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A fiasco in the making? As the coronavirus pandemic takes hold, we are making decisions without reliable data

covid-19 swab
© Paul Sancya/AP
A nurse holds swabs and a test tube to test people for Covid-19 at a drive-through station set up in the parking lot of the Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich.
The current coronavirus disease, Covid-19, has been called a once-in-a-century pandemic. But it may also be a once-in-a-century evidence fiasco.

At a time when everyone needs better information, from disease modelers and governments to people quarantined or just social distancing, we lack reliable evidence on how many people have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 or who continue to become infected. Better information is needed to guide decisions and actions of monumental significance and to monitor their impact.

Draconian countermeasures have been adopted in many countries. If the pandemic dissipates — either on its own or because of these measures — short-term extreme social distancing and lockdowns may be bearable. How long, though, should measures like these be continued if the pandemic churns across the globe unabated? How can policymakers tell if they are doing more good than harm?

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Health

Chinese medical team report successful treatment of coronavirus patients with high-dose vitamin C

vitamin c coronavirus
A medical team from the Second Affiliated Hospital of Xi'an Jiaotong University in China has reported the successful treatment of coronavirus patients with vitamin C. In a press release posted on the hospital website, the team describes how patients suffering from severe coronary pneumonia, a potentially fatal complication of the new coronavirus COVID-19, have recovered after being treated with high doses of the vitamin. The medical team recommend that for critically ill patients and those with severe neonatal pneumonia, vitamin C treatment should be initiated as soon as possible after admission to hospital.

Significantly, the press release acknowledges that early application of vitamin C can have a strong antioxidant effect, reduce inflammatory responses, and improve endothelial function. It also describes how numerous studies have shown the dose of vitamin C used has a lot to do with the treatment's effect. The medical team say their past experience shows that high-dose vitamin C can not only improve antiviral levels, but more importantly can prevent and treat acute lung injury and acute respiratory distress.

Comment: While it's nice to have hope, the idea that mainstream medicine is on the verge of wholesale acceptance of natural therapies like vitamin C seems naive. There are forces at work that diligently push back against anything threatening the mainstream medical paradigm and Big Pharma profits. Mainstream acceptance of vitamin C therapies would likely require nothing short of a total revolution. Perhaps this view is too bleak and that we really are on the precipice of a new paradigm. Time will tell.

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Health

Health experts criticise NHS advice to take ibuprofen for Covid-19 saying it could aggravate the infection

NSAID pneumonia
© Joe Giddens/PA
Boxes of ibuprofen in Sainsbury’s. Studies have linked anti-inflammatory drugs to worsened pneumonia.
Experts have criticised NHS advice that people self-isolating with Covid-19 should take ibuprofen, saying there is plausible evidence this could aggravate the condition.

The comments came after French authorities warned against taking widely used over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs. The country's health minister, Olivier Véran, 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."

NHS guidance states that people managing Covid-19 symptoms at home should take paracetamol or ibuprofen.

"I would advise against that," said Prof Ian Jones, a virologist at the University of Reading. "There's good scientific evidence for ibuprofen aggravating the condition or prolonging it. That recommendation needs to be updated."

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SOTT Logo Radio

Objective:Health - High Dose Vitamin C: Good for People, Bad for Coronavirus

O:H header
As the world continues to freak out about COVID-19, the advice from the authorities about what to do seems disproportionate to the the panic they're stoking - wash your hands, don't go out unless you have to, avoid crowds. It seems like a recipe for making people panic.

While the MSM have continually poo-pooed any and all alternative therapies in protecting or treating coronavirus infections, they've ignored actual evidence from the very people who have experience with what the rest of the world is currently experiencing; namely Wuhan China. Specifically, doctors who were on the front lines in China during the worst of the epidemic are singing the praises of vitamin C infusions.

Today on Objective:Health, we take a look at one of our old favorites for multiple conditions, including coronavirus infections - the mighty vitamin C. Taking vitamin C is actually something everyone could be doing to make a difference in the state of their immune system, well beyond 'wash your hands'.

Link to Orthomolecular News article mentioned: http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v16n15.shtml


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Attention

Philippines detects bird flu outbreak in quail farm

philippines map bird flu
© Google Maps
At a press conference, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said the highly pathogenic virus — which is transmissible to humans, but the mortality rate is low — was found in Barangay Ulanin-Pitak.
The Philippines has detected an outbreak of avian flu in a northern province after tests showed presence of the highly infectious H5N6 subtype of the influenza A virus in a quail farm, the country's farm minister said on Monday.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar said the bird flu virus, the same strain that hit some local poultry farms in 2017, was detected in Jaen municipality in Nueva Ecija province, where about 1,500 quails had died on one farm alone.

