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Found 32 results
  1. News Article
    The social restrictions imposed upon our lives because of coronavirus have taken a toll on our emotions, finances, and our waistlines, but there may yet be a silver-lining: a reduction in cases of other infectious diseases. From the common cold to chickenpox, there has been a substantial drop in the number of infections being reported to GPs, despite children returning to school – and that looks set to continue as winter approaches and lockdown restrictions tighten across the country. According to the latest GP surveillance data for England there were 1.5 cases of common cold for every 100,000 people during the week ending 6 October – compared to 92.5 cases reported during the same week last year. The rate of other non-Covid respiratory illnesses was also lower, at 131 for every 100,000 people, compared to 303 last year. Influenza-like illness is also down, at 131 cases for every 100,000 people, versus 303 cases in 2019. Although there has been in increase since the start of the school term, for all of these illnesses, infection rates remain below expected seasonal levels for this time of year, the report by the Royal College of General Practitioners’ research and surveillance centre said. Equivalent data was not immediately accessible for Wales and Scotland. GP consultations for other infectious diseases like strep throat, tonsillitis and impetigo, as well as infectious intestinal diseases like norovirus are also well below the five-year average – and have been since late March – the report suggests. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 9 October 2020
  2. Event
    until
    The COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the deep inequalities and stark differences in health that exist between different population groups and areas of England. There are many factors that affect people’s health and wellbeing, and traditional health and care services is only one of these. Addressing all these factors is key to tackling health inequalities. With NHS England and NHS Improvement, The King's Fund brings you this free one-day virtual event. Sign up now to hear from national and international examples of best practice and explore how: local organisations working in partnership and collaborating with one another can help deliver population health locally data and insight can be used to analyse and develop population health strategies and new integrated care models addressing the wider determinants of health as part of a population health approach can help reduce health inequalities. Registration
  3. News Article
    Cases of coronavirus in England are doubling every seven to eight days, research has revealed in the latest figures to show a resurgence of COVID-19. The study, known as React-1, is a population surveillance study that began in May and uses swabs from about 120,000 to 160,000 randomly selected people in England across 315 local authority areas each month to track the spread of coronavirus using PCR analysis – the “have you got it now” test. “The prevalence of the virus in the population is increasing. We found evidence that it has been accelerating at the end of August and beginning of September,” said Steven Riley, professor of infectious disease dynamics at Imperial College London and a co-author of the work. The findings came as, elsewhere, the latest R figure for the UK was reported to be between 1.0 and 1.2, with the number of new infections somewhere between shrinking by 1% and growing by 3% every day. Previous rounds of the study revealed a falling prevalence of COVID-19, even as lockdown restrictions were eased: according to data for the period 19 June to 8 July, the prevalence of Covid in the general population was low, and halving every eight to nine days. However, the results from the fourth round of the survey suggest that is no longer the case. While the latest findings from the React study have yet to be peer-reviewed, researchers say out of more than 150,000 swabs collected between 22 August and 7 September, 136 tested positive for coronavirus, suggesting 13 people out of every 10,000 in the general population had COVID-19. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 11 September 2020
  4. News Article
    The emergence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), including drug-resistant bacteria, or “superbugs”, pose far greater risks to human health than Covid-19, threatening to put modern medicine “back into the dark ages”, an Australian scientist has warned, ahead of a three-year study into drug-resistant bacteria in Fiji. “If you thought Covid was bad, you don’t want anti-microbial resistance,” Dr Paul De Barro, biosecurity research director at Australia’s national science agency, the CSIRO, told The Guardian. “I don’t think I’m exaggerating to say it’s the biggest human health threat, bar none. Covid is not anywhere near the potential impact of AMR. We would go back into the dark ages of health.” WHO warns overuse of antibiotics for COVID-19 will cause more deaths While AMR is an emerging public health threat across the globe, in the Pacific, where the risk of the problem is acute, drug-resistant bacteria could stretch the region’s fragile health systems beyond breaking point. An article in the BMJ Global Health journal reported there was little official health data – and low levels of public knowledge - around antimicrobial resistance in the Pacific, and that high rates of infectious disease and antibiotic prescription were driving up risks. “A challenge for Pacific island countries and territories is trying to curtail antimicrobial excess, without jeopardising antimicrobial access for those who need them,” the paper argued. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 10 September 2020
