BCG vaccine is safe, does not increase Covid risk: Study

BCG vaccine is safe, does not increase Covid risk: Study

  • August 7, 2020

London: The Bacille Calmette-Guerin or BCG vaccine, originally made against tuberculosis, has a general stimulating effect on the immune system and is therefore effective against Covid-19, say researchers.

The study, published in the journal Cell Reports Medicine, compared groups of volunteers who have received a BCG vaccine in the past five years (before the corona pandemic), showing that the vaccine is safe and possibly influences Covid-19 symptoms.

“It is very important to confirm that someone who has been vaccinated with BCG does not experience any increased symptoms during the Covid-19 pandemic,” said study researcher Mihai Netea from Radboud University in the Netherlands.

The BCG vaccine is the most widely received vaccine in the world. Originally intended to treat tuberculosis, it later became apparent that it provides a long-lasting, general boost to the innate immune system.

The vaccine was therefore also effective against other conditions.

In the current study, the research team conducted research into these effects referred to as “trained immunity”.

The ‘300BCG’ study is a result of his work, in which a group of healthy volunteers received the BCG vaccine and could thus be compared to a group of healthy volunteers who did not.

Most volunteers received the vaccine between April 2017 and June 2018.

The purpose of that study was to determine the difference in the immune response, but now that the corona pandemic is present, the same subjects were questioned to see if there is an effect of the vaccine on the symptoms attributable to infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

It’s safe, perhaps a positive effect, the study showed.

What the comparison between the groups shows is that those who received the vaccine did not have more symptoms, did not get sick more often or become more seriously ill, during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in the Netherlands.

The data show also a cautiously positive picture, with a lower number of sick people in the period March-May 2020 among the BCG-vaccinated group, and also a lower incidence of extreme fatigue among the vaccinated individuals.

The researchers underline that this was to be expected given the well-known effects of the BCG vaccine on healthy volunteers.

“Although we see less sickness in the people who have had the BCG vaccination, only the ongoing prospective BCG vaccination studies can determine whether this vaccination can help against Covid-19,” Netea said.

Recently, another study published in the journal Science Advances, revealed that BCG vaccination can be effective in the fight against Covid-19.

(Inputs From IANS)

IV Drips Don't Cure COVID, but People Are Still Getting Them

IV Drips Don’t Cure COVID, but People Are Still Getting Them

  • August 6, 2020

In mid-March, Hoang Vi Fessenden, a stylish stay-at-home mom and lifestyle blogger living in Charleston, South Carolina, posted a smiling photo of herself on Instagram, her arm hooked up to an IV. Fessenden shared with her then-more than 14,000 followers that she was worried about the rise of COVID-19 and had just received IV infusion therapy from Vida-Flo Charleston, a wellness IV spa, to boost her immunity and energy. “Are you prepared for this?” she asked.

Fessenden, 27, first went to an IV clinic years ago, she tells ELLE.com in an email, and she says she now goes once every two months. She has tried a number of infusions with hydrating fluids, such as saline and electrolytes, as well as B vitamins and Vitamin C. She receives free treatments from Vida-Flo Charleston in exchange for posting about them, but an introductory package at the clinic starts at $69. There are also add-ons, including a “Super Boost Vitamin C” for $500 (or $250 with a half-off members discount). “I feel like my overall well being and health is boosted,” Fessenden says. “Not to say that I can’t get COVID because I had [an IV] treatment, but I think it lessens the chances of me falling ill for a long period of time and helps my body to be able to recover if I were to get it.”

Nycole Hutchens, a glowing 33-year-old wellness blogger from Houston, also posted a photo of herself on Instagram in late April with an IV, wearing a mask. In her caption, she noted she was glad she could “fight off viruses and colds with IV drip therapy.” She received a hydration drip—a mix of fluids and electrolytes—at the clinic that day, along with a vitamin C booster shot. Hutchens says she believes “taking care of yourself on the inside along with a healthy diet is beneficial” during the pandemic. She typically pays $100 to $250 for a treatment a couple times a year—she mostly gets hydration drips—and would go more often, she says, if they were less expensive. (The hydration drip is priced at $90 for members and $150 for walk-ins.)

“We found almost immediately that there was a segment of the wellness industry that was exploiting this pandemic—COVID-19—for their own monetary gain.”

