Health News

Updated: 13:45 EST
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BA.2 is now more prevalent than Delta, data shows

Just a few hundred cases of BA.2 have been detected in the country so far, but the number of people testing positive for the subvariant has quadrupled in the last week. Data from the UK's largest Covid surveillance lab shows BA.2 was behind 0.8 per cent of all positive samples in the seven days to January 15 - up from 0.2 per cent the week prior. It suggests around one in 125 people who tested positive for Covid in this period had the new subvariant. The once dominant Delta mutant strain, for comparison, made up just 0.5 per cent of cases last week. There are already signs BA.2 outstripping its ancestor strain in Denmark, where it now makes up 45 per cent of all cases. The Scandinavian nation's daily cases have nearly doubled in a fortnight, despite having similar restrictions to the UK and being hit by Omicron at roughly the same time.

Getting infected after getting Covid triggers 'super-immunity'

Oregon Health and Science University researchers found the opposite is also true, with those who caught Covid before getting jabbed having equally 'amazingly high' response. Their findings, based on blood taken from more than 100 volunteers, show samples taken from participants with 'hybrid' immunity - who had been vaccinated and infected - produced the most antibodies.

Another 94,326 positive tests were recorded across the UK in the past 24 hours, according to Government dashboard data, which was virtually unchanged from the figure last Tuesday.

New York researchers, who examined eight studies involving more than 2,000 Covid patients, found those treated with convalescent plasma were 15 per cent less likely to die within four weeks.

'Snake oil' genetic tests to produce designer babies do not work, experts claim

Some fertility clinics in the US have started offering polygenic risk score tests which claim to predict genetic conditions such as heart disease and type 1 diabetes in embryos. And there are fears the technology could go on to be used to help pick out desirable traits, such as height and intelligence. But a consortium of European experts slammed the practice for a lack of clinical proof, calling for them to be banned until further research is done. Professor Markus Perola (left), a geneticist at the University of Helsinki, described the tests as 'unusable, unethical and unpractical'. Right: A preconception screening kit - which can give couples thinking of having a baby some idea of what their offspring's predisposition to certain conditions and diseases might be - Orchid Biosciences, who also provide polygenic risk score tests.

An international team of scientists including experts from Leeds, York and the US have trained an AI to analyse routine retina scans and calculate a patients risk of a heart attack within the next year.

Academics asked female volunteers to compare themselves to three body ideals. The Toronto team found the 'slim-thick' body ideal was worse for body dissatisfaction.

BBC podcaster Deborah James, who has incurable cancer, returns home after treatment

Deborah James, 40, from London, revealed on Instagram she has now been discharged as an in-patient, and said the past few weeks had been 'the scariest period' her life. She wrote: 'Two and a half weeks ago it was touch and go if I made it through the night...I'm not out of the woods yet, and I'll be back in soon, but I've reach a point that seemed insurmountable weeks ago.' (left right and inset).

Scans at age one showed faster brain activity in kids whose families were given $333 (£250) of support monthly compared to those given $20 (£15), Columbia University-led experts found.

Kasey Altman, 25, from San Diego, California, was diagnosed with a rare soft tissue cancer in October 2020 after she claims that multiple doctors advised there was nothing wrong with her.

Scientists claim England proved tougher policies weren't needed to fight Omicron...

Nicola Sturgeon is still yet to commit to a date for ending work from home guidance, despite England dumping the advice last week, while Mark Drakeford is refusing to lift the highly-controversial 'rule of six' for another four days. Both nations resorted to tougher Covid curbs than England early out in the pandemic, and kept people living under economically-cripping curbs for longer. But experts told MailOnline they could not see a 'huge amount of difference' in the cumulative death rates between England and the rest of the UK (left). And they argued Omicron waves panned out similarly across the home nations, even though Downing St slipped through on relatively few rules. England also had the lowest Covid infection rate over the Christmas and New Year period (top right).

Chinese scientists now say they may have unearthed evidence linking the strain to mice - in its DNA. But most scientists say it likely emerged in an immunocompromised patient.

The five simple moves to get fit after Covid-19

Joanne Groves, 49, from Wimbledon, who went viral earlier this month after her 'Karen' neighbour shouted at her while she was quietly exercising in her garden, has shared the simple moves you can do at home to get back into shape after falling ill with Covid. Speaking exclusively to FEMAIL, she said: 'It is advised from the NHS website to rest for 10 days after testing positive, other than walking or daily living activities. Here, she tells FEMAIL her top tips for working out after Covid.

