Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Medicina e Biologia

Mondo. Covid. Le vaccinazioni non bloccano la marea crescente dei contagi.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2021-04-24.

2021-04-21__Vaccini Covid 001

Global Covid Cases Hit Weekly Record Despite Vaccinations.

«(Bloomberg) — More people were diagnosed with Covid-19 during the past seven days than any other week since the start of the pandemic — topping 5.2 million globally — with the worst outbreaks accelerating in many countries that are ill-equipped to deal with them.

The worrisome trend, just days after the world surpassed 3 million deaths, comes as countries are rolling out vaccinations in an effort to get the virus under control. The data from Johns Hopkins University showing a 12% increase in infections from a week earlier casts doubt on the hope that the end of the pandemic is in sight.

The weekly increase surpassed the previous high set in mid-December. While infection rates have largely slowed in the U.S. and U.K., countries in the developing world — India and Brazil in particular — are shouldering surging caseloads.

The global death toll is also resuming momentum. Fatalities have increased for the past month and were about 82,000 the week ended April 18, an average of almost 12,000 a day. That’s up from just over 60,000 in the week ended March 14, or about 8,600 a day, the most recent nadir.»

*


Chile has one of the world’s best vaccination rates. Covid is surging there anyway

«- Chile has endured a sharp uptick in Covid infections in recent weeks, even with its world-renowned vaccine rollout and strict lockdowns in place.

– A study published by the University of Chile earlier this month reported that CoronaVac was 56.5% effective two weeks after the second doses were administered in the country. Crucially, however, they also reported that one dose was only 3% effective.

– “I cannot stress this enough — for most countries, vaccines are not going to stop this wave of the pandemic,” Carissa Etienne, director of PAHO, said during a weekly press briefing on Wednesday. ….

Brazilian trials found the vaccine to be just over 50% effective»

*


Global Covid cases hit weekly record despite vaccinations

«New infections worldwide hit record high despite vaccine rollout»

*


Cases Hit Weekly Record; U.S. Vaccine Milestone: Virus Update

«Global covid-19 cases hit a weekly record despite vaccine rollouts, topping 5.2 million worldwide.

Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, said a decision on how to resume the Johnson & Johnson shot will probably come by Friday. Half of Americans 18 years or older have received at least one dose of vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Sunday.»

*

U.S. hits vaccine milestone despite rise in COVID cases.

* * * * * * *

«New infections worldwide hit record high

despite vaccine rollout»

Cerchiamo di ragionare, nei limiti del possibile.

La macchia propagandistica dei liberal, dr Fauci in testa, aveva predicato che la pandemia la si batteva usando mascherine ed imponendo lockdown più severi l possibile.

Poi venne l’annuncio quasi messianico dei vaccini: vera e propria panacea che avrebbe sterminato il Covid. Se scelto, ovviamente, della ditta giusta.

Chi avesse pensato in modo differente era, e lo è tuttora, etichettato come ‘negazionista‘, untore della peggior specie, essere asociale, da penalizzarsi in ogni modo e maniera.

Facebook si fece coorte pretoria di tali idee, bannando senza pietà i negazionisti nel nome della libertà di espressione.

*

Bene. Benissimo.

Adesso, persino i media di strettissima osservanza liberal si trovano costretti da questa indomabile ed impertinente realtà ad ammettere che hanno pensato, e detto con la nota supponenza, una valanga di corbellerie.

I vaccini ora disponibili generano una adeguata risposta immunitaria in poco più del 30% dei soggetti vaccinati, che vada bene.

«CoronaVac was 56.5% effective two weeks after the second doses were administered in the country. Crucially, however, they also reported that one dose was only 3% effective»

Orbene, ad essere benevoli, i giornalisti dei media liberal sono pennivendoli immarcescibili, così imbibiti di ideologie da aver perso anche la sia pur minima capacità raziocinante.

Si sono letteralmente ricoperti di ridicolo e saranno sepolti sotto una spessa coltre di scherno.

Povera Facebook ed i suoi ‘fact check’. Che figuraccia di sterco!

* * * * * * *

«Global Covid cases hit weekly record despite vaccinations»

«More than 5.2 million people diagnosed with Covid last week»

«Record comes amid vaccine rollouts intended to slow new cases»

«More people were diagnosed with Covid-19 during the past seven days than any other week since the start of the pandemic — topping 5.2 million globally»

«The worrisome trend, just days after the world surpassed 3 million deaths, comes as countries are rolling out vaccinations in an effort to get the virus under control»

«The data from Johns Hopkins University showing a 12% increase in infections from a week earlier casts doubt on the hope that the end of the pandemic is in sight.»

«New infections worldwide hit record high despite vaccine rollout»

«he global death toll is also resuming momentum. Fatalities have increased for the past month and were about 82,000 the week ended April 18, an average of almost 12,000 a day. That’s up from just over 60,000 in the week ended March 14, or about 8,600 a day, the most recent nadir»

«India and Brazil have so far administered doses equivalent to cover 4.5% and 8.3% of their populations respectively, compared with 33% for U.S. and 32% in U.K.»

«Rare cases of clotting seen in people who have taken vaccines made by Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca Plc have fueled the vaccine skepticism being faced by governments worldwide»

«the vaccine skepticism being faced by governments worldwide.»

* * * * * * *


Cosa si dovrebbe dire di più?

*


Global Covid Cases Hit Weekly Record Despite Vaccinations

– More than 5.2 million people diagnosed with Covid last week

– Record comes amid vaccine rollouts intended to slow new cases

*

More people were diagnosed with Covid-19 during the past seven days than any other week since the start of the pandemic — topping 5.2 million globally — with the worst outbreaks accelerating in many countries that are ill-equipped to deal with them.

The worrisome trend, just days after the world surpassed 3 million deaths, comes as countries are rolling out vaccinations in an effort to get the virus under control. The data from Johns Hopkins University showing a 12% increase in infections from a week earlier casts doubt on the hope that the end of the pandemic is in sight.

The weekly increase surpassed the previous high set in mid-December. While infection rates have largely slowed in the U.S. and U.K., countries in the developing world — India and Brazil in particular — are shouldering surging caseloads.

Worrying Signs

New infections worldwide hit record high despite vaccine rollout.

