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COVID-19 pandemic
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Official thread for news/discussion on the new coronavirus pandemic

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus aka 2019-nCoV) first cases appeared in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December of 2019.

As of this date of posting, in the UK 5683 of people have tested positive for coronavirus and 281 patients have died. Risk of infection is high and has reached the level of a worldwide pandemic. Travel restrictions and quarantine measures have been implemented in several countries which has resulted in mass panic buying/hoarding and spread of misinformation and conspiracy theories regarding the severity of the virus (and unwarranted xenophobia towards Asian countries). Some countries offer effective treatments to combat the infection but no official vaccine has been made available yet.

Theres a middle ground to be found here. please dont fall for the apocalyptic hype on media and social media and PLEASE stop with the panic buying! Other people need food and supplies too. This virus is about as severe as the flu and despite the lack of vaccine it is a recoverable disease if you have access to good heathcare and have a healthy immune system. Out of the total 340,000 cases in the world with over 14,500 deaths reported, about 97,000 have recovered. China is also recovering well from the turmoil despite a hard hit on their economy. There is hope.

That being said though it is still a disease to be taken seriously like any other. Most elderly and those with compromised immune systems are at a high risk and should seek treatment immediately. Pay attention to signs and symptoms and follow the advice from heath professionals as well as your local procedures on quarantine and other preventative measures.

Most importantly stay calm and dont panic, we will get through this. :)



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EBAA press release: European business aviation under threat

https://www.ebaa.org/news/press-release-covid-19-european-business-aviation-under-threat/

17 March 2020 (Brussels). The European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) respects the decision by European authorities to temporarily restrict non-essential travel, but calls on the European Commission, the Member States and Switzerland to consider all recovery and relief measures available to ensure business continuity for operators, airports and others in the business aviation industry.

Given the current global pandemic, EBAA respects the European Commission, the Member States and Switzerland’s decisions to temporarily restrict non-essential travel in the interest of public health. For business aviation, safety is – and always will be – our top priority.

In this crisis, one area of the business aviation sector – medical flights – should clearly be exempt from any restrictions, as they help save lives. On average European business aviation operates no less than 70 medical flights per day.

The rapid spread of COVID-19, along with government and business-imposed travel restrictions, are having a devastating impact on the aviation industry, and the business aviation sector alike. It is a significant contributor to the European economy, connecting three times more destinations than scheduled airlines, generating nearly €90 billion, and employing over 370,000 people.

EBAA Secretary-General Athar Husain Khan said: “It is still too early to fully evaluate the extent of the crisis’ impact on the business aviation sector. But we have been receiving reports of operators’ aircraft grounded, airport closures and staff being put on leave across Europe due to the rapidly evolving crisis and travel restrictions”.

Business aviation calls on the European Commission, the Member States and Switzerland to consider all recovery and relief measures available to safeguard our members’ operational and business continuity. It is critical to allow business aviation operators to return to normal operations as soon as possible so they can support the recovery of the wider economy.

Over the coming weeks and months, the business aviation sector will continue to collaborate intensely with all authorities as they work to contain this outbreak and mitigate its impact on European citizens and the world.



-- Edited by Leela25 on Sunday 22nd of March 2020 02:52:56 PM

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India observes 14-hour curfew

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-51992364



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Stay at home to stay safe, 1.5 million people in England advised

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-51991887



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Young people are not ‘invincible’, WHO warns

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-51982495



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Leela25 wrote:

Theres a middle ground to be found here. please dont fall for the apocalyptic hype on media and social media and PLEASE stop with the panic buying! Other people need food and supplies too. This virus is about as severe as the flu and despite the lack of vaccine it is a recoverable disease if you have access to good heathcare and have a healthy immune system. Out of the total 340,000 cases in the world with over 14,500 deaths reported, about 97,000 have recovered. China is also recovering well from the turmoil despite a hard hit on their economy. There is hope.


 

Thank you. It frustrates me to no end as to how much people are freaking out about it. Yes, like you said it should be taken seriously and appropriate preventative measures should be taken, but this "apocalyptic" thinking, as you put it, is absolutely ridiculous. We can barely afford food as it is and this mass hoarding is hitting us hard to the point of rationing what we already have and skipping meals. Buy what you need, don't stockpile! It's unnecessary.

Travel restrictions and self-quarantine are perfectly reasonable, however. Eases the effort of containment while we figure out a cure.



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Everyone's situation is changing, we hope for the best. I avoid foods that weaken immunity, as they write here  https://ketosupplementreviewed.com/acesulfame-potassium-keto/

 My body is healthy. And I wish you not to get sick

 


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COVID-19 – British helicopter industry steps up – but still needs more help

https://helihub.com/2020/03/23/covid-19-british-helicopter-industry-steps-up-but-still-needs-more-help/

23 Mar, 20, Source: HeliHub.com

The British Helicopter Association (BHA) is flagging up to the UK Government that there are plenty of helicopters available to transport both people and freight in the current time of need while the country battles Coronavirus (COVID-19). BHA sees urgent requirements from both Government and National Health Service (NHS) users.

