Following the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak - News and Discussion

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Re: Following the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak - News and Discussion

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^^ Inhaled asthma drug shortens Covid recovery and could be ‘significant for world,’ study finds
Hope that GPs will be able to start treating Covid patients at home with cheap and readily available medicine
Samuel Lovett

An inhaled drug commonly used for asthma has been shown to shorten the recovery time of Covid-19 sufferers who do not need hospital treatment – a development that has been described as a “significant milestone” in the fight against coronavirus.

British scientists from Oxford University have found that budesonide, an anti-inflammatory medicine, can help accelerate recovery in the over-50s by an average of three days.

The readily available drug, administered via a cheap inhaler twice a day for up to 14 days, can be prescribed through GPs, raising hope that doctors will be able to start treating Covid-19 patients at home early in their illness.

The NHS has issued new guidance saying the medicine should be considered for patients on a “case-by-case basis”.

Experts have hailed the interim findings from the UK’s Principle trial as a major breakthrough in treating Covid-19 outside of hospital.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/heal ... 30127.html
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Re: Following the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak - News and Discussion

Post by Phnom Poon »

this paper came out a week or more ago
and then suddenly cambodian pharmacies ran out . . .

.

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Re: Following the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak - News and Discussion

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CEOCambodiaNews wrote: Wed Apr 14, 2021 7:52 pm ^^ Inhaled asthma drug shortens Covid recovery and could be ‘significant for world,’ study finds
Hope that GPs will be able to start treating Covid patients at home with cheap and readily available medicine
Samuel Lovett

An inhaled drug commonly used for asthma has been shown to shorten the recovery time of Covid-19 sufferers who do not need hospital treatment – a development that has been described as a “significant milestone” in the fight against coronavirus.

British scientists from Oxford University have found that budesonide, an anti-inflammatory medicine, can help accelerate recovery in the over-50s by an average of three days.

The readily available drug, administered via a cheap inhaler twice a day for up to 14 days, can be prescribed through GPs, raising hope that doctors will be able to start treating Covid-19 patients at home early in their illness.

The NHS has issued new guidance saying the medicine should be considered for patients on a “case-by-case basis”.

Experts have hailed the interim findings from the UK’s Principle trial as a major breakthrough in treating Covid-19 outside of hospital.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/heal ... 30127.html
C'Mon, this is garbage, "self reported", not blind randomized? A less than 2% reduction? That's easily in the margin of error. Involving a Corticosteroid with its inherent risks.
“The majority of patients who get Covid are in the community. Something that can help them feel better three days sooner is significant." As opposed to who? Extraterrestrials?
Does it make them feel better, or are they less transmissable?
I understand grasping at straws, but this goes beyond the pale. It isn't peer reviewed, the study isn't even finished.
“In trials with a high degree of self reporting of subjective outcomes, this design is sub optimal, and a placebo-controlled study would have been preferable to ensure unbiased assessment by patient and investigator.”
Maybe there is something to this, right now, it just seems reckless.
it’s a bittersweet symphony this life
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Re: Following the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak - News and Discussion

Post by nemo »

Steroids can be a magic bullet for inflammation. I have seen citations saying they prevent the so called "cytokine storm". The asthma inhaler delivers a much smaller dose directly to affected tissues unlike tablets that flood the system.
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Re: Following the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak - News and Discussion

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Published 5 days ago in the Lancet and updated today:

Inhaled budesonide in the treatment of early COVID-19 (STOIC): a phase 2, open-label, randomised controlled trial
Published:April 09, 2021
Summary
Background
Multiple early reports of patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 showed that patients with chronic respiratory disease were significantly under-represented in these cohorts. We hypothesised that the widespread use of inhaled glucocorticoids among these patients was responsible for this finding, and tested if inhaled glucocorticoids would be an effective treatment for early COVID-19.

In conclusion, budesonide, an inhaled glucocorticoid, appears to be an effective treatment for early COVID-19 infection, which could be applicable to global health-care systems. Our findings require urgent validation and dissemination, especially in the setting of a treatment given early that is widely available and relatively safe.
This online publication has been corrected. The corrected version first appeared at the lancet.com on April 14, 2021
More here: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanr ... estitle150
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Re: Following the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak - News and Discussion

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From the UK:
Rapid Covid testing in England may be scaled back over false positives
Exclusive: leaked emails seen by the Guardian show ‘urgent need for decisions’ on asymptomatic testing
Josh Halliday
Thu 15 Apr 2021 17.48 BST

Senior government officials have raised “urgent” concerns about the mass expansion of rapid coronavirus testing, estimating that as few as 2% to 10% of positive results may be accurate in places with low Covid rates, such as London.

Boris Johnson last week urged everyone in England to take two rapid-turnaround tests a week in the biggest expansion of the multibillion-pound testing programme to date.

