Today’s Read: 3.5 minutes
Today is National Emergency Nurses Day. It brings a documentary highlighting the amazing feats that ED nurses do each day, and a pilot program to give Ohio emergency nurses a place to rest. Plus, Covid-19 re-infection may help us understand what immunity to the disease means.
Documentary focuses on emergency nurses
Today the feature-length documentary, “In Case of Emergency,” premiers to a nationwide audience as part of a virtual event that includes a live question-and-answer session.
Directed by Carolyn Jones with the support of the Emergency Nurses Association, the documentary follows 16 emergency nurses from across the United States. It paints a startling picture of emergency departments stretched to the breaking point as our nation’s biggest public health challenges—from Covid-19 to the opioid crisis to gun violence to lack of insurance—converge.
Get your tickets to the virtual premiere taking place tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern Time here.
A place for ED nurses to rest
Cleveland-based University Hospitals will offer sleep pods for frontline workers to rest amid the coronavirus pandemic. As part of a 10-month pilot program with HOHM, two pods will be available to the hospital’s ED physicians, nurses, and staff to nap for 30 minutes up to 4 hours.
Each 43.5 square feet pod includes a twin bed, a privacy and sound-blocking curtain, and charging stations.
“Our UH Cleveland Medical Center emergency department frontline caregivers have been working tirelessly for months to combat the Covid-19 pandemic,” Robyn Strosaker, MD, COO of UH Cleveland Medical Center, said in a news release. “In the midst of all this trauma and stress, we’ve continuously looked for new ways to support our team.”
What Covid-19 re-infections could mean
Rare cases in which a person has caught COVID-19 twice are raising questions about how immunity might work for the disease. A new paper published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases highlights one such incident in a 25-year-old man in Nevada. Genetic analysis showed that he was infected with different variants of the virus.
Four other reinfections have been recorded in Hong Kong, Belgium, Ecuador, and the Netherlands. But what’s remarkable about the Nevada case is that he had had a worse bout of illness the second time around. There’s only one other recorded instance where this has happened—the case in Ecuador.
This could mean a couple of things. One, the people who have experienced an initial infection might have immune cells that are primed to respond in a disproportionate way again the second time. Or, another possibility is that antibodies produced in response to the coronavirus help, rather than fight, the virus during a second infection. This phenomenon, called antibody-dependent enhancement, is rare and the mechanisms are not well understood—but researchers found worrying signs of it while trying to develop vaccines against related coronaviruses, reports Nature.
Given these recurrences, being infected once does not mean you’re protected from being infected again—even if such cases are still extremely rare, with just five identified out of nearly 40 million confirmed cases worldwide. That means people who have had Covid-19 once already still need to stay vigilant by social distancing, wearing face masks, and avoiding crowded, poorly ventilated spaces.
ONE BIG NUMBER
The amount of Covid-19 deaths per 100,000 U.S. people since June 7, according to findings of a research letter published in JAMA. For comparison, the death rate in Italy is 3.1 per 100,000. If the U.S. had managed to keep its per capita death rate at the level of Italy’s, 79,120 fewer Americans would have died, reports NPR.
We could spend all day watching the panda families at Shenshuping Gengda Panda Center in China’s Wolong Valley.