  5. News Article
    More than 16% of people who had tested positive for coronavirus when they died were from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities, new data shows. On Monday, NHS England released data showing the ethnic breakdown of people who have died with coronavirus for the first time. The statistics come days after a review was announced to examine what appears to be a disproportionate number of BAME people who have been affected by Covid-19. Last week Downing Street confirmed the NHS and Public Health England will lead the review of evidence, following pressure on ministers to launch an investigation. Discussing the review, Professor Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer for England, said ethnicity is "less clear" than three others factors in determining who is most at risk from coronavirus. Read full story Source: The Independent, 21 April 2020
  6. News Article
    Health leaders are calling for an urgent review to determine whether the UK is properly prepared for the "real risk" of a second wave of coronavirus. In an open letter published in the BMJ, ministers were warned that urgent action would be needed to prevent further loss of life. The presidents of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons, Nursing, Physicians, and GPs all signed the letter. It comes after Boris Johnson announced sweeping changes to England's lockdown. Following the prime minister's announcement, health leaders called for a "rapid and forward-looking assessment" of how prepared the UK would be for a new outbreak of the virus. "While the future shape of the pandemic in the UK is hard to predict, the available evidence indicates that local flare-ups are increasingly likely and a second wave a real risk," they wrote in the letter. "Many elements of the infrastructure needed to contain the virus are beginning to be put in place, but substantial challenges remain." The authors of the letter, also signed by the chair of the British Medical Association, urged ministers to set up a cross-party group with a "constructive, non-partisan, four nations approach", tasked with developing practical recommendations. "The review should not be about looking back or attributing blame," they said, and instead should focus on "areas of weakness where action is needed urgently to prevent further loss of life and restore the economy as fully and as quickly as possible". Read full story Source: BBC News, 24 June 2020
  7. News Article
    NHSX is working on a contact tracking app to trace the spread of coronavirus through the population. Contact tracking is already in limited use for people who have tested positive and the discipline has a long history in tuberculosis outbreaks. In a statement sent to HSJ, Matthew Gould, Chief Executive of NHSX, said : “NHSX are looking at whether app-based solutions might be helpful in tracking and managing coronavirus, and we have assembled expertise from inside and outside the organisation to do this as rapidly as possible.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 18 March 2020
  8. News Article
    European countries should brace themselves for a deadly second wave of coronavirus infections because the pandemic is not over, the World Health Organization’s top official in Europe has said. In an exclusive interview with The Telegraph, Dr Hans Kluge, director for the WHO European region, delivered a stark warning to countries beginning to ease their lockdown restrictions, saying that now is the "time for preparation, not celebration". Dr Kluge stressed that, as the number of cases of COVID-19 in countries such as the UK, France and Italy was beginning to fall, it did not mean the pandemic was coming to an end. The epicentre of the European outbreak is now in the east, with the number of cases rising in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan, he warned. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Telegraph, 20 May 2020
  9. News Article
    Death rates from coronavirus in the most deprived parts of England are more than double than in less deprived areas, according to new figures that show London is the worst-hit part of the country. The mortality rate for the most deprived areas for March and early April was 55.1 deaths per 100,000 population – compared with 25.3 deaths per 100,000 in the least deprived areas, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The statistics show London has by far the highest mortality rate, with 85.7 deaths per 100,000 persons. This was found to be “statistically significantly higher” than any other region – almost double the next highest rate. Read full story Source: The Independent, 1 May 2020
  10. News Article
