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Heart, Lungs, Kidneys susceptible to damage due to COVID, study says

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, May 27, 2022 – Long COVID is a risk of contracting COVID-19, having it for a prolonged time and the health side-effects that sometimes follow but even people who get over the disease quickly are at risk for organ damage according to a recent study carried out by the  University of Glasgow and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

The study was “A multisystem, cardio-renal investigation of post-COVID-19 illness” and found that 28- 60 days after being discharged some COVID patients showed signs of heart inflammation and other organ damage.

“The likelihood of myocarditis (heart muscle inflammation) was ‘very likely’ in 21 (13%) patients, ‘probable’ in 65 (41%) patients, ‘unlikely’ in 56 (35%) patients and ‘not present’ in 17 (11%) patients.”

The study used Heart, Lungs and Kidneys imaging to assess the effects of COVID and found that these organs of the post coronavirus patients were susceptible to inflammation damage.

Especially important was the effect on women who make up the majority of healthcare workers worldwide. Women were found to be more susceptible to long COVID and heart muscle inflammation.

“Female sex was an invariable associate of adjudicated myocarditis, which, in turn, was associated with lower mental and physical well-being.”

The also study found that there was a possibility of physical limitations in female patients after COVID.

Scar tissue on the heart muscle which reduces heart function was a ‘surprisingly common’ finding the researchers said. And even after recovering from Covid-19 patients had,

“lower health-related quality of life, enhanced illness perception, higher levels of anxiety and depression, lower levels of physical activity and lower predicted maximal oxygen utilization.”

An interesting finding which the researchers say needs more to be confirmed with more studies is that “fit individuals” without comorbidities might be more susceptible to longer effects of COVID and their heart may take a greater hit, whereas, “Individuals with cardiovascular risk factors and pre-existing cardiovascular morbidity have less reserve (or buffering capacity) to tolerate illness and are hospitalized with relatively milder COVID-19 illness.”

One in seven of the patients either died or were re-admitted to hospital over the course of the study, which lasted for a year and two months, additionally two-thirds of the patients had to seek secondary care.

The study concluded that infection with COVID19 caused persistent health impairments that would lead to “substantial demand on healthcare services in the future”

Health

Monkeypox NOT a Public Health Emergency, but watch out, its changing says WHO

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

June 27, 2022 – The World Health Organization says while Monkeypox is not a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (the highest alert the body can give) they are concerned about the rapid spread and data gaps in the current outbreak.

“I am deeply concerned by the spread of Monkeypox, which has now been identified in more than 50 countries, across five WHO regions, with 3,000 cases since the early May,” said Director General Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus.

There had been fears that the WHO would declare the outbreak an emergency of international concern going into a June 23 meeting. He maintained that the world had neglected Monkeypox research despite the fact that it had been circulating in Africa for many years. He stressed that this approach to neglected diseases must change as the world is an interconnected population. This inter connectivity could prove disastrous for vulnerable people.

“What makes the current outbreak especially concerning is the rapid, continuing spread into new countries and regions and the risk of further, sustained transmission into vulnerable populations including people that are immunocompromised, pregnant women and children,” he said.

In order to combat this he called for the communication and collaboration between member states and a collective response.

So far the disease has been exhibiting different symptoms than usual including rashes localized to the genitals instead of the entire body like usual. This prompted the US Centers for Disease Control to change the requirements advising doctors to test anyone who appeared with a rash seeming like Monkeypox.

Ghebreyesus revealed Monkeypox was an evolving health threat that the WHO was following extremely closely and maintained that countries should use surveillance, contact tracing, isolation, and ensuring health tools were available to at risk populations as ways to control the spread.

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Health

Moderna & Pfizer approved for toddlers in US

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#USA, June 25, 2022 – Toddlers can now be vaccinated with either Moderna or Pfizer in the United States following the US Food and Drug Administration’s Advisory Committee vote to authorize the jabs for the youngest humans.

Some 2.5 million vaccines were ordered for these youngsters from Pfizer and 1.3 million are on order from Moderna.

The authorization committee voted unanimously on both vaccines and it comes as a relief to millions of parents who opted to keep their children away from family gatherings, even school

The lowest age a US resident can now get vaccinated is 6 months, Pfizer says their shot is ready for children six months to four years old and Moderna goes one year higher at 6 months to 5 years.  Both Pfizer and Moderna say the toddlers will need boosters in the future.

As of June 2, there have been 442 children between the ages of 0-4 years old who have died as a result of Covid-19 in the United States.

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Health

Listeria kills three in UK

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#UnitedKingdom, June 25, 2022 – At least 3 people have died in an ongoing listeria outbreak in the United Kingdom linked to smoked fish.  The Food Standards Agency in the UK says,  “Listeria is widespread in the environment and can contaminate a range of food at low or standard refrigeration temperatures.  It can be destroyed by thorough cooking.  It is of most concern in chilled, ready-to-eat foods that do not require further cooking, such as smoked fish.”

At least 12 cases, six of them since January, are linked to the fish.  Vulnerable individuals were especially affected by the outbreak including a pregnant woman and several elderly persons.  The three victims who died were all over 65 years old.

The agency said there was no need to avoid smoked fish but to cook it thoroughly.  Contaminated food may not look or smell spoiled but it can cause severe illness in pregnant women, cancer patients, children, and the elderly.

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