B.1.1.7 #coronavirus variant infections have the potential to cause substantial additional mortality

The mortality hazard ratio associated with infection with VOC-202012/1 [B.1.1.7] compared to infection with previously circulating variants is 1.64 in patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the community. In this comparatively low risk group, this represents an increase from 2.5 to 4.1 deaths per 1000 detected cases.

Medrxiv Preprint  Increased hazard of mortality in cases compatible with SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern 202012/1 – a matched cohort study

 

 

 

#Coronavirus variant circulating in #Brescia, Italy since August 2020 has #501 and #493 mutation. Possible B.1.1.7 precursor.

“A variant of coronavirus circulating in Italy since early August 2020 is “very similar to the infamous English variant [B.1.1.7]”.

An ” Italian variant ” discovered in Brescia, “which precedes the variant that emerged only at the end of September in the United Kingdom and then spread to Europe, including Italy, and could also be a precursor”.

This was announced to Adnkronos Salute by Arnaldo Caruso , president of the Italian Society of Virology (Siv-Isv), full professor of Microbiology and Clinical Microbiology at the University of Brescia, director of the Asst Spedali Civili microbiology laboratory.

The variant identified, he explains, “has several points mutation in the Spike protein , the ‘hook’ that the virus uses to attack the receptor present on target cells in our body. Like the English one, the Italian variant also has a mutation in a nerve center of the Spike / cell receptor interaction, more precisely in position 501 ″.

But unlike the Gb mutant, “the Italian variant also has a second mutation in position 493, which makes its Spike protein slightly different from that of the pandemic virus we all know today”.

Calabriadirettanews.com article

 

 

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Imperial College study: 2% of babies born to #coronavirus positive UK mothers later test positive for the virus themselves

The proportion of babies born to mothers with confirmed COVID-19, and who subsequently tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus (which causes COVID-19) was 2 per cent in the UK study, and 1.8 per cent in the US study.

The majority of women in the study had no pre-existing conditions such as diabetes or a respiratory condition such as asthma.

In the UK study eight of the women died, while four women died in the US study.

The study team say that although these death rates are higher than expected for women giving birth, they are similar to the expected death rates seen among adults with a confirmed COVID-19 infection. This suggests that women in pregnancy are not at a higher risk of death from COVID-19 than non-pregnant women.

Full Imperial College Report

 

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Six cases of #Manaus, Brazil #P1 #coronavirus variant found in #UK for first time

Six cases of the Manaus Brazilian coronavirus variant have been identified in the UK, Public Health England has said. It is the first time the variant, known as P.1, P1 or B1128 has been identified in the UK.

Two of the cases are from one household in South Gloucestershire, with a history of travel to Brazil. The third case is currently unlinked and an investigation is underway to find the individual as they did not fill in their test registration card so follow-up details are not available, PHE said. Three more cases have been identified in Scotland.

Full Telegraph.co.uk report

 

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Teachers should be prepared to ‘sacrifice their lives’ to open #schools in coronavirus pandemic, says ex-Ofsted head

The former head of Ofsted has said that teachers need to show a “similar commitment” to medical professionals, who in some cases have “sacrificed their lives.”

Sir Michael Wilshaw, the former chief inspector of schools, said there has to be a “pulling together’ among teachers and that they have to exhibit the same level of devotion as medics who have “gone the extra” mile during the pandemic, in order to get children caught up with their studies when schools return early next month.

 

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UK #SAGE: summary of modelling on scenarios for easing #coronavirus restrictions

Four scenarios have been modelled that differ in the speed of easing restrictions from current levels to minimal measures. All four scenarios modelled lead to a substantial resurgence in hospital admissions and deaths.

The scale and timing of these resurgences are critically dependent on very uncertain modelled assumptions, including real world vaccine effectiveness against severe disease and infection; vaccine coverage and rollout speed; behavioural factors; and the extent to which baseline measures (which could be voluntary) continue to reduce transmission once restrictions are lifted. Given this uncertainty, it would be inadvisable to tie changes in policy to dates instead of data.

