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Woman, 29, says biannual Botox injections CURED her anxiety

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woman 29 says biannual botox injections cured her

A woman who has ‘life-changing’ Botox every six months insists it helps cure her depression and anxiety. 

Sophie Attwood, 29, a PR consultant from Cheshire, began suffering from panic attacks in her teenage years and was prescribed medication by her doctor.

But when she began having Botox in her forehead and around her eyes to tackle fine lines and wrinkles, she claims she noticed a marked difference in her mood. 

Sophie is sharing her story after a new study from researchers at the University of California, San Diego found the injections could be used to treat depression. 

Sophie Attwood, 29, a PR consultant from Cheshire, pictured, has Botox every six months and insists it helps cure her depression and anxiety

Sophie Attwood, 29, a PR consultant from Cheshire, pictured, has Botox every six months and insists it helps cure her depression and anxiety

Sophie Attwood, 29, a PR consultant from Cheshire, pictured, has Botox every six months and insists it helps cure her depression and anxiety

It claimed depression was reported up to 88 per cent less often by patients treated with Botox for six of eight conditions. 

According to the World Health Organization, more than 264 million people across the globe experience depression. While the condition is normally treated with a combination of psychotherapy and anti-depressant medications, these are ineffective for around a third of patients.

Sophie, who also owns home interiors brand Husoe Home, told FEMAIL: ‘While I’m a really bubbly and outgoing person, I’ve actually suffered with anxiety and depression since my teenage years. 

‘It started when I was at university and I had my first panic attack in the middle of my English exam. 

‘I remember the feeling of my hands clamming up, the terrifying nausea and my heart feeling as it was about to fall out of my chest.’

Sophie, who also owns home interiors brand Husoe Home, began suffering from panic attacks in her teenage years and was prescribed medication by her doctor

Sophie, who also owns home interiors brand Husoe Home, began suffering from panic attacks in her teenage years and was prescribed medication by her doctor

Sophie, who also owns home interiors brand Husoe Home, began suffering from panic attacks in her teenage years and was prescribed medication by her doctor

When her condition worsened, Sophie went to see a doctor and began taking citalopram to tackle the depression that occurred as a result of her anxiety, and propranolol to calm her panic attacks. 

‘Alongside medication, I’ve also tried other therapies over the years such as hypnotherapy, acupuncture and CBD oil, alongside a balanced diet, exercise and removing alcohol and caffeine from my diet,’ she said.

Sophie told how she had contemplated having Botox done for a while because she wanted to get rid of a few fine lines that had started to appear around her eyes. 

‘I visited cosmetic doctor Dr Shirin Lakhani at her clinic Elite Aesthetics in Kent for the treatment and she treated my forehead and around my eyes with a sprinkling of Botox,’ she recalled. 

Sophie told how she had contemplated having Botox done for a while because she wanted to get rid of a few fine lines that had started to appear around her eyes

Sophie told how she had contemplated having Botox done for a while because she wanted to get rid of a few fine lines that had started to appear around her eyes

Sophie told how she had contemplated having Botox done for a while because she wanted to get rid of a few fine lines that had started to appear around her eyes

‘A few days later I really do remember feeling happy and just generally carefree. 

‘I usually panic on public transport and sit twiddling my fingers and checking to see whether the toilet is free in case I feel sick from my panic attacks – but that day I didn’t even question it. 

BOTOX: THE FACTS 

Botox, short for ‘Botulinum toxin’, is a neurotoxic protein made by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. 

It is one of the most potent poisons known to humankind.

Botox halts the release of a chemical messenger in the body that is involved in the activation of muscles. 

While it can be used to relax muscles and treat issues from spasms to overactive bladders, it has become known for its cosmetic potential. 

By relaxing face muscles, Botox can cause wrinkles to relax and soften, albeit on a temporary basis. 

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‘I felt just a general feeling of happiness throughout the weeks that went by. It took me a while to realise the correlation between my emotions and the Botox but it was the only thing that had changed.’

The recent study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, saw experts from the US and Germany mine a database of reported negative side-effects from medication usage, with a focus on patients who had Botox injections.  

They found patients who who were injected with the neurotoxin – at six different sites including the neck, limbs and bladder, not just the forehead – with side effects were 40–88 per cent less likely to suffer depression than those undergoing other treatments for the same reasons.  

