorade, or Pedialyte.

3. HEAT RASH

Exactly what it sounds like: a rash caused by sweat becoming trapped under the skin in humid conditions. Common in both children and adults, there’s no reason to seek medical treatment over the mild itchiness this rash produces. Use calamine lotion and spend some time in a cool location until it relieves itself.

4. SUNBURN

Everyone is at risk for sunburn. People with fairer skin and lighter hair are more prone to redness and peeling, along with people who repeatedly burn themselves on the quest for the “perfect” tan. Sunburns can lead to skin cancer, melanoma, cellular damage, and rapid aging. The easiest way to protect yourself from a sunburn is to use sunscreen frequently, check your skin routinely, and avoid exposure to high UV levels. If you do get sunburned, use aloe to reduce the burn.

5. ASTHMA AND ALLERGY FLARE UPS

If you find yourself wheezing within moments of stepping outside, you’re likely having an asthma or allergy flare up. Check the air quality before you head outside, always carry a rescue inhaler (if you have one) and avoid campfires and windy days that stir up mold and pollen. Ragweed and Bermuda grass are at the height of their terror in July and August; if these are known issues, stay inside.

6. BUG BITES

Mosquitoes, ticks, and spiders thrive in the heat. If you have type O blood, or you emit more carbon dioxide, you may be more prone to attract mosquitoes, ticks, and spiders. Protect yourself by burning citronella candles outdoors, using bug spray frequently, and not spending too long outside around dusk. Most bites will itch for 2-3 days and then fade, but if it persists beyond then and you develop a fever, rash, or other symptoms of infections, see your doctor.

7. FOOT PROBLEMS

Athlete’s foot, sprained ankles, blisters and more; summer offers it all. For many, flip flops seem like the easiest option when visiting a pool or beach. However, for those susceptible to falls and ankle twists, invest in a sandal that provides support. Avoid blisters and athlete’s foot by wearing protective footwear at all times—in showers, on beaches, pool decks, and other public places. If you do find yourself scratching and wincing at painful soles, home remedies such as creams and ice will heal you right up.

8. FOOD POISONING

The food truck right off the beach might seem convenient, but the stomach cramps later aren’t worth it. Food poisoning can occur from improperly cooked food, bacteria in water, and contamination from unsafe cooking conditions. Symptoms of food poisoning include a mild fever, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, sweating, and clutching the rim of the toilet for dear life. Avoid this summer health concern by only eating food you trust and drinking water from safe sources.

9. SUMMER COLDS

You can still develop a summer cold, with symptoms like a runny nose, sore throat, headache, cough, and mild fever, even if you haven’t been diagnosed with COVID-19. Children, or those in constant contact with small children, are at greater risk for developing a summer cold.

The key point to consider: summer colds resolve within a few days, while COVID-19 will take longer.

If you suspect you have symptoms of COVID-19, don’t hesitate to get tested, even though it may take some time to get your test results.

10. EAR INFECTIONS

Due to increased activity in water sports in the summer, ear infections become more common in young kids, those who use hearing aids, and frequent headphone users. Ear infections can be treated with over-the-counter eardrops, pain medicine, and 48 hours of rest. If it’s still a problem, and you can’t keep the kids out of the pool, invest in some earplugs to prevent further infections.

All of these are easily treatable with home remedies. Staying safe this summer is the number one priority, especially in the midst of the COVID-19. To learn more about different healthcare topics, follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog. To learn more about different areas of healthcare, sign up for a healthcare course offered by Avidity Medical Design Academy.

How to Make Your Own Comfortable Hypoallergenic Mask

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With facial coverings being mandated around the country, due to COVID-19, if you have an allergy, you want to look for facial coverings called hypoallergenic masks that can be worn comfortably and don’t cause an allergic reaction. To create your own hypoallergenic mask, all you need is a pattern, your chosen materials, and a little determination.

Here are some things you should consider if you choose to make your own hypoallergenic mask.

Hypoallergenic Mask Materials

One of the most popular materials being used in face mask coverings is cotton. Cotton is naturally hypoallergenic. The thicker the cloth, the more protection it will give you. If you are allergic to dye, don’t use printed materials to make your mask.

Another good material that you might want to consider is linen. Linen is an excellent alternative due to its natural hypoallergenic nature and antimicrobial properties. This material is commonly used in bed sheets because it can absorb more liquid than other materials before becoming damp to the touch. Linen keeps moisture away from your mouth while still being able to stand up to machine washes.

Avoid Elastics and Plastics

If you choose to use plastic elastic bands to hold your mask on, you may experience some skin irritation. Instead, try using tie backs or try making a wrap-around mask. Alternate materials for securing your mask are easy to obtain; you’ll just need a little creativity. Using the same material you used from your mask, you can create a tie to secure your mask and keep it from falling down. If you are not allergic to silk fabric, you can use ribbons to secure your mask.

To avoid strain on your ears, create a wrap-around mask that you can secure at the back of your neck with Velcro. You can use buttons and snaps also to secure your mask at the back of your neck. Use a shorter tieback also to create the same effect.

Alternative to Making a Mask

If you are not able to create their own hypoallergenic mask, there are several options available to buy them. Neoprene and surgical masks are popular for facial covers. Visit Amazon to see the different varieties of face mask that are up for sale. Be cautious when choosing your mask. Keep in mind your own allergies, and ask questions if you’re not sure about the mask you are considering buying.

Regardless of whether you choose to make your own mask, or to buy one online, don’t forget to wash your masks often to keep them clean. Remove your mask using the elastic band around your ears, or the tieback that is holding your mask on. Don’t touch your mask directly with your hands to avoid contaminating it. Make two masks if possible, so that if one needs to be washed, or is being washed, you can use the second mask as a backup while the first mask is being washed.

To stay up to date on the latest news in healthcare, pertaining to COVID-19, quarantining, face masks, and other hot topics, follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog. To take a healthcare course, visit the Avidity Medical Design Academy website.