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Coronavirus: Global death toll exceeds 3,000 – BBC News

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The number of people killed worldwide by the coronavirus has exceeded 3,000, as China reported 42 more deaths.

More than 90% of the total deaths are in Hubei, the Chinese province where the virus emerged late last year.

But there have also been deaths in 10 other countries, including more than 50 in Iran and more than 30 in Italy.

Worldwide, there have been almost 90,000 confirmed cases, with the numbers outside China growing faster than inside China.

But most patients have only mild symptoms, the World Health Organization said on Sunday, and the death rate appears to be between 2% and 5%.

By comparison, the seasonal flu has an average mortality rate of about 0.1% but is highly infectious – with up to 400,000 people dying from it each year.

Other strains of coronavirus, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), have much higher death rates than Covid-19.

What’s the global situation?

As the rate of growth in China has declined, the rest of the world has seen a sharp increase in infections.

In the European hotspot of Italy, the number of infections doubled in 48 hours, the head of the country’s civil protection body said on Sunday.

There have been at least 34 deaths and 1,694 confirmed cases. Amazon said two of its employees in Italy have the virus and are under quarantine.

In the UK, where there are 36 confirmed cases, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called an emergency Cobra committee for Monday.

On Monday, South Korea – the biggest hotspot outside China – reported 476 new cases, bringing the total number of cases to 4,212.

There have also been 26 deaths.

Of the confirmed cases, 3,081 cases are from Daegu – and 73% of these cases have been linked to the Shincheonji Church.

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Members of the fringe Christian group are believed to have infected one another and then fanned out around the country, apparently undetected.

The group has been accused of keeping its members names secret, making it harder to track the outbreak.

But Kim Shin-chang, from the church, told the BBC they had provided a list of members, students, and buildings to authorities.

“We were worried about releasing this information because of the safety of our members,” Mr Kim said, adding that his group were “persecuted” in South Korea.

In the capital Seoul, the mayor urged the city’s 10 million residents to work from home and to avoid crowded places.

Iran, one of the worst affected countries, said on Sunday that it had 978 infections and 54 deaths.

Countries including Qatar, Ecuador, Luxembourg and Ireland all confirmed their first cases over the weekend, and Indonesia followed on Monday.

The US state of New York has also confirmed its first case. The patient is a woman in her 30s who contracted the virus during a recent trip to Iran.

Two people have died in the US, both in the state of Washington.

What do I need to know about the coronavirus?

What’s the situation in China?

China on Monday reported 42 more deaths, all in Hubei. There were also 202 confirmed new cases – only six of which were outside Hubei.

A total of 2,912 people have died inside China, with more than 80,000 confirmed cases of the virus.

A spokesman from China’s National Health Commission said the next stop would be to “focus on the risks brought by the resumption of work”.

China’s economy has taken a hit – with factory activity falling at a record rate.

US space agency Nasa found a dramatic decline in pollution levels this year, which is “at least partly” due to the economic slowdown prompted by the virus.

What has the WHO said?

On Sunday, the World Health Organization said the virus appears to particularly affect those over 60, and people already ill.

It urged countries to stock up on ventilators, saying “oxygen therapy is a major treatment intervention for patients with severe Covid-19”.

In the first large analysis of more than 44,000 cases from China, the death rate was ten times higher in the very elderly compared to the middle-aged.

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Long COVID: Half of patients hospitalised have at least one symptom two years on – Australian Hospital + Healthcare Bulletin

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Long COVID: Half of patients hospitalised have at least one symptom two years on

Two years on, half of a group of patients hospitalised with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China, still have at least one lingering symptom, according to a study published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine. The study followed 1192 participants in Wuhan infected with SARS-CoV-2 during the first phase of the pandemic in 2020.

While physical and mental health generally improved over time, the study found that COVID-19 patients still tend to have poorer health and quality of life than the general population. This is especially the case for participants with long COVID, who typically still have at least one symptom including fatigue, shortness of breath and sleep difficulties two years after initially falling ill.1

The long-term health impacts of COVID-19 have remained largely unknown, as the longest follow-up studies to date have spanned around one year.2 The lack of pre-COVID-19 health status baselines and comparisons with the general population in most studies has also made it difficult to determine how well patients with COVID-19 have recovered.

Lead author Professor Bin Cao, of the China-Japan Friendship Hospital, China, said, “Our findings indicate that for a certain proportion of hospitalised COVID-19 survivors, while they may have cleared the initial infection, more than two years is needed to recover fully from COVID-19. Ongoing follow-up of COVID-19 survivors, particularly those with symptoms of long COVID, is essential to understand the longer course of the illness, as is further exploration of the benefits of rehabilitation programs for recovery. There is a clear need to provide continued support to a significant proportion of people who’ve had COVID-19, and to understand how vaccines, emerging treatments and variants affect long-term health outcomes.”3

The authors of the new study sought to analyse the long-term health outcomes of hospitalised COVID-19 survivors, as well as specific health impacts of long COVID. They evaluated the health of 1192 participants with acute COVID-19 treated at Jin Yin-tan Hospital in Wuhan, China, between 7 January and 29 May 2020, at six months, 12 months and two years.