A number of operators including Starspeed, A2B Aviation, Arena Aviation, Capital Air Services and Helicentre Aviation have all stepped forward to make helicopters available for this work – purely on the basis of covering their costs and without any profit element at all. Some corporate operators and private owners have also made their aircraft available to anyone with the appropriate type rating.

BHA CEO Tim Fauchon has been working with the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the Department for Transport (DfT) and EASA as well. He sees the scheme working along similar lines to the “Ships Taken Up From Trade” (STUFT) program has been shown to successfully supplement Royal Navy ships with merchant ships in the past. For example the Falklands War of 1982 saw the cruise liner Canberra became a troop carrier, and the container ship Atlantic Conveyor acting as a VTOL port for both helicopters and BAe Sea Harriers.

The licencing department of the CAA has responded with some exemptions to delay licence renewals, check flights etc.  Their statement says “For a period of three months, from 16 March 2020 to 16 June 2020, the CAA will waive any fees normally incurred for cancellation and/or transfer to a future CAA examination sitting”.  See the Exams section of this page for further information.

It appears that the CAA airworthiness department is a little slower to respond. BHA would like to see CAA approval for helicopters being used for national resilience work so they can be flown 10-15% beyond certified overhaul limits, which they believe could be needed once the UK military is at full stretch.

The BHA also suggests that the CAA brings in a charges holiday and not just delay their annual price rise by 3 months, at a time when the industry is facing such a significant lack of work.

The BHA will also call on the UK Ministry of Defence to make Jet-A1 fuel available to civil operators on national resilience work in the coming weeks, should the a number of available civilian airports reduce as they get temporarily closed by circumstances.

British helicopter owners and operators (whether or not they are members) are encouraged to call BHA on +44 (0)1276 856100 or email ceo@britishhelicopterassociation.org with their offers of help, so that these the combined effort is given an industry-wide focus.

Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com



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Loss of smell could be a symptom of COVID-19

https://www.livescience.com/covid-19-symptoms-loss-smell-taste.html

By Mindy Weisberger - Senior Writer a day ago

A sudden loss of smell is associated with some viral infections.

Sudden loss of a sense of smell could be a sign of a COVID-19 infection, doctors recently reported.

The complete loss of smell, or anosmia, is already associated with viruses; about 40% of anosmia cases occur after a viral infection, according to a statement published online on March 21 by ENT UK at The Royal College of Surgeons of England, an association of ear, nose and throat physicians in the United Kingdom. 

However, a growing body of data from COVID-19 patients in several countries strongly suggests that "significant numbers" of those patients experienced anosmia as one of the disease's symptoms, according to the ENT UK statement. 

Anecdotal evidence further describes the loss of smell and the loss of taste — known as dysgeusia — in people who had no other symptoms but who tested positive for COVID-19, representatives of the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery (AAO–HNS) in Alexandria, Virginia, said in a March 22 statement.

Doctors with AAO–HNS recommended in the statement that loss of taste and smell be added to the list of symptoms when screening for signs of COVID-19, particularly when these sensory losses are isolated — that is, not accompanied by any signs of respiratory illness.

Such cases of isolated anosmia have been reported in Iran, the U.S., France and northern Italy, according to the ENT UK statement. Dr. Claire Hopkins, president of the British Rhinological Society, said in the statement that she had personally examined four patients during the past week, all under the age of 40, who exhibited no symptoms other than the sudden loss of smell.

"I think these patients may be some of the hitherto hidden carriers that have facilitated the rapid spread of COVID-19," Hopkins said.

When doctors at the University Hospital Bonn in Germany recently interviewed more than 100 patients infected with COVID-19, they discovered that nearly 70% "described a loss of smell and taste lasting several days," said Dr. Hendrik Streeck, head of the hospital's Institute of Virology. 

"It goes so far that a mother could not smell the full diaper of her child. Others could no longer smell their shampoo, and food began to taste bland," Streeck told the German news site Frankfurter Allgemeine. 

Though the doctors could not say for sure when the loss of smell and taste first appeared in these patients, they suspect that the symptoms manifested as a later stage of the infection, Streeck added.

If people who have anosmia but no other symptoms were to self-isolate for seven days, "we might be able to reduce the number of otherwise asymptomatic individuals who continue to act as vectors," according to the ENT UK statement.



-- Edited by Leela25 on Tuesday 24th of March 2020 02:41:38 PM

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UK scientists develop 30-minute test kit for COVID-19

https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/europe/uk-scientists-develop-30-minute-test-kit-covid-19

The new tests are 3 times more efficient than the current process.

By Sophie PorterMarch 23, 202012:31 PM

Scientists in Oxford have developed a faster-acting test to establish whether patients are infected with the coronavirus. A team from the University of Oxford’s Engineering Science Department and the Oscar Suzhou Centre for Advance Research (OSCAR) have been working to improve upon the current process, which can take up to two hours to produce a result and requires specialised equipment.

The newly developed test produces highly accurate results in half an hour. Its sensitivity enables it to identify the virus earlier than can be achieved with the current test, and it only requires a standard heat block to work. This could be particularly beneficial in rural or more isolated areas without access to the complicated equipment needed currently as it facilitates testing in, for instance, community health centres.

