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Coronavirus: we separate myths from facts and give advice

A place to post daily news of Kurdistan from valid sources .

Re: Coronavirus: we separate myths from facts and give advic

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Jul 20, 2020 9:18 am

Virus vaccine doses

Shame the research is not being shared worldwide

The UK government has signed deals for 90 million doses of promising coronavirus vaccines that are being developed.

The vaccines are being researched by an alliance between the pharmaceutical companies BioNtech and Pfizer as well as the firm Valneva.

The new deal is on top of 100 million doses of the Oxford University vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca.

However, it is still uncertain which of the experimental vaccines may work.

A vaccine is widely seen as the best chance of getting our lives back to normal.

Research is taking place at an unprecedented scale - the world became aware of coronavirus at the beginning of the year, but already more than 20 vaccines are in clinical trials.

Some can provoke an immune response, but none has yet been proven to protect against infection.

The UK government has now secured access to vaccines that use three completely different approaches:

    100m doses of the Oxford vaccine made from a genetically engineered virus

    30 million doses of the BioNtech/Pfizer vaccine, which injects part of the coronavirus' genetic code

    60 million doses of the Valneva, which uses an inactive version of the coronavirus
Using different styles of vaccine maximises the chance that one of them will work.

Kate Bingham, the chair of the government's Vaccine Taskforce, said: "The fact that we have so many promising candidates already shows the unprecedented pace at which we are moving.

"But I urge against being complacent or over optimistic.

"The fact remains we may never get a vaccine and if we do get one, we have to be prepared that it may not be a vaccine which prevents getting the virus, but rather one that reduces symptoms."

If an effective vaccine is developed then health and social care workers, as well as those at highest risk of the disease, will be prioritised.

It is possible a vaccine will be proven effective by the end of 2020, but wide-scale vaccination is still not expected until next year.

The education secretary, Gavin Williamson, told BBC Breakfast that vaccine development was "an incredibly long process and we are doing it at breakneck speed" but that we should expect a Covid 19 vaccine "after winter".

The announcement also includes an agreement with AstraZeneca to buy treatments made from neutralizing antibodies, which can disable the virus.

These could be given to people who cannot be vaccinated because they have a weakened immune system or are having treatment for cancer.

Meanwhile, the government is hoping to get half a million people to sign up to trials of vaccines in the UK through the NHS Covid-19 vaccine research registry website.

At least eight large scale coronavirus vaccine trials are expected to take place in the UK.

Prof Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer, said: "Now that there are several promising vaccines on the horizon, we need to call again on the generosity of the public to help find out which potential vaccines are the most effective."

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-53469269
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Re: Coronavirus: we separate myths from facts and give advic

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Re: Coronavirus: we separate myths from facts and give advic

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Jul 20, 2020 9:32 am

I like the sound of this treatment:

Covid treatment trial described as breakthrough

The preliminary results of a clinical trial suggest a new treatment for Covid-19 dramatically reduces the number of patients needing intensive care, according to the UK company that developed it

The treatment from Southampton-based biotech Synairgen uses a protein called interferon beta which the body produces when it gets a viral infection.

The protein is inhaled directly into the lungs of patients with coronavirus, using a nebuliser, in the hope that it will stimulate an immune response.

The initial findings suggest the treatment cut the odds of a Covid-19 patient in hospital developing severe disease - such as requiring ventilation - by 79%.

Patients were two to three times more likely to recover to the point where everyday activities were not compromised by their illness, Synairgen claims.

It said the trial also indicated "very significant" reductions in breathlessness among patients who received the treatment.

In addition, the average time patients spent in hospital is said to have been reduced by a third, for those receiving the new drug - down from an average of nine days to six days.

The double-blind trial involved 101 volunteers who had been admitted for treatment at nine UK hospitals for Covid-19 infections.

Half of the participants were given the drug, the other half got what is known as a placebo - an inactive substance.

Unconfirmed results

Stock market rules mean Synairgen is obliged to report the preliminary results of the trial.

The results have not been published in a peer-reviewed journal, nor has the full data been made available; so the BBC cannot confirm the claims made for the treatment.

But if the results are as the company says, it will be a very important step forward in the treatment of coronavirus infections.

The scientist in charge of the trial, Tom Wilkinson, says if the results are confirmed in larger studies the new treatment will be "a game changer".

The trial was relatively small but the signal that the treatment benefits patients was unusually strong, he says.

"We couldn't have expected much better results than these," Synairgen chief executive Richard Marsden told the BBC.

He described the results as "a major breakthrough in the treatment of hospitalised Covid-19 patients".

What happens next?

Mr Marsden said the company will be presenting its findings to medical regulators around the world in the next couple of days to see what further information they require in order to approve the treatment.

That process could take months, although the British government, like many others, has said it will work as fast as possible to get promising coronavirus treatments approved.

It is possible it could be given emergency approval, as the anti-viral drug remdesivir was in May.

Another possibility is that permission will be given for more patients to receive the treatment with the effects being carefully monitored to confirm it is safe and effective.

