Prevention

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Public health strategy

Covid-19: Delay in second vaccine dose may prevent deaths under certain conditions

Delaying the second dose of Covid-19 vaccines, at least for people aged under 65, could result in up to 20% lower mortality, but only under certain conditions, finds a US study published by The BMJ.…

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Prevention, treatment, care and support

Action on stroke: Experts launch joint declaration

An appeal is launched for Health Ministries across Europe to sign the Declaration for Action on the Stroke Action Plan for Europe to tackle one of the leading causes of death and disability. Led by…

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Covid-19 prevention side effects

Rare blood clots after Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine: study sheds more light

A large study from Denmark and Norway published by The BMJ sheds more light on the risk of rare blood clots in adults receiving their first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. The…

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Antibacterial PPE

New anti-Covid mask with Silver is reusable without washing

The use of Silver-based medical products has always been prevalent in hospital settings to kill bacteria instantly. As the Covid-19 pandemic rages on and many look for practical PPE equipment,…

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Expert debate on coronavirus protection

Covid-19: The pros and cons of wearing masks outdoors

Wearing face coverings outside should be normalised because it may reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in some situations—and may encourage mask wearing indoors, where risks are greater—say Babak…

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Vigorous ventilation

Covid-19: Why faster air exchange in buildings is not always beneficial

Vigorous and rapid air exchanges might not always be a good thing when it comes to addressing levels of coronavirus particles in a multiroom building, according to a new modeling study. The study…

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Lipid research

Solving the sub-zero challenge of Covid-19 vaccines

New research by University of Texas at Dallas scientists could help solve a major challenge in the deployment of certain Covid-19 vaccines worldwide — the need for the vaccines to be kept at below-freezing temperatures during transport and storage. In a study published online in Nature Communications, the researchers demonstrate a new, inexpensive technique that generates crystalline…

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CVT risk evaluation

Thrombosis risk after Covid vaccination: actual infection far more dangerous, say experts

Researchers at the University of Oxford report that the risk of the rare blood clotting known as cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT) following Covid-19 infection is around 100 times greater than normal, several times higher than it is post-vaccination or following influenza. The study authors, led by Professor Paul Harrison and Dr Maxime Taquet from Oxford University’s Department of Psychiatry and…

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Coronavirus transmission

Experts: Covid-19 prevention efforts should focus on airborne transmission

Any future attempts to reduce the spread of Covid-19 should be focused on tackling close airborne transmission of the virus which is considered to be the primary route for its circulation, according to experts. Respiratory experts argue that it is now clear that SARS-CoV-2 is most likely to transmit between people at close range through inhalation rather than through contact with surfaces or…

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Protection from bacteria, fungi, viruses

Antimicrobial technologies – how do they work?

Antimicrobial technologies such as coatings and textiles containing silver and copper are helping people during the Covid-19 pandemic by ensuring that whatever they touch, whether that is a door handle or their own mask, is free from live SARS-CoV-2 particles. But how exactly do these antimicrobial technologies work? How can a silver, copper or even polymeric coating kill microorganisms such as…

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A change of heart

New study sees huge turnaround in Covid-19 vaccine sceptics

More than four in five (86%) people who were unsure or said no to a Covid-19 vaccine in December 2020 would now take one, or have already been vaccinated, finds the latest research by the Virus Watch study conducted by University College London (UCL). The new findings, part of UCL Virus Watch’s longitudinal study of over 46,000 people in England and Wales, show the fall in vaccine hesitancy was…

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Asymptomatic disease spread

Why vaccines alone may not be enough to end the Covid-19 pandemic

Even as vaccines are becoming more readily available, protecting against the asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic spread of the virus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes Covid-19 is key to ending the pandemic, say two infectious disease experts at the Georgetown University Medical Center. In their Perspective, “SARS-CoV-2 Transmission Without Symptoms,” published in the journal Science, they make the case…

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New study confirms

Covid-19 vaccines highly effective in nursing homes

In what is believed to be the first published study of Covid-19 vaccine effectiveness in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes, a research team co-led by the Yale School of Public Health found a widely used vaccine is highly successful in preventing infections. Residents of such facilities, particularly those in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), have experienced disproportionately high…

