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Long Covid & Deaths Involving #Covid

As case numbers of Covid rise alarmingly what are the long term effects of the virus on many people? And what help is there for long Covid ?

Long Covid can persist for weeks, months and even longer. The number of people affected by long Covid in Scotland is not really known – start at 100,000 and up.

Common long COVID symptoms include:

  • extreme tiredness (fatigue)
  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain or tightness
  • problems with memory and concentration (“brain fog”)
  • difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
  • heart palpitations
  • dizziness
  • pins and needles
  • joint pain
  • depression and anxiety
  • tinnitus, earaches
  • feeling sick, diarrhoea, stomach aches, loss of appetite
  • a high temperature, cough, headaches, sore throat, changes to sense of smell or taste
  • rashes

Whilst vaccination is protecting most people from the worst affects of Covid many of them will also go onto develop some of the symptoms listed above. This includes children and young people. It has serious implications for the health of the nation and is why no one should be complacent about the spread of Covid in our communities.

Link: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Scotland’s Long Covid service

Researchers across the world at looking at how to support people suffering from long Covid. Exercise has been suggested by a group of scientists in Louisiana at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center who have examined the rise in diabetes (not one of the symptoms suggested above) in many people with Long Covid.

Pennington Biomedical Executive Director John Kirwan, Ph.D. said:

 “We know that physical activity is a key component to a healthy life.  This research shows that exercise can be used to break the chain reaction of inflammation that leads to high blood sugar levels, and then to the development or progression of type 2 diabetes.”

Globally, as of 5:49am CET, 12 March 2022, there have been 452,201,564 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 6,029,852 deaths, reported to WHO. As of 6 March 2022, a total of 10,704,043,684 vaccine doses have been administered.

 Omicron has become the dominant variant of Covid-19 globally, rapidly replacing other circulating variants.

Omicron is comprised of several genetically related sublineages, including BA.1, BA.2 and BA.3, each of which is being monitored by WHO and partners. At a global level, BA.1 has been the predominant Omicron lineage, however, the proportion of reported sequences designated as BA.2 has been increasing relative to BA.1 in recent weeks, and is the predominant Omicron lineage in several countries. 

World Health Organisation

Current vaccines are based on the virus that circulated early in the pandemic. It is likely, especially with the increasing number of cases that variants will continue to evolve. Vaccines have been very effective at limiting the number of deaths, however, the vaccines themselves must also be updated to retain this protection.

A new study in the Lancet has also suggested that more than three times as many people may have died worldwide as a result of the pandemic than is recorded in official COVID-19 deaths.

The study looked at excess deaths. People who are dying from other conditions due to the pandemic. It states that “calculating the difference between excess death estimates and official reported deaths provides a measure of under-counting of the pandemic’s true death toll.”

“Evidence from initial studies suggests a significant proportion of excess deaths are a direct result of COVID-19. However, deaths may also have occurred indirectly from causes such as suicide or drug use due to behavioural changes or lack of access to healthcare and other essential services during the pandemic.”

As of 11th March 2022:

162,738 people have died in the UK within 28 days of a positive Covid test – 730 in that one week

184,458 people have died in the UK where Covid is mentioned on the death certificate – 878 in that one week.

In Scotland as of the 6th of March 2022, there had been a total of 13,429 deaths registered in Scotland where Covid was mentioned on the death certificate.

The total number of deaths registered in Scotland that week was 1,178 (3% above average).

Deaths in Scotland week ending 6th March 2022

  • respiratory causes 44 fewer deaths
  • dementia/Alzheimer’s 4 fewer deaths
  • circulatory causes 6 excess deaths
  • cancer 3 excess deaths
  • The number of excess deaths from other causes was 34.
  • The number of deaths where COVID-19 was the underlying cause was 62.

