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The Montserrat Reporter

October 21, 2022

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Covid: Man shares ‘the backbone’ of protection that kept him Covid-free – It’s ‘easy’

Reprint… abstracts

WITH COVID infections rising throughout the country, many are catching the virus all over again. The current wave is fuelled by Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 that have been linked to reinfection. However, a man swears by an “easy” safety measure that kept him safe through travelling, flying and attending conferences.

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By DIANA BUNTAJOVA – Jul 6, 2022

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As BA.4 and BA.5 appear to be able to reinfect even those who’ve recently had Covid, some hospitals in the UK started making masks mandatory again. And they might be onto something. Eric Kennedy explained that his N95 face covering managed to keep him safe through weeks of travelling and attending conferences.


Mr Kennedy shared on Twitter: “I know it feels impossible to avoid Covid these days, but I just travelled for four weeks, took 10 flights, gave four in-person presentations, and attended three conferences without catching Covid.”

What’s more, the Assistant Professor of Emergency Management shared that “you can too”.

If you’re looking for a way to protect yourself from the current rising cases, Mr Kennedy recommended an N95 mask.

An N95 mask describes a special type of face covering, also known as a respirator.

READ MORE: Cancer warning: Popular UK drink can cause ‘several types’ of cancer – ‘strong agreement’

Covid: Man shares N95 mask is ‘the backbone' of protection against the virus.
Covid: Man shares N95 mask is ‘the backbone’ of protection against the virus. (Image: GETTY)

This type is believed to offer the highest level of protection.

Mr Kennedy penned: “Because Covid is airborne, two rules formed the backbone of my protection:(1) Wear a well-fit N95, (2) Don’t not wear a well-fit N95.

“#1 is relatively easy. #2 can be hard.

“A high-quality mask is your best defence against not just [again] Covid, but also other airborne infections.”

Furthermore, research looking into coronavirus and masks does support this technique that managed to keep Kennedy Covid free.


Covid symptoms: Seven reasons people could have avoided infection – doctor explains [INFORMER]

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Cancer warning: Popular UK drink can cause ‘several types’ of cancer – ‘strong agreement’[INFORMER]



Evidence has shown that masks are able to filter out respiratory droplets and particles, protecting the wearer and others.

This is meaningful as Covid is an airborne virus that spreads through droplets and particles released into the air when coughing, sneezing or speaking.

However, the research also stresses that not all masks offer the same level of protection.

Experts recommend certified masks, such as FFP2 or N95 masks as they are able to filter out between 94 to 98 percent of aerosols, including airborne viruses like coronavirus.

READ MORE: David Harbour: Stranger Things actor on being sent to an ‘institution’ for mental health


Mr Kennedy also explained that it’s not just the highly-effective mask that’s important but also the way you wear it.

He said: “Every time I put it on, I spend a minute bending the nose piece to make sure it doesn’t leave any gaps around my nose/eyes.

“I shave my face daily to ensure it gets a good seal. And, I run my fingers around the edge of the mask to make sure it’s pulled snug to my face.”

As masks are no longer required by the law, he has to decide when he needs it.


See the latest Covid vaccine stats below and visit InYourArea for all the Covid vaccine latest

He shared what helps him decide. Mr Kennedy said: “The easiest thing for me to do is think of Covid like cigarette smoke.

“I ask myself, ‘If someone was smoking/had smoked here, might I smell it?’ If the answer is yes, I put on my mask.

“Alone outside? Probably wouldn’t smell a cigarette. But, a crowded patio? Absolutely.”

So throughout the travelling, conferences and even presentations, he was wearing his mask.

He explained that the rule#2 ‘Don’t not wear a well-fit N95’ is harder and more tempting to break but breaking it means the virus can strike.

“Covid is highly transmissible, but it’s not magic,” he added.



