Understanding the Virus and Its Unanswered Questions: QuickTake

1. How is this virus different?

Unlike the coronavirus responsible for the 2002-2003 outbreak in Asia of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, this new one can spread via people who are infected but have yet to develop symptoms, or don’t at all. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 40% to 45% of SARS-CoV-2 infections occur without symptoms. A study by researchers at the Yale School of Public Health’s Center for Infectious Disease Modeling and Analysis found “silent” transmitters are responsible for more than half of the cases in Covid-19 outbreaks. What’s more, the new virus has a relatively long incubation period — the time between infection and the appearance of symptoms — enabling it to spread silently in a community before being detected. The interval is about five to six days compared with two days for the flu, which spreads the same way and is the most common cause of pandemics. The stealthy nature of the coronavirus wasn’t well understood at first and contributed to the staggered and uneven quality of the response.

Read more: Why ‘Silent Spreaders’ Make Coronavirus Hard to Beat: QuickTake

2. Why wasn’t it contained?

On Jan. 23, China imposed the most extensive quarantine in known history in Hubei province, where the outbreak began in the capital Wuhan, an industrial city of 11 million. By then, however, the virus had been seeded in other places. Starting in early February, many countries introduced travel bans but not before the virus had reached around the world. Governments issued stay-at-home orders and mandated “social distancing” to “flatten the curve” of new infections. But the economic toll propelled reopenings that in many places brought a surge in new cases, sometimes followed by new movement restrictions. It took months for some governments to recommend or mandate that people wear masks in public to counter the virus’s silent spread, and many still haven’t done so.

Read more: Mask or No Mask? And Which Kind? What the Experts Say: QuickTake

3. What’s the biggest mystery about the virus?

One major question is whether those who get the coronavirus emerge with immunity. Generally speaking, infections prompt the body to develop antibodies that protect against reinfection, although there are notable exceptions such as HIV and malaria. By mid-year a slew of antibody test kits were available, including some that could be taken at home. Many tests, however, weren’t reliable. What’s more, researchers still don’t know whether the presence of antibodies means someone has immunity, or how long that protection might last. With the main coronaviruses that cause the common cold, immunity generally doesn’t last very long. In Hong Kong, a man tested positive for the coronavirus in late August after recovering from a different strain in April, in what scientists said was the first documented case of reinfection. The man had no symptoms the second time, however, suggesting his immune system provided some protection, according to doctors. Dozens of reinfections have since been reported, according to a tracker maintained by

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Coronavirus and Vitamin D: Your Questions Answered

With winter looming and a ‘second wave’ of coronavirus being experienced in major UK cities such as London, Liverpool and Manchester, Health Secretary Matt Hancock is now urging people to take vitamin D to boost overall health and, with new evidence being found, to potentially protect the public against this surge in covid-19 cases.

Part of a wider increase in public health messaging, the Government is encouraging people to take vitamin D daily — the NHS recommends around 10 micrograms of vitamin D, equivalent to one salmon fillet — which will help keep bones and muscles healthy as local ‘lockdowns’, social restrictions and weather changes keep people indoors throughout winter.

Currently, it’s thought that one in five Brits are deficient in vitamin D — that’s around 13 million people — and, with the body usually creating vitamin D from direct sunlight on the skin, it’s an important vitamin to take during winter when days are shorter and darker.

Add to this Matt Hancock’s recent U-turn on government advice to vitamin D supplementation and it’s a no-brainer that investing in the supp is a smart move. “Blood vitamin D levels go down when people develop serious illness. The same thing happens to other blood tests such as blood cholesterol, or blood zinc levels, which also fall when someone is sick. These changes are part of what is called the acute phase response. Moreover, the sicker people are, the more exaggerated are these changes,” explained Naveed Sattar, a professor of metabolic medicine at University of Glasgow.

“This means that it is likely the occurrence of illness that is leading to lower blood vitamin D levels… and not that low vitamin D levels, are causing Covid-19.”

With this in mind, we’ve assembled our go-to vitamin D guide, with expert input from nutritionists and health experts, to help you clear up any confusion.

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Gilead questions WHO study that cast doubts on drug’s COVID-19 benefits

By Deena Beasley and Vishwadha Chander

(Reuters) – Gilead Sciences Inc has questioned the findings of a World Health Organization (WHO) study that concluded its COVID-19 drug remdesivir does not help patients who have been admitted to hospital.

The American company told Reuters the data appeared inconsistent, the findings were premature and that other studies had validated the drug’s benefits.

In a blow to one of the few drugs being used to treat people with COVID-19, the WHO said on Thursday its “Solidarity” trial had concluded that remdesivir appeared to have little or no effect on 28-day mortality or length of hospital stays among patients with the respiratory disease.

