Archive for 'News'
The world and our perception of our everyday lives seems to have changed so much over the past month since, in the UK at least, we have gone from 35 confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 as of the 1st March to today’s (25rd March) official figure of 9,529. Globally the figures are growing as the WHO pushes testing and there are a variety of “dashboards” and reported figures to choose from but all indicate a pandemic that most of us, if any, have no first-hand experience. COVID-19 has created a lot of fear amongst populations, an unknown mortality rate, stretched (broken) health systems and is creating immediate and devastating financial impacts to global stock markets with the economic reality for most people still to come. Pretty gloomy at best, even when trying to be optimistic, March 2020 has been a tough time for all of us.
This graphic from the Information is Beautiful data pack puts an interesting perspective on this pandemic compared with others, and perhaps reasons not to panic. China and South Korea appear to have contained the spread of the virus in so much as they are now experiencing a deceleration phase.
Overview as at 11th March 2020 (Updated 19.3.2020)
Sustained human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus in the United Kingdom and elsewhere appears today inevitable. The extent and impact of the outbreak in the UK is difficult to predict and will depend crucially on how the Government, medical professionals, and the public react. It will depend particularly on whether there is adequate funding and support for the response; fair and effective management of surging health care demand; careful and evidence-based mitigation of public fear; and necessary support and resources for fair and effective infection control. It also falls to each individual to take appropriate and regular self-defence steps, maintain a suitable level of self-hygiene and limit exposure to potential and actual vectors. The most effective way to protect against Covid-19 is to minimise encounters with other people and if possible keep two metres away when you do meet. Clean your hands frequently, keep them away from your face and cover coughs and sneezes with the bend of your elbow or a tissue.
The Covid-19 outbreak is unprecedented in the recent UK and global history (since 1918), and there is no current playbook for an epidemiological event of this scope and magnitude. To mitigate its impact, the government must act swiftly, fairly, and effectively. For up to date data visit https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus. Flattening the curve — slowing the spread of Covid-19 across space and time — is critical. The health care system cannot sustain a massive influx of infectious cases to emergency departments and hospitals. Patients with mild symptoms should stay home when possible and seek to maintain their personal health and hygiene. In public health practice, “quarantine” refers to the separation of persons (or communities) who have been exposed to an infectious disease. “Isolation,” in contrast, applies to the separation of persons who are known to be infected.
Since the 1930s, public health ofﬁcials in the United States and the United Kingdom have recommended routine fortiﬁcation of foods like milk to prevent vitamin D deﬁciency and low vitamin D status, and this was trusted to be an effective public health strategy. However, there was an increased incidence of hypercalcaemia suspected to be due to massive intakes of vitamin D from various food fortifications. In some cases, hypercalcaemia was proposed to be associated with drinking vitamin D-fortified milk and milk powder, revealing a fortification of up to 232,565 IU instead of standard 400 IU/1.5 pints, and consequently, prohibition of milk fortification followed. Discussions related to further vitamin D food based fortification are ongoing in the UK, including whether or not to fortify wheat flour, as Birmingham University researchers have proposed the health benefit to the population and cost savings to the NHS would be substantial. Read the rest of this entry »
A novel coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, has been identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness that originated in Wuhan, China, and which has spread to several other countries around the world. It’s likely that by the time this is published that a far greater understanding of the mechanisms and risks associated with this virus will be better understood. Currently it represents a varied level of risk depending on your geography, exposure, age, health and immune competence. Read the rest of this entry »
Lactobacillus GG (LGG) is the world’s most clinically studied probiotic. LGG was first isolated in the late ‘80s from the faecal sample of a healthy adult by the researchers Gordon and Gorbach, hence the ‘GG’ moniker.
During the early studies and subsequently confirmed by multiple others, LGG is known to withstand gastric acidity and bile salts and effectively adheres to the gastrointestinal mucosa. LGG’s ability to resist gastric acidity and bile salts is a consequence of the ability of the bacterium to produce anti-stress proteins that give it greater survival capacity in intestinal transit after oral intake. Adherence to the intestinal wall is also favoured by the presence on the bacterial wall of exopolysaccharides rich in galactose residues and the presence of specific adhesive pili. Read the rest of this entry »
The times they are a changing… it seems our much-troubled NHS and related social support networks can no longer rely on existing operating models to meet and successfully manage or solve the growing burden of chronic diseases and as such different strategies are now underway. Read the rest of this entry »
It may be that you already regard your oral cavity, the teeth within and the microbiome that makes its home there as your special friends? Giving them daily reviews, assisting in the elimination of plaque and the management of your gum line. Or you may not? Read the rest of this entry »
Have you noticed that environmental airborne pollutants inside your home may be more problematic than those you meet outside? Research continues to uncover increasingly unpleasant links between those outside and inside. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s something most of us are unlikely to have given much thought to, except that the last few years of political discourse in the UK and the upcoming 3rd election due in Dec 2019 in relatively short time has made most people more aware of politics. Consequently, some changes in relationships, creative vocalisations and political ballet dancing on thin wires has presented a complicated, and frustrating period in political and population wellbeing. Read the rest of this entry »
Over 800 million people go hungry every day, yet one third of all food currently goes to waste. Obviously, there are basic logistical challenges to getting the surplus to the hungry, but at a fundamental level this should be solvable.
In turn the food industry bears responsibility for the fact that over 650 million people are obese, yet it’s governments and taxpayers that pick up the cost of treatment in most cases. Read the rest of this entry »