Model predicts almost 300K COVID-19 deaths by Dec. | has information for patients about how face masks can help prevent the spread of COVID-19. | Study: Asymptomatic COVID-19 patients are contagious
August 7, 2020
Family Medicine SmartBrief
Top Story
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation predicts that the US COVID-19 death toll could reach 295,011 by Dec. 1, but that more than 66,000 of those lives could be saved if 95% of the public wore face coverings. COVID-19 has killed 159,990 people in the US, according to Johns Hopkins University, and the CDC estimates this number will reach 181,031 by Aug. 29 with Hawaii and Puerto Rico expected to report more deaths over the next four weeks.
Full Story: CNN (8/7) 
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Clinical News
Asymptomatic COVID-19 patients could be as contagious as those with symptoms of the disease, according to a study in JAMA Internal Medicine. Researchers examined 303 COVID-19 patients isolated at a South Korean hospital and found that asymptomatic patients tested positive for the virus for as long as 18 days after their diagnosis compared with 20 days for symptomatic patients, and many who were asymptomatic had evidence of viral shedding for 30 days after diagnosis.
Full Story: United Press International (8/6) 
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The ketogenic, modified Atkins and low glycemic index therapy diets were associated with similar reductions in seizures among children with drug-resistant epilepsy, a study in JAMA Pediatrics showed. Researcher Eric Kossoff, M.D., said the low glycemic index and modified Atkins diets did not work as well as the keto diet, but the low glycemic index therapy had fewer side effects.
Full Story: MedPage Today (free registration) (8/5) 
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Research published in the journal Neurology found taking vitamin D and calcium supplements may reduce the rate of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo by 24%, when compared with not taking the supplements. The findings, based on more than 900 patients with BPPV, showed people who had low vitamin D levels at baseline saw the greatest benefit.
Full Story: HealthDay News (8/5) 
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FMX Early Bird Savings Extended Through 8/10
Save the most when you register by Aug. 10 for the AAFP's virtual Family Medicine Experience. Earn a year's worth of CME, hear dynamic Main Stage sessions, interact with faculty through live Q&A, and more. Register with code FMX20EARLY to save.
Practice Management
Physicians say they can pick up physical cues from patients during telehealth visits that they may not see with in-office visits, and having a patient in their home environment may lead to different responses to blood pressure checks and dementia screenings. "There are some things we look for that are more artificial in a doctor's office and more real-world at home," said primary care physician Mark Fendrick, M.D., who is with Michigan Medicine.
Full Story: The Atlantic (tiered subscription model) (8/6) 
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Family physician Jeff Bullard, M.D., in Colleyville, Texas, says challenges in the first wave of COVID-19 included a lack of preparedness for delivering care, getting personal protective equipment, communicating with patients and setting up infection control protocols. Bullard says practices should begin stocking up on PPE now in preparation for a second COVID-19 wave, build protocols for telehealth and use social media to keep patients informed.
Full Story: Medical Economics (8/4) 
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Health Policy & Legislation
The Infectious Diseases Society of America and the HIV Medicine Association are calling for a national strategy on masks and a federal mandate for mask wearing to fight COVID-19. There is a "critical window of time" to reduce the spread of COVID-19 before the influenza season begins and hospitals likely become overwhelmed, they write in a letter to Vice President Mike Pence.
Full Story: Forbes (8/5) 
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President Donald Trump on Thursday signed an executive order requiring the government to purchase essential drugs from companies in the US instead of those overseas. White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said the order also lifts some pharmaceutical manufacturing regulations and accelerates the review process for making some drug ingredients.
Full Story: Reuters (8/6),  CNBC (8/6) 
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The US Army Medical Command has expanded virtual health care both within the Defense Health Agency and with its own funding, says Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. R. Scott Dingle. Telehealth technology has proven especially useful in mental and behavioral health care, removing some of the stigma around mental health care and improving soldiers' access to care, Dingle says.
Full Story: GovernmentCIO Media & Research (7/31) 
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Professional Issues & Trends
Hospitals on the US News and World Report 2020-21 Best Hospitals Honor Roll are taking a variety of approaches to reducing health care disparities. Cindy Barnard, vice president of quality at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, says the focus is on creating robust partnerships with its communities, having a diverse and inclusive workforce, and doing patient-centered quality improvement in areas of clinical vulnerability and disparities.
Full Story: Becker's Hospital Review (8/4) 
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Inside the AAFP
AAFP Member Advantage discount on UpToDate subscription
AAFP Member Advantage is offering access to discounts of up to 15% for physicians and 20% for residents on UpToDate -- a clinical decision support resource utilized by over 1.7 million clinicians worldwide. Subscribers get exclusive access to reliable, evidence-based content -- available now at an AAFP members-only discounted price. Learn more.
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AAFP CareerLink - Connecting Family Physicians and Employers
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About AAFP
This news roundup is provided as a timely update to AAFP members and other health care professionals about family medicine topics in the news media. Links to articles are provided for the convenience of family physicians who may find them of use in discussions with patients or colleagues. Opinions expressed in Family Medicine SmartBrief are those of the identified authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of the American Academy of Family Physicians. On occasion, media articles may include or imply incorrect information about the AAFP and its policies, positions or relationships. For clarification on AAFP positions and policies, we refer you to
External Resources are not a part of the AAFP website. AAFP is not responsible for the content of sites that are external to the AAFP. Linking to a website does not constitute an endorsement by AAFP of the sponsors of the site or the information presented on the site.

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