Daily Archives: July 9, 2021

2021-07-09: News Headlines

Prashant Tibrewal, Jeffrey C L Looi, Stephen Allison, Tarun Bastiampillai (2021-07-10). [Correspondence] Benzodiazepines for the long-term treatment of anxiety disorders? thelancet.com In their Seminar, Brenda Penninx and colleagues1 have strongly cautioned against the long-term use of benzodiazepines for anxiety disorders, commenting that these drugs only act acutely, lead to relapse after discontinuation, and are associated with dependency. Penninx and colleagues propose that benzodiazepines should only be administered as a short-term adjunct and never as monotherapy. We believe that this conclusion is not evidence-based and risks biasing clinicians against an important medication for refractory anxiety disorders.

Brenda W J H Penninx, Daniel S Pine, Emily A Holmes, Andreas Reif (2021-07-10). [Correspondence] Benzodiazepines for the long-term treatment of anxiety disorders? — Authors' reply. thelancet.com We thank Prashant Tibrewal and colleagues for their Correspondence, in which they argue that benzodiazepines are an important medication for refractory anxiety disorders. We agree. We wrote our Seminar1 for a broad clinical readership, and we were particularly careful about treatment recommendations that would apply for general care. Although benzodiazepines might be an option in specialised settings, the risk of inappropriate over-medication potentially leading to long-term use is considerable in primary care, leading to substantial public health problems.

Nicholas J White, Nathalie Strub-Wourgaft, Abul Faiz, Philippe J Guerin (2021-07-10). [Correspondence] WHO COVID-19 therapeutic guidelines — Authors' reply. thelancet.com We thank Bram Rochwerg and colleagues for information on the WHO therapeutic guideline development process. Unfortunately, they do not address our main concern: the unjustified extrapolation of evidence from randomised controlled trials in severe COVID-19 to therapeutic guidelines for uncomplicated illness.1 Pooling summary data from studies with different severity definitions, deciding on inappropriate primary outcomes, and extrapolating from results in hospitalised patients to ambulant individuals with mild infections suggests a worrying lack of clinical judgement.

Udani Samarasekera (2021-07-10). [Perspectives] Etheldreda Nakimuli-Mpungu: innovator in mental health. thelancet.com Etheldreda Nakimuli-Mpungu is a rising researcher and clinician doing innovative work in mental health and HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. She is a Senior Lecturer and psychiatric epidemiologist in the Department of Psychiatry at Makerere University College of Health Sciences (MakCHS) and head of the consultation—liaison psychiatric service at Mulago National Referral Hospital, Kampala, Uganda. Almost a decade ago, she recalls that "around that time, there were researchers who had resolved that Africans cannot comprehend psychotherapy; therefore, they gave persons living with HIV antidepressants as first-line tr…

The Lancet (2021-07-10). [Editorial] COVID-19 in Latin America—emergency and opportunity. thelancet.com Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) have been hit the hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, with 25% of recent global infections occurring in the region. Of the top ten countries with the highest death rate globally, eight are from LAC. The deaths from COVID-19 in the region stand at nearly 1.3 million people, but the pandemic will continue to drive excess mortality because of disrupted health services, economic instability, and deepening of existing inequalities. In addition, countries with high levels of infection can result in the emergence of more transmissible and vaccine-resistant variants.

Khuloud Alsaba (2021-07-10). [Correspondence] Addressing the real trajectory of COVID-19 in the Eastern Mediterranean region. thelancet.com Pierre Nabeth and colleagues1 highlight the resurgence in COVID-19 cases in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean region and identify factors that might have contributed to this rise. They identify changes in testing capacity, mass gatherings, decreased adherence to public health measures, and increased transmissibility of new SARS-CoV-2 variants emerging globally.

