Coronavirus: Test demand ‘significantly outstripping’ capacity
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Demand for coronavirus testing is “significantly outst..
Demand for coronavirus testing is "significantly outstripping the capacity we have", head of NHS Test and Trace Baroness Harding has told MPs.
She told the science and technology committee that the return to school meant test demand in England from under-17s had doubled.
She also acknowledged that results were also taking "slightly longer".
But she said she was "very confident" of raising capacity to 500,000 tests a day by the end of October.
"I am certain we will need more as we go beyond the end of October. We have plans to go beyond 500,000 a day," Baroness Harding said, before adding there was no formal target beyond the October deadline.
The test and trace programme has come under increasing pressure in recent days, with reports of people unable to access tests or being directed to test centres many miles away.
Figures published on Thursday also showed the turnaround time for community tests was getting longer. Only a third of these tests came back in 24 hours in the week up to 9 September, compared to two-thirds a week earlier.
It comes as the UK reported another 3,395 confirmed cases of coronavirus, and a further 21 deaths were recorded within 28 days of a positive test.
The number of people calling 119 and visiting the website to book tests was three to four times the number of available tests, Baroness Harding told the committee – although she said that may exaggerate the problem as some people call repeatedly from different numbers.
Committee chairman Greg Clark said it was "dispiriting" that despite the "entirely predictable" circumstances of the return to schools and offices "we haven't had the right capacity put in place".
Baroness Harding said they built the testing capacity for this autumn – which is now 242,817 a day – based on modelling from the Sage scientific advisory group.
"I don't think anybody was expecting to see the really sizable increase in demand that has happened over the last few weeks," she said.
In Sunderland, meanwhile, more than 100 people were left waiting at an empty car park where they said they had been booked in for Covid-19 testing, although no staff or equipment was there.
Bolton Council, which faces the highest levels of infection nationally, said it was "incredibly frustrated" after problems with the national booking system led to long queues and people with appointments being turned away.
Similar problems were reported in Lewisham, south London, where the approach to the centre was "gridlocked".
Baroness Harding said testing was limited by the laboratory processing capacity, and that they had to restrict the number of people at centres because it would be "very dangerous" to send too many samples to the laboratory that would then go untested.
An NHS Test and Trace survey showed 27% of people seeking tests had no symptoms but had only been in contact with an infected person. Tests should only be provided for members of the public with a continuous cough, a high temperature or a change in sense of smell or taste.
"We don't want to push away people who are scared," Baroness Harding said. But she added that they must "protect the capacity we have for the people who most need it".
The current priorities for testing are NHS patients, NHS staff and care home residents and staff. Together these account for 50% of testing, she said.
After that, areas with serious outbreaks are given priority. Baroness Harding said they were looking at putting key workers next, particularly teachers, "but work is still ongoing".
In other developments:
- Almost two million people in the north-east of England will be barred from meeting other households from midnight, as coronavirus cases rise
- Singapore and Thailand have become the latest countries approved for quarantine-free travel to England and Scotland from Saturday morning
- About 100 sailors are self-isolating on board the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth after "fewer than 10" crew members tested positive
- Read More – Source
How does overeating affect the immune system?
Overeating is a common problem that affects millions of people worldwide. While it is widely understood that excessive eating leads to obesity and other health problems, many people are unaware of the impact that overeating has on the immune system. In this article, we will explore how overeating affects the immune system and what can be done to prevent or mitigate the damage.
The immune system is the body’s defense mechanism against harmful substances and infections. It is responsible for identifying and eliminating harmful pathogens and other invaders that may cause harm to the body. When the body is functioning normally, the immune system works efficiently to keep us healthy. However, when the body is subjected to chronic stress, such as from overeating, it can become weakened, making it less effective at protecting the body against illness and disease.
One of the ways in which overeating affects the immune system is by increasing inflammation. Inflammation is a natural response of the body to injury or infection, but when it becomes chronic, it can have a negative impact on the immune system. Chronic inflammation is associated with a range of health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. When the body is constantly exposed to high levels of glucose and other harmful substances as a result of overeating, it can lead to chronic inflammation, which can weaken the immune system and increase the risk of illness.
Another way in which overeating affects the immune system is by altering the gut microbiome. The gut microbiome is the collection of microorganisms that live in the digestive tract and play a crucial role in maintaining good health. When the body is exposed to a high-fat diet, the balance of gut bacteria can become disrupted, leading to the overgrowth of harmful bacteria and the suppression of beneficial bacteria. This can result in decreased gut function and reduced immune function, making it more difficult for the body to protect itself against harmful pathogens.
