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THE SEARCH FOR CORONAVIRUS CURE/VACCINE: Japanese Flu Drug ‘Clearly Effective’ In Treating Coronavirus – China…

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Medical authorities in China have said a drug used in Japan to treat new strains of influenza appeared to be effective in coronavirus patients, Japanese media said on Wednesday according to the Guardian newspaper.

Zhang Xinmin, an official at China’s science and technology ministry, said favipiravir, developed by a subsidiary of Fujifilm, had produced encouraging outcomes in clinical trials in Wuhan and Shenzhen involving 340 patients.

“It has a high degree of safety and is clearly effective in treatment,” Zhang told reporters on Tuesday.

Patients who were given the medicine in Shenzhen turned negative for the virus after a median of four days after becoming positive, compared with a median of 11 days for those who were not treated with the drug, public broadcaster NHK said.

In addition, X-rays confirmed improvements in lung condition in about 91% of the patients who were treated with favipiravir, compared to 62% or those without the drug.

The drug favipiravir

Fujifilm Toyama Chemical, which developed the drug – also known as Avigan – in 2014, has declined to comment on the claims.

Shares in the firm surged on Wednesday following Zhang’s comments, closing the morning up 14.7% at 5,207 yen, having briefly hit their daily limit high of 5,238 yen.

Doctors in Japan are using the same drug in clinical studies on coronavirus patients with mild to moderate symptoms, hoping it will prevent the virus from multiplying in patients.

But a Japanese health ministry source suggested the drug was not as effective in people with more severe symptoms. “We’ve given Avigan to 70 to 80 people, but it doesn’t seem to work that well when the virus has already multiplied,” the source told the Mainichi Shimbun.

The same limitations had been identified in studies involving coronavirus patients using a combination of the HIV antiretrovirals lopinavir and ritonavir, the source added.

In 2016, the Japanese government supplied favipiravir as an emergency aid to counter the Ebola virus outbreak in Guinea.

Favipiravir would need government approval for full-scale use on Covid-19 patients, since it was originally intended to treat flu.

A health official told the Mainichi the drug could be approved as early as May. “But if the results of clinical research are delayed, approval could also be delayed.”

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Uganda COVID-19 Cases Rise To 45: World Cases Rise To 981,000 And Death Toll Exceeds 50,000, Here is How The World Is Getting Closer To A Vaccine Or Drug…

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CSIRO scientists perform biosecurity tests at the Australian Animal Health Laboratory Photo By: CSIRO

Today, the Ministry of Health (MoH) has tested 302 Covid-19 samples and one has tested positive. The case is a 22-year-old Ugandan female, resident of Nkokonjeru, Wakiso District and wife to previously confirmed case who arrived from Dubai on 20th March 2020.

Dr. Henry Mwebesa, Director of General Health Services at the MoH says that a total of 1,026 individial are under followup in institutional quarantine and 962 contacts are under follow up. All the 44 confirmed Covid 19 cases are in a stable cindition at Mulago National Specialist Hospital, Entebbe Grade B Hospital, Adjumani and Houma hospitals.

However, around the world, more than 981,000 have been diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus worldwide as the death toll exceeded 50,000 and about 204,000 recovered.

The coronavirus pandemic death toll in Spain passed 10,000 on Thursday, as the country reported its highest number of deaths in a single day since the outbreak began, with the total rising by 950 to 10,003 among 110,238 infections.

The US – the world’s hardest-hit country – recorded a total of 5,316 coronavirus deaths, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University. It has confirmed more than 226,000 cases of the disease.

Are we getting closer to a vaccine or drug?

Coronavirus is spreading around the world, but there are still no drugs that can kill the virus or vaccines that can protect against it.

Sars-CoV-2 is the virus which causes the disease Covid-19. There are at least 20 vaccines in development around the world.

Scientists in Australia have begun testing two potential coronavirus vaccines in “milestone” lab trials.

The vaccines, made by Oxford University and US company Inovio Pharmaceutical, have been cleared for animal testing by the World Health Organization.

Prof Trevor Drew, director of the Australian Animal Health Laboratory in Victoria, where the testing is being carried out described the other vaccine – from Inovio – as “rather different but nonetheless exciting”.

It is designed to encode certain proteins of the coronavirus to the immune system, prompting the body’s cells to generate those proteins before the immune system reacts to them.