Why are some people affected more severely by infections, including Covid? It's a question that's perplexed scientists but now they think they know part of the answer at least: autoantibodies.

Dr NIGHAT ARIF Our choice affects those we care for. The idea that a patient I send to hospital could die because someone caring for them infects them with Covid is appalling.

Quarter of UK's supermarket chilled sliced meats are saltier than the ocean, campaigners

Some lunchtime sandwich meats like ham are twice as salty as seawater, a team of London researchers has found. Campaigners are now calling for mandatory salt targets for public health. Campaign group, Action on Salt, found a quarter sliced chilled meats for sale in the UK had a salt content higher than 2.5g per 100g, the salt concentration of the Atlantic Ocean. One type of ham sold by a high street supermarket had roughly 10 times the salt content of a portion of McDonalds fries. Researchers also found similar products can vary enormously in terms of dietary health, with some having 10-times the salt content of their competitors. In one case the team found a ham sandwich made with the recommended serving suggested by one supermarket meat would provide 45 per cent of an adult's recommended daily salt intake alone. The group is now calling for voluntary salt reduction targets to be made mandatory in the interests of public health, with penalties for those who refuse to comply. Eating too much salt can lead to high blood pressure, a dangerous health condition that inflicts  extra strain on the arteries and heart. High blood pressure kills about 75,000 Britons and 516,955 people in the US per year. The researchers, based at the Queen Mary University of London found the 555 products surveyed between June and August 2021 had an average salt content of 2.1g per 100g. This is just over a third of the NHS's recommended 6g of salt a day per adult.

DR MICHAEL MOSLEY: My interest in the health benefits of losing excess weight began in 2012 when I lost the 1st 6lb of gut fat which had tipped me into type 2 diabetes.

Scientists have discovered a novel use for a drug usually prescribed to treat infertility in women - repairing painful shoulder injuries in men.

The bizarre condition that keeps a choir singing Land of Hope and Glory inside Bill

As well as being one-third of television's celebrated Seventies comedy trio, The Goodies, Oddie, now 80, is Britain's best-known birdwatcher. Five years ago, he realised he could no longer hear higher-pitched calls from bird species such as the meadow pipit. His hearing is deteriorating with age. And instead of shrill birdsong, Oddie hears something else entirely. Something that isn't there. It started three years ago. 'I thought someone was playing a record or radio next door, but couldn't locate which wall it was coming through,' he says. When I meet Oddie, after being introduced through a charity, he recalls how he spent weeks moving around different rooms trying to pinpoint the source. Eventually he realised it was all a hallucination, an auditory 'mirage' that follows him almost everywhere. There's nearly always a trumpet playing a high note - 'one of the sounds I really dislike,' Oddie says.

Seeing the same individual GP greatly improves the quality of life and health outcomes for dementia patients a study by Exeter experts using patient data from 9,000 people with the condition has found.

We spoke to some of the UK's leading anti-ageing experts as well as specialists in fields ranging from cardiology to dermatology, for the latest thinking on how to live longer and stay healthy.

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Number of states still experiencing cases double over the past two weeks SHRINKS to eight

The U.S. is seeing even more signs that the Omicron-fueled Covid surge is starting to recede. Cases are now down over the past two weeks in 17 states. While cases were doubling in almost every state only two weeks ago, the number of states that have seen daily infections double over the past 14 days is now all the way down to eight.

The Omicron-variant fueled COVID-19 wave is showing more signs that it will soon come to its end, and some public health leaders are calling for some pandemic-related restrictions to be phased out in the U.S., just as they recently were in the UK.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO, warned on Monday that the Omicron variant may not spell the end of Covid's pandemic phase, and it could mutate again.

WHO warns against comparing Covid to flu because it's still 'very nasty' and 'full of

David Nabarro, the WHO's special envoy for Covid, said comparing the two viruses was irresponsible because it suggested Covid 'has suddenly got incredibly weak'. He told Sky News: 'It can also mutate and form variants and we've seen several but we know there are more not far away. So quite honestly, we are not saying that this should be considered to be like flu or indeed like anything else - it's a new virus, and we must go on treating it as though it is full of surprises, very nasty and rather cunning.' Boris Johnson last week signalled his intention to lift isolation rules for Covid sufferers, highlighting that people with flu don't legally have to quarantine. And Health Secretary Sajid Javid pointed to the UK's falling case numbers and relatively low hospital rates as he said 'we need to learn to live with Covid in the same way we have to live with flu'.

