Headline USA

Identify two drugs that reduce mortality among the most serious patients of covid-19 | The State

Massimo Percossi / EFE

Experts in the United Kingdom identified 2 medicines capable of reducing deaths among the sickest patients from COVID-19 by a quarter.

These are two anti-inflammatory drugs –tocilizumab and sarilumab– administered by drip, which save one life for every 12 people who receive the treatment, according to researchers who have carried out a test in the intensive care units of the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).

Experts say the supplies are already available across the UK, so they can be used immediately to save hundreds of lives.

There are more than 30,000 COVID-19 patients in UK hospitals, 39% more than in April.

In addition to saving more lives, treatments speed up the recovery of patients and reduce the time critically ill patients spend in intensive care by about a week.

Both seem to work equally well, and their favorable effect is in addition to that already achieved with a cheap steroid drug called dexamethasone.

Although drugs are not cheap -they cost between $ 1,000 and $ 1,350 per patient- Experts point out that the advantage of using them is clear and emphasize that your price is less than the cost per day of an intensive care bed, for about $ 2,700.

“For every 12 patients you treat with these drugs, you would hope to save one life. It’s a great effect, ”says Professor Anthony Gordon, Principal Investigator at Imperial College London.

A box of dexomethasone.
The favorable effect of these drugs is coupled with the benefits that are achieved with the use of dexomethasone. (Photo: Getty Images)

In the REMAP-CAP trial conducted in six different countries, including the United Kingdom, with around 800 intensive care patients:

  • Almost 36% of intensive care covid-19 patients who received standard care died
  • The new drugs cut that number by a quarter to 27% when administered within 24 hours after patients were admitted to intensive care.

“The fact that there is now another drug that can help reduce the mortality of COVID-19 patients is very welcome news and another positive development in the ongoing fight against the virus,” said Professor Stephen Powis, National Medical Director. of the NHS.

UK Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock also welcomed the finding. “Today’s results are another historic advance in the search for a way out of this pandemic and, when added to the arsenal of vaccines and treatments that are already being implemented, they will play an important role in defeating this virus,” he said.

UK Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock
UK Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock hailed the finding as a historic step towards ending the pandemic. (Photo: Getty Images)

Drugs reduce inflammation, It can be accelerated in COVID-19 patients and cause damage to the lungs and other organs.

Experts are advising doctors to given to any coronavirus patient whose condition is deteriorating, despite receiving dexamethasone, and need intensive care.

Tocilizumab and sarilumab have already been added by the government to the list of products whose export is restricted, which prohibits companies from buying drugs intended for patients in the UK and selling them at a higher price in another country.

The findings of this research have not yet been reviewed by other experts or published in a medical journal.

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Delhi The Buzz

Keep vigil on any unusual mortality among birds, states told

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 6

The Centre has asked states to keep a vigil and report immediately any unusual mortality amongst birds and also take necessary measures. 

The Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying has also set up a control room to keep a watch on the situation on daily basis of preventive and control measures being undertaken by State authorities, according to an official statement.

After confirmation of positive samples from ICAR-NIHSAD, Avian Influenza has been reported from 12 epicentres which include Rajasthan (crow) – Baran, Kota, Jhalawar; Madhya Pradesh (crow) – Mandsaur, Indore, Malwa; Himachal Pradesh (migratory birds) – Kangra; and Kerala (poultry-duck) –  Kottayam, Allapuzha (4 epicentres).

An advisory was issued to Rajasthan and MP on January 1 to avoid further spread of the infection. As per received from the two States, control measures are being taken as per the guidelines of the National Action Plan of Avian Influenza. 

An advisory was also issued on January 5 to Himachal, advising it to take measures to avoid further spread of disease to poultry. Kerala has already initiated control and containment operations at epicentres and culling process is in operation, it said.

Measures suggested to the affected States to contain the disease and prevent further spread as per the Action Plan on Avian Influenza include strengthening the biosecurity of poultry farms, disinfection of affected areas, proper disposal of dead birds/carcasses, timely collection and submission of samples for confirmation and further surveillance, intensification of surveillance plan as well as the general guidelines for prevention of disease spread from affected birds to poultry and human. Coordination with forest department for reporting any unusual mortality of birds has also been suggested. 

Avian Influenza viruses have been circulating worldwide for centuries with four known major outbreaks recorded in the last century. India notified the first outbreak of avian influenza in 2006.  

Infection in humans is not yet reported in India though the disease is zoonotic. There is no direct evidence that AI viruses can be transmitted to humans via the consumption of contaminated poultry products. Implementing management practices that incorporate bio security principles, personal hygiene, and cleaning and disinfection protocols, as well as cooking and processing standards, are effective means of controlling the spread of the AI viruses, as per officials.

