COVID-19 Weekly News: October 12 – 18

Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast: Increased alcohol use during the pandemic

According to an article in the journal JAMA Network Open, American adults report they are drinking 14% more often during the COVID-19 pandemic. While the research didn't determine why drinking frequency has increased, health experts worry that people are turning to alcohol to cope with the stress, anxiety, and isolation caused by the pandemic.

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Mayo Clinic Minute: Why routine vaccinations for kids are especially important this year

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in children missing months of wellness visits. And that means missing routine vaccinations. Some parents may not be aware that their children are behind on their vaccinations. Mayo Clinic, along with other health care organizations, is working hard to make parents aware that their children are due vaccinations and deliver those vaccinations that children need.

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Contact tracing slows the spread of infectious diseases

Contact tracing is a tool that can help slow the spread of infectious diseases, such as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In communities using contact tracing, clinics, labs and hospitals send the names of people who have recently been diagnosed with COVID-19 to their local health department.

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Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast: FDA sets stricter standards for COVID-19 vaccine development

In an effort to reassure the public about the safety and effectiveness of a vaccine, the Food and Drug Administration has set stricter standards for COVID-19 vaccine development. These standards include following phase 3 clinical trial participants for at least two months, and having at least five severe COVID-19 cases in the placebo group. The agency's requirements are designed to ensure that there is adequate safety data on any vaccine before it is authorized for emergency use.

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3 tips to effectively train for virtual races

Running is a great cardiovascular activity and one that has definite health advantages. For people who enjoy running, training, and completing a marathon or road race, brings a great sense of satisfaction. But when COVID-19 struck, many races were canceled to limit crowds. Now, virtual races are becoming a popular alternative.

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Mayo Clinic Minute: Don’t delay mammograms, other breast cancer screening

Fewer breast cancers are being diagnosed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier in the year, when the pandemic began to intensify, many health care institutions suspended their screening programs and weren't offering mammography to patients. This resulted in a nearly 50% drop in new diagnoses of breast cancer, according to a study in JAMA.

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Halloween safety tips during COVID-19

"The traditional Halloween celebration of trick-or-treating and going door to door unfortunately carries risk of transmission of COVID-19," says Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse, a Mayo Clinic pediatric infectious diseases specialist. "This year, we are discouraging participating in any activities that significantly increase your risk of transmission or exposure to the infection."

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Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast: COVID-19 lung damage could lead to a transplant

"As we know, lungs are one of the major organs that are involved with COVID infection," says Dr. Sadia Shah, a Mayo Clinic transplant pulmonologist and critical care physician. "In severe cases, the patient's lungs can be significantly inflamed from the disease, leading to pneumonia and scarring of the lungs, also known as pulmonary fibrosis." She says that these are the patients who may need a lung transplant in the future.

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Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast: COVID-19 Activity Rehabilitation Program

After COVID-19 patients have recovered from the infection, some continue to have lingering effects from the disease, known as post-COVID syndrome. To help these patients, Mayo Clinic has launched the COVID-19 Activity Rehabilitation Program. This program takes a multidisciplinary approach, including specialists in occupational medicine, pulmonary medicine, psychiatry and infectious diseases to treat persistent symptoms and help patients return to daily activities and work.

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Samantha Rossi

Samantha Rossi is a Digital Marketing Manager at Mayo Clinic Laboratories. She supports marketing strategies for product management and specialty testing. Samantha has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2019.