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Kids Get Mild COVID-19 Symptoms, But Chance of Transmission High: Study

FRIDAY, March 13, 2020 (HealthDay News) — A new Chinese study of coronavirus infection in kids could bring comfort to American parents — and highlight the wisdom of at least temporarily closing schools.

That’s because the study, published March 13 in Nature Medicine, found that even though children typically only exhibit mild symptoms if infected, they can shed the coronavirus long after symptoms disappear.

Across the United States, local school districts have been temporarily suspending classroom activity, instead opting for online, at-home instruction.

The new study finds “it may make sense to close schools since it’s unclear if children might be able to pass it to others in the community,” said Dr. Robert Glatter. He is an emergency medicine physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

In the study, a team led by Huimin Xia, of Guangzhou Women and Children’s Medical Center, in Guangzhou, China, outlined a study of 745 Chinese babies and children.

The kids ranged in age from 2 months to 15 years, and all had experienced “close contact with diagnosed [COVID-19] patients or were members of families with reported familial outbreaks,” according to a journal news release.

The good news: just 10 children (1.3%) ended up testing positive for the new coronavirus, Xia’s team reported. All were admitted to a treatment center — not because they were overly sick, but because testing of families affected by coronavirus had brought their infection to light.

Even better news: None of the 10 kids developed severe symptoms. Seven developed a fever, but none of the fevers exceeded 39 degrees Celsius (102.2 Fahrenheit).

“There were some instances of coughing, sore throat and nasal congestion,” the journal news release noted, but “none of the other symptoms commonly seen in adult patients, such as muscle ache and headache.” Chest X-rays showed no signs of pneumonia in any of the children.

But there was also a downside to these milder symptoms: Many children might be asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic vectors of transmission for the coronavirus as they come into contact with more vulnerable adults.

And that risk of transmission may occur over a longer time than was suspected, the Chinese team noted.

That’s because even after swabs of the previously infected children’s noses and throats came up negative for coronavirus, tests of their stool continue to show signs of the virus. In one case, a child had a stool test that still tested positive for coronavirus 13 days after they had been discharged from hospital following two negative throat/nose swab tests.

And that might have implications for precautions such as length of quarantine, Xia’s team noted.

“Quarantine timings are currently assessed through the use of nose or throat swabs; however, these results suggest that gastrointestinal-tract testing may help to provide more accurate assessments of treatment effectiveness and recovery,” according to the journal news release.

Glatter agreed but said more research needs to be done.

“There were some instances of coughing, sore throat and nasal congestion,” the journal news release noted, but “none of the other symptoms commonly seen in adult patients, such as muscle ache and headache.” Chest X-rays showed no signs of pneumonia in any of the children.

But there was also a downside to these milder symptoms: Many children might be asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic vectors of transmission for the coronavirus as they come into contact with more vulnerable adults.

And that risk of transmission may occur over a longer time than was suspected, the Chinese team noted.

That’s because even after swabs of the previously infected children’s noses and throats came up negative for coronavirus, tests of their stool continue to show signs of the virus. In one case, a child had a stool test that still tested positive for coronavirus 13 days after they had been discharged from hospital following two negative throat/nose swab tests.

And that might have implications for precautions such as length of quarantine, Xia’s team noted.

“Quarantine timings are currently assessed through the use of nose or throat swabs; however, these results suggest that gastrointestinal-tract testing may help to provide more accurate assessments of treatment effectiveness and recovery,” according to the journal news release.

Glatter agreed but said more research needs to be done.

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Having been under virtual house arrest for some time, it’s easy to get carried away with the excitement of a short break, post Covid-19. You’re taking in new sights, sounds, smells and tastes. It’s an adventure for the soul. But rich foods and drinks, lack of exercise and the stress of travel, particularly with young children, can take a toll on your health. To avoid paying for it later on, take a few steps to remain healthy.

REMEMBER TO GET ENOUGH SLEEP

A holiday after such a stressful period for everyone might be much welcomed, but don’t neglect your sleep patterns. Aim for six to nine hours a night and take a short nap in the afternoon if you need it.

WASH YOUR HANDS OFTEN

Stop germs in their tracks. Remember: wet, lather, scrub, rinse, and dry. This isn’t just good advice in a pandemic, it’s important every single day of your life. Practice it frequently throughout the day to prevent spread of diarrhea and respiratory disease, too. PACK SMART While it’s great to finally be free to enjoy a break, beware of the holiday cheer. Many hotels offer complimentary drinks, snacks or cakes. The result can be hard on your system. Pack Udo’s Choice Ultimate Digestive Enzyme Blend, to aid your digestion. A unique blend of seven plant-based digestive enzymes assist in the breakdown of proteins, fats, carbohydrates and fibre. Udo’s Choice Super 8 Microbiotic is a hi-count microbiotic blend that contains eight strains of lacto and bifido bacteria. Each daily capsule contains 42 billion ‘friendly’ bacteria. Both products can be found in your local health food store or pharmacy.

