COVID-19 News: Vitamin D, Re-Infection, Antibiotics

Antibiotic Prescriptions for COVID-19

As COVID-19 continues to make an impact on our society, more and more is discovered about this enigmatic virus each week. First, the good: Vitamin D may help your immune system fight COVID-19. The bad: COVID-19 patients are getting too many antibiotics. The ugly: Thirteen sailors re-tested positive for COVID-19. 

Unnecessary Antibiotic Prescriptions for COVID-19

Patients with COVID-19 are unnecessarily prescribed antibiotics, even though they’re unlikely to make any positive difference, according to an article published in MedPage Today. Taking antibiotics without needing to, in many cases, can lead to a resistance to antibiotics, which renders safer antibiotics useless leading to the use of more powerful and riskier antibiotics when it should not have been needed.  

The article goes on to explain that many COVID-19 patients may seem to have pneumonia or a co-infection. The journal Clinical Infectious Diseases analyzed coronavirus studies that showed that 73% of 2,010 patients admitted with COVID-19 were treated with antibiotics. Only 8% had a co-infection, the rest should not have needed antibiotics. 

Sailors Re-test Positive for COVID-19

Thirteen sailors in the USS Roosevelt tested positive, again, for COVID-19, NPR reports. The ship was initially docked in Guam after an outbreak infected hundreds of crew members in March. A statement released by the Navy says that the sailors tested negative for COVID-19 “at least two times” before their positive tests. 

The sailors have left the ship and are receiving treatment in isolation on Naval Base Guam. For nearly all other viruses, catching and surviving it grants one immunity. Of course, the medical community was expecting COVID-19 to act in the same way. Scientists can’t draw a firm conclusion from this one incident because there could be other factors in play — false positives in the original infection, false positives now, never fully recovering from the first round, or that the virus has mutated, are a few of the possibilities. Until scientists have studied this phenomenon, the presumption of immunity for survivors is questioned. 

Vitamin D and COVID-19

Those who have high rates of Vitamin D seem to have less severe COVID-19 symptoms and fewer deaths. This is based on observational data, not in a study where other factors could be controlled, so it’s too soon to draw a conclusion. The investigators published the news in the journal Aging Clinical and Experimental Research. And another study published in the Irish Medical Journal found that countries in Europe with higher mortality and infection rates had lower Vitamin D levels. The thought is that Vitamin D may improve the immune system’s response against the virus.

Of course, this is all speculative, which is why doctors are calling for randomized, controlled studies so that the effects of Vitamin D on COVID-19 can be better understood. Still, taking in extra Vitamin D viewed as “low-hanging fruit” — If it can help, why not try and get more Vitamin D into your system?

Andrew Gutman

Andrew Gutman

Andrew Gutman is a Senior Associate Editor for Muscle & Fitness, and a contributing writer for Men's Journal and Business Insider. He graduated from Springfield College with a degree in Journalism and Communications in 2015.

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