Europe has seen major changes in coronavirus case rates over the last two months. In many areas of Europe covid case rates have dropped sufficiently to allow restrictions to be eased, but there are notable exceptions. The Covid-19 rate in Spain now appears to be as bad, if not worse, than two months ago, and the Netherlands has seen a dramatic increase in numbers recently.
In the case of both Spain and the Netherlands, the rates increased following the decision to unlock their countries too quickly, and in both cases those decisions have had to reversed within weeks. Greece too appears to be seeing a new wave, and these areas now represent the largest threat to Europe’s strategy to keeping infection rates down.
Doctors from Imperial College London and the Medical University of Warsaw have published a letter online in the journal Gut, exploring the use of stool transplants to treat COVID-19 infection, after they used the procedure in two patients for another bacterial infection.
As well as being infected with Clostridioides difficile (a bacterial gut infection), both patients also happened to have COVID-19 infection, the symptoms of which cleared up rapidly after the stool transplant. Furthermore, while SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) may be detectable in stool for prolonged periods after the infection, researchers found that the virus was no longer detectable within stool after an apparently shorter period than is typically found.
The first case involved an 80 year old who had pneumonia and sepsis (blood poisoning) on top of recurrent C difficile infection. Symptoms indicative of COVID-19 infection, including fever, were confirmed by a positive swab test. He was given remdesivir and plasma containing antibodies to SARS-CoV2 (‘convalescent plasma’): so far, there’s little evidence that either of these treatments work to any great degree in helping the infection to resolve more quickly. Unexpectedly, two days after the transplant, his COVID-19 symptoms cleared up without further worsening of his pneumonia.
The second case involved a 19-year-old with a form of inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis) who was being treated with immunosuppressant drugs. He was admitted to hospital because of recurrent C difficile infection. He was treated with antibiotics and given a stool transplant to prevent further recurrence. Fifteen hours later, he developed a suspected COVID-19 infection, which was confirmed by a positive swab test. Subsequently, other than two isolated episodes of fever, his COVID-19 symptoms cleared up. This second patient was not given any other medication to specifically treat his COVID-19.
The stool samples used for the transplant had been tested for SARS-CoV-2, as were both patients on admission. All the tests came back negative.
Poland has confirmed 106 cases of the Delta and 12 cases of the Delta Plus (Delta-AY.1 or Delta with K417N mutation) coronavirus variants that originated in India, a deputy health minister has announced.
Speaking to Polish public Radio One on Friday, Waldemar Kraska presented a report on the new variants.
“I have just received a report showing that currently we have 106 confirmed Delta cases. We also have 12 confirmed cases of Delta Plus,” Kraska said.
A SARS-CoV-2 strain found on a Polish mink farm can be directly transmitted from the animals to humans and vice versa, the Agriculture Ministry has said. The mink virus variant, the first detected in farm animals in Poland is, up to now, not identical to any of the new strains found recently in humans, but belongs to an animal strain well-known to epidemiologists, the ministry said in a statement on Saturday. It also differs from the strain detected in Danish minks, the ministry added.
The infection on the Polish mink farm in the northern county of Kartuzy was detected in late January. All 5,800 minks have been culled.
The Polish agriculture ministry stated that minks pose a threat of “an uncontrolled spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the formation of dangerous mutations because they are significantly susceptible to infection by this virus”.
Poland has joined forces with other EU countries to push the European Commission into banning mink farming in Europe because of the COVID-19 threat the animals pose to humans and wildlife, the Agriculture Ministry stated.
The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus outbreak has been detected in two mink farms in the Biała Podlaska district (eastern Poland), the Chief Veterinary Officer informed. This is the second outbreak of COVID-19 in mink in Poland.
“The outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 was detected in two farms with a total of 8,000 female and 29,000 young mink, located at the same address in the Biała Podlaska district,” an announcement on the General Veterinary Inspectorate website stated.
The presence of the virus was detected on the basis of the laboratory test results carried out at the State Veterinary Institute in Puławy (eastern Poland). The samples for farm research were collected on June 16. “In the above-mentioned farms, samples were taken from 20 mink (40 swabs in total). In the case of 3 animals, the results were positive,” the press release said.
“All minks from farms where the virus has been confirmed will be put to sleep and disposed of,” Paweł Piotrowski, Lubelskie province head veterinarian stressed.
Image by Dzīvnieku brīvība – Baltic Devon Mink 09, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=87445687
** The fur farming industry, in particular the mink industry, threatens the entire world with a storm of deadly new Sars-CoV-2 mutations. It must be closed to prevent further outbreaks which could become uncontrollable **
Of the 36 cases of Delta-AY.1 (mountaineers) variant, 27 cases were known to have a vaccination status within the National Immunisation Management System (NIMS).