Paper author and pharmacologist Professor Ruben Abagyan said of the findings: ‘For years, clinicians have observed that Botox injected for cosmetic reasons seems to ease depression for their patients.

‘It’s been thought that easing severe frown lines in forehead region disrupts a feedback loop that reinforces negative emotions.

‘But we’ve found here that the mechanism may be more complex, because it doesn’t really matter where the Botox is injected.’ 

‘This finding is exciting because it supports a new treatment to affect mood and fight depression, one of the common and dangerous mental illnesses,’ added paper author Tigran Makunts, also of the University of California San Diego.

Furthermore, he said, the results are ‘based on a very large body of statistical data, rather than limited-scale observations’.

The team have hypothesised that, after injection, Botox may travel to parts of the central nervous system that regulate emotions and moods — and that they could be having an impact there. 

Sophie said she remembers feeling 'happy and just generally carefree' after having the Botox injections

Sophie said she remembers feeling 'happy and just generally carefree' after having the Botox injections

Sophie said she remembers feeling ‘happy and just generally carefree’ after having the Botox injections

The researchers studied patients who had Botox treatments for eight different reasons — with injections sites including locations in the forehead, limbs, neck and bladder, as pictured

The researchers studied patients who had Botox treatments for eight different reasons — with injections sites including locations in the forehead, limbs, neck and bladder, as pictured

The researchers studied patients who had Botox treatments for eight different reasons — with injections sites including locations in the forehead, limbs, neck and bladder, as pictured

The findings, however, do come with some caveats. Firstly, while the team controlled for antidepressant usage, they were not able to rule out the potential impact of other prescription and over-the-counter medications. 

Furthermore, the FAERS database only covers a subset of Botox users — those that reported experiencing negative side-effects from the treatment — and therefore the findings may not be representative of the injection’s wider effects.

In addition, it is possible that the Botox treatment — in successfully resolving other medical issues — might serve to indirectly mitigate depression.

At present, clinical trials are underway to explore if forehead injections of Botox might be successfully used in the treatment of depression — however, the researchers said, additional trials now might be called for exploring other sites.

Sophie said when she mentioned her mood had improved to friends of hers within the medical aesthetics industry, they agreed it could be down to the Botox.

Sophie said when she mentioned her mood had improved to friends of hers within the medical aesthetics industry, they agreed it could be down to the Botox

Sophie said when she mentioned her mood had improved to friends of hers within the medical aesthetics industry, they agreed it could be down to the Botox

Sophie said when she mentioned her mood had improved to friends of hers within the medical aesthetics industry, they agreed it could be down to the Botox

‘I think the main thing for me was that I looked in the mirror and felt good about myself,’ she added. ‘From an anxiety perspective I think I felt so much more confident, and that feeling just seemed to follow into everything else that day.

‘Now I usually have Botox every four to six months as I’m certain that this impacts my life for the better.’

Dr Shirin Lakhani told FEMAIL: ‘It has been suggested by a number of practitioners and small studies that Botox can effectively offer a treatment for depression. 

‘However, while the results of these small studies are promising, researchers are still trying to understand exactly how Botox treats depression. 

‘One likely explanation may be linked with a “facial feedback” mechanism. In this case, emotions such as fear, sadness or anger can result in the contraction of muscles in the forehead that cause the glabellar frown lines. 

‘There would therefore be a suggestion that by blocking these frowning muscles with Botox we may help patients to experience an improved mood. 

Sophie said she now gets Botox every four to six months because she is certain that this impacts her life for the better

Sophie said she now gets Botox every four to six months because she is certain that this impacts her life for the better

Sophie said she now gets Botox every four to six months because she is certain that this impacts her life for the better

‘For patients treating an issue with Botox such as bruxism – grinding teeth – or migraines, we would be treating the root cause of their issue and therefore improving their quality of life which may improve depression. 

‘Also improving appearance may help improve self confidence and have a positive effect on emotions.’

Dr Tristan Mehta, founder of The Harley Academy in London, added: ‘Although this is a new study, Botox treating depression isn’t actually something new.

‘This has been a hypothesis for many years. However, the aesthetic industry needs to be extremely careful about positioning it in this way due to ethics and make sure individuals seek out professional help, as Botox is not the answer or fix for an internal illness. 

