Health http://www.theweek.in/news/health.rss en Wed Jul 14 10:38:36 IST 2021 https://www.theweek.in/privacy-an-settlement.html sweden-suspends-use-of-moderna-vaccine-for-young-people <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2021/10/07/sweden-suspends-use-of-moderna-vaccine-for-young-people.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/2020/images/2021/1/13/Moderna-COVID-19-Vaccine--ap.jpg" /> <p>Swedish health authorities on Wednesday suspended the use of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine for those ages 30 and under, saying the move was done out of precaution.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The reason for the pausing is signals of an increased risk of side effects such as inflammation of the heart muscle or the pericardium&nbsp; the double-walled sac containing the heart and the roots of the main vessels, Sweden's Public Health Agency said in a statement. The risk of being affected is very small.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Anders Tegnell, Sweden's chief epidemiologist, said they follow the situation closely and act quickly to ensure that vaccinations against COVID-19 are always as safe as possible and at the same time provide effective protection" against the disease.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In July, the European Medicines Agency recommended authorizing Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 12 to 17, the first time the shot has been authorized for people under 18.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Moderna's vaccine was given the green light for use in anyone 18 and over across the 27-nation European Union in January. It has also been licensed in countries including Britain, Canada and the US, but so far its use hasn't been extended to children. To date, the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is the only one approved for children under 18 in Europe and North America.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Hundreds of millions of Moderna doses already have been administered to adults. In a study of more than 3,700 children ages 12 to 17, the vaccine triggered the same signs of immune protection, and no COVID-19 diagnoses arose in the vaccinated group compared with four cases among those given dummy shots.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Sore arms, headache and fatigue were the most common side effects in the young vaccine recipients, the same ones as for adults.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>US and European regulators caution, however, that both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines appear linked to a rare reaction in teenagers and young adults&nbsp; chest pain and heart inflammation.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Swedish health authorities said that the heart symptoms usually go away on their own, but they must be assessed by a doctor. The conditions are most common among young men, in connection with, for example, viral infections such as COVID-19. In 2019, approximately 300 people under the age of 30 were treated in hospital with myocarditis.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Data point to an increased incidence also in connection with vaccination against COVID-19, mainly in adolescents and young adults and mainly in boys and men.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>New preliminary Nordic analyses indicate that the connection is especially clear when it comes to Moderna's vaccine, especially after the second dose, the agency said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The increase in risk is seen within four weeks after the vaccination, mainly within the first two weeks," it said. The Swedish agency said the vaccine from Pfizer is recommended for these age groups instead. Its decision to suspend the Moderna vaccine is valid until Dec. 1.&nbsp;</p> <p>(AP)&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2021/10/07/sweden-suspends-use-of-moderna-vaccine-for-young-people.html http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2021/10/07/sweden-suspends-use-of-moderna-vaccine-for-young-people.html Thu Oct 07 13:48:48 IST 2021 how-to-download-your-covid-19-vaccine-certificate <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2021/10/07/how-to-download-your-covid-19-vaccine-certificate.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/2020/images/2021/1/13/COVID-19-vaccine--vaccination-drive-up-uttar-pradesh-pti.jpg" /> <p>A COVID-19 Vaccine Certificate (CVC) issued by the Union Government is proof that you have been vaccinated in India. CVC provides information to the beneficiary on date and type of vaccine used, and the provisional certificate is useful for the next vaccination. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Producing CVC is required for certain kind of social interactions and foreign travel.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>People who are fully vaccinated and want to travel abroad will have a CoWin certificate with their full date of birth along with passport number.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The certificate issued by CoWIN has security features that can be digitally verified on the CoWIN portal.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>You can download vaccination certificate from the CoWIN portal or the Aarogya Setu app or through Digi-Locker by using the same mobile number used at the time of registration.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Cowin portal is the official website for the vaccination in India.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Visit https://www.cowin.gov.in for downloading the certificate. Click on Covid Vaccine certificate and enter Beneficiary Reference ID to access the certificate.