Friday 15 July 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update Friday 15th July 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update Friday 15th July 2022

UK COVID Statistics:
In England from 2nd to 8th July 691 people died within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test. This shows an increase of 32.6% compared to the previous 7 days.
In Scotland 4th July to 10th July there were 83 deaths involving COVID-19 (22 more than the previous week). The provisional total number of all deaths registered in Scotland in week 27 was 1,089 (62 or 6% above the 5-year average).
In Wales and Northern Ireland I cannot find any figures more recent than weeks old, so we'll leave that. They're basically using the ONS random sampling rather than stats from testing, which frankly is probably a lot closer to the truth now that testing is not free or easily accessed. 

Rep. Of Ireland Wednesday 13th July: 1,628,745 cases (+1,207) and 7,571 losses of life (+35).

World: 565,855,152 reported cases and 6,383,315 losses of life.

Differences between heat exhaustion and heatstroke

I wrote most of this on my phone on a train again, and I've had another incredibly busy week, so sorry if I missed anything! 

ONS (Office for National Statistics) figures show that over 200,000 people in the UK have now had their life cut short by COVID. 

The latest data from the ONS random sampling (COVID19 Infection Survey) shows infection rates have continued to climb across all four UK countries. For the week ending 6th July for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and 7th July  for Scotland:
England, estimate 2,873,600, equating to 5.27% of the population, or around 1 in 19 people.
Wales, estimate 183,500, equating to 6.04% of the population, or around 1 in 17 people.
Northern Ireland, estimate 107,600, equating to 5.86% of the population, or around 1 in 17 people.
Scotland, estimate 334,000, equating to 6.34% of the population, or around 1 in 16 people.
We have infection levels higher than the 2020 Alpha variant peak, but the good news is that the number of people who die is way way lower. 

The NHS A&E waiting time figures for June are worse than any Winter crisis on record. The NHS is a big fat underfunded COVID-filled mess. Wanting something to be over does not make it happen.
According to figures collated by Sky News, for every June from 2011 to 2017 added together, 290 people waited to be admitted to hospital on trolleys in A&E for over 12 hours.  
In just June 2022 there were 22,034 who waited over 12 hours to be admitted. That is '47 times more than June three years ago, 34 times more than the pre-pandemic winter record, 76 times more than the total for eight years' worth of Junes from 2011 to 2018'.
So yeah, the NHS is struggling a tadge. If only it had been cared for and supported by money instead of organised clapping.

150722 ONS infection levels by age group

Last week's latest ICNARC (Intensive Care National Audit & Research Centre) report backs up previous vaccine efficacy data. Using figures from England, Northern Ireland and Wales (it doesn't cover Scotland), "the percentage of patients admitted to critical care with confirmed COVID-19 that were unvaccinated decreased from 74% in May 2021 to 27% in February 2022, compared with a reduction from 35% to 7% among the general population".
More than 1 in 4 of patients admitted to critical care with COVID are not vaccinated, compared to just 1 in every 14 of the population.

The JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation) have decided to recommend an Autumn Booster jab and a flu jab for everyone in the UK over age 50.
"Under the advice, those eligible for a further dose will be:
- all adults aged 50 years and over
- those aged 5 to 49 years in a clinical risk group, including pregnant women
- those aged 5 to 49 years who are household contacts of people with immunosuppression
- those aged 16 to 49 years who are carers
- residents in a care home for older adults and staff working in care homes for older adults
- frontline health and social care workers
In addition, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) will be widening the offer of the free flu vaccine to more eligible groups. These additional groups will only be eligible once the most vulnerable, including previously announced pre-school and primary school children, those aged 65 years and over and those in clinical risk groups, have been offered the jab.
The additional groups set to be offered the free flu vaccine in England will be:
- all adults aged 50 to 64 years
- secondary school children in years 7, 8 and 9, who will be offered the vaccine in order of school year (starting with the youngest first)."

Autumn COVID boosters eligible groups poster - just a list

People from the UK are finding Long COVID treatments are so varied, misguided or hard to access that they are travelling abroad. In some cases non-UK treatments have a lot of logical and scientific sense, others not so much, but there really isn't yet any proven method that helps everyone. Plus we have to wait, to see if any improvement is long-lasting or permanent. It really is still very much an unknown. 

Talking of science and logic surrounding Long COVID, researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital may have found a biomarker which is present in people with Long COVID, and not in other people who previously tested positive:
“Strikingly, we detect SARS-CoV-2 spike antigen in a majority of [long COVID] patients up to 12 months post-diagnosis, suggesting the presence of an active persistent SARSCoV-2 viral reservoir.”
If this proves to be key, not only will you be able to test to see if you have Long COVID, it also offers massive clues about where to start focussing treatments and therapies. 