In India, the disease spreads mainly by migratory birds coming into India during winter months i.e. from September – October to February – March. The secondary spread by human handling (through fomites) cannot be ruled out, as per the statement.

As per reports received from Haryana, 4,30,267 birds have died in Barwala, Panchkula, in past 25 days.

The samples have been sent to the designated laboratory for testing, the results are still awaited. State has constituted 59 RRTs to control and contain the disease, according to the Centre.

Unusual moralities found in 7,111 domestic birds in Haryana, 150 wild birds in Madhya Pradesh, 10 crows in Gujarat, 336 migratory birds in Himachal Pradesh today. 

Meanwhile in Kerala, 7,326 birds (9,066 in Pallipad, 8,260 in Karuvatta) have been culled and 1,570 kg feed has been destroyed in epicentres of district of Alappuzha. At epicentre in district of Kottayam 4,229 birds have been culled and 8 kg feed and 42 eggs destroyed as on date.

Further, some samples of crow from Kale Hanumanji Forest Nakka, Jaipur, Rajasthan, have also been found positive for H5N8 Avian influenza virus.

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California Headline USA Los Angeles Politics

“Viral Tsunami”: US on Route to 20 Million Infections; new record with 3,700 deaths in one day and few vaccinated | The State

They predict a fatal national winter

Andrés Correa Guatarasma / Courtesy

The US set two dismal COVID-19 records yesterday, en route to closing a pandemic year that threatens to extend into 2021.

Yesterday there were more than 3,700 new deaths daily related to the virus, a chilling new record. The figure includes Luke Letlow, newly elected young Republican congressman in Louisiana, died last night for complications related to the coronavirus, at age 41.

The highest number of coronavirus hospitalizations was also reported, with more than 124,600 patients in the country, en route to 20 million cases throughout the year, reported CNN.

At regional level, NYC, the most affected city in the world due to the pandemic, yesterday crossed the threshold of more than 25 thousand desires related to coronavirus. Officials of Texas reported never-before-seen hospitalization figures, with more than 11,700 coronavirus patients statewide.

Meanwhile, in the county Los Angeles (California) hospitalizations are at an all time high and they are approaching 7,200 patients, almost 1,000% more than just two months ago. With the increase in cases some hospitals are running out of oxygen tanks.

“In fact, I think we are now beyond the waves or swells and this is a viral tsunami that we are experiencing ”, alerted epidemiologist Dr. Robert Kim-Farley.

Experts warned that the US could see even worse COVID-19 figures in January, driven by Christmas gatherings and trips, and the drop in temperature.

On Monday alone, more than 1.1 million people passed through airport checkpoints across the country, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said.

“The next few months are going to be horrible,” predicted Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a professor of medicine at George Washington University in DC. “We’re going to lose 3,000, maybe more people a day, probably well into February. And then we should start to see some light. “

And although the vaccinations ongoing continue to offer hope, the process is taking longer than expected by many health officials, and it will likely be months before the country begins to see a significant impact, experts said.

Government officials had initially promised that at least 20 million doses would be administered by the end of December, but data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that approximately 11.4 million doses have been distributed. , and only 2.1 million have been administered.

But Trump administration officials told CNN that vaccine distribution is on track and they attributed the gap to a delay in data submission.

President-elect Joe Biden yesterday lashed out at the outgoing president for delays in the distribution of the vaccine and promised that when he takes office on January 20 he will use a law to force the private sector to speed up the process.

At the current rate, it would take nearly 10 years to vaccinate enough Americans to control the pandemic, according to an analysis of NBC News.


Delhi Jammu and Kashmir The Buzz

Infant, under-five mortality rates dip in 18 states, UTs: Survey

New Delhi, December 12

Mortality rate among infants and those under five years of age fell in 18 states and union territories out of a total 22 surveyed, while 16 of them registered a rise in the percentage of under-five children who are underweight and severely wasted, according to the fifth National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5).

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Saturday released the fifth National Family Health Survey (NFHS) which contains detailed information on population, health, and nutrition for India and its states and Union Territories.

Thirteen states and UTs out of the 22 surveyed recorded a rise in the percentage of children under five years who are stunted in comparison to 2015-16, survey data showed.

According to NFHS-5, Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Telangana, Tripura, West Bengal, Lakshadweep and Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu recorded a rise in the percentage of children under five years who are stunted in comparison to NFHS-4 (2015-16).

Twelve states and UTs out of the 22 surveyed recorded a rise in the percentage of children under five years who are wasted in comparison to NFHS-4, while two states recorded the same percentage as in NFHS-4, the data showed.

Assam, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Telangana, Tripura, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh and Lakshadweep showed a rise in the percentage of children under five years who are wasted, while Maharashtra and West Bengal had the same percentage, according to the data.