Pierre Nabeth, Mahmoud Hassan, Keyrellous Adib, Abdinasir Abubakar, Richard Brennan (2021-07-10). [Correspondence] Addressing the real trajectory of COVID-19 in the Eastern Mediterranean region — Authors' reply. thelancet.com Our Correspondence1 was based on the analysis of available data on the COVID-19 pandemic in the Eastern Mediterranean region. The objectives were to highlight the upsurge in COVID-19 cases since February, 2021, and to alert about the risk of further degradation of the epidemiological situation due to the evolution of key determinants, such as the decreased adherence to public health and social measures, emergence of more transmissible variants, and insufficient vaccination coverage.

Yudit Namer, Oliver Razum (2021-07-10). [Correspondence] Surviving syndemics. thelancet.com In their Comment on the double burden of HIV and COVID-19 in US Black communities, Errol Fields and colleagues1 focus only on vulnerabilities as an alleged attribute of subpopulations, instead of stressing the importance of communities' agencies, resources, and strengths. Despite the authors 'reflective analysis of structural inequalities and the intersectional character of systems of oppression, the vulnerability accent—although benevolent—is inevitably alienating the groups that they are intending to prioritise.

Bram Rochwerg, Thomas Agoritsas, Janet Diaz, Lisa Askie (2021-07-10). [Correspondence] WHO COVID-19 therapeutic guidelines. thelancet.com In response to Nicholas White and colleagues,1 we offer these clarifications. WHO guideline development methods are prespecified,2 abiding by principles for producing trustworthy guidelines. The WHO COVID-19 Therapeutics Guideline Development Group (GDG) is composed of external experts, with geographical representation and gender balance, including COVID-19 survivors, ethicists, and methodologists who are vetted for potential conflicts of interest. The GDG prioritises outcomes and identifies subgroups to be considered for each recommendation, always including age and disease severity (using WHO COVID-19 definitio…

Caleb Gardner, Arthur Kleinman (2021-07-10). [Perspectives] Medicine and the unconscious. thelancet.com One morning, in the early days of the first COVID-19 surge in the northeast USA, a colleague left the hospital after a busy stretch in the intensive care unit. It had not been an easy night, but he had seen worse. He pulled over at a grocery store on the way home and walked inside the familiar building's sliding glass doors, looked around at the half-stocked shelves and crowded aisles and had the first panic attack of his life.

Helena Hui Wang, Esther Lau, Richard Horton (2021-07-10). [Comment] The Wakley—Wu Lien Teh Prize Essay 2021: the hidden life in medicine. thelancet.com In 2019, The Lancet launched the Wakley—Wu Lien Teh Prize Essay in honour of physician Wu Lien Teh, who led the fight against the plague in the 1910s and pioneered public health in China. This prize gives Chinese health workers an international platform to share their thoughts in their native language.1 Through the prize we hope to enhance relations between doctors and patients, and to improve medical professionalism in China. With the support of Chinese partners such as Peking University People's Hospital, which was founded by Wu Lien Teh, The Lancet has successfully held the Wakley—Wu Lien Teh Prize…

Errol L Fields, Raniyah Copeland, Ernest Hopkins, Renata Arrington Sanders, David J Malebranche (2021-07-10). [Correspondence] Surviving syndemics — Authors' reply. thelancet.com In a response to our Comment,1 Yudit Namer and Oliver Razum argue that focusing on the vulnerabilities of populations disproportionately affected by HIV rather than their resilience serves to only further marginalise already disadvantaged groups. They posit that an intersectionality of resilience framework would generate the development of more strengths-based community health interventions. Although we agree that there is evidence of great resilience in Black communities, our Comment focused on the social inequities that have required Black communities to be more resilient than other communities to survive.

Rob Hyde (2021-07-10). [World Report] The slow road to atonement. thelancet.com New research is spurring renewed efforts by august German medical institutions to acknowledge and address their historical connections with Nazi rule. Rob Hyde reports.

Michael Marmot (2021-07-10). [Perspectives] Premonition ignored. thelancet.com Cholera devastated Hamburg in 1892: there were an estimated 10‚Äà000 deaths in 6 weeks. It was the only German city then affected seriously and it was the last major cholera outbreak in Europe.

