Investigation: A fatally slow start. An opaque decision to build a new lab network. A High Court battle over ‘flawed’ software. And when the Health Secretary declared success in hitting his testing target, lab staff simply felt ‘upset’ at the blatant boost from home tests. Now this system is being expanded at a cost of billions. Insiders tell Shaun Lintern how failures have already cost lives, and why urgent improvements are needed before a second wavehttps://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/coronavirus-testing-lighthouse-labs-nhs-deaths-delay-a9589381.html
Stroke, delirium, anxiety, confusion, fatigue - the list goes on. If you think Covid-19 is just a respiratory disease, think again.#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus #pandemic
As each week passes, it is becoming increasingly clear that coronavirus can trigger a huge range of neurological problems.
When the first coronavirus cases in Chicago appeared in January, they bore the same genetic signatures as a germ that emerged in China weeks before.It's possible, IMO, that the virus was first spread to various countries in November or December of 2019 but the early form of the virus was neither contagious enough nor deadly enough to spread widely enough to cause alarm, and that this is why a great many people are convinced they've had the virus already.
But as Egon Ozer, an infectious-disease specialist at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, examined the genetic structure of virus samples from local patients, he noticed something different.
A change in the virus was appearing again and again. This mutation, associated with outbreaks in Europe and New York, eventually took over the city. By May, it was found in 95 percent of all the genomes Ozer sequenced.
About 300 people will have the vaccine over the coming weeks, as part of a trial led by Prof Robin Shattock and his colleagues, at Imperial College London.#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus #pandemic
Tests in animals suggest the vaccine is safe and triggers an effective immune response.
Experts at Oxford University have already started human trials.
The trials are among many across the world - there are around 120 vaccine programmes under way.
Hopes of a coronavirus vaccine were raised today after scientists found giving two doses of one of the most promising candidates offers more protection against the disease than just one.I hate posting anything printed in the Daily Mail, but this one could be important.
A drug that could stop cancer cells repairing themselves has shown early signs of working.#science #medicine #health #cancer
More than half of the 40 patients given berzosertib had the growth of their tumours halted.
Berzosertib was even more effective when given alongside chemotherapy, the trial run by the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) and the Royal Marsden NHS Trust suggested.
Scientists in Italy have found traces of the new coronavirus in wastewater collected from Milan and Turin in December 2019 - suggesting COVID-19 was already circulating in northern Italy before China reported the first cases.#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus #pandemic
Nanoparticles cloaked in human lung cell membranes and human immune cell membranes can attract and neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 virus in cell culture, causing the virus to lose its ability to hijack host cells and reproduce.#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus #pandemic
The UK's coronavirus alert level has been downgraded from four to three, the country's chief medical officers said.#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus #pandemic
Under level three, the virus is considered to be "in general circulation" and there could be a "gradual relaxation of restrictions".
Previously transmission was considered to be "high or rising exponentially".
Rats destined for Southeast Asia’s markets and restaurants have been found to carry multiple coronaviruses, a new study shows, adding to concerns over the trade in wild animals.DON'T EAT THE RATS!!!
While the strains detected in the rodents are different from the Covid-19 disease that caused the ongoing pandemic, researchers say their findings highlight the dangers of transporting large numbers of animals together in confined spaces.
In a major U-turn, the UK is ditching the way its current coronavirus-tracing app works and shifting to a model based on technology provided by Apple and Google.Tell you what, government. Keep faffing about and it will never happen. Then you can fall back to the herd immunity position. What’s that? You never left it?
A Chinese drug company has announced positive early results of a vaccine against the coronavirus, claiming it induced an immune response in 100 per cent of those who were given it.#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus #pandemic
A game-changing blood test that spots 98 per cent of coronavirus cases could identify tens of thousands more victims - and might be available from next month.This is a blood test. An antibody test. It could tell us who has already had it.
This could provide Britain's economy with a timely boost and speed up the lifting of lockdown restrictions.
Studies suggest as many as eight in 10 cases of Covid-19 are so mild that sufferers don't even notice they're unwell - meaning they are unaware they could already have immunity to the killer bug.
Up to 29 per cent of current screening tests conducted on carriers produce a incorrect negative result, according to research, but the new test is said to more accurately identify the antibodies thought to be crucial to immunity.