Sixteen states and UTs out of the 22 surveyed recorded a rise in the percentage of children under five years who are severely wasted and underweight in comparison to NFHS-4, the data showed.

Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Telangana, Tripura, West Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh and Lakshadweep showed a rise in the percentage of under-five children who are severely wasted, the data showed.

The NFHS-5 further showed that 20 states and UTs have recorded a rise in the percentage of children under 5 years who are overweight.

According to the NFHS-5 (2019-20), sex ratio of the total population (females per 1,000 males) rose in 17 states and UTs in comparison to NFHS-4 (2015-16).

The states which observed a drop in sex ratio of the total population were Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

The neonatal mortality rate (NMR) (per 1,000 live births) dropped in 15 states and UTs in comparison to NFHS-4 (2015-16), while the infant mortality rate (IMR) and the under-five mortality rate (UMR) fell in 18 states and UTs, the NFHS-5 showed.

Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu recorded rise in NMR in comparison to NFHS-4 (2015-16).

Manipur, Meghalaya, Tripura and Andaman and Nicobar Islands recorded rise in IMR and UMR in comparison to NFHS-4 (2015-16), it said.

The present NFHS is being conducted on 6.1 lakh sample households, involving household level interviews to collect information on population, health, family planning and nutrition related indicators.       The results of 17 states and five UTs (Assam, Bihar, Manipur, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Tripura, Andhra Pradesh, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra, Telangana, West Bengal, Mizoram, Kerala, Lakshadweep, Dadra Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu) have been released now as Phase-I.

Phase II covering the remaining 12 states and 2 UTs had their fieldwork suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has been resumed from November and is expected to be completed by May, 2021, the Health Ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said substantial improvement in maternal and child health indicators over NFHS-4 (2015-16) was recorded in the present survey.

The fertility rate has further declined, contraceptive use has increased and unmet need has been reduced in most Phase I states, it said.

The survey found considerable improvement in vaccination coverage among children aged 12-23 months across all states/UTs. Women’s empowerment indicators, including women with bank account, also portray considerable progress, the Health Ministry said. PTI


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Headline USA

“We don’t know what children die of in poor countries: we have found a way to find out” | The State

Death is still a taboo subject, even for medicine, and if it is a child’s the problem is even greater. ¿Is there something more difficult to digest?

Fortunately, in Europe this phenomenon is exceptional. In countries like Spain out of every 1,000 live births, only 3 will not reach 5 years of age. But nevertheless, In the poorest countries, death in childhood is much more common and infant mortality rates are unacceptably high.

Although it seems incredible, they exist today places in the world where 1 in 10 live births will die in childhood. It is difficult to think of a statistic that is more demonstrative of the inequities between the rich and poor world.

If we want to do something to improve this situation, we must start by focusing on these deaths, which in many cases are invisible to statistics.

In poor countries many children are born and die without ever being registered. Some call it “the invisibility scandal.”

Many die at home, outside the reach of the health system, and therefore without preventive or therapeutic measures at their disposal.

These invisible deaths seem to matter to no one, because few know they have occurred. Making them visible is not enough.

We must also understand why they occur and design health policies capable of preventing preventable causes and curing curable causes. That is where we fail miserably.

Knowing the causes of one death can help prevent others. (Photo: Getty Images)

Anyone might think that knowing what someone has died of is easy. In Europe, if we get sick or our health is in danger, we can go to any hospital (there will always be one nearby). There they will not only be able to access our complete medical history, but they will also be able to determine very precisely what happens to us through a battery of tests and analyzes. Reaching a diagnosis is possible and easy.

If we die on the street, forensic medicine will be in charge of studying what happened to us with an autopsy. This is not an option, it is a legal requirement. Therefore, it is very difficult for someone in our environment to die and we do not get to know what has happened to him.

In the poorest countries, and especially in rural Africa, this is different. The methods available to investigate what someone has died of in these contexts are either unreliable or imprecise. On the one hand, there is the verbal autopsy, an interview with the relatives of the deceased weeks or months after death, aimed at gathering information through questions about what happened in the previous days. The responses are analyzed by a clinician or by a computer program.

How reliable will a method be based on what a relative without health qualifications reports about something that happened months ago? What medical knowledge do we ask of them in environments where a significant proportion of the population cannot even read or write? Although it may be useful to monitor trends in the main causes of death at the population level, this methodology is not very robust for the determination of individual causes.

In those cases in which patients have been seen in a hospital, we will have a little more information. Again, How accurate is the diagnosis in places famous for the shortage of doctors and tools? The only way to find out this is to compare the verdicts proposed by the clinicians who saw these patients before they died with the cause attributed by the reference method, which is the anatomopathological autopsy.

