fizer-BioNTech has begun testing a third dose of its COVID-19 vaccine in a small group of people. The vaccine is currently authorized in several countries in a two-dose regimen, given 21 days apart, and has proven in studies to be about 95% effective in protecting against COVID-19 disease. But as new (and more infectious) genetic variants of the COVID-19 virus start circulating—so far, scientists have identified three major strains, first found in the U.K., South Africa, and Brazil, respectively—questions about how well authorized vaccines can still thwart the virus have become more urgent.#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus #pandemic
New government-funded research this week should offer some comfort to people who have survived covid-19. It suggests they have a low risk of reinfection from the coronavirus, at least around three months later.#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus #pandemic
Ghana has become the first country to receive coronavirus vaccines through the Covax vaccine-sharing initiative.For all of us to be safe, it needs all of us to be safe.
The World Health Organization (WHO) programme aims to ensure that vaccines are shared fairly among all nations.
Covax is aiming to deliver about two billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines globally by the end of the year.
French researchers have developed a coronavirus test that they say delivers results three times faster than rapid lateral flow antigen tests with – according to initial trial data – almost the same accuracy as more reliable, but slower, PCR tests.No, you don’t hold a camel under your chin...
The test, which will next undergo a three-month trial on 1,000 people, uses nanobodies taken from the camelid group of animals – which includes camels, llamas and alpacas – because they are more stable than antibodies from other animals.
Real-world evidence from the Covid vaccination programmes in England and Scotland show that one dose of vaccine gives high protection against severe disease and admission to hospital – and protects against even mild disease with no symptoms in younger people.#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus #pandemic
Not a single case of influenza has been detected by public health officials in England for the past seven weeks, with infection rates at historic lows amid the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus #pandemic #lockdown #SocialIsolation #SocialDistancing #flu #influenza
Scientists are developing a range of second-generation Covid vaccines aimed at expanding protection against the disease.#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus #pandemic
Candidates include one version that could provide immune defence against many different virus variants, while other researchers are investigating vaccines that would generate responses aimed specifically at blocking transmission of the disease.
A H5N8 strain of bird flu has been detected in humans for the first time, among seven workers who were infected at a Russian poultry plant in December.#science #medicine #health #virus #H5N8 #BirdFlu
There is no evidence of the strain being transmitted between humans, but Russia has reported the transmission to the World Health Organization.
The latest Apple Watch health study has been announced by the University Health Network (UHN) in Canada. The goal of the study is to research how Apple’s wearable can “can drive better clinical outcomes for heart failure patients.”#science #medicine #health #technology #tech #Apple #AppleWatch
Thousands of lives could be saved if people at risk of developing Britain’s deadliest cancer were screened to diagnose it before it becomes incurable, a major NHS study has found.#science #medicine #health #cancer
Giving smokers and ex-smokers a CT scan uncovers cancerous lung tumours when they are at an early enough stage so they can still be removed, rather than continuing to grow unnoticed, it shows.
I'm sweating, need a drink and the bridge of my nose is red-raw when I look in the mirror.#photography #photojournalism #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus #pandemic #medicine #health
I've just stepped out of the intensive care ward at Harrogate District Hospital.
I thought I knew what to expect, but nothing prepares you for what it's like on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic.
A drug that suppresses appetite has led to some people losing more than a fifth of their body weight, a major international trial shows.#science #medicine #health #WeightLoss #obesity
A weekly injection of the drug, semaglutide, was given alongside advice on diet and fitness.
The study, conducted on almost 2,000 people, showed an average 15kg weight loss during the 15-month trial.
A drug normally used to treat arthritis can be a life-saver for some of the sickest hospital patients with Covid, new research shows.#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus #pandemic
For every 25 patients treated with tocilizumab, along with a cheap steroid already routinely given, an additional life would be saved, the experts say.
Scientists advising the World Health Organisation have recommended the use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in adults of all ages.#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus #pandemic
A commonly used asthma treatment appears to reduce the need for hospitalizations as well as recovery time for COVID-19 patients if given within seven days of symptoms appearing, researchers at the University of Oxford said on Tuesday.#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus #pandemic
The findings were made following a mid-stage study of the steroid budesonide, sold as Pulmicort by AstraZeneca Plc and also used for treating smoker’s lung.
Over 42 million Americans have so far received a dose of a covid-19 vaccine, as of late January. Importantly, though, most of these people have only received the first of two doses required for the similar Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, currently the only vaccines authorized for use in the U.S.#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus #pandemic
Both vaccines are highly effective at preventing symptoms from covid-19, at least for people who receive two doses about a month apart. Yet some people, even scientists, have wondered whether a single dose or two doses taken more than a month apart may provide similar benefits, largely based on select data from the clinical trials used to secure their emergency approval.
