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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 » Sat May 16, 2020 10:25 pm

How does COVID-19 spread?

    People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease spreads primarily from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, which are expelled when a person with COVID-19 coughs, sneezes, or speaks.

    These droplets are relatively heavy, do not travel far and quickly sink to the ground. People can catch COVID-19 if they breathe in these droplets from a person infected with the virus. This is why it is important to stay at least 1 meter) away from others.

    These droplets can land on objects and surfaces around the person such as tables, doorknobs and handrails. People can become infected by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. This is why it is important to wash your hands regularly with soap and water or clean with alcohol-based hand rub.

    WHO is assessing ongoing research on the ways that COVID-19 is spread and will continue to share updated findings.
Can COVID-19 be caught from a person who has no symptoms?

    COVID-19 is mainly spread through respiratory droplets expelled by someone who is coughing or has other symptoms such as fever or tiredness.

    Many people with COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms. This is particularly true in the early stages of the disease. It is possible to catch COVID-19 from someone who has just a mild cough and does not feel ill.

    Some reports have indicated that people with no symptoms can transmit the virus. It is not yet known how often it happens.
How long does the virus survive on surfaces?

    The most important thing to know about coronavirus on surfaces is that they can easily be cleaned with common household disinfectants that will kill the virus. Studies have shown that the COVID-19 virus can survive for up to 72 hours on plastic and stainless steel, less than 4 hours on copper and less than 24 hours on cardboard.

    As, always clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose.
How can we protect others and ourselves if we don't know who is infected?

    Practicing hand and respiratory hygiene is important at ALL times and is the best way to protect others and yourself.

    When possible maintain at least a 1 meter distance between yourself and others. This is especially important if you are standing by someone who is coughing or sneezing.

    Since some infected persons may not yet be exhibiting symptoms or their symptoms may be mild, maintaining a physical distance with everyone is a good idea if you are in an area where COVID-19 is circulating.
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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 » Sun May 17, 2020 4:12 pm

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

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun May 17, 2020 4:37 pm

Erbil Zoo opens to the public

Kurdistan is getting back to normal with the opening of Erbil Zoo

The 50-acre facility, near Kasnazan on the Erbil-Koya road is home to more than 180 different species of animals and birds. A three-phase plan will also see equestrian facilites and a veterinary hospital built on the premises.

Dilan Salam is a Kurdish tourist who visited the zoo on its opening day.

“The project has world standards. I see no difference between this and [other] zoos in the world," she told Rudaw.

Zoos in the Kurdistan Region have previously drawn ire from vets and animal rights activists, who described animals as living in a "tragic state."

In 2010, Erbil's privately-owned Gilkand Zoo was named by the US-based Global Post newspaper as one of the world’s worst zoos.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/150520201
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Re: Coronavirus: we separate myths from facts and give advic

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun May 17, 2020 5:01 pm

Five exercises that help defeat virus

The simple five stage fitness routine used by the Canadian Air Force which helped Prince Charles defeat Covid-19

It is the ultra-simple fitness routine favoured by Royalty: the Canadian Air Force five basic exercises, or 5BX, a full-body workout that needs no special kit and gets the heart racing.

Could it also be just the ticket to get your body fighting fit in the battle against coronavirus? It worked for Prince Charles, above, who is said to do the routine every day.

In March the 71-year-old quickly bounced back after testing positive for Covid-19 – despite his age putting him at high-risk from the disease.

Research has shown that even moderate exercise can have a positive effect on the immune system. It is also thought to speed up the recovery process, if you do get ill with something like Covid-19.

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https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/arti ... virus.html

I strongly suggest Kurds should:

STOP smoking

STOP using vast amounts of salt

STOP using so much sugar
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Re: Coronavirus: we separate myths from facts and give advic

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon May 18, 2020 10:58 pm

Eid lockdown

Kurdistan Region to undergo three-day Eid lockdown:

A full lockdown is to be implemented on the first day of Eid ul-Fitr (Saturday 23 May or Sunday 24 May) for 72 hours across the Kurdistan Region, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) interior ministry has announced.

All businesses and public institutions will be closed over the three-day period, according to the interior ministry's Monday night announcement, with the exception of pharmacies. All traffic will be prohibited; only security and medical vehicles will be exempt from the ban.