‘As doctors we are trained, and it is our duty to assess patients’ in an attempt to spot those whose desire to alter their appearance due to mental health problems and decline to treat them.’

For more information about Sophie visit www.sophieattwood.co.uk – or for Elite Aesthetics visit www-elite-aesthetics.co.uk. Visit https://www.harleyacademy.com/ for more about Dr Mehta.

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TEN police officers are injured with ‘corrosive substance’ during drugs raid in north London 

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ten police officers are injured with corrosive substance during drugs raid in north london

At least 10 officers have been injured by a suspected corrosive substance during a drugs raid in North London

Officers attended an industrial area in Barnet to execute a drugs warrant at around 2pm today when several were ‘injured by a suspected corrosive substance,’ the Metropolitan Police said.

Witnesses reported hearing a ‘loud bang’ before ‘hundreds’ of officers flooded the area, alongside paramedics and fire crews.

One woman who was in the area reported seeing ‘police officers being showered down’ by firemen following the incident.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said: ‘A number of officers have been injured following a police operation in Barnet.

‘At around 13:50hrs on Wednesday, 23 September, officers attended an industrial area in Dale Close, Barnet, to execute a drugs warrant as part of a proactive operation.

‘As they executed the warrant, officers were injured by a suspected corrosive substance.

‘Full enquiries into the exact circumstances continue.

’10 officers are believed to have suffered injuries and are receiving medical treatment have all gone to hospital. We await an assessment of the extent of these injuries. However none are believed to be in a life-threatening condition.

‘We are working to inform their families.

‘A number of males were arrested on suspicion of drug offences at this stage.

‘They have been taken to hospital having also suffered injuries related to the substance. Their conditions are not believed to be life-threatening.

‘Officers remain at the scene and enquiries continue.

‘London Ambulance Service and London Fire Brigade colleagues are also in attendance.

‘The Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards have been informed as is routine.’

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How China has poured billions into the Caribbean

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how china has poured billions into the caribbean

China has poured billions of dollars of investment into the Caribbean while signing tax and trade deals in an attempt to wrest the region out of the West’s sphere of influence and bring it under the sway of Beijing.

The Chinese government has invested at least $7billion in six Caribbean nations since 2005, records show – building roads, ports and the five-star Baha Mar casino and resort in the Bahamas – though the true figure is thought run well into the tens of billions.

While some of the money arrives as part of trade and investment deals, much of it is offered as ‘soft loans’ for infrastructure projects that are harder to track and typically come with requirements to use Chinese contractors for the work. The loans also provide long-term leverage for Beijing over the cash-strapped island nations. 

MailOnline investigated China’s growing influence in the region after Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the UK’s foreign affairs committee, accused Beijing of ‘playing a large role’ in Barbados’s recent calls to drop the Queen as the Head of State.  

In addition to the loans and investments, eight countries in the Caribbean have signed on to Beijing’s Belt and Road initiative, including Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago, with agreements in place to deepen trade ties along with building bridges and airports, and improving energy and telecommunications networks.   

China has pumped at least $7billion in investment into the Caribbean since 2005, records show, though the true figure - when taking into account soft loan deals and private investment - is thought to run well into the tens of billions. Showpiece projects have included a cricket stadium in Grenada, a casino and resort in the Bahamas, and acquiring Jamaica's largest port

China has pumped at least $7billion in investment into the Caribbean since 2005, records show, though the true figure - when taking into account soft loan deals and private investment - is thought to run well into the tens of billions. Showpiece projects have included a cricket stadium in Grenada, a casino and resort in the Bahamas, and acquiring Jamaica's largest port

China has pumped at least $7billion in investment into the Caribbean since 2005, records show, though the true figure – when taking into account soft loan deals and private investment – is thought to run well into the tens of billions. Showpiece projects have included a cricket stadium in Grenada, a casino and resort in the Bahamas, and acquiring Jamaica’s largest port

The Queen pictured with Governor-General of Barbados Dame Sandra Mason at Windsor Castle in 2018

The Queen pictured with Governor-General of Barbados Dame Sandra Mason at Windsor Castle in 2018

The Queen pictured with Governor-General of Barbados Dame Sandra Mason at Windsor Castle in 2018

Mr Tugendhat told the Times: ‘China has been using infrastructure investment and debt diplomacy as a means of control for a while and it’s coming closer to home for us.

