Ventilators - and cures for Covid-19.

Ingenious designs for medical ventilators - including from Dyson and other large companies. Some of the 'DIY' and 'open source' designs nevertheless might be very valuable for developing countries, as might the CPAP designs some developed via the NHS in the UK.

A very readable article by George Monbiot outlining many of the 'community initiatives' that have been spawned by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Using a car windscreen motor

another approach.

Oxford University model

an open source (free to copy) design

It seems rather telling that while these designs can apparently be produced within a couple of weeks the usual time-scale for product design is several years and the costs are typically 10 to 50 times that of units that may work quite reasonably, except maybe for the patients who are very seriously ill!

Cures!

Vaccines.

There is going to be no easy answer via the vaccine route. It is the ideal solution but it may not work and is likely to be a year or more away.

One problem is that since the 1960s, tests of vaccine candidates for diseases such as dengue, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) have shown a paradoxical phenomenon: some animals or people who received the vaccine and were later exposed to the virus developed more severe disease than those who had not been vaccinated. The vaccine-primed immune system, in certain cases, seemed to launch a shoddy response to the natural infection. This can be called immune backfiring or "immune enhancement". The WHO can refer to the phenomenon by a different name as "vaccine enhancement". In simple terms, in some cases, in some people, a vaccine of this type might well help to kill you. Hence much care is needed in development and testing.

These difficulties, even if they are understood by journalists and politicians (which I doubt) are glossed over in the search for a positive story.

One of the leading UK experts is Prof Sarah Gilbert at Oxford - interviewed on the Andrew Marr show.

One of the puzzles about Covid 19 is why some people are so much more badly affected than others

Gene testing to try and determine why is discussed here.

Prof Paul ROMER is a nobel prize winner. He weighed into the discussion of how to lift lockdowns via testing, whilst Julian Peto advocated a city by city approach. (Discussed on R4 15 April 2020).

Plasma therapy.

In mid April 2020 it was reported that "Delays in plasma therapy trials are 'wasting valuable time' for COVID-19 patients in the UK" (SKY NEWS report)

The therapy involves extracting plasma from the blood of people who have recovered from the virus, and giving it to those who are critically ill. The idea is that antibodies produced by patients who have had survived the virus will boost the immune systems of those who are trying to beat the disease. Trials were already under way in other countries including China, France, Germany and the US but a decision was not made in the UK until early May.

One UK expert, Dr Hamilton-Davies who leads the acute cardiac critical care unit at Bart's Hospital in London had spent 30 years looking at this line of research. He wrote directly to Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab offering his expertise and expressing concern that the delay was costing valuable research time.

The treatment has been used with some success for Ebola and SARS and many experts agreed it should be trialled for COVID-19 patients in the UK. Dr Muhammad Munir, a molecular virologist at Lancaster University, told Sky News: "Plasma treatment is an interim solution and should be done at all costs because what we're looking into is a vaccine for next year. The plasma is something we can offer and it is in our hands.

"It would be extremely disappointing if this effort shouldn't be made in place - and especially at a time when so many people are recovering and they can be a valuable source of collection of the plasma."

A spokesperson for NHS Blood and Transplant said: "We have well-established plans for dealing with new diseases, including the collection of convalescent plasma.

Work started in the UK a few weeks later with many survivors offering to donate blood, from which the plasma would be extracted.

Placenta cell therapy (Israel).

Discussed in only one paper I found - a novel approach, Two references are given below - a high success rate is claimed.

Reference 1

Reference 2.



0. Index page.

1. Wet markets, abuses of wildlife, organised crime and the origins of the virus.

2. Folk dancing and the importance of other 'super-spreader' events - experience overseas.

3. Scientists, government scientists, and criticisms of government policy in the UK.

4. How many people will die - no-one can tell until the final reckoning.

5. Policing of lockdown in the UK - the need for police reform (starting at the top?).

6. Religious nutcases and despotic governments (often the same people!)

7. Economics vs. Health - the lockdown cure being worse than the disease?

8. Ventilators and cures.

9. Shaggy dog stories - and wash your hands.

10. Reserved.

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