At present, there is no vaccine for COVID-19 and no products have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat or prevent the virus. But Fessenden believes a healthy lifestyle can help and sees IV drips as a supplement to other measures she takes to avoid COVID-19, like washing her hands and wearing a mask.

Unlike those measures, however, many wellness treatments come with big promises and not enough science. “We found almost immediately that there was a segment of the wellness industry that was exploiting this pandemic—COVID-19—for their own monetary gain,” says Bonnie Patten, executive director of the nonprofit Truth in Advertising (TINA.org). “IV therapies jumped out” as one of those industries, she adds.

TINA.org scoured ads for IV therapies on social media and identified more than 40 clinics they said employed deceptive COVID-19 claims, with some marketing specifically to first responders.

IV centers have attracted attention in recent years for offering hangover cures, but treatments span the entire wellness gamut, with infusions intended for everything from chronic illnesses to glowing skin. You can pay less than a hundred dollars for one visit if you get a deal, but treatments also often run higher. Celebrities have espoused IV drips in the past, with Chrissy Teigen and Cara Delevingne appearing on social media with hooked-up arms.

What originally evoked partied-out Coachella girls might be more likely now to suggest clean-living. Or a pandemic: On March 13, Marla Maples, a wellness advocate and a former wife of President Donald Trump, shared a video of herself on Instagram saying that vitamin C drips are even more important during COVID-19.

iv drip

IV drips might make you feel good and hydrated, but any other health claims are dubious at best.

anna_isanGetty Images

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), a government agency that seeks to protect consumers, is concerned that some businesses are marketing therapies without adequate scientific evidence. Over the last few months, the agency has sent a number of warning letters to businesses that offer IV therapy from San Francisco to Miami for unlawfully advertising that their products treat or prevent COVID-19. (A warning letter means a company has a chance to stop making the claims and avoid further action.)

Many of those centers were touting the benefits of vitamin C, particularly in high doses, according to the FTC letters. “Just a few of our beautiful Superwomen IV guests,” one clinic captioned an Instagram post in March, according to a letter. “They received our Super-C vitamin cocktail blend and reinforced their immune defense shields…COVID-19 is no match for these ‘Superwomen’!”

Not only can IV vitamin therapies come with a “significant financial expense,” but “we’re also concerned that people may get a false sense of security and not take the appropriate preventative measures,” says Rich Cleland, assistant director of the Division of Advertising Practices at the FTC.

Weighing in on whether clinics should be making these kinds of claims about COVID-19, Fessenden, the lifestyle blogger, says they shouldn’t, “because I think anyone can catch it.”

One of the businesses that received a FTC letter was Liquivida Lounge, a medical spa founded in 2014 by a former firefighter, which has locations across Florida and other states. The FTC warned the company in April about its marketing of vitamin C, including that IV therapy could “help in the battle against COVID-19.” Liquivida Lounge has since revised its messaging to emphasize that Vitamin C helps “the body fight against infections (in general)” and to “reassure the public that no one has a cure for Coronavirus,” says Emmanuel Trenche, a spokesman for the company.

Trenche views vitamin infusions as “a proactive step” to keep one’s immune system strong during the pandemic, along with measures such as eating a healthy diet. Their stores have seen more interest in Vitamin IV therapy recently, he notes, as have doctors who buy their infusion kits.

“If you don’t wash your hands…and you don’t wear a mask—you think this is going to save you?”

Getting enough vitamin C, which naturally occurs in foods such as fruit, to bolster your immune defenses is not a new idea—and it has some science behind it. And a number of studies on how certain vitamins, including vitamin C, might help with COVID-19 are in progress. But as USA Today notes, clinical trials with vitamin C “could take years before reaching conclusions.” And right now, there’s no data to support that taking high doses of any vitamin treats or prevents COVID-19, says Dr. Caroline Apovian, the director of the Nutrition and Weight Management Center at Boston Medical Center.

With water soluble vitamins, such as vitamin C, whatever your body doesn’t need is expelled through urine, she says. IVs are also not without risk, such as infection, and there’s no reason for people who are generally healthy to be taking that risk at all, she tells ELLE.com, especially while paying hundreds of dollars. (Dr. Christopher Davis, the Chief Medical Officer of Liquivida Lounge, acknowledges a risk of bleeding and infection, but notes it is “inordinately small.”)

IV clinics are “selling snake oil to people,” Apovian says, arguing that there is no comparison to preventative measures that have scientific backing. “If you don’t wash your hands, and you don’t practice social distancing, and you don’t wear a mask—and you think this is going to save you? You’re wrong.”