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Alternatively, you can find vaccination certificate in DigiLocker under the category of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>You may download Corona Vaccination certificate from the Digi-Locker app by following these steps.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>First install Digi-Locker app by downloading it from the Play store. Documents from Government departments can be found on Digilocker app. You may also store your personal documents like Aadhar Card, Driving License on it.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>After registration process using details like Name,date of biirht OB, gender, Security Pin, Mobile number, Aadhar number, and email ID, you can get your Vaccine Certificate from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Click on the “Vaccine Certificate” and then enter your 13 Digit Reference ID. You will soon get your Covid Vaccine Certificate.</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2021/10/07/how-to-download-your-covid-19-vaccine-certificate.html http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2021/10/07/how-to-download-your-covid-19-vaccine-certificate.html Thu Oct 07 13:23:15 IST 2021 can-i-get-the-flu-and-covid-19-vaccines-at-the-same-time- <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2021/10/07/can-i-get-the-flu-and-covid-19-vaccines-at-the-same-time-.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/opinion/blogs/ot/images/2021/9/23/covid-vaccine.jpg" /> <p>When COVID-19 vaccines were first rolling out in the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended waiting 14 days between the shots and other immunizations as a precaution. But the agency has since revised its guidelines and says the wait is unnecessary.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The CDC and other health experts point to past experience showing that vaccines work as they should and any side effects are similar whether the shots are given separately or in the same visit.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“We have a history of vaccinating our kids with multiple vaccines,” says flu specialist Richard Webby of St. Jude Children''s Research Hospital.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Staying up to date on all vaccinations will be especially important this year, experts say.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Since people were masked and staying home, last year''s flu season barely registered. This year, it''s unclear how intense the flu season will be with more places reopening.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“The worry is that if they both circulate at the same time, we''re going to have this sort of twin-demic,''" Webby says. “The concern with that is that it''s going to put extra strain on an already strained health care system.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The CDC recommends an annual flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older, and says ideally everyone should be vaccinated by the end of October. It takes 10 to 14 days for the flu vaccine to take full effect so if you wait until the flu begins circulating, your body may not have time to build up protection. Vaccine options vary by age but include several types of shots or a nasal spray version.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>One caution: COVID-19, colds and flu all share similar symptoms so if you feel ill, the CDC says to postpone a vaccination appointment until you''re better to avoid getting others sick.&nbsp;</p> <p>(AP)</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2021/10/07/can-i-get-the-flu-and-covid-19-vaccines-at-the-same-time-.html http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2021/10/07/can-i-get-the-flu-and-covid-19-vaccines-at-the-same-time-.html Thu Oct 07 11:55:33 IST 2021 breakthrough-for-science-who-approves-worlds-first-malaria-vaccine <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2021/10/07/breakthrough-for-science-who-approves-worlds-first-malaria-vaccine.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/sci-tech/2019/June/malaria-Mosquito-sucking-human-blood-shut.jpg" /> <p>The World Health Organisation on Wednesday approved the world’s first vaccine for malaria.</p> <p>The RTS,S/AS01 (RTS,S) vaccine is made by GlaxoSmithKline and known as Mosquirix. Mosquirix had been undergoing trials in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi, where more than 800,000 children were administered it since 2019. Mosquirix is the first vaccine developed for a parasitic disease, making the WHO recommendation even more significant. "Parasites are much more complex than viruses or bacteria, and the quest for a malaria vaccine has been under way for a hundred years," <i>The New York Times </i>reported.</p> <p>The WHO on Wednesday recommended its widespread use among countries of sub-Saharan Africa and in other regions with moderate to high P. falciparum (Plasmodium falciparum) malaria transmission.</p> <p>WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus described the approval as a "historic moment". "The long-awaited malaria vaccine for children is a breakthrough for science, child health and malaria control," Ghebreyesus said.</p> <p>Malaria kills an estimated 500,000 people annually, with most victims in Sub-Saharan Africa. According to the WHO, "Malaria remains a primary cause of childhood illness and death in sub-Saharan Africa. More than 260 000 African children under the age of five die from malaria annually."</p> <p>The vaccine works by rousing a child's immune system to thwart Plasmodium falciparum, considered the deadliest of five malaria pathogens. Plasmodium falciparum is the most prevalent pathogen in Africa.</p> <p><i>The New York Times</i> reported, "In clinical trials, the vaccine had an efficacy of about 50 per cent against severe malaria in the first year, but the figure dropped close to zero by the fourth year. And the trials did not directly measure the vaccine’s impact on deaths, which has led some experts to question whether it is a worthwhile investment in countries with countless other intractable problems."