COVID-19 Update and Symptom Tips
Wednesday, September 16, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS - As of noon yesterday, there have been 107,229 confirmed positive cases in the state of Indiana. 3,235 Hoosiers have died as a result of COVID-19 and a total of 1,756,019 tests have been administered.

The complete list of counties with cases is included in the ISDH COVID-19 dashboard at https://www.in.gov/coronavirus/. The county metrics map is updated Wednesdays at 12:00 PM and reflects data through the previous Sunday. (The image above shows results as of 9/6/2020 11:59 p.m.).

As the autumn flu season approaches while the Covid-19 pandemic continues, cold symptoms are likely to provoke even more anxiety than usual. Some symptoms of flu—as well as colds and other autumn ailments—are similar to Covid’s, making it harder to know what’s wrong. Fever, dry cough, fatigue and body aches are common with both the flu and Covid.

Fever is common in Covid-19, and also likely to appear with the flu and other viruses. Panagis Galiatsatos, a physician at the John Hopkins School in Baltimore informs us that fevers that result from the novel coronavirus tend to come on stronger and cause chills and major discomfort even if they don’t climb far past 100.4 degrees.

Ben Singer, pulmonary and critical care specialist at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago says that if you are monitoring your symptoms at home, the thing to look out for is if things are generally getting worse. Among the most telltale indications of Covid-19 are shortness of breath, pneumonia and continued fever.

Most colds start with nasal congestion, but it’s not one of the primary symptoms of Covid-19, says Dr. Molly Fleece. She adds that a stuffy nose is also less worrisome if that’s the only symptom you have. Another symptom that’s more prevalent with a cold is a wet cough where phlegm is involved. On the other hand, a dry cough or especially a loss of smell or taste can be symptomatic of Covid-19.

David Beuther, chief medical information officer at National Jewish Health in Denver says, there’s no evidence that the flu vaccine can help protect you from Covid-19. But generally, “vaccines strengthen, not weaken, the immune system.”

Initial data from a COVID-19 treatment trial by Eli Lilly and Company and Incyte shows promising data in the fight against COVID-19.

The purpose of the study was to find out if baricitinib — a drug approved for rheumatoid arthritis patients — can help people recover more quickly from COVID-19.

The trial assessed the efficacy of a dose of baricitinib plus remdesivir versus remdesivir in hospitalized patients with coronavirus. Initial data suggests baricitinib in combination with remdesivir reduced the recovery time. Not only were patients recovering out of the hospital a day earlier but also they were in a less severe stage of the disease on average.

There are more than 800 COVID-19 patients in the hospital in Indiana. Eli Lilly hopes their medicine can help those patients and others across the country.

The trial included more than 1,000 patients and began in May. It was sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, which is part of the National Institutes of Health.