The results of this comparison are quite disappointing. Unfortunately, discrepancies are frequent and occur in up to half of the cases. Diagnostic errors (which in these settings often carry fatal risks) are plentiful. No matter how good we doctors think we are doing our job, If we do not have basic diagnostic tools to do it, we will be condemned to speculation.

Why not do autopsies, as would be done in Spain?

There are two main reasons: First, there is an overwhelming shortage of pathologists and trained personnel in Africa. If in Spain there is one pathologist for every 15,000 inhabitants, in Africa there are countries that do not even have one.

Some countries do not have enough specialized personnel to perform autopsies. (Photo: Getty Images)

On the other hand, this practice is considered too invasive and bloody and has little acceptance. Although autopsies are the gold standard, and the surest way to find out the cause of death, they are an often unacceptable procedure, and therefore not feasible in these settings.

How We Create Minimally Invasive Autopsies

Faced with this dilemma, our team, which has been investigating the causes of death in the poorest countries for more than 20 years, developed in 2013 what we now know as a minimally invasive autopsy (MIA). It is a methodology postmortem of obtaining samples -with biopsy needles- of the most important organs of the body.

This method facilitates the removal of small cylinders of tissue from organs as important as the lung, liver and brainas well as blood and cerebrospinal fluid. Therefore, it simplifies its study and allows a much more accurate diagnosis.

By examining these samples under a microscope, we can know with certainty if the organ they came from was sick, healthy, or if some microorganism had infected the patient.

This way we will have a fairly complete vision of what was happening inside the body and, therefore, of what killed that person. All with hardly any visible marks on the body, a fundamental element for greater acceptability where a complete autopsy was not considered permissible. A very simple, but tremendously powerful idea that has revolutionized the surveillance of causes of death in the poorest countries.

A pathologist using a microscope.
The samples taken during the minimally invasive autopsy allow an accurate diagnosis of the cause of death. (Photo: Getty Images)

Since our team validated the methodology (in a direct comparison with the full autopsy) the method has been adopted all over the world, and is used routinely in the CHAMPS infant mortality surveillance network present in Africa and Asia, where more than 2,200 have already been carried out. The data that have begun to be generated are changing the current paradigms about death and its causes.

Although difficult to scale at the population level, these autopsies offer the real possibility of generating data – now credible – on the diseases and pathogens that contribute the most to prematurely killing children.

Knowing what people die from is essential to be able to design health policies necessary and implement the appropriate measures to prevent these deaths. It is also essential to know how to better distribute the few resources available in health that these countries have, often below $ 100. per capita yearly.

Death can teach us a lot. Surely, from so many and so many premature, preventable and unnecessary deaths we can extract the appropriate lessons that help us avoid that the place of birth is the main determinant of the chances of survival.

*Quique Bassat is pediatrist and epidemiologist, ICREA researcher, Institute of Global Health from Barcelonto (ISGlobal)

Clara Menendez is ddirector of the ISGlobal Maternal, Child and Reproductive Health Initiative

Jaume ordi it is professor of the ISGlobto the

This article was originally published

you on The Conversation. You can see the original version here.

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Headline USA New York

Nefarious year: road deaths already exceeded those of 2019 in New York City | The State

NYPD Patrol Clash in Manhattan, May 2020

Andrés Correa Guatarasma / Courtesy

Indirectly, the pandemic has caused other deaths not related to contagions, because as traffic decreases, it appears that people drive more dangerously, and cyclists and pedestrians lower their guard.

No surprises, before Thanksgiving NYC had already had more traffic fatalities in 2020 than in all of 2019. Particularly in the last days, four Hispanics died in different accidents in Brooklyn, between shocks and runs.

The city has added 222 people killed in car accidents as of November 24, according to the Department of Transportation (DOT). This exceeds the 220 deaths in the whole of last year, which was even an alarming figure that generated announcements such as the expansion of the largest surveillance cameras in the country, which have not brought the expected results.

Commenting on the figures, the activist group “Transportation Alternatives” this week asked Mayor Bill de Blasio to “rescue” the program “Vision Zero” of the city, which is a long way from its original goal of reaching zero asphalt fatalities by 2024.

“These tragedies are the predictable and preventable result of underfunding the initiatives of Vision Zero and prioritize the movement of car traffic over human life, ”said Danny Harris, director of the group, in a statement, noting that the fatal increase has occurred despite the fact that there are fewer cars circulating due to the pandemic.

The budget most recent of the City Council, approved in the midst of the COVID-19 budget crisis, took away $ 18 million for bike and bus lane initiatives, which are key to safer streets, Harris noted.

The city was on an excellent streak that stopped in 2019, after reaching historic lows at the beginning of De Blasio’s term, which began in 2014, pointed out New York Post.

