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News Opinion

The only ‘circuit break’ in the pandemic we need now is from the government’s doom-mongering scientific advisers who specialise in causing panic and little else, say PROF CARL HENEGHAN and DR TOM JEFFERSON – Daily Mail

  • ‘Circuit break’ may be a grave error with terrible consequences for the health of the British people and for the health of the country.
  • The Government is once again in the grip of doom-mongering scientific modellers who specialise in causing panic.
  • The latest reliable data from Spain (up to September 3) which does not indicate any sort of upward curve in infections, let alone one coming to get us here in Britain.
  • Anyone with clinical experience of dealing with respiratory viruses knows that the only certainty is uncertainty itself.
  • Making comparisons between countries using different national data with different definitions is no more useful than trying to compare apples and pears.
  • Latest study shows that nearly a third of all Covid-19 deaths recorded in July and August might have actually been the result of other causes –cancer, for example, or road traffic accidents.
  • Sweden has probably suppressed Covid-19 to the same level as Great Britain but without draconian measures.
  • Anyone going down with a new respiratory illness is likely to be suffering from a cold – not Covid.

Covid-19 accounts for an average of 11 of the 1,687 deaths in Britain every day, according to official statistics.

CauseUK deaths per day
Heart disease460
Cancer450
Dementia240
Flu and pneumonia124
Lung disease84
Accidents at home16
Infections16
Suicide15
COVID-1911
Road accidents5

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-8751389/Oxford-scientists-circuit-break-need-cycle-bad-data-bad-science.html

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Videos

Oxford epidemiologists: suppression strategy is not viable – UnHerd

2:55 – Masks
• Tom Jefferson: “Aside from people who are exposed on the frontlines, there is no evidence that masks make any difference, but what’s even more extraordinary is the uncertainty: we don’t know if these things make any difference…. We should have done randomised control trials in February, March and April but not anymore because viral circulation is low and we will need huge number of enrolees to show whether there was any difference”.
• Carl Heneghan: “By all means people can wear masks but they can’t say it’s an evidence-based decision… there is a real separation between an evidence-based decision and the opaque term that ‘we are being led by the science’, which isn’t the evidence”.

9:26 – Pandemic life cycle
• CH: “One of the keys of the infection is to look at who’s been infected, which shows a crucial difference when comparing the pandemic theory to seasonal theory. In a pandemic you’d expect to see young people disproportionately affected, but in the UK we’ve only had six child deaths, which is far less than we’d normally see in a pandemic. The high number of deaths with over-75s fits with the seasonal theory”.

14:00 – Covid seasonality
• CH: “The stability of the virus is far less when the temperature goes up but humidity seems to be particularly important. The lower the humidity, the more stable the virus is in the atmosphere and on surfaces… It’s now winter in the southern hemisphere, which is why places like Australia are suddenly having outbreaks.”

20:37 – Lockdown
• CH: “Many people said that we should have locked down earlier, but 50% of care homes developed outbreaks during the lockdown period so there are issues within the transmission of this virus that are not clear… Lockdown is a blunt tool and there needs to be intelligent conversations about what mitigation strategies can keep society functioning while we keep the most vulnerable shielded”.

25:20 – Nightingale hospitals
• CH: “They are the wrong structure. What you need is fever hospitals which were here until around the 1980s or 90s. They were on single floors and had isolation within isolation. Theere were no lift shafts and staff were trained, which meant that everyone was protected from each other… It looks like at leats 20% of people got the infection while they were in hospital”

27:30 – Suppression strategy
• CH: “The benefits of the current strategy are outweighed by the harms…When it comes to suppression, only the virus will have a determination in that. If you follow the New Zealand policy of suppressing it to zero and locking down the country forever, then you’re going to have a problem… This virus is so out there now, I cannot see a strategy that makes suppression the viable option. The strategy right now should be how we learn to live with this virus”

32:45 – Response to the virus
• TJ: “I am a survivor of four pandemics and for the other three, I didn’t even realise they were going on. People died but nothing changed and none of the fabric of society was eroded like this response… Do I see steps being taken at a European level about learning from our mistakes and changing policies? The answer is no…

39:30 – Politics of the virus
• CH: “We as individuals are part of the problem because sensationalism drives people to click and read the information. So it’s a big circle because we’ve created the problem — if we put the worst case scenario out there, we will go and have a look. If you want a solution, you’ve got to get people to stop clicking on this sensationalist stuff”.