The antiviral medication was one of the drugs used to treat U.S. President Donald Trump’s coronavirus infection, and has been shown in previous studies to have cut time to recovery, though the European Union is investigating it for possible kidney injury.

The WHO trial was conducted in 11,266 adult patients in more than 30 countries. The evidence was conclusive, the WHO said.

Gilead said other trials of remdesivir, including with 1,062 patients that compared it with a placebo, showed the treatment cut COVID-19 recovery time.

“The emerging (WHO) data appears inconsistent, with more robust evidence from multiple randomized, controlled studies published in peer-reviewed journals validating the clinical benefit of remdesivir,” Gilead told Reuters.

Gilead said it was “unclear if any conclusive findings can be drawn” given what it called differences in how the trial was conducted from site to site and between the patients who received the medicine.

In April, the top U.S. infectious disease official, Anthony Fauci, predicted remdesivir would become “the standard of care”.

Companies such as Gilead are racing to find a treatment for COVID-19. Some 1.1 million people have died and 39.1 million have been reported infected in the pandemic, and the global economy has been thrown into chaos.

Remdesivir was developed for Ebola, which causes fever, bleeding, vomiting and diarrhoea and spreads among humans through bodily fluids.

It was quickly repurposed and has offered some hope for patients, though the WHO’s findings may shift the focus of the search for a vaccine to new monoclonal antibodies being developed by companies including Regeneron.

The Solidarity trial also evaluated hydroxychloroquine, anti-HIV drug combination lopinavir/ritonavir and interferon, and concluded that they, like remdesivir, did little to help patients survive or leave the hospital more quickly.

The WHO trial’s results are yet to be reviewed and were uploaded on the preprint server medRxiv. (https://bit.ly/3nViYIf)

“PREMATURE”

Gilead say the Solidarity conclusions, lacking scrutiny from other scientists, were premature.

“We are concerned the data from this open-label global trial has not undergone the rigorous review required to allow for constructive scientific discussion, particularly given the limitations of the trial design,” it said.

Remdesivir got emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on May 1, and has been authorized for use in several countries.

During the Solidarity study, trials of hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir were stopped in June after

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Five Common Questions About Penis Health Creme Answered

So, what’s the deal with the crème craze? Today we have crèmes for every part of the body but are they really necessary? If they are necessary, why and what kind of crème should be used when there are so many options? How about a crème for the penis? Well, while the penis can indeed lubricate itself, things like sex, exercise, body washes and detergents, and environmental factors can wreak havoc on delicate penile skin stripping it of its natural moisture and even cause rashes and irritation. Penis health(PH) crèmes can help restore balance to the skin as well as offering additional benefits. Based on internet research, here is a list of five questions men commonly have about PH crème and their answers.

#1: Is There Really a Difference between Normal Lotion and Penis Health(PH) Cremes?

Surprisingly, there is! Just like a person shouldn’t use the same lotion on their legs as they do their eyes, penises are no different! The penis is sheathed in thin, delicate skin which gives it its sensitivity. When it’s coated in too-thick lotions, overly aggressive lotions with acids (even fruit acids), or too much perfume or other additives and irritants, the skin can breakout, swell, or get a rash. Some lotions also have ingredients that end up drying out the penile skin.

PH cremes use specific formulas to treat penis-specific concerns and take the delicate penile skin into account.

#2: What are the Benefits of Using Penis Health(PH) Creme?

PH Crèmes have helped men fend off infection, regain suppleness, and lock-in moisture which prevents itching and dry, peeling skin. Penis crèmes, if they contain ingredients like vitamin C and L-Arginine, have also been shown to boost blood flow resulting in stronger erections. If a PH crème contains vitamin A, it has been shown to not only keep skin bacteria-free but also blemish-free as well.

#3: Do Penis Health Crèmes Protect Against Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s)?

There are only two things that protect against STI’s, abstinence and using condoms during sex. They also do not protect against pregnancy.

With regular use, they can protect against things like balanitis, acne, nerve damage, chafing, dry skin, peeling skin and more. It completely depends on the penis crème and its formulation.

#4: Can a Penis Health Crème Help Restore Penile Sensitivity?

As men age, they often find that they aren’t as sensitive as they once were. This also tends to happen to men who have been a little overaggressive with frequency of masturbation or sex, have rough sex, or apply a lot of compression, known as “death grip,” to their penis.

A PH crème can help with this issue if it contains an amino acid called L-Carnitine. This nutrient helps protect against penis problems like friction, compression, and peripheral nerve damage which can rob a penis of its sensitivity.

#5: Which Penis Health Crème Should Men Use?

Economical and effective, this PH creme (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which has been clinically proven safe

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