Connect with us

Latest Stories

As more patients seem to be surviving infection, John Naish asks: has Covid-19 burned itself out?

Published

on

as more patients seem to be surviving infection john naish asks has covid 19 burned itself out

Nearly three months into Britain’s coronavirus pandemic and death and infection rates are falling steadily. 

Elsewhere in the world, in countries that are some weeks ahead of us and where lockdown restrictions have been eased, there are as yet few signs of a dreaded ‘second wave’ – although it is early days.

Now some scientists are suggesting – tentatively to be sure – that this strain of the coronavirus may be following a path beaten by other pathogens, whereby the murderous intruder evolves into a house-guest that lives peaceably inside us.

Three months into lockdown in Britain (pictured) and the number of deaths and daily cases are beginning to fall

Three months into lockdown in Britain (pictured) and the number of deaths and daily cases are beginning to fall

Three months into lockdown in Britain (pictured) and the number of deaths and daily cases are beginning to fall 

Daily deaths from coronavirus remain low in the UK, with just 38 recorded on Monday meaning the total sits at 41,736 overall

Daily deaths from coronavirus remain low in the UK, with just 38 recorded on Monday meaning the total sits at 41,736 overall

Daily deaths from coronavirus remain low in the UK, with just 38 recorded on Monday meaning the total sits at 41,736 overall

 Early evidence for this positive development comes from northern Italy which suffered the full force of the pandemic weeks before it hit us.

Late last month, Professor Matteo Bassetti, the head of infectious diseases at San Martino hospital in Genoa, told journalists: ‘The strength the virus had two months ago is not the same strength it has today. 

‘The majority of patients [seen] during March and April were very sick with acute respiratory distress syndrome, shock, multiple organ failure.

‘The majority died in the first days after admission. We no longer see these types of patients. 

‘Is this because the virus lost some viral potency?’ he asked. ‘I don’t know.’

A positive sign in the European fight against coronavirus: Italian mayor of Gorizia (left) reopens the border with Slovenia in the north of Italy - one of the areas most devastated by the virus. It comes as Italian scientist say the virus is weakening

A positive sign in the European fight against coronavirus: Italian mayor of Gorizia (left) reopens the border with Slovenia in the north of Italy - one of the areas most devastated by the virus. It comes as Italian scientist say the virus is weakening

A positive sign in the European fight against coronavirus: Italian mayor of Gorizia (left) reopens the border with Slovenia in the north of Italy – one of the areas most devastated by the virus. It comes as Italian scientist say the virus is weakening 

His observation is supported by an analysis of local death rates by Professor Lamberto Manzoli, an epidemiologist at northern Italy’s Ferrara University. 

His results suggest that from March to April, mortality from Covid-19 across all ages fell by more than half.

Professor Manzoli’s paper has not yet been published in a reputable scientific journal and so has not been subject to peer review. 

Scientists are still on a steep learning curve with this novel virus, but other observations feed into this theory.

In China, as far as we know, there have been localised spikes – including the current outbreak associated with a market in Beijing – but no widespread surge.

In France, Spain and Italy, where some semblance of normal life began two to three weeks ago, both new infections and deaths remain low.

In European countries such as France (pictured), a sense of normal life has returned with the number of cases and deaths remaining low

In European countries such as France (pictured), a sense of normal life has returned with the number of cases and deaths remaining low

In European countries such as France (pictured), a sense of normal life has returned with the number of cases and deaths remaining low

A similar apparent fall in lethality has been reported in America. Lee Riley, a professor of infectious diseases at the University of California, Berkeley, told the science publication Elemental that data from New York hints at an improvement in recoveries. 

‘Every time a virus passes from one person to another it goes through mutations,’ he says. 

‘These can accumulate and the virulence of the virus can ultimately lessen. It’s in the nature of these viruses to get tired after a while.’

While the world must hope and pray that the virulence is waning, there are some caveats, including two other possible explanations for the drop in deaths. 

The first is that treatment has vastly improved as doctors have acquired experience of managing Covid-19.

Indeed, Prof Manzoli acknowledges that clinical protocols seem more effective now. In the early days, clinicians waited until the condition worsened before giving drugs and ventilation – the ‘Chinese protocol’. Now they start early, he says.

Alternatively, the virus might simply have infected and killed the most vulnerable first, with more resilient patients surviving.

UK experts are dubious, arguing that the genetics of the disease have not changed. Dr Oscar MacLean, a bioinformatician at Glasgow University’s Institute for Infection, Immunity, and Inflammation, argues: ‘We’ve seen no evidence of widespread [reduction in its lethality].’ 