</p> <p>Julian Rayner, director of the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, conceded Mosquirix was an "imperfect vaccine" but "is a huge step forward". Rayner argued the vaccine "will still stop hundreds of thousands of children from dying".</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2021/10/07/breakthrough-for-science-who-approves-worlds-first-malaria-vaccine.html http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2021/10/07/breakthrough-for-science-who-approves-worlds-first-malaria-vaccine.html Thu Oct 07 08:29:04 IST 2021 who-to-take-final-decision-next-week-on-approval-to-covaxin <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2021/10/06/who-to-take-final-decision-next-week-on-approval-to-covaxin.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/india/2020/December/covaxin.jpg" /> <p>The WHO will take a call on granting Emergency Use Listing (EUL) status for Bharat Biotech's COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin next week, the global health body said on Tuesday. "WHO an independent group of experts are scheduled to meet next week to carry out the risk/benefit assessment and come to a final decision whether to grant Emergency Use Listing to Covaxin," the global health body tweeted.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) of the WHO met on Tuesday to make its recommendations on Covaxin on EUL, among other issues.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Covaxin manufacturer, Bharat Biotech, has been submitting data to WHO on a rolling basis submitted additional info at WHO's request on 27 September. WHO experts are currently reviewing this info if it addresses all questions raised, WHO assessment will be finalized next week, WHO said in a series of tweets.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Emergency Use Listing process—done by WHO and the Technical Advisory Group of independent experts—is centred on determining if a manufactured product (e.g. a vaccine) is quality-assured, safe and effective, it said in another tweet.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Bharat Biotech gave a presentation on the Vaccine's safety and efficacy data of clinical trials (phase 1-3 trial results and post-marketing) and Risk management plans and other implementation considerations, according to the SAGE draft agenda.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>SAGE is authorised with advising WHO on overall global policies and strategies, ranging from vaccines and technology, research and development, to delivery of immunization and its linkages with other health interventions.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>According to the agenda, Hanna Nohynek, a member of SAGE, is expected to present a draft recommendation for the vaccine and the session will make its recommendations.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The WHO is currently reviewing the data submitted by the vaccine maker and the date for a decision on the jab is October 2021 according to the update available on the WHO website.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The indigenously developed Bharat Biotech's Covaxin is one of the six vaccines that have received emergency use authorisation from India's Drug Regulator and is being used in the nationwide anti-COVID-19 inoculation programme along with Covishield and Sputnik V.&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2021/10/06/who-to-take-final-decision-next-week-on-approval-to-covaxin.html http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2021/10/06/who-to-take-final-decision-next-week-on-approval-to-covaxin.html Wed Oct 06 14:47:10 IST 2021 happiness-during-young-adulthood-may-help-keep-your-memory-sharp <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2021/10/05/happiness-during-young-adulthood-may-help-keep-your-memory-sharp.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/magazine/health/more/images/2021/2/24/20-Theory-of-happiness.jpg" /> <p>While research has shown that poor cardiovascular health can damage blood flow to the brain increasing the risk for dementia, a new study led by UC San Francisco indicates that poor mental health may also take its toll on cognition.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The research adds to a body of evidence that links depression with dementia, but while most studies have pointed to its association in later life, the UCSF study shows that depression in early adulthood may lead to lower cognition 10 years later and to cognitive decline in old age.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The study publishes in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The researchers used innovative statistical methods to predict average trajectories of depressive symptoms for approximately 15,000 participants ages 20 to 89, divided into three life stages: older, midlife and young adulthood. They then applied these predicted trajectories and found that in a group of approximately 6,000 older participants, the odds of cognitive impairment were 73 percent higher for those estimated to have elevated depressive symptoms in early adulthood, and 43 percent higher for those estimated to have elevated depressive symptoms in later life.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>These results were adjusted for depressive symptoms in other life stages and for differences in age, sex, race, educational attainment, body mass index, history of diabetes and smoking status. For depressive symptoms in midlife, the researchers found an association with cognitive impairment, but this was discounted when they adjusted for depression in other life stages.