However, leaked emails seen by the Guardian show that senior officials are now considering scaling back the widespread testing of people without symptoms, due to a growing number of false positives.

In one email, Ben Dyson, an executive director of strategy at the health department and one of health secretary Matt Hancock’s advisers, stressed the “fairly urgent need for decisions” on “the point at which we stop offering asymptomatic testing”.

On 9 April, the day everyone in England was able to order twice-weekly lateral flow device (LFD) tests, Dyson wrote: “As of today, someone who gets a positive LFD result in (say) London has at best a 25% chance of it being a true positive, but if it is a self-reported test potentially as low as 10% (on an optimistic assumption about specificity) or as low as 2% (on a more pessimistic assumption).”

He added that the department’s executive committee, which includes Hancock and the NHS test and trace chief, Dido Harding, would soon need to decide whether requiring people to self-isolate before a confirmatory PCR test “ceases to be reasonable” in low infection areas where there is a high likelihood of a positive result being wrong.

The accuracy of rapid coronavirus tests and how they should be deployed have been the focus of months of debate in the UK. The proportion of false positives – people incorrectly told they have the virus – increases when the prevalence of the disease falls. This happens because although the number of true positives is falling, the tests produce roughly the same number of false positives – meaning the proportion of incorrect results becomes greater.

It means thousands of people could be wrongly told to self-isolate and miss out on earnings or education due to inaccurate results. The government has advised anyone who tests positive with a rapid test to take a follow-up PCR test and self-isolate until they receive a negative result – but some experts have said this process is too slow and that a second lateral flow test would be as likely to produce the correct result.

Figures produced by government officials estimate that currently only one in 10 positive results are likely to be accurate in London and south-east and south-west England, where there is less Covid-19 in circulation. In England as a whole, they estimate that only 38% of self-reported tests are thought to be accurate, based on the current prevalence of the disease. The Guardian has also learned that Public Health England (PHE) raised concerns about the plan for mass testing, days before it was announced on 5 April.

More: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/ ... -positives
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Re: Following the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak - News and Discussion

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CEOCambodiaNews wrote: Fri Apr 16, 2021 1:24 am From the UK:
Rapid Covid testing in England may be scaled back over false positives
Exclusive: leaked emails seen by the Guardian show ‘urgent need for decisions’ on asymptomatic testing
Josh Halliday
Thu 15 Apr 2021 17.48 BST

Senior government officials have raised “urgent” concerns about the mass expansion of rapid coronavirus testing, estimating that as few as 2% to 10% of positive results may be accurate in places with low Covid rates, such as London.

Boris Johnson last week urged everyone in England to take two rapid-turnaround tests a week in the biggest expansion of the multibillion-pound testing programme to date.

However, leaked emails seen by the Guardian show that senior officials are now considering scaling back the widespread testing of people without symptoms, due to a growing number of false positives.

In one email, Ben Dyson, an executive director of strategy at the health department and one of health secretary Matt Hancock’s advisers, stressed the “fairly urgent need for decisions” on “the point at which we stop offering asymptomatic testing”.

On 9 April, the day everyone in England was able to order twice-weekly lateral flow device (LFD) tests, Dyson wrote: “As of today, someone who gets a positive LFD result in (say) London has at best a 25% chance of it being a true positive, but if it is a self-reported test potentially as low as 10% (on an optimistic assumption about specificity) or as low as 2% (on a more pessimistic assumption).”

He added that the department’s executive committee, which includes Hancock and the NHS test and trace chief, Dido Harding, would soon need to decide whether requiring people to self-isolate before a confirmatory PCR test “ceases to be reasonable” in low infection areas where there is a high likelihood of a positive result being wrong.

The accuracy of rapid coronavirus tests and how they should be deployed have been the focus of months of debate in the UK. The proportion of false positives – people incorrectly told they have the virus – increases when the prevalence of the disease falls. This happens because although the number of true positives is falling, the tests produce roughly the same number of false positives – meaning the proportion of incorrect results becomes greater.

It means thousands of people could be wrongly told to self-isolate and miss out on earnings or education due to inaccurate results. The government has advised anyone who tests positive with a rapid test to take a follow-up PCR test and self-isolate until they receive a negative result – but some experts have said this process is too slow and that a second lateral flow test would be as likely to produce the correct result.

Figures produced by government officials estimate that currently only one in 10 positive results are likely to be accurate in London and south-east and south-west England, where there is less Covid-19 in circulation. In England as a whole, they estimate that only 38% of self-reported tests are thought to be accurate, based on the current prevalence of the disease. The Guardian has also learned that Public Health England (PHE) raised concerns about the plan for mass testing, days before it was announced on 5 April.

More: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/ ... -positives
This whole scheme is a huge boondoggle. The official estimate is about a third of the total of the annual NHS budget, or about £40 billion. This is a huge cost for some pretty dodgy accuracy rates. Remember last year when Prof. Chris Witty said, "no test is better than a bad test" when talking about this new fangled testing method? He was right.