An online system that allowed people to apply for permission to travel between Kurdistan Region provinces will be shut down from 3 pm on May 22 until 8 am on May 27.

Travel between the Kurdistan Region and Iraq will be banned from May 20 until June 1, while all border crossings and airports in Erbil and Sulaimani will be shut until June 1.

Anyone found to violate the lockdown will face legal procedures, the statement added.

The KRG's health ministry announced last Wednesday that a 50-year-old from Sulaimani had contracted the virus.

As new recordings of the virus recently began to fizzle out, the government gradually eased lockdown measures, allowing shops, mosques and churches to reopen their doors and non-essential traffic to run through the Region's roads.

After seven days without a confirmed COVID-19 case, the KRG's health ministry announced last Wednesday that a 50-year-old from Sulaimani had contracted the virus.

The health ministry announced on Monday night that ten new coronavirus cases had been recorded in Sulaimani. Of the ten confirmed infected, there are six men, two women, and two teenagers - a 16-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy.

To date, 414 cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in the Kurdistan Region, including five deaths and 383 recoveries.

Cases in Iraq climbed to an unprecedented high daily count on Monday, with 150 infections confirmed in the 24 hours prior to this afternoon's annoucement.

Amid the uptick in cases, Iraq's new health minister announced an upcoming complete lockdown on some areas of Baghdad.

Areas of Baghdad believed to play a role in spreading the virus will face a full lockdown as of Wednesday for a period of two weeks, health minister Hassan al-Tamimi said in a statement.

The areas lie in Baghdad’s peripheries and are mostly impoverished and over-crowded. They include Sadr City, Habibia, Hurriya, Shula, Ameria, and Kamalia.

Tamimi said in the statement the measures were taken in view of the rising number of cases in recent weeks and to stem the spread of the virus, according to the statement.

At least 123 people have died among 3,404 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Iraq including the Kurdistan Region, according to national health ministry statistics.

The number of confirmed cases per day has risen since curfew hours were relaxed during the holy month of Ramadan from 5 pm to 5 am. Before curfew hours were relaxed, only between 22-30 new infections were being reported daily.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/180520205
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Re: Coronavirus: we separate myths from facts and give advic

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed May 20, 2020 5:39 pm

7 lies about coronavirus

7 lies and misrepresentations about coronavirus cleared up

As the coronavirus outbreak spreads across the globe, in an age of social media, so does misinformation about the virus.

From health advice to conspiracy theories about the origins of COVID-19 and how it was planned, the internet has been littered with dubious claims.

There have been 373 confirmed cases out of the 26,261 people tested for the virus in Britain.

Globally, the number has reached 109,577 and spread to 104 countries since the outbreak started in Wuhan, China.

With the help of information from the World Health Organization (WHO),NHS, and independent charity Full Fact, SurreyLive looks at seven untruths currently circulating about the virus and how it's been dealt with.

The NHS says you shouldn't shake hands

As of yet, the NHS has not said that we should stop shaking hands. This originated when a doctor was interviewed by the BBC and said "we probably ought to stop shaking hands".

However, the Premier League has banned the traditional pre-game handshakes because of coronavirus, with the home team instead just walking past their opposition.

Public Health England and the government, though, has not issued any such advice, and says the best way to stop spreading the infection is to wash your hands properly and to cough and sneeze into a tissue and then put the tissue straight into a bin.

The coronavirus outbreak was planned

The biggest conspiracy theory that has been bandied around social media is of the virus' origins and the claim it was planned.

A number of claims on social media have pointed to a patent for coronavirus being filed in 2015 by Surrey-based company Pirbright Institute.

This does exist, but it's for a different type of coronavirus and not the one that broke out in Wuhan. The 2015 patent is for a weakened version of the virus which infects poultry and pigs, and Pirbright does not currently work with human coronaviruses.

Coronavirus is a term for a family of viruses, of which COVID-19 is just one.

One post suggested the fact the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Trust was a donor to Pirbright and vaccine development meant the outbreak was deliberate in order to get funding to develop a vaccine.

Pirbright was quick to pour cold water over the claims, and although it receives funding from the foundation it isn't for that patented work.

'Children can't catch it'

Much of the research that has been carried out on COVID-19 has found it is most likely to cause the biggest problems for elderly people, with those aged 80 and over having a higher risk of death.

