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UK study finds effective new Covid-19 rapid test in a box – Times of India

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LONDON: A new small-boxed Covid-19 rapid test device, which gives results within 90 minutes, has been found to have a high level of accuracy and produced very few false negatives and no false positives in a UK study.
The Lab-in-Cartridge tests can be performed in cartridges smaller than a mobile phone and do not require a laboratory.
The study, led by Imperial College London scientists and published in ‘The Lancet Microbe’ this week, involved high-speed tests on 386 National Health Service (NHS) staff and patients and were found to have over 94 per cent sensitivity and 100 per cent specificity.
“These results suggest the test, which can be performed at a patient’s bedside without the need to handle any sample material, has comparable accuracy to standard laboratory testing,” said Professor Graham Cooke, lead author of the study from the Department of Infectious Disease at Imperial College London.
“Many tests involve a trade-off between speed and accuracy, but this test manages to achieve both. Developing an effective bedside test in under three months has been an incredible collaboration between teams of engineers, clinicians and virologists,” he said.
The test is currently being used successfully across eight London hospitals, and due to be rolled out at a national level in the UK as data continues to be gathered from the testing device for continual assessment.
Imperial College London said the UK government recently placed an order for 5.8 million of the testing kits.
To perform the test, a paediatric-sized nose swab from a patient is inserted into the device, which then looks for traces of genetic material belonging to the SARS-CoV-2 or novel coronavirus, which causes the infection.
A result is available within 90 minutes, compared to conventional Covid-19 testing which delivers a result in 24 hours.
According to the research team, the test is now being developed for assessing simultaneously Flu-A, Flu-B, and RSV as well as Covid-19.
The device, produced by Imperial’s London-based start-up DnaNudge, was used on 280 NHS staff members with suspected Covid-19, 15 patients in Accidents and Emergency (A&E) with suspected Covid-19, and 91 hospital in-patients — some of who were not displaying Covid-19 symptoms.
The percentage of those found to be positive for Covid-19 during the study at the peak of the pandemic was 18 per cent.
The results showed 67 samples tested positive on the CovidNudge test, compared with 71 positive results against a range of NHS standard laboratory machines, which represents the value of 94 per cent sensitivity.
“The DnaNudge test was developed as a lab-free, on-the-spot consumer service that can be delivered at scale, so we clearly believe it offers very significant potential in terms of mass population testing during the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Regius Professor Chris Toumazou, CEO and co-founder of DnaNudge and founder of the Institute of Biomedical Engineering at Imperial College London.
“The platform is well suited to testing in primary care and community settings with potential for use in non-healthcare settings such as care homes, schools, transport hubs, offices, and, to help bring the arts back, in theatres and venues. However, further studies of real-world effectiveness in non-clinical settings would be required prior to widespread deployment,” he said.
The research team, which included scientists and clinicians from Imperial and a number of NHS hospital trusts, assessed sensitivity and specificity.
Sensitivity is a measure of how well a test gives a positive result for people who have disease, and is an indication of how likely a test will produce false negative results.
Specificity, on the other hand, is a measure of a test’s ability to give a negative result for a people who don’t have the disease, and is an indication of the likelihood of false positive results.
“As an organisation we are focused on using research and innovation to continuously drive improvements to care.Getting accurate results back to clinicians and their patients as quickly as possible makes a huge difference to how we safely manage clinical pathways and we are very much looking forward to rolling this out more widely,” said Dr Bob Klaber, director of strategy, research and innovation at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.
The device has been approved by the UK Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency and has also obtained a CE mark, enabling its additional use in non-clinical locations. The team explain each device is wi-fi enabled, allowing the test result to be securely sent to a hospital’s record system.
Testing for the study took place between April 10 and May 12 at three NHS sites: St Mary’s Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London; Chelsea & Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London and the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford.
It was supported by the National Institute for Health Research, Imperial Biomedical Research Centre.