The test has already been trialled on 16 clinical samples in Shenzhen Luohou People’s Hospital in China and achieved a 100% diagnostic success rate. It is hoped that it will be rolled out to testing clinics within the next two weeks.

The team at Oxford is now working on a fully integrated version of the test that could be deployed in airports, clinics and homes.

WHY IT MATTERS

The UK is currently on the upswing of COVID-19 infections epi curve. This means that the number of confirmed cases is rapidly increasing every day, jumping by 1,700 cases between 20th and 22nd March.

The ability to swiftly and effectively test potential cases of COVID-19 will enable more people to be tested and strengthen measures to control the spread of the virus. It will also accelerate the treatment of patients, which could potentially diminish the virus’s more severe effects.

THE LARGER PICTURE

As COVID-19 sweeps the globe, there has been a huge effort to "flatten the curve" of those affected by the virus. This means trying to control the rate of infection so as not to overwhelm public services. Intensive care units (ICUs) across the country are already at capacity, with some cases of patients “spilling over” into recovery areas and taking over other areas of the hospitals.

A more efficient test could ease this strain on emergency services as the infection continues to spread, potentially limiting the number of deaths.

ON THE RECORD 

Professor Wei Huang, one of the leading scientists of the team, says: “The beauty of this new test lies in the design of the viral detection that can specifically recognise SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) RNA and RNA fragments. The test has built-in checks to prevent false positives or negatives and the results have been highly accurate.”

Professor Zhanfeng Cui, the director of OSCAR, says: “I am proud of our team that have developed a useful technology and can make a contribution in combating CoV-19, and we are very grateful to the hospital’s medical team … for their part in testing this new technology.”

 



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Coronavirus latest news: Wuhan plans to end lockdown in April

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2237475-coronavirus-latest-news-wuhan-plans-to-end-lockdown-in-april/

Plans to lift lockdown in Wuhan

Residents of Wuhan in Hubei province will be allowed to leave the city from 8 April if they are given the all-clear from a health app issued by Chinese authorities. The city has been under complete lockdown since 23 January. People in other areas of Hubei will be able to travel from tomorrow.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the US may become the next centre of the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, US president Donald Trump has controversially suggested that the US could soon re-open for business.

Olympics postponed to 2021

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be postponed to summer 2021. Many other major sporting events, including Six Nations Rugby, the UEFA European Football Championship and the London Marathon have also been postponed.

Other coronavirus developments

India has announced a total lockdown of its 1.3 billion citizens for 21 days. This comes after the WHO warned yesterday that the pandemic is accelerating.

Ivory Coast and Senegal have both declared states of emergency. Ivory Coast has begun to introduce confinement measures, while Senegal will introduce a curfew from dusk to dawn.

A modelling study of a simulated Singapore published in The Lancet has estimated that a combination of physical distancing interventions, including quarantine for infected individuals and their families, school closures, and workplace distancing is most effective at reducing the number of coronavirus cases.

Researchers are inventing new types of masks and ventilators to help tackle the pandemic. A new ventilator has already been used to treat a person in the UK.

In the UK, the government said a decision to temporarily allow early medical abortions to be carried out at home was published in error.



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Trials to begin on Covid-19 vaccine in UK next month

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/mar/19/uk-drive-develop-coronavirus-vaccine-science

A massive effort is under way to develop a UK vaccine for coronavirus within months and make it available to save lives before the end of the year, the Guardian has learned.

Researchers at Oxford University, led by Prof Sarah Gilbert, are planning a safety trial on humans of what is expected to be the UK’s first coronavirus vaccine next month. Provided that it goes smoothly, they will move directly into a larger trial to assess how effective the vaccine is at protecting against the infection.

The same vaccine will start animal trials next week at the Public Health England (PHE) laboratory at Porton Down near Salisbury. Normally, animal work must be completed before human trials can start, but because similar vaccines have worked safely in trials for other diseases, the work has been accelerated.

“We are conscious that a vaccine is needed as soon as possible and certainly by June–July, when we expect a big peak in mortality,” said Prof Adrian Hill, director of the Jenner Institute at Oxford.

“This is not a normal situation. We will follow all standard trial safety requirements, but as soon as we have a vaccine that’s working, we anticipate there will be an accelerated pathway to get it deployed to save lives. The more vaccine we can provide sooner, the better.”

This month, Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of Donald Trump’s taskforce, said a vaccine was 12 to 18 months away – an expectation echoed by the UK chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance – but Hill said the Oxford team and others were “aiming for much earlier”.

Covid-19 was confirmed to have claimed a further 33 lives on Thursday, bringing the UK death toll to 137. The latest victims were aged between 47 and 96, and all had underlying health conditions. Confirmed cases stood at 3,269.

Boris Johnson claimed that the next 12 weeks could “turn the tide of this disease”, telling the daily Downing Street press conference on Thursday he was “absolutely confident that we can send coronavirus packing in this country, but only if we all take the steps we have outlined”.

