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"Connecting Communities for COVID19 News" 14th Oct 2020

Isolation Tips
Coronavirus: 'Stay home' advice to change for vulnerable groups in England
The 2.2 million mainly elderly people on the shielding list in England are to be sent letters telling them they do not need to stay in their homes to keep safe. Instead, they will be given advice linked to the COVID alert level for their postcode, ranging from "meet others outside where possible" for Tier 1 areas, to "ask people in your household, support bubble or volunteers to collect food and medicines" for those whose homes are in Tier 3.
Talking about how lockdown affects mental health doesn't make you a Covid-denier
Owen Jones talks about the toll on our mental health taken by covid-19 restrictions and lockdowns. "Young people in particular have formed a cordon sanitaire around their older and more vulnerable fellow citizens, an unprecedented peacetime act of generational sacrifice – and at such cost to themselves. According to the Lancet, children’s mental health deteriorated in lockdown more than any other age group, while eight in 10 young people reported that the pandemic had made their mental health worse, with one in four opting for “much worse”."
Mental health crisis: One million ‘lost’ in coronavirus lockdown
More than a million Australians have sought mental health treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic, while ongoing lockdowns in Victoria have sparked a social crisis, with a 30 per cent rise in cases in the past four weeks. The first official data revealing the depth of the mental health disaster in Victoria since the second wave outbreak reveals access to some crisis services has risen by up to 67 per cent in the space of four weeks. Demand for children’s mental health has also skyrocketed in Victoria, with access to services jumping more than 30 per cent since September.
Hygiene Helpers
Covid-19: training dogs to sniff out the virus
What does a disease smell like? Humans might not have the answer, but if they could talk, dogs might be able to tell us. Able to sniff out a range of cancers and even malaria, canines’ extraordinary noses are now being put to the test on Covid-19. Nicola Davis hears from Prof Dominique Grandjean about exactly how you train dogs to smell a virus, and how this detection technique could be used in managing the spread of Covid-19
Covid-19: Are we still listening to the science?
Cases of Covid-19 are increasing across England and the number of people in hospital is now higher than before the full lockdown. It is at this critical moment that the gulf between the official scientific advice and the political decisions made by government has been laid bare. Documents released by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) reveal a call to action three weeks ago. Prof Calum Semple, who was at the Sage meeting on 21 September, said the three-tier system had come too late and he believes that a short national lockdown could be needed within weeks. Sage is also damning of the government's supposedly world-beating test-and-trace system.
Italy tells citizens they must wear a mask if a friend visits your home
Italy has introduced stricter lockdown measures which will see people required to wear facemasks when other people visit them in their own homes. The country has seen a large spike in cases in recent weeks which led prime minister Giuseppe Conte to reintroduce several of the social distancing rules which were eased over the summer months. The new legislation will affect gatherings, restaurants, sports and school activities and will take effect within 24 hours, remaining valid for 30 days. Parties in restaurants, clubs or in the open air are banned and the government has strongly recommended that people do not hold parties in their homes or host more than six guests at any time.
South Korea mandates mask-wearing to fight Covid-19 as face coverings remain controversial in the US
South Korea is mandating the wearing of masks at all crowded facilities, on public transport and at demonstrations, even as the country eases up on coronavirus restrictions as the number of local infections shrinks. Anyone who violates the new face-mask policy, which kicks in next month, faces a fine of 100,000 won, or around $87, and facilities which fail to follow preventative measures could face closure, health authorities said Monday. The East Asian nation is only the latest in the region to introduce a mask mandate, a sign of how vital face coverings have been found to be in controlling infections and preventing future outbreaks. In many cases, such as in Hong Kong, such orders are largely inconsequential, as almost everyone has been wearing a mask for months now, without being told to by the government, something which has been credited for keeping cases low.
