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  1. #2701

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    I think the Netherlands was slow to respond.
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.




  2. #2702

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by mmmm8 View Post
    Surprised Netherlands is high on there - older population?
    Not particularly, but why does the situation there suprise you more than in say Belgium or France?

    I think it's partially bad luck, partially high population density and high conectivity to the rest of the world.
    Roger forever

  3. #2703
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    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by suliso View Post
    Not particularly, but why does the situation there suprise you more than in say Belgium or France?

    I think it's partially bad luck, partially high population density and high conectivity to the rest of the world.
    France was one of the hardest and earliest (in Europe) hit, Belgium doesn't surprise me because I was already aware


  4. #2704
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    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Nothing from WHO today. That's the third time in about 2 weeks, second time this week.
    Winston, a.k.a. Alvena Rae Risley Hiatt (1944-2019), RIP

  5. #2705

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Amphetamine Use Soars in Locked Down Finland: Study
    June 4, 2020
    AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

    HELSINKI (AFP) — Finns may be known for their love of vodka and beer, but growing numbers in the Nordic nation appear to have turned to amphetamines to cope with the coronavirus lockdown, health officials said on Thursday.

    Regular analysis of wastewater in the capital, Helsinki, showed a 15% rise in use of such stimulants since the government told people to stay at home in mid-March.

    Although researchers could not directly link the spike in drug use to the lockdown, “the fact remains that amphetamine use has been higher than ever before, at least in the Helsinki metropolitan area,” said Teemu Gunnar, head of forensic toxicology at the National Institute for Health and Welfare.

    Amphetamines can be used to treat medical conditions such as ADHD, but is also taken recreationally, sometimes under the name “speed.”

    Use of amphetamines in the country of 5.5 million people has tripled since 2013 according to wastewater studies, Gunnar said.

    However, Finns have not turned to other drugs such as cocaine, ecstasy or methamphetamines during the lockdown, the institute’s analysis showed.

    He revealed the findings in a joint statement with the police, who said the analysis suggested amphetamine use in Helsinki had reached “record levels.”

    Health officials have also begun analyzing wastewater for traces of the coronavirus since the crisis began, as international studies suggest it can give a fuller picture of how much the disease is circulating among the population.

    The most recent results from the end of May suggest that, while the virus is still present in the major towns of Helsinki and Turku, coronavirus levels have dropped considerably in other parts of the country.

    On Thursday, Finland’s health officials announced no new coronavirus infections for the first time in more than three months.

    “This is the first ‘zero day’ since February 26,” a spokesperson for the Institute for Health and Welfare told AFP.

    One person did die from the virus on Thursday, however, bringing the death toll to 322 in the Nordic nation of 5.5 million people, the institute said.

    While the country has 50 people still in hospital, seven in intensive care, an estimated 5,800 of Finland’s 7,000 recorded Covid-19 cases have now recovered. More than a third of hospital districts did not register a single case during the final week of May.

    On Thursday, Finnish health authorities said the estimated basic reproduction number is now between 0.75 and 0.80, marking a clear decrease over the past two weeks.

    Since mid-May Finland’s government has begun lifting emergency restrictions that were imposed on March 18.

    Schools were reopened for two weeks before the summer holidays began at the start of June, and earlier this week bars, restaurants, sports facilities and cultural institutions were allowed to reopen under social distancing regulations.

    Officials and the government have said, however, they are braced for a second wave of infections later in the year, and have warned the public to continue following distancing advice and to self-isolate and seek testing if they experience any symptoms.

    © Agence France-Presse

    https://www.courthousenews.com/amphe...finland-study/
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.




  6. #2706
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    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    WHO's Situation Report for June 4, 2020. Excerpt from the newsletter:

    India’s COVID-19 epidemic continues to accelerate. India again reported its highest daily incidence today, 9,851 new cases. India’s daily incidence has doubled since May 19, and India surpassed Russia as #3 globally in terms of daily incidence.

    Iran reported 3,574 new cases, continuing its second “wave.” This appears to be Iran’s highest daily incidence to date, surpassing the peak of its first wave (3,186 on March 31). Iran is now #8 globally in terms of daily incidence. After a period of relaxing nationwide social distancing measures, Iranian President Dr. Hassan Rouhani recently emphasized the importance of limiting non-essential travel. Additionally, Iran has deployed medical teams “from successful provinces” to areas where COVID-19 is re-emerging.