A British patient has entered a randomised trial for coronavirus for the first time, the prime minister said. The patient, who had Covid-19, is being tested to check whether they have immunity.

He added that the government was in negotiations to buy an antibody test “as simple as a pregnancy test, which can tell whether you have had the disease. It’s early days, but if it works as its proponents claim, then we will buy literally hundreds of thousands of these kits as soon as practicable.”

The vaccine being developed at Porton Down is an intramuscular injection that uses a harmless, non-replicating virus to smuggle DNA from the coronavirus into the body’s cells.

Once inside, the body’s cells use the coronavirus DNA to churn out copies of the “spike proteins” that dot the germ’s surface. It is these that should marshal the immune response against coronavirus infection. Previous studies suggest the vaccine should work with only a single shot.

Vaccines that operate the same way have been used safely in thousands of people, aged from one week old to 90 years, for diseases ranging from malaria and TB to Mers, another coronavirus, and Ebola, for which it is now being deployed in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Oxford trial is expected to recruit people from a range of ages, but scientists will be particularly keen to see how it performs in older people. They are most vulnerable to the virus, but tend to respond less well to vaccinations because of their weaker immune systems.

The Oxford team have a small manufacturing capability to make the vaccine for trials but will need to work with a full-scale vaccine manufacturer to produce enough shots if the trials demonstrate that they can protect people. That is one hurdle the researchers need to overcome.

“There’s massive challenge. You can’t go to a manufacturing facility today and say, ‘We’d like you to take this on and spend tens of millions gearing up,’” Hill said. “But we are working our way around that.”

The hope is to have the vaccine available for use in an emergency response setting where the usual licensing rules are relaxed. Once Ebola vaccines were ready, they were approved and used very swiftly, even though they only received formal licences from regulators late last year.

The Oxford vaccine, known as ChAdOx1, is one of five frontrunner vaccines in development around the world. The US biotech Moderna gave its first vaccine shot to a person in Seattle earlier this week. Another US firm, Inovio, will soon start trials on its own coronavirus vaccine, which requires a special device to administer through the skin. In Germany, CureVac is working on a vaccine, while others are in development in China.

Public Health England will run “challenge” trials with the Oxford vaccine, with ferrets and macaques having the jab before receiving a controlled dose of coronavirus intra-nasally. The researchers will then check whether the vaccine prevents the buildup of virus in the animals and protects their lungs from damage.

Miles Carroll, head of research at PHE’s National Infection Service in Porton Down, said there was an “aggressive campaign” to get the vaccine evaluated during the peak of the UK outbreak. That would mean giving it to people as part of a trial in the summer. The Porton Down lab is one of a small handful in the country that is licensed to store samples of the coronavirus.

“We know from the Ebola outbreak that even before a vaccine is licensed, it can have a significant impact on disease,” he said.

“If this looks good at protecting and we see no safety issues at all then, theoretically, after April, going into May or June, they could expand the number of people they are vaccinating and that could be into the thousands.

“Then, several months later, if it’s working, I imagine there will be a process to massively ramp up manufacture.”



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Heed the warnings from scientists and doctors, stay informed, stay calm and stay safe everyone!



-- Edited by jumpdriver48 on Tuesday 24th of March 2020 03:27:09 PM

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There over two thousand cases in Canada right now with 24 deaths. Lots of people already self-quarantining.



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Has half the UK already caught COVID-19? Probably not.

https://www.livescience.com/half-the-uk-infected-coronavirus-covid19.html

On March 24, a headline in the Financial Times proclaimed that "Coronavirus may have infected half of UK population," suggesting that many people in the region may have already recovered from and developed some immunity to COVID-19.

But is that actually true?

The news article focused on a new study from the University of Oxford, which has not been peer reviewed or published in a scientific journal. The study authors collected available data about deaths tied to the novel coronavirus, called SARS-CoV-2, reported in both the United Kingdom and Italy, and used these numbers to model how the virus might have spread through the U.K. so far. 

In one hypothetical scenario, the authors estimated that viral transmission began 38 days before the first recorded death in the U.K., which took place March 5. They found that, given this start date, 68% of the population would have been infected by March 19. This statistic made headlines in the Financial Times, and later, outlets like the Evening Standard, Daily Mail and The Sun, according to Wired U.K. 

But this mathematical narrative rests on several key assumptions that are not backed by real-world data, experts told Wired. 

To begin, the authors write that their overall approach "rests on the assumption that only a very small proportion of the population is at risk of hospitabitable illness." In their most extreme model, the authors estimate that just 0.1% of the population, or one in every 1,000 people, will require hospitalization.

"We can already see just by looking at Italy ... that that figure has already been exceeded," Tim Colbourn, an epidemiologist at University College London’s Institute for Global Health, told Wired U.K. In the region of Lombardy alone, more than one in 1,000 people have been hospitalized, and that number continues to grow every day, Wired U.K. reported. 

Related: 10 deadly diseases that hopped across species

Several scientists posted additional critiques of the study through the Science Media Centre, an independent U.K.-based press office that works with researchers, journalists and policy makers to disseminate accurate scientific information.  