It does appear that those with underlying and pre-existing medical conditions are more vulnerable to becoming severely ill, but anyone can be infected.

It has led to rumours and theories that children can't catch the virus, but this is in fact untrue. There have been confirmed cases of children with the virus, although WHO has confirmed there are relatively few cases seen in youngsters. In China, there have been cases of coronavirus even in newborns.

Face masks don't do anything

The advice is that you only need to wear a mask in certain scenarios and it won't necessarily stop you catching the virus. This has given rise to suggestions that they do nothing.

That's only partly true.

You only need to wear them if you are taking care of a person who has or is suspected of having COVID-19, or if you yourself are coughing or sneezing.

This will help stop you passing it on to anyone else if you are infected, however face masks are only effective when combined with regular hand washing.

A mask should be replaced if it becomes damp or if it's a single-use mask.

Cold weather will kill the coronavirus

The basis of this argument is flawed as just because it's freezing outside the normal human body temperature remains between 36.5C and 37C, says WHO.

The world public health group reiterates the most effective way to protect yourself is to frequently wash your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub.

Taking a hot bath will cure you

Pretty much like the above one, WHO says taking a hot bath will not prevent you from catching COVID-19 and it won't kill the virus if you have it.

Similarly, going into a sauna or steam room won't help you.

In response to whether temperature has any impact on the virus in a question and answer session on Sky News, Anna-Sophie Harling, of Newsguard Technologies, said: "No this is a classic example of something that's been circulating and that people might be believing because they're seeing it posted on their friends' or family's Facebook pages or on Twitter or they might have heard it from a friend down the pub.

"This has been debunked on the NHS website and WHO's website and really is testament to the fact that we should be going to those credible information sources to figure out what's believed."

Boris Johnson said we should 'take it on the chin'

Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a press conference on the government's coronavirus action plan (Image: PA)

The prime minister appeared on This Morning on Tuesday (March 10) and since then videos have circulated on social media saying the nation should take coronavirus "on the chin" and allow the disease to spread through the country.

This in fact has been taken out of context and he said it is a theory of how to deal with it, but that he thinks it "would be better if we take all the measures that we can now to stop the peak of the disease being as difficult for the NHS as it might be".

https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/health ... p-17900386
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Re: Coronavirus: we separate myths from facts and give advic

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed May 20, 2020 8:55 pm

Where are cases still rising?

Coronavirus is continuing its spread across the world, with nearly five million confirmed cases in 188 countries. More than 300,000 people have lost their lives

This series of maps and charts tracks the global outbreak of the virus since it emerged in China in December last year.

How many cases and deaths have there been?

The virus, which causes the respiratory infection Covid-19, was first detected in the city of Wuhan, China, in late 2019.

It then spread quickly across the globe in the first months of 2020.
Presentational white space

The US has by far the largest number of cases, around five times as many as any other country according to figures collated by Johns Hopkins University. With more than 90,000 fatalities, it also has the world's highest death toll.

The UK, Italy, France and Spain are the worst-hit European countries.

In China, the official death toll is some 4,600 from about 84,000 confirmed cases, although critics have questioned whether the country's official numbers can be trusted.

The outbreak was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11 March. This is when an infectious disease is passing easily from person to person in many parts of the world at the same time.

The true number of cases is thought to be much higher than the reported figures, as many of those with milder symptoms have not been tested and counted.

Globally, more than 4.5 billion people - half the world's population - have been living under social distancing measures, according to the AFP news agency's estimates.

Those restrictions have had a big impact on the global economy, with the International Monetary Fund warning the world faces the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The United Nations World Food Programme has also warned that the pandemic could almost double the number of people suffering acute hunger.

PLEASE follow link below for
Full Article - Numerous Charts


https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-51235105
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Re: Coronavirus: we separate myths from facts and give advic

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu May 21, 2020 12:23 pm

Wildlife thrives amid lockdown

Despite the hardships caused by the novel coronavirus, wildlife across the Kurdistan Region has gained new-found freedom

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Wildlife experts and volunteers in Sulaimani have said the lockdown measures largely keeping locals inside have allowed animals including birds to roam freely throughout the area.

“Their fear is gone,” said wildlife expert Mariwan Qadir Rahim.

“Male and female birds sing together. They have their own language to communicate. When it is quiet, the males’ call can be heard more by females…they lay more eggs and this increases the numbers of hatchlings,” he added.