Shop manager left completely blind after doctors twice misdiagnosed his incurable brain

Andi Peel (pictured), from Leicester, began suffering from severe headaches while running a Carphone Warehouse mobile phone store in August 2019. He visited his GP after the pain continued only to be told he was probably suffering from migraines as a result of the pressure of his job. Mr Peel went on to suffer a panic attack which left him in a state of confusion with a loss of memory so he was referred to Leicester Royal Infirmary. But once again, doctors put down the headaches to work stress and sent him on his way. It wasn't until January 2020 that the tumour was finally diagnosed after Mr Peel had to pull over his car because he was in so much pain.

Boston University researchers found those who were most neurotic and worried in middle age were up to 13 per cent more likely to be at risk of cardiometabolic disease.

A study by University of Washington experts of more than 3,000 over-65s who had cataract surgery found the procedure reduced risk the risk by 29 per cent.

Covid experts say it's time to stop subjecting school pupils to weekly swab tests

The Mail on Sunday has learned that despite the end of Plan B restrictions and a return towards normality, some primary schools are still requiring children to take up to five Covid tests a week. Parents report that nurseries are requesting one-year-olds take PCR tests if they develop a runny nose, even though Government guidance has never required this. Our investigation has also found some primary schools are requiring entire year groups of pupils as young as five to take a PCR test every time a staff member tests positive. Campaign group Us For Them say it is supporting parents across the UK who are 'desperate and confused about constant tests on their healthy children'. The findings come as the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health warns of 'huge disruption' caused by testing protocols in schools, and Covid-related absences reach the highest level since the Omicron wave began.

Laboratory studies have shown that chitosan - a type of sugar derived from shellfish and mushrooms - can interfere with the virus's ability to latch on to healthy cells and cause infection.

Rumours that the Omicron variant of Covid may be more severe in children have been circulating on social media in recent weeks, following data showing a spike in under-17s being hospitalised.

Doctors debate if women should be given a smear test ever five years as people explode at

Journalist Katie Nicholl (pictured left with son George and daughter Matilda) reveals how the aftermath of surgery on her cervix. after a routine smear test found 'abnormal cells', left her fearing she would lose her baby in 2012. At the start of this year, health chiefs in Wales announced a big change to their cervical cancer screening programme (pictured right) - women would get a smear test every five years, instead of every three. An online petition demanding the reversal of the decision was quickly launched, and so far has amassed 1.2 million signatures. Yet the most pertinent question, raised by women themselves, remains: how can it be sensible to have less frequent checks for a cancer that kills 40 per cent of those who are diagnosed late?

Mother-of-four Lesley Stephen, of Edinburgh, benefited from tucatinib and said she agreed to take the drug as part of a trial 'because I had nothing to lose' after other treatments failed to work.

You can imagine my patient's disappointment when I told her that no, it wasn't normal, and her new-found obsession with her Peloton may be contributing to her incontinence.

In September 2019, reality TV star Kim Kardashian revealed she had been diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, which began with a rash on her stomach and legs, leading to severe pain in her hands.

Trainer Camilla Akerberg reveals her THREE nutrition go-tos for shredding fat

Personal trainer and model Camilla Akerberg is used to fans asking her about how she gets her ab muscles so toned and defined.  And now, the 32-year-old from Sydney has reveals the three nutrition products she uses to shred fat and gain muscle for an enviable rock-hard stomach.   In an Instagram post, Camilla said she supports her body before, during and after a workout by using pre-workout, branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) and whey protein for protein shakes. 

Pharmacists can refer obese people to free weight loss courses from today in a bid to reduce the burden on the NHS. Until now, patients had to be seen by a GP before accessing the course.

The World Heart Federation says studies suggesting that wine can be good for us are 'observational' - meaning they fail to take into account important factors.

Older women are often missing out on having children because their partners refuse to accept they need IVF, experts have warned, with male pride suggested as one part of the reason.

Figures showed 8,267 patients contacted the health regulator between January and November last year, almost three times the 3,001 reported in the same period the year before.