"The work models one of the most important questions — how far has the infection really spread — in the total absence of any direct data," wrote James Wood, head of the Department of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Cambridge, who researches infection dynamics and disease control. While the paper poses an important question, the assumptions underlying the model leave the authors' conclusions "open to gross over interpretation by others," Wood said.      

"As far as I can tell, the model ... assumes that all those infected, whether they are asymptomatic, mildly ill or severely ill are equally infectious to others," Paul Hunter, a professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia, wrote on the Science Media Centre site. "This is almost certainly false." Data suggest that asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic people may actually fuel the rapid spread of COVID-19. 

In addition, the model assumes that the U.K. population would become "completely mixed" over time, meaning any given individual has an equal chance of running into another within the region, Hunter wrote. "We do not all have an equal random chance of meeting every other person in the U.K., infected or otherwise," he said. Without some acknowledgement of the structure of social networks within the U.K.; the relative risk of running into a mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic person; and the risk of severe infection tied to different demographics, the simplified model "should not be given much credibility," Hunter said.

In comparison, a recent study from Imperial College London included numbers from several Italian villages where every resident received a diagnostic test and might provide more realistic benchmarks for the extent of infection elsewhere, lead author Niall Ferguson told the Science and Technology Committee, according to Wired U.K. "Those data all point to the fact that we are nowhere near the [Oxford study] scenario in terms of the extent of the infection," Ferguson said.    

Despite its flaws, the Oxford paper did highlight an important point, upon which all the Science Media Centre experts and those who spoke to Wired U.K. agreed:

The U.K. needs to determine how many people have already been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 to shape public health policy going forward. This feat can be accomplished with widespread serological testing (blood tests), which would reveal who has antibodies to the novel coronavirus circulating in their blood. The U.K. has ordered 3.5 million antibody tests and must now validate the kits before selling them to the public, Wired U.K. previously reported.

"As the authors say [in their paper], a proper test will come from serological surveys — which will tell us how many people have been exposed," Mark Woolhouse, a professor of infectious disease epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh wrote on the Science Media Centre. If data gathered through serological testing does support the Oxford model, it would have "huge implications," Woolhouse added. For instance, the finding would suggest that many people in the U.K. now have immunity against COVID-19, which would help break the chains of viral transmission to those who are still vulnerable. This phenomenon is known as herd immunity. 

"It would imply that the main reason why COVID-19 epidemics peak is the build-up of herd immunity," he wrote. "Though that would not change current policy in the UK, which is focused [on] reducing the short-term impact of the epidemic on the [National Health Service], it would change enormously our long-term expectations making a second wave significantly less likely and raising the possibility that the public health threat of COVID-19 will diminish all around the world in the coming months."



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UK researchers develop new low-cost, rapid COVID-19 test that could even be used at home

https://techcrunch.com/2020/03/25/uk-researchers-develop-new-low-cost-rapid-covid-19-test-that-could-even-be-used-at-home/

Darrell Etherington@etherington / 9:03 am CDT • March 25, 2020

A new type of test developed by U.K. researchers from the Brunel University London, Lancaster University and the University of Surrey can provide COVID-19 detection in as little as 30 minutes using hand-held hardware that costs as little as £100 (around $120 USD) with individual swab sample kits that cost around $5 per person. The test is based on existing technology that has been used in the Philippines for testing viral spread in chickens, but it’s been adapted by researchers for use with COVID-19 in humans. The team is now working on ramping mass production.

This test would obviously need approval by local health regulatory bodies like the FDA before it goes into active use in any specific geography, but the researchers behind the project are “confident it will respond well,” and say they could even make it available for use “within a few weeks.” The hardware itself is battery-operated and connects to a smartphone application to display diagnostic results and works with nasal or throat swabs, without requiring that samples be round-tripped to a lab.

There are other tests already approved for use that use similar methods for on-site testing, including kits and machines from Cepheid and Mesa Biotech. These require expensive dedicated table-top micro-labs, however, which is installed in dedicated healthcare facilities. This test from U.K. scientists has the advantage of running on inexpensive hardware, with testing capabilities for up to six people at once, which can be deployed in doctor’s offices, hospitals and even potentially workplaces and homes for truly widespread, accessible testing.

Some frontline, rapid results tests are already in use in the EU and China, but these are generally serological tests that rely on the presence of antibodies, whereas this group’s diagnostics are molecular, so it can detect the presence of viral DNA even before antibodies are present. This equipment could even potentially be used to detect the virus in asymptomatic individuals who are self-isolating at home, the group notes, which would go a long way to scoping out the portion of the population that’s not currently a priority for other testing methods, but that could provide valuable insight into the true extend of silent, community-based transmission of the coronavirus.



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Self-reporting app tracking COVID-19 symptoms in UK sees 750K downloads in 24 hours

https://techcrunch.com/2020/03/25/self-reporting-app-for-covid-19-symptoms-for-uk-research-sees-650k-downloads-in-24-hours/

One of the big challenges (among many) with the coronavirus pandemic is that overwhelmed health services do not always know how best to deploy the limited resources they have to meet the demand of people falling ill with COVID-19. For example, we know that more ventilators and beds will be needed, but where specifically are the outbreaks happening and how can those local areas be served better?