    Central and South America continue to be heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Brazil reported 30,925 new cases, its second highest daily total to date. Brazil has reported 3 of its 4 highest daily totals in the past 3 days and all 6 of its highest daily totals over the last 6 non-weekend reporting days. Brazil remains #1 in the world in terms of daily incidence—reporting nearly 50% more new cases than the United States—and #7 globally in terms of per capita daily incidence. Chile and Peru continue to exhibit concerning trends as well, currently #3 and #10 in the world, respectively, for per capita incidence. Additionally, Chile is #5 and Peru is #7 globally in terms of total daily incidence. Panama is #11 in per capita incidence, and Mexico is #6 in total daily incidence.

    EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN
    The Eastern Mediterranean region represents 4 of the top 10 countries in terms of per capita incidence—Qatar (#1), Bahrain (#2), Kuwait (#5), and Oman (#8)—as well as the United Arab Emirates at #15 and Saudi Arabia at #17. Many of these countries are relatively small in terms of population, and among these 6 countries, Saudi Arabia is the only one with a population greater than 10 million. In fact, the Eastern Mediterranean has the smallest total population of all WHO regions. The total COVID-19 incidence may not necessarily garner global attention when compared to larger countries like the United States, Brazil, and Russia; however, these COVID-19 epidemics are concerning relative to population size. Saudi Arabia’s and the United Arab Emirates’ daily per capita incidence are down from their highs on May 19 and May 23, respectively, but 4 countries in the top 10 have been increasing over the past several weeks. Notably, Qatar reported a high of 730 new cases per million population (3-day average) on May 31, which doubled from May 9. For reference, this is more than 10 times the per capita incidence in the United States. Bahrain is reporting more than 4 times the daily per capita incidence as the United States, Kuwait is reporting more than 3 times, and Oman is reporting more than double. Additionally, nearby Djibouti and Armenia are #4 and #7, respectively, in terms of per capita incidence.

    Previously, a large majority of COVID-19 cases in some of these countries were identified in expatriate or migrant worker communities, but this trend is shifting to some degree. However, in Saudi Arabia, the proportion of cases among Saudi citizens has increased substantially since we last reported on its national epidemic. On May 10, the Saudi Ministry of Health reported that only 25% of COVID-19 cases were among Saudi citizens, compared to 45% on June 3. Through April 26, Bahrain reported approximately 74% of its total COVID-19 cases among expatriate workers. On May 29, however, the Bahraini Ministry of Health reported 300 new cases, including 183 expatriate workers (61%), potentially indicating an increasing proportion among Bahraini citizens. On May 13, Kuwait reported 648 of 751 new cases (86%) among non-citizens, but yesterday, the Kuwaiti Ministry of Health reported only 385 of 562 new cases (69%) in non-citizens. The Qatari Ministry of Public Health does not explicitly distinguish cases among citizens and non-citizens; however, it continues to report that “the new cases are due to expatriate workers” while also noting that “cases...have also increased among citizens and residents.”

    UNITED STATES
    The US CDC reported 1.84 million total cases (14,676 new) and 107,029 deaths (827 new). The United States could potentially surpass 2 million cases in the next 7-10 days. In total, 14 states (no change) and New York City reported more than 40,000 total cases, including New York City with more than 200,000; New Jersey and New York state with more than 150,000; and California, Illinois, and Massachusetts with more than 100,000.

    The New York Times continues to track state- and local-level COVID-19 incidence in a variety of forms. A number of states began to relax social distancing measures—including resuming operations at restaurants, retail stores, and barbershops/salons—at the end of April and in early May.

    As Florida looks ahead to further easing social distancing measures, with most of the state entering Phase 2 of Florida’s recovery plan today, the state reported its highest daily incidence to date. The Florida Department of Health reported 1,419* new cases, surpassing the previous high of 1,413 on April 17. Additionally, Florida reported 1,317 new cases the previous day, which appears to be the state’s fourth-highest daily total. Florida reported decreasing daily incidence from early April through early-to-mid May, but incidence has been increasing over the past several weeks.
    *Note: The media is widely reporting 1,419 new cases as yesterday’s incidence; however, this does not match the value displayed on Florida’s COVID-19 dashboard (“1.3k” cases). The reported cumulative total of 60,183 cases is consistent with the dashboard.

    The Johns Hopkins CSSE dashboard reported 1.88 million US cases and 108,334 deaths as of 11:30am on June 5.

