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Spanish researchers pave way for fair play in global Covid testing and research



thelocal– The World Health Organisation described the accord as the first transparent, global, non-exclusive licence for a Covid-19 health tool, that should help towards correcting the “devastating global inequity” in access.

The deal brings the Spanish National Research Council CSIC together with the global Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) and the WHO’s Covid-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) knowledge-sharing platform.

“The aim of the licence is to facilitate the rapid manufacture and commercialisation of CSIC’s Covid-19 serological test worldwide,” the WHO said.

The test effectively detects anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies developed in response to either a Covid-19 infection or a vaccine.

CSIC, one of Europe’s main public research institutions, will provide the MPP or prospective licencees with know-how and training.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus described the licence, which will be royalty-free for low and middle-income countries, as “the kind of open and transparent licence we need to move the needle on access during and after the pandemic”.

He added: “I urge developers of Covid-19 vaccines, treatments and diagnostics to follow this example and turn the tide… on the devastating
global inequity this pandemic has spotlighted.”

C-TAP was founded in May 2020 as a platform for developers of Covid-19 tools to share knowledge and intellectual property.

Set up during the scramble for Covid vaccines and treatments, the health technology repository was first suggested by Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado.

The information pool was intended as a voluntary global bank for IP and open-sourced data as part of a common front against the new coronavirus.

However, as it turned out, rival pharmaceutical companies have largely kept their findings to themselves rather than sharing them as global public goods.

Tuesday’s deal “shows that solidarity and equitable access can be achieved”, said Alvarado.

CSIC president Rosa Menéndez said she hoped the move would serve as an example for other research organisations.

‘Preposterous’ tests hoarding

The medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said the test could quantify three different types of antibodies — and crucially, differentiate vaccinated people from those with natural Covid infection.

“This feature will become very important for measuring the number of Covid-19 cases in countries and the impact of control measures,” it said.

In welcoming CSIC’s move, MSF diagnostics adviser Stijn Deborggraeve said it was “preposterous” in a global pandemic that tests were being monopolised by “a handful of privileged people and countries”.

The Geneva-based MPP is a UN-backed international organisation that works to facilitate the development of medicines for low- and middle-income nations.

The antibody test licensing accord is the third Covid-related deal that the global pool has struck in a month.

Last week, the MPP reached an agreement with US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer to make its prospective antiviral Covid-19 pill available more cheaply in 95 low- and middle-income countries via sub-licensing to generic drug manufacturers.

The MPP signed a similar deal last month with Pfizer’s US rival Merck for its prospective oral antiviral medicine molnupiravir.


How Does COVID-19 Compare With Seasonal Influenza?




Despite the fact that COVID-19 and flu symptoms can be similar, the viruses are actually different. They are caused by different viruses that spread by coughing, sneezing, and touching other people.

While the flu is less harmful than COVID-19, both viruses have the potential to cause severe illness and even death. Fortunately, flu and COVID-19 are preventable with vaccination.

Flu symptoms may include a fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, and headache. People can also develop sinus infections, ear infections, and pneumonia. Unless the virus is very severe, most people recover in two weeks. However, if you develop a severe flu, you may need to go to the hospital. Some people may need to use a ventilator or get intravenous medications.

Both illnesses are characterized by the same symptoms, but COVID-19 is more dangerous. It may have more severe symptoms than the flu, such as a cough that lasts for months, a high fever, and a shortness of breath.

COVID-19 and flu are also different in their treatment. While both illnesses can be treated at home, severe cases require hospitalization and may need to be ventilated. COVID-19 may also be treated with supplemental oxygen and mechanical ventilation on a breathing machine.

Flu symptoms can last from one to four days, while COVID-19 symptoms can last for several weeks or months. The symptoms of flu may be less severe than COVID-19, but both illnesses can be very serious.

There are two different vaccines for COVID-19, and the vaccines are matched with the dominant strains of the virus. A booster shot may be required if you have not been vaccinated previously.

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Obesity Risks and Healthy Problems



Obesity is a complex health problem, which has many causes, including environmental, social, and personal factors. Individuals’ dietary patterns, physical activity, and stress levels may increase their risk of obesity. Lifestyle changes, such as incorporating more physical activity, may reduce the risk of obesity.

Obesity is a risk factor for many diseases. It can also make a person feel out of place or ashamed. It can even shorten a person’s life. People with obesity are at a higher risk of death than those with normal weight. Having an excess of body fat can increase the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure.

Excess weight can irritate the liver, which can lead to chronic inflammation and scarring. It can even cause liver failure. Losing weight and exercising regularly can help reverse the effects of fatty liver disease and keep it at bay. Other health problems associated with obesity include gallstones, which develop when bile becomes too backed up and forms a stone. The gallbladder is also enlarged in obese people, which makes gallstones more likely to form. In severe cases, gallstones can require surgical treatment and can be painful.

A number of studies have shown a direct association between excess body weight and coronary artery disease (CAD). The BMI-CAD Collaboration Investigators conducted a meta-analysis of twenty-one studies, involving over three hundred thousand people over a 16-year period. They found that those who were obese or overweight had an increased risk of developing the condition by 32 percent. Adjusting for other factors such as cholesterol level did not change these results.

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Symptoms and Treatments of Hypertension




Blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a medical condition that causes a great deal of damage to the body. When the pressure is consistently high, it can lead to a number of medical conditions, including heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and eye problems. When your blood pressure is higher than 120/80 mm Hg, it is considered hypertension. However, if you have a high pressure reading only occasionally, you may not be at risk of developing the condition.

Fortunately, there are ways to detect hypertension in its early stages, such as regular blood pressure screenings. Experts recommend that anyone over 40 have their blood pressure checked once a year. Those who have a family history of high blood pressure should have their readings more often.

High blood pressure can affect several organs, including the heart, the kidneys, the eyes, and the brain. Proper management of your blood pressure can significantly reduce your risk of developing serious health problems. It may even prevent you from suffering from a heart attack, which is when the heart stops receiving blood. This causes the heart muscle to die without oxygen. In some cases, hypertension can even lead to heart failure, which can lead to death.

Treatment for hypertension focuses on lowering your blood pressure. You can reduce your blood pressure with lifestyle changes and medication. Small changes in your habits can reduce your blood pressure by 10 to 20 mmHg. However, it is important to make sure that you take your blood pressure medication as prescribed by your healthcare provider. If you stop taking your medication, you risk developing heart disease or stroke.

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