Supporters say doing everything you can to stay healthy now is common sense. “We strongly believe in our products—I strongly believe in the role of vitamin C and the immune system,” Davis says. But “we have to be careful not to instill this false sense of hope.”

With people anxious about staying safe, “anything to help your body absorb the best vitamins and nutrients [is] going to ease your worries,” says Fessenden. Like many though, she is concerned people are still not taking COVID-19 seriously. Masks play “a huge role,” she says, along with “actually social distancing.”

Want to be a “superwoman?” Put on a mask.

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Boosting immune system a potential treatment strategy for COVID

Boosting immune system a potential treatment strategy for COVID

  • August 5, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to claim lives around the world, much research has focused on the immune system’s role in patients who become seriously ill. A popular theory has it that the immune system gets so revved up fighting the virus that, after several days, it produces a so-called cytokine storm that results in potentially fatal organ damage, particularly to the lungs.

But new findings from a team of researchers led by scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis point to another theory and suggest that patients become ill because their immune systems can’t do enough to protect them from the virus, landing them in intensive care units. They suggest that boosting immunity could be a potential treatment strategy for COVID-19.

Such a strategy has been proposed in two recently published papers, one published online in JAMA Network Open and the other published online in the journal JCI Insight.

“People around the world have been treating patients seriously ill with COVID-19 using drugs that do very different things,” said senior investigator Richard S. Hotchkiss, MD, professor of anesthesiology, of medicine and of surgery. “Some drugs tamp down the immune response, while others enhance it. Everybody seems to be throwing the kitchen sink at the illness. It may be true that some people die from a hyperinflammatory response, but it appears more likely to us that if you block the immune system too much, you’re not going to be able to control the virus.”

The Washington University researchers have been investigating a similar approach in treating sepsis, a potentially fatal condition that also involves patients who simultaneously seem to have overactive and weakened immune systems.

Hotchkiss points to autopsy studies performed by other groups showing large amounts of coronavirus present in the organs of people who died from COVID-19, suggesting that their immune systems were not working well enough to fight the virus. His colleague, Kenneth E. Remy, MD, the JCI Insight study’s first author, compares efforts to inhibit the immune system to fixing a flat tire by letting more air out.

“But when we actually looked closely at these patients, we found that their tires, so to speak, were underinflated or immune-suppressed,” said Remy, assistant professor of pediatrics, of medicine and of anesthesiology at Washington University. “To go and poke holes in them with anti-inflammatory drugs because you think they are hyperinflated or hyperinflamed will only make the suppression and the disease worse.”

After gathering blood samples from 20 COVID-19 patients at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Missouri Baptist Medical Center in St. Louis, the researchers employed a test to measure the activity of immune cells in the blood. They compared the blood of those patients to 26 hospitalized sepsis patients and 18 others who were very sick but had neither sepsis nor COVID-19.

They found that the COVID-19 patients often had far fewer circulating immune cells than is typical. Further, the immune cells that were present did not secrete normal levels of cytokines – the molecules many have proposed as a cause of organ damage and death in COVID-19 patients.

Instead of trying to fight the infection by further interfering with the production of cytokines, they tried a strategy that has been successful in previous studies they have conducted in sepsis patients.

Hotchkiss and Remy collaborated with researchers in a small study conducted in seriously ill COVID-19 patients who were hospitalized in Belgium. In that study, which was reported on in the JAMA Network Open paper, the COVID-19 patients were treated with a substance called interleukin-7 (IL-7), a cytokine that is required for the healthy development of immune cells.

In those patients, the researchers found that IL-7 helped restore balance to the immune system by increasing the number of immune cells and helping those cells make more cytokines to fight infection.

The research did not demonstrate, however, that treatment with IL-7 improved mortality in COVID-19 patients.

“This was a compassionate trial and not a randomized, controlled trial of IL-7,” Remy explained. “We were attempting to learn whether we could get these immune cells working again – and we could – as well as whether we could do it without causing harmful effects in these very sick patients – and there were none. As this was an observational study involving a small number of patients who already were on ventilators, it wasn’t really designed to evaluate IL-7’s impact on mortality.”

Studies focused on boosting immunity and improving outcomes among the sickest COVID-19 patients are just getting underway in Europe, and similar trials are starting in the U.S., including at Washington University.

Hotchkiss said that finding ways to boost the immune response should help not only in COVID-19 patients but when the next pandemic arises.

