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Wuhan coronavirus in Scotland?

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I wonder about recalling health workers who have retired.  What age group are they talking about - early retirees?  Given older age group more at risk I think there may be reluctance.

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Big business news story of the day is the Federal Reserve making an 'emergency' 0.5% rate cut to interest rates, in an attempt to mitigate the threat posed by COVID-19 to the economy. Rates are now around 1.25%, probably the lowest since money began, and showing what a precarious state the economy was in to begin with.

So, companies will be able to borrow even more cheap money, which the CEOs will use to buy back their companies' shares, thus (in theory) boosting the share price, and ensuring yet another fat bonus for the CEOs for their 'performance'.

It's a racket, but this time the macro economic factors will dominate, and their share prices will plummet anyway. There could be some winners, like Amazon, and bicycle makers, and the gold bugs will be wetting with excitement.

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I saw something about that on the News last night, yonza. Not that I really understood it so thanks for clarifying. I expect some of the billionaire MPs will also so an opportunity to boost their funds.  Companies and the Government should both be thinking about how loss of work for zero hours workers will be compensated.  If the virus doesn't get you then starvation will –  going to be a lot of people going to work because they can't afford to stay off.

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Bad situation in Italy. The identified cases there are just a small fraction of the total cases. The number of people who are returning home with the virus after a short stay in Italy is pretty alarming. The Scottish womens' rugby match against Italy was cancelled, but only after they had travelled to Milan. Now, one of them has been diagnosed with the virus, so their match against France today, has been called off. I've a feeling she won't be the only squad member affected.

The time it takes for the number of cases in a place to double isn't known for sure, but 5 days is a figure often quoted. I've seen 'guesstimates' of around 50,000 for the number of cases in Italy. That could be conservative. With a doubling time of 5 days, it would only take 3 weeks for 50,000 to become a million. From today's Guardian:

Cases in Italy rise by more than 1,200 in 24 hours
More than 1,200 new cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Italy since Friday, the Civil Protection Agency said.

The total number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Italy has risen to 5,883 from 4,636 on Friday, according to official figures, a rise of 1,247.

The death toll in the country rose to 233 from 197 on Friday.

The head of the agency, Angelo Borrelli, said in a news conference that of those originally infected, 589 had fully recovered while 567 were being treated in intensive care.

The outbreak in Italy, which began over two weeks ago, is focused on a handful of hotspots in the north, but cases have now been confirmed in each of the country’s 20 regions, with deaths recorded in eight of them.

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Looking very bad in Italy. The hospitals are struggling and prisons in crisis. Prisoners set Milan Prison on fire.  In Iran some prisoners with dual nationality have been released but not Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.  

I read a feature on Twitter by a scientist explaining how important soap is. 1/25 Part 1 - Why does soap work so well on the SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus and indeed most viruses? Because it is a self-assembled nanoparticle in which the weakest link is the lipid (fatty) bilayer. A two part thread about soap, viruses and supramolecular chemistry #COVID19.    Here's the link: 



Also saw humorous tweet regarding #toiletrollpanic. With photo of a supermarket with only peach toilet paper. It said 'No matter what the panic NO-ONE IN THE WEST END BUYS PEACH TOILET PAPER'. 

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Bahrain has repatriated 165 of its citizens from Iran, and 77 of them have tested positive for the virus. Iran has a population of 81 million. I have a bad feeling about Iran.


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From the BBC

Iranian vice president tests positive

Iran's Fars news agency reports that First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri has contracted the virus. In his role, Mr Jahangiri leads Cabinet meetings in the absence of the president, and is the most senior government figure to catch the virus. He has recently been absent from several top-level meetings, and there has been speculation about the state of his health.

Two other cabinet members have also tested positive for the disease, according to Fars: Cultural Minister Ali Asghar Mounesan and Reza Rahmani, minister of industry, mines and business.

They are among the many Iranian officials and politicians who have been infected in recent weeks.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/world-51829559?ns_mchannel=social&ns_source=twitter&ns_campaign=bbc_live&ns_linkname=5e6916098d956f0669ae425b%26Iranian vice president tests positive%262020-03-11T18%3A21%3A37.420Z&ns_fee=0&pinned_post_locator=urn:asset:fac910f1-20f9-4ceb-a7f3-26ecd4cdd1fa&pinned_post_asset_id=5e6916098d956f0669ae425b&pinned_post_type=share

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Denmark - cases almost double in one day, 252 new cases, total now 516.

Italy - 2,313 new cases today. 196 new deaths today, total deaths now 827. Latest research suggests the virus has been in Italy since November.