If it does get approval, the drug and the nebulisers used to deliver it would then need to be manufactured in large quantities.

Mr Marsden says he instructed companies to start producing supplies back in April to ensure they would be available should the results be positive.

He says he expects Synairgen to be able to deliver "a few 100,000" doses a month by the winter.

How does the treatment work?

Interferon beta is part of the body's first line of defence against viruses, warning it to expect a viral attack.

The coronavirus seems to suppress its production as part of its strategy to evade our immune systems.

The new drug is a special formulation of interferon beta delivered directly to the airways via a nebuliser which makes the protein into an aerosol.

The idea is that a direct dose of the protein in the lungs will trigger a stronger anti-viral response, even in patients whose immune systems are already weak.

Interferon beta is commonly used in the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

Previous clinical trials conducted by Synairgen have shown that it can stimulate an immune response and that patients with asthma and other chronic lung conditions can comfortably tolerate the treatment.

How was the treatment tested?

No-one involved in the trial knew which patients have been given which treatment until it was over.

"If you know it's a drug, your mind might have a bias," explained Sandy Aitken, one of the nurses who administered the new drug to patients at Southampton Hospital.

Synairgen's drug trial was the template for the Accord programme, a fast-track clinical trial scheme set up by the UK government in April to accelerate the development of new drugs for patients with Covid-19.

The Synairgen team believes the drug could be even more effective at the early stages of infection.

A trial exploring the effects of giving patients who are in high-risk groups the new drug as soon as they are confirmed as having Covid-19 has struggled to find volunteers because there are so few new infections at the moment.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-53467022
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Re: Coronavirus: we separate myths from facts and give advic

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Jul 26, 2020 1:57 am

Johnson and Gove clash over masks in shops

Boris Johnson today urged people to don face masks in shops and vowed clarity on making them compulsory within days - as the government's approach verged on shambles

The PM, who was once again wearing a covering out and about in London, insisted they had a 'great deal of value' in confined spaces such as shops.

After weeks of dithering, he said ministers and officials were 'looking at' the guidance on whether they should be compulsory in such settings, and suggested an announcement is imminent.

The comments came amid accusations that the government is 'all over the place' on face masks with the premier and Michael Gove seemingly at odds over requiring them in shops. Currently they are only required by law on public transport in England.

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland added to the sense of drift by saying 'perhaps' masks should become mandatory inside.

Scientists have warned that the public will be 'confused' after Mr Gove insisted yesterday that wearing coverings indoors should be a matter of 'courtesy'.

By contrast Mr Johnson said on Friday that the government 'needs to be stricter in insisting people wear face coverings in confined spaces'.

Nicola Sturgeon has already brought the rule in for Scotland, while London mayor Sadiq Khan has been demanding the change. Wales announced today that face coverings will be compulsory on public transport from July 27.

It came as Mr Johnson also urged people to consider physically returning to their places of work amid fears a continuing trend of working from home will spell doom for high street shops and businesses.

The PM said that 'people should start to think about getting back to work' but some of the country's biggest firms said fewer than 50 per cent of staff could come back because of social distancing rules.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... shops.html

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Re: Coronavirus: we separate myths from facts and give advic

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Jul 28, 2020 9:16 pm

France sends virus aid to Kurdistan

The government of France’s most populous region donated 100,000 face masks to the Kurdistan Region’s health ministry on Tuesday as the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc across Iraq

The French consulate general said in a Facebook post on Monday that medical aid arrived in Erbil from France, adding that the aid was promised by the French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian when he visited Iraq and Kurdistan Region on July 16.

The following day, the consulate said in another post that, “This morning, 100,000 face masks were handed over to [Kurdistan Region’s] health minister [Saman Barzanji], under the name of Ile-de-France Region, to help the Kurdistan Regional Government’s health workers.”

It added that the French region will continue helping the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) combat the virus.

The KRG’s health ministry thanked the French region for the aid in a Facebook post, calling on the international community to help his government curb the spread of the virus.

The pandemic is quickly spreading in the Kurdistan Region, where efforts to combat the virus are hampered by an economic crisis. The KRG cannot pay its civil servants, including health workers, on time and in full. This has caused several strikes among health workers in Sulaimani province.

The KRG’s health ministry recorded 302 new cases of coronavirus, as well as 225 recoveries and eight deaths on Tuesday. The new data brings the total number of cases to 12,937. Of this, 8,781 have recovered and 504 have died.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/280720202
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Re: Coronavirus: we separate myths from facts and give advic

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Jul 28, 2020 10:42 pm

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Re: Coronavirus: we separate myths from facts and give advic

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:50 am

Latest on Virus in UK and Europe

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Sadly Spain, which is the English peoples' favourite holiday destination, is having severe problems and people returning from Spain to the UK are required to self isolate for 2 weeks

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Re: Coronavirus: we separate myths from facts and give advic

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Aug 01, 2020 8:05 pm

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Re: Coronavirus: we separate myths from facts and give advic

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:15 pm

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