Now, an app in the U.K. called the C-19 COVID Symptom Tracker, developed out of an unlikely corner of medical research — looking into the progression of medical conditions by tracking twins — is asking people to self-report their symptoms in an effort to start to gather more of that detail.

In line with how the public is trying to step up its efforts to get involved in the fight to contain the disease (some 405,000 people have also volunteered to help the NHS deliver medicine and other supplies to quarantined people, and help people home from the hospital) the Covid-19 app has itself gone viral, with 750,000 downloads since being launched on Tuesday morning. The app now is the third most popular app overall in the UK on the Apple App Store, and the number-one in the medical category, according to figures from App Annie.

Developed by a startup called Zoe in partnership with researchers at Kings College Hospital in London, the plan is to bring the app next to the U.S., where the latter group had already been working with colleagues at Massachusetts General Hospital and Stanford on a previous project (more on that below).

To be very clear, the app itself is not a diagnostic tool — these are being developed on a national level, linking people through to local services. Nor is it designed to give the public any clarity on where COVID-19 symptoms are cropping up. (As we reported earlier, there are a number of those being built and used already, too, providing maps and other data.)

Instead, it’s a research app designed to bring together information that could be useful to medical professionals to better plan their responses.

At first, the plan was to build an app to figure out where there were clusters of cases in order to better determine where testing kits, in short supply, might be better allocated.

“We were actively speaking to a multitude of companies that are making or have testing kits, and originally the idea was that if we identified people who were expressing symptoms, maybe we could get a testing kit to them faster,” said Sara Gordon, a spokesperson for the company. That proved to be too difficult, she added, because the testing arena is very fragmented and so it’s not clear whether they all reliably and consistently work the same (and work well).

Then, attention turned to where the data could be useful, and providing support to the NHS, the U.K.’s National Health Service, in determining the shape and evolution of the virus, in order to research it better and figure out how to deploy NHS resources, was where the team landed.

The ExCel conference center in the Docklands in East London is being set up as a field hospital now, “but there are many other places that will need hospitals opened,” she said, “and this could help figure out where.”

The app has a somewhat unlikely origin. It was created by Zoe, a spin-out from Kings College Hospital that is now backed by some $27 million in funding — investors include Daphni in France and Accomplice (formerly Atlas Venture) in Boston, among others — in partnership with a research group at Kings College that has been tracking twins.

“We’re a healthcare startup that has been running the world’s largest nutrition study,” Gordon said, spanning some 25 years (predating the startup materialising or getting spun out) and 8,000 groups of twins, and covering not just people through Kings, but also Stanford and Mass General.

Researching food intake as well as blood and stool samples, the idea was to “understand everything about how genes determine how we metabolise food, our immune responses, and more,” using twins with nearly identical DNA to do this, and using that input to determine new insights into cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other chronic conditions.

Last week, Zoe’s co-founder, Tim Spector, who is also Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King’s College London and director of the Twins UK study, spoke to the Zoe team about creating an app to reach out to the 8,000 twins in the study (who had already been using Zoe to track other parts of their lifestyles) to see how many of them were expressing signs of the novel coronavirus. It could have been a useful test pool also for determining what role age plays in this, as the long-term study means many of the people involved are older.

Events overtook those plans, too:

“From the conversations we were having with Kings” — the inner-city hospital (which happens to be my local hospital) has been very much at the front lines of the coronavirus response in London and the U.K. — “we decided that if we’re making this available to twins, maybe we should open it up to more people,” Gordon said. “One of the main issues here in the U.K. and other countries has been that governments haven’t been able to get good enough data about where the virus is spreading or how bad symptoms are.”

There are some major caveats with the app, which it seems are still a work in progress.

The biggest of these is that the app itself is self-reporting. That means that you are putting a lot of trust into people to be accurate and also consistent with each other in how they are describing their symptoms. (Is my idea of a continuous, unproductive cough the same as yours? And are our coughs even a reliable enough indicator of what is going on?)

“We’re relying on the public to be honest about their symptoms,” Gordon said more than once during my conversation with her. That would have been one reason too why tying the surveys to testing kits (the original idea) might have been problematic: so many people want some assurance that I’m guessing a lot would have reported just to get the kits.

The other is that it requires regular, habitual use: a person reporting one day is only really useful if that person reports for the rest of the days subsequent to that to get a picture of how and if symptoms progress. On the other hand, that could be a boost to self-reporting too: even if my version of a continuous cough is different from yours, at least I’ll now be showing how and if anything else gets added to that cough over time.

“What we’re trying to do is scale what we see and what scientists are classifying as severity of symptoms,” she said. “If someone has fever over a certain period, then that’s logged as red. Amber is feeling ill.”

Over the next few days she said the team is hoping to separate COVID-19 symptoms apart from those associated with a common cold. “We’re working to make sure that in reporting we’re being able to divide which are common cold or flu and which are COVID-19.”