    CONVALESCENT PLASMA TRIAL Researchers in China published findings from a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial to evaluate the use of convalescent blood plasma as a treatment for COVID-19. The study, published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, included 103 COVID-19 patients in Wuhan, China, but it was terminated because there were not enough patients to enroll when the outbreak was brought under control. Of the 101 patients that completed the trial, the researchers observed clinical improvement in 51.9%, compared to 43.1% of the control group, although this difference was not statistically significant. Among patients with severe disease, the treatment group exhibited statistically significant improvement over the control group—clinical improvement in 91.3%, compared to 68.2%. Critically ill patients did not experience similar improvements, however. The treatment group also exhibited decreased time to achieving a negative diagnostic test result. Two patients in the treatment group experienced adverse events following the treatment, both of whom responded well to associated treatment.

    This appears to be the first RCT for convalescent plasma treatment for COVID-19. In an associated editorial, several experts from Johns Hopkins University, the Mayo Clinic, and the Montefiore Medical Center, note that the results demonstrate that clinicians now have an additional tool for treating COVID-19 patients, despite the study’s limitations. These experts suggest that additional research is necessary to determine if convalescent plasma could potentially complement remdesivir, the other treatment with documented benefits in a RCT.

    US CDC CRITIQUE The New York Times published a critique of the US CDC’s role in the US government response to COVID-19, highlighting a series of missteps that contributed to the United States leading the world in COVID-19 incidence and mortality. The lengthy article highlights the CDC’s origins, purpose, and culture, with a focus on actions and decisions during the COVID-19 response as well as the agency’s relationship to state-level health departments and officials and US President Donald Trump. The findings are based on “a review of thousands of emails and interviews with more than 100 state and federal officials, public health experts, C.D.C. employees and medical workers.” Much of the article focuses on months-long challenges in scaling up SARS-CoV-2 testing capacity, which CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield recently refuted as a major barrier early in the response.

    In an accompanying editorial, one of the article’s authors, Michael Shear, highlighted 5 specific areas that factor into these challenges and failures. He explicitly discusses the United States’ fractured and antiquated disease surveillance and reporting systems, perceptions of the CDC as an adversary among White House officials, the CDC’s risk-averse culture, the demand for Dr. Redfield to balance competing demands of the CDC and President Trump, and an absence of timely, reliable, and actionable CDC guidance for state and local health officials.

    In a separate editorial published yesterday in The New York Times, former CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden argues that the original critique mischaracterized how the US COVID-19 response unfolded and the CDC’s responsibility or authority with respect to the missteps. He emphasizes that chronic under-funding of public health programs at all levels of government underpin the lack of adequate national capacity to respond to events like the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, he asserts that efforts by the current Presidential administration hindered CDC response efforts, redirected critical capacity to non-essential tasks, and “stifled [the CDC’s] ability to speak directly to the public.” He argues that the resulting delays and the absence of a “coherent national strategy” are responsible for the poor US response rather than capabilities, expertise, and leadership at the CDC.

    US HEALTH DISPARITIES As a result of the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on racial and ethnic minorities in the United States, the US Department of Health and Human Services issued new COVID-19 laboratory reporting requirements that include direction for key demographic data such as race, ethnicity, age, and sex. These enhanced reporting requirements aim to better capture COVID-19 risk disparities among racial and ethnic communities. This move comes amid increased focus on disparities in justice and health in the US, which motivated widespread protests currently underway.

    https://www.who.int/docs/default-sou...sitrep-136.pdf
    Winston, a.k.a. Alvena Rae Risley Hiatt (1944-2019), RIP

  7. #2707

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Eastern Mediterranean seriously??? The mentioned countries have got nothing to do with Mediterranean neither geographically nor culturally. The true Easter Meditarranean is Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Israel and Lebanon.
    Roger forever

  8. #2708

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by suliso View Post
    Eastern Mediterranean seriously??? The mentioned countries have got nothing to do with Mediterranean neither geographically nor culturally. The true Easter Meditarranean is Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Israel and Lebanon.
    I agree with you. The countries listed in E. Mediterranean region includes Afghanistan, Pakistan, Djibouti, Somalia, and Morocco. Sudan is included also, but Ethiopa is somehow in Africa. Go figure. Europe includes Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan (essential any country that had once belonged to the Soviet Union). Indonesia and Thailand have been placed in SE Asia, but Mayasia, Singapore and the Philippines are in the Western Pacific region along with Mongolia.

    Per the UN website "The assignment of countries or areas to specific groupings is for statistical convenience and does not imply any assumption regarding political or other affiliation of countries or territories by the United Nations"
    "And for my next fearless prediction..."

  9. #2709
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    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    I get the questions about why the "region" is called what it is by WHO. But just a reminder... That's not really the most important thing happening here.
    Winston, a.k.a. Alvena Rae Risley Hiatt (1944-2019), RIP

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