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Mar 10, 2020

First Coronavirus Educational Video Completed

COVID-19 Virus
COVID-19 Virus

Dear Concerned Partners in Global Health,

In an effort to rapidly mobilize our resources and impact toward containing the COVID-19 pandemic IMCRA has completed its first informational video.   The text of the video is given below.  We are currently aiming to get this first in a series post this week while simultaneously having it translated into multiple languages and delivered by medical professionals fluent in these languages.  The spoken narration is backed up by charts animations and images as shown below.   Please help us out with a donation to help advance this critically important work.  Ultimately all our lives may depend on controlling global pandemics of this nature.

Hello. I am Dr. XXXXX with XXXXX and this video module has been developed and produced by the International Medical Crisis Response Alliance (or IMCRA) for your information and use during the Coronavirus pandemic.  Its primary purpose is to provide you with basic but accurate medical information derived from the most recent U.S. Center for Disease Control analyses and the latest epidemiologic and virologic research.  Its secondary purpose is to help you sift through the barrage of data already online and disregard bogus or inaccurate information.  Please feel free to direct anyone toward this website and this video module at any time.  In fact, we encourage you to do so. 

The coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic is upon us worldwide and needs to be halted as rapidly and effectively as possible.  An epidemic spreads easily when people are unaware of its symptoms, its mode of transmission and its symptoms. Worse, when ineffective measures are used to combat a disease its spread is assured. While at present this disease is fatal in only a small percentage of cases, COVID-19 presents a very definite danger because of two factors: a) The ease with which it can be spread, b) The danger that it will mutate into a form that is more virulent and deadly. Both of these dangers are tied to the infection of large numbers of people worldwide and can be diminished by limiting the number of total infections. Because the disease can be asymptomatic in some persons there is also the danger that it can be unknowingly spread by people who otherwise appear to be completely healthy.  Accordingly, control may require the ending of certain practices (for example, shaking hands in greeting) which, while contrary to social norms, are important to disease containment. 

First we start with some basic information about the virus itself.  Coronavirus has been around for a long time. Both SARS, (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome - first reported in 2003), and MERS (Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome - first reported in 2012) were coronaviruses.  The disease called COVID-19 is caused by the coronavirus properly called SARS-CoV-2. This is a novel form of beta-coronavirus which appeared in Wuhan city in early December 2019 and may have originated from an animal source, probably bats, in an exotic foods market. It has now been diagnosed in nearly 100 locations worldwide including the United States. The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) notes that at present, COVID-19 is transmitted through skin contact and through airborne aerosol sources. Since there is NO cure for the disease nor any way to kill the virus once it has invaded the body, (other than the natural immune system) the best approach is prevention and containment. Since preventative measures involve relatively simple techniques we will delineate them here in detail, first for the cutaneous, or skin-related route of transmission and then for airborne transmission:

 1)      Wash hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 sec, or rub hands together using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (best is ~60% ETOH).  Do this as frequently as possible and particularly after touching any surface that may have been touched by others within the last 48 hours. Examples are door handles, public touchscreens, stair railings, elevator buttons, common-use tables, coffee pots or other implements that may have been handled by an infected person.  Use a tissue your sleeve or a glove to cover your hand or finger if you must touch something and avoid touching your face, nose, or eyes thereafter.

 2)      When at home, clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces such as tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks & cell phones. Also be sure to have all medicines and medical supplies needed for fever and other symptoms. Have enough household items and groceries for an extended stay at home and a self-quarantine if this is needed.

 3)      In social or business interactions remember to avoid shaking hands with others and to keep approximately 5 feet away from anyone who may be ill.  When in public, attempt to avoid crowds, especially in poorly-ventilated spaces. The risk of exposure to COVID-19 is increased in crowded settings with little air circulation if there are people in the crowd who are sick.  Wearing a face-mask properly, and covering nose and mouth securely is recommended. If COVID-19 is identified in your community, take extra measures to put distance between yourself and other people.

 4)      Overall, stay home as much as possible and if appropriate, consider ways of getting food brought to your house through family, social, or commercial networks. When at home or work, be aware of potential COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you feel you are developing symptoms, get medical attention immediately.  Emergency warning signs include:

  1. Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  2. Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  3. Confusion or an inability to arouse
  4. Bluish lips or face

The incubation period for COVID-19 is estimated at 2-14 days. Frequently reported signs and symptoms in patients admitted to hospital include fever in 77 to 98%, cough (46%–82%), myalgia or fatigue (11–52%), and shortness of breath (3-31%) at illness onset. Less commonly reported respiratory symptoms include sore throat, headache, cough with sputum production and/or hemoptysis.

Finally, there are some physiologic preventative measures you can take to avoid getting very sick even if exposed to the virus. While these provide no guarantee since this current virus is novel, these measures may help you fend off serious illness.

1)      If you are planning a vacation in a warm location because you’ve heard heat kills the virus, you may as well stay at home.  While warmer temperatures, different humidity and fewer indoor crowds may limit transmission, there is currently no evidence that heat will prevent the illness and more chance that the travel itself will cause you to come into contact with the virus.  If you can stay at home and still get the natural sunlight looked for on vacation, you will receive the same benefits, for example a vitamin D boost and an improved immune response.

2)      Overall the best technique is to keep your immune system strong. Get plenty of sleep, get Vitamin C from citrus and other sources, drink plenty of water for hydration, continue to exercise and make sure you’re getting vitamins and minerals through a healthy diet.