Source: Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg, as of 9am HKT on April 19

The global death toll is also resuming momentum. Fatalities have increased for the past month and were about 82,000 the week ended April 18, an average of almost 12,000 a day. That’s up from just over 60,000 in the week ended March 14, or about 8,600 a day, the most recent nadir.

India and Brazil are the two largest contributors in driving up cases globally — a race neither of them wants to win. Facing a sudden surge in coronavirus infections, India is once again home to the world’s second-largest outbreak, overtaking Brazil after the latter moved ahead in March. Hospitals from Mumbai to Sao Paulo are under increasing pressure as admissions continue to rise.

India and Brazil have so far administered doses equivalent to cover 4.5% and 8.3% of their populations respectively, compared with 33% for U.S. and 32% in U.K., according to Bloomberg’s vaccine tracker.

Serious Setbacks

But it’s not just developing nations that have seen recent setbacks in their efforts to tackle the pandemic. Rare cases of clotting seen in people who have taken vaccines made by Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca Plc have fueled the vaccine skepticism being faced by governments worldwide.

New variants of the virus have also sent infections surging further. Brazil is where one of the most potentially deadly coronavirus mutations, the P.1 variant, was identified in December. Studies suggest these strains — along with variants first seen in South Africa and the U.K. — are more contagious.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Medicina e Biologia

Italia. Covid-19. Contagi e decessi crescono nonostante i vaccini. Qui come altrove.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2021-04-22.

2021-04-22 Covid 001

Il tema è sensibile e delicato. L’orrifico marchio di essere un ‘negazionista’ incombe sinistro in questo clima di democratico diritto alla parola. Ma i numeri non sono parole.

Tra un mese circa risulteranno essere state vaccinate 11,497,656 + 4,773,616 = 16,271,272 persone.

Quindi, contentiamoci delle fotocopie.

2021-04-22 Covid 002


2021-04-22 Covid 003


2021-04-22 Covid 004

Pubblicato in: Medicina e Biologia

Influenza desaparecidas. Sembrerebbe essere scomparsa.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2021-01-22.

Vincent van Gogh - Vecchio che soffre

«Perché il virus dell’influenza scompare quando arriva il coronavirus?»

«stupefacente fenomeno della scomparsa di influenza e polmoniti annesse da quando circola il coronavirus»

«il fatto che influenza e polmoniti siano sparite non sia una buona notizia perché renderebbe più difficile individuare il ceppo per il vaccino influenzale dell’anno prossimo»

«l’influenza ha causato una media di 22mila morti tra il 2015 e il 2019 in Italia con oscillazioni annuali da 8mila a 40mila decessi a seconda del tipo di stagione invernale e di virus»

«La dottoressa Rizzoli assegna il merito della scomparsa dell’influenza da febbraio al lockdown. …. in realtà tanti paesi in Asia, Europa e anche molti Stati nordamericani non lo hanno affatto applicato lasciando aperti scuole, bar, ristoranti, stadi, discoteche e parchi giochi»

«Noi viviamo nell’impressione che tutto il mondo sia l’Europa come nel 1900 quando c’erano le colonie e gli europei erano il 25% della popolazione mondiale. In realtà siamo 300 milioni di persone su 7 miliardi»

«Ad esempio da aprile in tutta l’Est Asia praticamente nessuno è limitato nell’uscire alla sera, girare o viaggiare»

«Idem in Svezia o Bielorussia o in Texas (che di inverno è in buona parte freddo) o Dakota (uno Stato che ha rifiutato qualsiasi restrizione)»

«Ma questo fenomeno della scomparsa di influenza e polmoniti è rilevato dall’OMS e dal CDC americano da febbraio scorso in tutto il pianeta, emisfero Nord e Sud»

«Insomma, se l’influenza sparisce in Svezia o Texas o Cina o Giappone che sono “aperte” e in Italia o UK che sono “chiuse” è ovvio che il merito non è del lockdown»

«In secondo luogo, i tamponi per la Covid-19 sembrano indicare milioni di persone che contraggono ora questo coronavirus a dispetto di lockdown e mascherine. Non si capisce perché altri virus respiratori che si trasmettono in modo simile invece ne vengano addirittura cancellati»

* * * * * * *

Allo stato attuale dei fatti, si prenda atto che questo anno influenza e polmonite sono virtualmente scomparse. Dagli elementi al momento disponibili, sembrerebbe che il lockdown sia ininfluente.

*


Coronavirus, l’influenza è scomparsa. Ma non è merito del lockdown

Perche’ il virus dell’influenza scompare quando arriva il coronavirus?

Finora è stato impossibile trovare epidemiologi, virologi e altri esperti che appaiono in TV e sui giornali interessati a parlare dello stupefacente fenomeno della scomparsa di influenza e polmoniti annesse da quando circola il coronavirus. Noi abbiamo provato a menzionarlo un paio di volte in diversi articoli, anche se non vediamo interesse sul tema, e quando in questi giorni la dottoressa Melania Rizzoli, assessore della Regione Lombardia nonché firma autorevole di “Libero”, ne ha parlato abbiamo letto con vivo interesse la sua opinione.

Siamo rimasti però perplessi dall’idea espressa che il fatto che influenza e polmoniti siano sparite non sia una buona notizia perché renderebbe più difficile individuare il ceppo per il vaccino influenzale dell’anno prossimo.

Secondo uno studio coordinato dallo stesso professor Ricciardi che tutti vediamo ogni giorno in TV, l’influenza ha causato una media di 22mila morti tra il 2015 e il 2019 in Italia con oscillazioni annuali da 8mila a 40mila decessi a seconda del tipo di stagione invernale e di virus. Che questo anno ci siano stati meno morti perché ci è stata risparmiata l’influenza stagionale ci sembra dunque una buona notizia in sé e per sé.