“We should have been geared up and more ready when this pathogen appeared,” he said. “But what Ken and I and our colleagues are working on now is finding ways to boost the immune system that may help people during future pandemics. We think if we can make our immune systems stronger, we’ll be better able to fight off this coronavirus, as well as other viral and bacterial pathogens that may be unleashed in the future.”

Novavax (NVAX) Stock Fluctuates After Early Covid Data Shows Promise

Novavax (NVAX) Stock Fluctuates After Early Covid Data Shows Promise

  • August 4, 2020
US-VIRUS-HEALTH

Photographer: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Novavax Inc. shares saw huge swings in extended trading as investors took a critical eye to early data on its experimental vaccine for Covid-19 following a 3,800-percent rally in the stock this year.

The shares briefly fell as much as 34% postmarket on Tuesday, before paring the decline. The two-injection regimen when administered concurrently with Novavax’s immune-boosting technology generated antibody responses that were four times higher than those seen in people who had recovered from the disease. Some of the healthy adults in the study experienced side effects including fever, headache and fatigue.

Confusion over the vaccine’s safety data arose after a media report incorrectly said trial participants were hospitalized with severe reactions. The vaccine appeared safe in the more than 100 patients who received it, according to the company. Reactions to the shots were generally mild, lasting two days or less. One patient getting the vaccine had a mild skin infection that was determined not to be related to the shot.

Gregory Glenn, Novavax’s head of research and development, said adverse events were “sporadic” and spread across placebo as well as vaccinated patients in the study.

Corrections Department Reports 3 COVID Cases at Torrington Prison

Corrections Department Reports 3 COVID Cases at Torrington Prison

  • August 3, 2020

Two staff members and one contract health care worker were reported lab-confirmed positive for COVID-19 at the Wyoming Department of Correction’s prison in Torrington.

The department conducted 935 tests for all inmates, staff and contract staff at the Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution as part of its testing program for all its facilities, according to a news release.

No positive cases were reported for inmates.

So far, the Wyoming Department of Corrections has conducted 2,122 tests at its facilities.

The department previously reported 24 positive test results — 15 inmates, two staff, seven contract staff — at the Wyoming State Penitentiary in Rawlins. Those individuals are currently in recovery.

No positive results were reported at the Wyoming Honor Farm in Riverton.

The department began testing for COVID-19 on Monday at the Wyoming Honor Conservation Camp and Boot Camp in Newcastle.

Those numbers will be reported when all test results are back.

See 25 natural ways to boost your immune system:

Browns punter Jamie Gillan placed on COVID list

Browns punter Jamie Gillan placed on COVID list

  • July 30, 2020

The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:

___

Cleveland Browns punter Jamie Gillan has been placed on the NFL’s reserve/COVID-19 list, which means he’s either tested positive for the virus or been in close contact with an infected person.

Gillan is the third player placed on the list, joining running back Dontrell Hilliard and safety Jovante Moffatt.

The Browns signed Gillan as an undrafted free agent before training camp last season and the 23-year-old became a fan favorite with his long air and thick Scottish accent. He wore a kilt to Cleveland’s final home game last season.

Gillan set a club single-season record by averaging 41.6 net yards per kick in 2019 as a rookie. He also placed 28 punts inside the 20.

___

The sideline area college football teams use to congregate will be extended by 20 yards this season and only one captain from each team will be permitted to participate in the pregame or overtime coin toss.

NCAA playing rules oversight committee announced alterations in football and other sports to accommodate for COVID-19 concerns this coming season.

The team sideline area currently extends from one 25-yard line to another. Those areas will now span from 15 to 15. Currently, as many as four team captains can participate in the coin toss. That has been reduced to one and only two officials will be allowed to participate.

In soccer, the penalty for spitting at an opponent has been increased from an ejection and one-game suspension to an ejection and two-game suspension. In volleyball, teams will not switch benches during a match.

___

Georgia Tech has moved this season’s home game against Notre Dame to its campus stadium, citing uncertainty over scheduling because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Atlantic Coast Conference announced a new 11-game scheduling format that includes 10 conference games, with Notre Dame joining as a full-time member for the 2020 season.

Georgia Tech was already set to play Notre Dame at Atlanta’s 75,000-seat Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Nov. 14. While that game remains a part of the Yellow Jackets’ revised ACC schedule, the uncertainty over a playing date prompted the school to move the contest to its regular home venue, 55,000-seat Bobby Dodd Stadium.

