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Anti-inflammatories may aggravate Covid-19, France advises

Anti-inflammatory drugs
© Alamy
Anti-inflammatory drugs are known to be a risk for those with infectious illnesses because they tend to diminish the body’s immune response.
French minister says patients should take paracetamol rather than ibuprofen or cortisone.

French authorities have warned that widely used over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs may worsen the coronavirus.

The country's health minister, Olivier Véran, who is a qualified doctor and neurologist, tweeted on Saturday: "The taking of anti-inflammatories [ibuprofen, cortisone ... ] could be a factor in aggravating the infection. In case of fever, take paracetamol. If you are already taking anti-inflammatory drugs, ask your doctor's advice."

Health officials point out that anti-inflammatory drugs are known to be a risk for those with infectious illnesses because they tend to diminish the response of the body's immune system.

Comment: See also:


Sun

Higher temperatures affect survival of new coronavirus, pathologist says

SARS-CoV-2
© NIAID-RML
Transmission electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S. Virus particles are emerging from the surface of cells cultured in the lab. The spikes on the outer edge of the virus particles give coronaviruses their name, crown-like.
Research from a laboratory-grown copy of the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes the COVID-19 illness shows that heat affects the virus and impacts its behavior, a top pathologist said new research has shown. But other infectious disease experts aren't yet convinced.

"In cold environments, there is longer virus survival than warm ones," Hong Kong University pathology professor John Nicholls told AccuWeather exclusively.

Nicholls and colleagues from a team at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China, previously produced a study, which was published in February and has yet to be peer-reviewed, noting the effect of heat. Their research is based on one of the world's first lab-grown copies of SARS-CoV-2.

"Temperature could significantly change COVID-19 transmission," the authors note in the study. They also pointed out that the "virus is highly sensitive to high temperature."

On March 11, the World Health Organization officially declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic. This is the first pandemic in 11 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Chart Bar

Visualizing the history of pandemics... by death toll

Pan·dem·ic /panˈdemik/ (of a disease) prevalent over a whole country or the world.

As humans have spread across the world, so have infectious diseases. In fact, as Visual Cpitalist's Nicholas LePan notes, even in this modern era, outbreaks are nearly constant, though not every outbreak reaches pandemic level as the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has.

Today's visualization outlines some of history's most deadly pandemics, from the Antonine Plague to the current COVID-19 event.

history of pandemics chart

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Health

Coronavirus survivors may suffer from reduced lung function

coronavirus
Some patients who have recovered from the coronavirus have been left with a reduced lung capacity - and left gasping for air when walking briskly, according to a report.

The Hong Kong Hospital Authority announced the findings after studying the first wave of patients who had fully recovered from COVID-19, the South China Morning Post reported.

Three people have died of the illness in the former British colony, which has so far recorded 131 confirmed cases. Among them, 74 people have been discharged.

Arrow Up

Woman who survived coronavirus shares her early symptoms

Elizabeth Schneider
© AFP via Getty Images
Elizabeth Schneider survived coronavirus.
At last comes a measure of reassurance about the effects of the global pandemic: A woman who has fully recovered from coronavirus is a living, breathing beacon of hope.

Elizabeth Schneider, 37, had a relatively mild experience with the sometimes-deadly virus, for which she treated herself at her home in Seattle, Washington. So far, the Northwestern state has suffered the highest number of deaths — at least 30 — in the US from the disease.

Schneider, who has a doctorate in bioengineering, told the Agence France-Press she was sharing her story "to give people a little bit of hope." Her story is more common than one might think: US health authorities say 80% of cases have been mild. The remaining cases that needed hospitalization affected mainly citizens over the age of 60 and those with pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, heart disease or lung disease.

Comment: It's important to remember that the majority of people who come down with COVID-19 have a similar story. Their symptoms may be worse (or milder), but overall it's an illness that people get over without much fanfare, excluding people with pre-existing conditions. In other words, it's not much different from the flu in its effects.