La dottoressa Rizzoli assegna il merito della scomparsa dell’influenza da febbraio al lockdown. Contrariamente all’impressione che le nostre TV danno, in realtà tanti paesi in Asia, Europa e anche molti Stati nordamericani non lo hanno affatto applicato lasciando aperti scuole, bar, ristoranti, stadi, discoteche e parchi giochi. Noi viviamo nell’impressione che tutto il mondo sia l’Europa come nel 1900 quando c’erano le colonie e gli europei erano il 25% della popolazione mondiale. In realtà siamo 300 milioni di persone su 7 miliardi. Quando qualcosa “accade nel mondo” per il 90% riguarda altri paesi. Ad esempio da aprile in tutta l’Est Asia praticamente nessuno è limitato nell’uscire alla sera, girare o viaggiare. Ci sono 2 miliardi di persone in Cina e paesi limitrofi che questo inverno hanno affollato piazze, stadi, ristoranti e discoteche e l’influenza non viene rilevata neanche da loro. Idem in Svezia o Bielorussia o in Texas (che di inverno è in buona parte freddo) o Dakota (uno Stato che ha rifiutato qualsiasi restrizione). Non ci rendiamo forse ben conto che molti Stati USA non hanno lockdown e non obbligano alla mascherina. Negli Stati che governano i repubblicani tipo Florida o Texas o Dakota non ci sono mai stati “uomini mascherati”.

Ma questo fenomeno della scomparsa di influenza e polmoniti è rilevato dall’OMS e dal CDC americano da febbraio scorso in tutto il pianeta, emisfero Nord e Sud. Riguarda la Cina o il Giappone e la Corea (paesi freddi, specialmente la Cina dalla parte di Pechino) anche a febbraio scorso e così Nordamerica e NordEuropa, che dovrebbero essere ora nel mezzo della tradizionale stagione influenzale. Insomma, se l’influenza sparisce in Svezia o Texas o Cina o Giappone che sono “aperte” e in Italia o UK che sono “chiuse” è ovvio che il merito non è del lockdown.

In secondo luogo, i tamponi per la Covid-19 sembrano indicare milioni di persone che contraggono ora questo coronavirus a dispetto di lockdown e mascherine. Non si capisce perché altri virus respiratori che si trasmettono in modo simile invece ne vengano addirittura cancellati.

Sia la Covid-19 che i virus dell’influenza normale sono degli “areosol” diciamo così come trasmissione, per cui se lockdown e mascherine ne fanno sparire un tipo non si comprende perché l’altro invece si diffonda.

In conclusione, la dottoressa Rizzoli ha avuto il merito di sollevare un problema, ma le sue spiegazioni ci paiono insoddisfacenti. In attesa di altre analisi più approfondite che risolvano queste evidenti contraddizioni, possiamo intanto dire che è un’ottima cosa che nel mondo quest’anno si evitino centinaia di migliaia di morti per polmoniti e influenza.

Pubblicato in: Istruzione e Ricerca, Medicina e Biologia, Regno Unito

UK. Vaccino Pfizer-BioNTech. Effetti collaterali non gravi nei pazienti allergici.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-12-10.

Pfizer 013

Non esiste farmaco efficiente che non abbia reazioni collaterali.

«UK warns people with serious allergies to avoid Pfizer vaccine after two adverse reactions»

«Britain’s medicine regulator has advised that people with a history of significant allergies do not get Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine after two people reported adverse reactions on the first day of rollout»

«Starting with the elderly and frontline workers, Britain began mass vaccinating its population on Tuesday, part of a global drive that poses one of the biggest logistical challenges in peacetime history»

«National Health Service medical director Stephen Powis said the advice had been changed after two NHS workers reported anaphylactoid reactions associated with receiving the vaccine. They were among the thousands who received the shot on Tuesday»

«Last week Britain’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) became the first in the world to approve the vaccine, developed by Germany’s BioNTech and Pfizer, while the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Medicines Agency (EMA) continue to assess the data»

«Pfizer has said people with a history of severe adverse allergic reactions to vaccines or the candidate’s ingredients were excluded from their late stage trials, which is reflected in the MHRA’s emergency approval protocol»

«Any person with a history of a significant allergic reaction to a vaccine, medicine or food (such as previous history of anaphylactoid reaction or those who have been advised to carry an adrenaline autoinjector) should not receive the Pfizer BioNtech vaccine»

«Britain is first rolling out the vaccine to the over-80s, those in care homes, carers and health staff»

«entrambe le reazioni sono avvenute negli operatori sanitari piuttosto che negli anziani»

«In the United States, the FDA released documents on Tuesday in preparation for an advisory committee meeting on Thursday, saying the Pfizer vaccines efficacy and safety data met its expectations for authorization.»

* * * * * * *


Ripetiamo solo per chiarezza: non esiste farmaco efficiente che non abbia reazioni collaterali.

Questi effetti collaterali sono stati segnalati nello 0.63% delle persone nel gruppo dei vaccinati e nello 0.51% delle persone che erano state trattate con placebo.

Sono evenienze da tener sempre presente, ma il loro impatto è percentualmente minimale.

*


UK warns people with serious allergies to avoid Pfizer vaccine after two adverse reactions.

Britain’s medicine regulator has advised that people with a history of significant allergies do not get Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine after two people reported adverse reactions on the first day of rollout.

Starting with the elderly and frontline workers, Britain began mass vaccinating its population on Tuesday, part of a global drive that poses one of the biggest logistical challenges in peacetime history.

National Health Service medical director Stephen Powis said the advice had been changed after two NHS workers reported anaphylactoid reactions associated with receiving the vaccine. They were among the thousands who received the shot on Tuesday.

“As is common with new vaccines the MHRA (regulator) have advised on a precautionary basis that people with a significant history of allergic reactions do not receive this vaccination, after two people with a history of significant allergic reactions responded adversely yesterday,” Powis said.

“Both are recovering well.”

The MHRA said it would seek further information and was investigating as a matter of priority, and Pfizer and BioNTech said they were supporting the MHRA’s investigation.

Last week Britain’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) became the first in the world to approve the vaccine, developed by Germany’s BioNTech and Pfizer, while the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Medicines Agency (EMA) continue to assess the data.

“Last evening, we were looking at two case reports of allergic reactions. We know from the very extensive clinical trials that this wasn’t a feature,” MHRA Chief Executive June Raine told lawmakers.

ALLERGIC REACTION

Pfizer has said people with a history of severe adverse allergic reactions to vaccines or the candidate’s ingredients were excluded from their late stage trials, which is reflected in the MHRA’s emergency approval protocol.

The new MHRA guidance, sent out to health professionals, said a much broader segment should not take the vaccine.