What other sort of progress is being made

Research is happening at breakneck speed, and there are more than 20 vaccines currently in development. Among those under way at the moment are:

The first human trial for a vaccine was announced last month by scientists at a lab in the US city of Seattle. They have taken the unusual step of skipping any animal research to test the vaccine’s safety or effectiveness.

Australian scientists have begun injecting ferrets with two potential vaccines. It is the first comprehensive pre-clinical trial to move to the animal testing stage, and the researchers say they hope to move to the human testing stage by the end of April.

Tests like these are taking place much quicker than would normally be the case, and some are using new approaches to vaccines. It follows that there are no guarantees everything will go smoothly.

But even if these – or any other tests – do prove successful, it’s not expected that manufacturers will be able to produce a mass-produced vaccine until the second half of 2021.

Remember, there are four coronaviruses that already circulate in human beings. They cause the common cold, and we don’t have vaccines for any of them.

Could existing drugs treat coronavirus?

Doctors are testing current anti-viral drugs to see if they work against coronavirus. This speeds up research as they are known to be safe to give to people.

Trials are taking place in England and Scotland on a small number of patients with an anti-viral called remdesivir. This was originally developed as an Ebola drug, but also appears effective against a wide variety of viruses.

Similar trials have already been carried out in China and the US, and results are expected in the next few weeks.

There was much hope that a pair of HIV drugs (lopinavir and ritonavir) would be effective, but the trial data is disappointing.

They did not improve recovery, reduce deaths or lower levels of the coronavirus in patients with serious Covid-19. However, as the trial was conducted with extremely sick patients (nearly a quarter died) it may have been too late in the infection for the drugs to work.

Studies are also taking place on an anti-malarial drug called chloroquine. Laboratory tests have shown it can kill the virus, and there is some anecdotal evidence from doctors that it appears to help. However, the World Health Organization says there is no definitive evidence of its effectiveness.

Would a vaccine protect people of all ages?

It will, almost inevitably, be less successful in older people. This is not because of the vaccine itself, but aged immune systems do not respond as well to immunisation. We see this every year with the flu jab.

Will there be side effects?

All medicines, even common pain-killers, have side effects. But without clinical trials it is impossible to know what the side effects of an experimental vaccine may be.

This is something on which regulators will want to keep a close eye.

Who would get a vaccine?

If a vaccine is developed then there will be a limited supply, at least in the early stages, so it will be important to prioritise.

Healthcare workers who come into contact with Covid-19 patients would be at the top of the list. The disease is most deadly in older people so they would be a priority if the vaccine was effective in this age group. However, it might be better to vaccinate those who live with or care for the elderly instead.

Until a vaccine or treatment is ready what can I do?

Vaccines prevent infections and the best way of doing that at the moment is good hygiene.

If you are infected by coronavirus, then for most people it would be mild and can be treated at home with bed-rest, paracetamol and plenty of fluids. Some patients may develop more severe disease and need hospital treatment.

How do you create a vaccine?

Vaccines harmlessly show viruses or bacteria (or even small parts of them) to the immune system. The body’s defences recognise them as an invader and learn how to fight them.

Then if the body is ever exposed for real, it already knows how to fight the infection.

The main method of vaccination for decades has been to use the original virus.

The measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine is made by using weakened versions of those viruses that cannot cause a full-blown infection. The seasonal flu jab is made by taking the main strains of flu doing the rounds and completely disabling them.

The work on a new coronavirus vaccine is using newer, and less tested, approaches called “plug and play” vaccines. Because we know the genetic code of the new coronavirus, Sars-CoV-2, we now have the complete blueprint for building that virus.

Some vaccine scientists are lifting small sections of the coronavirus’s genetic code and putting it into other, completely harmless, viruses.

Now you can “infect” someone with the harmless bug and in theory give some immunity against infection.

Other groups are using pieces of raw genetic code (either DNA or RNA depending on the approach) which, once injected into the body, should start producing bits of viral proteins which the immune system again can learn to fight.

 

Source: bbc & Aljazeera

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Malaria Drug Hydroxychloroquine Helps Coronavirus Patients Improve – Small Study…

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A group of moderately ill people were given hydroxychloroquine, which appeared to ease their symptoms quickly, but more research is needed.
The malaria drug hydroxychloroquine helped to speed the recovery of a small number of patients who were mildly ill from the coronavirus, doctors in China reported this week.
Cough, fever and pneumonia went away faster, and the disease seemed less likely to turn severe in people who received hydroxychloroquine than in a comparison group not given the drug. The authors of the report said that the medication was promising, but that more research was needed to clarify how it might work in treating coronavirus disease and to determine the best way to use it.
“It’s going to send a ripple of excitement out through the treating community,” said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University.
The study was small and limited to patients who were mildly or moderately ill, not severe cases. Like many reports about the coronavirus, it was posted at medRxiv, an online server for medical articles, before undergoing peer review by other researchers.