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  1. View the profile of "Pished.Artist"Pished.ArtistJULY 7, 2022I have never had covid, your point is ?REPLY 0SHAREFLAG
    • GUGuyWJULY 7, 2022The maximum safe level of CO2 according to the H&S is 6,000ppm and a tight fitting N95 mask will produce a CO2 level of over 13,000ppm which will cause harm. Dizziness, nausea, and the reduced immune response, increased heat in the facial cavity and greater chance of respiratory infection.REPLY 0SHAREFLAG
      • THThornInTheSideJULY 7, 2022The N95 mask must be perfectly fitted to be effective, as any leaks whatsoever around the edges render it useless. And a perfectly fitted N95 mask is not at all a comfortable wear as it leaves marks on the skin, restricts air flow causing you to re-breathe your own exhaled breath, and produces stress on the lungs and respiratory system. Many people wearing N95 masks properly complain of headaches as a result.Lastly, the N95 can not be worn for long periods of time as the body must be given rest from it – medical personnel who have to wear such masks can only wear them for short periods of time.I doubt this fellow wore a properly fitted N95 mask given his description of how he used it.REPLY 0SHAREFLAG
          • THThornInTheSideJULY 7, 2022Reply to DeadmanwalkingThat really works!REPLY 1SHAREFLAG
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        • BBbbcphobiaJULY 6, 2022People who are quadrupled jabbed and wear masks catch covid and die. So you have to be seriously gullible to believe either the jab or the mask are any use.REPLY 4SHAREFLAG

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          Queen Elizabeth’s Cause Of Death Confirms What We Suspected

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          Queen Elizabeth II died on September 8 at the age of 96, after 70 years on the throne. Queen Elizabeth II spent her final moments at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, a country that was very near in dear to her heart, per BBC. The queen’s death spurred widespread mourning from people all across the globe. Of course, her home country of England expressed their grief in the most momentous ways. According to PBS, thousands of people braved chilly temperatures and exposure to the elements to flock to Westminster Hall for the chance to pay their respects to the queen prior to her funeral. Queen Elizabeth smiling© Wpa Pool/Getty Images Queen Elizabeth smiling

          In the immediate moments after Queen Elizabeth II’s death, King Charles III extended the period of royal mourning past the eight days which are standard for national mourning. “Following the death of Her Majesty The Queen, it is His Majesty The King’s wish that a period of Royal Mourning be observed from now until seven days after The Queen’s Funeral,” King Charles III said in a statement, per Newsweek. Given that the queen’s funeral took place on September 19, the period of royal mourning ended on September 26. 

          Now, just over a week after Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral and private burial, we now know her cause of death and it’s exactly what we suspected.

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          Queen Elizabeth II’s official cause of death has been revealed. On September 19, the National Records of Scotland published her death certificate, which revealed that she died at 3:10 p.m. EST from “old” age. Within the document, you see that the queen’s daughter, Princess Anne signed the death certificate, via People.

          In the month’s leading up to Queen Elizabeth II’s passing, she experienced a few concerning health issues. In June of this year, the queen was noticeably absent from key events during her Platinum Jubilee, which celebrated her 70th year on the throne. A statement made by Buckingham Palace to Harper’s Bazaaar cited mobility issues on the queen’s part. “Her Majesty enjoyed today immensely, but episodic mobility issues were experienced during the course of the day,” read the statement in part. In February, the queen suffered from a bout of coronavirus that left her “very tired and exhausted,” per BBC

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          An entire seafront leveled – no one expected Hurricane Ian to be so vicious and so damaging

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          An entire seafront levelled – no one expected Hurricane Ian to be so vicious and so damaging(opens in a new tab)

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          The seafront has been levelled – now littered with the remnants of the shops and restaurants that made it a bustling tourist resort.

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          “One guy held onto a palm tree for two minutes, but then he was gone, the water was moving so fast.”

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          Wyatt and Brooke Jordan stayed in a building just back from the seafront with their four children.

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          ECCB rolls out DCash

          by Bennette Roach – April 1, 2022

          DCash and Montserrat

          When Governor Timothy N.J. Antoine of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) boasted, “our digital currency DCash is the first monetary union in the world to launch a digital currency”, that was him speaking on Tuesday, December 7, 2021, at 2:00 p.m.

          Just this month, the ECCB received two awards: The Central Banking 2022 Green Initiative Award for installing a solar energy farm at the Bank’s Basseterre headquarters and significantly reducing its carbon footprint; and the Best New Banknote Series award from Reconnaissance International; these two prestigious awarding authorities are based in the UK.