Stray animals have suffered amid the lockdown, however, as food supplies from local eateries dwindle.

Local volunteers have taken to caring for the animals themselves.

Writer Twana Amin has been feeding stray dogs with other volunteers.

“We have been feeding these animals 300-500 kilograms of food every day,” he told Rudaw. “You’re here for 10 to 20 minutes and you see how happy the puppies are.”

“It enriches your soul,” he added.

The lockdown has also inspired local poets and writers, prompting larger discussions on the environment.

“I feel I am in a different world,” said poet Ahmed Mohammed. “A kind of bird comes to my balcony which I have never seen before, even when I was abroad. Where were they before? Where did they come from? Man should always ask himself these questions.”

https://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/20042020
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Re: Coronavirus: we separate myths from facts and give advic

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat May 23, 2020 10:06 am

Immune clue sparks virus treatment hope

UK scientists are to begin testing a treatment that it is hoped could counter the effects of Covid-19 in the most seriously ill patients

It has been found those with the most severe form of the disease have extremely low numbers of an immune cell called a T-cell.

T-cells clear infection from the body.

The clinical trial will evaluate if a drug called interleukin 7, known to boost T-cell numbers, can aid patients' recovery.

It involves scientists from the Francis Crick Institute, King's College London and Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital.

They have looked at immune cells in the blood of 60 Covid-19 patients and found an apparent crash in the numbers of T-cells.

Prof Adrian Hayday from the Crick Institute said it was a "great surprise" to see what was happening with the immune cells.

"They're trying to protect us, but the virus seems to be doing something that's pulling the rug from under them, because their numbers have declined dramatically.

In a microlitre (0.001ml) drop of blood, normal healthy adults have between 2,000 and 4,000 T-cells, also called T lymphocytes.

The Covid patients the team tested had between 200-1,200.

'Extremely encouraging'

The researchers say these findings pave the way for them to develop a "fingerprint test" to check the levels of T-cells in the blood which could provide early indications of who might go on to develop more severe disease.

But it also provides the possibility for a specific treatment to reverse that immune cell decline.

Manu Shankar-Hari, a critical care consultant at Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital, said that around 70% of patients that he sees in intensive care with Covid-19 arrive with between 400-800 lymphocytes per microlitre. "When they start to recover, their lymphocyte level also starts to go back up," he added.

Interleukin 7 has already been tested in a small group of patients with sepsis and proved to safely increase the production of these specific cells.

In this trial, it will be given to patients with a low lymphocyte count who have been in critical care for more than three days.

Mr Shankar-Hari said: "We are hoping that [when we increase the cell count] the viral infections gets cleared.

"As a critical care physician, I look after patients who are extremely unwell and, other than supportive care, we do not have any direct active treatment against the disease.

"So a treatment like this coming along for in the context of a clinical trial is extremely encouraging for critical care physicians across the UK."

This research has also provided insight into the specific ways in which this disease interacts with the immune system, which Prof Hayday says will be vital as scientists around the world look for clinically valuable information.

"The virus that has caused this completely Earth-changing emergency is unique - it's different. It is something unprecedented."

"The exact reason for this disruption - the spanner in the works of the T-cell system - is not at all clear to us.

"This virus is really doing something distinct and future research - which we will start immediately - needs to find out the mechanism by which this virus is having these effects."

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-52754280
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Re: Coronavirus: we separate myths from facts and give advic

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun May 24, 2020 4:08 am

Coronavirus health claims fact-checked

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect countries across the world, false and misleading health advice is still being widely shared online

We've taken a look at some of the most recent examples and where they've come from:

1. The doctors who didn't recommend vegetarianism

Often, messages will be shared containing generally sound advice but mixed in with additional claims that are clearly misleading and even potentially harmful. Because they are frequently shared on encrypted social media platforms they can be difficult to track.

Two of India's leading medical institutions and a top Indian doctor have criticised a fake message widely shared in WhatsApp groups attributing health advice to them.

Image

The message contains a long list of precautions to take to avoid getting the virus, many of them very sensible such as social distancing, avoiding crowded areas and observing personal hygiene.

But it also advises a vegetarian diet, and to avoid wearing belts, rings or wristwatches.

None of these measures has been shown to protect against the virus.