___

Milwaukee Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer says guards Eric Bledsoe and Pat Connaughton won’t play Friday against the Boston Celtics after both players arrived late to Florida because they had tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Budenholzer hasn’t announced a timeline for when either player could appear in a game. He says getting them at least a couple of five-on-five practice sessions and some three-on-three work will be important for their conditioning and developing a rhythm.

Budenholzer says it’s a big hurdle to overcome when everybody else has already put in 10 to 14 days of work.

___

Season tickets will not be available for Dallas Cowboys games this season.

The Cowboys announced that due to NFL policies, government and CDC guidelines on the COVID-19 pandemic, capacity at AT&T Stadium will be limited.

The team sent season ticket holders an e-mail offering them options. They can opt in for the opportunity to purchase a limited number of tickets for a limited number of games and will have the first chance to purchase those tickets, though they could be in different locations from their normal seats.

They also could decline to buy single-game tickets for the 2020 season but “will still retain tenure, seat location and associated benefits for the 2021 season and beyond.”

Any season ticket holders who have paid their invoice fee will have the option to apply the credit to future ticket purchases or receive a refund.

The Cowboys also said any fans who purchased single-game tickets from an official NFL licensed channel for games this season will be receiving communication from the point of purchase regarding cancellations of tickets and how to obtain a credit or refund.

___

The Phillies have received the results of Wednesday’s testing, and while no players tested positive for COVID-19 two staff members did test positive.

One is a member of the coaching staff and one is a member of the home clubhouse staff.

All activity at Citizens Bank Park has been canceled until further notice.

___

Rookie running back Malcolm Perry is among several Miami Dolphins players who have donated convalescent plasma after recovering from COVID-19.

The plasma helps patients still fighting the virus.

“Being able to give back to people who weren’t fortunate enough to react the same way you did to the virus and give back to the community was important,” the former Navy star said in a statement released Thursday by the team.

People who have recovered from the coronavirus have developed antibodies to the virus that remain in the plasma portion of their blood. By transfusing plasma from a person who has recovered from COVID-19 into a patient still fighting the virus, it can boost their immune system and potentially help them recover.

___

There has been a spike in the number of Rutgers’ football players who have tested positive for COVID-19.

New Jersey Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said the number is now 15 and noted that even smaller gatherings can lead to positive tests.

Rutgers halted all in-person team activities and quarantined the entire program this past weekend after learning six people associated with the program had tested positive.

The Big Ten Conference member had previously reported four positive tests since returning to campus on June 15.

___

Sevilla says no other players have tested positive for the coronavirus ahead of its Europa League match against Roma.

The Spanish club announced on Wednesday that Serbian player Nemanja Gudelj tested positive for COVID-19 and was isolated from the rest of the squad.

Sevilla says players and club employees were tested again and no positive results were reported.

The club says training will resume with individual sessions.

Players and employees will continue to be tested before the team’s trip to Germany for the match.

The round-of-16 game is scheduled to be played on Aug. 6. The team plans to travel on Tuesday.

___

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis is concerned about his club traveling to face Barcelona in the Champions League amid a recent spike in coronavirus cases in Spain.

De Laurentiis says “I hear a lot of perplexity and fear coming from Spain and they’re acting like nothing is wrong. What does it take to say, ‘Don’t go to Barcelona but rather go to Portugal, Germany or Geneva?’”

The Barcelona-Napoli game is scheduled for Aug. 8. The first leg of the round-of-16 encounter finished 1-1 in Naples in February. The winner will advance to the quarterfinals in Lisbon, Portugal.

The Napoli president says “if they’ve decided to play the Champions League in Portugal and the Europa League in Germany, I think we can go to Portugal or Germany for the round of 16. I don’t understand why it should stay in a city that has a really critical situation.”

___

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

The Latest: Browns punter Jamie Gillan placed on COVID list

The Latest: Browns punter Jamie Gillan placed on COVID list

  • July 30, 2020

The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:

___

Cleveland Browns punter Jamie Gillan has been placed on the NFL’s reserve/COVID-19 list, which means he’s either tested positive for the virus or been in close contact with an infected person.

Gillan is the third player placed on the list, joining running back Dontrell Hilliard and safety Jovante Moffatt.

The Browns signed Gillan as an undrafted free agent before training camp last season and the 23-year-old became a fan favorite with his long air and thick Scottish accent. He wore a kilt to Cleveland’s final home game last season.