          Last year, the ECCB received the CBDC Infrastructure Award at the FinTech & RegTech Global Awards hosted by Central Banking.  Bitt, the technology partner for the DCash pilot, was also named Central Banking’s 2021 Central Bank Digital Currency Partner. In 2017, the ECCB received the Action Learning award.  

          The boast then was made on the occasion the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank’s (ECCB) Governor hosted in Dominica in a virtual launch, expressed his pleasure to be rolling out the DCash pilot to two additional member countries in the Commonwealth of Dominica and Montserrat. DBS Radio in the Commonwealth of Dominica and ZJB Radio in Montserrat provided live radio coverage of the day’s launch from 2:00 p.m.

          “I’m delighted to welcome the commonwealth of Dominica and Montserrat to our DCash family, and I feel in a sense as if this being the Christmas season, that we’ve presented a gift to the people of Montserrat and Dominica, by presenting and launching DCash.

          Governor Antoine Remarks at DCash Launch in the Commonwealth of Dominica and Montserrat

          “Payments are the lifeblood of every economy,” the Governor said in his opening remarks.

          In March 2021, DCash – the digital version of the EC dollar – was launched in four of the eight-member ECCU countries, namely Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, St. Christopher (St. Kitts) and Nevis, and Saint Lucia, then in August in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

          After today’s launch, the remaining member country where DCash will be launched is Anguilla.

          “The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank truly believes that the payment system should work for all, except for illicit actors,” Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, Mr. Timothy N.J. Antoine said, addressing the justification for creating the DCash Central Bank Digital Currency. “That means it must work for small states and small businesses,” the ECCB Governor added while noting that presently, “payments are too slow and too expensive.”

           So, how does this DCash work?

          The free DCash (Digital Cash) app on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store enables users to send and receive money from their family members, friends, or customers who live in the same country or in any other Eastern Caribbean country where DCash has been launched. DCash transactions are processed in real-time, with no transfer fees during the pilot project.

          DCash, which can be used with or without a bank account, is aimed at achieving three policy goals: payment system efficiency, financial inclusion of the unbanked and underbanked populations, and increased resilience and competitiveness in the ECCU.

          The ECCB Governor explained. “All of these goals are aimed at boosting economic growth, but ultimately at propelling our agenda of socioeconomic transformation for the shared prosperity of the people of our Currency Union. That is always fundamentally what is at stake here – shared prosperity for the people we serve – and we believe that to do that, we have to transform the region, and DCash is an important instrument in what is really the bigger conversation about the buildout of a digital economy for our Currency Union,”

          “Our single largest asset as a Central Bank is trust, and therefore we believe we have an obligation to leverage that trust to help build out the digital economy – and we locate DCash as an important advance in the ultimate digitalisation of our economy and society,” Governor Antoine also said.

          Unwrap the Gift

          In concluding his brief opening remarks the Governor by making the point: “… the fundamental value proposition of DCash is – faster, cheaper and safer. It’s faster than anything you will find on the market; it’s cheaper than anything you will find on the market and it’s safer than anything you will find. But our motivation is not to make a profit.

          “This investment by your central bank has been done in your name and for you and the benefits to be derived are for you the people of our currency union. So our satisfaction will come from seeing people use the cash, and as a man of faith, and as I reflect in this Christmas season and this yuletide season I can think of a gift that has been given to us that which some of us have not yet unwrapped.”

          “I’ll leave you to think about that and I will simply say to you DCash is a gift that has been presented to you please unwrap and use the gift.”

           The photo of the launch shows those in Montserrat who officiated in the rollout. They were Miss Maureen Estwick, Resident ECCB agent who gave the vote of thanks for the virtual event, Mr. Baldwin Taylor, Manager of Bank of Montserrat (BoM); Mr. Peter Queeley, Manager, St. Patrick’s Co-operative Credit Union (SPCCU); and, Mr. Manish Valecha, DCash Merchant, Agent, and End-user.

