COVID-19 weekly news: November 16 – November 22

Mayo Clinic Q and A: COVID-19 and contact tracing

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I have two children back in school. Recently, I got a note that one of their teachers was quarantined due to exposure to COVID-19. The school says it's proceeding with contact tracing, and, for now, my child does not have to stay home. Can you explain the term, why it's important and if I should be worried?

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Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast: COVID-19 vaccine trials update

On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Gregory Poland, an infectious diseases expert and head of Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group, discusses the latest on current COVID-19 clinical trials. Dr. Poland also explains what public health experts mean by community spread of the virus and why that leads to exponential growth in cases of COVID-19.

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Facts about the flu

Influenza, or the flu, typically peaks in January and February, and it's associated with illness ranging from the mild to the severe. At times, patients with flu-related complications may need to be hospitalized. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that influenza-related deaths annually range in the tens of thousands.

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Mayo Clinic Minute: Hate wearing a mask?

For months, the community has been asked or required to wear a face mask in public to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. For those who don’t like to wear a mask, Dr. John O'Horo, an infectious diseases physician at Mayo Clinic, offers some thoughts.

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Mayo Clinic leads in COVID-19 response, accelerates innovation to transform health care

"Due to our staff's perseverance and innovation, we have been able to continue providing the patient care, the extraordinary research, and the training and education that we're known for," says Gianrico Farrugia, M.D., Mayo Clinic's president and CEO. "Our resilience is a testament to the hard work of our staff and the enduring strength of our values."

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Changes in vaping, other substance use, another side effect of COVID-19

"As COVID-19 came on the scene, it was primarily thought to have severe respiratory implications," says Pravesh Sharma, M.D., a psychiatrist at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, and the study's lead author. "Since we were about to launch a study examining the factors associated with vaping use, which can lead to lung injury, it made sense to revise our questionnaire slightly to address the broader question of the use of vaping and other common substances during a respiratory disease pandemic."

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Library of Congress selects Mayo’s convalescent plasma website for Coronavirus Web Archive

Beginning this month, the library will periodically create an archival copy of uscovidplasma.org — essentially a snapshot in time — that researchers can navigate much like the original site. Access will be available on-site at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., as well as on the library's public access website as early as fall 2021.

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COVID-19 and the holidays: Traveling and gathering during the pandemic

"Instead of traveling and gathering, talk to your family and friends about creative ways to celebrate virtually," says Paige Gernes, physician assistant, Mayo Clinic Health System in St. James. "If you do choose to travel, it's so important to plan ahead, be vigilant and exercise caution. Always wear your mask when around other people, stay six feet away from fellow travelers whenever you can, and practice good hand hygiene."

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Blood clots in the heart are common in patients with COVID-19

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Researchers continue to study the effects of COVID-19 on the heart, including myocarditis — a focused inflammation of the heart muscle. New research from Mayo Clinic suggests that myocarditis might not be responsible for cardiac injury in many cases of COVID-19.

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Mayo Clinic and thousands of top U.S. hospitals encourage everyone to #MaskUp

100 of the nation’s top health care systems, representing thousands of hospitals in communities across the U.S., have come together with an urgent plea for all Americans – mask up, because wearing a facemask is our best chance at slowing the surging COVID-19 pandemic now.

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Mayo Clinic Minute: A healthy approach to holiday meals

Between the high-calorie foods and stress of the season, it's easy to overeat around the holidays. In this Mayo Clinic Minute, Dr. Donald Hensrud, director of the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program, discusses some simple ways to take a healthier approach to the holidays.

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Samantha Rossi

Samantha Rossi

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