“Any person with a history of a significant allergic reaction to a vaccine, medicine or food (such as previous history of anaphylactoid reaction or those who have been advised to carry an adrenaline autoinjector) should not receive the Pfizer BioNtech vaccine,” it said.

It also said resuscitation facilities should be available for all vaccinations.

Britain is first rolling out the vaccine to the over-80s, those in care homes, carers and health staff. Food allergies are less common in older people, and both reactions happened in health workers rather than the elderly.

“Severe allergic reactions to vaccines are unusual but staff administering vaccines are always trained and equipped to deal with them in the event they occur,” Adam Finn, professor of paediatrics at the University of Bristol, said, adding the advice was a “sensible” precaution until more experience with the vaccine was gathered.

In the United States, the FDA released documents on Tuesday in preparation for an advisory committee meeting on Thursday, saying the Pfizer vaccine’s efficacy and safety data met its expectations for authorization.

The briefing documents said 0.63% of people in the vaccine group and 0.51% in the placebo group reported possible allergic reactions in trials, which Peter Openshaw, Professor of Experimental Medicine at Imperial College London, said was a very small number.

“The fact that we know so soon about these two allergic reactions and that the regulator has acted on this to issue precautionary advice shows that this monitoring system is working well,” he said.

Pubblicato in: Medicina e Biologia, Unione Europea

Secondo Picco. Nuove Infezioni. Repubblica Ceka 11,000, Francia 25,086, Spagna 15,186.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-10-20.

Coronavirus

«The country of 10.7 million has reported 333 deaths in the past seven days to bring its total to 1,283.»

«The Czech Republic, facing Europe’s biggest surge in new coronavirus infections per capita, reported 11,105 COVID-19 cases on Friday, its largest single-day tally so far of the pandemic»

«The total number of cases the country has detected since March has risen to 160,112, double the number seen on Oct. 2 and more than six times the amount overall before September»

«In the two weeks to Friday, the Czech Republic recorded more than 74,000 cases, 10,000 more than Italy which has almost six times the population»

«Czech hospitals are racing to free up capacity with patient numbers tripling this month to 3,120, more than seven times the peak seen in the first wave of the disease»

«They estimate up to 5,000 patients will be in hospital by the end of the month, with a fifth of in intensive care»

«To fight the spread of the coronavirus, the government has closed bars and restaurants, sport and fitness centres, theatres and cinemas, and shifted schools to distance learning»

«Germany has seen 10 times fewer cases per capita over the past two weeks than the Czech Republic»

*

«Nelle ultime 24 ore in Francia sono risultate positive al coronavirus 25.086 persone e 122 persone sono morte …. Negli ultimi sette giorni sono state ricoverate in ospedale 6906 persone, 1204 delle quali in rianimazione.»

«il Belgio, un paese di 11 milioni di abitanti, ha registrato una media di 5.976,3 nuovi contagi al giorno fra il 6 e il 12 ottobre. Lunedì si è raggiunto un record assoluto di 8500 contagi e le autorità sanitarie temono di arrivare a 10mila per martedì»

«Nuovo record negativo di casi e decessi in Spagna per il Covid. Nelle ultime 24 ore sono stati registrati 15.186 contagi e 222 morti, il dato peggiore di questa settimana. Lo ha comunicato il ministero della Sanità spagnola: in totale i casi sono 936.560 e le vittime 33.775.» [Fonte]

* * * * * * *


Il tanto temuto secondo picco è adesso in atto nel blocco europeo.

In questa seconda ondata pandemica sembrerebbero emergere alcuni fatti nuovi rispetto la prima.

– Il tasso di mortalità è basso: in Spagna, per esempio, è 100*33,775/936,560 = 3.6%.

– Il numero dei pazienti bisognosi di respirazione assistita in rianimazione è in crescita, ma ancora alquanto contenuto.

– distanziamento ed uso delle mascherine sembrerebbero essere insufficienti nel frenare la diffusione

– Il basso tasso di mortalità potrebbe deporre sia per una forma attenuata sia per un congruo miglioramento delle terapie: il sommarsi di queste due contingenze potrebbe essere una ipotesi del tutto ragionevole.

*


Czech Republic’s daily COVID-19 infections top 11,000 for first time.

The Czech Republic, facing Europe’s biggest surge in new coronavirus infections per capita, reported 11,105 COVID-19 cases on Friday, its largest single-day tally so far of the pandemic, Health Ministry data showed on Saturday.

The total number of cases the country has detected since March has risen to 160,112, double the number seen on Oct. 2 and more than six times the amount overall before September.

In the two weeks to Friday, the Czech Republic recorded more than 74,000 cases, 10,000 more than Italy which has almost six times the population, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

Czech hospitals are racing to free up capacity with patient numbers tripling this month to 3,120, more than seven times the peak seen in the first wave of the disease.

The country of 10.7 million has reported 333 deaths in the past seven days to bring its total to 1,283.

Health officials have warned that the coming weeks will be difficult but said on Friday the system was not facing collapse. They estimate up to 5,000 patients will be in hospital by the end of the month, with a fifth of in intensive care.

The government is securing treatment space outside of hospitals, including building a makeshift medical facility at a fairground in Prague.

It has also agreed with larger neighbour Germany – which has seen 10 times fewer cases per capita over the past two weeks than the Czech Republic – to possibly send some Czech patients to its hospitals.

To fight the spread of the coronavirus, the government has closed bars and restaurants, sport and fitness centres, theatres and cinemas, and shifted schools to distance learning.

*

In Francia 25mila nuovi casi Covid, il Belgio chiude bar e ristoranti.

Nelle ultime 24 ore in Francia sono risultate positive al coronavirus 25.086 persone e 122 persone sono morte, ha reso noto la task force che segue l’epidemia. Negli ultimi sette giorni sono state ricoverate in ospedale 6906 persone, 1204 delle quali in rianimazione.

Allarme anche in Belgio, dove sono state annunciate nuove restrizioni: chiudono caffè e ristoranti per quattro mesi, estendendo a tutto il paese la misura già in vigore a Bruxelles. E’ quanto scrive le Soir, dopo una lunga riunione del comitato di concertazione del governo. “Le prossime settimane saranno molto difficili”, ha detto il nuovo primo ministro Alexander De Croo, annunciando che il paese è al “livello di allarme 4”.

Fra le altre misure valide in tutto il paese è stata vietata la vendita di alcool dopo le 20 e imposto un coprifuoco da mezzanotte alle cinque del mattino a partire da lunedì. Il telelavoro diventa “la regola” per tutti i lavori che lo permettono a partire da lunedì. Viene ridotta la ‘bolla’ dei rapporti sociali ad un solo contatto vicino con un massimo di quattro persone, che devono essere le stesse per due settimane.

Le nuove misure arrivano dopo che il Belgio, un paese di 11 milioni di abitanti, ha registrato una media di 5.976,3 nuovi contagi al giorno fra il 6 e il 12 ottobre. Lunedì si è raggiunto un record assoluto di 8500 contagi e le autorità sanitarie temono di arrivare a 10mila per martedì.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Medicina e Biologia

WHO. Nei sieropositivi il tasso di mortalità varia da 0.09% fino a 0.57%.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-10-18.

2020-10-18__ WHO 001

La WHO ha pubblicato sul suo Bollettino il seguente lavoro.

John P A Ioannidis.

Infection fatality rate of COVID-19 inferred from seroprevalence data.

Article ID: BLT.20.265892.

* * * * * * *


«Results

I included 61 studies (74 estimates) and eight preliminary national estimates. Seroprevalence estimates ranged from 0.02% to 53.40%. Infection fatality rates ranged from 0.00% to 1.63%, corrected values from 0.00% to 1.54%. Across 51 locations, the median COVID-19 infection fatality rate was 0.27% (corrected 0.23%): the rate was 0.09% in locations with COVID-19 population mortality rates less than the global average (< 118 deaths/million), 0.20% in locations with 118–500 COVID-19 deaths/million people and 0.57% in locations with > 500 COVID-19 deaths/million people. In people < 70 years, infection fatality rates ranged from 0.00% to 0.31% with crude and corrected medians of 0.05%.

Conclusion

The infection fatality rate of COVID-19 can vary substantially across different locations and this may reflect differences in population age structure and casemix of infected and deceased patients and other factors. The inferred infection fatality rates tended to be much lower than estimates made earlier in the pandemic.»

* * * * * * *

Questi dati, raccolti su di una casistica molto ampia, ed accettati dalla World Health Organization, attestano come il massimo tasso di mortalità sia lo 0.57% nei paesi con più di 500 morti imputabili al Covid-19 per milione.

Se sono molte le persone dichiarate a vario titolo, infette, la mortalità appare essere del tutto non rilevante.

«The inferred infection fatality rates tended to be much lower than estimates made earlier in the pandemic»

Alla luce di questi numeri, molti allarmismi sembrerebbero essere del tutto ingiustificati e le restrizioni destituite di senso logico.

Pubblicato in: Medicina e Biologia

Covid-19. Lockdown. Raddoppiati i morti per infarto. – Jama Cardiol.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-09-19.

Coronavirus

In sintesi.

– 15 244 AMI hospitalizations. 14 724 patients (mean [SD] age of 68 [13] years and 10 019 men [66%])

– Beginning February 23, 2020, AMI-associated hospitalizations decreased at a rate of –19.0 (95% CI, –29.0 to –9.0) cases per week for 5 weeks (early COVID-19 period)

– The O/E mortality ratio for AMI increased during the early period (1.27; 95% CI, 1.07-1.48)

increases in the O/E mortality ratio were noted for patients with STEMI (2.40; 95% CI, 1.65-3.16) and after risk adjustment (odds ratio, 1.52; 95% CI, 1.02-2.26)

– Conclusions and Relevance.  This cross-sectional study found important changes in AMI hospitalization rates and worse outcomes during the early and later COVID-19 periods.

* * * * * * *

La numerosità dei ricoveri a causa del coronavirus ha monopolizzato di fatto pronto soccorso e degenza degli ospedali. Molti pazienti infartuati avevano timore a presentarsi al nosocomio e, quando lo hanno fatto, sono stati messi in coda.

Ma nel caso di infarto miocardico il tempo che intercorre tra l’inizio del quadro clinico e l’arrivo in unità coronarica è estremamente critico. Se eccessivo, è causa di morte.

* * * * * * *


Coronavirus: durante il lockdown raddoppiati i morti per infarto grave.

Studio, calo ricoveri e durata degenza durante la pandemia.

Durante l’emergenza Covid è raddoppiata la mortalità per l’infarto più grave – il cosiddetto Stemi (Infarto miocardico con ‘elevazione del segmento ST’) – per sopravvivere al quale la tempestività dei soccorsi è cruciale. Ridotti i ricoveri e il tempo medio della degenza per infarto nei mesi della pandemia. È quanto emerge da una vasta analisi condotta in Usa a partire da febbraio e pubblicata sulla rivista Jama Cardiology. L’indagine si basa sui dati di oltre 15 mila infarti ed è stata condotta da medici del Providence Heart Institute.

Sin da febbraio si è assistito ad un crollo dei ricoveri per infarto, segno che la paura del coronavirus ha bloccato molte persone che, pur manifestando i sintomi chiari di un arresto cardiaco, hanno evitato di recarsi in ospedale. Inoltre i ricoveri per infarto sono durati in media meno giorni e i pazienti dimessi sono stati inviati a casa piuttosto che in centri di riabilitazione ad hoc come avviene di solito. Inoltre per l’infarto più grave la mortalità è raddoppiata anche se non vi è stato alcun cambiamento nell’assistenza fornita ai pazienti; l’impennata dei decessi si spiega con un ritardo nel cercare soccorso (nell’infarto Stemi la tempestività dei soccorsi è cruciale) o con l’intasamento dei pronto soccorsi a causa dell’emergenza covid.

Secondo gli esperti lo studio è in linea con precedenti lavori che suggerivano in via preliminare un calo del 25% dei ricoveri per infarto. Oltre alla paura che ha reso i pazienti riluttanti a cercare soccorso, concludono i cardiologi, non è da escludersi anche un reale calo dei casi di arresto cardiaco legato a una riduzione dell’inquinamento durante il lockdown essendo lo smog un fattore di rischio importante per eventi cardiovascolari come infarto e ictus.

* * * * * * *


Ty J. Gluckman, MD; Michael A. Wilson, MD; Shih-Ting Chiu, PhD; et al

Case Rates, Treatment Approaches, and Outcomes in Acute Myocardial Infarction During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic.

JAMA Cardiol. Published online August 7, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2020.3629

*

                         Key Points

Question  How have case rates, treatment approaches, and in-hospital outcomes changed for patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic?

Findings  In this cross-sectional study of 15 244 hospitalizations involving 14 724 patients with AMI, case rates began to decrease on February 23, 2020, followed by a modest recovery after 5 weeks. Although no statistically significant difference in treatment approaches was found, the risk-adjusted mortality rate among patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction increased substantially.

Meaning  The findings of this study show that changes in AMI hospitalizations and in-hospital outcomes occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic periods analyzed; additional research is warranted to explain the higher mortality rate among patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction.

                         Abstract

Importance  The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has changed health care delivery worldwide. Although decreases in hospitalization for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) have been reported during the pandemic, the implication for in-hospital outcomes is not well understood.

Objective  To define changes in AMI case rates, patient demographics, cardiovascular comorbidities, treatment approaches, and in-hospital outcomes during the pandemic.

Design, Setting, and Participants  This cross-sectional study retrospectively analyzed AMI hospitalizations that occurred between December 30, 2018, and May 16, 2020, in 1 of the 49 hospitals in the Providence St Joseph Health system located in 6 states (Alaska, Washington, Montana, Oregon, California, and Texas). The cohort included patients aged 18 years or older who had a principal discharge diagnosis of AMI (ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction [STEMI] or non–ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction [NSTEMI]). Segmented regression analysis was performed to assess changes in weekly case volumes. Cases were grouped into 1 of 3 periods: before COVID-19 (December 30, 2018, to February 22, 2020), early COVID-19 (February 23, 2020, to March 28, 2020), and later COVID-19 (March 29, 2020, to May 16, 2020). In-hospital mortality was risk-adjusted using an observed to expected (O/E) ratio and covariate-adjusted multivariable model.

Results  The cohort included 15 244 AMI hospitalizations (of which 4955 were for STEMI [33%] and 10 289 for NSTEMI [67%]) involving 14 724 patients (mean [SD] age of 68 [13] years and 10 019 men [66%]). Beginning February 23, 2020, AMI-associated hospitalizations decreased at a rate of –19.0 (95% CI, –29.0 to –9.0) cases per week for 5 weeks (early COVID-19 period). Thereafter, AMI-associated hospitalizations increased at a rate of +10.5 (95% CI, +4.6 to +16.5) cases per week (later COVID-19 period). No appreciable differences in patient demographics, cardiovascular comorbidities, and treatment approaches were observed across periods. The O/E mortality ratio for AMI increased during the early period (1.27; 95% CI, 1.07-1.48), which was disproportionately associated with patients with STEMI (1.96; 95% CI, 1.22-2.70). Although the O/E mortality ratio for AMI was not statistically different during the later period (1.23; 95% CI, 0.98-1.47), increases in the O/E mortality ratio were noted for patients with STEMI (2.40; 95% CI, 1.65-3.16) and after risk adjustment (odds ratio, 1.52; 95% CI, 1.02-2.26).

Conclusions and Relevance  This cross-sectional study found important changes in AMI hospitalization rates and worse outcomes during the early and later COVID-19 periods.

Pubblicato in: Demografia, Medicina e Biologia

Covid-19. Statisticamente molto diminuiti i parti prematuri. – Bloomberg.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-08-05.

Neonato 001

«Pandemic shutdowns saw huge decreases in babies born prematurely. There are lessons in this»

«The trend doesn’t appear to be universal, but where it applies, the data are staggering»

«Denmark, the number of babies born after less than 28 weeks of gestation — 40 weeks is the norm — dropped by 90% during the country’s month-long lockdown this spring»

«In one region of Ireland, the rate of preemies with very low birth weight was down by 73% between January and April compared with averages over the preceding two decades»

«Somewhat smaller decreases have been observed in parts of Canada, Australia and the Netherlands»

«many parents had healthier, happier babies this spring»

«Premature birth and low gestational weight are associated with various medical complications, ranging from cerebral palsy or death in the worst cases to learning disabilities or visual problems in later life»

«But the bigger reason to cheer is that this phenomenon could eventually help us understand what causes premature birth in the first place, and thus how to prevent it.»

«One explanation for fewer premature births may be the decreases in air pollution during the lockdowns»

«But the most obvious and plausible reason appears to be that for many expecting moms, though decidedly not all, the lockdowns reduced stress. This may seem counterintuitive, because a pandemic is itself a big a stressor»

«An additional factor lowering stress during pregnancy is feeling supported by partners and families. Studies have shown that the more fathers stay engaged, the better the mothers feel»

«Maternal anxiety and depression certainly appear to hurt fetuses. Some studies suggest that “stress seems to increase the risk of pre-term birth,”»

«Because this is a matter of public health, employersers and governments should help with generous rules about maternity and paternity leave that starts before birth.»

«to simplify our lives, and to decelerate. Because sometimes less really is more.»

* * * * * * *

Il dato non dovrebbe destare troppe sorprese: vivere in modo sereno contribuisce notevolmente al mantenimento del buon stato di salute.

Tuttavia, se queste percentuali di riduzione dei parti prematuri dovessero essere confermate nei lavori scientifici di prossima pubblicazione, sicuramente la Collettività dovrebbe considerare il beneficio che si potrebbe ottenere allargando i periodi di congedo per maternità.

*


Great News About Births During Covid-19.

Pandemic shutdowns saw huge decreases in babies born prematurely. There are lessons in this.

Here at last is some good news about the Covid-19 pandemic and the wholesale disruption to our lives it has caused: In many places with strict lockdowns this spring, there were far fewer premature births than is considered normal.

The trend doesn’t appear to be universal, but where it applies, the data are staggering. In Denmark, the number of babies born after less than 28 weeks of gestation — 40 weeks is the norm — dropped by 90% during the country’s month-long lockdown this spring. In one region of Ireland, the rate of preemies with very low birth weight was down by 73% between January and April compared with averages over the preceding two decades. Somewhat smaller decreases have been observed in parts of Canada, Australia and the Netherlands. Elsewhere, clinics and doctors are now scurrying to examine their own data.