          These, representing the two financial institutions and DCash agency in Montserrat, all gave brief accolades about the DCash product and its introduction.  Mr. Valecha in his brief, expressed his pleasure, lamenting he didn’t know how people managed to do business before and that “…DCash is here, faster, cheaper and safer way to pay for goods and services locally and regionally as well as ECCB is on its way providing social and economic activity through DCash…”

          Mr. Queeley thanked ECCB for its foresight, efficiency, and inclusiveness, enhancing financial activity, adding: “…secondly, I wish to further congratulate the ECCB for having the wisdom and foresight to include small non-banking institutions such as the Credit Union in the participation in the rollout of DCash in Montserrat and indeed in the ECCU region…”

          BoM Manager Mr. Taylor expressed being honoured to be a part of “this rollout of DCash! It fits right into the strategic objectives of Bank of Montserrat to make banking, more efficient, faster, and cheaper for our customers, fitting into the theme of DCash,” he said.

          Deputy Premier of Montserrat, Honourable Samuel Joseph, representing the Government said of DCash: “…this digital revolution has the potential to raise the income level in the region… the OECS face numerous challenges, but our region will not be defined by the adversities but how we deal with them.

          Minister of Digital Economy, Honourable Cassanni Laville, Commonwealth of Dominica at DCash Launch said at the virtual host site in Dominica, “We wholeheartedly embrace the launch of DCash, and I encourage merchants and consumers especially in Dominica and Montserrat and all the other participating countries to sign on and use this service. I have already done so and I must say it is easy to use.

          When the DCash pilot project rolled out a year ago consumers signed up to use the new currency either through a participating financial institution or via an authorised DCash agent.

          The ECCB rolled out DCash initially in Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Saint Christopher (St Kitts) and Nevis, and Saint Lucia as part of the ECCB’s Digital Currency Pilot.

          To learn more about the ECCB’s DCash pilot project, log on to and its Facebook page @DCashECCU.

          DCash Launch Event – Commonwealth of Dominica and Montserrat

          Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, International, Local, News, OECS, Regional0 Comments


          15 Signs You May Have Already Had Covid-19, Doctors Reveal

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          The Healthy

          by Denise Mann, MS – Sept 22, 2022

          TMR Editor: We maintain with the sanction and advice of super medical authority that much of what follows here, if observed early (and even now) and managed accordingly, Montserrat could have been the model of least affected by the pandemic.
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          Recently, you felt exhausted and had a major stuffy nose and headache. Could it have been Covid-19?

          Most of us are aware of the history: the Covid-19 pandemic began in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December 2019. Fast-forward almost three years, and in the second half of 2022, according to Johns Hopkins University, there have now been almost 600 million documented Covid-19 cases around the globe. This includes over 93 million confirmed cases in the U.S. and counting. More than one million people have died from Covid-19.

          If you haven’t been diagnosed with Covid-19 by now, it might feel like you’re one of the lucky few. Or maybe, just maybe, you already had Covid and didn’t realize it because your symptoms were so mild. (This might have made any Covid-19 booster side effects worth it!)

          If you have felt a little “off” in recent months but didn’t know quite what was going on, here are 14 silent signs that you may have been infected with Covid-19—and what that means for you now.

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          15 Signs You May Have Already Had Covid-19, Doctors Reveal
          © kasto80/Getty Images

          Covid-19 sign: You’ve got natural antibodies

          Matthew B. Laurens, MD, MPH, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, says no one is recommending routine antibody testing to see if you have had COVID-19 or have mounted a response to the COVID-19 vaccines at this time. However, these tests are available. “There is an antibody test that can tell you if you have been exposed to natural infection, and there is a different antibody test that looks at response to the COVID-19 vaccine,” Laurens explains.

          Specifically, antibodies to nucleocapsid protein only appear if you have recovered from Covid-19, while vaccines and natural infection produce an antibody to spike proteins. “If you are positive for antibodies to the spike protein and negative for antibodies to nucleocapsid protein, you have been vaccinated, but not exposed,” he says—adding: “If you are positive for both, you have had COVID-19 and you may or may not have been vaccinated.”

          There is still a lot research is discovering about antibodies, including how long they last and what level is considered most protective…or, for how long.