Geoff Watts (2021-07-10). [Obituary] Drissa Diallo. thelancet.com Pharmacist and authority on traditional medicine. Born in Blendio, Mali, on Jan 1, 1956, he died of a brain tumour in Abidjan, Cà¥te d'Ivoire, on June 7, 2021, aged 65 years.

newsnetwork.mayoclinic (2021-07-09). Science Saturday: Melanoma test to help some patients avoid surgical biopsy. newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org More than 100,00 people in the U.S. are expected to be diagnosed with melanoma this year — double the number of cases compared to 30 years ago, according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association. "Melanoma accounts for only about 2% of skin cancers, but it causes a majority of skin cancer deaths," says Alexander Meves, M.D., a Mayo Clinic dermatologist whose laboratory in Mayo Clinic's Center for Individualized Medicine works on cutting-edge methods to diagnose and treat melanoma….

WSWS (2021-07-09). Scientists demolish "Wuhan lab" conspiracy theory of coronavirus origins. wsws.org On Wednesday, 21 of the world's leading experts on the origins of infectious diseases published a preprint paper demolishing the conspiracy theory promoted by the Biden administration and the US media that COVID-19 was a man-made virus.

newsnetwork.mayoclinic (2021-07-09). Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast: Taking the fear out of cardiac testing. newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org When it comes to the heart, it can be scary to seek care when you think you might be having a problem. Tests may be necessary to evaluate your heart, and the unfamiliar terminology associated with these tests can be confusing and intimidating. Understanding terms like electrocardiogram, echocardiogram, coronary angiogram or stress test may help alleviate the fear. "Whenever we order these tests, we don't want you to have anxiety," says Dr. Christopher DeSimone, a Mayo…

WSWS (2021-07-09). US sees a rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations as the Delta variant becomes the dominant strain. wsws.org Cases of COVID-19 across the US are climbing again, specifically across the Southeast and portions of the Midwest, where vaccination rates are relatively low in comparison to the national average.

WSWS (2021-07-09). European states scrap social distancing as COVID-19 pandemic surges. wsws.org EU officials are opposing social distancing policies, even as officials warn the spread of the Delta variant could mean many millions of new COVID-19 infections this year.

WSWS (2021-07-09). NEA teachers union convention ignores a year of COVID-19 deaths and teachers' resistance, salutes Biden. wsws.org In a remarkable display of callousness, the NEA's convention concealed every issue of substance facing educators, including work-related COVID-19 infections and deaths, while toeing the line of the Democratic Party on all fronts.

WSWS (2021-07-09). Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa. wsws.org Spanish unions sell out bank workers' strike, agree 6,452 job losses at CaixaBank; warning selective strikes continue in German retail and mail order sector; driver and vehicle registration staff at UK centre in Wales continue stoppages ongoing since April over Covid safety; strike by 25,000 Tunisian finance workers over pay and conditions…

_____ (2021-07-09). How One Union Uses Kitchen Table Economics To Advance Medicare For All. popularresistance.org Using kitchen table economics is critical for winning workers over to Medicare for All. Before this training, members may be wary of trading something they're familiar with for something that's unknown. But in the workshop, they see for themselves that what they have now is robbing them blind—and that Medicare for All would bring them real economic gains. | What threads its way through much of our conversation is that the insurance companies are a big part of why we pay so much for health care. For example, a Center for American Progress study shows that more than 8 percent of U.S. health care spending goes…