A third issue is the data usage on the app. The privacy terms on Zoe note that the data is only there to be used by the researchers, but it also notes that it could travel outside of the EU not just for analytics but to be shared with other research partners.

Indeed, privacy experts and others are still debating the implications of how crowdsourced services like this one, built quickly for the crisis, are really walking a grey line when it comes to questions of privacy and data protection. For now, Zoe defends its position.

“The data policy we have is the one we have had legal advice on,” Gordon said. “It’s compliant with GDPR, and if and when we pass to others, people’s names are anonymised and switched to code. We feel we have super-strict data rules on our side.” She added that the compliance in the U.S. is even more strict because any research they do there has to go through a clinical process to make sure it is protected, “so there should be absolutely no concerns about data privacy.”

All the same, even with all the best intentions, there could also be a risk of your data getting misappropriated when handed off from one party to another and no longer under local jurisdictions.

That skepticism is possibly not helped by the fact that the co-founder and CEO of Zoe, Jonathan Wolf, is the former chief product officer of Criteo, the adtech company that happens to be getting investigated by France’s data protection watchdog for how it uses personal data (Wolf left the firm in 2016 before co-founding Zoe in 2017). Criteo is described simply as a “machine learning company” — no mention of advertising — in Wolf’s bio on the Zoe site.

(The third co-founder is George Hadjigeorgiou, who also doesn’t have any direct links to the medical industry, having been the CEO of HouseTrip and the co-founder of efood, a delivery startup.)

On a more positive note — and there is a lot to see that is positive here — Zoe itself is a business, but this project specifically was built without that in mind.

“Building this to meet the current need was just a decision we made,” Gordon said. “The team switched from the commercial product to this for the next few weeks, and the plan is to make it open source and to hand it off to the right people eventually. We just want to get the ball rolling.”

Remember to stay two meters apart from others when you go out, and stay at home when you can. Keep well, TC readers.



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China has yet to find the vector crossover #1 tests so far are negative that an animal started this (even local pets and wildlife)

Virus is patented by a corporation funded by Bill Gates - US bioweapons lab in North Carolina had leak in 2014 killed 1 , 4 injured....

3 spies caught with bio samples - one was Harvard Professor with job in Wuhan ?????

More people died from Hillarys Arab Spring or as witnesses - All joking aside the "panic" stirred up by the media is worse then the bug.

Used by bad actors to crash the economy... Flu infects/kills more and the press call out "the end is near?" or 8,000 arrested / found to have the virus***


try Qmap.pub or Qresearch on 8kun......

I'll leave my tinfoil hat incase someone else needs it, )I have plenty)

*** yep heard it slip out on the news.....

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So I heard that the Italian Air Force is using their HH-101A Caesar helicopter as a pandemic-response transport right now because it has provisions for bio-containment. Basically it's for taking patients affected by the coronavirus to local hospitals.



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hillberg wrote:

Virus is patented by a corporation funded by Bill Gates - US bioweapons lab in North Carolina had leak in 2014 killed 1 , 4 injured....


 One of my favorite conspiracy theories about it. Almost as lolzworthy as the pedophile sting operation theory. lmao



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Leela25 wrote:
pedophile sting operation theory

 

Do I even want to know?



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Conspiracy is a crime listed in the Federal codes - Try Qmap.pub for a start.
Royal families, Saudi, The See, George Soros, Rothchilds, Rockefellers, Paysours, etc. All had their fun.
JFK warned us about the Secret Societies, Organizations that infiltrated the world. They are now being rounded up and removed.

Tin foil hats need not apply. It's all open sourced and available to all. Information warfare at its finest.

Q+ is Trump

Q is nine persons (6 generals 3 civilians) assisting the president with the plan to restore our CONSTITUTION and remove corruption. [JFKs plan]

Qanon is 90+ million people world wide looking , Digging for truth. It's all about espionage and enslavement of US.

The CENTRAL BANKING SYSTEM, BILDERBERG GROUP, World Governing Counsel, AKA Globalist CABAL are in serious ****.

US was the military arm

Royal Family Financial arm

See the Spiritual arm

You think Epstein was a sex slave operation? Espionage/extortion/money laundering/ Human trafficking. all about power over governments.

201 ? A practice run for a global pandemic - the Presidential 2Q2Q election to remove Trump and his appointed staff just to hide the crimes of those in the past administrations.....

From the Nepolianic wars they were the $$$$ backing both sides, Now they panic...

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Apple launches COVID-19 screening website

https://techcrunch.com/2020/03/27/apple-launches-covid-19-screening-website/

Lucas Matney@lucasmtny / 11:09 am CDT • March 27, 2020

Today, Apple  launched its own coronavirus screening site (apple.com/covid19) and iOS app developed alongside the White House, CDC and FEMA.

The site is pretty simple, with basic information about best practices and safety tips alongside a basic screening tool which should give you a fairly solid idea on whether or not you need to be tested for COVID-19. The site, which is — of course — accessible on mobile and desktop, also includes some quick tips on social distancing, isolation, hand-washing, surface disinfecting and symptom monitoring.