Community Activities
Study: There's work to be done before people feel ready for COVID-19 vaccine
A new study indicates some significant public messaging should be communicated before any COVID-19 vaccines are made available in the US. And with vaccines potentially being approved by the end of the year or early next year, the clock is ticking. The report, published in the journal Vaccines, shows that 68% of respondents are supportive of being vaccinated for COVID-19, but concerns remain about side effects, sufficient vaccine testing and vaccine effectiveness. "Messages promoting the COVID-19 vaccine need to alleviate the concerns of those who are already vaccine-hesitant," said senior study author Brian Poole, a professor of microbiology and molecular biology at Brigham Young University
Poor numerical literacy linked to greater susceptibility to Covid-19 fake news
People with poor numerical literacy are more likely to believe Covid-19 misinformation, according to a survey conducted in five countries. Researchers at Cambridge University said the findings suggested improving people’s analytical skills could help turn the tide against an epidemic of “fake news” surrounding the health crisis. Five national surveys – reflecting national quotas for age and gender – were conducted this year to evaluate susceptibility to coronavirus-related misinformation and its influence on key health-related behaviours. The study found the most consistent predictor of decreased susceptibility to misinformation about Covid-19 was numerical literacy – the ability to digest and apply quantitative information broadly.
Facebook to ban ads that discourage vaccines
Facebook will start banning advertisements that discourage people from getting vaccinated, the social media company said, as it also announced a new flu vaccine information campaign. The United States-based company said in a blog post on Tuesday that ads advocating for or against legislation or government policies around vaccines, including a COVID-19 vaccine, would still be allowed.
A Dose of Optimism, as the Pandemic Rages On
On March 16, back when White House news conferences were still deemed safe to attend, President Trump stood before reporters and announced that drastic nationwide restrictions — in schools, work places, our social lives — were needed to halt the coronavirus. The guidelines, “15 Days to Slow the Spread,” were accompanied by a grim chart. Based on a prominent model by London’s Imperial College, the chart illustrated with a sinuous blue line how many Americans might die if nothing were done to protect the public’s health. The line rose sharply as the estimated deaths went up, then drifted slowly down until finally, at the far right end of the graph, the number of new cases reached zero. Our national nightmare would end by October 2020 — that is, right about now. Along the way, if no action was taken, about 2.2 million Americans would die. Dr. Deborah Birx, one of Mr. Trump’s science advisers, referred to the graph as “the blue mountain of deaths.”
Working Remotely
Did someone say free food? Companies are getting creative with WFH perks
Free food at the office used to make a stressful day better. But with so many employees still working remotely, how can bosses show their appreciation? I asked companies what they are doing to keep the office culture alive in a virtual world. E-commerce checkout company Fast said it's sending gift cards to employees for a weekly team meal, along with a weekly snack box. Another company, UKG, which offered its working parents a virtual summer camp for their kids, is now offering after-school help this fall. It's a win-win situation: kids are entertained, while parents get a break so they can be more productive at work.
Remote Work in Spain: Another Turning Point of the Pandemic?
The new regulation for teleworking in Spain, approved on September 22nd and agreed with employers and unions, comes into force on Tuesday. The Royal Decree Law includes the rules that will govern teleworking in Spain. The implementation has been accelerated by the covid-19 pandemic, since up until now there was no specific regulation. “Fundamental rights are preserved,” Minister of Labour, Yolanda Díaz flagged. She considers the approval of this regulation as the starting point for “a wave of reforms” for a 21st century labour market. The text of the regulation, which is the result of extensive negotiations, will not apply to remote work deployed due to COVID-19, apart from the issue of necessary measures.
Government intends to develop remote working strategy
Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said working from home or remote working had been “an essential part” of the country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. Mr Donohoe said an inter-departmental group had been set up to work on the Government’s commitment to develop a strategy for remote working and remote service delivery. The Minister outlined the supports that were in place for remote working. These include employees not facing a benefit-in-kind tax charge on up to €3.20 paid a day by employers towards the expenses of working from home. A worker may claim a tax deduction for utility expenses such as gas or electricity for heating and electricity bills where an employer does not make a contribution.
How To Support Parents Juggling Kids And Working Remotely
Fall has brought a new productivity challenge for working parents and the leaders who manage them—how to get work done from home, while also trying to supervise online schooling for one or more children. Here’s the truth that no one wants to address: It’s almost impossible to consistently do both in a reasonable work day.
