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Treating critically ill coronavirus patients with steroids reduces risk of death: study – Global News

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Treating critically ill COVID-19 patients with corticosteroid drugs reduces the risk of death by 20 per cent, an analysis of seven international trials found on Wednesday, prompting the World Health Organisation to update its advice on treatment.

The analysis – which pooled data from separate trials of low dose hydrocortisone, dexamethasone and methylprednisolone – found that steroids improve survival rates of COVID-19 patients sick enough to be in intensive care in hospital.

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“This is equivalent to around 68 per cent of (the sickest COVID-19) patients surviving after treatment with corticosteroids, compared to around 60% surviving in the absence of corticosteroids,” the researchers said in a statement.

“Steroids are a cheap and readily available medication, and our analysis has confirmed that they are effective in reducing deaths amongst the people most severely affected by COVID-19,” Jonathan Sterne, a professor of medical statistics and epidemiology at Britain’s Bristol University who worked on the analysis, told the briefing.

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He said the trials – conducted by researchers in Britain, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Spain, and the United States – gave a consistent message throughout, showing the drugs were beneficial in the sickest patients regardless of age or sex or how long patients had been ill.






3:08
Coronavirus: Early study hails steroid as ‘breakthrough’ COVID-19 drug


Coronavirus: Early study hails steroid as ‘breakthrough’ COVID-19 drug

The findings, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, reinforce results that were hailed as a major breakthrough and announced in June, when dexamethasone became the first drug shown to be able to reduce death rates among severely sick COVID-19 patients.

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Dexamethasone has been in widespread use in intensive care wards treating COVID-19 patients in some countries since then.

Martin Landray, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at the University of Oxford who worked on the dexamethasone trial that was a key part of the pooled analysis published on Wednesday, said the results mean doctors in hospitals across the world can safely switch to using the drugs to save lives.

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Clear benefits

“These results are clear, and instantly usable in clinical practice,” he told reporters. “Among critically ill patients with COVID-19, low-dose corticosteroids…significantly reduce the risk of death.”

Researchers said the benefit was shown regardless of whether patients were on ventilation at the time they started treatment. They said the WHO would update its guidelines immediately to reflect the fresh results.

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Until the June findings on dexamethasone, no effective treatment had been shown to reduce death rates in patients with COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus.

More than 25 million people have been infected with COVID-19 and 856,876​ have died, according to a Reuters tally.

Gilead Sciences Inc’s remdesivir was authorized by United States regulators in May for use in patients with severe COVID-19 after trial data showed the antiviral drug helped shorten hospital recovery time.






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Steroid shows promise in treating COVID-19


Steroid shows promise in treating COVID-19

Anthony Gordon, an Imperial College London professor who also worked on the analysis, said its results were good news for patients who become critically ill with COVID-19, but would not be enough to end outbreaks or ease infection control measures.

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“Impressive as these results are, this is not a cure. We now have something that will help, but it is not a cure, so it’s vital that we keep up all the prevention strategies.”

© 2020 Reuters

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Manitoba reports 2nd-highest single-day jump in COVID-19 cases, with 65 Saturday – CBC.ca

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There are 65 new cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba on Saturday, the province said in a news release, including 56 in the Winnipeg health region.

The update is the second-highest single-day increase in cases in the province.

On Aug. 25, 72 new cases of the illness were announced in Manitoba. Twenty-four cases were later retroactively added to that total, bringing that day’s official case count to 96.

The Prairie Mountain, Interlake-Eastern and Southern health regions each have three new cases on Saturday.

There are now 545 active cases in the province, including 456 in the Winnipeg region, according to provincial data.

Twelve people are now hospitalized with the illness in Manitoba, including six in intensive care.

Manitoba’s five-day test positivity rate — a rolling average of the COVID-19 tests that come back positive — is down slightly to 2.3 per cent.

To date, there have been 1,829 COVID-19 cases detected in Manitoba; 1,265 people have recovered and 19 have died.

People in and around Winnipeg will have to wear face masks in indoor public places and keep gatherings to a maximum of 10 people starting Monday, officials announced on Friday.

The new rules come as the capital city and 17 nearby communities are moved to the orange, or “restricted,” level under the province’s colour-coded pandemic response system.

The restrictions will stay in place for at least four weeks, Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin said Friday.

That timeframe includes Thanksgiving, which is on Oct. 12 this year.