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Syringe

ICAN calls on CDC to remove misinformation about vaccines and autism from website

autism vaccines
Here's the brief summary of what happened:

Last summer, the Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN), submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the CDC to provide all of the studies supporting its claim that "vaccines do not cause autism." Specifically, ICAN asked the CDC to produce all of the studies that demonstrated that the vaccines given in the first six months of life did not cause autism.

These vaccines are: DTap, HIB, HepB, Prevnar (PCV13), and the Polio vaccine (IPV).

Comment: The CDC is lying. This is hardly a shocker, but perhaps Bigtree and ICAN can actually hold them accountable in this latest legal action. We live in hope.

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Life Preserver

Breathe! Don't Succumb to the Pathological Hysteria from the Coronavirus Madness

COvid-19

Is this worth a lockdown?
I practice Family Medicine in Europe and as everybody knows by now, we're in the midst of Coronavirus madnessTM which we are told is now an official global pandemic. It's true that we're living through a critical, decisive and increasingly divisive era, but the real issue is something other than what the media and politicians would have us believe.

Let's review our society's problems for some much needed perspective.

Very Dark Statistics, Indeed

Regardless of how many people on the planet are actively aware of it, the truth is that tens of millions of people drop like flies from illness, depression and self-destruction every single day. And that's a trend that has been ongoing for, well, a very long time.

According to the WHO assessment of deaths by cause for the years 2000-2016, close to 800,000 people die due to suicide every year, which is one person every 40 seconds. And those who have been paying attention will know that, in the past few years, the generalized state of the public's mental health has not improved.

Microscope 1

Could our gut microbiota protect us against harmful byproducts of food processing?

gut bacteria microbiome
Our gut microbiota provides us with many benefits; defending us against pathogens, tuning our immune systems, and aiding in the digestion of fiber. Now scientists have discovered yet another way that the bacteria in our guts could help by offering a potential way of protecting us from chemical modifications of food ingredients introduced by food processing.

Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in Saint Louis Missouri have discovered a species of gut bacteria that can transform the harmful byproducts of food processing into less harmful byproducts in mice and in vitro conditions. Specifically, scientists have found that the bacteria Collinsella intestinalis can metabolize the Maillard Reaction Product (MRP) e-fructoselysine (FL) to innocuous products.

Maillard reaction products form upon heat-induced reaction of amino acids with reducing sugars and are common in processed foods. The consumption of MRPs has dramatically increased in recent years due to the processing and "ultra-processing" of foods and are associated with negative health effects such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Comment: It makes sense that, given the right microbial balance, the microbiome would be able to help mitigate some of the over-consumption of toxic foods and pollutants we inundate it with in the modern age. One hopes that future research will uncover more microbial species that can metabolize even more of the toxic garbage we're exposed to regularly (glyphosate would be nice). This provides yet more evidence of the importance of keeping your gut microbiome in good condition.

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Beaker

Artificial sweetener sucralose (found in Splenda), might be making you fatter and sicker, study finds

Sugar
© PIxabay
A study published in the journal Cell Metabolism by a group of Yale researchers found that the consumption of the common artificial sweetener sucralose (found in Splenda, Zerocal, Sukrana, SucraPlus, and others) in combination with carbohydrates can actually raise blood sugar and increase weight.

Sucralose is found in thousands of baked goods, condiments, syrups, and other consumer packaged goods — almost all of them containing carbohydrates.

The finding, which researchers expressed has yet to be replicated in other studies, raises new questions about the use of artificial sweeteners and their effects on weight gain and overall health.

Researchers of the study took 60 healthy individuals who weren't overweight and separated them into three groups:

Heart

The smell of the rain reduces stress & 7 other benefits of walking in the rain

Rainy day
People enjoy the sound of the pouring rain, many find it romantic and soothing, and others find its smell pleasant for the nerves. Walking in the rain can be a healing experience, as it calms the mind, and releases the suppressed thoughts and emotions.

The scent of the rain has a special name, Petrichor, so named by two Australian scientists in the 1960s.

The fragrance is a combination of chemicals released by soil-dwelling bacteria, oils released from plants during dry spells, and ozone created when lightning occurs.

The rainy days are ideal if you are a bit stressed, feel blue, or just need some time to relax and enjoy the present moment.