‘British partners have long faced challenges from rivals seeking to undermine our alliance.

‘Today we’re seeing it in the Caribbean. Some islands seem to be close to swapping a symbolic Queen in Windsor for a real and demanding emperor in Beijing.’

In the past, China has been particularly generous with nations that have agreed to cut relations with Taiwan – a country in the East China Sea which Beijing claims as a province – and establish ties with Bejing instead.

In 2005, China rewarded the island of Grenada, which has an annual turnover of just $1.8billion, with a brand new $55million cricket stadium after it cut relations with Taiwan.

Similarly, in 2018, the Dominican Republic was received Chinese investments and loans thought to have topped $3billion after it also cut ties with Taipei.

Beijing has largely stepped away from vote-buying projects in recent years, however, and now largely focuses on economic deals aimed at providing work for its citizens, acquiring resources such as rare earth materials and food, and providing long-term trading and economic benefits.

In 2018, leaders from the region and South America – as part of a trading bloc known as CELAC – signed up to a 2019-2021 roadmap with China that aimed to deepen political and economic ties, including in trade, agriculture, infrastructure, and science and technology, among other areas.

More recently, a Chinese firm took full control of Jamaica Kingston Freeport in April this year, the island’s largest container port and one of the largest in the Caribbean. 

China has also invested heavily in Cuba, helping to modernize the country’s second-largest port – Santiago de Cuba – with a new shipping terminal opening in 2019.

Chris Bennett, managing director of The Caribbean Council, a London-based trade organisation, told Mail Online: ‘Over the last 15 years, China has steadily acquired control of strategic assets necessary for its trading interests across the wider region. 

‘It controls two of the largest container ports in the region, has acquired large amounts of land in Jamaica, Guyana and Suriname, multiple oil and gas blocs and large-scale mineral deposits of bauxite and gold.

‘By tying concessional finance to the use of Chinese contractors and Chinese imported labour, China has forced out many Western contractors who cannot compete with the cheap Chinese credit being offered.’

For example, British construction firm Kier was forced to exit both the Caribbean and Hong Kong three years ago, at an estimated loss of £72million, in part because of competition from China.

Meanwhile in Guyana – which China has taken a prominent interest in since large oil deposits were discovered there in 2014 – is currently accepting tenders to rebuild the Demerara Harbour Bridge in its capital, Georgetown.

Originally built with British assistance in the 1970s, seven of the 11 contracts that are now bidding for the rebuilding job are Chinese.

Barbados, meanwhile, is has received at least $490million, mostly as investment in the tourist sector, but is also thought to be benefiting from private deals.

The country has established beneficial tax deals with Beijing in recent years in an attempt to make itself a hub for Chinese financial firms looking to invest in South America.

In 2019, a permanent branch of Invest Barbados was established in Beijing to help attract this investment.

Also last year, Barbados signed a Memorandum of Understanding with China, making it part of the country’s Belt and Road initiative – otherwise known as the new Silk Road.

Queen Elizabeth ll smiles with a young girl in Barbados on November 1, 1977

Queen Elizabeth ll smiles with a young girl in Barbados on November 1, 1977

Queen Elizabeth II on a walkabout during a visit to Bridgetown, Barbados, during her Silver Jubilee tour of the Caribbean

Queen Elizabeth II on a walkabout during a visit to Bridgetown, Barbados, during her Silver Jubilee tour of the Caribbean

Left: Queen Elizabeth ll smiles with a young girl in Barbados on November 1, 1977. Right: The Queen on a walkabout during a visit to Bridgetown

The agreement promises development of Barbados’s shipping, aviation, infrastructure and agriculture sectors.

However, not everyone has welcomed China’s increased presence in the region. Trade and investment with the likes of Belize, St Lucia, St Kitts, Haiti and St Vincent is still non-existent, largely due to their recognising Taiwan.

Meanwhile resentment is also growing among locals who have seen large construction projects handed to Chinese labourers, under the terms of loan deals, starving them of income.

While most labourers return to China once the work is completed, some have stayed behind – establishing businesses, particularly in retail, which often out-compete locals, furthering the resentment.

Barbados has maintained strong relations with Britain even after gaining independence in 1966, but last week announced it would become a republic in 2021.

A speech written by Prime Minister Mia Mottley quoted the Caribbean island nation’s first premier Errol Barrow’s warning against ‘loitering on colonial premises’.