UK scientists remain sceptical, however, with regards to the debate surrounding the reduction in the virus' lethality

UK scientists remain sceptical, however, with regards to the debate surrounding the reduction in the virus' lethality

UK scientists remain sceptical, however, with regards to the debate surrounding the reduction in the virus’ lethality

He adds: ‘The golden rule is that viruses tend to evolve over time to become less pathogenic, but that doesn’t happen over a matter of a few months. It’s more a matter of years.’

Viruses can evolve to a point where they can indeed help their hosts (human or animal), establishing a symbiotic relationship from which both species benefit.

This may be the optimum state for the pathogen which has one purpose – to reproduce itself and infect new individuals and it can better achieve this if it does not kill its host (one reason why the Ebola virus outbreaks, with a 50 per cent fatality rate, tend to burn out).

Dr Frank Ryan, a British evolutionary biologist and author of Virolution, about the powerful role of viruses in evolution, calls the beneficial relationship ‘aggressive symbiosis’.

The herpes virus, for example, has developed symbiosis with the squirrel monkey, passing harmlessly from mother to baby. 

If a rival species such as marmosets invades squirrel-monkey territory, the virus infects the challenger to devastating effect.

It is in the squirrel monkeys’ interest not to purge the virus, so its immune system views it as friend rather than intruder.

Perhaps this type of ‘jungle immune system’ helps wild bats. 

In fact, some ecologists have speculated on whether Covid-19 might be bats’ acquired defence against humans destroying their habitats and eating them.

Could we even ultimately develop a mutually beneficial relationship with coronavirus? 

We know that nearly 10 per cent of the human genome comprises genetic material from viruses that invaded us in the past and this ‘borrowed’ viral DNA does vital work – ranging from enabling us to digest starchy foods to, ironically, helping us to fight infections.

Conversely, the Covid-19 virus might never bring anything useful to the human genetic table.

But three months on, even the slightest hint that it is in retreat – and for whatever reason – is something to hold on to.

Powered by: Daily Mail

Latest Stories

Video of woman washing her boyfriend’s pillows for the first time in 10 YEARS horrifies social media

Published

on

By

video of woman washing her boyfriends pillows for the first time in 10 years horrifies social media

A woman has filmed herself washing her boyfriend’s stained pillows for the first time in 10 years — and social media users are horrified by the state of them. 

In the viral video, the TikToker claimed her boyfriend refuses to replace his decade-old pillows, noting that he never washed them once in all of the time he has had them.

She documented the entire cleaning process, washing three of the dingy pillows — which were yellowed and filthy — and the result is astounding.

Filthy: A TikTok user filmed a video of herself cleaning her boyfriend's pillows for the first time in 10 years, explaining that he refuses to replace them

Filthy: A TikTok user filmed a video of herself cleaning her boyfriend's pillows for the first time in 10 years, explaining that he refuses to replace them

Filthy: A TikTok user filmed a video of herself cleaning her boyfriend's pillows for the first time in 10 years, explaining that he refuses to replace them

Filthy: A TikTok user filmed a video of herself cleaning her boyfriend's pillows for the first time in 10 years, explaining that he refuses to replace them

Filthy: A TikTok user filmed a video of herself cleaning her boyfriend’s pillows for the first time in 10 years, explaining that he refuses to replace them 

While her boyfriend was at work, she placed them in the bathtub and threw in a couple of dishwasher tablets.

She then poured some Borax powder into the tub before adding bleach into the mixture.

The TikToker proceeded to use a mop to wring out the dirt from the pillows, and then tossed them into the washing machine.

Surprisingly, the pillows came out completely white — a stark contrast to their dark yellow and brown shade before the wash. 

Getting started: She placed them in the bathtub and threw in a couple of dishwasher tablets

Getting started: She placed them in the bathtub and threw in a couple of dishwasher tablets

Getting started: She placed them in the bathtub and threw in a couple of dishwasher tablets

Getting started: She placed them in the bathtub and threw in a couple of dishwasher tablets

Getting started: She placed them in the bathtub and threw in a couple of dishwasher tablets

Next up: The TikToker also added Borax power and bleach to the water

Next up: The TikToker also added Borax power and bleach to the water

Next up: The TikToker also added Borax power and bleach to the water

Next up: The TikToker also added Borax power and bleach to the water

Next up: The TikToker also added Borax power and bleach to the water 

The video has since gone viral on TikTok, gaining over 1.7 million views and leaving users in shock at the state of the pillows before they were washed. 