A patient in Canada has been removed from a transplant list because they refused to be vaccinated for COVID. Although they had their other vaccinations, they believe the COVID vaccine is experimental and refused. A court has ruled that their rights have not been violated, and doctors or surgeons can remove them from the lists.
The patient's specific medical condition has not been released, but the court was told that between September and November 2021, almost 40% of similar transplant recipients in that area who were infected with COVID-19 did not survive.

150722 ONS stats

Strange Hepatitis In Kids Update:
The World Health Organisation's latest situation report on 8th July shows "35 countries in five WHO Regions have reported 1010 probable cases of severe acute hepatitis of unknown aetiology in children, which fulfill the WHO case definition, including 22 deaths".
Thankfully this hasn't proven to be a fast rolling figure, although a significant number of survivors will have long term issues, 46 have required liver transplants, and 22 families have lost a child. It is still mystery what is causing this exactly - 209 children tested positive for Adenovirus, and 78 tested positive for COVID. 

It isn't just Europe and the Americas suffering a rise in COVID cases, East Asia is too. Places like Japan,  South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong, which managed to avoid the worst of COVID for most of the past 2 years. The fact they have finally fallen isn't a fail. Their losses of life are tiny in comparison to countries which were affected before vaccinations. 

Sorry to anyone who is on holiday in Macao - it closed all casinos on Monday until next week, and asked everyone to stay at home, to try and stop a COVID outbreak which has seen over 1,400 people test positive in the last 3 weeks.
Hey, you people who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, not forgotten you. Don't be shy to make yourself known, wear a mask, keep your distance or whatever else makes you feel safe. We all have a duty to help protect you.
As of 14th July 2022, there were 1,856 confirmed monkeypox cases in the UK. Of these, 1,778 are in England. This is up from  1,735 and 1,660 respectively since 12th July, which by my maths is slowing in growth. Fingers crossed... 

Vaccination status and critical care admission chart ICNARC

We have in place England's first ever Level 4 Red Warning for heat, and the temperatures on Monday and Tuesday across much of the country are expected to be 37/38 degrees or more, and potentially even reach 40 degrees - which is considered unsuitable for human life. Nope, that's not fun, and the UK isn't designed for it. Our buildings are wrong, our clothes are wrong, roads, train tracks, computer systems, power grids etc are wrong. Please be extremely careful. Carry water if you go out, drink it often, stay in the shade and don't exert yourself. Heatstroke and heat exhaustion can be nasty and people absolutely will die over those 2 days.

If you or anyone you are with feels dizzy, nauseous or confused, cool down with damp cloths and drink water. Young children, babies, elderly people and ill people are more at risk, and some medical or other conditions mean people struggle to regulate their own heat or cool swiftly. Take extra care if you fall into those categories. If you have COVID and a high temperature anyway, you'll also have to bear it in mind. Very little is ever worth risking your life for.

If you are travelling take at least a litre of water for each person, and some face cloths to pour water on to in case anyone does overheat. (Best piece of advice my Grandma ever gave me.)

It's the weekend! Hurrah. I've had another ridiculously hard week, and I fell asleep an impressive 3 times on the train earlier. Proud to say I didn't even drop my phone once. My smiles post will not happen this week, as I have my mother's funeral and simply cannot make the time. Normal service will be resumed within the next week or so... I'll definitely be having a treat this weekend - a nice bath sounds amazing. Don't forget your own treat - do something for yourself for once, you've earned it.
Back next Friday, hopefully not on a train.

Stay Cool, Respect Water, Save The NHS.

Some people. They might look like numbers here, but they all have a unique face.

Countries / Cases / Losses of life YESTERDAY in the full 24 hours up until midnight GMT:

World 565,350,303 (+945,735) 6,382,272 (+1,588)
France 32,795,874 (+119,285) 150,468 (+54)
Germany 29,569,943 (+109,694) 142,399 (+115)
Italy 19,889,095 (+108,674) 169,601 (+105)
USA 91,060,225 (+95,400) 1,048,232 (+231)
Japan 9,903,381 (+92,507) 31,494 (+29)
Brazil 33,142,158 (+65,379) 674,846 (+292)
Australia 8,653,018 (+47,205) 10,518 (+81)
S. Korea 18,641,278 (+39,169) 24,696 (+16)
Mexico 6,338,991 (+37,346) 326,261 (+72)
Taiwan 4,189,890 (+27,645) 7,917 (+89)
India 43,710,027 (+20,038) 525,604 (+47)
Finland 1,171,034 (+12,549) 5,012 (+71)
Austria 4,574,722 (+12,512) 18,916 (+7)
Singapore 1,569,420 (+11,772) 1,444 (+4)
New Zealand 1,473,955 (+11,698) 1,697 (+23)
Peru 3,714,361 (+10,610) 213,746 (+15)

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