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Excess Stress Hormones May Damage Ability to Make New Memories</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"Several mechanisms explain how depression might increase dementia risk," said first author Willa Brenowitz, PhD, MPH, of the UCSF Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the Weill Institute for Neurosciences. "Among them is that hyperactivity of the central stress response system increases production of the stress hormones glucocorticoids, leading to damage of the hippocampus, the part of the brain essential for forming, organizing and storing new memories."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Other studies have linked depression with atrophy of the hippocampus, and one study has shown faster rates of volume loss in women, she said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In estimating the depressive symptoms across each life stage, researchers pooled data from younger participants with data from the approximately 6,000 older participants and predicted average trajectories. These participants, whose average age was 72 at the start of the study and lived at home, had been enrolled by the Health Aging and Body Composition Study and the Cardiovascular Health Study. They were followed annually or semi-annually for up to 11 years.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>U-Shaped Curve Adds Credence to Predicted Trajectories</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>While assumed values were used, the authors stated, no longitudinal studies have been completed across the life course. "Imputed depressive symptom trajectories fit a U-shaped curve, similar to age-related trends in other research," they noted.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Participants were screened for depression using a tool called the CESD-10, a 10-item questionnaire assessing symptoms in the past week. Moderate or high depressive symptoms were found in 13 percent of young adults, 26 percent of midlife adults and 34 percent of older participants.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Some 1,277 participants were diagnosed with cognitive impairment following neuropsychological testing, evidence of global decline, documented use of a dementia medication or hospitalization with dementia as a primary or secondary diagnosis.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"Generally, we found that the greater the depressive symptoms, the lower the cognition and the faster the rates of decline," said Brenowitz, who is also affiliated with the UCSF Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. "Older adults estimated to have moderate or high depressive symptoms in early adulthood were found to experience a drop in cognition over 10 years."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>With up to 20 percent of the population suffering from depression during their lifetime, it's important to recognize its role in cognitive aging, said senior author Kristine Yaffe, MD, of the UCSF departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and Epidemiology and Biostatistics. "Future work will be needed to confirm these findings, but in the meantime, we should screen and treat depression for many reasons."</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2021/10/05/happiness-during-young-adulthood-may-help-keep-your-memory-sharp.html http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2021/10/05/happiness-during-young-adulthood-may-help-keep-your-memory-sharp.html Tue Oct 05 13:08:40 IST 2021 covid-19--minister-unveils-poster-to-be-put-up-at-housing-societ <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2021/10/05/covid-19--minister-unveils-poster-to-be-put-up-at-housing-societ.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/2020/images/2021/1/13/empty-vials--Pfizer-BioNTech-COVID-19-vaccine-lie-in-a-box-ap.jpg" /> <p>Maharashtra Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray on Monday unveiled a poster with a COVID-19 vaccination message that will be displayed at the entrance of housing societies where all eligible residents have been fully inoculated in Mumbai.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Copies of the poster with the "My Society Responsible Society" written on them will be displayed to send across a message about the need for getting fully vaccinated, he said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Speaking on the occasion, Thackeray besides the message, the poster will have a quick response or QR code and a logo.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>These posters will be displayed outside the gates of housing societies in BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) areas, which have completed 100 per cent vaccination, he said, adding this will be a matter of compliment and pride for residents.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This initiative will encourage other co-operative housing societies in Mumbai to achieve the goal of 100 per cent vaccination against coronavirus as soon as possible, Thackeray said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"We are pushing towards ''Fully Vaccinated Maharashtra,'' which begins with each household, society, office being fully vaccinated. On my request, BMC released a QR code and a logo today that will be displayed outside the gates of buildings, signifying its ''Fully Vaccinated'' status!" Thackeray tweeted later on.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Additional municipal commissioner Suresh Kakani said various measures are being taken at all levels to expedite the vaccination of eligible citizens residing in BMC areas.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As a part of these measures, the poster in Marathi and English has been published, he said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>He said the BMC administration has already issued directives to display these posters at the entrance of societies which have completed 100 per cent vaccination.