Tuesday 27 October 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 26th and 27th October 2020.

 COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 26th and 27th October 2020.

The UK added 22,885 cases today and now has reported a total of 917,575 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 261,855 tests yesterday. 

9,199 people were in hospital on Sunday 25th (up from 6,431 a week earlier), with 852 using a ventilator yesterday, 26th October (up from 629 on Sunday 18th). 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 367 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days (up from 241 a week earlier). We now very sadly have a total of 45,365 officially reported losses of life in all settings.

Up until Friday 16th October, 58,925 people in the UK had COVID written on their death certificate. 

Rep. Of Ireland 58,767 (+700) cases and 1,890 (+5) losses of life.

There have now been a total of 44,071,979 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 1,168,562. Already 32,318,913 people have recovered.

be kind to people with covid simple soft toned cartoon drawing of adult on video conference to adult and child

"We understand the pandemic fatigue that people are feeling. It takes a mental and physical toll on everyone and no one wants more so-called lockdowns. But if we want to avoid them, we all have to play our part and we cannot give up. We must not give up. ACTogether!"
Dr Tedros, Head of WHO, making a pun there with the word ACT, which stands for the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator. This is the global communication partnership, which is speeding up development, production, and fair access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines.

Nottingham, Rushcliffe, Gedling and Broxtowe will move to Level 3 Very High English restrictions from midnight Thursday.

Starting today, Warrington is in the Very High Local COVID Alert Level 3.

Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed they are making a decision on whether North and South Lanarkshire will face tighter restrictions, possibly either on November 2nd when their new level system comes into force, or beforehand. 

The Welsh government have held extensive talks with retailers and on Friday will be publishing updated guidance on what constitutes "essential" shopping. Supermarkets are currently not usually allowed to sell things 'sold by shops which have been ordered to close' e.g. shoes, clothes, toys, books. This is to protect the livelihoods of those shops who aren't legally allowed to open their doors to customers. 
Very High Level banner

UK ONS figures out today show people still aren't going to hospital when they are ill. It doesn't matter what's wrong with you, or what your symptoms are - if you or someone else need medical attention, get help! 
"In Week 42 (week ending 16th October), the number of deaths registered was 6.8% above the five-year average (669 deaths higher).
Of the deaths registered in Week 42, 670 mentioned “novel coronavirus (COVID-19)”, accounting for 6.4% of all deaths in England and Wales; this is an increase of 232 deaths compared with Week 41 (when there were 438 deaths involving COVID-19, accounting for 4.4% of all deaths).
The numbers of deaths in hospitals remained below the five-year average in Week 42 with 184 fewer deaths, while the number of deaths in private homes and care homes were above the five-year average at 776 and 90 more deaths respectively."
DON'T IGNORE STRANGE PAINS. GET MEDICAL HELP. It is literally what all those medical and support staff hang around hospitals for... 

Since 10th September the UK Government has supplied 120,000 laptops/tablets and equipped 61,000 children with access to the internet. That's nowhere near to the number of pupils who schools felt needed the help. It makes me appreciate just how lucky my children are. 

Some of those wildfires are STILL burning in California. Over 4m acres has burned this year, more than 60,000 people are currently evacuated, and they've had to arrange planned power outages. It's hellish. Attempts to control COVID are secondary under those conditions. 

Scrap any remaining thoughts on herd immunity by transmission. A study has found that COVID-19 is now likely to be the leading cause of death in younger people aged 25-44 in some US states - narrowly beating accidental opioid overdose. 
In New York, New Jersey, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona, California, Hawaii and Nevada, for at least one month, more younger people died from COVID-19 in 2020 than from accidental drug overdoses in the same month during 2018 (the last period for which full data is available). This isn't yet peer-reviewed, and I have some questions myself, but it does show there really is an issue here. Being young does not guarantee you safety. 

Did I already mention we should completely forget about herd immunity by transmission? Just in case you weren't sure, research out today from Imperial College (not yet peer-reviewed) puts the final lid on that one. We already knew immunity from COVID wouldn't last forever, and now we have some confirmation,  and possibly the best measure to date. The massive Imperial College REACT study has randomly sampled over 365,000 English adults:
"...analysis of finger-prick tests carried out at home between 20 June and 28 September found that the number of people testing positive dropped by 26.5% across the study period, from almost 6% to 4.4%."
6% June 20-July 13
4.8% by July 31-Aug 13
4.4% by Sept 15-28
It seems that people who caught COVID-19 in the first wave are already losing their antibodies. 
Remember that antibodies are only part of the story. Longer lasting T cells to kick start antibodies should exist for most people for considerably longer. It's like having a template for COVID antibodies at the back of the cupboard.
People who hadn't realised they even had COVID were most likely to have lost antibodies, again this seems to back up what we were already finding - the more severe your first infection,  the longer lasting your personal immunity. Health care workers were more likely to still have antibodies, which could well be due to repeated exposure, or severity of their illness due to being exposed to more virus initially. 
We still cannot say just how effectively antibodies protect us, what minimum level will protect us, or even what a zero measurement of antibodies after infection really means in terms of protection. More research is obviously underway around the world. 

