Important COVID-19 resources for healthcare professionals | ICPhA

Important COVID-19 resources for healthcare professionals

ICPhA.ie is temporarily open to anonymous access. Please REGISTER your own account to ensure continued access.

By signing up, you will also enable additional functionality, such as COMMENTING, SEARCHING, VOTING ON/VIEWING polls and gain ACCESS to the PRIVATE FORUM area.

Register »

SARS-CoV-2 virus

With the first case of COVID-19 now confirmed in Ireland it's important to stay abreast of the latest developments.

Let's start with some statistics.

Incubation period

It is widely reported that the incubation period for SARS-CoV-2 is between 2 to 14 days, however there are also reports of up to 24 days or more before the symptoms develop. The average incubation period appears to be less than 7 days and in some cases as little as 24 hours.

Coupled with suspected asymptomatic transmission this makes the virus very difficult to stop.

R0 (reproduction number)

The R0 number indicates how transmissible a virus is, i.e. how many people get infected from a single carrier. Because this is a brand new strain of the virus there is no herd immunity in the population and it can spread very rapidly.

Current best estimates place it between 1.4 and 6.49 with the average of 3.28 and a median of 2.79. WHO's R0 estimate is 1.4–2.5.

If an infected person takes part in a massive public gathering or visits a healthcare facility, school or creche, this number can easily grow far beyond just three new cases per infected individual.

Anything above 1 is bad as it means the spread will continue to grow, less than 1 means it will slow down.

Mortality rate

Mortality rate of COVID-19 is estimated between 0.4% and 3%, compared to 0.05% for seasonal flu epidemic, which is at least 8x worse at best and potentially as bad as 60x worse.

Males appear to be roughly twice as likely to die from complications than females.

WHO released a mortality rate figure of 3.4% but stressed that this is the global average including the Hubei province in China that was hardest hit and where healthcare facilities were unable to cope, which resulted in a significantly higher mortality rate than elsewhere. - NEW 5th March 2020

Rate of compilations

The regular flu has a rate of compilations requiring hospitalisation of about 0.9% of patients compared to 19% for COVID-19, with 5% being critical.

Up to 50% of critical patients die even with the best treatment readily available.

DAILY TRACKER

19th April 2020 South Korea* D. Princess** Italy*** US# Spain****
Death rate 2.19% 1.83% 13.22% 5.31% 10.29%
Critical rate (active) 2.31% 12.73% 2.43% 2.08% 7.31%
Total cases 10,661 712 178,972 764,636 198,674

 

* Best quality data (most people tested)
** Older population on average (Diamond Princess cruise ship)
*** Worst outbreak in Europe
**** Biggest outbreak in Europe
# Biggest outbreak in the world

Test kit sensitivity

RT-PCR test kits which are widely used for confirming COVID-19 infections have been shown to be only around 70% sensitive, meaning that 30% of infected cases are not detected with this testing method. It can also take up to 2-3 days to receive the results because this is a fairly complicated and slow test.

more reliable and faster method is a chest CT scan, where the presence of ground glass opacity has been shown to have 98% sensitivity for COVID-19 disease.

Treatment

Some encouraging news emerging from research into chloroquine's effects on COVID-19. The hypothesis is that it acts as an ionophore (substance that transports particular ions across a lipid membrane in a cell) for Zn2+ ions, which in turn hinder the action of virus' RNA polimerase, impeding it's replication.

Recommended dose of chloroquine phosphate is 500mg twice per day for 10 days. Additional Zinc supplementation may improve the results somewhat, but Zinc on its own will not help as it cannot enter intracellular space without the help of chloroquine.

Sources:

Your input

Please share your experience in the comments below and on our dedicated forum thread as to how you are preparing to deal with this outbreak. Are you facing shortages of any supplies (face masks or hand sanitiser gels) or medicines? How are you protecting yourself from infection?

Join our chat room

NOW would be a great time to join our News & Alerts Channel and Chat Room so that we can communicate in real time (think WhatsApp for large groups).

We will update this page as new information becomes available so be sure to BOOKMARK IT (Ctrl+D) and follow us on Facebook and Twitter (more links below).

RESOURCES:

USEFUL TRACKERS:

RELEVANT ARTICLES:

Social media channels:

Let's connect:

Comments

In the daily deluge of COVID-19 information it's hard to discern between relevant and high quality information and background noise/fake news.

We do our best to stay well within the scientifically verified information realm and with that in mind here are some high quality trackers of COVID-19 treatment developments:

COVID-19 Vaccines in development

We've never before had more technology and brain power focused on any single issue than we do right now on this virus, so it's perfectly valid to be very optimistic of a breakthrough coming soon.

In the meantime, stay safe and stay healthy.

Let's connect:

Latest Articles

  • Important COVID-19 resources for healthcare professionals

    With the first case of COVID-19 now confirmed in Ireland it's important to stay abreast of the latest developments. Let's start with some statistics. Incubation period It is widely reported that the incubation period for SARS-CoV-2 is between 2 to 14 days, however there are also reports of up to...
  • Can pharmacies exchange medicines when they have excess stock?

    Can pharmacies exchange medicines when they have excess stock? Managing pharmacy stock in a way that ensures uninterrupted supply to as many patients as possible, while also maintaining manageable stock levels, has always been challenging, but became even more so with the introduction of the 10-day...
  • Centralisation of the Drugs Payment Scheme

    Some of us though this day would never come, but it's official now, the administration of the Drugs Payment Scheme (DPS) is just days away from finally being centralised. Starting on 26th November 2018, you can contact the National Medical Card Unit, PCRS whenever you have an issue relating to the...

Latest News

  • 2019 PSI Council Election Campaigns Have Begun

    As of 2nd April 2019 the ballot papers have been posted out to the electoral register to elect four new pharmacist members to the PSI council for a four year term. The PSI council is made up of 21 members, of which 10 are pharmacist members and 11 are non-pharmacist members. As a profession we are...
  • Facebook Deletes the Largest Irish Pharmacist Group

    Last week, without any warning, Facebook deleted the largest Irish pharmacist group of over 2600 members. This is now being appealed but it is anyone's guess if and when the group will be restored. Given how quickly and unexpectedly this has happened, it would be very prudent to have a backup...
  • No More Paper Based Claims Listings

    In another cost cutting measure, the HSE PCRS will stop posting out physical paper-based claims listings from 1st July 2018. The document will then only be available online via the Pharmacy Application Suite. Small exception has been made for manual claiming pharmacies, which will receive their...
  • LTI Non-Core List Reimbursement to Change in July

    The HSE have signaled that they will reduce the reimbursement period of non-approved non-core LTI items from current 4 months to just 2 months beginning on the 1st of July 2018. This change is being introduced ahead of the promised improved visibility of these individually approved items via the...
  • Can we still use faxes under GDPR?

    It's the eve of GDPR implementation and one of our favourite tools is under threat. A lot of rumors have been going around regarding the use of fax to transfer personal information such as an emergency supply script for example. Well, we're happy to report that you can take a deep breath and relax...