Motorcyclists and motor vehicle occupants account for the majority of those killed in 2020, while the 91 pedestrian deaths this year are on track to be the lowest on record. “DOT is determined to continue using our data-driven approach to address the locations more prone to accidents and protect all users ”, highlighted the official representative Alana Morales.

Responding to Harris’ criticism, Mayor’s spokesman Mitch Schwartz said that the city spent $ 125 million on Vision Zero programs in 2020 and upgraded 16 miles of bike lanes “despite a dramatically shorter installation season” amid the lockdown.

The mayor admitted that there was “more work to be done.” “Over the course of the seven years we had some moments where we were able to have really extraordinary success and we have also had some setbacks, but the basic concept works and will continue to work,” he said during his daily press conference on Tuesday.

“Every redesign of the streets helps, all the control measures help, all the speed cameras help, we have to keep doing it and behavior changes. And then, ultimately, continue to build public transportation to give people much better options, ”De Blasio reiterated.

In particular, there have been 69 times more deaths in NYC per million trips than Revel motorcycles since its launch in 2018 than Citi Bike in its seven years of existence, city officials alerted in October.


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Entertainment UK

Jeff Bridges appreciates his ‘mortality’ after devastating cancer diagnosis

Hollywood star Jeff Bridges says he appreciates his mortality after his recent cancer diagnosis.

The Oscar-winning actor, 70, revealed earlier this month that he had been diagnosed with lymphoma and was having treatment for the “serious disease”.

Now, the Crazy Heart star has spoken about the impact the health battle has had on his state of mind.

Writing on his website, Jeff penned: “This cancer thing is bringing on feelings of preciousness, and gratitude, and good old fashion love, and lots of it, big time.

“I’m feeling so much of it comin’ my way, and man, I appreciate it.

“It’s contagious, all this love, like some kind of positive virus.”

Jeff Bridges has said that he appreciates his mortality following his lymphoma diagnosis

The star of The Big Lebowski shared his gratitude for all the kind message he received from his fans and loved ones.

Jeff added: “It feels good to get all the well wishes and love!”

The actor concluded by referring to his new appreciation of his “mortality”.

He penned: “I’m realizing if I have s**t to share, now’s the time.”

When revealing his diagnosis earlier in October, Jeff said the prognosis for his condition looks positive.

Jeff Bridges recently revealed that the prognosis was good despite his worrying diagnosis

On social media, he wrote referring to his Big Lebowski character: “As the Dude would say.. New S*** has come to light. I have been diagnosed with Lymphoma.

“Although it is a serious disease, I feel fortunate that I have a great team of doctors and the prognosis is good.

“I’m starting treatment and will keep you posted on my recovery.”

“I’m profoundly grateful for the love and support from my family and friends. Thank you for your prayers and well wishes.”

Jeff Bridges has thanked his fans and loved ones for their support of him during his health battle

According to the US’ National Cancer Institute, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma has a five-year survival rate of 73 per cent.

Bridges married waitress Susan Geston in 1977 and they are still together 43 years later.

The couple have three daughters: Isabelle, 39, Jessica, 37, and Harley, 35.

Jeff Bridges pictured with his brother and fellow actor, Beau Bridges (left)

Jeff and Susan also have one granddaughter, Isabelle’s nine-year-old daughter Grace.

The son of actors Lloyd and Dorothy Bridges, Jeff is also the sibling of fellow Hollywood star Beau Bridges, and uncle to Beau’s actor son, Jordan Bridges.

Do you have a story to sell? Get in touch with us at [email protected] or call us direct 0207 29 33033.

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Air pollution could increase COVID-19 mortality by 15%

PARIS | Long-term exposure to ambient air pollution could lead to an increased risk of dying from COVID-19, around 15% on average globally, according to an international study released Tuesday.

• Read also: Asymptotic people lose their antibodies faster

• Read also: All developments in the COVID-19 pandemic

The study published in the specialist journal Cardiovascular Research sets out to assess the extent to which this pollution, already the cause of premature death, could also influence COVID mortality.

This proportion would be around 19% in Europe, 17% in North America, around 27% in East Asia, according to estimates by Professor Jos Lelievel of the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz (Germany). ) and his colleagues.

Long-term exposure to air pollution is believed to have contributed to 29% of deaths due to COVID-19 in the Czech Republic, 27% in China, 26% in Germany, 22% in Switzerland, 21% in Belgium , 19% in the Netherlands, 18% in France, 15% in Italy, 14% in the United Kingdom, 12% in Brazil, 11% in Portugal, 9% in Spain, 6% in Israel, 3% in Australia and only 1% in New Zealand.

