Friday 24 June 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 24th June 2022

Everything is a bit short today because I've been called back home to Derby, so this is mostly written on trains on my phone. I will come back to it once I'm back in Manchester, and properly write up anything I've had to leave for now. Sorry about that, I know you guys understand. Sometimes things are far more important.

So... COVID cases are rising still in all 4 UK nations - we are up around 23% week on week according to random sampling (so it's pretty accurate). The latest ONS figures suggest that it the week ending 18th June, 1.7m people across the UK had COVID.

Hospitalisations have a slight rise, the unfortunate North East, and people aged over 85, still struggling the most.

The World Health Organisation convened a special meeting yesterday to decide if the Monkeypox outbreak was a PHEIC - Public Health Emergency of I ternational Concern. No definite answer on that last I looked.
We now have more than 3,200 confirmed cases in at least 44 countries where monkeypox is not usually found among the wild animal population. One person has died.

On Wednesday the UK Health Security Agency declared a National Incident because of Polio.
The UK routinely vaccinated against Polio using live (but inactivated) vaccine until around 2004, when it was changed for an inert (dead) version. Some countries still use live vaccine, which can pass through the person and into their poop still alive - so it is normal to detect it in the UK sewage a few times each year. In this case a live vaccine derived Polio has escaped and linked strains have been detected in samples from different months, so it seems to have passed from person to person.
If you were vaccinated then you are well protected, but we actually have a significant number among us who have not received the vaccination - especially in parts of London.
Polio can be nasty. Check that your kids are up to date with their jabs - it'll be in their red book. If you didn't grow up in the UK, check that you were vaccinated against Polio as a child - and if not, you can contact your doctor to arrange it.

There were also reports on Wednesday of a person contracting Cholera in Spain - that is NOT true. It was a confused message and although it's a very similar condition, it was NOT Cholera. *Phew*

The first court case of someone dying as a result of AstraZeneca vaccination has received a payout. A gentleman from Cumbia died in May 2021, and his fiance has received £120,000. Obviously any sum will never be enough to replace him.

Sperm count drops by about 20% after vaccination and restores to previous levels within around 6 months. No effect on motility or volume. Sprem count often drops with all kinds of illness (your body is busy doing other stuff), including COVID infection, so this wasn't a surprise, but should reassure potential parents (there will still be millions for most people, and you only really need 1).

Moderna have partnered up with the UK Government to build a state-of-the-art manufacturing and research centre in the UK. Moderna's new Omicron-specific vaccine has performed very well in early trials, so this is a very hopeful and progressive move.

Variant watch - worldwide Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 have now taken over as the most common strains. They lead the way in the UK and are quickly taking over in the USA. Thankfully there's still no evidence or suspicion that they are more dangerous or deadly.

A new study has confirmed that while PCR testing is the best way to tell if you have COVID (because it's very sensitive), rapid testing such as lateral flow is the best way to determine if you are actually contagious and breathing out virus (aside from hugging lots of people and waiting a few days).

Trump Of The Day:
I've almost missed Trump. Almost. The January 6th hearing has released lots of documents, including documents proving that the US decided to go for  herd immunity (just like the UK) without knowing that herd immunity was possible (it isn't).

If you have a child under age 10 with a medical condition or allergies then while stocks last you can get free medicalertuk membership and an ID Tag, thanks to sponsorship by the Lions Club. I'll add more details in the comments.

Fertility rates are dropping - and while we often mention Japan when we talk about this, theirs isn't actually the lowest right now. Taiwan is averaging 1.1 live births per female, far far below the 2.1 needed to keep the population at the current level. It is dropping all over Europe and the Western world. Really the only countries where it is above 2.1 are those where infant mortality is very high, life expectancy very low, and there's nothing much else to do ever (no telly, no contraception, no universal education, no money).

A new study published yesterday has worked out how many lives were saved by COVID vaccinations. The figure is 20million. That is a huge number of family and friends who will never know how fortunate they are. Hug your loved ones - let them know you are glad they are with you.

I will write some of this up more thoroughly in a few days time, and I will be back with the next new report next Friday. Have the best weekend you can - and have that treat. You earned it.

Stay Sensible, Play Outdoors, Save The NHS.


MedicAlert IDs, worn on pulse points, can be life-saving in an emergency or an accident for children with medical conditions. For the rest of the time, the peace of mind they provide can give your child the confidence to be more active physically and join in socially. Family members also benefit from knowing that their loved ones are safe. That is why the NHS recommends them.
The Early Start Programme provides free MedicAlert membership until your child’s 10th birthday, along with a free medical ID.
Funded by Lions Clubs, the scheme is currently open for applications. There are limited spaces available based on current funding, so don't delay

Weekly COVID statistics

NHS hospital stats - monthly


Monkeypox updates

WHO Vaccine equity for Africa

Monkeypox vaccine UK

AstraZeneca death


And this is why
"Lasting protection of omicron-specific Covid vaccine could pave way for annual boosters"
Moderna's Omicron-specific vaccine performed well in trials
Never had COVID ? Old news

Important news for people with MS.

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