Nutritional advice from the WHO relating to Covid-19 includes consuming protein as well as eating fruit and vegetables, in order to have a balanced diet and stay healthy.

2. The flu vaccine won't put you at greater risk of Covid-19

This is an important one to highlight because it points to a real study, but draws misleading conclusions from it.

A widely shared Facebook post claims if you've had a flu jab you're significantly more likely to contract Covid-19.

The post links to a study published by the US military as evidence.

Image

But this study was published in October 2019, before the Sars-CoV-2 virus responsible for Covid-19 was identified, and the data used in it was from the 2017-18 flu season.

For the avoidance of doubt, there is no evidence that a flu jab increases your risk of contracting Covid-19.

The guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control is clear: "Influenza vaccination does not make people more susceptible to other respiratory infections."

3. Prolonged wearing of face masks is not harmful

Another misleading article being shared on social media claims the prolonged wearing of masks is dangerous to health.

The claim first appeared online in Spanish and was circulated widely in South and Central America.

Image

A translation later made its way into English-language outlets, including a Nigerian news site which was shared more than 55,000 times on Facebook.

The article claims prolonged breathing while wearing masks leads to inhalation of carbon dioxide, which makes people dizzy and also deprives the body of oxygen. It recommends lifting the masks every 10 minutes.

Dr Richard Mihigo, of the World Health Organization, told the BBC that the claims are not true and could actually be dangerous.

"Non-medical and medical masks are made from woven fabric that has high breathability. The masks should allow you to breathe normally and prevent particles from passing through," he said.

He also says the advice that people should keep lifting the masks to inhale to avoid harmful effects could expose them to contamination.

There are some situations in which face masks might not be advised:

    children under two whose lungs haven't fully developed

    people with respiratory conditions who may struggle to breathe
4. Smoking doesn't help ward off the virus

And here's a claim that keeps recurring, one that smokers would like to be true - but isn't.

There's no evidence that they're less likely to be at risk from Covid-19, but there are plenty of articles that suggest they might be be.

One such article from the UK Mail Online - shared tens of thousands of times, suggests there's "more evidence smoking may cut the risk of coronavirus".

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It said a review of studies from a number of countries showed that smokers are less common among Covid-19 patients who end up in hospital than would be expected.

It added that experts were struggling to explain if there was a connection.

One study by a leading French hospital suggested that it could be nicotine which might be stopping the Covid-19 infection spreading.

Research is going on to test what impact nicotine patches and nicotine replacement therapies might have on the coronavirus.

But the WHO says: "There is currently insufficient information to confirm any link between tobacco or nicotine in the prevention or treatment of Covid-19."

It adds that smokers are more vulnerable to serious illness from coronavirus because of other health issues associated with smoking.

And there's been clear medical advice that people who smoke should quit during the current pandemic as it could increase their chances of a severe form of lung disease.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-52710478
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Re: Coronavirus: we separate myths from facts and give advic

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue May 26, 2020 11:57 am

Anti-viral drug offered by NHS

Experts warn remdesivir shouldn't be seen as a "magic bullet"

A drug treatment that appears to shorten recovery time for people with coronavirus is being made available on the NHS.

Remdesivir is an anti-viral medicine that was originally developed to fight Ebola.

UK regulators say there is enough evidence to approve its use in selected hospital patients.

For the time being and due to limited supplies, it will go to those most likely to benefit.

The US and Japan have already made similar arrangements to provide early access to the medicine before they have a marketing agreement.

The drug, is currently undergoing clinical trials around the world, including in the UK. Early data suggests it can cut recovery time by about four days.

It is not clear how much stock pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences has available to treat UK patients.

Allocation of the drug will be based on the advice of doctors.

Minister for Innovation Lord Bethell said: "This shows fantastic progress. As we navigate this unprecedented period, we must be on the front foot of the latest medical advancements, while always ensuring patient safety remains a top priority.

"The latest, expert scientific advice is at the heart of every decision we make, and we will continue to monitor remdesivir's success in clinical trials across the country to ensure the best results for UK patients."

Other drugs being investigated for coronavirus include those for malaria and HIV.

Testing of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine has been halted in some trials because of safety fears.

The World Health Organization says the temporary suspension is a precaution, after a recent medical study found the drug might increase the risk of death and heart rhythm complications.

