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Health Dashboard August 21st to 27th

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Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, September 2nd, 2022 – Ten new positive COVID cases were recorded in The Turks and Caicos between August 21st and 27th according to the latest Covid 19 dashboard.  No hospitalizations or deaths were recorded in the islands.

Globally, more than 10 thousand weekly fatalities are still being reported each week, with this week numbering over 13,500.

The Omicron BA.5 variant continues to dominate the globe, accounting for 78 percent of total cases.

Health professionals are warning of increased risk of infection in the coming months. The flu season usually starts in fall and lasts until February.  Normally, activity starts increasing in October and peaks between December and February. Depending on the circumstances, it can last as far as May.

The UK and US are both rolling out fall vaccination campaigns with billions of dollars going to Pfizer and Moderna for omicron specific doses.

No announcement has been made yet from the TCI Health Ministry on whether the Omicron specific doses will be sent to the Turks and Caicos.

Bahamas News

Imagine a World with NO MORE HIV/AIDS; the race for a Vaccine heats up

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

December 5, 2022 – A significant stride in the hunt for a concrete HIV vaccine has been made using bnAbs in an experimental vaccine trial.

‘bnAbs’ it’s  an acronym that means next to nothing to most of us yet could revolutionize healthcare.  Short for Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies it describes antibodies that bind to pathogens that have proven difficult to pin down in the past, pathogens like HIV which has already claimed 40 million lives.

Scientists think that these vaccines which induce the body to produce these bnAbs have a shot at protecting us from several viruses that have eluded vaccine makers in the past like HIV, influenza, Hepatitis C virus and others.

Imagine never getting HIV or contracting the flu again!

A paper on the vaccine trial published on December 1st explained that when individuals were given a primary dose and a booster dose of the vaccine it induced bnAbs which fight HIV in 97 percent of them.

It’s not the only HIV vaccine in production, Moderna with medical advancements discovered in their Covid-19 vaccine is also trying to create an mRNA HIV shot.  The US National Institute of Health is also launching a vaccine trial of its own.

Even if this vaccine proves viable, it will have to go through an incredibly stringent process before it can hope to be released to the public.

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Bahamas News

Imminent Worldwide Measles Threat; 25 Million CHILDREN miss First Dose

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

December 2, 2022 – Forty million children are at risk of Measles as what the World Health Organization is describing as an “imminent threat” takes shape. A joint report between the WHO and the U.S. Centres for Disease Control revealed that a record number of children missed their measles dose with 25 million children missing their first dose and 14.7 million children missing their second dose in 2021 alone.

Nine million cases of measles were recorded last year, twenty-two countries experienced large and disruptive outbreaks and 128,000 deaths occurred, the report says.

“The paradox of the pandemic is that while vaccines against COVID-19 were developed in record time and deployed in the largest vaccination campaign in history, routine immunization programmes were badly disrupted, and millions of kids missed out on life-saving vaccinations against deadly diseases like measles,” said Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.

Measles is easily one of the most contagious viruses in the world and while many people think itchy spots when they think of the disease it can cause pneumonia, seizures and brain damage in about 30 percent of infected individuals.

Herd immunity will not work with this disease, say experts, unless 95 per cent of people or more are vaccinated; only 71 per cent of children in 2022 are fully vaccinated.

“Measles anywhere is a threat everywhere” the report said, emphasizing that no WHO region has achieved and sustained measles elimination.

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Health

Chinese Gov’t relenting on strict COVID Zero lockdowns

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#China, December 2, 2022  – Just days after the country experienced a record amount of Covid-19 cases, mainland China will ease some of its restrictions.  Mass protests which are extremely rare for the nation broke out last week all across the country as residents tired and frustrated by the weeks of severe lockdowns and upset over a deadly fire clashed with riot police. Residents’ escape from the fire which killed 10 people may have been delayed because of Covid-19 protocols, Chinese officials deny the claims but citizens are not convinced.

It has sparked what international media is calling the white paper revolution.  Residents afraid of being arrested under the country’s extreme censorship laws are holding up blank pieces of white paper as a symbol for the things they are not allowed to vocalize Vice Premier Sun Chunlan quickly released a statement about COVID weakening as the protests quelled and restrictions were lifted according to Reuters.

“The country is facing a new situation and new tasks in epidemic prevention and control as the pathogenicity of the Omicron virus weakens, more people are vaccinated and experience in containing the virus is accumulated,” she said

As of November 30th most areas in Shanghai and Guangzhu specifically have been released from lockdown despite the rising cases as tensions overflowed in the business and the manufacturing cities respectively. Earlier this year officials put Shanghai under quarantine for what was supposed to be a single week, residents ended up locked at home for two months.

Since the beginning of the Pandemic China has employed a ZERO COVID policy, whether that will continue as protocols loosen is yet to be seen.

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