    In March, while the UK delayed, Ireland acted. For many this may prove to have been the difference between life and death. The choices our governments have made in the last month have profoundly shaped what risks we, as citizens, are exposed to during the course of this pandemic. Those choices have, to a large extent, determined how many of us will die. At the time of writing, 365 people have died in Ireland of COVID-19 and 11,329 have died in the UK. Adjusted for population, there have been 7.4 deaths in Ireland for every 100,000 people. In the UK, there have been 17 deaths per 100,000. In other words, people are dying of coronavirus in the UK at more than twice the rate they are dying in Ireland. In her article, Elaine Doyle explores why this might be. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 14 April 2020
  11. Content Article
    In this 50 minute podcast, they discuss: Having the entire country following the same mitigation strategy and implement early. Testing to identify cases and to understand support and equipment needs. Providing ample Personal Protective Equipment to avoid deaths and illness among healthcare workers and reduce spread of COVID-19 to uninfected COVID-19 patients. Having ample ventilators as most patients will use a ventilator for 11–21 days. Have a plan on how you will handle this without enough ventilators. Utilising hotels for post hospitalisation and less serious COVID-19 cases and have separate hotels for hospital staff as some will barely get any sleep during the peak of COVID-19. Preparing staff and families that patients may die alone – which is very difficult but families are not allowed in intensive care. Document and widely share processes that have positive health outcomes for COVID-19 patients – healthcare providers are desperate for solutions.
  12. News Article
    Criticism is mounting in Sweden of the government’s approach to Covid-19, with academics warning that its strategy of building broad immunity while protecting at-risk groups – similar to that initially adopted by the UK – amounted to “Russian roulette” and could end in disaster. The prime minister, Stefan Löfven, on Sunday night called on all Swedes to accept individual responsibility in stopping the rapid spread of the virus as the number of patients in intensive care in Stockholm continued to rise sharply. Read full story Source: 23 March 2020, The Guardian
  13. News Article
    COVID-19 is stable for several hours to days in aerosols and on surfaces, according to a new study from National Institutes of Health, CDC, UCLA and Princeton University scientists in The New England Journal of Medicine. The scientists found that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was detectable in aerosols for up to three hours, up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel. The results provide key information about the stability of SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19 disease, and suggests that people may acquire the virus through the air and after touching contaminated objects. The findings affirm the guidance from public health professionals to use precautions similar to those for influenza and other respiratory viruses to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2: Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Stay home when you are sick. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. Read full story Source: National Institutes of Health, 17 March 2020
  14. Content Article
    Key points Incubation period = maximum 14 days. Symptomatic individuals stay in self isolation for 7 days from becoming ill (having symptoms). Day 1 is first day of symptoms. Household members who remain well stay in self isolation for 14 days due to maximum incubation period, calculated from day 1 of first symptomatic person. Household members do not need to restart the clock if other members become symptomatic during the 14 days self-isolation.
  15. News Article
    A “collective failure” to appreciate the enormity of the coronavirus pandemic and enact swift measures to protect the public will lead to unnecessary deaths, according to a leading doctor who says the UK ignored clear warning signs from China. Richard Horton, the Editor-in-Chief of the Lancet, rounded on politicians and their expert advisers for failing to act when Chinese researchers first warned about a devastating new virus that was killing people in Hubei eight weeks ago. The team from Wuhan and Beijing reported in January that the number of deaths was rising quickly as the virus spread in China. They urged the global community to launch “careful surveillance” in view of the pathogen’s “pandemic potential”. Horton said nothing in the science had changed since January. “The UK’s best scientists have known since that first report from China that Covid-19 was a lethal illness. Yet they did too little, too late,” he said. While the UK was now taking the right actions to quell the outbreak, Horton said, in due course “there must be a reckoning” where difficult questions would have to be asked and answered. “We have lost valuable time. There will be deaths that were preventable. The system failed,” he said. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 18 March 2020
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