ALWAYS KEEP HYDRATED

Drink lots of water. Spending hours travelling can dehydrate you. Carry a large bottle of water to have throughout your journey, and pack Manuka Lozenges with vitamin C for an added immune boost and try to choose caffeine free drinks throughout the day.

EAT FISH

If you’re staying by the sea, eat lots of fresh grilled fish. Oily fish –including sardines, fresh tuna, salmon and mackerel – is particularly good as it’s rich in Omega 3, which keeps your skin hydrated and encourages healthy digestion as well as weight loss. Try to eat a variety of different coloured fruits and vegetables – oranges, red peppers, green courgettes, yellow sweet corn – to get a wide range of antioxidants.

PROTECT FROM THE SUN

Lying in the sunshine feels great but you only need 10 minutes of unprotected sun to get your daily dose of vitamin D. After that you should use sunblock. As we get older, the collagen in our skin breaks down more rapidly, leading to lines, wrinkles and discolouring. To prevent the breaking down of collagen, eat lots of purple fruits, such as fresh blackberries, blueberries and black grapes.

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Experts support COVID vaccines for Inflammatory Bowel Disease patients

British Society of Gastroenterology Inflammatory Bowel Disease Section and IBD Clinical Research Group release statement supporting COVID-19 vaccines.

You will be able to have the coronavirus vaccine if you are immunosuppressed; you need the coronavirus vaccine if you are immunosuppressed; and you will be prioritised because you are immunosuppressed.Dr Nick PowellClinical Reader and Consultant in Gastroenterology

The statement, co-written by the Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction’s Dr Nick Powell, Dr James Alexander and external colleagues, strongly supports SARS-CoV2 vaccinations for patients with IBD, while underscoring the risks of taking the vaccination in IBD patients are anticipated to be very low.

Patients with IBD may have increased susceptibility to infectious diseases. The main concerns around IBD patients taking the vaccine are related to the theoretical risk of sub-optimal vaccine responses rather than vaccine side effects. Even if vaccine effectiveness was reduced it would still likely offer some protection from the virus. The one thing for certain is that if you don’t have the vaccine you will remain at high risk of getting the virus

Dr Powell has spoken about potential side effects, stating: “The risks of vaccination are very low, and are mostly confined to short-lived, mild side effects, like headache or fatigue. On the other hand, the risks of COVID-19 infection are sadly all too familiar. More than 1 in 1000 people in the UK have already lost their lives to this deadly virus. Vaccination is the best way of protecting IBD patients from COVID-19 and will be the most important route for us to get back on track with our lives”.

The team has been working on a number of projects and events around public and patient engagement with the vaccines. At the end of last year, Dr Powell was one of a number of experts on a panel discussing covid vaccines for people with Crohn’s or Colitis. The panel answered patient questions and alleviated potential fears they may have about being vaccinated. Catch up on the event here.

With the Pfizer/BioNTech and the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines already receiving MHRA approval, and the Moderna vaccine approval expected shortly, it is recommended that IBD patients accept whichever approved SARS-CoV2 vaccination is offered to them.

Speaking about the vaccines, Dr Powell said: “Vaccination against SARS-CoV2 holds the key to beating this deadly disease. It is especially important in vulnerable patient groups. We have engaged extensively with our patients and have found that there are significant concerns and worries about the vaccines. The IBD experts of the British Society of Gastroenterology unanimously agree that vaccination is by far the best option for IBD patients, and indeed other patient groups needing to take immunosuppressive drugs.”

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Hand Sanitiser Handrub Formulation -100ml

> MSDS / REACH compliant – see safety data sheet on request

> EU Manufactured

IF IN EYES: Rinse cautiously with water for several minutes. Remove contact lenses, if present and easy to do. Continue rinsing. If eye irritation persists, seek medical advice/attention. If medical advice is needed, ensure product container or label is at hand.

Ingredients: 80% alcohol, Glycerine, Hydrogen Peroxide

Danger: Highly Flammable liquid and vapour. Causes serious eye irritation. Keep out of reach of children. Keep away from heat, hot surfaces, sparks, open flames and other ignition sources. No smoking

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