Buckingham Palace has said Barbados’ intention to remove the Queen as head of state and become a republic is a ‘matter’ for the Caribbean nation.

Reading the speech, Governor-General Dame Sandra Mason said: ‘The time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind. Barbadians want a Barbadian Head of State. 

‘This is the ultimate statement of confidence in who we are and what we are capable of achieving.

‘Hence, Barbados will take the next logical step toward full sovereignty and become a Republic by the time we celebrate our 55th Anniversary of Independence.’

Asked to comment on the Commonwealth country’s plans a palace spokesman said: ‘This is a matter for the government and people of Barbados.’

Downing Street said it was a ‘decision for Barbados and the Government there’ but that Britain would continue to ‘enjoy a partnership’ with the Caribbean island nation as members of the Commonwealth.

A Number 10 spokesman said: ‘We obviously have a shared history and remain united with Barbados in terms of history, culture and language, and we will continue to have and enjoy a partnership with them as members of the Commonwealth.’

The country gained its independence from Britain in 1966, though the Queen remains its constitutional monarch.

In 1998, a Barbados constitutional review commission recommended republican status, and in 2015 Prime Minister Freundel Stuart said ‘we have to move from a monarchical system to a republican form of government in the very near future’.

Most Caribbean countries have kept formal links with the monarchy after achieving independence.

Barbados would join Trinidad and Tobago, Dominica and Guyana if it proceeds with its plan to become a republic.

Jamaica has also flagged such a transition, with Prime Minister Andrew Holness saying it is a priority of his government, but has yet to achieve it.

Barbados took another step towards independence from the UK in 2003 when it replaced the London-based Judicial Committee of the Privy Council with the Caribbean Court of Justice, located in Trinidad and Tobago’s Port of Spain, as its final appeals court.

Former Prime Minister Owen Arthur promoted the idea of a referendum on becoming a republic in 2005, however the vote was called off due to concerns raised by the Electoral and Boundaries Commission.       

Barbados: The country’s colonial history 

The Sugar Revolution, the introduction of sugar cane from Dutch Brazil, in the 1640s was highly lucrative but came at great social cost

The Sugar Revolution, the introduction of sugar cane from Dutch Brazil, in the 1640s was highly lucrative but came at great social cost

The Sugar Revolution, the introduction of sugar cane from Dutch Brazil, in the 1640s was highly lucrative but came at great social cost 

Barbados was one of the oldest English settlements in the West Indies, being surpassed only by Saint Kitts.

The countries’ historical ties date back to the 17th century and involve settlement, post-colonialism and modern bilateral relations. 

Since Barbados gained its independence in 1966, the nations have continued to share ties through the Commonwealth, with the Queen as Monarch. 

The Barbadian Parliament is the third oldest in the entire Commonwealth and the island continues to practice the Westminster style of government.

Many of the historic Anglican churches and plantation houses across the island show the influence of English architecture. 

In 1627, 80 Englishmen aboard the William and John landed on the Caribbean island and founded Jamestown (close to today’s Holetown), in the name of King James I.

The early settlers struggled to develop a profitable export crop and faced difficulties in maintaining supplies from Europe.

However, the Sugar Revolution, the introduction of sugar cane from Dutch Brazil, in the 1640s was highly lucrative and over the next decade more than two thirds of English emigres to the Americas went to Barbados. 

But while this shift to sugar yielded huge profits, it came at a great social cost. Thousands of West African slaves were shipped across the Atlantic to work the plantations and workers suffered from low wages and minimal social services. 

It is estimated that between 1627 to 1807, some 387,000 Africans were shipped to the island against their will and the country shifted from having a majority white population to a majority black population. 

On 28th August 1833, the British Government passed the Slavery Abolition Act, and slaves across the British empire were granted emancipation. 

Barbados remained a British colony until internal autonomy was granted in 1961. 

The country became fully independent on November 30, 1966, during a time when the country’s economy was expanding and diversifying. 

Since then, the Barbadian Parliament has remained a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy, which is modeled on the British Westminster system of government. 

In 2008, British exports to Barbados stood at £38 million, making it Britain’s fourth-largest export market in the region.  

In recent years a growing number of British nationals have been relocating to Barbados to live, with polls showing that British nationals make up 75–85 per cent of the Barbados second home market.