Marie Kelly (2021-07-09). On the Picket Line. workers.org Municipal workers hit the picket lines Service Employees Union Local 73 announced a strike of 2,000 Cook County, Ill., workers June 25 at Cook County Health Care. Members include clerical workers, civilian workers in the sheriff's office, maintenance and service workers, medical technicians and physician assistants. (Chicago Sun-Times, June 29) . . . |

newsnetwork.mayoclinic (2021-07-09). Mayo Clinic Minute: Fireworks and grilling safety reminders. newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org Fireworks, grilling and campfires are part of the summer experience. This holiday weekend, make sure you keep safety top of mind. Dr. Michael Boniface, a Mayo Clinic emergency medicine physician, explains that burn injuries from these activities go up in the summer, and these injuries often can be prevented. Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute youtu.be/iv3wlwXYAyw Journalists: Broadcast-quality video pkg (1: 00) is in the downloads at the end of…

newsnetwork.mayoclinic (2021-07-09). Sharing Mayo Clinic: Receiving care for COVID-19 while pregnant. newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org Last September, Kim and Lloyd Harter of Fairchild, Wisconsin, along with their daughter Eleanor Jacobo, tested positive for COVID-19. While they recovered, they also waited for a special new addition to their family: Kim was eight months pregnant. With pregnancy being a risk factor for complications due to COVID-19, a member of the COVID-19 Front-Line Care Team at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, called Kim to discuss her risks, as well as provide information about…

newsnetwork.mayoclinic (2021-07-09). Mayo Clinic Q and A: COVID-19 vaccination and precautions. newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I am due to get my second dose of COVID-19 vaccine in a few weeks. I understand this is an important step for me and my community, but I'm unsure what guidelines I should follow. Some of my friends are traveling, and they seem to have thrown all caution to the wind. What can I expect after being vaccinated for COVID-19, both physically and when in public? ANSWER: It is completely normal to have…

newsnetwork.mayoclinic (2021-07-09). Guide to safe grilling practices. newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org The July Fourth holiday weekend often means gatherings. Keep your gathering safe by following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's COVID-19 guidance for activities. If you are looking forward to a weekend cookout, make sure to keep foodborne bacteria and germs off your guest list. Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse, a Mayo Clinic pediatric infectious diseases physician, says warmer temperatures are when foodborne germs thrive and illnesses peak. Watch: Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse talks about safe grilling practices. www.youtube.com/watch?v=19v4oRLW-hw&t=3s Journalists: Broadcast-quality sound bites are…

newsnetwork.mayoclinic (2021-07-09). Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast: The new work-life balancing act. newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the way people work. As vaccination rates increase, some people are returning to the office. But many companies have opted to keep their employees working from home permanently. This change has positive and negative side effects, including the mental health aspects of working from home. "Any time there are changes, it can be challenging for people, particularly when you're not used to working from home," says Dr. Greg Couser, a…

newsnetwork.mayoclinic (2021-07-09). What holiday travelers need to know about COVID-19. newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org The July Fourth holiday is a time when many people travel or host summer parties. While the number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is on the decline, health experts say with stagnating vaccination rates and the circulation of the more contagious Delta variant, the nation is not out of the woods yet, and everyone should still be cautious if they're planning a trip or getting together in large groups. "Anyone planning to have a…

newsnetwork.mayoclinic (2021-07-09). New vaccine platform invented by Mayo enters COVID-19 clinical trial. newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org A Mayo Clinic lab member is purifying an adenovirus vector for preclinical testing. A novel single-cycle adenovirus vaccine platform developed by Mayo Clinic will be used to target multiple infectious diseases and cancer indications, beginning with a phase 1 clinical study using the platform as a vaccine for COVID-19. Developed to enhance the expression of target antigens, the single-cycle adenovirus platform is under investigation for its ability to amplify immune responses. In contrast to replication-defective…

Animal Liberation Press Office (2021-07-09). Bipartisan Proposal Would Ban Mink Fur Farms Over COVID, Cruelty Concerns. indybay.org Twin concerns of cruelty and protection from COVID-19 are behind a new bipartisan proposal in the U.S. House of Representatives that would ban the sale, purchase, import and export of mink.