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Gastroenterology

Capsule cameras to test for cancer and diseases

Miniature cameras which patients can swallow to get checked for cancer are being trialled across the NHS. The imaging technology, in a capsule no bigger than a pill, can provide a diagnosis within hours. Known as a colon capsule endoscopy, the cameras are the latest NHS innovation to help patients access cancer checks at home. Traditional endoscopies mean patients need to attend hospital and have…

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Covid-19 impact on vaccination

Antibiotic resistance could make diphtheria ‘major global threat’ again

Diphtheria – a relatively easily-preventable infection – is evolving to become resistant to a number of classes of antibiotics and in future could lead to vaccine escape, warn an international team of researchers from the UK and India. The researchers, led by scientists at the University of Cambridge, say that the impact of Covid-19 on diphtheria vaccination schedules, coupled with a rise in…

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'Vaccelerate' cooperation

Building a Covid-19 vaccine network across Europe

The European Commission has launched a contingency plan to meet the challenge of the various mutations of the coronavirus. Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital are contributing to a new network for the evaluation and testing of new vaccines. The network is called "Vaccelerate" and it will contribute both to the evaluation of ongoing and future vaccinations, as well…

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Cardiology research

How hypertension leads to atherosclerosis

Research scientists at Aarhus University and Aarhus University Hospital have investigated the mechanisms by which hypertension leads to arterial damage and atherosclerosis. The results may facilitate the development of new therapies. Hypertension is a prevalent condition affecting approximately one third of all adults. It is also the leading global cause of morbidity and mortality. The condition…

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Human cytomegalovirus in immunocompromised patients

Post-transplant HCMV infection: pre-emptive strike could save many lives

A potential new treatment to protect immunosuppressed patients from human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) has been discovered by scientists at the University of Cambridge. Their study shows that certain epigenetic inhibitors expose and help to destroy dormant HCMV infections, which often reactivate to cause serious illness and death in these vulnerable groups. Subject to clinical trials, their proposed…

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Healthcare facilities analysed

Cutting Coronavirus air contamination in hospitals

Preventing air contamination in healthcare facilities is crucial to minimise the airborne spread of Covid-19 and its new strains. Universal masking, rigorous use of and safe disposal of PPE, plus building ventilation are vital. Twenty-four studies reporting hospital SARS-CoV-2 air contamination are summarised in a meta-analysis by a multi-institutional team of French researchers. These show that,…

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Study on N95, KN95 and FFP2 mask suggests

Covid-19 masks: Why proper fit matters more than material

A team of researchers studying the effectiveness of different types of face masks has found that in order to provide the best protection against Covid-19, the fit of a mask is as important, or more important, than the material it is made of. The researchers, from the University of Cambridge, carried out a series of different fit tests, and found that when a high-performance mask – such as an…

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On the go

Improving wearables for medical applications

Cardiovascular diseases are the most common cause of fatalities in Germany. Medical wearables which measure vital parameters such as the blood pressure, heart rate and blood oxygen levels in real time could help detect these diseases early, and treat them on a preventive basis. In daily life and during sports activities, in the form of fitness bracelets or smart watches, these small, portable…

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Anticoagulants vs coronavirus

Preventive blood thinning could reduce risk of Covid-19 death

Patients given preventive blood thinning drugs (prophylactic anticoagulants) within 24 hours of admission to hospital with Covid-19 are less likely to die compared with those who do not receive them, a new study finds. Clinical trials are now underway to see if prophylactic anticoagulants could be an effective treatment for Covid-19. In the meantime, the researchers say these findings provide…

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Lessons learned from Covid-19

A 'blueprint' for preventing the next pandemic

Scientific and public health experts have been raising the alarm for decades, imploring public officials to prepare for the inevitability of a viral pandemic. Infectious epidemics seemingly as benign as "the flu" and as deadly as the Ebola virus provided ample warning, yet government officials seemed caught off guard and ill prepared for dealing with Covid-19.

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Herd immunity explained in virtual reality

Using VR to win over vaccine skeptics

People who are sceptical of getting vaccinated against infectious diseases may soon get a whole new perspective on things. Professor Robert Böhm and Associate Professor Guido Makransky from the Center for Social Data Science (SODAS) and the Department of Psychology at the University of Copenhagen have received DKK three million in funding from EIT Health for developing a virtual reality app to…

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