The researchers used previous epidemiological data from the United States and China on air pollution and COVID-19 and on SARS from 2003, a disease similar to COVID-19.

They combined them with satellite data on global exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and data from ground pollution monitoring networks to do their calculations. The authors do not establish a direct cause and effect relationship between this pollution and COVID-19 mortality.

Pollutant particles appear to increase the activity of a receptor called ACE-2, located on the surface of cells, involved in how COVID-19 infects patients, the researchers say.

“We therefore have a ‘double blow’: air pollution damages the lungs and increases the activity of ACE-2, which leads to better absorption of the virus”, according to Professor Thomas Munzel (Johannes University Gutenberg, Mainz), co-signer of the study.

“The transition to a green economy with clean and renewable energy sources will promote both the environment and public health, at the local level by improving air quality and at the global level by limiting climate change”, they plead.

Deeming “extremely likely” the existence of a link between air pollution and mortality due to COVID-19, Anna Hansell, professor of environmental epidemiology (University of Leicester) for her part considers “premature to try to quantify it precisely ”.

She mentions “many other good reasons to act now to reduce air pollution, which the WHO already associates with 7 million deaths per year worldwide (4.2 million of these deaths linked to air pollution). outdoor air and the rest to indoor air pollution). “

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Headline USA New York

Alarm: there are more than 200 deaths in road accidents this year in New York, even with less traffic due to the pandemic | The NY Journal

Taxi crash on Park Av, Manhattan

Andrés Correa Guatarasma / Courtesy

More than 200 people have died in NYC road accidents so far this year, putting the city on track for the highest number of road fatalities since Mayor Bill de Blasio took office in January 2014. , according to transport advocates.

Figures calculated by the activist group Transportation Alternatives using city data highlight that at this point in 2019, 188 New Yorkers had died in car accidents, for a total of 220 that year.

“This is shaping up to be the deadliest year for traffic violence during Mayor de Blasio’s tenure,” said the group’s director, Danny Harris. “If the death rate on our streets remains unchanged for the rest of the year, we will see a total of 243 deaths in 2020.”

The increase in deaths from accidents occurs despite a drop in general traffic due to quarantine, a trend that has been seen in other areas of the country.

Experts believe that the two variables are related, since Fewer cars on the road has made people drive more dangerous, and bicyclists and pedestrians let their guard down.

Leading the rise are motorcycle and auto fatalities, which have risen significantly compared to 2019. Meanwhile, the number of bicyclists and pedestrians killed has decreased in NYC.

A spokesperson for the Department of Transportation (DOT) acknowledged the deadly spike, but questioned the “Transportation Alternatives” data, arguing that eight of the deaths this year were not caused by the crashes during which they occurred, he cited New York Post.

“The carnage on our streets continues unabated. The mayor has not only ignored the recommendations of his Surface Transportation Advisory Council to address this, but has drastically cut the budget for Vision Zero “Harris criticized earlier this month, referring to de Blasio’s 6-year plan to cut fatalities from traffic accidents to zero.


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Headline USA New York

Will US COVID-19 mortality catch up to surging cases?

Daily coronavirus fatality rates in the US remain a fraction of what they were in the deadly spring peak, even as cases climb to levels not seen since August, and well above infection rates from March to May.

In fact, new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest that excess fatalities in the US have fallen substantially since the first peak of the pandemic in the spring. 

However, COVID-19 is estimated to be responsible for two-thirds of nearly 300,000 ‘excess deaths’ that occurred in the US this year, the report, released Tuesday, revealed.

Many experts have warned that the worst of the pandemic is yet to come for the US, with cases ticking back up and cold weather driving people indoors where the virus can more easily spread from person to person.

The question is, ‘when?’ Months after the July peak of US coronavirus infections, the aftershock of rising deaths never did follow as anticipated. US cases have been rising once more for over three weeks, but daily deaths have not followed suit.

Experts told how the shifting demographics of who is getting sick in the US, the ways that deaths are getting counted, drastically better testing, mask-wearing and what we’ve learned about caring for covid patients is altering the mortality rate.

Young people are now driving the rise in infections, most surges happening in the sparsely populated Midwest and West, and older Americans know that they need to stay home to stay safe. Collectively, these shifts in the pandemic are helping to keep death rates relatively low, compared to the spring’s devastating fatalities. 

But, they warn that patterns seen in Europe suggest an increase in fatalities – albeit perhaps one less dramatic than the spring surge driven by New York City – is likely to come.