          Covid-19 sign: You were feeling run down a few months back 

          Fatigue is a common symptom—and lingering effect—of Covid-19. But for those of us with busy lives (that’s just about everyone!), sometimes it’s simply hard to tell typical tiredness from something more serious. “If you didn’t feel sick enough to consider getting tested, you could have had Covid-19 and recovered without an official diagnosis.”

          Screenshot our infographic for handy reference anytime.

          Spotting Covid 19 Graphic
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          Covid-19 sign: Brain fog

          Changes related to the brain—undiagnosed or uncharacteristic depression, confusion or trouble focusing, as examples—are pervasive Covid-19 symptoms that haven’t gotten a great deal of attention. Read What Is Covid-19 Brain Fog—and How Do You Get Rid of It?

          Covid-19 sign: Your fever and cough weren’t the flu

          You had a fever for days, a hacking cough, and were exhausted, but your flu test was negative. It could have been Covid-19, says Adam Spivak, MD, an infectious disease doctor at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, noting that flu season and the Covid-19 pandemic overlapped.

          In the past year, doctors have seen cases of flurona. “If you weren’t tested at the time or you were negative for other tests such as the flu, it could have been Covid-19,” Spivak says. “There is so much overlap with colds or flu and coronavirus symptoms, which is why testing for Covid-19 has been so emphasized.” (We’ve broken down the flu vs. coronavirus symptoms here.)

          Covid-19 sign: You suddenly lost your sense of smell or taste

          You’ve heard this: loss of sense of smell or taste is a hallmark of Covid-19 infection with earlier variants. What you may not know is that these symptoms are not a slam dunk by any stretch, says Benjamin Singer, MD, an assistant professor in pulmonary and critical care at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

          Covid-19 sign: Your hair is falling out in clumps

          If you’re noticing hair loss, it could be due to a past infection with Covid-19, says Alexis Young, MD, a dermatologist at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. “This phenomenon is known as telogen effluvium and occurs when physical or psychological stress causes hair roots to be pushed into a resting state prematurely,” she explains. “It’s not specific to Covid-19, but I am seeing lots more of it among people who are recovering from Covid-19, including some who may not have known they were infected in the first place.”

          The good news is that your hair will likely come back. “Hair follicles aren’t permanently damaged with telogen effluvium,” this dermatologist says. “Shedding can continue up to six months, and full recovery can take up to 18 months because hair grows back so slowly.”

          Covid-19 sign: You’ve got hives 

          Post-Covid-19 hives are a phenomenon health professionals have observed, Young says. “We are also seeing viral exanthems, which is a skin rash that is often related to a viral infection after Covid-19,” she says.

          These seem to be more common in children than adults and can even occur if you didn’t have any noticeable Covid-19 symptoms. These hives and rashes usually resolve on their own with judicious use of moisturizer or topical steroids, if the itch is particularly bothersome.

          Covid-19 sign: Your loved ones were infected

          If Covid-19 passed through your house taking no prisoners except you, it’s possible you were infected and didn’t realize it. Many people who are infected with this virus have mild or no symptoms, and Omicron reportedly produces even milder symptoms than other variants—especially among people who are vaccinated or boosted, says Dr. Len Horovitz.

          Covid-19 sign: You just didn’t test at the right time

          It’s possible you missed the infection even if you were tested, Horovitz says. “Any test you take is snapshot of the past 12 to 24 hours, and you can’t extrapolate from a single test,” he says. “Depending on when and how you tested, you may not have caught the infection.” At-home Covid-19 antigen tests aren’t that sensitive either, so you may have received a false negative.

          Covid-19 sign: Your toes were affected

          “Covid toes” can happen, Dr. Singer says. Covid toes are marked by purple or red, itchy wounds. “Skin manifestations, particularly of the toes, could be something that makes people who weren’t tested look back and say, ‘Was that a manifestation of Covid-19?'” he says.

          He cautions that toes with this appearance aren’t a sure sign of Covid-19, as there could be other causes. If you have questions, talk to your doctor.

          Adult woman being sick
          © Brothers91/Getty Images

          Covid-19 sign: Your stomach was acting up

          Covid-19 is a respiratory illness, but not everyone coughs or gets short of breath. For some, diarrhea may be the only sign of infection, Dr. Horovitz says.