“Through routine scanning of variation in Delta a small number of sequences were detected which had acquired the spike protein mutation K417N. Information suggests that there are at least 2 separate clades of Delta with K417N. One clade is large and internationally distributed with PANGO lineage designation AY.1. A second clade found in sequences uploaded to GISAID from the USA. There is limited epidemiological information available at present.
As of 7 June 2021, 63 genomes of Delta with K417N have been identified on GISAID. from Canada (1) Germany (1), Russia (1), Nepal (2), Switzerland (4), India (6), Poland (9), Portugal (12), Japan (13), USA (14).
There are currently 36 cases of Delta-AY.1 in England (35 confirmed sequencing and 1 probable genotyping) plus an additional 10 sequences which include some cases in other UK nations and some genomes for which case data is being sought. The first 5 cases were sequenced on 26 April 2021 and were contacts of travellers to Nepal and Turkey. All these cases were detected in the West Midlands. Cases have been detected in 6 different regions in England (Table 21, Figure 26). The majority of cases are in younger individuals, with 2 cases of age 60 or over (Figure 27). Out of the 36 cases, there were 11 travel associated cases (6 travellers and 5 cases amongst contacts of travellers). Twelve cases have no history of travel or contact with travellers. Countries of travel included red-list countries (Nepal and Turkey), amber-list countries (Malaysia) and green-list countries (Singapore).
Of the 36 cases, 27 cases were known to have a vaccination status within the National Immunisation Management System (NIMS), when linked on NHS number. Of these, 18 cases occurred in people who were not vaccinated, 2 cases in people who had received their first dose within 21 days of specimen date, 5 cases in people who had received their first dose more than 21 days after specimen date. There was a total of 2 cases where there were more than 14 days between the second dose of vaccine and a positive specimen. No deaths have been recorded amongst the 36 cases.”
PHE download – SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern and variants under investigation in England – Technical briefing 15 (PDF)
The European Court of Human Rights ruled on Thursday that democratic governments can make vaccinations obligatory, in a landmark judgement rejecting complaints brought by Czech families penalised for refusing compulsory jabs for their children.
“The… measures could be regarded as being ‘necessary in a democratic society'” the court ruled, saying that the Czech health policy was consistent with the “best interests” of children.
Our opinion: ** Is there an easier or quicker way of antagonising parents in the middle of a global viral pandemic than encouraging mandatory vaccinations? We can’t think of one. Expect severe blowback **
The Polish Ministry of Health reports 35,143 new infections and 443 deaths from coronavirus. That’s about 9,100 more infections than a week ago. There are 391,000 active infections.
In Friday’s announcement, the Health ministry informs about 35,143 new cases of coronavirus from the following voivodeships: Mazowieckie (5264), Śląskie (5095), Wielkopolskie (4141), Dolnośląskie (2876), Małopolskie (2826), Pomeranian (2625), Kujawsko-Pomorskie (1940) , Łódź (1872), Podkarpackie (1716), West Pomeranian (1113), Lublin (1073), Warmian-Masurian (1067), Lubuskie (874), Świętokrzyskie (822), Opole (694), Podlasie (529). 616 infections are data without specifying an address, which will be completed by the sanitary inspection.
“Wheezing, chest or stomach pain, swelling or coldness in an arm or leg, severe headache or worsening or blurred vision after vaccination, persistent bleeding, small multiple bruises, reddish or purplish spots or blisters of blood under the skin” – if you have these symptoms after vaccination against Covid with AstraZeneca serum seek medical help immediately and report that you have recently been vaccinated.
European Medicines Agency (EMA), the corona vaccine from the manufacturer Astra-Zeneca can cause severe allergic reactions. Anaphylaxis and hypersensitivity reactions should be included in the list of possible side effects of the vaccine citing , the EMA said on Friday, several such cases in the UK.
The European Commission received the message from AstraZeneca on Thursday afternoon (11 March 2021). According to Sweden’s vaccination coordinator Richard Bergström, it is export restrictions and not production capacity that are behind it.
Astra Zeneca has really made an effort to find volumes to live up to the contract. 75 million doses would come from the United States, the United Kingdom and to some extent from India in the second quarter. Now we have just been told that we will not get rid of these doses, says Richard Bergström to TV4.
The USA and India, where AstraZeneca’s has production, have introduced export bans to ensure that they themselves get enough vaccine. The fact that the vaccine cannot be delivered from the UK has contractual reasons.
The Polish health minister has said mink on a farm in north-western Poland will be culled after the SARS-Cov-2 virus was detected.
It is the first time the virus has been found in mink on Polish fur farms.
Adam Niedzielski said that sanitary officers are also checking the health of the farm’s owner and its employees.
The ministry wrote in a Sunday press release that the country’s veterinary inspectorate had taken steps to seal off a farm in the county of Kartuzy. “Administrative measures to eliminate animals” were also initiated, the statement read.
There have now been more than 60,000,000 confirmed coronavirus infections globally and the infection rate is still increasing.