Karen J. Greenberg (2021-07-09). Torture, Wars of Aggression, Violations of Bill of Rights: Will there ever be accountability for America's Orgy of War Crimes in the 21st Century. juancole.com ( Tomdispatch.com) — America has an accountability problem. In fact, if the Covid-19 disaster, the January 6th Capitol attack, and the Trump years are any indication, the American lexicon has essentially dispensed with the term "accountability." This should come as no surprise. After all, there's nothing particularly new about this. In the Bush years, those …

Global Voices (2021-07-09). 'A pandemic of impunity in a tortured land': Stalemate in Yemen War Worsens Human Rights Crisis. juancole.com By Saoussen Ben Cheikh | — (GlobalVoices.org ) — The latest peace talks in Oman fell apart apart, and for Yemenis, that means going back to square one. Escalations in Marib have worsened the dire humanitarian situation and the suffering of civilians in a conflict that has entered its sixth year. An activist speaking to …

Matt Haubrick (2021-07-09). Australia Post workers fight pay cuts during pandemic. greenleft.org.au The Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union is preparing for industrial action after Australia Post cut worker's pay. Matt Haubrick reports.

A Guest Author (2021-07-09). Pandemic devastated U.S. working class. workers.org By Tamarai This lightly edited article was originally published in the July issue of Workers Resistance, the web magazine of the All India Central Council of Trade Unions. Tamarai is a physician and a longtime friend of Workers World Party. She supports struggles for justice for workers and to end . . . |

No Nukes Action (2021-07-09). Friday 7/23: Fukushima, The Pandemic & Olympics On The Opening Of the Olympics. indybay.org LaborFest…

newsnetwork.mayoclinic (2021-07-09). Tumor cell PD-L1 may mediate sensitivity to chemotherapy in colorectal cancer treatment. newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org ROCHESTER, Minn. — Data in a study by Mayo Clinic Cancer Center researchers indicates that the level of tumor cell PD-L1, a protein that acts as a brake to keep the body's immune responses under control, may be an important factor for sensitivity to chemotherapy in colorectal cancer treatment. The study was published Friday, July 2, in Oncogene. "We have identified a mechanism by which absent or low levels of tumor cell PD-L1, which is commonly found…

Cesar Chelala (2021-07-09). The Duty of Aiding Central Americans. counterpunch.org In 1992, I visited Guatemala on a United Nations-sponsored mission to assess the health situation of Central American refugees and displaced people in Central America. I was in Quetzaltenango, home to many indigenous Mayans. There, I learned a lesson. I had gone to visit the town's historic cathedral when I saw an old Mayan woman

newsnetwork.mayoclinic (2021-07-09). Newly discovered genetic variants in a single gene cause neurodevelopmental disorder. newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org ROCHESTER, Minn. — Mayo Clinic researchers have discovered that genetic variants in a neuro-associated gene called SPTBN1 are responsible for causing a neurodevelopmental disorder. The study, published in Nature Genetics, is a first step in finding a potential therapeutic strategy for this disorder, and it increases the number of genes known to be associated with conditions that affect how the brain functions. "The gene can now be included in genetic testing for people suspected of…

newsnetwork.mayoclinic (2021-07-09). Mayo Clinic first to use next generation 4D ICE imaging to help patients with structural heart disease. newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org Mayo Clinic recently became the first to use a next-generation 4D intracardiac echo (ICE) device in patients to guide heart procedures such as left atrial appendage closure, mitral valve repair and treatment of tricuspid valve regurgitation. The technology can also help physicians perform procedures without putting patients under general anesthesia. An echocardiogram is a noninvasive test that uses sound waves to produce detailed images of the heart's size, structure and function, as well as detailed images of…

newsnetwork.mayoclinic (2021-07-09). Mayo Clinic Q and A: Kidney stones and calcium. newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I have trouble with kidney stones and recently found out they are calcium oxalate stones. While I have stopped consuming all dairy products, I know that I need calcium as I age for bone health. Would adding in almond milk or another type of plant milk help? How do I take care of both my kidneys and bones? ANSWER: It sounds like your concern about milk and other dairy products is that their calcium may spur…

