Health Care

Seems reasonable

Dementia patients who see the same GP every time have lower rates of health complications, fewer emergency hospital visits and a better overall quality of life, according to a new study.

One of the two knowing why the meeting is taking place seems a sensible enough set up.

I think we can say covid is endemic now

So, a daughter is double vaxxed, boosted, has had covid once. She’s just tested positive again. True, she’s a primary school teacher so works in the world’s most efficient germ factory. But I think we might be able to say that this is endemic now, no action is going to stop it.

So, no point in closing society again, is there?

You don’t say?

Covid pill could also treat future variants and other viruses, scientists claim
Creators of molnupiravir say data suggests pill could be ‘multi-virus weapon’ and suppress transmission

Penicillin didn’t just cure the clap you know….

From the Lancet

They’re calling for papers about race and health:

We seek evidence examining race and ethnicity as a construct existing within complex societal and environmental contexts, with clear implications for practice and policy, and not misrepresented as a biological variable.

Hmm, what happens when it is a biological variable?

Can’t bring myself to be surprised about this

Perhaps the medically knowledgeable would care to comment on this:

People who have previously had Covid or been vaccinated have T-cells in their system that work well against omicron, a new study suggests.

T-cells are a form of immunity that are longer-lasting than antibodies, and although they do not stop infection, they prevent the virus from causing severe disease and death.

This seems so obvious to me as to not be worth wasting the pixels upon. True, this is probably because once we get to the nitty gritty I know nothing about biology. So, those who actually do know. This is so obvious? Or, actually, no, it’s really new news?

So, not wholly and entirely caused by then

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society says the risk of developing MS in the general population is around one in 1,000.

And

In contrast, Epstein-Barr Virus infection is astoundingly common, and can be found in around 95 per cent of people.

So

The virus that causes herpes is likely the main cause of multiple sclerosis (MS), a groundbreaking study has suggested.

Perhaps not. If damn near everyone has EB and not damn near everyone has MS then there must be some other cause.

Linked, quite possibly, even it could be a necessary precondition, but there must be something else as well. Propensity to, damn bad random luck, some other infection, summat.

Being very cruel about this

My bile rises as I’m asked to move my dying cancer patient out of ICU to make room for an unvaccinated man with Covid
Ranjana Srivastava

Umm, but why is a dying cancer patient in ICU?

ICU being a place to try to stop folks dying, isn’t it, not somewhere where people do?

Or is triage something that the NHS is supposed to protect us from?

Werl, Atchully

Major international research efforts are being made to fight this trend – including an initiative at London’s Francis Crick Institute, where two world experts, James Lee and Carola Vinuesa, have set up separate research groups to help pinpoint the precise causes of autoimmune disease, as these conditions are known.

“Numbers of autoimmune cases began to increase about 40 years ago in the west,” Lee told the Observer. “However, we are now seeing some emerge in countries that never had such diseases before.

OK.

In the UK alone, at least 4 million people have developed such conditions, with some individuals suffering more than one. Internationally, it is now estimated that cases of autoimmune diseases are rising by between 3% and 9% a year. Most scientists believe environmental factors play a key role in this rise.

“Human genetics hasn’t altered over the past few decades,” said Lee, who was previously based at Cambridge University. “So something must be changing in the outside world in a way that is increasing our predisposition to autoimmune disease.”

Well, maybe.

This idea was backed by Vinuesa, who was previously based at the Australian National University. She pointed to changes in diet that were occurring as more and more countries adopted western-style diets and people bought more fast food.

“Fast-food diets lack certain important ingredients, such as fibre, and evidence suggests this alteration affects a person’s microbiome – the collection of micro-organisms that we have in our gut and which play a key role in controlling various bodily functions,” Vinuesa said.

“These changes in our microbiomes are then triggering autoimmune diseases, of which more than 100 types have now been discovered.”

Hmm. Given that I’m not the P³ I’ll not declare that I’ve got the answer. Instead I’ll just postulate. Human genetics have changed over this time. Or, rather, since the generation or two before that.

In the 1920s a diagnosis of diabetes was a 6 month death sentence. Crohn’s and all the gut ones wouldn’t have increased life of reproductive success chances.

“If you don’t have a certain genetic susceptibility, you won’t necessarily get an autoimmune disease, no matter how many Big Macs you eat,” said Vinuesa.

The susceptibilities are indeed genetically linked and therefore inheritance plays a role. But then so also does the arising, de novo, of the gene combinations that predispose to them.

So, to use another example, 100 years ago – and all time previous to that – babies with lactose intolerance died. So, lactose intolerance was something that only arose de novo in each generation, it wasn’t inherited – or those with it didn’t survive to pass it on, while the gene combinations that cause it might pop up in a sexual mixing of DNA perhaps. Now babies with lactose intolerance do survive and so we have a rise in such intolerance in the population as a whole. We’ve both the directly inherited and also the arising de novo types.

Thus my theory about these autoimmune diseases. They’re increasing because in the past those with them were dead and not reproducing. So, we only got the incidence of those few new cases, not directly inherited, who did survive. Now we’ve got those new cases, as always, plus those directly inherited.

I’d not hold to this very strongly as a complete solution. As with much of economics I’d say that there are likely many things going on. But I would strongly argue that this is some of what’s going on. Some portion – with a heavy emphasis upon “some” – of the rise in autoimmune diseases, as with many others, is a result of the previous generation of those having them not being dead.

Another one of those lockdown costs

Britain is facing a shortage of fully qualified surgeons as more than a million elective operations in which trainees would have gained vital experience have been “lost” to the pandemic, The Telegraph can disclose.

The monthly number of elective operations involving trainees is down by more than 50 per cent in some specialties compared to pre-Covid levels, according to the latest data seen by the Telegraph.