3)      It may also be wise to get a flu shot if you haven’t already, as it’ll prevent you from getting influenza and potential complications if exposed to COVID-19

Global Case Map To Date
Global Case Map To Date
Good Sense Sterilization Practices for Travel
Good Sense Sterilization Practices for Travel
Meeting With Our Chinese Crisis Response Team
Meeting With Our Chinese Crisis Response Team

Links:

Mar 2, 2020

Coronavirus Crisis Drives PIVAT Realignment

Epidemiology of COVID-19 Infections in China
Epidemiology of COVID-19 Infections in China

Dear Friends,

IMCRA has been mobilizing to respond globally and effectively to the coronavirus crisis via native-language instructional video modules. The importance of this intervention lies in the fact that the disease is most effectively spread when people are unaware of its origins, symptoms, mode of transmission, and morbidity. Worse, when people utilize ineffective measures to combat the disease its spread is again promoted.  By using internationally accessible smartphone technology to detail the hard medical realities of coronavirus in plain terms, IMCRA, via the PIVAT program, is striving to stem the spread (and danger of further mutations into other novel forms) of the disease in China and elsewhere.

Approximately two months ago the coronavirus was identified as a major health threat in China.  The first reported case of what is now called COVID-19 (“COVI” for coronavirus, “D” for disease,” and “19” for identification year) appeared in the city of Wuhan in early December 2019 and may have originated from an animal source associated with an exotic foods market in that city. The virus itself is properly a SARS-CoV-2 entity and the primary concern is the ease with which it can be transmitted from person to person. Coronavirus have been known for many years, however COVID-19 is a novel mutant of this virus and is incompletely understood at present. Other coronaviruses can also cause more serious diseases, including severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).

The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) has noted that the virus may be transmitted through the skin and can potentially be contracted from airbourne sources. In consequence, CDC recommends that the best preventative measures involve: 1) washing hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds and using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available, 2) Covering coughs and sneezes with an immediately disposable tissue, 3) Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands, 4) Rest, fluids and self-quarantine if symptoms appear,  4) Cleaning and disinfecting high-traffic surfaces and objects with disinfection towelettes.  IMCRA additionally recommends using preventative measures (e.g. surgical gloves) when handling money, holding handrails on stairs and escalators, and touching any surfaces that are exposed to high human contact (e.g. public touchscreens).  It is unclear at present whether the use of surgical masks in public will prevent airbourn infection.

While it's hoped that the infection rate will diminish with warmer weather, (viral respiratory diseases are generally more vibrant and powerful in cool, dry air), it is unknown whether this will be the case with COVID-19.  Thus, the PIVAT approach to international disease control is to get the basic preventative and treatment measures across to people rapidly, globally and in simple native-language terms in provocative and engaging modules easily accessible by smartphone and computer.  While the disease can be deadly, especially to people over 60 (e.g. of the 8 reported COVID-19 fatalities in Beijing, 7 were over 60) taking appropriate measures to understand and counteract the venues for infection can put an emergency brake on its spread.  Your generous financial help in getting this material recorded and online to the people who need it will go a long way to stemming the tide of COVID-19 wordwide.

Artists Conception of COVID-19 Virus
Artists Conception of COVID-19 Virus
Smartphone use During Coronavirus Epidemic
Smartphone use During Coronavirus Epidemic
PIVAT App as it Appears on Smartphone Menu
PIVAT App as it Appears on Smartphone Menu
IMCRA Collaboration with Chinese Affiliate
IMCRA Collaboration with Chinese Affiliate
Recording IMCRA Video Module in Shenzhen, China
Recording IMCRA Video Module in Shenzhen, China

Links:

Sep 18, 2019

World Patient Safety Day

WHO Patient SAfety Day Poster
WHO Patient SAfety Day Poster

Today (17 September 2019) is World Patient Safety Day.

The United Nations has undertaken a global campaign to create awareness of patient safety and urge people to show their commitment to making healthcare safer.  This WHO-sponsored initiative underscores the importance of IMCRA programs like PIVAT which are designed to: 1) make medically-vetted and approriate intervention possible by educating first responders,  2) enable approrpriate care to be available to victims of medical mishaps rapidly and in their native language. The PIVAT system is applicable both at the site of a medical emergency as well as in the ambulance or clinic where primary care is administered.

Surprisingly, 134 million medical adverse events occur each year due to unsafe care onsite and in clinics in locations where poorly-trained or untrained medical personnel are found; this primarily in low- and middle-income countries where poor intial patient care contributes to 2.6 million deaths annually. While four out of 10 patients are harmed in the primary and ambulatory settings, up to 80% of this harm can be avoided.   Finally, fully 15% of hospital expenses can be attributed to patient safety failures in OECD countries.

IMCRA is committed to eradicating this gross imbalance in the quality of patient care by providing instant access to primary care procedures in an easily-understood form provided by some of the foremost healthcare practitioners in the world.  IMCRA is an enthusiastic participant in WHO's World Patient Safety Day and will continue to advocate for effective initial patient care indefinitely.  Please see https://www.who.int/campaigns/world-patient-safety-day/2019 and help us to both enhance and spread the effectiveness of the PIVAT program worldwide.  It is badly needed in so many places where suffering is both unrelieved and often increased by absent or inappropriate medical care.  Thank you

 

Healthcare is Complex and Requires Best Knowledge
Healthcare is Complex and Requires Best Knowledge
PIVAT System Screen In Use
PIVAT System Screen In Use
Option Tree PIVAT in Use
Option Tree PIVAT in Use
Patient Self-Advocacy is Also Critical
Patient Self-Advocacy is Also Critical
Knowing What To Do and When
Knowing What To Do and When

Links:

 
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