SPI-M-O: Summary of modelling on scenarios for easing restrictions
Date: 7th February 2021

Full SAGE paper (PDF file)

Formal GOV.UK introductory page

 

UK has sequenced about 45% to 48% of all #SARSCoV2 #genomes in the #Gisaid database.

The UK is a world leader in sequencing SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Of all the coronavirus genomes that have been sequenced in the world, nearly half have been sequenced by COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium (Cog-UK). The consortium began life on March 4 when Sharon Peacock, a professor of public health and microbiology at the University of Cambridge, emailed a handful of scientists and asked for their help.

Full interview with Sharon Peacock of COG_UK on The Conversation

COG-UK

GISAID

Nextstrain

 

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UK donates 100 #coronavirus ventilators for #Peru’s COVID-19 patients

The Peruvian Ministry of Health on Friday received a donation of 60 mechanical and 40 multi-parameter ventilators from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. This donation exceeded US$700,000.

The equipment will be destined for various hospitals nationwide where critical and moderate patients affected by COVID-19 are being treated.

Health Minister Oscar Ugarte thanked the UK for this gesture of solidarity.

“We appreciate this donation for the value it has in saving lives. Likewise, I want to emphasize that the collaboration from the United Kingdom to the Peruvian health system is historical and very friendly,” he said.

In turn, Prime Minister Violeta Bermudez expressed gratitude for this act of solidarity.

“These equipment will be put into operation as soon as possible so that the health system can rely on this valuable resource soon,” she stressed.

Andina.pe report

 

Image by Alex Phillc from Pixabay

UK goes full Josef Mengele – approves deliberate infection of young people with #SarsCov2 in challenge trial

Are the International Criminal Court in The Hague aware of Britain’s plan to deliberately infect people with a deadly virus?

Human challenge trials for coronavirus are to begin in the UK, a world first in the global fight against Covid-19.

Healthy adult volunteers aged between 18 and 30 will be exposed to coronavirus in a controlled environment, to learn more about how their body reacts to the virus, how it is transmitted and how much of the virus is needed to cause infection.

The Guardian Article

 

“Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.”

 

Image by Alexander Voronzow and others in his group, ordered by Mikhael Oschurkow, head of the photography unit – USHMM/Belarusian State Archive of Documentary Film and Photography http://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/pa14532, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17282223

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine study: “we estimate a 71% higher hazard of death associated with VOC 202012/01” [B.1.1.7]

“Correcting for misclassification of SGTF and missingness in SGTF status, we estimate a 71% (48–97%) higher hazard of death associated with VOC 202012/01. Our analysis suggests that VOC 202012/01 is not only more transmissible than preexisting SARS-CoV-2 variants but may also cause more severe illness.”

Preprint research paper

 

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Cases of Long Covid could be as high as 20% in the UK, immunologist warns

The number of patients reporting symptoms of Covid-19 weeks after becoming ill could be as high as 20%, an immunologist said, as he warned it could place an additional burden on the NHS.

Professor Danny Altmann, from Imperial College London, said a figure of one in 20 people suffering long Covid, reported in October by King’s College London, is lower than what is now being reported.

“Many people would have 10-20% as their range if you look at the papers on how many people are still reporting significant symptoms several months afterwards,” he told Times Radio.

Express & Star full article

 

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‘A 6-Year-Old In A 90-Year-Old’s Body’ – The Children Devastated By Long Covid

He’s like a six-year-old in a 90-year-old’s body,” says Chris Ward of his son Thomas, who first fell ill last February with a fever, breathlessness and aches all over his body.

Thomas was assessed at A&E where the family was asked if they’d been to Italy – they hadn’t. They were sent home with instructions that it was a viral infection and Thomas, then five, needed to rest.

Flash forward almost a year and Thomas is still suffering – tests have since revealed he has Covid-19 antibodies. Every two or three weeks, his temperature soars. His glands are constantly enlarged and his body aches most days. Ward recently caught him walking up the stairs like a crab because of the pain.

Huffington Post full article

 

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