Gillan set a club single-season record by averaging 41.6 net yards per kick in 2019 as a rookie. He also placed 28 punts inside the 20.

___

The sideline area college football teams use to congregate will be extended by 20 yards this season and only one captain from each team will be permitted to participate in the pregame or overtime coin toss.

NCAA playing rules oversight committee announced alterations in football and other sports to accommodate for COVID-19 concerns this coming season.

The team sideline area currently extends from one 25-yard line to another. Those areas will now span from 15 to 15. Currently, as many as four team captains can participate in the coin toss. That has been reduced to one and only two officials will be allowed to participate.

In soccer, the penalty for spitting at an opponent has been increased from an ejection and one-game suspension to an ejection and two-game suspension. In volleyball, teams will not switch benches during a match.

___

Georgia Tech has moved this season’s home game against Notre Dame to its campus stadium, citing uncertainty over scheduling because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Atlantic Coast Conference announced a new 11-game scheduling format that includes 10 conference games, with Notre Dame joining as a full-time member for the 2020 season.

Georgia Tech was already set to play Notre Dame at Atlanta’s 75,000-seat Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Nov. 14. While that game remains a part of the Yellow Jackets’ revised ACC schedule, the uncertainty over a playing date prompted the school to move the contest to its regular home venue, 55,000-seat Bobby Dodd Stadium.

___

Milwaukee Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer says guards Eric Bledsoe and Pat Connaughton won’t play Friday against the Boston Celtics after both players arrived late to Florida because they had tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Budenholzer hasn’t announced a timeline for when either player could appear in a game. He says getting them at least a couple of five-on-five practice sessions and some three-on-three work will be important for their conditioning and developing a rhythm.

Budenholzer says it’s a big hurdle to overcome when everybody else has already put in 10 to 14 days of work.

___

Season tickets will not be available for Dallas Cowboys games this season.

The Cowboys announced that due to NFL policies, government and CDC guidelines on the COVID-19 pandemic, capacity at AT&T Stadium will be limited.

The team sent season ticket holders an e-mail offering them options. They can opt in for the opportunity to purchase a limited number of tickets for a limited number of games and will have the first chance to purchase those tickets, though they could be in different locations from their normal seats.

They also could decline to buy single-game tickets for the 2020 season but “will still retain tenure, seat location and associated benefits for the 2021 season and beyond.”

Any season ticket holders who have paid their invoice fee will have the option to apply the credit to future ticket purchases or receive a refund.

The Cowboys also said any fans who purchased single-game tickets from an official NFL licensed channel for games this season will be receiving communication from the point of purchase regarding cancellations of tickets and how to obtain a credit or refund.

___

The Phillies have received the results of Wednesday’s testing, and while no players tested positive for COVID-19 two staff members did test positive.

One is a member of the coaching staff and one is a member of the home clubhouse staff.

All activity at Citizens Bank Park has been canceled until further notice.

___

Rookie running back Malcolm Perry is among several Miami Dolphins players who have donated convalescent plasma after recovering from COVID-19.

The plasma helps patients still fighting the virus.

“Being able to give back to people who weren’t fortunate enough to react the same way you did to the virus and give back to the community was important,” the former Navy star said in a statement released Thursday by the team.

People who have recovered from the coronavirus have developed antibodies to the virus that remain in the plasma portion of their blood. By transfusing plasma from a person who has recovered from COVID-19 into a patient still fighting the virus, it can boost their immune system and potentially help them recover.

___

There has been a spike in the number of Rutgers’ football players who have tested positive for COVID-19.

New Jersey Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said the number is now 15 and noted that even smaller gatherings can lead to positive tests.

Rutgers halted all in-person team activities and quarantined the entire program this past weekend after learning six people associated with the program had tested positive.

The Big Ten Conference member had previously reported four positive tests since returning to campus on June 15.

___

Sevilla says no other players have tested positive for the coronavirus ahead of its Europa League match against Roma.

The Spanish club announced on Wednesday that Serbian player Nemanja Gudelj tested positive for COVID-19 and was isolated from the rest of the squad.

Sevilla says players and club employees were tested again and no positive results were reported.

The club says training will resume with individual sessions.

Players and employees will continue to be tested before the team’s trip to Germany for the match.

The round-of-16 game is scheduled to be played on Aug. 6. The team plans to travel on Tuesday.

