September 18, 2020 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

UCLA Study Suggests COVID-19 Could Have Been in Area as Early as Last December

UCLA study reports significant increase in coughs and acute respiratory failure prior to first official cases of COVID-19

By Sam Catanzaro

A study suggests that COVID-19 may have been in the Los Angeles-area as early as December.

UCLA researchers recently analyzed electronic health records between December 2019 to February 2020 and discovered that there was a greater than 50 percent increase in coughs and acute respiratory failure at UCLA Health hospitals and clinics beginning in late December 2019. According to the researchers, this suggests COVID-19 may have been circulating in the area months before the first definitive cases in the U.S. were identified.

According to the analysis the spike represents around a 50 percent increase in such cases when compared with the same period in each of the previous five years.

Researchers behind the study, which appears in the peer-reviewed Journal of Medical Internet Research, say the findings , could help health authorities more effectively identify and control outbreaks like the current pandemic.

“For many diseases, data from the outpatient setting can provide an early warning to emergency departments and hospital intensive care units of what is to come,” said Dr. Joann Elmore, the study’s lead author and a professor of medicine in the division of general internal medicine and health services research at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “The majority of COVID-19 studies evaluate hospitalization data, but we also looked at the larger outpatient clinic setting, where most patients turn first for medical care when illness and symptoms arise.”

The researchers evaluated more than 10 million records for UCLA Health outpatient, emergency department and hospital facilities, comparing data from the period between Dec. 1, 2019, and Feb. 29, 2020 with data from the same period over the previous five years.

The study found that outpatient clinic visits by UCLA patients seeking care for coughs increased by over 50 percent and exceeded the average number of visits for the same complaint over the prior five years by more than 1,000. 

In addition, the study found a significant excess in the number of patients seen in emergency departments for reports of coughs and of patients hospitalized with acute respiratory failure during this time period. 

The researchers noted that other factors could be responsible for some of this unexpected increase, including the possibility that respiratory illnesses could have been due to vaping, but authors noted this explanation is “doubtful” because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a continued decline in vaping after September 2019. In addition, researchers say that could not rule out that the excess cases were due to flu.

“We may never truly know if these excess patients represented early and undetected COVID-19 cases in our area,” Elmore said. “But the lessons learned from this pandemic, paired with health care analytics that enable real-time surveillance of disease and symptoms, can potentially help us identify and track emerging outbreaks and future epidemics.”

Related Posts

Moved up Census: Time for Californians to Act

September 17, 2020

September 17, 2020

By Tom Elias, Columnist  California polls now show President Trump trails Democrat Joseph Biden in the upcoming presidential election by...

Track Coach Conrad Mainwaring Facing Sexual Abuse Allegations: Century City, Westwood Beat – September, 17, 2020

September 17, 2020

September 17, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Track Coach Conrad Mainwaring Facing Sexual Abuse Allegations * As Covid19...

Local Man Missing Since Last Saturday

September 17, 2020

September 17, 2020

Police looking for Boyd “Christian” Holmes By Sam Catanzaro A reward is being offered for information surrounding the whereabouts of...

Trash Truck Catches Fire in Front of West LA Armory

September 17, 2020

September 17, 2020

LAFD put on fire on Federal Avenue Wednesday afternoon By Sam Catanzaro Los Angeles firefighters extinguished a fire that broke...

Edify TV: Sit-down Dining Safety?

September 17, 2020

September 17, 2020

Despite a recent CDC report stating the risks of in-person dining, many Westside restaurant patrons feel the experience is safe....

Sur La Table Files for Bankruptcy, Leaving Westside

September 17, 2020

September 17, 2020

Popular culinary store closing stores nationwide By Sam Catanzaro Sur La Table is closing its Santa Monica location, marking the...

Coronavirus Continues to Decrease in County but Air Quality Reducing Testing

September 15, 2020

September 15, 2020

Smoke advisory in effect through Wednesday By Sam Catanzaro While COVID-19 cases continue to decrease in Los Angeles County, health...

Edify TV: Westsiders Working out Amid Poor Air Quality

September 15, 2020

September 15, 2020

With poor air quality due to wildfire smoke, local health officials are urging the public to avoid outdoor activity but...

Willy California Wants Men to Rethink Their Closet

September 15, 2020

September 15, 2020

Local clothing line reimagines athleisure By Toi Creel With ranges in styles for men’s clothing from suits and professional clothing...

Man Takes Unsolicited Photos Of Women In Westwood: Westwood Beat, September, 14, 2020

September 14, 2020

September 14, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Man Takes Unsolicited Photos Of Women In Westwood * Mayor Eric...

August Westwood Village Shooting Victim in Stable Condition, Says LAPD

September 14, 2020

September 14, 2020

Suspect still at-large By Sam Catanzaro A victim from an August 22 Westwood Village shooting is in stable condition, Los...

UCLA Ranked Top Public University in Nation for Fourth Straight Year

September 14, 2020

September 14, 2020

U.S. News & World Report releases annual Best Colleges report By Staff Writer UCLA once again sits atop the list...

Edify TV: Over 100 Apartments Could Replace Palms Thrift Store

September 11, 2020

September 11, 2020

A lot that currently contains a thrift store in Palms near Sony Pictures Studios could soon be home to over...

UCLA Study: 1 in 5 Tenants in LA County Have Struggled to Pay Rent During Pandemic

September 11, 2020

September 11, 2020

UCLA and USC release joint report on impact of COVID-19 pandemic on renters By Staff Writer Over 20 percent of...

Willow Smith Buys $3.1M Home In Malibu

September 11, 2020

September 11, 2020

Today on Westside Cribz, Mortgage rates drop for 4th consecutive month, Willow Smith buys her first home in Malibu, and...

Comments
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *