Coronavirus UK news – Chilling link between serious mental or psychiatric disorders and catching covid discovered

Coronavirus UK news – Chilling link between serious mental or psychiatric disorders and catching covid discovered

PEOPLE who catch coronavirus have an increased risk of mental health or neurological conditions within six months, a new study suggests.

Researchers at the University of Oxford looked at the TriNetX electronic 2020 health records of more than 230,000 Covid-19 patients, mostly from the US.

They found contracting Covid-19 is "robustly associated" with an increased risk of developing mental health and neurological conditions in the six months after a diagnosis.

Their study, published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal and said to be the largest of its kind to date, estimated that one in three Covid-19 survivors (34%) were diagnosed with a neurological or psychiatric condition within six months of being infected.

For 13% of those people it was their first ever recorded neurological or psychiatric diagnosis, researchers found.

The findings also suggested that the incidence of such conditions rose with the severity of a coronavirus case, with a neurological or psychiatric diagnosis occurring in 39% of those who were admitted to hospital.

The number rises to 46% for those who spent time in intensive care, and 62% in those who had encephalopathy – described as "delirium and other altered mental states" – during their Covid-19 infection.

Read our coronavirus live blog below for the very latest news and updates on the pandemic

  • Dan Keane

    3PM BRIEFING ON OXFORD JAB

    The UK medicines regulator will give an update on its investigation into whether the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is directly causing rare brain blood clots at 3pm in a televised briefing.

    We'll have all the latest here.

  • Dan Keane

    MORE EU COUNTRIES ADDED TO IRELAND'S QUARANTINE LIST

    People travelling from some European Union countries could be forced to isolate in Ireland's mandatory quarantine hotels.

    France, Italy and Germany could be included, with transport minister Eamon Ryan saying the Government has been responding to the public's concerns over the high rates of infections in those countries.

    It comes as 26 more countries were added to the list last week.

  • Dan Keane

    WHAT HAS ASTRAZENECA SAID?

    • AstraZeneca has said it will continue to analyse its database to understand "whether these very rare cases of blood clots associated with thrombocytopenia occur any more commonly than would be expected naturally in a population of millions of people".
    • Meanwhile on Tuesday, a trial of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine on children was paused, but the scientists involved said there were no safety concerns with the trial itself.
    • Dan Keane

      WHAT WE KNOW: THE OXFORD VACCINE & BLOOD CLOTS

      • Thirty cases of the rare blood clotting have been seen in the UK, as of April 2, of the Oxford vaccine.
      • Of those, 22 are the rare CVST kind of clot that caused concern in Europe, and eight were other thrombosis events.
      • That is out of 18.1million doses administered in the UK – making it extremely rare at around one in 600,000.
      • The Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has stressed the risk was “very small” and the benefits of the vaccines against Covid outweigh any risks”.

      MERKEL CALLS FOR 'SHORT, SHARP' LOCKDOWN IN GERMANY

      German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for a short, tough lockdown to curb a rise in cases.

      "Every call for a short, uniform lockdown is right," deputy government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer told reporters, adding Germany was seeing a growing number of intensive care patients.

      Ms Merkel believes the number of cases over seven days per 100,000 inhabitants must remain below 100. It currently stands at 110.1, according to the Robert Koch Institute.

      MODERNA JAB 'COULD BE RESERVED' FOR YOUNGER PEOPLE

      Moderna's Covid vaccine could be reserved for younger people amid concerns surrounding the AstraZeneca jab, an expert has said.

      Professor Adam Finn, one of the Government's jab advisers, was asked if different vaccines could end up being reserved for certain groups.

      He told BBC Breakfast: “That’s certainly possible. We are seeing another vaccine coming in (Moderna), and further vaccines are approaching licensure, and I know that the UK has made contracts for quite a wide range of different vaccines.

      “As time goes forward we will have much more flexibility about who can be offered what.”

      LONELINESS DURING PANDEMIC 'GREATER IN AREAS WITH MORE YOUNG PEOPLE'

      Levels of loneliness during the pandemic have tended to be greater in areas with high concentrations of younger people and higher rates of unemployment, new figures suggest.

      People in areas with higher crime rates or with higher levels of anxiety were also more likely to report feeling lonely.

      The figures, from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), suggest 7.2 per cent of the adult population of Britain felt lonely "often or always" between October 2020 and February 2021.

      MODERNA HASN'T INFORMED GERMANY OF CHANGES TO JAB

      Moderna has not informed Germany of any changes to the delivery schedule for its coronavirus vaccine, the German health ministry has said.

      "Moderna has not communicated any changes in its delivery plans to us," a health ministry spokeswoman said. 

      POLAND EXTENDS RESTRICTIONS

      Poland will extend its coronavirus restrictions until April 18, Health Minister Adam Niedzielski has said.

      It comes as the health system struggles to cope with a third wave of infections.

      Kindergartens, shopping centres, hotels, cinemas and theatres will remain closed under the restrictions.

      • Dan Keane

        FORMER ITALIAN PM STILL IN HOSPITAL

        Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been in hospital since Tuesday afternoon for check-ups, two sources within his Forza Italia party said today.

        One of the sources said the 84-year-old media tycoon was hospitalised for follow-up tests after contracting coronavirus in September last year.

        Berlusconi underwent major heart surgery in 2016 and has also survived prostate cancer.

      • Dan Keane

        KENT VARIANT DETECTED IN THAILAND

        Thailand has detected 24 cases of the coronavirus variant B.1.1.7 first detected in Kent, a virologist said today.

        "This variant is very viral and can spread 1.7 times faster than the usual strain," Yong Poovorawan, a senior virologist from Chulalongkorn University told a health ministry briefing

      • Dan Keane

        CARER BECOMES FIRST BRIT TO RECEIVE MODERNA JAB

        Unpaid carer Elle Taylor, 24, from Ammanford, became the first Briton in the UK to receive the Moderna vaccine when she was given the jab at the West Wales General Hospital in Carmarthen.

        Speaking after receiving the vaccine, the 24-year-old said: "I'm very excited and very happy.

        "I'm an unpaid carer for my grandmother so it is very important to me that I get it, so I can care for her properly and safely."

        Credit: PA
      • Dan Keane

        UK SHOULD 'SLOW DOWN' JABS AS SAFETY PROBED

        Dr Maggie Wearmouth, who sits on the JCVI, has today called for Oxford jabs in the under-50s to be paused while blood clot links are probed.

        She told the Telegraph: "The issue is about safety and public confidence. We don't want to cover anything up that we feel that the public should be knowing.

        "We don't want people to lose confidence and the vaccine to stay in fridges.

        "But we don't want people to feel they have been falsely reassured either."

      • Dan Keane

        TEACHERS DON'T WANT TO EXTEND SCHOOL DAY

        Teachers do not want to extend the school day or the summer term despite kids missing out on education because of the pandemic, a survey suggests.

        Over 80 per cent of teachers believe schools and colleges should be given flexibility to decide what is important for learning following the Covid crisis.

        The Education Secretary has confirmed that a change to the summer holidays and longer school days are being considered as part of long-term recovery plans for pupils who have missed out on lessons.

        But a survey from the National Education Union (NEU) suggests that more than four in five teachers believe schools and colleges should be given flexibility to support pupil's wellbeing.

      • Dan Keane

        MHRA PROBE MUST BE CONDUCTED WITH 'URGENCY'

        Jeremy Hunt said there is "urgency" over the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) concluding its investigations into a potential link between the Oxford vaccine and a rare form of blood clot.

        The former health secretary told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I think there is urgency.

        "I think the one thing you can't say about the MHRA is that they act slowly – they have been very, very fast and fleet of foot throughout this pandemic.

        "But I think people do understand that this is a new virus, these are new vaccines, there is no medicine that is 100% safe, and that's why you have to look at these very difficult balances of risk."

      • Dan Keane

        VACCINATIONS 'MUST CONTINUE' AS BLOOD CLOT LINKS PROBED

        Ravi Gupta, professor of clinical microbiology at the Cambridge Institute for Therapeutic Immunology and Infectious Diseases, told Sky News the JAB programme should continue until more is known on blood clots and the Oxford vaccine.

        He said people in their "20s, 30s, 40s and 50s" are at risk of severe Covid "and there is an argument for vaccination to continue in those individuals because the rate of this blood clot disorder is extremely low, although slightly elevated against background levels."

        Asked if he would take the jab, he said: "I think that's on balance at the moment.

        "There's still transmission of Covid, and there is a risk to all of us of being infected, particularly as the economy is being opened up and society's opening up, we are at risk of getting severe infection.

        "So I would certainly be going forward for that vaccine in the current situation."

      • Dan Keane

        JAILED KREMLIN CRITIC TESTS NEGATIVE

        Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny has tested negative for the coronavirus, his lawyer Olga Mikhailova has said, adding that he has taken a second test.

        Navalny, 44, a fierce opponent of President Vladimir Putin, announced that he going on a hunger strike last week in protest at what he said was the refusal of prison authorities to treat him for back and leg pain.

        It came after human rights group Amnesty International claimed Navalny had been incarcerated in conditions that amount to torture and may slowly be killing him.

      • Dan Keane

        MODERNA JAB 'ROLLED OUT IN NEXT FEW DAYS'

        A government minister has said that the Moderna coronavirus jab will be rolled out "in the next few days".

        Small business minister Paul Scully said the vaccination programme is still on target to cover all adults in England by the end of July.

        Asked about so-called vaccine passports, Mr Scully said: "The work that's being done at the moment is concentrating on ticketed big events and those types of things because they are tougher to get back to a semblance of normal, rather than the high streets with non-essential retail and hospitality, including pubs."

      • Dan Keane

        BLOOD CLOT FEARS BEING TAKEN 'VERY SERIOUSLY'

        Adam Finn, a professor of paediatrics at the University of Bristol and who also sits on the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), said concerns over the Oxford jab are being taken "very seriously".

        He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "What stands out about them is that we see thrombosis, including thrombosis in the cerebral veins, all the time.

        "But we don't normally see them in association with a low platelet count – which is a small blood cell which is involved in blood clotting – and so that makes them stand out and makes us think that this is something a little bit different and out of the norm."

        Mr Finn said this meant they wanted to understand why this was being caused and whether it is linked to the vaccine.

        Told there had been 30 cases of this kind of blood clot and seven deaths amid more than 18 million people receiving the jab, Mr Finn said it "could potentially" affect the rollout of the vaccine.

      • Dan Keane

        CLOTTING LINK 'HARD TO KNOW'

        Professor Sir Kent Woods added: "Covid itself – the infection itself – is known to be associated with a substantial increased risk of blood clots of various kinds.

        "At a time when the population has got lots of Covid going around, it's very difficult to know what the actual background rate of these clotting events is without the vaccine.

        "We can say I think, that if there is a connection, it's a very, very rare one and this is why I am not concerned about the fact that relatives of mine have had the AstraZeneca vaccine in their 40s."

      • Dan Keane

        'NO RESERVATIONS'

        Professor Semple's defence of the jab comes after the former chief executive of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said he has "no reservations" about the AstraZeneca vaccine.

        Professor Sir Kent Woods told LBC radio: "The risks of Covid are much higher.

        "The reason it is so difficult to be certain whether or not there is a cause-and-effect relationship, even in younger people, between the vaccine and these thrombotic events, these clotting events, is that there are such clotting events occurring in the background anyway."

        He added: "It's not an unknown event."

      • Dan Keane

        SAGE EXPERT 'NOT WORRIED ONE BIT' ABOUT OXFORD JAB

        Professor Calum Semple has said he is "not worried one little bit" about headlines around the AstraZeneca vaccine.

        Speaking in a personal capacity, the Sage scientist told LBC radio: "I'll take myself, I'm 53, my risk of death from Covid is about one in 13,000, for me it's a no-brainer, I need to have the vaccine."

        He later added: "This vaccine is safe. What do I mean by safe? You can look right, look left, look right again cross a road, it's safe to cross because you don't see any cars (but) you can trip, you can stumble.

        "Nothing is risk-free, but is the vaccine safe? I would say yes."

      • Ben Hill

        RYANAIR LOSSES

        Ryanair said it believes losses in the last year will now be lower than previously expected, at between 800 million euros and 850 million euros (£689 million and £732 million) compared with previous guidance of between 850 million euros and 950 million euros.

        The downgrade comes despite the company adding that travel restrictions and lockdowns over Easter, blaming the slow rollout in the EU of Covid-19 vaccinations, delayed any recovery in passenger numbers.

      • Ben Hill

        ONE DOSE NOT ENOUGH

        A study in Chile, which has one of the furthest-advanced vaccination campaigns in South America — mainly with China's Coronavac, has found that a first dose alone does not protect against coronavirus infection.

        The study by the University of Chile found inoculation to be 56.5 percent effective in protecting recipients two weeks after the second dose, and 27.7 percent effective within the first two weeks.

        But for a single dose, efficacy in the 28 days between the first and second dose was only three percent — on par with the margin of error in such studies, it said.

        Researchers looked at the combined effect of Coronavac, which accounts for about 93 percent of doses being administered, and the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

      • Ben Hill

        EUROPE BLAMED

        Australia's prime minister on Wednesday blamed restricted vaccine supply from Europe for his country's halting coronavirus inoculation efforts, as he faced down growing public frustration over the sluggish rollout.

        Scott Morrison said vaccine shortages and "strict export controls" introduced by the European Commission meant Australia received just 700,000 of a contracted 3.8 million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

        His government, which received global praise for successfully containing Australia's coronavirus outbreak, has fallen far behind its schedule for vaccinating people.

        It had initially pledged to administer four million doses by the end of March, but had instead managed about 850,000 shots by Wednesday — drawing increasing criticism that Morrison tried to address at a hastily organised press conference.

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