The US has seen nearly 300,000 more deaths than expected in a typical year in 2020 and about two-thirds of them are thought to be caused by COVID-19 (lighter blues), with about another 100,000 extra fatalities from other causes (dark blue and black). But there have been far fewer excess fatalities in the late summer and fall, despite surging cases 

While COVID-19 cases spiked in July and are on the rise again, deaths have stayed relatively stable - even after the expected three-week lag between infection and fatality increases

While COVID-19 cases spiked in July and are on the rise again, deaths have stayed relatively stable – even after the expected three-week lag between infection and fatality increases 


The US has recorded 220,000 coronavirus deaths to-date, according to tracking from Johns Hopkins University.

But the case-fatality ratio – how many people die per every infection – is constantly evolving. 

In total, about 2.7 percent as many people have died of COVID-19 in the US as have been diagnosed with the disease, if the ratio is crudely calculated using Johns Hopkins’s data. 

When the number of cases was still extremely low in the US, the rough mortality rate was much higher. Now, with far more testing and cases being diagnosed, the average case fatality for October 21 was just 1.3 percent. 

Nearly 80 percent of people who have died of COVID-19 were 65 or older, according to the CDC’s latest data on fatalities by age (which puts the toll slightly lower, at 203,043).

But on the deadliest day in the US pandemic, that age group accounted for nearly 92 percent of deaths.

On September 19, the most recent day for which the CDC considers its data ‘complete’, seniors made up just under 81 percent of deaths.

Over the entire course of the pandemic, only about 16 percent of the total infections have now been in seniors.

The most commonly infected age groups are now 50- to 64-year-olds (20.9 percent) and 18- to 29-year-olds (23.7 percent).

And younger people have only made up a larger and larger share of coronavirus cases as the pandemic has gone on in the US.

‘Part of that is that access to testing has gone up dramatically compared to the time of the first wave, when there was very restricted access to testing,’ Dr Theo Vos, an University of Washington epidemiologist, told

‘As a consequence, a whole lot more younger people, who would not even qualify for testing earlier on, are now testing positive and the rate of death at younger ages is really small, so you can get this large volume of cases of many younger people.’

But these cases ‘will not in due time – with the appropriate lag of two to three weeks – lead to a commiserate increase in the number of deaths’ that might otherwise be expected following large spikes in cases, Dr Vos explained.

In densely populated New York, hundreds of people were dying a day during the spring peak. Today, the death rate is very low, but with 15 fatalities on Wednesday, the state is still contributing as many deaths to the national toll as rural states like North Dakota, which are seeing massive surges in cases and deaths relative to their populations

In densely populated New York, hundreds of people were dying a day during the spring peak. Today, the death rate is very low, but with 15 fatalities on Wednesday, the state is still contributing as many deaths to the national toll as rural states like North Dakota, which are seeing massive surges in cases and deaths relative to their populations

Amid the early and late summer lulls of coronavirus cases – on either side of the July spike – young people resumed life with some resemblance to normality. Meanwhile, older people, keenly aware of the mortal risks that coronavirus posed to them, stayed home, away from others. 

Older people killed in New York City’s early-spring inundation with coronavirus did not have that luxury.

‘When we had a spike in the spring, we didn’t know that COVID-19 had arrived in the US,’ Dr Ali Mokdad, another epidemiologist with University of Washington’s Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), told

‘By the time New York City and my state of Washington and [its capital city of] Seattle went into lockdown, it was kind of too late.

‘We know now that COVID-19 is here and dangerous.’

Speaking of the first wave of coronavirus in the US, and the one currently building, Dr Mokdad added: ‘The two are not comparable in any way.’

But that’s not to say that the number of deaths happening each and each week won’t go up – or aren’t already rising.


After the spring surge on the coasts and in metropolitan areas, the Sunbelt was the next area hard-hit by COVID-19. The region has a large population of seniors, but they were warned and largely kept their distance from others.

A disproportionate number of coronavirus cases and deaths alike were among black and Latinx Americans in the region, who make up a large share of both the geographic area and of workers in essential jobs who couldn’t work from home.

Instead, they were exposed to coronavirus over and over again, making them more likely not only to get sick, but to get severely ill when they contracted the infection. 

The latest surge of cases is most concentrated in the Midwest and Mountain West – states with smaller populations. These regions have also been home to a number of anti-mask rallies and protests. 

The relative increase in cases, hospitalizations and deaths have followed similarly steep, upward trajectories in North Dakota - but the sheer number of daily infections and fatalities are far lower than those seen in New York in March

The relative increase in cases, hospitalizations and deaths have followed similarly steep, upward trajectories in North Dakota – but the sheer number of daily infections and fatalities are far lower than those seen in New York in March 

In sparsely populated Montana, COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths spiked around the same time in October - but now more than 10 people have died in the state on any single day

In sparsely populated Montana, COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths spiked around the same time in October – but now more than 10 people have died in the state on any single day 

Data on daily cases and deaths in states like North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana show steep increases in each category. 