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Fraser Health outbreaks push active COVID-19 infections in B.C. to all-time high of 2390 – North Shore News

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B.C. has never had more people actively battling COVID-19 infections, as new government data showed a total of 2,390 people suffering with the virus that has spurred a global pandemic. 

That’s 46 more people suffering with the illness than was the case yesterday and it comes as 272 people were newly identified as infected in the past 24 hours. With 10,420 tests conducted, the day’s positive-test rate was 2.6%.

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The hotspot for new infections remains the 1.8-million-resident Fraser Health region, which includes much of the eastern and southern Lower Mainland, including 20 communities, such as Burnaby, Coquitlam, Surrey, Delta, Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack, but not Richmond or Vancouver.

Only about two-thirds of the new cases are from Fraser Health today, however. That’s down from the average in the past week, which had seen about three-quarters of all new cases located in the Fraser Health region. 

Here is the breakdown of all 14,381 detected COVID-19 cases in B.C., by health region, with new cases identified overnight in brackets:
• 4,664 in Vancouver Coastal Health (76);
• 8,219 in Fraser Health (183);
• 256 in Island Health (no change);
• 741 in Interior Health (seven);
• 412 in Northern Health (six); and
• 89 people who reside outside Canada (no change).

The number of COVID-19 patients in hospital fell by six to 78, with 25 of those people having infections serious enough to be in intensive care units. 

The vast majority of those infected are self-isolating at home. Health officials are keeping tabs on a record 6,003 people because those individuals have come into contact with others who are known to be carrying the virus.

The vast majority of COVID-19 patients recover: 11,670, or more than 81%.

One new death was recorded overnight, pushing the provincial death toll from the disease to 263. That leaves 58 patients unaccounted for, and health officials have told BIV that it is likely that they left the province without alerting authorities.

“There has been one new community outbreak, at Suncor Firebag Oil Sands,” provincial health officer Bonnie Henry, and Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a joint statement. “There continue to be exposure events around the province.”

One hospital in Fraser Health, Surrey Memorial Hospital, has had an outbreak for weeks. That health authority earlier this week declared that the outbreak at Delta Hospital is over.

There are three new outbreaks at seniors’ homes and healthcare facilities:
• Hawthorne Seniors Care Community in Port Coquitlam;
• CareLife Fleetwood in Surrey; and 
• Queen’s Park Hospital: Unit 3C NMSK 2.

Three such outbreaks have been declared over: 
• Fort Langley Seniors Community in Fort Langley;
• Sunset Manor in Chilliwack;
• The Village in Langley.

Fraser Health yesterday declared that the outbreak at Good Samaritan Victoria Heights, in New Westminster, is over, and the province confirmed that news today.

Other seniors’ long-term care and assisted living facilities in B.C. that have active outbreaks, include:
• Gateway Assisted Living for Seniors in Surrey;
• Mayfair Terrace Retirement Residence in Port Coquitlam;
• Louis Breyer Home and Hospital in Vancouver;
• Revera Lakeview long-term care home in Vancouver;
• Evergreen Baptist Care Society in White Rock;
• Queens Park Care Centre in New Westminster;
• Three Links Care Centre in Vancouver;
• Royal Arch Masonic Home in Vancouver;
• Haro Park Centre long-term care facility in Vancouver;
• Banfield Pavilion 4 West in Vancouver;
• Peace Portal Seniors Village in Surrey;
• Rosemary Heights Seniors Village in Surrey;
• Zion Park Manor in Surrey;
• Laurel Place in Surrey;
• Amenida Seniors Community in Surrey;
• Baillie House in Maple Ridge;
• Fellburn Care Centre long-term care facility in Burnaby;
• St. Michael’s Centre long-term care facilityin Burnaby;
• Fair Haven Homes Burnaby Lodge in Burnaby; and
• Agassiz Seniors Community in Agassiz.

“As we all enjoy Halloween tomorrow, make it about the treats and not the tricks,” Henry and Dix said.