          If you have digestive symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting and were in contact with individuals infected with Covid-19, you should have a higher index of suspicion, he says. (Also, these remedies for diarrhea may help.)

          Covid-19 sign: You had a stroke out of the blue

          There’s a link between Covid-19 and stroke risk, even among younger patients. Here’s what doctors and researchers know so far about stroke risk and coronavirus.

          Also, here are the warning signs of stroke, and what to do if you suspect a stroke.

          Covid-19 sign: You woke up with pink eye

          Pink eye infection, or conjunctivitis, may be a sign of coronavirus—but this has been relatively rare, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. If you develop pink eye, don’t panic. “Call your ophthalmologist to let them know and follow their instructions for care,” the Academy suggests.

          Covid-19 sign: You’ve got cotton mouth

          Is your dry mouth a symptom of Covid-19?

          Maybe. As many as 40 percent of people with Covid-19 may experience symptoms of dry mouth during or after the illness, according to a study in the Journal of Dental Research. And now research in the journal Nature Medicine provides clues as to how Covid-19 affects the mouth and saliva.

          Researchers from Wellcome Sanger Institute in Cambridge, U.K. and other organizations in the U.S. and U.K. identified the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptor, or ACE2 receptor, in cells of the salivary glands and tissues lining the mouth. This is the protein that SARS-CoV-2 locks into for entry into the body.

          They also found that the virus can multiply in the cells of your salivary glands.

          Covid-19 sign: You’re experiencing “phantom smells”

          Some people recovering from Covid-19 report that they constantly smell smoke, garbage, or even skunk-like odors that aren’t really there. These phantom smells tend to become more common over time, with recent figures suggesting that about 25 percent of people experienced these otherwise unexplainable smells soon after diagnosis, according to the preprint server medRxiv. (This information has not yet been peer-reviewed.)

          How to prevent Covid-19 infection

          There is still a huge role for prevention, Horovitz says. “Get vaccinated and boostered when you are able to,” he says. “Wear masks when inside public spaces and places and practice social distancing.” (Here’s why you still need to wear a mask indoors if you’re vaccinated.)

          Also be sure to wash your hands with soap or water before, during, and after preparing food or eating. Also wash after caring for someone at home who is sick, treating a cut or wound, going to the bathroom, changing diapers, blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If a sink isn’t available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.

          Next, find out who is at highest risk from Covid-19.

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          Next, find out who is at highest risk from Covid-19.

          Follow The Healthy on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter. Keep reading:

          The post 15 Signs You May Have Already Had Covid-19, Doctors Reveal appeared first on The Healthy.

          Posted in COVID-19, Education, Featured, Health, International, Local, News, Regional0 Comments

          The Daily Beast

          Dreaded Side Effect Rears Its Ugly Head in Latest COVID Variant

          The Daily Beast

          The Daily Beast

          David Axe – 

          All over the world, the rates of death and hospitalization from COVID keep dropping. But our successful mitigation of the worst outcomes of the 33-month-old pandemic belie a growing crisis.

          Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Getty© Provided by The Daily Beast

          More and more people are surviving COVID and staying out of the hospital, but more and more people are also living with long-term symptoms of COVID. Fatigue. Heart problems. Stomach problems. Lung problems. Confusion. Symptoms that can last for months or even a year or more after the infection clears.

          As many as 21 percent of Americans who caught the SARS-CoV-2 virus this summer ended up suffering from long COVID starting four weeks after infection, according to a new study from City University of New York.

          That’s up from 19 percent in figures the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in June.

          Compare those numbers to the recent rates of death and hospitalization from COVID in the U.S.—three percent and .3 percent, respectively. Long COVID is by far the likeliest serious outcome from any novel-coronavirus infection. And possibly getting likelier.

          The CUNY study, which is not yet peer-reviewed, focused on American adults, but the results have implications for the whole world. Globally, long-term symptoms are partially replacing COVID deaths. After all, more COVID survivors means more people at risk of long-term symptoms. And long COVID is cumulative—people get sick and stay sick for a while.