In the UK, the Recovery trial looking at using this drug in patients remains open, but another one, using it in frontline NHS staff to prevent rather than treat infections, has been paused.
Banner image reading 'more about coronavirus'

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-52805828
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Re: Coronavirus: we separate myths from facts and give advic

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue May 26, 2020 7:25 pm

The full UK list

What can be open from June 15:

    – Food retailers

    – Chemists

    – Hardware/homeware stores

    – Fashion shops

    – Charity shops

    – Betting shops and arcades

    – Tailors, dress fitters and fashion designers

    – Car dealerships

    – Auction houses

    – Antique stores

    – Retail art galleries

    – Photography studios

    – Gift shops and retail spaces in theatres, museums, libraries, heritage sites and tourism sites

    – Mobile phone stores

    – Indoor and outdoor markets

    – Craft fairs

    – Similar types of retail
High street hairdressers including Toni & Guy and Regis are planning to reopen their salons on July 4 with new social distancing rules.

They will also provide masks for stylists and remove common items such as magazines and coffee from all the salons.
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Re: Coronavirus: we separate myths from facts and give advic

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu May 28, 2020 10:10 pm

Children's medicine cures virus

COVID-19 patients treated w/drug for kids' disease recovered faster

Ninety percent of severely ill adults with coronavirus who were treated with a drug for children's immune disease started recovering within two weeks compared to those who got a placebo

    Ruxolitinib is a drug used to treat Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), a severe systemic inflammatory syndrome in children that can be fatal

    Scientists believe it can prevent cytokine storms, which occur when the body doesn't just fight off the virus but also attacks its own cells and tissues

    90% of coronavirus patients who received the drug saw respiratory improvements in two weeks compared to those who received a placebo

    Three patients in the control group died but no severely ill patients who were given ruxolitinib passed away

    A drug for a children's immune disease helped coronavirus patients recover faster, a new study suggests.
Ruxolitinib is approved to treat Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), which is a severe systemic inflammatory syndrome among youngsters that can be fatal, by calming down the immune system's overreaction.

Scientists from Cincinnati Children's Hospital in Ohip say that 10 times as many patients who received the medication saw improvements in their respiratory health compared to those who were given a placebo.

In addition, patients who didn't receive ruxolitinib were 14 percent more likely to die than those who did.

Scientists believe it can prevent cytokine storms, which occur when the body doesn't just fight off the virus but also attacks its own cells and tissues. Pictured: Dr Joseph Varon, head of the COVID-19 unit at United Memorial Medical Center in Houston, Texas, checks on a patient, 43-year-old Melquiades Cervantes

In addition to HLH, ruxolitinib is a medication used to treat myelofibrosis, which is a cancer of the bone marrow.

Ruxolitinib hinders inflammation, which helps control the immune system response, and even kills some kinds of cancer cells.

Cytokine storms are also a common feature of children battling secondary HLH, which occurs when initial HLH treatment has not worked.

Dr Gang Huang, a cancer pathologist at Cincinnati Children's Hospital, noticed the feature of both illnesses and decided to see if a drug used to treat one could treat the other.

'I approached our research colleagues in Wuhan and explained our observations and recommended this drug be tested to quiet the cytokine storm in the multi-system inflammation in patients with severe COVID-19 disease,' Huang said.

'The disease was spreading very rapidly and many people were dying. We believed the existing clinical drug would help save lives. So, we worked to push it forward before there is an effective vaccine for everyone.'

For the study, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, the team looked at 43 patients hospitalized with coronavirus between February 9 and February 28.

All of the patients were treated in Wuhan, China, where the virus is believed to have originated.

Half the patients were randomly selected to receive two daily oral dose of ruxolitinib plus standard care while the other half received a placebo and standard care.

Patients who received the drug were more likely to see respiratory improvements and less likely to die than those given a placebo.

Patients treated with ruxolitinib saw clinical improvements in a much shorter amount of time than the control group.

In fact, 90 percent of those who received ruxolitinib patients showed improvements in their CT scans within 14 days.

Only nine percent of patients from the control group saw improvements within the same time frame.

Additionally, three patients in the control group died of respiratory failure but none of the severely ill patients who received ruxolitinib died.

'This is the first therapy we know of that appears to work effectively to quiet the cytokine storm and inflammation in severe COVID-19 disease, and there are no significant toxicities to patients who take the drug by two pills a day,' Huang said.