In addition, overeating can also lead to obesity, which is a major risk factor for a range of health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Obesity is associated with a range of physiological changes, including insulin resistance and the release of cytokines, which are signaling molecules that play a crucial role in the immune response. When the body is constantly exposed to high levels of cytokines, it can lead to a state of chronic inflammation, which can weaken the immune system and increase the risk of illness.
Finally, overeating can also affect the immune system by causing oxidative stress. Oxidative stress occurs when the body is exposed to an excessive amount of free radicals, which are highly reactive molecules that can cause damage to cells and tissues. When the body is constantly exposed to high levels of glucose and other harmful substances as a result of overeating, it can lead to oxidative stress, which can weaken the immune system and increase the risk of illness.
In conclusion, overeating can have a profound impact on the immune system. By increasing inflammation, altering the gut microbiome, causing obesity, and inducing oxidative stress, overeating can weaken the body’s ability to protect itself against harmful pathogens and other invaders. To maintain a healthy immune system, it is important to eat a balanced diet, engage in regular exercise, and avoid overeating. By taking these simple steps, you can help protect your immune system and reduce your risk of illness and disease.
Homelessness and mental illness are two intertwined issues that have a complex relationship. Homelessness can cause or worsen mental illness and, conversely, mental illness can contribute to homelessness. It is a vicious cycle that can be difficult to escape, and it is important to understand the ways in which these two issues are interconnected.
Homelessness can have a significant impact on a person’s mental health. Living on the streets can be a traumatic experience, with a constant fear of violence, theft, and disease. Homeless individuals often face stigma, discrimination, and a lack of privacy, which can lead to feelings of shame, hopelessness, and isolation. The stress and unpredictability of homelessness can trigger or exacerbate mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Mental illness, on the other hand, can also contribute to homelessness. Mental illness can make it difficult for individuals to maintain employment, manage their finances, and maintain stable housing. Individuals with mental illness may struggle with accessing treatment and support, and the stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness can also contribute to feelings of shame and isolation. These challenges can lead to a cycle of homelessness and mental illness, where each issue exacerbates the other.
There is a need for a coordinated and comprehensive approach to addressing homelessness and mental illness. This includes providing safe and stable housing, access to mental health treatment and support, and addressing the underlying social determinants of health that contribute to homelessness, such as poverty, lack of education and job opportunities.
Housing First, a program that prioritizes providing permanent housing to homeless individuals before addressing any other issues, has been shown to be effective in reducing homelessness and improving mental health outcomes. This approach recognizes that stable housing is a critical foundation for addressing other issues, including mental health.
In conclusion, homelessness and mental illness are complex and interrelated issues that require a comprehensive and coordinated approach to address. Providing stable housing and access to mental health treatment and support is critical for breaking the cycle of homelessness and mental illness and improving outcomes for individuals experiencing these issues. It is important to continue to address the root causes of homelessness, including poverty and lack of access to education and employment opportunities, to reduce the prevalence of homelessness and improve outcomes for those experiencing it.
Improving Reception For Children With Cancer – Basque Family Support Association
The association “Tous avec Agosti” wants 2023 to rhyme with new dynamics. For nine years now, the structure has been working to welcome families of hospitalized children in Bayonne. Since 2018, 47 families have been able to find some respite in an apartment in Anglet.
Apartment in Anglet
Since she has benefited from an apartment in Anglet, the association “Tous avec Agosti” has enabled nearly 50 families of patients hospitalized at the Center Hospitalier de la Côte Basque to stay close to their loved ones. This represents 600 overnight stays, 47 families from 23 departments and even from Belgium and Spain. At the beginning of 2023, the structure has just had its prefectural approval renewed and sees things big.
“We have been working in our area for years,” notes Frédéric de Arroyave, the association’s president, but “in 2023, we will show ourselves much more, on the markets for example, but also in acts. The apartment we have in Anglet is a haven of peace for families going through terrible times, but for some it is difficult to access”. The apartment is located on the alleys of the Jardins d’Arcadie, near Biarritz – Pays Basque airport. We want to get closer to the Bayonne hospital.
The association “Tous avec Agosti” was born in 2015. Agosti, 10 years old, is suffering from cancer and taken care of at Bordeaux hospital for 6 months. His father, Frédéric de Arroyave, living in Ahetze, has the possibility of integrating a parents’ house and can stay with his child. Such a structure did not exist in Bayonne, so he launched the project and the association which lives today thanks to donations from contributors and the dozen (very) active volunteers. Each year, approximately 4,000 children are hospitalized in Bayonne.
This article is originally published on francebleu.fr
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