newsnetwork.mayoclinic (2021-07-09). Consumer Health: The importance of sunscreen, sunglasses and protective clothing for adults and children. newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org July is UV Safety Month, which makes this a good time to learn more about protecting yourself and your family from the harmful effects of ultraviolet, or UV, radiation from sunlight. Exposure to UV radiation from the sun damages your skin, and increases your risk of developing skin cancer, wrinkles and age spots. Children are especially vulnerable because they tend to spend more time outdoors and can burn easily. Here are four ways you can…

newsnetwork.mayoclinic (2021-07-09). Mayo Clinic Q and A: Keeping your fingernails in tip-top shape. newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I have noticed recently that my nails have an unusual color and shape, and I don't understand why. Although I do enjoy gardening, I don't have a job where I use my hands more than normal. I want my nails to be sturdy and healthy-looking. Can you provide some insight on how to achieve this and tips for properly taking care of my nails? ANSWER: For anyone concerned with nail health, the first step…

newsnetwork.mayoclinic (2021-07-09). Mayo Clinic Minute: Should you open your eyes underwater? newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org For many people, the hot summer days are often spent swimming at the pool. But even though the water is usually clear with chlorine, it doesn't mean you should be looking underwater. As reporter Jason Howland explains in this Mayo Clinic Minute, it could cause temporary damage to your eyes. Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute youtu.be/JDEtRmoq3dg Journalists: Broadcast-quality video (0: 59) is in the downloads at the end of this post. Please courtesy: "Mayo Clinic News…

newsnetwork.mayoclinic (2021-07-09). Mayo Clinic Minute: Tips to pick healthier oils. newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org Your body needs some fat to function normally. However, not all fats are created equal, and it's wise to choose healthier options whenever possible. Angie Murad, a licensed dietitian and patient educator with the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, offers these tips for selecting cooking oils. Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute youtu.be/LXCJR38di5E Journalists: Broadcast-quality video pkg (0: 59) is in the downloads at the end of…

Maya McCoy (2021-07-09). Physicians Have Duty to Confront Exploitative Industry That Employs Them. zcomm.org It is crucial for the care of patients and the movement toward health justice that physicians align as workers and witnesses; if not, we will be complicit in the structural harms we claim to stand against…

newsnetwork.mayoclinic (2021-07-08). Science Saturday: Melanoma test to help some patients avoid surgical biopsy. newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org More than 100,00 people in the U.S. are expected to be diagnosed with melanoma this year — double the number of cases compared to 30 years ago, according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association. "Melanoma accounts for only about 2% of skin cancers, but it causes a majority of skin cancer deaths," says Alexander Meves, M.D., a Mayo Clinic dermatologist whose laboratory in Mayo Clinic's Center for Individualized Medicine works on cutting-edge methods to diagnose and treat melanoma….

_____ (2021-07-08). The Tokyo Olympics Are In Peril. popularresistance.org Ten thousand people. That's how many Olympic volunteers quit their posts in Tokyo, with the games just 50 days away. That is one of every eight volunteers needed to pull off the 2021 (still called the 2020) Olympics. This is just the latest warning sign that, despite the Panglossian protestations of the International Olympic Committee, this summer's Games are in peril. Japan is currently wrestling with a coronavirus upsurge and less than 3 percent of the population is vaccinated. According to polls, as much as 80 percent of the country does not want to host the games, for fear of it exacerbating this omnipresent…

teleSUR (2021-07-08). Officials Confirm Tokyo Olympics To Be Held Without Spectators. telesurenglish.net Representatives of the organizing committee, chaired by Seiko Hashimoto, the International Olympic Committee, headed by Thomas Bach, and the Paralympic Committee, headed by Andrew Parsons, and Tokyo authorities (governor Yuriko Koike) as well as the Japanese central government agreed at a meeting to hold the Games without spectators in the stadiums. | "It is extremely sad that the Games will be held in a very limited way in the face of the spread of coronavirus infections. I am very sorry for the ticket holders and local residents who were looking forward to the Games," Hashimoto told reporters. | RELATED:…

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