___

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis is concerned about his club traveling to face Barcelona in the Champions League amid a recent spike in coronavirus cases in Spain.

De Laurentiis says “I hear a lot of perplexity and fear coming from Spain and they’re acting like nothing is wrong. What does it take to say, ‘Don’t go to Barcelona but rather go to Portugal, Germany or Geneva?'”

The Barcelona-Napoli game is scheduled for Aug. 8. The first leg of the round-of-16 encounter finished 1-1 in Naples in February. The winner will advance to the quarterfinals in Lisbon, Portugal.

The Napoli president says “if they’ve decided to play the Champions League in Portugal and the Europa League in Germany, I think we can go to Portugal or Germany for the round of 16. I don’t understand why it should stay in a city that has a really critical situation.”

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'Hypervitaminosis’: Kashmir docs warn against excessive intake of immunity boosters to fight COVID

‘Hypervitaminosis’: Kashmir docs warn against excessive intake of immunity boosters to fight COVID

  • July 30, 2020

Srinagar: Health experts in Kashmir have warned against excessive intake of vitamins for boosting the immune system.

The immune system is the human body’s primary defense against the infection. In the wake of Covid-19, the market has been flooded with an array of products that claim to boost one’s immunity. It includes AYUSH concoctions, vitamin pills, and zinc tablets.

 

However, doctors have stressed that in the absence of any scientific study or conclusive evidence, the idea of boosting the immune system is “flawed and unscientific”.

Professor of Surgery at GMC Srinagar Dr. Iqbal Saleem said most people in Kashmir take over the counter preparations like B complex and multivitamins.

“Presently, it is being said that Vitamin C has an immunity booster role. At the same time, it is very difficult to assess what these medicines contain. As of now, I don’t see any evidence of randomized control trials which prove that they are helpful for boosting immunity,” he said.

President Doctors Association Kashmir, Dr. Suhail Naik said immunity is a very complex system consisting of different types of cells and antibodies.

“Some people are taking daily vitamins in order to boost immunity. I wonder if many of them may land into ‘hypervitaminosis’ a dangerous outcome of excessive intake of vitamins particularly A and D,” he said.

Dr. Naik urged people to understand that overreaction of the immune system can give rise to various autoimmune disorders.

“Only vaccines have the potential to boost the immune system with precision against various communicable diseases. Therefore, instead of running and searching for immunity boosters, people should eat a healthy balanced diet, fruits, vegetables, pulses, and get enough sleep,” he added. 

Registrar at SMHS Hospital, Dr. Khawar Khan Achakzai said people with low immunity or other immunocompromised state are more prone to COVID‐19.

“There are minerals like Zinc and Iron etc that play a role in the augmentation of the immune response. Even though there isn’t direct evidence linking protection against COVID-19 to these micronutrients, our knowledge of the immune system and its working help us understand how they could actually help against the virus,” he said.

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One of the common misconceptions about vitamin supplements and other nutraceuticals is that they boost one

Immunity boosters are a myth — why you shouldn’t believe claims that promise to fight Covid

  • July 30, 2020
One of the common misconceptions about vitamin supplements and other nutraceuticals is that they boost one's immunity | Representational image | Polina Tankilevitch | Pexels
One of the common misconceptions about vitamin supplements and other nutraceuticals is that they boost one’s immunity | Representational image |
Polina Tankilevitch | Pexels


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Bengaluru/New Delhi: With no scientifically established treatment for Covid-19 yet and a vaccine still in the trial stage, the buzzword during the past eight months has been ‘immune system’.

Since the coronavirus pandemic struck, over 6.5 lakh people have died across the world, while lakhs of others have been infected. Recovery in most cases has largely been reliant on the human body’s natural defence, the immune system.

Ayurvedic concoctions, fruit juices, vitamin pills, zinc tablets, hand sanitisers, face masks — despite the lockdown, the market has been flooded with an array of products that claim to boost one’s immunity.

Advertisers’ messages seem to indicate that the body’s natural defences can be strengthened or enhanced by the consumption of certain foods or the use of specific products. But can these products really protect you from Covid-19? Or, can functional food or nutraceuticals (dietary supplements) boost your immunity?

This is what the science says:


Also read: Reader View: ‘I am recovering from Covid, no immunity-boosting products have helped’


Can the immune system be ‘boosted’?

The short answer is no. Immunology experts say there is no way for healthy adults to improve their immunity through foods or products.

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