France - 497 new cases today, 15 new deaths.

Germany - 343 new cases today, 1 new death. The number of deaths in Germany is phenomenally low. Whether this is due to having far more intensive care beds per head of population than any other European country is unclear. 

Confirmed global cases now 125,000 - emphasis on 'confirmed'. The actual number of cases is probably at least ten times that number, and probably more. Deaths 4,595. Recovered 66,722. Still active 54,389.

'Attending physician of Congress and the Supreme Court', Brian Monahan, has said that he expects between 70 and 150 million Americans to become infected.

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Scotland now has 60 cases. Looks like mass gatherings banned from Monday. Ireland has closed schools and colleges after one death. 
Interesting about Germany.  Perhaps more healthy population? Less of a gap between rich and poor? 

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France reports 785 new cases, and 18 new deaths. Total now 3,661 infected, and 79 dead.

Italy reports another 188 deaths, total now 1,016.

New York State now has 421 confirmed, up 96 from 325. 154 in NYC..

Italian first division football side, Sampdoria, has 5 players with the virus.

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Europe now the epicentre.  First death in Scotland.  Seem to be a range of experts and UK taking a different approach from the belts and braces testing, social distancing and shut down of school, universities, cultural institutions etc. Lots of organisations taking own initiative and cancelling events e.g. Aye Write, Glasgow Short Film Festival, Formula 1, Premier League and other football games including Old Firm.  Now only testing in hospitals.  

Heard advice on BBC that if you have symptoms and in the family home to sleep in separate rooms and use different bathrooms.  Like that's an option for everyone. 

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3 590 infected and 368 dead today alone.


24 747 infected.
1 809 dead.
7.3% death rate.

That death rate is huge and needs explaining.

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NHS advice is to take an antiinflammatory drug, such as ibuprofen, if infected. This advice has been criticised, as there appears to be evidence that taking ibuprofen for human coronavirus infections can actually prolong the illness. However, this is a novel zoonotic coronavirus, and may not act the same as human ones.

Sometimes, it's the immune system that causes the problem, rather than the virus (or bacterium) itself. It is now recognised that most non-communicable diseases, like type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's etc, are associated with (and very probably being caused by) a chronic inflammatory response driven by the transcription factor, NF-kB. These diseases exacerbate the effect of COVID-19 infection, probably because the systemic NF-kB driven response is chronically activated in them, and becomes even more strongly activated by infection, causing cellular destruction. Chronic NF-kB activation is strongly associated with ageing, which may help to explain why children are much less affected by COVID-19. The NF-kB response is primarily against pathogens that establish long term intracellular latency, such as the herpes family. Human coronaviruses are not known to do this, but this isn't a human one, and research indicates that it establishes latency in bats.

NSAIDs inhibit NF-kB, and if it's the case that the damage caused by COVID-19 is actually being caused by the NF-kB driven immune response (as happens in TB and many other infections), then ibuprofen might be helpful. I'll be taking it when I get infected.

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Have read different views on anti inflammatory drugs, yonza. I take anti-inflammatory Etodolac for arthritis and top up with ibuprofen and use ibuprofen gel.  It would be hard lines if you got the virus and then were in pain alongside other symptoms.  

I'm glad the schools have closed as didn't seem to make sense saying not to mix in crowds then the kids going off and mixing in their hundreds. Some schools had closed already because teachers were becoming ill or falling into vulnerable categories. 

All very scary.  Good that they are improving testing. Hope they're getting enough ventilators (and actually know how to produce them).

This was one article I saw: https://www.hse.ie/eng/services/news/media/pressrel/advice-about-anti-inflammatory-medication-and-covid-19.html

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No new cases in China yesterday.  
I read this very sad view from Italian mother. https://www.insider.com/coronavirus-italian-mom-and-these-are-the-mistakes-we-made-2020-3?fbclid=IwAR1bx-S0hOgSnYsBIL2Zw-PrAzLO7MGY2xGMZq5HpURIAMAUMHV2PxuzbXs

First time in thirteen years looking out window and no-one coming and going from the train station.

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Cut & paste

American adults of all ages — not just those in their 70s, 80s and 90s — are being seriously sickened by the coronavirus, according to a report on nearly 2,500 of the first recorded cases in the United States.

The Report issued Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found that — as in other countries — the oldest patients had the greatest likelihood of dying and of being hospitalized. But of the 508 patients known to have been hospitalized, 38 percent were notably younger — between 20 and 54. And nearly half of the 121 patients who were admitted to intensive care units were adults under 65, the C.D.C. reported.

