There are many questions about this virus, we have some of the answers but not enough. Newer developments; turns out diabetes is an enormous risk factor, while asthma is not. The virus attacks the cells in the pancreas, and they are seeing blood sugars in the 800 or 900’s. Obesity seems to be some risk also, particularly identified in young people who have been hospitalized. I am sure genetic factors also play a role.
My wife and I are recovered(she still has issues with smell/taste: this can take months to come back). Reports indicate the virus can be “re-detected” awhile later. The vast majority of these cases, it was a part of the viral RNA that was a “remnant’ left over, that was detected. It is not a re-infection, and the person is not contagious. Even so, we do not know much about immunity: who is immune, and for how long. Every virus is different. Regarding a vaccine, it may be 12 to 18 months away, or never: sometimes it is almost impossible. OR, with a lot of luck, 7 to 12 months away; several groups have been working on coronavirus vaccines for years, and are ahead.
I will be taking in(to our office) medical students from 2 universities, and psychiatric residents. The psych residents need 2 months of neurology, so they will be spending a month or so with me. However, coronavirus has resulted in med students being off from school, and I don’t know when they will be back. Honduras: I am trying to figure out how to get them medicines. 5 of us were scheduled to go in late March, bring in a lot of medicines(30,000 pills), that was cancelled. We supply meds for migraine, epilepsy, Parkinson’s, depression, etc: for most of these, when patients run out, they can purchase in Honduras(but most do not have enough money to buy the drugs), but for epilepsy patients it is a major problem: I don’t want them to start seizing. The best med we bring in is levitiracetam: (Keppra): for epilepsy, it is effective, and safe. We don’t need to get blood tests with Keppra, which is one reason I selected it. Keppra has been a major upgrade over the usual Honduras epilepsy medicine, Dilantin. We used to use Dilantin all the time(it has been out since the 40’s, was one of the only meds for epilepsy: bromides(not very effective) were used since the early 1800’s; the other old one is phenobarbital, which is ok but not very effective). Dilantin has issues, one of which is major side effects. When our Honduran epilepsy patients run out of Keppra that we supply, they can go back to Dilantin, but there is a major problem: they have to find someone to prescribe it, and our clinic(and others) are closed in Honduras. Travel has been restricted. I am trying to get DHL to deliver, they usually do a good job internationally, but am not sure if they are allowed to yet.
I plan on volunteering at Fenix, a wonderful low cost(or free) health clinic in Lake County, Ill. The patients are almost all spanish-speaking, so I get to practice my “not-very-good” spanish. I will be seeing general neurology, and some psychiatry. Coronavirus has hit the inner cities hard, for a number of reasons. There could be genetic factors, along with the usual risks: HTN, diabetes, obesity. Lack of access to health care is huge problem. In poor countries, coronavirus is starting to have a major impact, and these countries do not have the resources to deal with a pandemic. Still, countries like Honduras have taken it seriously, and shut almost everything down(as best they can).
ciao and adios for now……..Larry

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