There are thousands of people worldwide claiming to have been reinfected. The scientists only accept them if they have had the strains tested to prove it wasn't resurgence of the same infection - which pretty much relies on still having blood samples from the first infection, and an interested scientist nearby. Only 24 people have so far been proven to have caught COVID twice. Just over half reported feeling more poorly the second time. 

Halloween Lets do it for Lancashire

BBC Europe are reporting that 10 hospitals in Liege, Belgium, have asked asymptomatic doctors and nurses who have tested positive to continue to work. It is a really badly affected area, hospitals are having to transfer patients elsewhere, and around a quarter of staff are off sick. They say they’ve been left with no choice, as the hospital system is close to collapse. Presumably they'll be working with known COVID patients - and obviously wearing full P.P.E. 

Emmanuel Macron is addressing France tomorrow night and it seems likely he will announce another major lockdown. Rumours are it'll start from Friday.

More bad news and it's 'not yet peer-reviewed' science from the UK - this time looking at 84,285 Great British Intelligence Test participants. Those who had definitely had COVID performed less well than expected given their age, background etc. They believe participants showed a decline of up to 8.5 I.Q. points, or aging of up to 10 years, and the more severe the COVID, the more likely they were to be badly affected. 
'Brain Fog' is a distinct and often-mentioned feature of Long COVID. It's obviously not yet known how long this will last, or what percentage of people will suffer. (Did I mention the 'herd immunity not being a good idea' thing?....)

Good science news!! It's really good actually. The Astra Zeneca /Oxford vaccine has been shown to provoke a strong immune response in patients of all ages - including the elderly. This is excellent, because it can be harder to wake up an older immune system. It is anticipated that a vaccine will equal a  good level of protection, better than a mild infection.

Scotland stick with it

Being under restrictions for months on end, and watching as a second wave breaks over the country is a demoralising position to be in, but never forget that we are far in advance of where we were 8 months ago. The British Medical Journal have published a brilliant article by a bunch of very knowledgeable professors - "Virology, transmission, and pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2" - reminding us about some of what we have learnt about the virus. It includes: 
- "In the respiratory tract, peak SARS-CoV-2 load is observed at the time of symptom onset or in the first week of illness, with subsequent decline thereafter indicating the highest infectiousness potential just before or within the first five days of symptom onset." 
(6 days into your illness, you're already less likely to pass it on.) 
- Although tests can detect SARS-CoV-2 in the upper respiratory tract for an average of 17 days, it's rarely possible to collect live, healthy virus after 9 days of illness. 
(Guess the English government win a prize here. 10 days after the start of symptoms, it's very rare you are even capable of infecting anyone else.)
- "Symptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission (1-2 days before symptom onset), is likely to play a greater role in the spread of SARS-CoV-2 than asymptomatic transmission." 
(This is why self-isolating contacts is so important. Those 2 days before symptoms start are some of your most infectious. However it's very reassuring that if you never knew you had it, you were pretty unlikely to have infected anyone else.)
- Lots of different antibodies have been reported to fight COVID, and while they all wane over time, the fact you recently had a cold might just turn out to be really helpful...

NASA made their big reveal about the moon yesterday - it's got water on it! Even in the sunshiney bits! If this all goes wrongerer, we can all bob up there and live with The Clangers, and Wallace & Gromit, and the Moon Sloths...

Some people. They were all born under the same sky as you: 

Countries / Cases / Losses of life (some states /provinces yet to report):

USA 8,991,641 (+28,858) 231,506 (+461)
India 7,978,972 (+33,084) 119,871 (+336)
Brazil 5,415,671 (+4,121) 157,528 (+77)
Russia 1,547,774 (+16,550) 26,589 (+320)
Spain 1,174,916 (+18,418) 35,298 (+267)
France 1,165,278 not yet reported today 35,018
Argentina 1,102,301 not yet reported 29,301
Colombia 1,025,052 not yt reported today 30,348
UK 917,575 (+22,885) 45,365 (+367)
Mexico 895,326 (+4,166) 89,171 (+247)
Peru 890,574 not yet reported today 34,197
South Africa 716,759 not yet reported today 19,008
Iran 581,824 (+6,968) 33,299 (+346)
Italy 564,778 (+21,994) 37,700 (+221)
Chile 504,525 (+927) 14,026 (+23)
Germany 460,056 (+9,798) 10,241 (+59) 




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