Echoing much of the existing data and research on the subject, SF-based Color released data today showing that based on its own testing program, most individuals who test positive for COVID-19 display either mild or no symptoms, including even running a fever.This is good to know, despite the negative implications. And very useful in countries where the true number of tests, let alone the results of testing, are actually published.
Covid-19 can leave the lungs of people who died from the disease completely unrecognisable, a professor of cardiovascular science has told parliament.#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus #pandemic
It created such massive damage in those who spent more than a month in hospital that it resulted in “complete disruption of the lung architecture”, said Prof Mauro Giacca of King’s College London.
Coronavirus was brought into the UK on at least 1,300 separate occasions, a major analysis of the genetics of the virus shows.#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus #pandemic
The study, by the Covid-19 Genomics UK consortium (Cog-UK), completely quashes the idea that a single "patient zero" started the whole UK outbreak.
The analysis also finds China, where the pandemic started, had a negligible impact on cases in the UK.
Instead those initial cases came mostly from European countries.
This novel coronavirus is bizarre for many reasons, making its spread unpredictable and hard to control.#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus #pandemic
One oddity is how easily people can get infected by someone without symptoms. But there's a difference between asymptomatic spread and pre-symptomatic spread.
Neuroscientists could use brain waves to spur immune cells into action against the disease — but the process is almost too fantastic to believe.#science #medicine #health #dementia #Alzheimers
Scientists must specialize to succeed. Biologists studying microglia don’t tend to read papers about brain waves, and brain wave researchers are generally unaware of glial research. A study that bridges these two traditionally separate disciplines may fail to gain traction. But this study needed attention: Incredible as it may sound, the researchers improved the brains of animals with Alzheimer’s simply by using LED lights that flashed 40 times a second. Even sound played at this charmed frequency, 40 hertz, had a similar effect.
During the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, cities were in general affected worse than smaller conurbations or rural areas. Yet in Italy, Rome was relatively spared while the villages of Lombardy experienced very high rates of sickness and death. Then again, one Lombard village – Ferrara Erbognone – stood out for not recording a single case of Covid-19 at the height of the wave. Nobody knows why.Are people more immune than the scientists first thought?
The puzzle is not just Italian. From the beginning, Covid-19 struck unevenly across the globe, and scientists have been trying to understand the reasons. Why are some populations or sectors of a population more vulnerable than others? Or to turn the question around, why are some groups relatively protected?
Patients who have died or been admitted to intensive care with Covid-19 have been found to be deficient in a vitamin found in spinach, eggs, and hard and blue cheeses, raising hopes that dietary change might be one part of the answer to combating the disease.#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus #pandemic
Researchers studying patients who were admitted to the Canisius Wilhelmina hospital in the Dutch city of Nijmegen have extolled the benefits of vitamin K after discovering a link between deficiency and the worst coronavirus outcomes.
A fifth of people with negative coronavirus tests might have the virus, the chair of the Commons health committee has said. Jeremy Hunt said evidence suggested 20% of negative results could be false.False negatives? Just what we need. What a circus!
Scientists are running a trial to see if ibuprofen can help hospital patients who are sick with coronavirus.#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus #pandemic
The team from London's Guy's and St Thomas' hospital and King's College believe the drug, which is an anti-inflammatory as well as a painkiller, could treat breathing difficulties.
They hope the low-cost treatment can keep patients off ventilators.
“The reports I am getting are from people who were ill from early January onwards and strongly suggest they had Covid-19 but were not recognised as such,” the epidemiologist professor Tim Spector said last month.It now seems obvious that it hit the UK before the start of the new year. We should have had track and trace from late January onwards in the UK. And they should have manufactured antibody tests as soon as possible, and started testing the entire population. There are probably many thousands of people who had COVID-19 and either survived it or had few or no symptoms, and who still want answers. So the WHO asking countries to investigate any suspicious deaths. Really?! I have to wonder if anyone is going to learn anything from this pandemic. Thousands of deaths might have been avoided if it had been handled properly.