Two in five Indian professionals stressed due to remote work
Two in five professionals in India are experiencing increased stress or anxiety due to the pandemic while one in three professionals believe remote working is slowing career progression, making them feel more lonely and harming work-life balance, revealed a new LinkedIn survey. The findings showed that only one in four (23 per cent) professionals in the country were being offered emotional well-being initiatives and flexible work hours by their employers in the early months of the lockdown. “The ongoing stress around the 3 Rs — remote work, return to work, and risk of exposure — are adversely impacting the mental health of Indian professionals. Companies in India are beginning to bolster their mental health programmes to support their employees in such times, ” said Ashutosh Gupta, India Country Manager, Linkedin.
Virtual Classrooms
Virtual learning highlights diversity, enthusiasm of student body: Mark Lautens in the Globe and Mail
The move to virtual learning has highlighted the truly global nature of the University of Toronto’s student body as well as students’ passion for learning, writes Mark Lautens in a Globe and Mail op-ed that reflects on his early experiences with remote teaching. Lautens, a University Professor in the department of chemistry in the Faculty of Arts & Science, recalls one incident when a student requested a Zoom meeting, which he scheduled for 1 p.m. EDT: “Only during our call did I learn he was based in Asia, so this meeting was in the middle of his night," Lautens writes. “I did not see a sleepy-eyed 18- or 19-year-old, but an eager and active participant. I offered to hold our next session at 8 a.m. so it would be a decent hour, but I got no complaint about our originally organized meeting time.”
Why Some Kids Are Shy In Remote Learning But Not In-Person Classes
Remote learning often comes with technical difficulties, but it also can bring about challenges with student engagement. By now, most students have been in school for about a month and a half to two months, so if you’re a parent, you’ve likely noticed some patterns with your child’s at-home education. Some parents might be surprised to find that their normally talkative child who had no issues participating in class in the past is quite reserved in the virtual classroom.
Bringing hands-on learning to the virtual classroom
Every year Sheri Hincks, a lab instructor in the department of integrative biology at the University of Guelph, coordinates a series of field trips for the 70 or so students taking Limnology of Natural and Polluted Waters, a fourth-year course in water ecology. The group practices fundamental research techniques over the course of a week at Guelph Lake, two weeks at the Speed and Eramosa Rivers, and a day at a water treatment facility. It’s during these trips that students really engage and have fun with the course content, Ms. Hincks says. When she realized this year would look a lot different due to COVID-19, she found a way to bring hands-on labs to the online learning environment.
Public Policies
Coronavirus: Northern Ireland set to impose 'circuit breaker' lockdown for four weeks
Northern Ireland is set to become the first full region of the UK to impose a "circuit breaker" lockdown. Tighter restrictions will be in place for four weeks - with schools closing for two of them, Sky News understands. According to the PA news agency, the new measures will mean pubs and restaurants have to close, with the exception of takeaways. PA said closures of hospitality outlets would begin on Friday 16 October and other measures from Monday 19 October
France launches flu vaccine campaign amid COVID-19 crisis
France launched a flu vaccine campaign Tuesday in an effort to avoid facing another epidemic peak as the coronavirus is spreading rapidly in the country. French health authorities have issued official recommendations to prevent potential shortages of flu vaccine, which they fear might happen amid increased demand because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Covid-19: Protests as Argentina's cases pass 900,000
Thousands have joined anti-government protests in Argentina as confirmed coronavirus infections continue to rise, passing 900,000 on Monday. Many Argentines are angry at the government's handling of the crisis and the economic effect of lockdowns, as well as issues such as corruption. A strict lockdown early in the pandemic meant that the number of cases grew slowly at first. But following an easing of restrictions cases have been rising steeply.
COVID-19: Council adopts a recommendation to coordinate measures affecting free movement
Today the Council adopted a recommendation on a coordinated approach to the restrictions of free movement in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This recommendation aims to avoid fragmentation and disruption, and to increase transparency and predictability for citizens and businesses. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our daily lives in many ways. Travel restrictions have made it difficult for some of our citizens to get to work, to university or to visit their loved ones. It is our common duty to ensure coordination on any measures which affect free movement and to give our citizens all the information they need when deciding on their travel.
Ukraine extends coronavirus lockdown to December 31
Ukraine’s government voted on Tuesday to extend until the end of the year a lockdown that Prime Minister Denys Shmygal told a televised cabinet meeting was aimed at containing a recent spike in coronavirus cases. The daily tally of new infections in Ukraine has climbed to record levels and 107 deaths were recorded in the 24 hours to Tuesday.
UK Covid-19: Boris Johnson Clashes With Own Scientific Advisers
Boris Johnson clashed with his own government’s scientific advisers who wanted tougher action against the resurgent coronavirus outbreak in the U.K. in September. The British prime minister announced Monday that bars and pubs will be closed in the worst-hit parts of England to control the pandemic as he tried to restore clarity and credibility to his much-criticized strategy. He said he hoped to avoid another full national lockdown and that his plan would work if people followed the advice. Prime Minister Holds Virtual Briefing As UK Imposes New Covid-19 Rules. But England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty warned the new measures won’t be enough, and newly released papers showed the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) recommended national or regional restrictions to slow the spread of the virus last month.
Painful but effective? UK can look to Israel for example of short lockdown
Days before UK ministers rejected advice to impose a shortened “circuit breaker” lockdown in late September, Israel made the opposite decision and enforced the unpopular and painful policy to stem the spiralling number of virus infections. The country of 9 million – less than 15% of the population of Britain – was shut down for a second time, with Israeli officials arguing it was essential to halt infections or risk overloading hospitals. As the UK and other countries consider implementing shorter lockdowns, Israel presents an example of their benefits and perils. While clearly stalling infections, the second lockdown has further pummelled the economy and infuriated much of the public, some of whom have defied the rules out of frustration and apathy.
EU waters down Covid-19 traffic-light travel zones concept
EU member states on Tuesday (13 October) will adopt common standards to coordinate coronavirus travel restrictions, including a 'traffic-light' system of affected areas - in a bid to prevent a recurrence of individual and unilateral measures, as seen during the first Covid-19 wave. Under the proposal of the German presidency, endorsed by EU ambassadors last Friday, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) will publish a map, updated weekly, that categories EU regions into green, orange and red zones (or grey, for insufficient data), according to Covid-19 infection rates. The map will be available in the coming days.
Germany's Merkel concerned by rising coronavirus cases across EU
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday she was concerned by rising coronavirus cases across Europe. “I am watching with great concern the renewed increase in infection numbers in almost every part of Europe. And I must say the situation continues to be serious,” Merkel said during a debate on the German presidency of the European Union at the bloc’s Committee of the Regions. “We mustn’t throw away what we achieved via restrictions over the past months. These restrictions haven’t been easy for any of us,” she added. “Many have lost their lives. And that makes it all the more important that we make sure that a further lockdown won’t be needed.”
Europe Tightens Restrictions to Counter Record Virus Surge
European governments are adding new restrictions and calling on citizens to make sacrifices in a bid to contain a record increase in coronavirus cases, with the Czech Republic closing schools and the Netherlands shutting down virtually all nighttime activity. Saying measures needed to stop the virus “will hurt,” Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced what he called a “partial lockdown” on Tuesday evening, with sales of alcohol to be banned after 8 p.m. and bars, restaurants and coffee shops to be closed altogether. Citizens are being urged to avoid public transportation where possible.
New measures serve to avert new lockdown - Di Maio
The government's new anti-COVID measures will serve to avert a fresh national lockdown, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said Tuesday. This is despite acknowledgement that virus contagion rates are rising across the country, he said "Infection rates are high, that is true," Di Maio said on Facebook. "But by bringing in all the anti-COVID norms it is possible to stop the virus. "More stringent measures have been launched in Italy, because if we intervene now we can preserve citizens' health, the health of the country, and avert a new lockdown". Di Maio also said Italy should "act like a team" to get the EU's Recovery Fund funding as soon as possible. Premier Giuseppe Conte's government passed a decree overnight imposing new restrictions aimed at combatting the spread of COVID-19.
France considers local lockdowns as Covid-19 numbers soar
French President Emmanuel Macron met senior cabinet ministers on Tuesday to discuss possible further measures to fight the coronavirus pandemic following a surge in Covid-19 cases and hospitalisations. The French president is set to deliver a televised address Wednesday on possible means to stem a second wave in the country. The meeting came a day after coronavirus intensive care treatments exceeded a May 27 peak as France, like neighbouring Spain and Britain, grapples with how to slow the virus's spread and ease pressure on a once-again strained healthcare system while keeping its 2.3 trillion euro ($2.71 trillion) economy open and protecting jobs.
Russia's daily coronavirus cases, deaths rise to record highs
Russia on Tuesday reported record high daily coronavirus cases and deaths, pushing total infections to 1,326,178, but authorities said they do not plan to impose lockdowns across the vast country. Anna Popova, head of the consumer safety watchdog Rospotrebnadzor, said on Tuesday Russia saw no need to impose restrictions on economic activity in response to the spike in cases. “Despite a growing number of cases, today in Russia we are not talking about blocking the economy, suspending some business activities, some sectors of the economy, because we see no reason to do this,” Popova said in comments carried by Russian news agencies.
China considers giving students experimental COVID-19 vaccine
One of China’s leading vaccine developers is working on a plan to inoculate students going overseas with Covid-19 shots that are yet to get regulatory approval, according to people familiar with the matter, as the country pushes scientific boundaries in the race for a viable immunization. China National Biotec Group Co., or CNBG, a subsidiary of state-owned Sinopharm Group Co., is in talks with the Chinese government about giving students headed abroad to study its experimental vaccines, said the people, who asked not to be identified as they’re not authorized to speak publicly. Various government agencies are still working on the plan and no final decision has been made, the people said.
'They refused to act': inside a chilling documentary on Trump's bungled Covid-19 response
A new documentary, 'Totally Under Control', recounts the early days of the pandemic in the US, revealing in clinical detail a disastrous federal response to a preventable crisis. It’s a damning list of mistakes, foreseeable crises and political squabbling splayed across a coherent timeline intended to be released just ahead of the presidential election, “so that people could render a judgment about how the federal response had been”, film-maker Alex Gibney says. The two-hour film focuses primarily on the early days of the pandemic: the missed opportunities from January through April which led to America’s spiraling coronavirus present, an unending “first wave”.
Maintaining Services
'Hunker down': The fall Covid-19 surge is here
As predicted, the US is now grappling with a new Covid-19 surge -- one that could overwhelm hospitals, kill thousands of Americans a day by January and leave even young survivors with long-term complications. "We went down to the lowest point lately in early September, around 30,000-35,000 new cases a day. Now we're back up to (about) 50,000 new cases a day. And it's going to continue to rise," Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, said Tuesday. "This is the fall/winter surge that everyone was worried about. And now it's happening. And it's happening especially in the northern Midwest, and the Northern states are getting hit very hard -- Wisconsin, Montana, the Dakotas. But it's going to be nationally soon enough. "Across the country, more than 30 states have reported more Covid-19 cases this past week than they reported the previous week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Italy Targets Bars, Restaurants, Parties in New Virus Curbs
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte imposed a series of new curbs on nightlife, social events and amateur sports as the coronavirus pandemic intensifies throughout the country, albeit at a slower pace than in other major European nations. Conte signed a decree that focuses especially on bars and restaurants, as the government seeks to avert a new national lockdown that the economy, ravaged by one of the strictest and longest in the continent earlier this year, could ill afford.
Coronavirus: Czech schools and bars shut in new emergency
The Czech Republic is imposing a three-week partial lockdown shutting schools, bars and clubs, as Europe struggles to contain a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases. The country has the region's highest new infection rate per 100,000 people. Restaurants will be closed and public consumption of alcohol is banned. In the Netherlands, a partial lockdown was announced, and masks have become compulsory in public indoor spaces. Meanwhile, hospital admissions are rising fast again in many countries.
Across the world central governments face local covid-19 revolts
Speaking in Parliament, on October 12th, Boris Johnson, Britain’s prime minister, grappled with a problem facing countries across the world: how to contain a resurgence of the coronavirus, without imposing a national lockdown. From northern England to the Mediterranean, local politicians are in revolt. In Manchester, the mayor has complained that the lack of discussion and consultation makes the government “impossible to deal with”; in Marseilles, the deputy mayor has grumbled that decisions from Paris “come like a stone dropped from a bridge”; a battle between the Spanish government and the local authorities in Madrid ended up in court. All three cities were aghast at new local lockdowns imposed by the central government.