Orkney deaths involving Covid so far in 2022

  • 31st January 2022 – 1 death
  • 14th February 2022 – 1 death
  • 21st February 2022 – 1 death

Orkney deaths involving Covid 2021

  • 8th 1st February 2021 – 1 death
  • 19th July 2021 – 1 death
  • 6th September2021 – 1 death
  • 27th September 2021 – 1 death
  • 22nd November 2021 – 1 death
  • 29th November – 1 death

Orkney deaths involving Covid 2020

  • 6th April 2020 – 2 deaths
  • 9th November 2020 – 1 death

Increasing the opportunities for the Covid 19 virus to transmit in a community not only means that more people will become ill and perhaps suffer from long Covid but also that some will die – as we see from the Orkney figures which have already seen 3 Covid related deaths so far this year.

It also means that other aspects of our health services are impacted, delaying operations or making people too anxious to seek medical help when they would otherwise do so.

What can you do?

Fiona Grahame

Categories: News

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4 replies »

  1. Very interesting. Thanks. Would appreciate any information regarding the impact of side effects of the vaccines please.

  2. I basically believe the science behind the stated safety and benefit of vaccines in general. That’s why I’ve willingly taken three COVID-vaccine injections as well as the annual influenza shots.

    Still, I feel the term ‘science’ generally gets used a bit too readily/frequently, especially for political purposes. Also, I’m cautious of blindly buying into (what I call) speculative science, in general.

    Owing to increasingly common privatize-sector research aiming for corporate profits, even science, and perhaps by extension scientific ‘fact’, has become commercialized. Research results, however flawed, can and are known to be publicly amplified if they favor the corporate product, and accurate research results can be suppressed or ignored if they are unfavorable to business interests, even when involving human health.

  3. I think I have to defend scientists a bit here. There is no such thing as ‘speculative science’. Science is based on evidence, otherwise it is speculation… or guesswork… but not science.
    There are many areas where it is impossible to provide any kind of proof and conclusions may be founded on the balance of available evidence and support a reasonable, credible and plausible hypothesis. Still, there could be other hypotheses for the very same topic which are similarly reasonable, credible and plausible.
    This is why scientists rarely present their results or findings without pointing out how they came to their conclusions, what methods they used, which limitations their research faced and what other explanations could be considered.
    This is also the reason why scientific publications undergo the so-called peer review which is basically a control mechanism. Experts in the relevant field scrutinise not only methods but also the results, interpretations and underlying assumptions. Normally, guesswork does not ‘survive’ this process, so lastly this kind of papers will often not be published.

    As for agenda driven or funded research: I agree that there is a risk of bias which can never be fully excluded. But authors have to declare interests and funding sources which means it is for the reader to evaluate whether funding may have influenced the outcome. Good scientific practice would require that it should not have been influenced.

    Sadly, there are sometimes ‘black sheep’. Only recently a study was published which had not undergone peer-review. My personal take is, that the authors were well aware that their study had many flaws and it would be unlikely that any journal would be willing to publish it. So they just published on their own institution’s website instead of awaiting feedback. This is not scientific practice. And it can only be justified under very specific and extraordinary circumstances (which was here not the case).

    See for yourself, this is the study: https://sites.krieger.jhu.edu/iae/files/2022/01/A-Literature-Review-and-Meta-Analysis-of-the-Effects-of-Lockdowns-on-COVID-19-Mortality.pdf

    And here you find how other scientists have commented (it is just one page of many because this study was also discussed in heated debates in other countries too): https://www.sciencemediacentre.org/expert-reaction-to-a-preprint-looking-at-the-impact-of-lockdowns-as-posted-on-the-john-hopkins-krieger-school-of-arts-and-sciences-website/

    If you can read German (not sure how good Google translate has become over the last years), this is a quite detailed critique of the study, and in principle the wider issue of public amplification of not scrutinised studies. One scientist at Munich’s leading university states that the authors would not even have passed the criteria for an undergraduate dissertation with their study.
    https://aktuelle-sozialpolitik.de/2022/02/06/eine-studie-hat-ergeben/

    Still, the study is now (unfortunately) out there in the wide world…

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