A total of 12,000 quails have been destroyed and buried to prevent further infections, Dar said, citing field reports.

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Guinness

Shocking discovery! Scientists learn the flaming obvious: People are recovering from COVID-19 'like they would from the flu'


Comment: That's because it IS 'the flu', you morons!

(At least, it's one of the many viruses - which includes Influenza Type A and Influenza Type B - that goes into making up the millions of people who every year come down with what can only be broadly labelled 'influenza-like illnesses'.)


flu cold sick

Normal
Scientists in Australia say they have identified how the body's immune system fights the Covid-19 virus.

Their research, published in Nature Medicine journal on Tuesday, shows people are recovering from the new virus like they would from the flu.

Determining which immune cells are appearing should also help with vaccine development, experts say.


Comment: Vaccines against the flu don't work. Never have done, and probably never will.


Globally, authorities have confirmed more than 160,000 cases of the coronavirus and about 6,500 deaths.

Comment: Money down the drain.

The thousands of viruses out there essentially serve the same function as software updates in computers. The human species NEEDS these updates if it is to continue living in synch with the ever-changing environment.

'Getting sick from the flu' is the process of 'enforced downtime' to process the 'updates' - it HAS to happen. This cannot be eradicated!

All attempts to do so are merely signalling to the Universe that 'we, the humans alive today, no longer wish for software updates'. Right now, billions of people are effectively signalling to the Universe: 'Stop the world, we want off NOW!'

They better watch out what they wish for, or the Universe will send them a REAL means of 'wipe-out'.


Health

The microbes in your mouth, and a reminder to floss and go to the dentist

brush teeth brushing toothbrush
© Alliance / Adobe Stock
Most people know that good oral hygiene -- brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits -- is linked to good health. Colorado State University microbiome researchers offer fresh evidence to support that conventional wisdom, by taking a close look at invisible communities of microbes that live in every mouth.

The oral microbiome - the sum total of microorganisms, including bacteria and fungi, that occupy the human mouth -- was the subject of a crowd-sourced, citizen science-driven study by Jessica Metcalf's research lab at CSU and Nicole Garneau's research team at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Published in Scientific Reports, the study found, among other things, a correlation between people who did not visit the dentist regularly and increased presence of a pathogen that causes periodontal disease.

For the experiments, carried out by Garneau's community science team in the Genetics of Taste Lab at the museum, a wide cross-section of museum visitors submitted to a cheek swab and answered simple questions about their demographics, lifestyles and health habits. Microbial DNA sequencing data analyzed by Metcalf's group revealed, broadly, that oral health habits affect the communities of bacteria in the mouth. The study underscored the need to think about oral health as strongly linked to the health of the entire body.

Comment: It would be interesting to see how much diet played a role in the oral microbiome versus brushing, flossing and trips to the dentist. Knowing what we know about the effect of diet on the gut microbiome, one could deduce a similar relationship with the mouth.

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Microscope 1

Data methods show gap between US, Chinese flu-related deaths

Beijing Children's Hospital
© Xinhua/Zhang Yuwei
A child receives treatment at Beijing Children's Hospital in Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 10, 2018.
Chinese netizens expressed concerns over an influenza epidemic in the US that infected 13 million people and killed more than 6,600, while fighting the deadly coronavirus that has killed at least nine back home.


Comment: Note that this article was published almost two months ago. Figures cited do not accurately represent current statistics.


Analysts noted the US mortality rate looks much higher than China's because of the two countries' different statistical methods. The response came after some net users questioned whether the high death rate shows the ineffective control of flu in the US and how different countries should cooperate effectively to curb the new coronavirus-related disease.

The flu epidemic in the US eased during the week of January 5-11 but remains active, with an estimated 13-18 million cases of flu illnesses documented since the start of the season, a latest report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.

Comment: This is an important point when comparing infection and death rates in flu-like illnesses - everyone may be using different methods for collecting their numbers. Keep this in mind when looking at the situation currently in Italy, when shocking numbers seem so out-of-proportion to the rest of the world.

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Pills

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).