Rapid COVID Testing – An Effective Preventive Measure

This article originally appeared on BeMedWise. An up-to-date version can be found here.

Periodic screening for COVID infection is one of many proven ways to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Unfortunately it is underutilized.

Although vaccine mandates have become part of many workplaces, there are still those who will not accept vaccination. Periodic COVID testing has become the alternate choice, although predominantly done using a test that takes at least 24 hours to get the results, during which time the person could potentially be spreading the virus. The typical testing interval is a week, although some companies such as FOX news, are mandating daily testing.

One problem with the current approach to COVID testing is that it is predominantly reactive in nature. Testing for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is being done on people with COVID-19 symptoms, but it has not been consistently used as part of a comprehensive plan to reduce the spread of COVID infections.

That is beginning to change, starting with recent federal mandates that employees either

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Open Enrollment for 2022 Coverage

The Affordable Care Act (ACA; aka Obamacare) Health Insurance Marketplace is set to begin its tenth Open Enrollment period today. American healthcare consumers can sign up on the federal insurance exchange at healthcare.gov or through their state marketplaces. In recent years there has been increased confusion surrounding Open Enrollment due to changes (and attempted changes) made to the ACA under the Trump administration, though President Biden has reversed some of the harmful changes that led to the first increases in U.S. uninsured rate since 2014 and largest single-year increase since 2008

When Obama was president and launched the ACA, the Open Enrollment period ran 90 days beginning November 1 and running until the end of January. Trump cut Open Enrollment to 45 days along with outreach budgets his first year in office, limiting access to assistance and information for those in need. President Biden has set Open Enrollment to 75 days — now running from November 1 to January 15 — and reinstated funding and navigator requirements. The

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Intersex Awareness Normalizes Naturally Occurring Bodies

The “i” in LGBTQIA stands for intersex. Intersex is an umbrella term for people with differences in sex traits or reproductive anatomy. Intersex people are born with these differences or develop them in childhood/puberty. There are many possible differences in genitalia, hormones, internal anatomy, and/or chromosomes compared to the typical binary notion of male and female bodies. An estimated 1.7% of people are born intersex.

Since 2004, October 26 is observed as Intersex Awareness Day. Intersex Awareness Day commemorates the anniversary of a protest held by members of the intersex community during the annual American Academy of Pediatrics convention in 1996. Activists gathered in action against the standard practice of invasive gender-based surgeries that many intersex children have historically endured. This practice is largely considered outdated and harmful today, though only Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and Boston Children’s Hospital have categorically stated that they do not perform infant genital surgeries.

Intersex people are often made to feel like medical curiosities

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Health Literacy and Education in Time of COVID

Health literacy is defined as the degree to which an individual has the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions. Being able to disseminate health information allows people to navigate the healthcare system, keep track of their medical history, competently engage in self-care, and understand the probability of health risks.

Health literacy is the main form of defense against the growing misinformation prevalent in our society. Knowledge of the facts is key to combat the influence of those who would fly in the face of medical and scientific studies on subjects such as vaccinations or family planning services.  Dangerous pseudoscience can be avoided, saving individuals money and suffering at the hands of those who either don’t know or don’t care. Despite this, only 12% of adults have “Proficient” health literacy. This means nearly nine out of ten American adults may lack the knowledge necessary

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COVID in Children Is Not Insignificant

This article originally appeared on BeMedWise. An up-to-date version can be found here.

COVID-19 is not rare in children and adolescents. At time of writing, it has infected more than 7.3% (5,518,815) of the young people in the United States. Since even those with mild or asymptomatic disease can spread COVID to others, they are a source of infection for unprotected and vulnerable individuals.

Other than reducing the spread of COVID infections, there are many reasons why we need to commit to immunizing children and adolescents and utilizing other proven protective measures such as face masks, social distancing, screening questions, contact tracing, staying home when sick, and periodic COVID testing.

Despite early impressions and ongoing rhetoric that COVID-19 infection is uncommon and relatively harmless in children, time has shown that children and adolescents are getting COVID at increasing rates and that the number that are getting severe disease and/or have significant mental and physical complications from COVID disease is not trivial.

1 – Increasing Number of Cases

Since the Delta variant has become predominant,

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About Us

Welcome to the NeedyMeds Voice! We look forward to presenting you with timely, provocative pieces on healthcare reform, patient advocacy, medication and healthcare access, and other health-related news. Our goals are to educate, enlighten, and elucidate; together, we will try to make sense of the myriad and ongoing healthcare-related changes in the U.S. today.