“Respect homes that are choosing not to participate this year and give everyone the space to stay safe, both indoors and outdoors.”

gkorstrom@biv.com

@GlenKorstrom

 

 

 

 

 

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'COVID toes' may persist for months in long-haulers, study finds – Yahoo Canada Sports

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A new study suggests that some COVID long-haulers may experience skin reactions for months after getting the virus. (Photo: Getty Images)

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A new study suggests that some COVID long-haulers may experience skin reactions for months after getting the virus. (Photo: Getty Images)
<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="A new large-scale analysis from the International League of Dermatological Societies and the American Academy of Dermatology suggests that some survivors of COVID-19 experience skin reactions long after contracting the virus —&nbsp;one of many side effects that the group, known as “long-haulers,” may endure.” data-reactid=”32″>A new large-scale analysis from the International League of Dermatological Societies and the American Academy of Dermatology suggests that some survivors of COVID-19 experience skin reactions long after contracting the virus — one of many side effects that the group, known as “long-haulers,” may endure.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The results, shared at the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology Congress in Vienna, utilized an international registry of skin reactions to COVID-19 created by a global team of dermatologists. They found that while on average individuals experienced skin symptoms for 12 days, a subset of patients experienced them for 60 days or more.” data-reactid=”33″>The results, shared at the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology Congress in Vienna, utilized an international registry of skin reactions to COVID-19 created by a global team of dermatologists. They found that while on average individuals experienced skin symptoms for 12 days, a subset of patients experienced them for 60 days or more.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Nearly 1,000 cases from 39 countries revealed what the authors called a “broad spectrum of dermatologic manifestations.” One of the most common was an inflammation of the blood vessels in the feet, nicknamed “COVID toes,” which in some lasted for as long as 150 days. Other common skin reactions included hives, a purple-like rash and reddened scaly changes in the skin.” data-reactid=”34″>Nearly 1,000 cases from 39 countries revealed what the authors called a “broad spectrum of dermatologic manifestations.” One of the most common was an inflammation of the blood vessels in the feet, nicknamed “COVID toes,” which in some lasted for as long as 150 days. Other common skin reactions included hives, a purple-like rash and reddened scaly changes in the skin.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Related: What are ‘COVID toes’?” data-reactid=”35″>Related: What are ‘COVID toes’?

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Leslie Richard, a COVID long-hauler from Louisiana — and member of the grassroots organization called Survivor Corps — says she developed “odd mysterious bumps” in the first week after getting diagnosed with COVID-19 in mid-March. “It felt like bugs were crawling all over my skin and stinging me regularly,” she tells Yahoo Life.” data-reactid=”40″>Leslie Richard, a COVID long-hauler from Louisiana — and member of the grassroots organization called Survivor Corps — says she developed “odd mysterious bumps” in the first week after getting diagnosed with COVID-19 in mid-March. “It felt like bugs were crawling all over my skin and stinging me regularly,” she tells Yahoo Life.

Two months ago she began experiencing a rash on her face, neck, shoulders, back and groin. “These rashes looked like a mix between bug bites, acne, hives and shingles,” says Richard. “I call them ‘shives’ since no doctor knows what it is. Eventually, they cluster and the skin becomes thick, hard and irritated. It is itchy, burns and stings.” Richard says she has tried many treatments but has yet to find anything that works.

Dr. Julia S. Lehman, an associate professor in the Division of Dermatopathology and Cutaneous Immunopathology at the Mayo Clinic, finds the rashes to be somewhat surprising. “While it is relatively common for patients to develop nonspecific exanthema (red, blotchy rash on chest, abdomen, and back) in response to viral infections, some of the skin changes that are being observed in patients affected by COVID-19 are unusual,” Lehman tells Yahoo Life. “For example, the retiform purpura (or jagged purple marks) in some very ill patients with COVID-19 appear to be due to the effect of this novel coronavirus on the blood clotting system, something which is not seen with most viral infections.”