One reason to rejoice is, of course, that this means many parents had healthier, happier babies this spring. Premature birth and low gestational weight are associated with various medical complications, ranging from cerebral palsy or death in the worst cases to learning disabilities or visual problems in later life. For example, it’s why Stevie Wonder, an American singer who was born six weeks early, is blind.

But the bigger reason to cheer is that this phenomenon could eventually help us understand what causes premature birth in the first place, and thus how to prevent it. For now we can only speculate, as the researchers behind the Danish and Irish work freely admit — their papers haven’t yet been peer-reviewed.

One explanation for fewer premature births may be the decreases in air pollution during the lockdowns, as fewer people drove or flew and factories belched less. Another factor could be that the moms-to-be had fewer infections generally — and thus less inflammation in their bodies — as we reduced contact with people and germs and obsessively washed hands.

But the most obvious and plausible reason appears to be that for many expecting moms, though decidedly not all, the lockdowns reduced stress. This may seem counterintuitive, because a pandemic is itself a big a stressor. Moreover, the lockdowns deprived many people of their livelihood and thus caused additional financial and even existential anxiety.

However, the pandemic and the shutdowns were not stressful for everybody. For the lucky ones, it was instead a time to slow down. People stayed at home, either working remotely or just resting, which is what pregnant women are advised to do anyway. The quotidian stressors of commuting and office life were gone. We had more opportunities to nap.

An additional factor lowering stress during pregnancy is feeling supported by partners and families. Studies have shown that the more fathers stay engaged, the better the mothers feel. And during the lockdown, the dads in their home offices had more opportunities to do just that.

Again, for some women this same situation increased stress and anguish, because the lockdowns also led to tragic epidemics of domestic violence. As I’ve said in different contexts, in April and again last month, SARS-CoV-2 isn’t just nasty, it’s also hugely unfair because it treats us all differently.

But is stress even a plausible factor with pre-term births? Maternal anxiety and depression certainly appear to hurt fetuses. Some studies suggest that “stress seems to increase the risk of pre-term birth,” while others hypothesize that early labor may even be an evolutionary adaptation in scary situations. That said, the mechanisms and details remain a mystery.

Anecdotally, however, there’s always been a link. Just think of Thomas Hobbes, the English philosopher famous for his dark view of life being “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.” Hobbes was born on a Friday in 1588, when his mother, only seven months pregnant, heard of the Spanish Armada, the fiercest naval war machine ever assembled, appearing off the coast of England. She was so frightened, she fell into labor immediately and, in Hobbes’s words, “fear and I were born twins together.”

We have to keep investigating the precise etiology of pre-term births, of course. But certain insights seem to be no-brainers. Pregnant women should get as much rest, and as much support from their partners, as possible. Because this is a matter of public health, employers and governments should help with generous rules about maternity and paternity leave that starts before birth.

And individually, we should apply the lessons we learned during the lockdowns: to simplify our lives, and to decelerate. Because sometimes less really is more.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Medicina e Biologia

Germania. Maggio. Turismo. Pernottamenti -74.8%. – Destatis.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-07-15.

Destatis__001

Destatis ha rilasciato il Report

Tourism in Germany in May 2020: 74.8 % less overnight stays.

Press release No. 255 of 9 July 2020

Overnight stays, May 2020

11.2 million

-74.8 % on the same month a year earlier

WIESBADEN – As reported by the Federal Statistical Office, in Germany the number of overnight stays in accommodation establishments with 10 or more bed places and in tourist campsites having 10 or more pitches decreased by 74.8% to 11.2 million in May 2020, compared with the corresponding month of the preceding year.

* * * * * * *

La crisi del turismo tedesco era, ed è ancora, in evento prevedibile, evitabile, ma drammatico. Due mesi fa ne riportavamo i prodromi.

Germania. Settore turistico in grave crisi.

Tourism sector faces collapse as Germans drop vacation plans.

«A third of jobs in Germany’s tourism industry could be lost in the coronavirus crisis without government help»

«The crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic means that every third job in the German tourism sector could be lost unless the state steps in»

«”around a million” of the some 3 million people working in the sector in Germany were at risk of becoming unemployed»

«70% were already working short-time under a government scheme that sees workers compensated for work lost.»

«The tourism industry in Germany is likely also to suffer under the current unwillingness of Germans to travel»

«almost half of Germans (48%) do not want to see European borders reopened for the summer holidays »

«Some 42% had dropped the idea of taking a holiday at all»

*

Il settore turistico è caratterizzato sicuramente da imprenditori che investono nelle, e gestiscono, le strutture recettive, ma questi si avvalgono di un gran numero di lavoratori assunti a stagione, per poter sopperire alle esigenze delle alte stagioni.

In un sistema economico normofunzionante datori di lavoro e dipendenti stagionali formano un sistema simbiotico: gli imprenditori possono regolare il numero degli addetti sulla base delle loro esigenze e, nel contempo, milioni di persone possono facilmente trovare lavoro. La saltuarietà stagionale è compensata dal fatto di poter lavorare sia d’estate sia di inverno, solo cambiando sede di lavoro.

Poniamoci ora una domanda.

La Germania ha subito 198,178 casi di Covid-19, dei quali 9,054 sono deceduti. Nel contempo sono decedute oltre 140,000 persone per patologie cardiovascolari.

Valeva la pena di squassare l’intero sistema economico tedesco solo per 9,054 morti?

Pubblicato in: Cina, Medicina e Biologia

Voi ve lo credevate, ma vi siete illusi. Altri due casi di peste bubbonica.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-07-05.

Peste Genova 1656

Nel novembre 2019 sono stati identificati due casi di peste bubbonica in Manciuria, riscontro che aveva portato alla messa in quarantena di una vasta zona della Mongolia.

Coronavirus and the Black Death: spread of misinformation and xenophobia shows we haven’t learned from our past. 2020-03-05.

«Although some media outlets have begun referring to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus as a “modern plague”, the threat of COVID-19 remains negligible compared with historic outbreaks of plague. The latest World Health Organization report puts the coronavirus death toll at just over 3,000 globally, whereas the Black Death was responsible for the deaths of an estimated 30-50% of Europe’s population in the mid-14th century. The most disturbing similarity between the two lies not in the diseases themselves but in their social consequences. Then, as now, outbreaks were blamed on certain ethnic groups.

