CategoryNetherlands

On a seemingly negative day for the UK, we need to keep our spirits up – treatment and vaccines are improving all the time

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With the latest press conference in the UK from Chief Medical Adviser, Prof Chris Whitty and the Chief Scientific Adviser – Sir Patrick Vallance a bleak picture was painted for the UK over the coming months.  Whilst this maybe the case we have to highlight all of the positive news that are ongoing with treatments and vaccines.

Treatments

Here are a few of our recent articles on treatment options and how they are improving all the time :

Covid Grows Less Deadly as Doctors Gain Practice, Drugs Improve

Roche says its drugs reduce ventilator need for COVID-19 patients

Lilly’s Covid-19 antibody helps some patients rid their systems of virus sooner in early analysis

COVID-19 patients in the Netherlands now spend only 8 days in ICU compared to 22 days in March/April, says chairman of Dutch ICU association

We are finally unravelling the mystery of what causes severe covid-19

New Study: Vitamin D reduces risk of ICU admission 97%

Vaccines

Moderna expects to make 20 million doses of coronavirus vaccine by 2020 end

Hundreds of thousands have been given Chinese COVID-19 vaccines without a single infection

Pharma company drastically boosts its potential coronavirus vaccine production

Moderna expects to know if its coronavirus vaccine works by November, CEO says

AstraZeneca trial illness likely not linked to Covid vaccine, Oxford says

Pfizer reports ‘potential’ with COVID-19 candidate vaccine after expanding trial to 44,000 people

Dr. Siegel on potential COVID vaccine effectiveness: Unlike annual flu, virus is not ‘a moving target’

Pfizer CEO: Chances ‘quite’ good will know by October if vaccine works

Things will improve, things look negative at the moment but all around the world there are positive developments.  Hopefully this offers some glimmer of hope.

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COVID-19 patients in the Netherlands now spend only 8 days in ICU compared to 22 days in March/April, says chairman of Dutch ICU association

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There are currently many more corona patients in intensive care than in March and April, at the start of the corona pandemic in the Netherlands. This confirms Diederik Gommers, chairman of the Dutch Association for Intensive Care (NVIC), following reports in the AD .

This is because the length of stay of corona patients in the ICU has become much shorter. In March and April, a patient spent an average of 22 days in the ICU, in July and August this had dropped to less than eight, according to figures from the National Intensive Care Evaluation Foundation (NICE).

It should be noted that the figures for July and August may be slightly higher, because a number of those patients were still in the ICU when the report was written.

“We are still investigating why people can leave the IC faster,” says Gommers. “But if you assume that it concerns a comparable group of patients, then I think an important part can be attributed to the improved treatment.”

The corona patients not only leave the IC faster, the chance of survival has also improved, says Gommers. He says there are no indications that the virus has become milder.

“We still need to do more research into the causes, but it is certainly a very promising development,” he says. “We don’t know if there will be a second corona wave and how big it will be, but if it is comparable to the first, then we need to expand the ICs much less.”

https://nos.nl/artikel/2348331-gommers-coronapatienten-nu-veel-korter-op-ic.htmlHELP US SPREAD GOOD NEWS!

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J&J unit to start mid-stage COVID-19 vaccine trials in Spain

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Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen unit will begin mid-stage trials of its COVID-19 vaccine in Spain on Monday, the programme’s lead investigator said.

Alberto Borobia said 190 people would take part in the country’s trials, which will take place in three hospitals and be concluded by Sept. 22.

The Spanish study is part of mid-stage, or Phase II, trials of the vaccine that are being carried out in three countries, also including the Netherlands and Germany. The trials in the three countries will last two months and include 550 participants in total.

https://www.reuters.com/article/health-coronavirus-vaccine/jj-unit-to-start-mid-stage-covid-19-vaccine-trials-in-spain-idUSL8N2GA0NAHELP US SPREAD GOOD NEWS!

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We are finally unravelling the mystery of what causes severe covid-19

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An out-of-control human peptide called bradykinin could be responsible for some of the varied and sometimes deadly symptoms seen in people who have contracted the coronavirus. We already have drugs to control bradykinin, which are being tested as treatments for people with covid-19.

Bradykinin normally helps to regulate blood pressure, and in some people, the coronavirus seems to be pushing bradykinin production into overdrive. This would create a kind of “bradykinin storm” in the body that may lead to a number of symptoms common in covid-19.