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>On scanning the QR code on the poster using a smartmobile, a webpage https:topcoronavirus.mcgm.gov.in/vaccination will open and it will contain the list of vaccination centres in a particular area, he said.&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2021/10/05/covid-19--minister-unveils-poster-to-be-put-up-at-housing-societ.html http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2021/10/05/covid-19--minister-unveils-poster-to-be-put-up-at-housing-societ.html Tue Oct 05 07:19:23 IST 2021 air-pollution-linked-to-nearly-six-million-preterm-births-global <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2021/10/01/air-pollution-linked-to-nearly-six-million-preterm-births-global.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/india/images/2020/11/11/delhi-smog-sanjay111190.jpg" /> <p>Air pollution likely contributed to nearly six million premature births and almost three million underweight babies around the world in 2019, according to a study published on Wednesday.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Researchers at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and University of Washington in the US quantified the effects of indoor and outdoor pollution around the world using data from 204 countries.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The finding, published in the journal PLOS Medicine, is the most in-depth look yet at how small particulate matter (PM2.5) affects several key indicators of pregnancy, including gestational age at birth, reduction in birth weight, low birth weight, and preterm birth.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It is the first global burden of disease study of these indicators to include the effects of indoor air pollution, mostly from cook stoves, which accounted for two-thirds of the measured effects, the researchers said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"Our findings suggest that about 2.8 million low birth weight and 5.9 million preterm birth infants, globally, could have been averted in 2019 if the mean PM2.5 exposure during the entire pregnancy was reduced to the theoretical minimum risk exposure level," the authors of the study noted.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa combined could have decreased the 2019 low birth weight and preterm birth incidence by about 78 per cent," they added.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The researchers noted that preterm birth is the leading cause of neonatal mortality worldwide, affecting more than 15 million infants every year.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Children with low birth weight or who are born premature have higher rates of major illness throughout their lives, they explained.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"The air pollution-attributable burden is enormous, yet with sufficient effort, it could be largely mitigated," said lead author Rakesh Ghosh, a public health specialist at UCSF.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The World Health Organization estimates that more than 90 per cent of the world's population lives with polluted outdoor air, and half the global population is also exposed to indoor air pollution from burning coal, dung and wood inside the home.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The study concluded that the global incidence of preterm birth and low birth weight could be reduced by almost 78 per cent if air pollution were minimised in Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, where indoor pollution is common and preterm birth rates are the highest in the world.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>However, it also found significant risks from ambient air pollution in more developed parts of the world. In the US, for example, outdoor air pollution is estimated to have contributed to almost 12,000 preterm births in 2019.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Previously, the same research team quantified the effects of air pollution on early life mortality, concluding that it contributed to the deaths of 500,000 newborns in 2019.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"With this new, global and more rigorously generated evidence, air pollution should now be considered a major driver of infant morbidity and mortality, not just of chronic adult diseases," Ghosh said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"Our study suggests that taking measures to mitigate climate change and reduce air pollution levels will have significant health co-benefit for newborns," he added.</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2021/10/01/air-pollution-linked-to-nearly-six-million-preterm-births-global.html http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2021/10/01/air-pollution-linked-to-nearly-six-million-preterm-births-global.html Fri Oct 01 07:05:44 IST 2021 mercks-experimental-pill-could-be-the-first-to-treat-covid-19 <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2021/10/01/mercks-experimental-pill-could-be-the-first-to-treat-covid-19.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/health/images/2021/10/1/merck.jpg" /> <p>Merck &amp; Co said Friday that its experimental COVID-19 pill reduced hospitalisations and deaths by half in people recently infected with the coronavirus and that it would soon ask health officials in the US and around the world to authorise its use.<br> </p> <p>If cleared, Merck's drug would be the first pill shown to treat COVID-19, a potentially major advance in efforts to fight the pandemic. All COVID-19 therapies now authorised in the US require an IV or injection.