‘With that alone, I would replace the boyfriend. Hygiene is everything,’ one person wrote, while another added: ’10 years of sweat, dead skin, dirt, oil and bacteria’ 

Someone else commented: ‘They are meant to be replaced every two years… they come with expiry dates on them…’

Social media users certainly had reason to be appalled, considering pillows are supposed to be replaced every one or two years and washed at least four times a year.   

Getting them clean: She proceeded to use a mop to wring out the dirt from the pillows

Getting them clean: She proceeded to use a mop to wring out the dirt from the pillows

Getting them clean: She proceeded to use a mop to wring out the dirt from the pillows

Getting them clean: She proceeded to use a mop to wring out the dirt from the pillows

Getting them clean: She proceeded to use a mop to wring out the dirt from the pillows

Amazing: After throwing the soaked pillows in the wash, they came out perfectly white

Amazing: After throwing the soaked pillows in the wash, they came out perfectly white

Amazing: After throwing the soaked pillows in the wash, they came out perfectly white

Amazing: After throwing the soaked pillows in the wash, they came out perfectly white

Amazing: After throwing the soaked pillows in the wash, they came out perfectly white

An expert from Christy England, which supplies to Wimbledon and the royal family, told FEMAIL in April that ‘pillows should be washed every three months because, similar to bedding, they contain a build-up of sweat and dead skin.’ 

And while most people think that a whirl in the washing machine will thoroughly clean their clothes and linens — but it turns out that some fabrics may be retaining a horrifying buildup of dirt.

‘Stripping’ laundry is the special trick that gets everything super clean, removing the grime that washing machines won’t.

The technique involves soaking laundry in a tub of hot water, baking soda, Borax, and detergent, similar to what the TikToker did to her boyfriend’s pillows. 

Like new: The Tiktoker joked that she 'can sleep better knowing those nasty pillows are clean'

Like new: The Tiktoker joked that she 'can sleep better knowing those nasty pillows are clean'

Like new: The Tiktoker joked that she 'can sleep better knowing those nasty pillows are clean'

Like new: The Tiktoker joked that she 'can sleep better knowing those nasty pillows are clean'

Like new: The Tiktoker joked that she ‘can sleep better knowing those nasty pillows are clean’

33536796 8765053 image a 90 1600879674088

33536796 8765053 image a 90 1600879674088

33536784 8765053 image a 91 1600879677225

33536784 8765053 image a 91 1600879677225

Say what? Social media users were horrified by the filthy brown pillows

Say what? Social media users were horrified by the filthy brown pillows

Say what? Social media users were horrified by the filthy brown pillows 

People have been stripping their laundry for ages, but the process is reaching a new generation after going viral on TikTok in recent months. 

Nurse Lauren Elms shared several walk-throughs on the app, first stripping her workout clothes on April 22 and then doing her towels on April 24.

The video of her stripping her towels was viewed more than six million times.

In the clip, she filled a tub with hot water and added a quarter cup of baking soda, a quarter cup of Borax, and a generous scoop of powder detergent and places her laundry in the tub.  

Lauren advised stirring the clothes every couple of hours, but she showed that just ten minutes in, the water was already dirty. After seven hours, the water was a filthy, dark brown color.

She pointed out that her clothes and towels were actually ‘clean’ when they went in the tub, so this was all buildup. She told viewers to finish up by re-washing their laundry as they normally would in a machine. 

Get stripping! Most people think that the washing machine will thoroughly clean their clothes and linens — but it turns out that some fabrics may be retaining a horrifying buildup of dirt

Get stripping! Most people think that the washing machine will thoroughly clean their clothes and linens — but it turns out that some fabrics may be retaining a horrifying buildup of dirt

Get stripping! Most people think that the washing machine will thoroughly clean their clothes and linens — but it turns out that some fabrics may be retaining a horrifying buildup of dirt

Mix it up: 'Stripping' laundry involves soaking laundry in a tub of hot water, baking soda, Borax, and detergent

Mix it up: 'Stripping' laundry involves soaking laundry in a tub of hot water, baking soda, Borax, and detergent

Mix it up: 'Stripping' laundry involves soaking laundry in a tub of hot water, baking soda, Borax, and detergent

Mix it up: 'Stripping' laundry involves soaking laundry in a tub of hot water, baking soda, Borax, and detergent

Mix it up: ‘Stripping’ laundry involves soaking laundry in a tub of hot water, baking soda, Borax, and detergent

Yuck! After soaking the laundry in the solution, it may leave behind water that looks like this

Yuck! After soaking the laundry in the solution, it may leave behind water that looks like this

Yuck! After soaking the laundry in the solution, it may leave behind water that looks like this

She also showed that the bottom of her drained tub was dirtied with a surprising residue from the soak.