England's pubs ponder if pasties or chips make a meal amid COVID lockdown
Pub owners across England’s COVID-19 hotspots were on Tuesday pondering a question that could decide if they survive or sink due to the coronavirus lockdown - when is a pub a pub, and when does it become a restaurant? The question has sparked a bizarre discussion about some of England’s favourite snacks: fries, chips and pork scratchings - roasted pork rind - do not count as a meal, according to a government minister quizzed on the status of the delicacies. But Cornish pasties, a much-loved meat and vegetable pie that dates back to England’s ancient tin mines, do count as a meal.
India sees fewest new coronavirus cases in nearly two months
India has registered 55,342 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, its lowest single-day tally since the middle of August. The health ministry on Tuesday raised India’s confirmed total to more than 7.18 million cases but said the country was showing a trend of declining daily cases over the last five weeks.
Healthcare Innovations
Pfizer to start testing its Covid-19 vaccine in children as young as 12
Drugmaker Pfizer has plans to start testing its experimental coronavirus vaccine in children as young as 12, and parents have already expressed interest in enrolling their kids, the researcher leading the trial told CNN Tuesday. It will be the first coronavirus vaccine trial to include children in the United States. A team at Cincinnati Children's Hospital will begin vaccinating teenagers aged 16 and 17 this week, and will move to enroll 12-to 15-year-olds later, said Dr. Robert Frenck, director of the Vaccine Research Center at the hospital. The company confirmed on its website it has approval from the US Food and Drug Administration to enroll children as young as 12 in its trial.
Harvard study finds patients with severe COVID-19 infections have protection up to four months
People who survive severe cases of the novel coronavirus may have immunity that is longer-lasting, a new study suggests. Researchers found antibodies levels remained high in patients who were hospitalized with COVID-19 for up to four months. What's more, these antibodies were linked to other neutralizing antibodies that kill the virus on contact and stop it from reinfecting.
Doctors will trial whether vitamin D can protect people from Covid-19
Doctors will finally trial whether vitamin D can actually protect people from Covid-19 amid mounting evidence the 3p-a-day supplement could be a life-saver. Researchers from Queen Mary University of London will recruit 5,000 volunteers to take the vitamin for six months if they do not already take high doses. Experts will then assess whether participants are at less risk of catching the virus and developing a severe bout of the disease over the winter months.
J&J's late-stage COVID-19 vaccine trial halted after 'unexplained illness' -
Johnson & Johnson has paused further dosing in its COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial following an “unexplained illness” in a study participant. The company said it had voluntarily put the phase 3 ENSEMBLE trial on hold after the incident, the details of which are being kept under wraps. J&J is not saying whether the patient was given a placebo or the experimental vaccine, which is being developed by the company’s Janssen pharma unit.
Eli Lilly pauses COVID-19 antibody trial due to safety concern
US drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co said on Tuesday that the government-sponsored clinical trial of its COVID-19 antibody treatment has been paused because of a safety concern. “Out of an abundance of caution, the ACTIV-3 independent data safety monitoring board (DSMB) has recommended a pause in enrollment,” Lilly spokeswoman Molly McCully said in an emailed statement. “Lilly is supportive of the decision by the independent DSMB to cautiously ensure the safety of the patients participating in this study.”
Dutch woman dies after catching Covid-19 twice, the first reported reinfection death
An elderly Dutch woman has become the first known person to die from catching Covid-19 twice, according to experts, raising serious questions about how long immunity and antibodies can last. The woman, 89, suffered from a rare type of bone marrow cancer called Waldenström's macroglobulinemia. Her immune system was compromised due to the cell-depleting therapy she received, the researchers at Maastricht University Medical Center in the Netherlands wrote in a paper accepted for publication in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. However, the researchers said her natural immune response could still have been "sufficient" to fight-off Covid-19, as the type of treatment she received for cancer "does not necessarily result in life threatening disease."
Covid may cause sudden, permanent hearing loss – UK study
Covid-19 may cause sudden and permanent hearing loss, experts have found, adding that such problems need early detection and urgent treatment. The coronavirus has been found to affect the body in myriad ways, from a loss of taste and smell to organ damage. Now doctors have reported fresh evidence that Covid could also affect hearing. Writing in the journal BMJ Case Reports, experts at University College London report the case of a 45-year-old man with asthma who was admitted to intensive care with Covid, ventilated, and given drugs including the antiviral remdesivir and intravenous steroids. A week after leaving intensive care he developed a ringing sound – tinnitus – and then hearing loss in his left ear.