There will be huge demands on the NHS budget for people with long covid and further research on therapeutics for treatment. NHS waiting lists are the longest they have ever been. Give the NHS a £30 billion budget boost? No chance. £30 billion to private companies for dodgy testing kits? Sure, no problem.

Get people vaccinated, and if they then get Covid-19 and have a week in bed because they feel rough, so what? This is all about not clogging up the health service and people dying in the corridors. If the vaccine can achieve that, the Covid-19 really is just bad flu, and the government shouldn't trouble itself any further.

I suspect this scheme is going to disappear without trace in a few months.
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Re: Following the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak - News and Discussion

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Doc67 wrote: Get people vaccinated, and if they then get Covid-19 and have a week in bed because they feel rough, so what? This is all about not clogging up the health service and people dying in the corridors. If the vaccine can achieve that, the Covid-19 really is just bad flu, and the government shouldn't trouble itself any further.
.
I agree. This was the original aim a year ago - just to “flatten the curve” so that the health services could cope. But now some countries like Australia are aiming for zero cases and they lockdown entire cities or even States when a single case is discovered. The resulting economic impact is huge.
And along with wanting zero cases, Australia has fumbled its vaccination rollout so badly that they estimate that they won’t have vaccinated the whole population there until the end of 2022! Nearly two years away, and that they won’t open the international borders until then. Unbelievable.


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Re: Following the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak - News and Discussion

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jah steu wrote: Fri Apr 16, 2021 2:27 pm But now some countries like Australia are aiming for zero cases and they lockdown entire cities or even States when a single case is discovered. The resulting economic impact is huge.
And along with wanting zero cases, Australia has fumbled its vaccination rollout so badly that they estimate that they won’t have vaccinated the whole population there until the end of 2022! Nearly two years away, and that they won’t open the international borders until then. Unbelievable.


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I hear you. It's crazy there. Not only are they sticking to their goal of zero infection, but they're saying that even if the whole population was vaccinated, that might still not be grounds for opening up the borders. Madness.

https://www.travelweekly.com.au/article ... r-warning/

And, they are priding themselves on how quick Australia is bouncing back domestically..
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Re: Following the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak - News and Discussion

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Spreading faster, hitting harder – why young Brazilians are dying of Covid
Highly transmissible variant and behavioural factors blamed as intensive care units fill with younger patients
Tom Phillips in Rio de Janeiro
Last modified on Fri 16 Apr 2021 13.10 BST

One month after Michel Castro’s premature brush with death, the coronavirus infection has receded but the nightmares persist.

In them the 31-year-old father relives the spine-chilling scenes he witnessed as his Covid-hit body battled for survival in a Rio ICU. The six-month-old baby who appeared to be suffocating right next to him. The man urinating blood after his kidneys failed. The unnerving bleep-bleep-bleep of machines warning doctors that yet another life was on the line.

“It was agony. When you closed your eyes – God forgive me – but it was as if you were in hell,” said Castro, a systems analyst and devout Christian who fell ill in early March as Brazil was thrust into the deadliest month of a coronavirus disaster that has killed more than 365,000 people.
Brazil’s Covid-19 response is worst in the world, says Médecins Sans Frontières
Read more

“I saw everything in there. Children, adults, young people, bodybuilders – the lot. All of them going through the same thing,” Castro recalled, rubbishing the idea that only elderly people were in danger. “If you’re a human being you’re at risk,” he said. “This disease is a total game of Russian roulette.”

When Covid first hit Brazil last February it was, as elsewhere, considered mainly a threat to the ageing or infirm. A year later, as Brazil grapples with by far the most traumatic phase of its epidemic, a troubling trend has emerged, as intensive care units fill with younger patients such as Castro, some seemingly battling more severe forms of the disease. An unusually high number of infant fatalities has also been reported with more than 1,000 Brazilian babies dying last year compared with 43 in the US.

Brazilians have been particularly shocked by the case of Paulo Gustavo, a 42-year-old television star who has spent the past month fighting for his life in a Rio ICU despite being previously fit and healthy. Last week, the Brazilian Association of Intensive Care Medicine said that for the first time, most Covid patients in ICU were under 40 – a finding echoed by frontline doctors.

“We’re seeing a really big increase in young patients,” said Pedro Carvalho, a critical care doctor from the country’s northeast whose hospital’s ICUs have admitted Covid victims aged 27, 28, 29, 32, 33 and 34 in recent days. Two were women who had just given birth. The wife of the 33-year-old patient is expecting their fourth child but he is on dialysis and his chances of survival slim. “It really feels like we’re at the eye of the hurricane and things are just getting worse and more intense,” Carvalho said.
Full article: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/ ... g-of-covid
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