          “Despite an increased level of protection against long COVID from vaccination, it may be that the total number of people with long COVID in the U.S. is increasing,” epidemiologist Denis Nash, the CUNY study’s lead author, told The Daily Beast. That is, every day more people catch long COVID than recover from long COVID.

          But understanding long COVID, to say nothing of preventing it, isn’t a priority in the global epidemiological establishment. That needs to change, Nash said. “I believe it is long past time to be focusing on long COVID in addition to preventing hospitalizations and deaths.”

          In recent weeks, authorities have logged around half a million new COVID cases a day, worldwide. That’s not quite as low as the 400,000 new cases a day health agencies tallied during the biggest dip in case-rates back in February 2021. But it’s close.

          What’s really remarkable, however, is how few of those half-a-million-a-day COVID infections are fatal. Lately, just 1,700 people have been dying every day—that’s a fifth as many died daily in February last year when the number of new infections every day was only slightly greater.

          Related video: Study reveals more long-term effects of COVID-19 View on Watch –

          Hospitalizations for serious COVID cases are down, too. Global statistics aren’t available, but in the U.S., COVID hospitalizations dropped from 15,000 a day 19 months ago to just 3,700 a day now.

          It’s not hard to explain the decrease in the death and hospitalization rates. Worldwide, around two-thirds of adults are at least partially vaccinated. Billions of people also have antibodies from past infections they survived. Every antibody helps to blunt the absolutely worst outcomes.

          But the incidence of long COVID appears to be ticking upward. The high reinfection rate could be one reason. Currently, one in six people catches the virus more than once. Repeated infections come with the elevated risk of a whole host of problems that, not coincidentally, match the symptoms of long COVID, a team of scientists at Washington University School of Medicine and the U.S. Veterans Administration’s Saint Louis Health Care System concluded in a study this summer. The more reinfections, the more long COVID.

          Crunching the numbers from back in July, Nash’s team concluded that 7 percent of all American adults—that’s more than 18 million people—had long COVID at the time. If the same rate applies to the whole world—and there’s no reason to believe it doesn’t—the global caseload for long COVID could’ve exceeded 560 million this summer.

          That number is probably a lot higher now, considering the summer spike in infections resulting from BA.5—a million worldwide new cases a day in July.

          One thing that surprised Nash and his teammates is that the risk of long COVID isn’t uniform across the population. Young people and women are more likely to catch long COVID, the CUNY team found. Nash said the higher vaccination rate among older adults and seniors could explain the former. But the latter remains a mystery. “Further study of these groups may provide some clues about risk factors,” he said.

          Why there’s a sex gap in long COVID risk is just one unanswered question that scientists and health officials could be trying to answer. They could also be working up new vaccine strategies and public-health messaging specifically for long COVID.

          But by and large, they’re not doing much to address the risk of long-term symptoms, Nash said. Nearly three years into the COVID pandemic, authorities are still overwhelmingly focused on preventing hospitalizations and deaths—and only preventing hospitalizations and deaths.

          “Exclusively focusing on these outcomes could arguably make the long COVID situation worse,” Nash explained, “since there is a substantial amount of long COVID among people that have only had mild or less severe SARS-CoV-2 infections.”

          In that sense, long COVID is a silent crisis. One that affects potentially more than half a billion people, but which isn’t a major focus of research or public health policy. “It’s certainly valuable to save lives, but quality of life is very important, too—and that can be lacking in people who have long COVID,” Cindy Prins, a University of Florida epidemiologist, told The Daily Beast.

          We’re not powerless to prevent long COVID, of course. The same tools that can prevent hospitalization and death from COVID can also reduce the likelihood of long-term symptoms—all by lowering the chance of any COVID, short or long. Get vaccinated. Keep current on your boosters. Mask up in crowded indoor spaces.

          But given the trend in SARS-CoV-2’s evolution, long COVID could become a bigger and bigger problem even among the most careful people—and a problem begging for specific solutions. The virus is still mutating. And every new variant or subvariant has tended to be more contagious than the last, meaning more and more breakthrough infections in the fully-vaccinated and boosted.

