Before vaccine comes, global death toll may hit 2 million, says World Health Organisation

Agencies
September 26, 2020

WHO.jpg

The World Health Organisation (WHO) warned that the global coronavirus death toll could hit two million before an effective vaccine is widely used.

WHO emergencies head Mike Ryan on Friday said the figure could be even higher without concerted international action, the BBC reported.

The number of Covid-19 deaths is fast approaching one million - nine months after the outbreak started in China.

Ryan also urged Europeans to ask themselves whether they had done enough to avoid the need for lockdowns.

He questioned whether all the alternatives had been implemented, like testing and tracing, quarantine, isolation, social distancing, wearing masks and hand-washing.

Earlier, Spain's capital Madrid brought another eight districts under tougher coronavirus restrictions, which now affect a million people in the city.

In France, staff from bars and restaurants in the southern city Marseille protested against the closure of their workplaces which was brought in on Saturday.

And in the UK, tougher restrictions were announced in several regions as new daily infections rise.

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.
Agencies
October 13,2020

New Delhi, Oct 13: The World Health Organization has debunked the idea of herd immunity, saying it is 'scientifically and ethically problematic' and is not an option.

There are some who say the coronavirus be allowed to spread naturally in the lack of a vaccine to achieve immunity in a community.

Herd immunity is achieved by protecting people from a virus not by exposing them to it, said WHO Director General Tedros Ghbreseysus.

"Allowing a dangerous virus that we don't fully understand to run free is unethical. It is not a option," Tedros said in a statement on Monday.

Medical journal Lancet also warned that exposure to the virus does not guarantee future immunity. The second infection may come with more severe symptoms.

The Covid-19 virus has claimed one million lives and still spreading across the world. And there is no vaccine available right now.

Tedros made the comments in the context of China which is preparing to test an entire population of the eastern city Qingdao this week.

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.
Agencies
October 13,2020

New Brunswick, Oct 13: A late-stage study of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine candidate has been paused while the company investigates whether a study participant's unexplained illness is related to the shot.

The company said in a statement on Monday evening that illnesses, accidents and other so-called adverse events are an expected part of any clinical study, especially large studies, but that its physicians and a safety monitoring panel would try to determine what might have caused the illness.

The pause is at least the second such hold to occur among several vaccines that have reached large-scale final tests in the US.

The company declined to reveal any more details about the illness, citing the participant's privacy.

Temporary stoppages of large medical studies are relatively common. Few are made public in typical drug trials, but the work to make a coronavirus vaccine has raised the stakes on these kinds of complications.

Companies are required to investigate any serious or unexpected reaction that occurs during drug testing. Given that such tests are done on tens of thousands of people, some medical problems are a coincidence. In fact, one of the first steps the company said it will take is to determine if the person received the vaccine or a placebo.

The halt was first reported by the health news site STAT.

Final-stage testing of a vaccine made by AstraZeneca and Oxford University remains on hold in the US as officials examine whether an illness in its trial poses a safety risk. That trial was stopped when a woman developed severe neurological symptoms consistent with transverse myelitis, a rare inflammation of the spinal cord, the company has said. That company's testing has restarted elsewhere.

Johnson & Johnson was aiming to enroll 60,000 volunteers to prove if its single-dose approach is safe and protects against the coronavirus. Other vaccine candidates in the US require two shots.

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.
News Network
October 9,2020

skincancer.JPG

Bengaluru, Oct 9: Researchers from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) said they have developed a non- invasive bandage made with magnetic nanofibres to treat skin cancer by administering heat to the tumour cells.

Skin cancer is caused mainly due to excessive exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun.

There are two types: Melanoma, which develops from pigment-producing cells in the skin called melanocytes, and non-melanoma, which develops from other skin cells, IISc said.

Though non-melanoma skin cancer is more widespread, melanoma is malignant and has a higher mortality rate, according to Bengaluru-based IISc.

Common treatments for skin cancer include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.

But these treatments and other conventional therapies have limitations.

A promising alternative that has emerged to treat skin cancer is hyperthermia, which involves applying heat to the affected tissues.

In recent years, researchers have been working on developing ways of delivering heat to the tumour tissues so that cancer cells are targeted selectively and effectively, IISc noted in a statement on Thursday.

One such technology is called magnetic hyperthermia, in which magnetic nanoparticles are used to heat the tumours by using an external alternating current magnetic field (AMF).

But it is difficult to achieve uniform heating of the affected tissues using such magnetic nanoparticles because of uncontrolled aggregation.

Besides, they can accumulate in the human body and induce toxicity.

Now, researchers from the Centre for BioSystems Science and Engineering (BSSE) and the Department of Molecular Reproduction, Development and Genetics (MRDG) at IISc have developed a bandage with a unique blend of magnetic nanoparticles fabricated using a method called electrospinning.

It comprises nanoparticles made from an oxide of iron, Fe3O4, and a biodegradable polymer called polycaprolactone (PCL) pasted on a surgical tape.

The magnetic material generates heat when it is subjected to a high-frequency oscillating magnetic field.

In order to investigate whether the heat generated and dissipated by the magnetic bandage can treat skin cancer, the researchers did two experiments: One was in vitro on human cancer cell lines and the other was in vivo on mice with artificially-induced skin cancer.

"The protocol used to prepare the PCL-Fe3O4 fibrous mat-based bandage took a little more than two months to optimise; however, the in vitro and in vivo tests that involved the testing of the magnetic thermal therapy took quite some time to optimise," said Kaushik Suneet, a former project associate at BSSE and the first author of the study.

In both experiments, the heat generated by applying AMF to the nanofibrous magnetic bandage killed the cancer cells successfully.

Moreover, in the in vivo experiment, the healthy tissue remained intact with no signs of burns, inflammation, or thickening.

"The elevated temperature at the treatment site enables heat to penetrate the tumour cells, rupturing the compact random vasculatures (network of blood vessels) of the tumours," explained Shilpee Jain, who was a DST-INSPIRE Faculty Fellow at BSSE when the study was conducted, and is a senior author of the paper.

"(In contrast), the normal healthy cells, owing to their organised open vasculatures, dissipate the heat to maintain normal temperatures, and so remain unharmed."

Though this novel treatment has been shown to be effective against skin cancer in lab experiments, it is still at a nascent stage of development as a clinical therapy, the statement said.

"Further studies are required to test the efficacy of this novel treatment method on a larger scale in rabbits, dogs and monkeys before employing it for pre-clinical and clinical applications," cautioned Jain.

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.