But the sheer numbers are nowhere near what was seen previously in New York. 

In North Dakota for example, there were twice as many COVID-19 deaths on October 16 as on September 15, a steep increase over just one week, and one that mirrored the rise in cases. 

But the number of deaths rose from six to 12. It was a massive jump in the rural state, yet hardly move the needle on a national scale. 

So if cities like New York and Seattle can maintain their hold on the pandemic (although New York’s has grown slightly more tenuous as cases rise in parts of Brooklyn and Queens where there are large insular religious communities), then deaths will continue to be fueled by less populous areas. 

In that case, we’re not likely to see the devastating thousands of deaths a day that struck fear in Americans in the early spring.  


The US is more likely to see something between that surge and the very slight uptick in mortality that followed the summer’s case-spikes, Dr Mokdad predicts.  

Not only have deaths from coronavirus itself fallen, but the number of people dying as an indirect consequence of the pandemic has fallen, according to the recent CDC report. 

‘People feel safer going out to the doctor,’ says Dr Mokdad. 

‘We’re getting better at taking care of conditions that caused excess mortality,’ like providing remote care, or reassuring patients it’s safe to come to the clinic, he adds. 

‘But all of this will change if we get into fall and winter and it gets colder,’ and cases go back up, Dr Mokdad says. 

‘Everybody will go back to the old behaviors staying indoors not seeing doctor and we will see a rise in covid mortality as well as excess deaths from delaying care.’

As US health officials warned in a Wednesday press briefing, the likelihood of coronavirus transmission – which often happens within a household – is only going to go up as well, as the weather turns colder and people gather indoors. 

In turn, these more frequent, concentrated exposures may well drive up deaths.  

The average number of weekly deaths for late-September reflects incomplete data, the CDC noted, but for all age groups, excess mortality has fallen much lower in the late summer and fall than it was in the spring

The average number of weekly deaths for late-September reflects incomplete data, the CDC noted, but for all age groups, excess mortality has fallen much lower in the late summer and fall than it was in the spring 


Ten months into the pandemic, we still have little in the way of therapeutics and no vaccine for COVID-19. 

Nonetheless, care has improved, and that has likely driven down the disease’s mortality rate, new research suggests. 

Hospitalized coronavirus patients in in New York were nine-times less likely to die in August than the had been in March. 

The likelihood that a critically ill COVID-19 patient would die of the disease dropped by 22 percentage points from March to August, according to a study from New York University’s (NYU) Langone Health. 

In part, this was explained by the younger ages of the patients seen later in the pandemic. Their average age dropped from 63 in March to 47 by August. The proportion who had pre-existing conditions that put them at risk fell too. 

But the demographic shift wasn’t enough to fully explain the dramatic reduction in fatality risks. 

Hospitals were also less overwhelmed, meaning patients had a better chance of being well attended, in a timely manner. 

Treating patients with blood thinners has likely saved lives since doctors learned that SARS-CoV-2 attacks the cardiovascular system as well as the lungs and causes clots. 

Doctors have learned that simple measures like flipping COVID-19 patients onto their stomach can help reduce their mortality risks. There's no silver bullet for coronavirus, but providers know much more about caring for patients than they did in March

Doctors have learned that simple measures like flipping COVID-19 patients onto their stomach can help reduce their mortality risks. There’s no silver bullet for coronavirus, but providers know much more about caring for patients than they did in March 

The antiviral remdesivir’s benefits are now under scrutiny, but drugs like it, the steroid dexamethasone and appropriately used antibiotics are now widely used, as opposed to the early stages of the pandemic, when every treatment was a shot in the dark. 

Plus, simple non-pharmaceutical methods, like turning COVID-19 patients on their stomachs when they struggle to breathe, help to bat back risks that they get more severely ill, and are now done sooner in the treatment process. 

‘Our findings suggest that while COVID-19 remains a terrible disease, our efforts to improve treatment are probably working,’ says study lead author Dr Leora Horwitz, an associate professor in the Department of Population Health at NYU Langone Health.

‘Even in the absence of a silver-bullet treatment or vaccine, we are protecting more of our patients through a host of small changes.’ 

Despite improved treatment, and the expansion of testing that has dramatically changed the case fatality ratio, COVID-19 remains 10- to 15-times more deadly than flu, said the FDA’s vaccine advisory committee on Thursday. 

And those numbers could shift again.  

‘We’ll see day by day what’s happening – is it that we may have under- or over-estimated the infection to fatality ratio?’ asks Dr Vos. 

‘We had our hunches but they don’t always get born out when we look the models, so I’m reserving a bit of judgement. 

‘It’s a good thing to see less deaths than expected, but we don’t quite know yet why that is or whether it is a departure from what we have seen before.’  

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