Sources and updates, February 13

  • Biden administration is reportedly shifting hospital reporting on COVID-19 patients: During the Omicron surge, there’s been a push among some COVID-19 experts (and in the media) to separately report patients who are admitted to hospitals because of their COVID-19 symptoms from patients who are admitted to hospitals for some other reason, but then test positive later. This push, also called the “with” versus “for” issue, has reached the White House, according to a recent report from POLITICO. The Biden administration now wants all hospitals to separate out their COVID-19 numbers in this way, to get a better picture of severe disease caused by the virus. Such a shift may be tricky for hospitals to follow, however, in part because a lot of people who appear to be incidental, “with COVID-19” patients actually had rare symptoms or chronic conditions exacerbated by the virus. “You need a panel of experts to review the cases” and judge this issue, expert Eric Topol told POLITICO.
  • Long-term cardiovascular outcomes of COVID-19: A new paper from researchers at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), published this week in Nature Medicine, sheds light on potential long-term COVID-19 impacts for the heart. The researchers used national health records databases from the VA to study over 150,000 COVID-19 patients—a much larger study size than most Long COVID research in the U.S. The paper found that, after their first month of infection, COVID-19 patients are at increased risk for a variety of cardiovascular issues, including heart inflammation and heart failure. Outside scientists commenting on the paper in Science magazine said that the findings clearly demonstrate that COVID-19 has grave long-term risks for heart health.

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