HuffPost UK reader Lisa asked: “Does the vaccine give the same or better protection than actually having had the virus? I am unclear why people who have had Covid are also being told to get vaccinated.”#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus #pandemic
People who’ve previously had Covid-19 are still urged to have the vaccine – but many are wondering why. Surely they should have built up enough immunity to coronavirus naturally, some argue, so shouldn’t need to have the jab as well.
Researchers from Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Medical Center developed a coronavirus therapy that was found to cure COVID-19 in 3-5 days in most volunteers who received the drug.#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus #pandemic
EXO-CD24 is a medication delivered directly to the lungs, where it’ll help prevent the immune system dealing with COVID-19 from overreacting and causing complications.
The drug is administered once a day for five minutes via inhalation. In Phase 1 trials, 29 out of 30 people suffering from moderate to severe COVID-19 recovered within 3-5 days, and all of them survived.
Up to 100 children a week are being hospitalised with a rare disease that can emerge weeks after Covid-19, leaving them in intensive care, doctors have said.#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus #pandemic
In a phenomenon that is worrying paediatricians, 75% of the children worst affected by paediatric inflammatory multi-system syndrome (PIMS) were black, Asian or ethnic minority (BAME). Almost four out of five children were previously healthy, according to an unpublished snapshot of cases.
It might be possible to be infected with different variants of coronavirus at the same time, a preprint study from Brazil suggests.#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus #pandemic
For the study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, researchers from Feevale University in Brazil looked at the makeup of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes Covid-19, in 92 people who had tested positive.
When researchers sequenced the virus – which is basically a way for them to track the virus’ mutations – they say they identified two people who had been infected with two different variants of the virus in November.
February is American Heart Month, and Apple marked the occasion today with a Newsroom feature highlighting how the Apple Watch potentially saved the life of 59-year-old Bob March. In short, the Apple Watch alerted March to irregular heart rate readings that ultimately led to doctors discovering that he had arrhythmia.Another life saved.
About one in three people recently given a Covid vaccine by the NHS report some side-effects.Good news. So far no one's head has jumped off and run away screaming.
None was serious - a common one was some soreness around the injection site, the UK researchers who gathered the feedback found.
A UK trial has been launched to see if giving people different Covid vaccines for their first and second doses works as well as the current approach of using the same type of vaccine twice.Presumably they'll only be given to people who haven't had Covid-19. If they don't test for this, would 800 volunteers be enough?
The idea is to provide more flexibility with vaccine rollout and help deal with any potential disruption to supplies.
Scientists say mixing jabs could also possibly give even better protection.
The vaccines minister said no changes would be made to the UK's current approach until at least the summer.
The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine may have a "substantial effect" on transmission of coronavirus, and a three-month gap between doses does not lower protection, according to a report.#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus #pandemic
Tests results by University of Oxford, published in a pre-print report with The Lancet, showed a 67% reduction in positive COVID-19 swabs among those vaccinated.
Being overweight increases the risk of many serious health conditions, including strokes, cancer, diabetes and hypertension. Less well known, perhaps, is the link between being overweight or obese and the health of our brain. Research has shown that a higher body mass index and mid-life obesity are both linked to increased risk of dementia. Some evidence also indicates that obesity and Alzheimer’s disease cause similar brain dysfunctions.#science #medicine #health #dementia #obesity
Death rates among people who end up in intensive care with Covid-19 have improved dramatically since the start of the pandemic thanks to advances in treatment, new research has found.#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus #pandemic
The proportion of those worst affected by the disease who die from it has fallen from 60% when it first appeared early last year to 36% by October, the study of global trends shows.
The great hope for drug treatments against Covid-19 – the monoclonal antibodies – are failing against variants of the virus, such as those that have emerged in South Africa and Brazil, scientists have found.Just to clarify: these are just one type of treatment for people who have Covid-19. I think it's unlikely that the others will have changed in effectiveness, as they tend to work on the human immune system, not directly on the virus.
Most people who have Covid-19 develop a decent immune response.#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus #pandemic
“But this guy’s response is 100 to 1,000-fold that,” Turville said.
“His response is that good. To put it in context, we are eight or nine months out since he was infected. And he still ranks in the top 1% of responders, so what that means is if we could ever bottle a vaccine that could mimic his response, you’d want to do it. I would say that we’re going to see him responding just as well probably a year out, and maybe after about two years we might start to see some response decay.”
Clinical trial data showed that the vaccines from Novavax and Johnson & Johnson had significantly less efficacy at preventing coronavirus in trial participants in South Africa, where the new variant is widespread, compared with countries where the variant is less common.#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus #pandemic #vaccine
The llama has provided nanobodies that effectively prevent infection, but the use of other species in Covid research raises troubling ethical questions#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus #pandemic #AnimalTesting
Peter Attwood died on the 30 January 2020 but his cause of death wasn't officially discovered until seven months later.Public Health England announced the first cases on the 31 January, but Peter died a day before this. There are many people who had Covid-19 symptoms before either of these dates, but no one is looking into this. It seems obvious to me that it should have been part of early track and trace, but our government wasn't interested in this at that time.