Source: nytimes.com

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8 Ways To Be Intimate With Your Partner (Without Having Sex)

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If you and your partner plan to be together for a long time to come, you’ll surely want to find ways to stay close far into your future, and it doesn’t always mean getting physical with each other. If you can keep the spark alive, it can be rekindled into a flame of passion that can keep a long-term romance from becoming just a companionship.

8 WAYS TO BE INTIMATE WITH YOUR PARTNER (WITHOUT HAVING SEX)

1. COMMUNICATION IS INTIMACY

Researchers studying closeness in long-term relationships found that ‘disclosure about needs, wants, and desires may be an important way to promote sexual communal strength in ongoing relationships.’ Simply talking through what you like is a way to create a close, intimate bond with your partner and keep the spark alive in your relationship.

Ask open-ended questions about what your partner needs and wants in order to feel fulfilled in the relationship. You don’t want to find out after a two year relationship that your partner needed something that you weren’t giving them so they decided to leave.

2. GET GOOD AT GUESSING YOUR PARTNER’S EMOTIONS

Can you tell what your partner is feeling right now? By looking at his or her body language, facial expressions and tone of voice, as well as his or her words you should be able to tell. If your partner is not looking ‘joyful,’ consider it your job to make sure that you do your best to help change their expression to a positive one.

Empathy is something that emotionally sensitive people can give to their partner. Supporting your partner’s emotions, no matter what they are, and giving them a supportive place to express them is one of the best gifts that you can give to your partner.

3. USE ALL OF YOUR SENSES

If you can’t describe your partner’s scent, focus on your sense of smell the next time you spend close time together. Do the same thing for your sense of touch. Be present in the moment of your partner’s body existing next to yours in warm, intimate closeness.

4. OPEN UP

Emotional openness is one way to keep the spark alive in your relationship. Honest communication builds trust between partners. When you trust your partner, you are more willing to open yourself to be vulnerable, which we are during intimacy.

Open up about what you are afraid your partner won’t like about you. Showing vulnerability can be very attractive. Exploring the emotion of vulnerability is one way to keep the spark alive in your relationship.

5. FOCUS ON THE FUTURE TOGETHER

Commitment means that you continue to have a shared goal of being happy together in the future, and knowing that your relationship is secure is very attractive. Security and trust is important in order for you to feel trusting enough to work to keep the spark alive in your relationship.

6. COME TOGETHER

Create a communal bond with your partner by working toward something as a partnership.For example, you might work toward early retirement and a future travel goal with your lover. The shared destiny will keep you a united front moving forward together.

7. SHARE MEMORIES OF YOUR CHILDHOOD

You might think you know your partner completely, but there are surely that you don’t know about each other’s past before you met, or even way before that. Our early memories with our family are often the building blocks for how we see relationships.

Related article: 5 Little Things That Will Improve Your Relationship

These beliefs about closeness, love, trust, etc. are formed in our youth and sharing these memories with your partner can be a bonding experience. How old were you when you first learned what sex was? What do you wish your parents did differently in their relationship?

Express gratitude for your partner’s past experiences that brought them into the right moment of your life. The same researchers who studied closeness in long-term relationships also say ‘expressing gratitude to a relationship partner promotes communal strength.’

8. MAKE NEW MEMORIES

Having more fun with your partner is the most fun way to keep the spark alive in your relationship. Think about what you both love doing and spend lots of time doing it.

In a study of traits that men and women found desirable, someone who was ‘personable’ aroused more passion in both men and women. Being ‘personable’ meant that participants rated the person they felt passion for as being ‘fun, responsive, trustworthy, and nice.’ Obviously you could try being all of these things to your partner, but committing to have fun with your partner is one way you can keep the spark alive in your relationship.

When was the last time you laughed together? No, I mean, REALLY laughed? Positive people know that there should be lots more laughing between lovers and that it’s the best contagious thing you can catch. Laughing is one perfectly acceptable display of affection

source Positive energy+

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