Five new drugs are to be trialled in 30 hospitals across the country in the race to find a treatment for Covid-19, it has emerged.#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus #pandemic
Just days after global trials of hydroxychloroquine, the drug promoted by Donald Trump as a cure, were halted, British scientists are looking to sign up hundreds of patients for trials of medicines they hope will prevent people becoming ill enough to need intensive care or ventilators.
As the crisis has unfolded, scientists have discovered more evidence about a strange and worrying feature of the coronavirus. While many people who become infected develop a cough, fever and loss of taste and smell, others have no symptoms at all and never realise they're carrying Covid-19.Not new news, but an interesting read.
Researchers say it's vital to understand how many are affected this way and whether "silent spreaders" are fuelling the pandemic.
Scientists claim to have unearthed more clues about how the new coronavirus could have spread from bats through pangolins and into humans, as India reported its worst single-day rise in new cases, and the number of Covid-19 infections worldwide neared six million.#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus #pandemic
Sweden has the highest mortality rate per capita at this stage of the epidemic, according to a Financial Times tracker [https://bit.ly/2ZN15BV] that uses a seven-day rolling average of new deaths. It has overtaken the UK, Italy and Belgium in recent days.#Sweden #covid19 #covid-19 #health #medicine
Mounting evidence suggests the coronavirus is more common and less deadly than it first appeared.TLDR: This doesn't necessarily mean it's less dangerous for you, especially if you're over 70, from a BAME ethnic background, and have a serious pre-existing health condition. We already know all that. This research shows that the virus is statistically less dangerous over the entire population than was previously thought.
The evidence comes from tests that detect antibodies to the coronavirus in a person's blood rather than the virus itself.
The tests are finding large numbers of people in the U.S. who were infected but never became seriously ill. And when these mild infections are included in coronavirus statistics, the virus appears less dangerous.
Dr John Wright of Bradford Royal Infirmary (BRI) describes some of the trials under way to find a cure for Covid-19, and suggests that a combination of three different types of drug may hold the key.#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus
There is only a 50% chance of the Oxford coronavirus vaccine working because cases in the UK are declining so fast, one of the scientists behind it has warned.#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus
When you talk to intensive care doctors across the UK, exhausted after weeks of dealing with the ravages of Covid-19, the phrase that emerges time after time is, "We've never seen anything like this before."#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus
Most people infected with the coronavirus have only mild symptoms, or sometimes none at all. But in many thousands of patients who fall critically ill, Covid-19 is a disease of alarming complexity.
Britain’s physical distancing advice to stay 2 metres from other people is a “precautionary approach” and could change to allow closer contact, top officials from Public Health England have said.I think I might now need to keep 3 metres distance...
The guidance is out of line with advice in most other countries and with recommendations from the World Health Organization, which says people should stay just one metre apart.
A potentially “game-changing” spit test for coronavirus is set to be trialled by the government on 5,000 police and army staff amid growing concern about the accuracy of invasive nasal swabs.#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus
The two-minute test requires someone to spit in a tube, and is thought to be as accurate, if not more so, than the throat and nose swab that detects if someone has Covid-19.
People who recover from COVID-19 but test positive for the virus again days or weeks later are not shedding viral particles and are not infectious, according to data released Tuesday by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus
Security experts have exposed laughable flaws in the NHS' contact tracing app.#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus #ContactTracing #NHS
Source code analysis revealed seven holes.
Staggeringly, the random ID code used to protect user privacy only changes once every 24 hours, and the beta for the app was published before encryption was finished.
The first hints that a vaccine can train people's immune system to fight coronavirus have been reported by a company in the US.#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus
Moderna said neutralising antibodies were found in the first eight people who took part in their safety trials.
It also said the immune response was similar to people infected with the actual virus.
Larger trials to see whether the jab actually protects against infection are expected to start in July.
The Chinese province of Jilin has placed about 108 million people into lockdown on Monday after roughly 34 new cases of coronavirus and one death were identified in the region over the past few weeks, according to a new report from Bloomberg News. The new lockdown demonstrates widespread fear in China of witnessing another uncontrollable outbreak like the one in Wuhan that set off the global covid-19 pandemic in December 2019.#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus
Doctors have identified a group of blood compounds that may help to reveal which children are most at risk of developing a rare but life-threatening immune reaction to coronavirus.#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus