The Anonymous Widower

Oxford Vaccine Could Substantially Cut Spread

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

This is the first two paragraphs.

The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine could lead to a “substantial” fall in the spread of the virus, say scientists.

The impact of Covid vaccines on transmission has been a crucial unknown that will dramatically shape the future of the pandemic.

The article also says you get this after one dose.

This study – on 17,000 people in the UK, South Africa and Brazil – showed protection remained at 76% during the three months after the first dose.

This rose to 82% after people were given the second dose.

It will be interesting to see, what figures drop out of the data, when millions have been vaccinated twice in the UK.

Conclusion

It looks like very good news to me!

February 2, 2021 Posted by | Computing, Health | , , , , | Leave a comment

Covid: Genes Hold Clues To Why Some People Get Severely Ill

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

This is the opening paragraph.

Why some people with coronavirus have no symptoms and others get extremely ill is one of the pandemic’s biggest puzzles.

It is now less of a puzzle, thanks to research led by the University of Edinburgh.

These paragraphs explain the methodology.

Scientists looked at the DNA of patients in more than 200 intensive care units in UK hospitals.

They scanned each person’s genes, which contain the instructions for every biological process – including how to fight a virus.

Their genomes were then compared with the DNA of healthy people to pinpoint any genetic differences, and a number were found – the first in a gene called TYK2.

One of the other genes mentioned is IFNAR2, where this was said.

Variations in a gene called IFNAR2 were also identified in the intensive care patients.

IFNAR2 is linked to a potent anti-viral molecule called interferon, which helps to kick-start the immune system as soon as an infection is detected.

It’s thought that producing too little interferon can give the virus an early advantage, allowing it to quickly replicate, leading to more severe disease.

I know a bit about interferon and I must admit I’ve made a bit of profit on shares in Synairgen, which are linking interferon with an inhaler.

I then typed “coeliac disease and interferon” into Google and found this article on The Lancet, which is entitled Onset Of Coeliac Disease and Interferon Treatment.

My medical knowledge is very limited, but it does appear that if you are coeliac on a gluten-free diet, you don’t get any problems, with interferon.

The plot thickens!

Not for nothing, do some doctors coeliac disease, the Many-Headed Hydra.

December 12, 2020 Posted by | Health | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts On The COVID-19 Testing

I must first congratulate all those involved in organising and carrying-out the tests.

As someone, who has analysed many large databases for patterns of perhaps marketing information, product recalls or criminal activity, 100,000 tests per day or million in ten days, is a very large amount of hopefully reliable data, that I believe can be used to answer a lot of relevant questions about the progress of this pandemic and our very boring (For me, at least!) lockdown.

I hope, that the tests collect all the right data to go along with the physical data.

But I suspect that some important scientifically-correct questions won’t be asked. For instance.

  • What is your place of birth?
  • What is your BMI?
  • How much exercise do you do every day?
  • What is your religion?
  • How often do you attend a religious service?
  • How many in your household?
  • How many generations in your household?
  • Do you have a pet that needs exercise?
  • Do you have any drug habits?
  • Do you have any allergies?
  • Do you smoke?
  • How much alcohol do you drink?
  • Are you vegetarian?

Only by collecting a full database alongside the testing process, will we get maximum value out of the testing.

May 2, 2020 Posted by | Computing, Health | , , , , | 4 Comments

Phone Call Cuts Hospital Readmissions

The title of this post is the same as that of an article on page 18 of today’s copy of The Times.

This is the first paragraph.

A single phone call to an older patient who has been discharged from hospital can almost halve the odds of readmission, research suggests.

I have mined health-care data in the past several times and often something simple drops out from a simple analysis.

Some analyses produce the obvious like you gets lots of leg injuries on Saturday afternoons, due to football being played.

I also believe that analysis of health data in an area could pick up more sinister links.

This could be picked up by artificial intelligence scanning the various databases, but until such systems are fully developed, a lot can be picked up by analysts using simple tools. Even Excel can find a lot of problems, if used properly.

 

June 14, 2019 Posted by | Computing, Health | , , , | Leave a comment