As far as we know, the Black Death originated in or near China. It then followed pilgrimage routes throughout the Middle East, eventually entering Europe through trade routes from Italy. As with coronavirus, plague outbreaks led to the enforced quarantine of infected households and the creation of specialist task forces that monitored and controlled contagion. ….

Unfortunately, hundreds of years later we appear to be repeating the same mistakes»

* * *

«Two people in China were diagnosed with plague, setting off a panic on Tuesday about the potential spread of the highly infectious and fatal disease and prompting China’s government to warn citizens to take precautions to protect themselves»

«Beijing officials said the two infected people came from Inner Mongolia, a sparsely populated region of northern China. They sought treatment on Tuesday in a hospital in Beijing’s Chaoyang District, where they were diagnosed with pneumonic plague»

«there was no need for Beijing residents to panic and that the risks of further transmission are “extremely low.”»

* * *

«Il ritorno della peste non deve sorprendere: già a fine 2019 in Cina sono stati diagnosticati dei casi, uno di peste bubbonica e due di peste polmonare (più grave). L’infezione in quel caso era legata al consumo di carne di coniglio selvatico»

«La peste è un’infezione di origine batterica che si trasmette attraverso le pulci che vivono su roditori selvatici e, se non trattata in tempo, può uccidere nel giro di 24 ore»

«Ad oggi non esiste un vaccino per la peste, e la malattia si cura nei primi stadi con farmaci e antibiotici»

«Gli esperti ritengono che i discendenti della peste nera che nel 14° secolo ha ucciso 50 milioni di persone nel mondo esistano ancora oggi e causano la morte di 2.000 persone l’anno»

* * * * * * *

Anche contro la peste bubbonica non disponiamo di un vaccino.

La notizia di per sé non é inquietate: due casi non sono certo una epidemia.

Ma nessuna pandemia ai suoi inizi era sembrata essere pericolosa.

Né ci si illuda che nomi noti siano per questo meno pericolosi.

Congo. In un anno il morbillo ha ucciso 6,000 persone.

New York. Emergenza e cordone sanitario per epidemia morbillo.

Morbillo. Nel 2017 +30%, 110,000 morti. 2029 casi in Italia.

L’umanità dovrebbe prenderne atto

«Unfortunately, hundreds of years later we appear to be repeating the same mistakes»

*


In Asia torna la peste bubbonica: una regione in quarantena.

La peste bubbonica è tornata: la Mongolia ha messo in quarantena una regione al confine con la Russia dopo la scoperta di due casi.

È scattato l’allarme peste bubbonica in Mongolia, dove una coppia di fratelli versa in condizioni critiche dopo aver mangiato carne di marmotta cruda.

Nel timore di uno scoppio di un’epidemia, le autorità sanitarie mongole hanno messo in atto misure di sicurezza e imposto la quarantena di una regione al confine con la Russia.

Il ritorno della peste non deve sorprendere: già a fine 2019 in Cina sono stati diagnosticati dei casi, uno di peste bubbonica e due di peste polmonare (più grave). L’infezione in quel caso era legata al consumo di carne di coniglio selvatico.

La peste è un’infezione di origine batterica che si trasmette attraverso le pulci che vivono su roditori selvatici e, se non trattata in tempo, può uccidere nel giro di 24 ore, secondo l’OMS.

Ad oggi non esiste un vaccino per la peste, e la malattia si cura nei primi stadi con farmaci e antibiotici. Gli esperti ritengono che i discendenti della peste nera che nel 14° secolo ha ucciso 50 milioni di persone nel mondo esistano ancora oggi e causano la morte di 2.000 persone l’anno.

Incubo peste nera in Mongolia: regione in quarantena

La Mongolia ha messo in quarantena la regione a ovest del confine russo dopo aver identificato due casi di peste legati al consumo di carne di marmotta. Si tratta di due fratelli, un uomo e una donna, le cui condizioni sarebbero critiche secondo quanto riportato.

La diagnosi è stata confermata da test di laboratorio. Sono stati raccolti e analizzati 146 campioni di individui di primo contatto, ma sarebbero almeno 500 le persone che potrebbero essere entrate in contatto con i due infetti, anche per vie traverse.

Intanto il Centro nazionale per le malattie zoonotiche della Mongolia si è attivato per mettere in quarantena il capoluogo di provincia e uno dei distretti della regione. Ai veicoli è temporaneamente vietato l’ingresso.

A maggio 2019 la Mongolia aveva chiuso un varco chiave al confine con la Russia a causa del sospetto che la pestilenza provenisse da lì, e bloccato l’ingresso di diversi turisti russi.

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Pneumonic Plague Is Diagnosed in China.

Two cases of the fatal and highly infectious illness, which is related to bubonic plague, were found in Beijing, prompting fears of an outbreak.

Two people in China were diagnosed with plague, setting off a panic on Tuesday about the potential spread of the highly infectious and fatal disease and prompting China’s government to warn citizens to take precautions to protect themselves.

Beijing officials said the two infected people came from Inner Mongolia, a sparsely populated region of northern China. They sought treatment on Tuesday in a hospital in Beijing’s Chaoyang District, where they were diagnosed with pneumonic plague, according to the government office of the district.

The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said on Weibo, the microblogging site, that there was no need for Beijing residents to panic and that the risks of further transmission are “extremely low.” The authorities quickly isolated the patients, conducted epidemiological investigations on the people who could have been exposed and disinfected all the relevant sites, the CDC said. They have also strengthened monitoring of patients with fever, it added.

Pneumonic plague is one of three types of infectious disease known as plague caused by the same bacterium, Yersinia pestis. Patients diagnosed with pneumonic plague, which causes high fevers and shortness of breath, sometimes first contract the closely related and more well-known disease, bubonic plague.

Fears are mounting in China over a possible outbreak of the disease, once known as the Black Death, which killed tens of millions of people in medieval Europe, and spread through Asia and Africa.

Last month, the authorities in China said they would strengthen quarantine measures to prevent plague from entering the country after Madagascar was struck by a fast-spreading outbreak of the disease. It is unclear when the cases were first detected in China but residents are asking why the authorities took so long to diagnose and disclose the problem.