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News

Antibody tests do not pick up people who had mild coronavirus, Oxford study suggests – The Telegraph

Antibody tests may be missing large numbers of people who contracted Covid-19 because they don’t work for people who had a mild infection, new research from Oxford University suggests.

A study of more than 9,000 healthcare workers suggested significant numbers of people were getting ‘negative’ test results, despite probably having had the virus.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-disease/antibody-tests-may-miss-people-had-mild-symptoms-coronavirus/

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Opinion

The Key to Defeating COVID-19 Already Exists. We Need to Start Using It – Dr. Harvey Rish, Newsweek

As professor of epidemiology at Yale School of Public Health, I have authored over 300 peer-reviewed publications and currently hold senior positions on the editorial boards of several leading journals. I am usually accustomed to advocating for positions within the mainstream of medicine, so have been flummoxed to find that, in the midst of a crisis, I am fighting for a treatment that the data fully support but which, for reasons having nothing to do with a correct understanding of the science, has been pushed to the sidelines. As a result, tens of thousands of patients with COVID-19 are dying unnecessarily. Fortunately, the situation can be reversed easily and quickly.

I am referring, of course, to the medication hydroxychloroquine. When this inexpensive oral medication is given very early in the course of illness, before the virus has had time to multiply beyond control, it has shown to be highly effective, especially when given in combination with the antibiotics azithromycin or doxycycline and the nutritional supplement zinc.

  •  As a result, tens of thousands of patients with COVID-19 are dying unnecessarily.
  • An inexpensive and be highly effective treatment, especially when given early: Hydroxychloroquine in combination with the antibiotics azithromycin or doxycycline and zinc.
  • The article, “Early Outpatient Treatment of Symptomatic, High-Risk COVID-19 Patients that Should be Ramped-Up Immediately as Key to the Pandemic Crisis” was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology (AJE). It analyzed five studies, demonstrating clear benefits and safety of this treatment.
  • Other studies include:
    • an additional 400 high-risk patients treated by Dr. Vladimir Zelenko, with zero deaths;
    • four studies totaling almost 500 high-risk patients treated in nursing homes and clinics across the U.S., with no deaths;
    • a controlled trial of more than 700 high-risk patients in Brazil, with significantly reduced risk of hospitalization and two deaths among 334 patients treated with hydroxychloroquine;
    • and another study of 398 matched patients in France, also with significantly reduced hospitalization risk.
  • “Natural experiments:” northern Brazil state of Pará used hydroxychloroquine to reduce deaths.
  • Hydroxychloroquine has shown major success when used early in high-risk people but, as one would expect for an antiviral, much less success when used late in the disease course.
  • Delays in waiting before starting the medications can reduce their efficacy.
  • FDA concerns about the drug did not announce is that these adverse events were generated from tens of millions of patient uses of hydroxychloroquine for long periods of time, often for the chronic treatment of lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
  • The harms are minuscule compared to the mortality occurring right now in inadequately treated high-risk COVID-19 patients.

https://www.newsweek.com/key-defeating-covid-19-already-exists-we-need-start-using-it-opinion-1519535

Categories
Opinion

The ‘new’ Oxford study on face coverings is sleight of hand

The new Oxford study released by Royal Society and British Academy does not prove face coverings work. It is a policy document masquerading as an investigation into face coverings.

The Mayor Of London claims new evidence supports the use of face coverings as effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19. He cites a University of Oxford study that claims: “face masks and coverings work – act now.

The study, from Oxford’s Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science, is freely available for download from The Royal Society website. Nevertheless, we doubted that many people would take time to verify the claims so we took a look. What did we find?

The bulk of study is in fact an investigation into policies and behavioural factors behind face mask usage. Only a small section is dedicated to analysing the effectiveness of cloth face coverings and even this provides nothing new. Further, rather than performing randomised controlled trials (RCTs), which form the highest level of evidence in medical science, this report simply looked at existing research.

From this existing research, the authors forced a conclusion that ‘face masks and coverings work’ but with some very important caveats:

  1. The tests were carried out in medical and lab settings, not within the community.
  2. There were other factors that contributed to the masks’ effectiveness.
  3. The conclusions were based on small studies.

The study limitations can be found in the document appendix, table A5.1.

Face masks and coverings for the general public, 26 June 2020

What can we conclude from the release of this study?

It seems evidence for universal masking of healthy people in the community so flimsy that sleight of hand is needed in order to push public acceptance.

Update 19 July 2020:

A Spiked Online article published on 16 July, The government has lost control, draws the same conclusions:

The Royal Society published, on 26 June, a ‘rapid review of the science of the effectiveness of different face-mask types’ – a dense, 37-page tract which made the case for face masks. It was neither peer-reviewed nor opened to wide expert and public debate before being used to argue for policy.

…the hasty assembling of research articles in support of a policy position is not science, and demanding that the government introduce new ‘taboos’ is naive and clumsy social engineering, not careful examination of the facts.

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Opinion

Lockdown and social distancing could make our immune system weaker, says scientist – The Telegraph

Prolonged periods of lockdown cocooning the public from germs could leave people dangerously vulnerable to new viruses, a leading epidemiologist has warned.

Sunetra Gupta, professor of theoretical epidemiology at the University of Oxford, fears intense social distancing could actually weaken immune systems because people are not exposed to germs and so do not develop defences that could protect them against future pandemics.

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Opinion

Bring on Britain’s corona clowns – The Spectator

The Recovery trial has steadfastly ignored Professor Didier Raoult and a string of countries that have implemented his protocol, early use of HCQ with Azythromycin in safe doses, despite the fact that, after treating 3,737 patients — the single largest study in the world —Raoult has lost only 0.6 per cent, while Horby and Landray are presiding over carnage —a fatality rate of 25 per cent.