Renuka Roche at Eastern Michigan University says such a storm could explain many aspects of covid-19 that seem disjointed, such as muscle pain, women sometimes having milder illness than men, and African Americans being more likely to develop complications.

In July, a team led by Daniel Jacobson at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee published a study in which they mined gene expression data in samples of lung fluid from nine people with covid-19 in China, and compared them with samples from a control group that didn’t have the disease. They found an over-expression of genes that are responsible for bradykinin production, along with under-expression of genes that produce enzymes to keep bradykinin levels in check.

Because bradykinin dilates blood vessels and makes them more permeable, high levels of bradykinin could lead to fluid leakage in a blood-vessel-rich environment like the lungs. It can also break down the blood-brain barrier, suggesting a possible pathway for some of the coronavirus’s puzzling neurological symptoms.

Fortunately, drugs that help regulate hyaluronic acid and bradykinin predate covid-19. In 2011, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the anti-inflammatory drug icatibant for acute attacks of the hereditary genetic disease angioedema, a condition that involves its own bradykinin storms.

In July, a team led by Roger Brüggemann at Radboud University Medical Center in the Netherlands did a preliminary trial of icatibant on nine Dutch coronavirus patients who were being treated with oxygen for difficulty breathing. The team found a reduction in the need for oxygen supplementation in eight of those people.

Studies are now under way in the US and Europe to test another bradykinin signal-blocking drug called lanadelumab.

“We hope … once this is completed, it will be the next step towards a multinational study involving several hundreds of patients,” says Brüggemann.

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2253987-we-are-finally-unravelling-the-mystery-of-what-causes-severe-covid-19/HELP US SPREAD GOOD NEWS!

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Great News About Births During Covid-19 – Pandemic shutdowns saw huge decreases in babies born prematurely

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Here at last is some good news about the Covid-19 pandemic and the wholesale disruption to our lives it has caused: In many places with strict lockdowns this spring, there were far fewer premature births than is considered normal.

The trend doesn’t appear to be universal, but where it applies, the data are staggering. In Denmark, the number of babies born after less than 28 weeks of gestation — 40 weeks is the norm — dropped by 90% during the country’s month-long lockdown this spring. In one region of Ireland, the rate of preemies with very low birth weight was down by 73% between January and April compared with averages over the preceding two decades. Somewhat smaller decreases have been observed in parts of Canada, Australia and the Netherlands. Elsewhere, clinics and doctors are now scurrying to examine their own data.

One reason to rejoice is, of course, that this means many parents had healthier, happier babies this spring. Premature birth and low gestational weight are associated with various medical complications, ranging from cerebral palsy or death in the worst cases to learning disabilities or visual problems in later life. For example, it’s why Stevie Wonder, an American singer who was born six weeks early, is blind.

But the bigger reason to cheer is that this phenomenon could eventually help us understand what causes premature birth in the first place, and thus how to prevent it. For now we can only speculate, as the researchers behind the Danish and Irish work freely admit — their papers haven’t yet been peer-reviewed.

One explanation for fewer premature births may be the decreases in air pollution during the lockdowns, as fewer people drove or flew and factories belched less. Another factor could be that the moms-to-be had fewer infections generally — and thus less inflammation in their bodies — as we reduced contact with people and germs and obsessively washed hands.

But the most obvious and plausible reason appears to be that for many expecting moms, though decidedly not all, the lockdowns reduced stress. This may seem counterintuitive, because a pandemic is itself a big a stressor. Moreover, the lockdowns deprived many people of their livelihood and thus caused additional financial and even existential anxiety.

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-08-01/why-do-coronavirus-lockdowns-lead-to-fewer-premature-birthsHELP US SPREAD GOOD NEWS!

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Queensland (Australia) COVID-19 human vaccine trials to start

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A COVID-19 vaccine developed by the University of Queensland is now ready to be tested on humans, giving hope of a breakthrough in combating the virus which has caused a worldwide pandemic.

The human testing of the “molecular clamp” vaccine candidate, to start on Monday, follows encouraging results from animal testing trials conducted in the Netherlands, the Sunday Mail in Brisbane reports.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk praised UQ for their search for a COVID-19 vaccine and said she expected the university to reveal more on Monday.