Covid-19 infections in the UK are reducing but remain stubbornly high, despite a month of lockdown measures. So could we be doing more as individuals to curb transmission of the virus? A virologist, a psychologist and a public health expert share their views on some of the Covid-19 mistakes that we are all still making.#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus #pandemic
UK phase three trials of the experimental Novavax COVID-19 vaccine have found it demonstrated 89.3% efficacy against the virus.#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus #pandemic#vaccine #CovidVaccine
Preliminary analysis showed the new UK variant was detected in more than half of the coronavirus cases recorded in the trials, with the vaccine candidate shown to be 95.6% effective against the original strain and 85.6% effective against the variant.
People may soon be offered a "spit in a pot" coronavirus test, after promising trial results.#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus #pandemic
The LampORE test checks for the virus in saliva samples, and work carried out with the help of more than 1,000 NHS volunteers shows it is good at finding cases, even if someone has no symptoms.
A man whose cousin died after a positive Covid test says coronavirus deniers are "complicit" in the death.I wonder if prison sentences are perhaps the most appropriate way of dealing with Covid deniers. In these particular circumstances, I'm inclined to think they could be.
Gary Matthews, 46, was found dead in his Shrewsbury flat the day after he tested positive.
He had been part of a Facebook group that, according to his cousin Tristan Copeland, spread false conspiracy theories about Covid-19.
Coughs, sore throats and fatigue are more common in people who test positive for the new variant of coronavirus, but a loss of taste or smell is less likely, a study has found.#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus #pandemic
County officials have no official policy, but they also don’t want injections to go to waste – to some people’s benefit#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus #pandemic#vaccine #CovidVaccine
New coronavirus variants seem to be cropping up everywhere. There's one from the U.K., which is more contagious and already circulating in the United States. There's one from South Africa, which is forcing Moderna and Pfizer to reformulate their COVID-19 vaccines and create "booster" shots, just to make sure the vaccines maintain their efficacies.#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus #pandemic
But for some scientists, the most worrying variant might be the newest one. A variant called P.1, which emerged in early December in Manaus, Brazil, and by mid-January had already caused a massive resurgence in cases across the city of 2 million people.
Researchers think a promising coronavirus treatment is 30 times more potent than remdesivir and can work against the highly infectious new mutations.#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus #pandemic
Cancer drug plitidepsin can speed up the recovery of patients and, a study said a few months ago.
A UCSF-led team has two studies out, indicating that the drug is more efficient than remdesivir and can kill the UK mutation.
Plitidepsin doesn’t target the virus directly, but rather a human protein that the virus needs to replicate.
The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine may be authorised only for younger people in Europe, because there is insufficient data on how well it works in the over-65s, the head of the regulatory body has suggested.#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus #pandemic
Sellers are offering flavored disposable vapes, parent-proof 'discreet' packaging, no ID checksThey're targeting teenagers and ultimately creating more and more nicotine addicts. If they stopped referring to tobacco and used the word 'nicotine' (the highly-addictive drug) more people might take the problem more seriously. People who supply nicotine products to children should be jailed, IMO.
There are worries about the change in the vaccination schedule. However, a longer gap between jabs has its advantages tooThis is one of the clearest explanations of the possible benefits of having a second jab more than 3 weeks after the first. And, interestingly:
So why do we need two jabs? Immunity elicited by the vaccine can be boosted. When the spike protein appears a second time and the immune system brings its armoury out, the immune memory cells will rapidly increase in number and more antibody will be produced to neutralise the virus. This will happen whether the spike protein is in the vaccine or on a live virus. To get the best response possible, the current vaccines were designed to have a second “boosting” dose after the first “priming” dose. [Italics mine]What this means is that if we continue to wear face coverings, wash our hands, and distance from one another after having the vaccine, if we do get the virus itself it could make us stronger.
Moderna's Covid vaccine appears to work against new, more infectious variants of the pandemic virus found in the UK and South Africa, say scientists from the pharmaceutical company.Excellent news!
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought with it an avalanche of misinformation. A number of myths have persisted that suggest Covid isn't particularly dangerous, or that governments shouldn't try to contain the virus with lockdowns and other distancing measures.Do you know anyone who doubts that Covid-19 is real, or that the pandemic is not as bad as has been claimed, or that there have been no excess deaths since the start of last year? You could point them at this new site that debunks the myths.
We call the people who promulgate these myths even after they have been disproved "Covid Sceptics".
Feeling low? Being in nature is known to reduce stress and boost your mood.#health #MentalHealth #psychology #nature
But what if you cannot get outside?
A groundbreaking online experiment wants to help scientists understand how best to bring the benefits of nature to those stuck indoors.