  • The Recovery trial has steadfastly ignored Professor Didier Raoult in the early use of HCQ with Azythromycin in safe doses.
  • Raoult has lost only 0.6 per cent, while Horby and Landray are presiding over carnage —a fatality rate of 25 per cent.
  • Landray admitted to an investigative journalist at FranceSoir ‘these are quite high doses to… have a chance of killing the virus.’ Or killing the patient.
  • Recovery is not the only trial delivering dangerously elevated doses of HCQ to Covid patients. Dosage in the international Solidarity trial was four times greater than the dose being used in India.
  • WHO has been working for years with Gilead Sciences trying to get the pharmaceutical company’s lacklustre drug Remdesivir to show efficacy at curing first Ebola, with poor results, and now Covid-19.
  • Landray revealed Gilead pays scientists 20 to 50 times more to conduct a clinical trial than Horby and Landray were paid to conduct the Recovery trial.
  • Horby is the executive director of the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium which received 4.5 million pounds for research into vaccines.
  • Horby established the Epidemic Research Group which is promised up to 14 million pounds from AstraZeneca and Zuckerberg/Chan of Facebook fame for the development of a Covid-19 vaccine which is being trialled by Oxford University.
  • AstraZeneca is interested in merging with Gilead Sciences, which, if it went through, would create the biggest Big Pharma ever.
  • Horby and Landray have announced that dexamethasone, a low-cost steroid which is also being tested has reduced the mortality rate of Covid-19 patients on ventilators from a scandalous 41 per cent to a still appalling 32 per cent.
  • Raoult has pointed out that in his hospital, of the 0.6 per cent who die, a mere 16 per cent were in ICU
  • In Britain, where almost 42,000 people have died of Covid, the only thing randomised, controlled trials have achieved, is to blind people to the evidence that 40,000 of those deaths could have been avoided.

https://www.spectator.com.au/2020/06/bring-on-britains-corona-clowns/p>

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News

Vaccine professor at Oxford University says ‘little chance’ now of proving if it works – Professor Sarah Gilbert, The Mirror

A coronavirus vaccine professor at Oxford University says there is now ‘little chance’ of proving if it works due to low transmission rates in the UK.

Professor Sarah Gilbert, leading the University of Oxford vaccine trial, said that when Covid-19 transmission was high, lockdown was imposed to bring the rate down.

But since then rates have dropped, and the trial relies on a sufficient number of volunteers to have been exposed to the virus to see whether a vaccine protects them or not.

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/vaccine-professor-oxford-university-says-22241101

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News

School age children more likely to be hit by lightning than die of coronavirus, analysis finds – The Telegraph

School children under the age of 15 are more likely to be hit by lightning than die from coronavirus, new figures suggest, amid mounting pressure for the government to get more to get pupils back into classrooms as quickly as possible.

Scientists from the universities of Cambridge and Oxford have called for “rational debate” based on the “tiny” risk to children and have suggested that if no vaccine is found in the future then it may be better for younger people to continue with their lives, while shielding the more vulnerable.

It comes as the government was accused of “losing the plot” after Gavin Williamson, the Education Secretary, scrapped the Government’s target of getting all primary school pupils back in the classroom before the summer holidays

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News

‘The costs are too high’: the scientist who wants lockdown lifted faster – The Guardian

“It’s becoming clear that a lot of people have been exposed to the virus and that the death rate in people under 65 is not something you would lock down the economy for,” she says. “We can’t just think about those who are vulnerable to the disease. We have to think about those who are vulnerable to lockdown too. The costs of lockdown are too high at this point.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/05/the-costs-are-too-high-the-scientist-who-wants-lockdown-lifted-faster-sunetra-gupta

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News

Britain on track to have NO Covid-19 deaths by July – Daily Mail

Professor Carl Heneghan, an Oxford University epidemiologist, expects no ‘excess deaths’ by the second week of June, for which the data will not become available until mid-June.

The weekly death toll in England and Wales dropped to its lowest levels since the lockdown began, an Office for National Statistics (ONS) report said today. A total of 1,983 people in England and Wales died with Covid-19 in the week ending May 22, down almost 30 per cent in a week and the lowest figure for two months.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8379615/Britains-Covid-19-death-toll-moves-closer-50-000.html

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News

Oxford University Covid-19 vaccine trial has only 50 per cent chance of success – The Telegraph

[P]harmaceutical giant AstraZeneca announced a $1.2 billion deal with the US government to produce 400 million doses of the unproven coronavirus vaccine first produced in Prof Hill’s Oxford lab.

Meanwhile, the British Government has agreed to pay for up to 100 million doses, adding that 30 million may be ready for UK citizens by September.

Project leader Prof Hill warns against ‘over-promising’, as vaccine success is far from guaranteed

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/05/23/oxford-university-covid-19-vaccine-trial-has-50-per-cent-chance/

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News

Doubts over Oxford vaccine as it fails to stop coronavirus in animal trials – The Telegraph

The Oxford University vaccine tipped as a “front runner” in the race to develop a coronavirus jab does not stop the virus in monkeys and may only be partially effective, experts have warned.

  • All of the vaccinated monkeys treated with the Oxford vaccine became infected.
  • Vaccine data suggests that the jab may not be able to prevent the spread of the virus between infected individuals.  

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-disease/doubts-oxford-vaccine-fails-stop-coronavirus-animal-trials/