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Herd immunity wouldn’t work without overwhelming the NHS, study finds

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herd immunity wouldnt work without overwhelming the nhs study finds

Relying on the herd immunity strategy in Britain wouldn’t work because the risk of overwhelming the NHS would be too great, a study suggests.

Researchers modelled how the controversial strategy, which was pondered by the UK government in March, would play out in different scenarios.

They found letting the virus run rampant with no preventative rules — the simplest way to achieve herd immunity without a vaccine — would lead to too many hospital admissions. Britain would need around 300,000 beds to cope — almost triple the current capacity in hospitals, the team estimated. 

This would put too much strain on the health service and may lead to excess deaths among non-virus patients, such as those with cancer and heart issues.

The study found simultaneously achieving the strategy and protecting hospitals would require keeping the reproduction ‘R’ rate at around 1.2 for ‘years’. This would be an ‘impractical’ balancing act because it would require constant tinkering with social distancing rules for long periods of time, researchers said.

And when the R is above the dreaded number of one — meaning infected patients pass the potentially life-threatening disease on to at least one person, on average — the epidemic still risks spiralling out of control. 

The team’s model also found it was ‘possible’ to suppress the virus ‘with plausible levels of social distancing over a period of months’.

Writing in the paper, the University of California scientists warn: ‘Our study finds that achieving herd immunity without overwhelming hospital capacity leaves little room for error.

‘Intervention levels must be carefully manipulated in an adaptive manner for an extended period… Such fine-tuning of social distancing renders this strategy impractical.

‘Various governments have entertained the idea of achieving herd immunity through natural infection as a means of ending the long-term threat of Covid-19. This has provoked alarm in sections of the public health community. Our work confirms that this alarm is well founded.’

But health chiefs in Sweden, one of the only countries to remain open throughout the pandemic and avoid using a crude lockdown, say the tactic has worked for them, which has allowed people to keep their freedoms.

Researchers modelled various lockdown scenarios and found that simultaneously achieving the strategy and protecting hospitals would require keeping the reproduction 'R' rate at around 1.2 for 'years'

Researchers modelled various lockdown scenarios and found that simultaneously achieving the strategy and protecting hospitals would require keeping the reproduction 'R' rate at around 1.2 for 'years'

Researchers modelled various lockdown scenarios and found that simultaneously achieving the strategy and protecting hospitals would require keeping the reproduction ‘R’ rate at around 1.2 for ‘years’

Herd immunity wouldn't work because the risk of overwhelming the NHS would be too great, a study suggests (file)

Herd immunity wouldn't work because the risk of overwhelming the NHS would be too great, a study suggests (file)

Herd immunity wouldn’t work because the risk of overwhelming the NHS would be too great, a study suggests (file)

Herd immunity is achieved when a disease runs out of room and is no longer able to spread because enough of the population have been exposed to it.

Experts say between 60 and 70 per cent of communities need to get infected, or be vaccinated against a disease, for the tactic to work.

Expert claims Sweden now has ‘herd immunity’ against coronavirus 

Sweden has beaten coronavirus by refusing to shut the country down and achieving herd immunity, according to an expert.

The Scandinavian nation was the only country in Europe not to introduce strict lockdown measures at the start of the pandemic.

But scientists believe that this may have helped it avoid a second wave of Covid-19 as it continues to record its lowest number of cases since March – with just 28 infections per 100,000 people.

This figure is less than half of the UK’s own infection rate of 69 per 100,000 people.

 He told Denmark’s Politiken newspaper: ‘There is some evidence that the Swedes have built up a degree of immunity to the virus which, along with what else they are doing to stop the spread, is enough to control the disease.

‘Perhaps, the epidemic is over there.’

He said that the virus may now have run out of steam.

He added: ‘That is what they have said.

‘On the positive side, they may now be finished with the epidemic.’

Sweden was initially criticised at the start of the outbreak after recording a spike in its mortality rates which was five times that of Denmark and ten times that of Norway and Finland.

Number of deaths per 24 hours peaked in April at 115 with more than half in care homes.

But its seven-day average for coronavirus-related deaths is now zero.

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The UK pondered herd immunity as its main strategy in March, but the tactic never became official policy.

News that ministers were looking into the strategy sparked a furore because it signalled they were prepared to allow millions people to get infected, and for hundreds of thousands to inevitably die, in order for it to work.

