Video: Boston doctor encouraged by drop in COVID-19 hospitalizations, ICU cases
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Video: Boston doctor encouraged by drop in COVID-19 hospitalizations, ICU cases

Video: Boston doctor encouraged by drop in COVID-19 hospitalizations, ICU cases in Massachusetts

LADIES? RHONDELLA: THANK YOU, A.J. THE NUMBER OF PATIENTS HOSPITALIZED FOR COVID-19 IN MASSACHUSETTS DROPPED BELOW 500 FOR THE FIRST TIME IN OCTOBER. JENNIFER: HERE TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS IS DR. JARONE LEE, MEDICAL DIRECTOR OF THE INTENSIVE CARE UNIT AT MASS GENERAL HOSPITAL. THE STATE NUMBERS ARE FOLLOWING A NATIONAL TREND HERE. HOSPITALIZATIONS, NEW CASES, DEATHS, ALL AT THEIR LOWEST POINT IN MONTHS NOW. ARE YOU SEEING FEWER PATIENTS IN THE ICU AND DO YOU CREDIT THAT TO THE VACCINES? >> YES, THIS IS AMAZING NEWS. I’LL SAY THAT WE’RE ALL CELEBRATING THE NEWS, OF COURSE. WE ARE SEEING LESS HOSPITALIZATIONS AND ALSO ADMISSIONS TO THE ICU FOR COVID. I DO BELIEVE IN LARGE PART THIS IS BECAUSE OF THE VACCINES. WE HAVE OVER 2.8 MILLION ADULTS ALREADY VACCINATED IN MASSACHUSETTS. THAT REPRESENTS OVER 50% OF OUR ADULT POPULATION IN MASSACHUSETTS. AND WE KNOW THAT VACCINES WORK WELL. THEY’RE SAFE. AND THEY ALSO REDUCE THE CHANCE OF GETTING TO SEVERE DISEASE IF YOU DO GET COVID AFTER BEING VACCINATED. HOWEVER, BEYOND VACCINES, I ALSO WILL SAY THAT WE’VE LEARNED A LOT ABOUT THE DISEASE ITSELF OVER THE LAST YEAR. WE’VE LEARNED WHAT WORKS AND WHAT DOES NOT WORK. FOR EXAMPLE, WE’VE LEARNED THAT PATIENTS WHO ARE HOSPITALIZED NEED OXYGEN. IF WE START STEROIDS EARLY, THAT REDUCES THE CHANCE OF NEEDING A VENTILATOR AND REDUCES MORTALITY AND SAVES LIVES. WE CONTINUE TO SEE A CONSTANT, STEADY TRICKLE OF ICU ADMISSIONS WITH COVID-19. COVID IS STILL HERE. WE’RE CLOSE TO THE FINISH LINE BUT WE’RE NOT THERE YET. RHONDELLA: EXACTLY. THE CDC PREDICTS A SHARPER DECLINE IN JULY. IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT’S THE BIGGER THREAT TO OUR RECOVERY RIGHT NOW? IS IT THE NEW VARIANTS OR ALL THE FALSE INFORMATION ABOUT VACCINES ON SOCIAL MEDIA? >> THIS IS ALSO GREAT NEWS. I THINK WE’LL BE BACK TO SEMI-NORMAL BY SUMMER OR FALL. HOWEVER, THIS CONTINUES TO REQUIRE US TO ALL GET VACCINATED AS WELL AS CONTINUE TO REDUCE THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS DOING GOOD SOCIAL DISTANCE MEASURES. I DO BELIEVE THE NEW VARIANTS AND FALSE INFORMATION ABOUT VACCINES WILL MAKE IT DIFFICULT TO GET US TO THIS RETURN TO NORMAL THAT WE ALL WANT. A GOOD PERCENTAGE OF OUR POPULATION REMAINS AT RISK. FOR ABOUT — FOR BOTH OF THESE PROBLEMS, THOUGH, I BELIEVE THAT THEY’RE BOTH SURMOUNTABLE, THOUGH. AS A COMMUNITY, WE HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THAT WE ALL WANT TO RETURN TO NORMAL. FIRST, TO ADDRESS THE RISK OF VARIANTS, WE HAVE TO CONTINUE TO VACCINATE. DATA SHOWS CURRENT VACCINES WORK WELL AGAINST THESE VARIANTS, ESPECIALLY THE HIGH-RISK ONES. NEXT, WE DEFINITELY HAVE TO CONTINUE REDUCING THE SPREAD SO THAT WE DON’T PRODUCE NEW VARIANTS THAT COULD BE WORSE THAN THE CURRENT ONES. IN TERMS OF THE FALSE INFORMATION ABOUT VACCINES, I THINK ALL OF US HAVE TO CONTINUE THE GOOD FIGHT OF PUTTING OUT SCIENTIFICALLY SOUND AND CORRECT MESSAGES ABOUT BOTH COVID ILLNESS AND ALSO VACCINATIONS. JENNIFER: I ALSO WANT TO ASK YOU ABOUT A NEW STUDY THIS WEEK FROM YOUR COLLEAGUES AT MGH. THEY SAY THEY’VE IDENTIFIED A PROTEIN SIGNATURE LINKED TO SEVERE DISEASE AND DEATH IN COVID PATIENTS. WHY IS THAT IMPORTANT AND COULD IT CHANGE TREATMENT FOR COVID PATIENTS? >> YEAH, THIS IS VERY EXCITING RESEARCH. ONE OF MY COLLEAGUES I WORK WITH CLOSELY IN THE EMS GENERAL, THE DOCTOR AND HIS GROUP LOOKED AT 1500 PROTEINS IN THE BLOOD. THEY FOUND 250 OF THEM WERE ASSOCIATED WITH SEVERE COVID DISEASE. IN OTHER WORDS, A PROTEIN-BASED FINGERPRINT OF WHAT SEVERE COVID DISEASE LOOKS LIKE IN A PATIENT. AND A LOT OF THESE PROTEINS OF THE 250 WERE PROTEINS THAT INTERACTED WITH IMMUNE SYSTEM, POSSIBLY EVEN ACTIVATED IT. SO OVERALL, THIS SORT OF SHOWS US WHY STEROIDS POTENTIALLY STOP THE PROGRESSION TO SEVERE DISEASE. WHAT IS EXCITING ABOUT THIS RESEARCH, IT GIVES US NEW TARGETS FOR NOVEL DRUG THERAPIES IN THE FUTURE FOR COVID. RHONDELLA: DR. JARONE LEE, MEDICAL DIRECTOR OF TH

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Video: Boston doctor encouraged by drop in COVID-19 hospitalizations, ICU cases in Massachusetts

Dr. Jarone Lee, of Mass General, believes vaccines are playing a large part in the “amazing news,” but he is cautioning that the coronavirus is still a threat.

Dr. Jarone Lee, of Mass General, believes vaccines are playing a large part in the “amazing news,” but he is cautioning that the coronavirus is still a threat.

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