“I think everyone should be paying attention to this,” said Stephen S. Morse, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “It’s not just going to be the elderly. There will be people age 20 and up. They do have to be careful, even if they think that they’re young and healthy.”

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3 hours ago, Pat said:

Seems to be a bit different from other countries.  So many people in America with no health insurance. Wonder how they're being treated?

America's health care shortcomings are being exposed. They have been testing much less than other countries, initially because their test kits didn't work, but also because the system is mostly driven by the profit motive, and political intervention is perceived as 'socialism'. The Republicans who are in charge resist anything that resembles a national health service paid for by taxpayers. Stories abound of people with symptoms unable to get tested. 

That seems to be about to change, as testing is about to ramp up considerably. I think they're in for a shock. The US Surgeon General today said that the US is currently where Italy was just 2 weeks ago.


In other news -

Lombardy - 13 doctors have died of COVID-19.

Ireland - the government has said that 400,000 out of a workforce of 2.3 million could lose their jobs.

Italy - has now overtaken China as the country with the most confirmed deaths, 3,405, a rise of 427 on the day before. A health care worker said they had stopped counting bodies, and a convoy of army trucks was filmed taking away the bodies that the crematoria couldn't cope with. A director of a funeral business in the worst hit region said they are carrying out 600 funerals a month, compared with the normal 120.

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Heartbreaking. I felt uplifted today as I couldn't see a soul about when I looked out the window. First time that's ever been the case in all the time we've lived here as we look over the station.  But Jim (who is sole worker in studio) said he went out at lunchtime to the supermarket to buy soup and people were on top of each other at the checkout and the shop was busy.  What the hell!!


we stay here for you.jpg

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This is an abstract from a British Medical Journal paper which did a meta analysis on the efficacy of vitamin D supplementation for bronchial infections. Much of it is incomprehensible to the layman, but you can understand the conclusion.



Objectives To assess the overall effect of vitamin D supplementation on risk of acute respiratory tract infection, and to identify factors modifying this effect.

Design Systematic review and meta-analysis of individual participant data (IPD) from randomised controlled trials.

Data sources Medline, Embase, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Web of Science, ClinicalTrials.gov, and the International Standard Randomised Controlled Trials Number registry from inception to December 2015.

Eligibility criteria for study selection Randomised, double blind, placebo controlled trials of supplementation with vitamin D3 or vitamin D2 of any duration were eligible for inclusion if they had been approved by a research ethics committee and if data on incidence of acute respiratory tract infection were collected prospectively and prespecified as an efficacy outcome.

Results 25 eligible randomised controlled trials (total 11 321 participants, aged 0 to 95 years) were identified. IPD were obtained for 10 933 (96.6%) participants. Vitamin D supplementation reduced the risk of acute respiratory tract infection among all participants (adjusted odds ratio 0.88, 95% confidence interval 0.81 to 0.96; P for heterogeneity <0.001). In subgroup analysis, protective effects were seen in those receiving daily or weekly vitamin D without additional bolus doses (adjusted odds ratio 0.81, 0.72 to 0.91) but not in those receiving one or more bolus doses (adjusted odds ratio 0.97, 0.86 to 1.10; P for interaction=0.05). Among those receiving daily or weekly vitamin D, protective effects were stronger in those with baseline 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels <25 nmol/L (adjusted odds ratio 0.30, 0.17 to 0.53) than in those with baseline 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels ≥25 nmol/L (adjusted odds ratio 0.75, 0.60 to 0.95; P for interaction=0.006). Vitamin D did not influence the proportion of participants experiencing at least one serious adverse event (adjusted odds ratio 0.98, 0.80 to 1.20, P=0.83). The body of evidence contributing to these analyses was assessed as being of high quality.

Conclusions Vitamin D supplementation was safe and it protected against acute respiratory tract infection overall. Patients who were very vitamin D deficient and those not receiving bolus doses experienced the most benefit.

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Italy COVID-19 deaths

1 March  34

7 March  233

UK COVID-19 deaths 14 days later

15 March  35

21 March 233

As of today, Italy has had 4,825 COVID-19 deaths.

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Thanks Pat for the clarification in respect of anti-inflammatory drugs. There are so many ill-informed rumours flying about we don't know what to believe. This crisis seems to bring out the best and worst in people. The best is putting others first, the worst is selfishness and greed.I am buying (or rather my son is as I'm staying at home) only what I need. If it's not available I'll take an alternative or do without. There is plenty for everyone if people would only  stop stock-piling. I heard today of food being taken from the food bank collection in a super-market. If true then I begin to lose faith in Humans...

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