'This is critical until we can develop and distribute enough effective vaccine to help prevent people from becoming infected.'

However, he notes that more studies are needed and that Phase II of a clinical trial being run by Incyte and Novartis is looking at how the drug affects 400 severely ill coronavirus patients.

Preliminary clinical data from the study is expected to be published during the summer.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/arti ... acebo.html
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Re: Coronavirus: we separate myths from facts and give advic

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri May 29, 2020 11:14 pm

PM decries politicization
of health measures


Amid a surge of new coronavirus cases, the prime minister of the Kurdistan Region issued a strongly worded statement Friday morning accusing "some sides" of “politicizing" the government's health instructions to bring the pandemic under control

Without naming specific actors, Prime Minister Masrour Barzani accused people of depicting measures to contain COVID-19 as “dispensable,” which he says puts “people in danger just to serve their political objectives."

"Those who acted against the health instructions and encouraged people to not commit to the instructions must carry the responsibility for posing danger to the health of the people," stated Barzani, urging them to "stop playing with the lives of people."

Describing the pandemic as "very serious," the premier warned that the public’s decreasing commitment to the government’s health instructions has led to the disease "swiftly spreading."

"Unfortunately, there has recently been very little commitment to the [health] instructions," Barzani added.

Although a total lockdown has been lifted across the Region, authorities have continuously urged the public to adhere to the health regulations and take the pandemic seriously.

The Kurdistan Region began implementing measures to curb the spread of the virus in late February, escalating into partial and complete lockdowns in March.

Lockdown measures were gradually lifted as rates of infection slowed, allowing shops, mosques and churches to reopen their doors and non-essential traffic to run through the Region's roads.

But with cases of the virus reemerging in large numbers day after day since the beginning of May, the KRG imposed a full, 72-hour lockdown across the Kurdistan Region on the three days of Eid al-Fitr.

The KRG over the weekend renewed a ban on travel between provinces in the Kurdistan Region until June 16, according to the latest order issued by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) on Wednesday.

The total number of COVID-19 cases across the Kurdistan Region now stands at 566, of which 409 have recovered and five have died. The Region as a whole has 152 active cases.

"I am once again, calling my citizen sisters and brothers to adhere to the health regulations and maintain their health and those of their relatives," Barzani added. "Your safety matters the most to us."

https://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/29052020
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Re: Coronavirus: we separate myths from facts and give advic

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat May 30, 2020 10:38 pm

Shielders in England
allowed outdoors again


Vulnerable people in England who have been asked to remain at home since the coronavirus lockdown began are to be allowed outdoors once a day with members of their household from Monday

Those living alone will be able to meet one other person from another household while maintaining social distancing.

The guidance - in place for 10 weeks - had indicated shielding measures would remain until 30 June.

Support for shielders, such as food and medicine deliveries, will continue.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick will announce the details at Sunday's government Downing Street press conference.

Around 2.2 million people were asked to stay at home as lockdown began, because they were identified as being at particularly high risk of needing hospital treatment for coronavirus symptoms.

Most were notified by their GP.

They included solid organ transplant recipients, cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, pregnant women with heart disease and people with severe respiratory conditions such as cystic fibrosis and severe asthma.

Not all elderly people were asked to shield.

Some were later removed from the shielding list if they no longer met the requirements.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that "thousands of lives" had been saved by those who had shielded themselves.

"We have been looking at how we can make life easier for our most vulnerable, so today I am happy to confirm that those who are shielding will be able to spend time outside with someone else, observing social distance guidelines," he said.

Some scientists have expressed concerns about England's easing of lockdown rules while infection rates remain at around 8,000 per day according the Office for National Statistics.

"Many of us would prefer to see the incidence down to lower levels before we relax measures," said Professor John Edmunds, from the London School of Tropical Hygiene and Medicine and one of the government's top advisors.

"Covid-19 spreading too fast to lift lockdown in England," tweeted Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust.

England's Deputy Chief Medical Officer Prof Jonathan Van-Tam said the consensus among scientists was that the new measures were not expected to push the rate of infection above the key R value of 1.0.

However, he urged the public to be "sensible and proportionate with the freedom we have wanted to give people", saying the UK is "at a dangerous moment" and the easing of lockdown "has to go slowly".

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-52862440
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