Other measures may still be brought in for bars and restaurants in the region, Roussin said, following consultation with people in that industry about how they can reduce the risk of people in those spaces spreading COVID-19.

Organizers of Nuit Blanche Winnipeg pulled the plug on art activities and installations scheduled for Saturday evening.

Instead, those events will be rescheduled throughout the month, between Sept. 25 and Oct. 25.

School, restaurant exposures

On Saturday, the province also announced an outbreak has been declared at the Heritage Lodge Long Term Care Home in Winnipeg, though a government spokesperson said that declaration actually happened on Thursday. The site has been moved to the red, or “critical,” level under the pandemic response system.

Possible exposures were also announced Saturday at three more schools and two more restaurants.

Someone with COVID-19 was at John W. Gunn Middle School in Winnipeg from Sept. 16 to Sept. 18, the release says, though public health investigations suggest that risk is low and the person did not get sick at school.

Classes will continue at John W. Gunn Middle School on Monday, after a possible exposure to COVID-19 at the school was announced on Saturday. (Travis Golby/CBC)

A spokesperson said the River East Transcona School Division learned about the exposure Friday evening. 

Classes at the school will continue on Monday, but any areas the person may have used were closed and will be sanitized, said Amanda Gaudes, the senior communications co-ordinator for the division.

A case of the illness has also been linked to R.J. Waugh Elementary School in Carberry on Sept. 21. That case involves someone who was on a school bus, the release says.

A person with COVID-19 in the southwestern Manitoba town was also at Carberry Collegiate on Sept. 21. One grade at that school is being sent home to learn remotely for up to 14 days starting Monday, the release says.

A case of the illness has also been linked to Del Rios restaurant on Main Street in Winkler. The sick person was at the restaurant on Sept. 16 from 6 to 7 p.m.

A case has also been connected to P.F. Chang’s restaurant on St. James Street in Winnipeg. A person with COVID-19 was at the restaurant on Sept. 12, 16 and 17 from 5 to 10 p.m.

Meanwhile, the province is still looking into ways to alleviate pressure and cut wait times at COVID-19 test sites, as increasing case numbers in the Winnipeg area have caused the demand for tests to spike.

Another 2,234 COVID-19 tests were done in the province on Friday, bringing Manitoba’s total to 175,867.

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Sept. 26 update: No new cases found in Nova Scotia for fourth day in row – TheChronicleHerald.ca

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Nova Scotia continues to have only one active case of COVID-19, as provincial authorities announced on Saturday morning that no new cases were identified in the latest round of testing.

That brings the streak of no new cases to four consecutive days.

Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs completed 1,131 Nova Scotia tests on Friday, the provincial news release said.

To date, the province has 91,459 negative test results, 1,087 positive COVID-19 cases and 65 deaths. One person, an essential worker in the Western zone, is hospitalized in ICU.

To date, Nova Scotia has 90,719 negative COVID-19 TEST results,1,087 positives, 1,021 resolved cases and 65 deaths. 

Visit https://811.novascotia.ca to determine if you should call 811 for further assessment if in the past 48 hours you have had, or you are experiencing fever (i.e. chills/sweats) or cough (new or worsening). 

Also take the 811 survey if you have two or more of the following symptoms (new or worsening):

  • sore throat
  •  runny nose/ nasal congestion
  • headache
  •  shortness of breath

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Sept. 26 update: No new cases found in Nova Scotia for fourth day in row – The Telegram

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Nova Scotia continues to have only one active case of COVID-19, as provincial authorities announced on Saturday morning that no new cases were identified in the latest round of testing.

That brings the streak of no new cases to four consecutive days.

Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs completed 1,131 Nova Scotia tests on Friday, the provincial news release said.

To date, the province has 91,459 negative test results, 1,087 positive COVID-19 cases and 65 deaths. One person, an essential worker in the Western zone, is hospitalized in ICU.

To date, Nova Scotia has 90,719 negative COVID-19 TEST results,1,087 positives, 1,021 resolved cases and 65 deaths. 

Visit https://811.novascotia.ca to determine if you should call 811 for further assessment if in the past 48 hours you have had, or you are experiencing fever (i.e. chills/sweats) or cough (new or worsening). 

Also take the 811 survey if you have two or more of the following symptoms (new or worsening):

  • sore throat
  •  runny nose/ nasal congestion
  • headache
  •  shortness of breath

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