The premier said she has been encouraged by the work of the UQ scientists and their advancements so far.

“We know UQ is at the forefront of some of the work they’re doing and they’ll be making further announcements tomorrow,” she told reporters on Sunday.

“We are very encouraged by the news from UQ.

“It’s the early stages…and we have great scientists here in Queensland and they are doing a remarkable job.”

https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6829217/qld-covid-19-human-vaccine-trials-to-start/?cs=14264#gsc.tab=0HELP US SPREAD GOOD NEWS!

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Notable conclusion “The Coronavirus is not as bad as expected”

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Sjaak de Gouw, director of public health in the Netherlands, says that Covid-19 is milder than previously thought. Many Dutch people have had the new coronavirus without having any complaints.

Previously, according to De Gouw, researchers thought that 20 percent of people infected with Covid-19 ended up in hospital. This now appears to be 3.5 percent of corona patients.

“If we look at the number of people we tested, who found positive and were hospitalized, it appears that many people had no or mild complaints. They were out of the picture,” says De Gouw.

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Netherlands: No new Covid-19 deaths since June 24

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The number of people in the Netherlands known to have died from respiratory illness Covid-19 herald at 6,105, public health agency RIVM said on Sunday. It was the second time in a week that the death toll did not rise as a result of the coronavirus disease.

Nobody in the country is known to have died from the disease since June 24, and there were also no deaths linked to Covid-19 on June 22. Prior to that, the last time there had been a date without a Covid-19 fatality was on March 9.

The agency constantly updates its statistics as new data becomes available, which could mean that a fatal case is linked to a date in which previously there had been none. The same holds true for new hospitalizations, with 11,871 people having been admitted to hospital for the disease since late February.

That reflects an increase of three, the RIVM said. At least two of those admissions took place in the past week, a figure which could rise when more data is processed by the agency.

https://nltimes.nl/2020/06/28/netherlands-new-covid-19-deaths-since-june-24HELP US SPREAD GOOD NEWS!

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Netherlands – Covid-19 patients in ICU down below 200 for first time in 10 weeks

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For the first time since mid-March, the number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care was below 200. There was a 16 percent decrease in patients from Monday afternoon, dropping to a total of 188 people on Tuesday, according to patient coordination office LCPS.

Figures from non-profit intensive care organization NICE also showed that no ICU patients with the coronavirus disease died in that same 24 hour period.

“As expected, the decrease in the number of COVID patients in the ICU is continuing. This is favorable for resuming other care,” said Ernst Kuipers, the head of the acute care providers network in the Netherlands. He reaffirmed his belief that in a matter of days, the country would have fewer than 150 Covid-19 patients in ICU.

Aside from 35 fewer people in ICU, there was also a large decrease of Covid-19 patients from other hospital wards. Dutch hospitals were treating 698 people for the disease on Tuesday, down 58 from one day prior, the LCPS said.

https://nltimes.nl/2020/05/26/covid-19-patients-icu-200-first-time-10-weeksHELP US SPREAD GOOD NEWS!

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Netherlands – Lowest number of deaths in two months, ‘but the virus is certainly not gone yet’

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The number of reports of people who died of the coronavirus is remarkably low today, with ten. Fifteen new hospital admissions have also been reported. However, the fact that the number of reports of deaths is so low today does not mean that the virus has disappeared, warns Marion Koopmans, professor by special appointment of virology at Erasmus MC in Rotterdam. “The numbers are always lower on weekends. We really have to wait on Monday to get a clearer picture. The falling numbers do fit the trend, but we certainly cannot say on the basis of today’s figures that this is a break in the trend. Therefore, people should not think that it is over. The peak has passed, but there are still many people on the IC. The virus is certainly not gone and can also flare up. ”

According to Koopmans, it is also awaiting the consequences if the measures are further relaxed. ,, More things will open again and it will get busier on the street. It has gone well so far. But are we all going to keep our attention? That will be an exciting period. ”

Koopmans has not yet heard whether opening the schools has had an effect. “In Denmark this had hardly any effect. It’s been a week here now, so it’s too early to say anything. Teachers now also have more options to be tested, so it remains to be seen what we will see in the registrations. ”

https://www.ad.nl/dossier-coronavirus/10-nieuwe-doden-coronavirus-laagste-aantal-in-twee-maanden~ab310286/