</p> <p>Merck and its partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics said early results showed patients who received the drug, called molnupiravir, within five days of COVID-19 symptoms had about half the rate of hospitalisation and death as patients who received a dummy pill.</p> <p>The study tracked 775 adults with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 who were considered at higher risk for severe disease due to health problems such as obesity, diabetes or heart disease.</p> <p>Among patients taking molnupiravir, 7.3 per cent were either hospitalised or died at the end of 30 days, compared with 14.1 per cent of those getting the dummy pill. There were no deaths in the drug group after that time period compared with eight deaths in the placebo group, according to Merck.</p> <p>The results were released by the company and have not been peer-reviewed. Merck said it plans to present them at a future medical meeting.</p> <p>An independent group of medical experts monitoring the trial recommended stopping it early because the interim results were so strong. Company executives said they are in discussions with the Food and Drug Administration and plan to submit the data for review in the coming days.</p> <p>“It exceeded what I thought the drug might be able to do in this clinical trial,” said Dr Dean Li, vice president of Merck research.</p> <p>“When you see a 50 per cent reduction in hospitalisation or death that is a substantial clinical impact.”</p> <p>Side effects were reported by both groups in the Merck trial, but they were slightly more common among the group that received a dummy pill. The company did not specify the problems.</p> <p>Earlier study results showed the drug did not benefit patients who were already hospitalised with severe disease.</p> <p>The U.S. has approved one antiviral drug, remdesivir, specifically for COVID-19, and allowed emergency use of three antibody therapies that help the immune system fight the virus. But all the drugs have to be given by IV or injection at hospitals or medical clinics, and supplies have been stretched by the latest surge of the delta variant.&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2021/10/01/mercks-experimental-pill-could-be-the-first-to-treat-covid-19.html http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2021/10/01/mercks-experimental-pill-could-be-the-first-to-treat-covid-19.html Fri Oct 01 19:36:09 IST 2021 one-in-three-covid-19-patients-get-at-least-one-long-covid-sympt <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2021/09/30/one-in-three-covid-19-patients-get-at-least-one-long-covid-sympt.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/2020/images/2021/1/13/COVID-19-patient-attended-inside-a-vehicle.jpg" /> <p>Around 37 per cent or one in three COVID-19 patients had at least one long-COVID symptom diagnosed in the three to six month period after a coronavirus infection, a new UK study reports on Wednesday.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The research from the University of Oxford and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) investigated long-COVID in over 270,000 people recovering from COVID-19 infection, using data from the US-based TriNetX electronic health record network.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The most common long-COVID symptoms were breathing problems, abdominal symptoms, fatigue, pain and anxiety/depression.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"The results confirm that a significant proportion of people, of all ages, can be affected by a range of symptoms and difficulties in the six months after COVID-19 infection," said NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow Dr Max Taquet, who led the analysis at the University of Oxford.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"These data complement findings from self-report surveys, and show that clinicians are diagnosing patients with these symptoms. We need appropriately configured services to deal with the current and future clinical need, said Taquet.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Higher rates were seen if the whole 1-180 day period after a COVID-19 infection was included.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Severity of infection, age, and sex affected the likelihood of long-COVID symptoms: long-COVID symptoms were more frequent in those who had been hospitalised, and they were slightly more common in women. These factors also influenced which of the symptoms people were most likely to experience. For example, older people and men had more breathing difficulties and cognitive problems, whereas young people and women had more headaches, abdominal symptoms and anxiety/depression. Many patients had more than one long-COVID symptom, and symptoms tended to co-occur more as time progressed.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"Research of different kinds is urgently needed to understand why not everyone recovers rapidly and fully from COVID-19, said Professor Paul Harrison, who headed the study, Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"We need to identify the mechanisms underlying the diverse symptoms that can affect survivors. This information will be essential if the long-term health consequences of COVID-19 are to be prevented or treated effectively, he said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The study also looked at the same symptoms in people recovering from influenza or flu. Long-COVID symptoms did occur after influenza, but were 1.5 times more common after COVID-19.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>According to the findings, the nine core long-COVID symptoms, occurring 90-180 days after COVID-19 was diagnosed,&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2021/09/30/one-in-three-covid-19-patients-get-at-least-one-long-covid-sympt.html http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2021/09/30/one-in-three-covid-19-patients-get-at-least-one-long-covid-sympt.html Thu Sep 30 11:25:58 IST 2021