Everything does have costs. Maybe the benefits outweigh them, maybe they don’t. But as far as we know the only person around that Cabinet table who actually asked that most important question – “How much will this cost?” – was Jesse Norman. Who currently enjoys life on the backbenches.

Hmm……

I can believe this but I don’

Royal lifespans found to be longer than those of normal mortals
For every 100-year-old royal, the average person could expect to live to an age of 74 years

Well, yes, richer folk do tend to live longer. So can believe this. But sample size, sample size. The measurement is from George V onwards. Which is a pretty damn small sample to be trying to base a conclusion like this on.

At least try to measure all royalty over the past few generations, right? The Tsar etc will being the average down a tad…..

We do all understand triage, yes

Children with learning disabilities were offered “do not resuscitate” orders during the pandemic, The Telegraph can disclose.

GP surgeries asked if teenagers with autism and Down’s syndrome wanted not to be resuscitated, amid concerns about the pressure on the NHS.

The Telegraph has spoken to two families who were asked about the controversial orders – known as DNACPRs – during routine appointments.

Both families live in Kent and The Telegraph has seen an apology from their local health authority – who they have asked us not to name – saying that the question should not be asked.

The families said that they believed they were only asked about DNACPRs because of their child’s learning disability.

But it is all a bit eugenic, isn’t it?

Had me worried there for a moment

Married NHS A&E doctors to spend Christmas Day rowing across Atlantic
Adam Baker and Charlie Fleury will row 3,000 miles for more than 40 days to raise money for charity

Imagine the horror if unmarried doctors got into a small boat together. Who would be able to chaperone?

BTW, is this the cause of the NHS stress and strain? That they’re all off rowing the Atlantic?

Ill people see their doctor more often

Ten per cent of GP patients account for more than two-fifths of face-to-face appointments, a major study has found, as it revealed the pressures put on services by “frequent attenders”.

Researchers at the University of Manchester analysed records of nearly 1.7 billion consultations over a 20-year period between 2000 and 2019.

I’m sure we’d find that ill people took more of the hospital slots too.

What I’m not seeing here in the reporting is the division into the classes we’d like for information purposes. Those who went to the GP for something to do and those who were actually ill…..

More research is needed to find the “main driving force” for frequent attendance in the UK, they added.

They’ve not found out what we actually want to know….

Damn fool idiots

But it’s possible to admire the tenacity:

Anti-vaxxers are block-booking appointments at mass vaccination centres, it has emerged, in an apparent attempt to prevent others receiving the life-saving jab.

Perhaps tenacity is the wrong word, ingenuity.

Yes, yes, yes, barking made, damaging, disgraceful and all that. But it’s possible to divorce the stupidity of the cause from the tenacity to it.

30 days of this and we’ll be done

UK scientists: bring in curbs now or face up to 2m daily Covid infections as Omicron spreads
Deaths could hit 6,000 a day and delaying restrictions until New Year will cut effectiveness, say Sage experts

Not that I am actually recommending we just let rip. But if we did it would bring and end to it all.

There’re 65 million of us, 2 m a day gets through everyone in a month, having had one variant does not wholly protect but makes later ones less of a problem.

And at some point that is what will happen. Maybe not this variant, but at some point down he road there will be one that we just all do get and that’ll be that. So, the Q becomes when and which, not whether.

So?

Most diddums, eh?

An overweight detective who took 76 sick days a year has won a payout after her bosses told her to stop drinking “gallons of Coca-Cola” to improve her diet.

Detective Constable Kerry Moth, who said she felt humiliated after being told to take more responsibility over her diet by a higher ranked officer, was awarded £10,000 compensation on Monday.

The government can tell you to stop being a fatty lardbucket, the government can tax you out of being obese and costing the NHS a fortune, but Lord Forbid anyone ever actually says stop being a fatty lardbucket.

Hmm, this might not be quite the right way around in fact. Possibly, even, your boss gets to tell you and the government doesn’t.

What in buggery is zithromax?

One of the ways to discover what’s going on out in that belly of the real economy is to look at what folks are spamming. Which the current failure of the spam trap gives me an opportunity to do.

If folks are spamming it then there is summat. It’s new, or highly desired and can’t be bought, or fashionable, or something.

So what in buggery is zithromax? It’s hugely popular to spam, about half the current instances. Seems to be an antibiotic. But why would people be trying to retail advertise an antibiotic? What is going on here?

Tosser

The Prince marked World Aids Day by warning that not learning from mistakes made with the AIDS epidemic would be a “betrayal of the next generation”.

He said vaccinating the world is a “test of our moral character” and that there has been a “spectacular failure” over global access to Covid vaccines.

In a letter read out on the Duke’s behalf at a World Health Organization and UNAIDS event, said his late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales – known for breaking the stigma around AIDS and HIV – would be “deeply grateful” to the scientific community for its tireless work.

But the Prince stressed: “It’s time to draw from the lessons we learned throughout HIV/AIDS, where millions died unnecessarily due to deep inequities in access to treatment.

I know this isn’t how we normally hear the story. But up until that time the race against AIDS was the most humongously successful, fast, equitable, fight against any disease ever. It took a decade from accurate analysis of what was happening to the invention of an entire new class of drugs, anti- (or retro-) virals. Something we’d never done before. Yes, it wasn’t fast enough for many but if someone like Freddie M had survived another year he’d likely still be with us.

The only one that tops that is the coronavirus response.

Quite how these miracles of modern industrial – for which read market and capitalist as no other system has managed to create an industrial – society are being regarded as failures grates, annoys, in fact leads to the desire to scream from the rooftops.

Sure, it ain’t all been perfect. But compared to what you fucking fool?