43:30 – IFR
• CH: “We will be down about where we were with the swine flu: around 0.1-0.3% which is much lower than what we think because at the moment we are seeing the case fatality”.
• TJ: “If you look at the whole narrative, it was distorted from the very beginning by the obsession with influenza which was just one or two agents and nothing else existed. We’re no different now”.

Categories
Videos

Corona – The Simple Truth in Under 6 Minutes

References for the video can be found at the content creator’s website at https://the-iceberg.net

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News

Britain could have been hit harder by Covid-19 because it has avoided bad flu seasons in the past two winters as influenza kills the SAME vulnerable people, study claims – Daily Mail

Britain could have been hit harder by Covid-19 than other European nations because the past two winter flu outbreaks have only been mild, according to a study.

Researchers say influenza kills the same groups of people as the coronavirus, with both illnesses posing the greatest danger to the elderly and those with underlying conditions.

Public Health England statistics show around 20,000 excess deaths – those of any cause that happen above average – occur from influenza each year.

But only 1,700 extra fatalities were recorded during the 2018/19 outbreak, said lead author Dr Chris Hope who claimed data showed the 2019/20 season was also ‘very mild’.

It means more than 30,000 people in England alone were alive at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic who would have been expected to die in the previous two flu seasons.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8497185/Britain-hit-harder-Covid-19-avoided-bad-flu-seasons.html

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Publications

COVID-19 death rate is higher in European countries with a low flu intensity – Dr. Chris Hope, University of Cambridge

The death rate from COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Europe appears to be linked to low-intensity flu seasons in the past two years as the same people are vulnerable, says a working paper by Dr Chris Hope, Emeritus Reader in Policy Modelling at Cambridge Judge Business School.

https://insight.jbs.cam.ac.uk/2020/flu-and-coronavirus/

Categories
Publications

Comparative community burden and severity of seasonal and pandemic influenza: results of the Flu Watch cohort study – The Lancet (2014)

Most Flu Is Asymptomatic

On average, roughly 20% of the unvaccinated had serologic evidence of influenza infection, but up to three quarters of the infected were asymptomatic. The proportions did not vary significantly between seasonal and pandemic influenzas. The pandemic H1N1 strain was associated with less severe symptoms than the seasonal H3N2 strain.

NEJM Journal Watch, 17 March 2014

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanres/article/PIIS2213-2600(14)70034-7/fulltext

Categories
Publications

Healthcare personnel exposure in an emergency department during influenza season – PubMed (2018)

Abstract

Introduction: Healthcare personnel are at high risk for exposure to influenza by direct and indirect contact, droplets and aerosols, and by aerosol generating procedures. Information on air and surface influenza contamination is needed to assist in developing guidance for proper prevention and control strategies. To understand the vulnerabilities of healthcare personnel, we measured influenza in the breathing zone of healthcare personnel, in air and on surfaces within a healthcare setting, and on filtering facepiece respirators worn by healthcare personnel when conducting patient care.

Methods: Thirty participants were recruited from an adult emergency department during the 2015 influenza season. Participants wore personal bioaerosol samplers for six hours of their work shift, submitted used filtering facepiece respirators and medical masks and completed questionnaires to assess frequency and types of interactions with potentially infected patients. Room air samples were collected using bioaerosol samplers, and surface swabs were collected from high-contact surfaces within the adult emergency department. Personal and room bioaerosol samples, surface swabs, and filtering facepiece respirators were analyzed for influenza A by polymerase chain reaction.

Methods: Thirty participants were recruited from an adult emergency department during the 2015 influenza season. Participants wore personal bioaerosol samplers for six hours of their work shift, submitted used filtering facepiece respirators and medical masks and completed questionnaires to assess frequency and types of interactions with potentially infected patients. Room air samples were collected using bioaerosol samplers, and surface swabs were collected from high-contact surfaces within the adult emergency department. Personal and room bioaerosol samples, surface swabs, and filtering facepiece respirators were analyzed for influenza A by polymerase chain reaction.

Conclusions: Healthcare personnel may encounter increased concentrations of influenza virus when in close proximity to patients. Occupations that require contact with patients are at an increased risk for influenza exposure, which may occur throughout the influenza season. Filtering facepiece respirators may become contaminated with influenza when used during patient care.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30169507/