Assessments involved a six-minute walking test, laboratory tests and questionnaires on symptoms, mental health, health-related quality of life, if they had returned to work and healthcare use after discharge. The negative effects of long COVID on quality of life, exercise capacity, mental health and healthcare use were determined by comparing participants with and without long COVID symptoms. Health outcomes at two years were determined using an age-, sex- and comorbidities-matched control group of people in the general population with no history of COVID-19 infection.

Two years after initially falling ill, patients with COVID-19 are generally in poorer health than the general population, with 31% reporting fatigue or muscle weakness and 31% reporting sleep difficulties. The proportion of non-COVID-19 participants reporting these symptoms was 5% and 14%, respectively.

COVID-19 patients were also more likely to report a number of other symptoms including joint pain, palpitations, dizziness and headaches. In quality of life questionnaires, COVID-19 patients also more often reported pain or discomfort (23%) and anxiety or depression (12%) than non-COVID-19 participants (5% and 5%, respectively).

Around half of study participants had symptoms of long COVID at two years, and reported lower quality of life than those without long COVID. In mental health questionnaires, 35% reported pain or discomfort and 19% reported anxiety or depression. The proportion of COVID-19 patients without long COVID reporting these symptoms was 10% and 4% at two years, respectively. Long COVID participants also more often reported problems with their mobility (5%) or activity levels (4%) than those without long COVID (1% and 2%, respectively).

The authors acknowledged limitations to their study, such as moderate response rate; slightly increased proportion of participants who received oxygen; it was a single centre study from early in the pandemic.

References:

1. – National Institute for Health and Care Excellence – Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network – Royal College of General Practitioners. COVID-19 rapid guideline: managing the long-term effects of COVID-19. https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng188
2. – Soriano – JB Murthy – S Marshall – JC Relan – P Diaz JV – on behalf of the WHO Clinical Case Definition Working Group on Post-COVID-19 Condition. A clinical case definition of post-COVID-19 condition by a Delphi consensus. Lancet Infect Dis. 2021; 22: e102-e107
3. – Huang L – Yao Q – Gu X – et al. 1-year outcomes in hospital survivors with COVID-19: a longitudinal cohort study. Lancet. 2021; 398: 747-758

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/ink drop

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2SLGBTQ+ lobby group head speaks on the trauma of conversion therapy

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Although conversion therapy has now been outlawed in Canada, many are still victims causing them to go through a lot of trauma in the process.

According to Jordan Sullivan, Project Coordinator of Conversion Therapy Survivors Support and Survivors of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression Change Efforts (SOGIECE), survivors of conversion therapy identify the need for a variety of supports including education and increased awareness about SOGIECE and conversion practices.

Also needed is access to affirming therapists experienced with SOGIECE, trauma (including religious trauma), safe spaces and networks, and access to affirming healthcare practitioners who are aware of conversion therapy or SOGIECE and equipped to support survivors.

“In January of 2021 when I was asked to be the project coordinator, I was hesitant because I wasn’t sure that my experience could be classified as SOGIECE or conversion therapy. I never attended a formalized conversion therapy program or camp run by a religious organization. Healthcare practitioners misdiagnosed me or refused me access to care.

In reality, I spent 27 years internalizing conversion therapy practices through prayer, the study of religious texts, disassociation from my body, and suppression or denial of my sexual and gender identities. I spent six years in counselling and change attempts using conversion therapy practices. I came out as a lesbian at age 33, and as a Trans man at age 51. I am now 61 and Queerly Heterosexual, but I spent decades of my life hiding in shame and fear and struggled with suicidal ideation until my mid-30s.

At times I wanted to crawl away and hide, be distracted by anything that silenced the emptiness, the pain, the wounds deep inside. I realized that in some ways, I am still more comfortable in shame, silence, and disassociation, than in any other way of being and living, but I was also filled with wonderment at the resiliency and courage of every single one of the participants.

However, many of us did not survive, choosing to end the pain and shame through suicide. Many of us are still victims in one way or another, still silenced by the shame, still afraid of being seen as we are. Still, many of us are survivors, and while it has not been an easy road, many of us are thrivers too,” said Jordan.

In addition, Jordan said conversion practices and programs are not easily defined or identified, and often capture only a fragment of pressures and messages that could be considered SOGIECE.

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Some in B.C. cross U.S. border for their next COVID-19 vaccine – Global News

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Global News Hour at 6 BC

There is evidence of the lengths some British Columbians will go to get a second booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine — crossing the border to Point Roberts, WA for a shot. The movement comes thanks to the different approach to the fourth shot south of the border. Catherine Urquhart reports.

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