Lauren’s video set off a trend, and several others have mimicked her with their own clips. Some just shared shocked and horrified reactions, while others replicated the experiment with their own clothes.

According to The Spruce, ‘body soil and bacteria’ can get stuck in fabrics, especially terry cloth towels.

That’s why some older towels and gym clothes may smell clean immediately after coming out of the wash, but will start to smell as soon as they get damp.

When laundry is thrown in the wash, the soap is doing a lot of the work to clean it — but it’s still circulating in dirty water, which gets reabsorbed into the fabric.

Stripping can get rid of some of the dirt and bacteria, while smells can be killed by adding vinegar to a wash.

Powered by: Daily Mail

Continue Reading

Latest Stories

PAUL THOMAS on… our military Covid marshals

Published

on

By

paul thomas on our military covid marshals
33546296 8766691 image a 34 1600910835132

33546296 8766691 image a 34 1600910835132

To order a print of this Paul Thomas cartoon or one by Pugh, visit Mailpictures.newsprints.co.uk or call 0191 6030 178. 

Powered by: Daily Mail

Continue Reading

Latest Stories

Chief Scientific Officer Sir Patrick Vallance has £600,000 of shares in vaccine maker GSK

Published

on

By

chief scientific officer sir patrick vallance has 600000 of shares in vaccine maker gsk

Sir Patrick Vallance has a £600,000 shareholding in a pharmaceuticals giant which is racing to develop a Covid vaccine for the Government, a report has revealed.

The Chief Scientific Adviser holds the deferred bonus of 43,111 shares in GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) from his time as president of the multinational company.

Sir Patrick has already sold more than £5 million in shares he received during his tenure from 2012 to 2018, when he was appointed by the Government.

Accounts seen by the Telegraph show that Sir Patrick held 404,201 GSK shares when he resigned, worth £6.1 million at today’s price.

Sir Patrick Vallance speaking to the nation on Monday night. He and Chris Whitty outlined why the Government was announcing a raft of new lockdown measures

Sir Patrick Vallance speaking to the nation on Monday night. He and Chris Whitty outlined why the Government was announcing a raft of new lockdown measures

Sir Patrick Vallance speaking to the nation on Monday night. He and Chris Whitty outlined why the Government was announcing a raft of new lockdown measures

Sir Patrick, who also chairs the Government’s expert panel on vaccines, predicted at a news conference this week that the first effective doses of a jab might become available on a limited basis by the end of this year.

GSK is one of more than 20 drugs companies around the world in the race to provide the cure for coronavirus – an achievement which would be colossally lucrative.

Sir Patrick’s former employer has deals with the British and US governments to supply them with Covid-19 vaccines, subject to terms in a final contract.

A senior Conservative MP and ex-Cabinet minister told The Telegraph that Sir Patrick should have declared his stake in GSK.

‘The policy of this Government is to try to suppress Covid at every opportunity until we get a vaccine,’ the MP said. ‘That makes it more likely that a vaccine will be prioritised by the Government and he happens to be holding shares in one of the leading companies that are developing it. It is a potential conflict of interest.

‘If he is making decisions on vaccines and advising the Government on them, then he either needs to divest himself of the shares or make a declaration every time he touches on the subject. In the Commons, every time MPs raise an issue in which there is a registered interest, they have to declare it. Every time he is talking about vaccines or on TV, he should put it on the table.’

The GlaxoSmithKline pharmaceuticals headquarters in Brentford, west London

The GlaxoSmithKline pharmaceuticals headquarters in Brentford, west London

The GlaxoSmithKline pharmaceuticals headquarters in Brentford, west London

A government spokesman said that Sir Patrick holds a deferred share bonus which will mature in April but declined to comment on the size of the holding or its value.

‘Upon his appointment, appropriate steps were taken to manage the Government Chief Scientific Adviser’s (GCSA) interests in line with advice provided at the time,’ the spokesman said.

The Government’s spokesman added that while Sir Patrick chairs the Government’s expert panel on vaccines, he ‘has no input into contractual and commercial decisions on vaccine procurement,’ which are the province of ministers.

Powered by: Daily Mail

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 DiazHub.