The new study was done by the University of California, Davis and published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States (PNAS).

Researchers used mathematical modelling to simulate the different scenarios needed to achieve herd immunity.

Using the first wave of the pandemic in the UK as a benchmark, they inputted data about how fast the coronavirus spreads when left unchecked and the virus’s mortality and hospitalisation rates.  

The team found that, in the absence of any intervention measures, the disease would spread rapidly through the UK and infect 77 per cent of people.

While this would likely lead to herd immunity, it would also cause about 410,000 deaths — including 350,000 over the age of 60 — and cause hospitals to be completely overwhelmed.

They said social distancing by older individuals and the public adhering to self-isolation rules would also lead to a ‘much smaller outbreak’ among over-60s. 

School closures also help to keep cases down and reopening them too soon may trigger a second wave, the researchers added.

They wrote: ‘Our modeling indicates that, if sustained, such control measures can lead to the suppression of Covid-19 in the United Kingdom by reducing R to below one.’

The academics looked at various lockdown scenarios to see if herd immunity could be reached by tinkering with schools, workplaces or amenities.

They took into account different adherence rates to self-isolation, social distancing, among other factors that can change the course of an outbreak.

The model was based on old data analysing how quickly outbreaks grow in different settings, and how they contribute to the epidemic overall. 

But the results showed that the NHS would be pushed to the brink in most instances where the R rate is above 1.2.

They wrote: ‘Attempting to achieve herd immunity while simultaneously mitigating the impact of Covid-19 on hospital burden is an extremely challenging task.

‘In order to ensure the hospital burden does not exceed levels comparable with that of the UK in April 2020, R needs to be reduced from its initial value (assumed to be 2.3) to about 1.2).

‘Due to the fine margins (in terms of control effectiveness) between successful disease suppression and overwhelming hospitals, making herd immunity the primary objective (rather than applying maximal social distancing and aiming for suppression) is not supported by our modelling.’

Hospital capacity was modelled at the average burden in April, during the height of the pandemic, when around 18,000 infected patients were in beds. 

Scientists insist models are not always accurate and are only designed to be helpful to guide policies.

It comes after emails released today showed Sir Patrick Vallance and Professor Chris Whitty asked for help to ‘calm down’ angry academics after facing backlash over the herd immunity approach discussed in March.

The top experts, who’ve been steering Britain through the Covid-19 crisis, were hounded by fellow scientists for comments they made about the controversial tactic at the start of the pandemic. 

On at least three occasions, Sir Patrick Vallance, England’s chief scientific adviser, said the aim is to ‘build up some degree of herd immunity’ — when a disease runs out of room and can no longer spread because enough of the population have been exposed to it.

On at least three occasions, Sir Patrick Vallance, the chief scientific advisor, suggested to media outlets the 'aim is to... build up some degree of herd immunity'

On at least three occasions, Sir Patrick Vallance, the chief scientific advisor, suggested to media outlets the 'aim is to... build up some degree of herd immunity'

Professor Whitty, the chief medical officer, also raged in emails he was 'misinterpreted' in a conversation with a minister about herd immunity

Professor Whitty, the chief medical officer, also raged in emails he was 'misinterpreted' in a conversation with a minister about herd immunity

Sir Patrick Vallance and Professor Chris Whitty faced backlash over the ‘herd immunity’ strategy in March and asked for help to ‘calm down’ angry academics, emails show

The comments sparked a furore because it signalled the Government was prepared to allow millions people to get infected and inevitably die in order to successfully achieve the strategy. 

No 10 was even forced to deny herd immunity was the strategy after Boris Johnson’s chief aide Dominic Cummings reportedly confirmed the plan at a private event back in February, allegedly saying it was ‘too bad’ if it meant ‘some pensioners die’. 

Emails obtained by the BBC reveal the panic among top advisers in reaction to the outpouring of criticism. In one email sent to a colleague in March, Sir Patrick said: ‘Anything you can do to calm our academic friends down over herd immunity would be greatly appreciated.’

Professor Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, also raged in emails that he was ‘misinterpreted’ after an unnamed senior politician claimed they had conversations in January that ‘were absolutely focused on herd immunity’. 

While the majority of scientists have shied away from publicly endorsing herd immunity as a viable strategy, some believe it is the only route out of the current crisis without a vaccine.  

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