Covid-19 News

WHO scientist creates confusion over asymptomatic transmission of Covid

Reports that asymptomatic transmission of Covid-19, one of the drivers of lockdown policies, is very rare have caused outrage, consternation and controversy around the world. The reactions come following a World Health Organization press briefing this week. Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, Head of the World Health Organization’s Emerging Diseases and Zoonosis unit was asked by a Reuters reporter about asymptomatic transmission of Covid-19. In response she said many apparently asymptomatic cases are being identified through contact tracing. When WHO scientists go back to discuss how many are truly asymptomatic, they’re finding that most have “really mild disease, very mild disease”. Although they are testing positive, they are at the very early stages of infection so are not showing classic signs of the disease and are actually pre-symptomatic. Researchers are also finding that transmission from a truly asymptomatic person is very rare. Dr Kerkhove emphasised the use of contact tracing as important to reduce transmission. Due to the outcry, Dr Kerkhove had to clarify her comments the following day saying she had been referring to a small subset of studies. There is currently limited data as to the percentage of the population that has been exposed to the virus or the extent to which asymptomatic transmission occurs. We’re following the science very carefully as antibody testing is rolled out more widely to find out more about the transmission phase of the disease and the level of infections across populations.

Boris, Gates and vaccines

British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, continued to cosy up with Bill Gates and cronies as they co-chaired the global vaccine summit organised by GAVI, The Vaccine Alliance, which exceeded fundraising expectations. The summit was hailed as a huge success having reached $8.8 billion for coronavirus vaccines for use in low- and middle-income countries. Speaking at the end of the conference, Boris Johnson put the UK front and centre in vaccine development and manufacturing whilst likening GAVI to the NATO alliance. Those expecting a novel or authoritative closing speech befitting a country’s leader, would have been sorely disappointed as Mr Johnson just parroted the all all-too-familiar “vaccines work”, “vaccinated people protect themselves and others” messages, leaving us in no doubt as to where his allegiances lie. In recent weeks, as concerns over the warp speed development of vaccines against Covid-19 grow, Bill Gates has taken to using the media to stir up resentment against those questioning the safety and efficacy of vaccines. On 29th April, ANH and the British Society for Ecological Medicine, called on the UK Govt to be transparent around Covid-19 vaccines. But neither Boris Johnson’s performance at the vaccine summit, nor Health Secretary, Matt Hancock’s, stony silence is giving much confidence that they are putting citizens before crony corporates.

UK GPs can refuse to test patients for covid antibodies

The British Medical Association (BMA) has advised UK GPs that they can refuse to test patients for covid-19 antibodies as such tests are currently  not funded by the NHS. The advice is in direct contradiction to that of NHS England, which said GPs could add the test to their routine tests and use their discretion to offer the test to patients who were having bloods taken. By blocking the widespread use of antibody tests (despite valid concerns over their accuracy) the BMA is hampering efforts to understand what percentage of the UK population has already been infected by the virus and assess natural herd immunity. An action that potentially paves the way for mass vaccination that may or may not provide sufficient, long-term immunity against the virus.

Covid pandemic gives authorities opportunity to crackdown on natural products

Advice to support natural immunity during the covid pandemic has been seriously lacking from governments and health authorities. In a bid to redress the balance, natural health companies and practitioners are offering products and therapies designed to support the immune system and help people improve their resilience and reduce their risk of becoming seriously ill. Such moves are being targeted by authorities in both the UK and US. In recent weeks the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have threatened companies promoting such natural products with fines and court proceedings unless they retract marketing claims. Self-appointed watchdog skeptic group, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, is aiding and abetting these actions by reporting companies that they believe to have contravened regulations. The FTC is increasingly seeking to gag and censor doctors and health practitioners from informing patients about natural methods of treating or preventing Covid-19. For those in the US, our sister organisation, ANH-USA, has launched a campaign to oppose such actions, which at its heart both undermine and endanger our health and our inalienable rights and freedoms.

Gut health & covid

The health of our gut microbiome may have a direct effect on the severity of symptoms experienced by a covid patient. A new study published in Virus Research considers the role of the gut-lung axis and its impact on the progression of covid-19 disease. Given the role of our gut microbiota on our immune system health, the researchers found it’s quite likely that patients with low microbial diversity and dysbiosis, often found in elderly people, are at higher risk of experiencing more severe symptoms. Increasing intakes of nutrient dense, diverse, whole and plant foods as recommended in our Food4Health guidelines can improve gut microbiota diversity, support robust immune function and improve health and resilience to reduce the risk of becoming severely unwell from viral infections such as Covid-19.

In other news…

Sixth mass extinction accelerating

Scientists are warning the sixth mass extinction of wildlife is accelerating. A new study published in PNAS has found that more than 500 species of land animals have populations under 1,000 and are on the brink of extinction, meaning they could be lost within the next 20 years. The research used data from the UCN Red List of Threatened Species and BirdLife International. Without the role of human activity in the destruction of the natural environment it’s thought such losses would have taken thousands of years to occur. The researchers also warned of a domino effect due to the impact on species reliant on those dying out and the potential risk of causing the collapse of local ecosystems. The health and wellbeing of humans is reliant on a healthy and diverse environment. Humans are by far the most damaging and dangerous species on the planet. As we continue to destroy the natural environment around us, we put the very existence of humanity — and other species — at risk.