The app, which contains identical information to the site, is U.S.-only at the moment; the website is available worldwide.

Depending on your symptoms, the site will push you to get in contact with your health provider, contact emergency services or inform you that you likely do not need to be tested. It will not route you to a testing center directly.

In a privacy note on the site, Apple notes which data is collected. “Apple is not collecting your answers from the screening tool. To help improve the site, Apple collects some information about how you use it. The information collected will not personally identify you.”

Big tech companies are looking to ensure that people have easy access to key information on COVID-19. Google’s Verily launched a limited version of its Project Baseline coronavirus screening site last week, which, in comparison to Apple’s site does not require users to log in, but it will also not help users with scheduling a test directly.



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Stingray wrote:
Leela25 wrote:
pedophile sting operation theory

 

Do I even want to know?


 bs that the pandemic was a secret plan by Trump to arrest pedos and celebs to keep children safe. xD



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I see.

BTW, a friendly reminder to everyone before we derail the thread about this kind of stuff (and I admit my mistake in posting that reply to begin with): discourse regarding politics and conspiracy theories are forbidden by the forum rules, both casual and critical, as I try to maintain a neutral and unbiased atmosphere in the interest of keeping harmony between users. We all have our viewpoints and opinions from many sides of the political spectrum, based on fact or fiction or some form of both, but this is not an appropriate forum for this kind of discussion. Thank you for understanding.



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The virus is really underwhelming but the media push makes it a tool to damage the economy and dump Trumps reelection chances -

Those behind the DNC are pulling off anything and everything to hide their crimes, regain the narrative and but themselves back in power.

The human trafficking and black market through the southern border was incredible - McCain was supplying arms and aid to the enemy[ISIS] (treason)
[He was "put to death", congressional statement]

Port of Long Beach was another entry point [Adam Shifft/ Ed Buck / Standard hotel] (kick backs from pimping NVXUM Allison Mac - Chelsea Handler)
[Helicopter accident New Port Beach Ca, Killed execs from hotel/ AZ Piper accident killed managers]

Clintons/Bushs had drug operations in Viet Nam then Afganastian (War on drugs was a war against the competition)

Obama & Hillary were running the "Resist Movement" now they're on a short leash...They tried to wreck America Pay to Play espionage treason.

The media has not reported on any of the sealed indictments [155,072] indictments [344,000+] resignations of CEOs over 8,000 this year alone.

Deep state actors are using the virus for their profit = burry their crimes get back to human trafficking, drugs, etc, (they were doing very sick things)
[Hillary Clinton , CLINTON Foundation, Crimes Against Children OIG report]

Trump & Q team are using the virus to remove their control, arrest the guilty and restore the US.

Habeas Corpus has been suspended, Federal Reserve is now under Treasury Department Control, New laws for economic transparency here.

Lincoln tried, Kennedy tried, Reagan was shot, Trump did it.... The Fed is dead control back to the people and not the Central Banking Cabal.

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More news from Canada... anyone showing coronavirus type symptoms will be banned from boarding planes and intercity trains effective Monday.



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hillberg wrote:

The virus is really underwhelming but the media push makes it a tool to damage the economy and dump Trumps reelection chances -

Those behind the DNC are pulling off anything and everything to hide their crimes, regain the narrative and but themselves back in power.

The human trafficking and black market through the southern border was incredible - McCain was supplying arms and aid to the enemy[ISIS] (treason)
[He was "put to death", congressional statement]

Port of Long Beach was another entry point [Adam Shifft/ Ed Buck / Standard hotel] (kick backs from pimping NVXUM Allison Mac - Chelsea Handler)
[Helicopter accident New Port Beach Ca, Killed execs from hotel/ AZ Piper accident killed managers]

Clintons/Bushs had drug operations in Viet Nam then Afganastian (War on drugs was a war against the competition)

Obama & Hillary were running the "Resist Movement" now they're on a short leash...They tried to wreck America Pay to Play espionage treason.

The media has not reported on any of the sealed indictments [155,072] indictments [344,000+] resignations of CEOs over 8,000 this year alone.

Deep state actors are using the virus for their profit = burry their crimes get back to human trafficking, drugs, etc, (they were doing very sick things)
[Hillary Clinton , CLINTON Foundation, Crimes Against Children OIG report]

Trump & Q team are using the virus to remove their control, arrest the guilty and restore the US.

Habeas Corpus has been suspended, Federal Reserve is now under Treasury Department Control, New laws for economic transparency here.

Lincoln tried, Kennedy tried, Reagan was shot, Trump did it.... The Fed is dead control back to the people and not the Central Banking Cabal.


 Is this appropriate for this subreddit. : CatsAre*******s



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Pepper wrote:

More news from Canada... anyone showing coronavirus type symptoms will be banned from boarding planes and intercity trains effective Monday.


 try being across the pond, we're all in lockdown. fun times. :P



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Parts of the USA are too. New York/ Jersey and Connecticut are under a 14-day travel advisory. National guard everywhere and lots of businesses shut down. Crazy ****.



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