She says that dermatologists are still working to figure out why COVID-19 patients develop COVID toes — and why, for some, they stick around. “The phenomenon of COVID toes seems to closely resemble changes that can be seen in perniosis, a condition known to cause violaceous to blue discoloration of the toes, fingers or tips of the ears,” Lehman says. “In perniosis, it is usually exposure to cool, damp conditions that causes inflammation to surround blood vessels. With perniosis, it is thought that the ears, toes and fingers seem to be preferentially affected, because they are cooler and, by virtue of being peripheral, have some of the smallest caliber blood vessels in the body.”

COVID toes aren’t the only symptoms plaguing long-haulers. A Survivor Corps member from Ohio, Lexi Riley-Dipaolo, says she’s been fighting a severe rash on her hands and wrists since getting diagnosed with COVID-19 this summer. The rash began as “small pustular vesicles” that eventually blistered and popped, leaving her hands raw and peeling. “At this point, they felt like they were on fire and were burning constantly,” she tells Yahoo Life. Although the blisters eventually healed, she says, new ones soon formed in their place, and the “whole cycle [began] again.”

Doctors have “bounced around many different diagnoses,” Riley-Dipaolo says, including psoriasis, eczema and celiac disease. But more than three months later, she still has yet to find a solution. “This has been going on since July, when I tested positive, with no relief,” she says. “No medications or creams have helped.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="In a statement on Eureka Alert, the study’s lead investigator, Dr. Esther Freeman, director of Global Health Dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospital, said the study provides further clues about the virus. “This data adds to our knowledge about how COVID-19 can affect multiple different organ systems, even after patients have recovered from their acute infection,” Freeman said. “The skin can provide a visual window into inflammation that may be going on elsewhere in the body."” data-reactid=”46″>In a statement on Eureka Alert, the study’s lead investigator, Dr. Esther Freeman, director of Global Health Dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospital, said the study provides further clues about the virus. “This data adds to our knowledge about how COVID-19 can affect multiple different organ systems, even after patients have recovered from their acute infection,” Freeman said. “The skin can provide a visual window into inflammation that may be going on elsewhere in the body.”

Still, Lehman says that for long-haulers, there may be reason to hope. “When skin symptoms persist, it does not necessarily mean that the body is still infected,” says Lehman. “But rather, it probably means that the immune system is still recovering from the effects of their prior viral infection.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="For the latest coronavirus news and updates, follow along at https://news.yahoo.com/coronavirus. According to experts, people over 60 and those who are immunocompromised continue to be the most at risk. If you have questions, please reference the CDC’s and WHO’s resource guides.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”61″>For the latest coronavirus news and updates, follow along at https://news.yahoo.com/coronavirus. According to experts, people over 60 and those who are immunocompromised continue to be the most at risk. If you have questions, please reference the CDC’s and WHO’s resource guides. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Read more from Yahoo Life:” data-reactid=”76″>Read more from Yahoo Life:

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Want lifestyle and wellness news delivered to your inbox?&nbsp;Sign up here&nbsp;for Yahoo Life’s newsletter.” data-reactid=”81″>Want lifestyle and wellness news delivered to your inbox? Sign up here for Yahoo Life’s newsletter.

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British Columbia reports 272 new cases of COVID-19, none in Island Health – Times Colonist

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The B.C. government says it will increase surveillance this weekend as an order limiting the number of people who can visit a home is in effect because of COVID-19.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced this week that gatherings are now limited to people in an immediate household, plus their so-called “safe six”’ guests.

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In a joint statement, Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix are reminding people to make the Halloween weekend safe for everyone by maintaining safe physical distances from one another.

They say this is also not the time for large gatherings in homes as the number of cases of COVID-19 spikes.

The province reported another 272 cases of COVID-19 on Friday and one additional death, bringing the total number of people who have died to 263.

No new cases were reported by Island Health. There are eight known active cases in the region, where there have been 256 confirmed cases to date.

There are 2,390 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, and 6,003 people are under public health monitoring after being exposed to a known case.

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