          If you’re currently up to date on your jabs, the chances of COVID killing you or putting you in the hospital are low. But the chances of it making you sick, potentially for a very long time, are substantial—and apparently getting higher.

          Posted in COVID-19, Health, International, Local, News, Regional, Travel0 Comments


          Is this the end of COVID?

          Is this the end of Covid?

          MSN Sorcha Bradley – 

          Members of the public look at a wall of remembrance for Covid-19 victims Dan Kitwood
          Getty Images© Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

          WHO gives most upbeat assessment yet of the global battle against the virus

          The end of the global Covid-19 pandemic is “in sight”, said the World Health Organization (WHO), after data revealed that worldwide weekly deaths are at their lowest level since March 2020.

          In the week to 11 September, there were just under 11,000 Covid deaths, according to the WHO’s website, the lowest level since the UK entered its first national lockdown two years ago. And in the UK the number of infections has dropped to its lowest level “for nearly 11 months”, said Sky News.

          WHO director-general000000000000 Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “We have never been in a better position to end the pandemic – we are not there yet, but the end is in sight.

          “We can see the finish line, we’re in a winning position. But now is the worst time to stop running. Now is the time to run harder and make sure we cross the line and reap the rewards of all our hard work.”

          He added: “If we don’t take this opportunity now, we run the risk of more variants, more deaths, more disruption, and more uncertainty. So let’s seize this opportunity.” 

          This is the UN agency’s “most upbeat assessment” since it declared Covid-19 an international emergency in January 2020, said Reuters. But it has warned that the virus remains an “acute global emergency” and highlighted that during the first eight months of 2022 more than a million people died from Covid-19.

          The latest data

          According to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), around 944,700 people in private households are estimated to have had coronavirus in the week to 28 August. This represents the lowest UK total since the week to 2 October 2021, when the number was 942,600.

          Related video: WHO chief says end in sight for Covid-19 pandemic

          WHO chief says end in sight for Covid-19 pandemicUnmute

          View on Watch 

          In the week ending 2 September, there were 8,868 deaths in England and Wales, of which 314 mentioned “novel coronavirus”, accounting for 3.5% of overall deaths, said The Guardian.

          The paper reported that infections “hit 3.8m in early July this year during the spread of the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants”, but these figures have been “on a broadly downward path in recent weeks”.

          What drove the summer wave?

          The summer wave was fuelled largely by new Omicron variants, BA.4 and BA.5, the ONS said.

          Danny Altmann, a professor of immunology at Imperial College London, told The Guardian that Omicron is “poorly immunogenic, which means that catching it offers little extra protection against catching it again”.

          “This suggests that even if you had Omicron during the Christmas and New Year’s wave, it is still possible that you will catch the virus again,” The Independent reported.

          Another factor was “pandemic fatigue” leading to less cautious behaviour which, combined with the end to restrictions, meant people who had previously avoided Covid were more likely to catch it over the summer months.

          Autumn booster campaign

          While the summer wave of Covid-19 infections seems to have peaked, “another wave is anticipated in the autumn as people move inside with the colder weather”, said The Guardian.

          As a result, an autumn booster campaign will offer another vaccine dose to: adults aged 50 and over; those aged five to 49 with health conditions that put them at higher risk, including pregnant women; care home staff; frontline health and social care workers; carers aged 16 to 49; and household contacts of people with weakened immune systems, said the BBC.

          As well as Covid, The Guardian reported that “public health officials fear flu may bounce back hard and early this year, given the experience in Australia, making vaccinations for both flu and Covid a high priority in the autumn”.

          Vaccine progress

          In more welcome developments, trial results have suggested that Moderna’s new Covid-19 vaccine is five times better at boosting antibodies than its original jab.

          The pharmaceutical firm said early clinical trials showed that the next-generation jab produced 9,500 units of antibody in vaccinated individuals compared to a maximum of 1,800 units with an original booster jab.

          The company’s chief medical officer told The Telegraph that the new vaccine could boost a person’s antibodies to such an extent that a booster may only be needed annually.

          Posted in COVID-19, Featured, Health, International, Local, Regional, Science/Technology0 Comments

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