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  • WHO warns that few have developed antibodies to Covid-19

    21 Apr, 2020
    Herd immunity hopes dealt blow by report suggesting only 2%-3% of people have been infected.

    Only a tiny proportion of the global population – maybe as few as 2% or 3% – appear to have antibodies in the blood showing they have been infected with Covid-19, according to the World Health Organization, a finding that bodes ill for hopes that herd immunity will ease the exit from lockdown.

    “Easing restrictions is not the end of the epidemic in any country,” said WHO director-gen...
  • Comparing COVID-19 with previous pandemics

    21 Apr, 2020
    In this article, we take a look back at some of the other pandemics that humans have endured. Specifically, we investigate cholera, the Black Death, and the Spanish flu, among others. We will note any similarities and take lessons where we can.

    Pandemics have played a role in shaping human history throughout the ages. Few people reading this today will remember outbreaks on this scale, but history shows us that although it is devastating, what we are experiencing now is nothing unusual...
  • Digital contact tracing can slow or even stop coronavirus transmission and ease us out of lockdown

    21 Apr, 2020
    A team at Oxford University is sharing an epidemiological model to help configure a contact tracing app for coronavirus. The model offers several safe configurations to introduce an app and a framework to optimise the app after it is released.The simulations confirm that if around half the total population use the app, alongside other interventions, it has the potential to stop the epidemic and help to keep countries out of lockdown. These research efforts are supporting several European proj...
  • COVID-19: impact on cancer workforce and delivery of care

    21 Apr, 2020

    Balancing the risk of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) for patients with cancer and health-care workers with the need to continue to provide effective treatment and care is changing how oncology teams work worldwide. “The pandemic has meant a transformation of every aspect of cancer care, irres- pective of treatment, inpatient or outpatient, and radical or palliative intent,” said James Spicer (Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK).

    High rates of sickne...
  • Can you get coronavirus twice? What we know so far about COVID-19 and immunity

    20 Apr, 2020

    Your immune system is like your own personal army: a vast network of cells, tissues and organs that coordinate your body's defences against illness and disease.

    Yet how the immune system responds to coronavirus — and whether it mountsanylasting defence — is one of the biggest unknowns and most urgent questions facing researchers and health authorities right now.

    "Like most other viruses, we're going to mount an immune response and in the short term that should mean that we'r...
  • WHO: Alcohol does not protect against COVID-19; access should be restricted during lockdown

    20 Apr, 2020
    Alcohol is known to be harmful to health in general, and is well understood to increase the risk of injury and violence, including intimate partner violence, and can cause alcohol poisoning. At times of lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, alcohol consumption can exacerbate health vulnerability, risk-taking behaviours, mental health issues and violence. WHO/Europe reminds people that drinking alcohol does not protect them from COVID-19, and encourages governments to enforce measures which l...
  • Will antibody tests for the coronavirus really change everything?

    20 Apr, 2020
    Touted as society's way out of widespread lockdowns, scientists say the true potential of these rapidly-developed tests is still unknown.
    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called them a ‘game changer’. Antibody tests have captured the world’s attention for their potential to help life return to normal by revealing who has been exposed, and might now be immune, to the new coronavirus.

    Dozens of biotech companies and research laboratories have rushed to produce the blood tests. And...
  • Covid-19 mortality highly influenced by age demographics

    20 Apr, 2020

    A study released on April 17th from the University of Oxford is the first to highlight the importance of age and demographic science in explaining the difference in fatalities across countries affected by the virus.

    The research, from Jennifer Beam Dowd, Melinda Mills and colleagues at the Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science, University of Oxford and Nuffield College, emphasises the potential for dramatically higher fatality rates in countries and localities with older popula...
  • WHO warning: No evidence that antibody tests can show coronavirus immunity

    20 Apr, 2020

    The World Health Organization issued a warning Friday about coronavirus testing, saying there’s no evidence serological tests can show whether a person has immunity or is no longer at risk of becoming reinfected.

    “These antibody tests will be able to measure that level of serology presence, that level of antibodies, but that does not mean that somebody with antibodies is immune", said Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, head of WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit.

  • Who's Hit Hardest By COVID-19? Why Obesity, Stress And Race All Matter

    19 Apr, 2020

    As data emerges on the spectrum of symptoms caused by COVID-19, it's clear that people with chronic health conditions are being hit harder.

    While many people experience mild illness, 89% of people with COVID-19 who were sick enough to be hospitalized had at least one chronic condition. About half had high blood pressure and obesity, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And about a third had diabetes and a third had cardiovascular d...
  • China Raises Coronavirus Death Toll by 50% in Wuhan

    18 Apr, 2020

    China on Friday raised its coronavirus death toll by 50 percent in Wuhan, the city where the outbreak first emerged, amid accusations that the government had concealed the extent of the epidemic.

    Officials placed the new tally at 3,869 deaths from the coronavirus in the central Chinese city, an increase of 1,290 from the previous figure. The number of cumulative confirmed infections in the city was also revised upward to 50,333, an increase of 325.

  • Asthma Is Absent Among Top Covid-19 Risk Factors, Early Data Shows

    17 Apr, 2020
    Despite warnings that asthmatics were at higher risk for severe illness from the coronavirus, asthma is showing up in only about five percent of New York State’s fatal Covid cases.

    For people with asthma, the outbreak of a pandemic that can lead to respiratory failure has not been a welcome event. Many health organizations have cautioned that asthmatics are most likely at higher risk for severe illness if they get the coronavirus. There’s been a run on inhalers, and coronavirus pa...