WHO lowers recommended age for children to be eligible for Pfizer Covid vaccine to five

The WHO now recommends for young children to get jabbed. The organization officially changed its minimum vaccine age to five, from 12, this week. It now recommends governments worldwide to jab kids that young. This is despite the limited risk children face from the virus, with CDC data from earlier this week showing they made up less than 0.1 percent of Covid deaths the U.S. has faced.

Is UK's Omicron wave already flattening off? Daily Covid cases drop just 4% in a week

Government dashboard data shows another 95,787 positive tests were logged in the last 24 hours, down only slightly on the 99,652 recorded last Friday. It marks the 16th day in a row that cases have fallen week-on-week but the downward curve has slowed in the past two days, dropping by just 1.6 per cent yesterday. Latest hospital data shows there were 1,974 Covid hospital admissions on January 17, marking a 18.5 per cent fall on the previous week.

Cannabis compound CBD could help prevent Covid infection, according to a team of scientists from Chicago. They found CBD prevented Covid from reproducing in human cells and mice.

Dr. Anthony Fauci says he's hopeful the nation get get the virus within the 'area of control' by mid-February as infection rates drop in early hotspots such as New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut

Statisticians at the Office for National Statistics estimated eight per cent of youngsters aged two to 11 had Covid on any given day in the week to January 15, the equivalent of one in 13.

Covid was still fourth biggest killer in England in December, official data reveals

The Office for National Statistics' monthly report found there were 2,856 Covid deaths registered in England and Wales last month, down 18.1 per cent from the 3,487 the previous month. But the share of people dying primarily because of the virus dropped slightly from 85 per cent to 84 per cent over the month - a symptom of the extremely infectious but mild variant. And Covid was the third biggest killer the month before but fell in December despite sky-high infection rates.

CoronaVac triggers an 'undetectable' immune response against Omicron, according to researchers at Yale University who examined blood samples of 100 people double-jabbed with the vaccine.

Girls are more likely to put on weight if their grandfathers smoked before puberty, study

University of Bristol researchers investigated the effects of ancestral smoking on bodyweight in descendants. In previous research they boys whose fathers smoked regularly before the age of 13 are more likely to have excess bodyfat. They did not find the same effect in girls. But the new study suggests their maternal great-grandfathers' smoking at that age could cause them to carry at least 11.8lb (5.35kg) more fat when they are 17 and 13.4lb (6.1kg) more when they turn 24.

Covid UK: Black-Caribbean Britons are least likely to be triple-jabbed, latest figures

Just a third of adults in the group (33.9 per cent) had received a third dose by New Year's Eve, according to the Office for National Statistics. White people were the most likely, with two-thirds (68.4 per cent) triple-jabbed by the same date. Meanwhile, Muslims had the lowest rate of any religious group (40 per cent) and Jews had the highest (70.5 per cent). Experts fear low uptake of the jabs in black and ethnic minority groups will continue to see those communities disproportionately affected by the virus. The data also looked at the vaccine status of people aged 40 to 65 based on their  occupation. It showed health professionals in this age group had the highest uptake of any job (80.3 per cent). All NHS staff in England are required to get their first dose by February 3 or they will be sacked or redeployed as part of the controversial move. A booster will not be required.

Chinese experts have found wearing masks on a flight cuts the chances of spreading Covid using a computer simulation and testing it against real word flights where passengers caught the virus.

Obese women struggling to conceive are NOT more likely to get pregnant if they lose weight

Very overweight women struggling to conceive are told to slim down because carrying extra body-fat is linked with decreased fertility. But now experts say it might not make a difference, according to the first randomised control trial of its kind. Scientists from the Penn State College of Medicine compared success rates of the treatment among 300 obese women who were struggling to get pregnant. There was no significant difference in the rates of pregnancy between the two groups after three rounds of fertility treatment, even though the restricted calorie group lost 1stone 1lb (7kg).

The Government has defended its handling of cancer care during the Covid pandemic despite worsening waiting times for patients to be diagnosed and treated for the disease in England.

US researchers found nearly three quarters of children with the allergy given immunotherapy avoided a reaction when given the equivalent of 16 peanuts after two-and-a-half years.

The grandmother, 88, has become the first patient in the country to benefit from the fitting of the 'groundbreaking' device at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London as part of a Europe-wide trial.

Neuralink posted a job listing for a clinical trial director who will 'work with Neuralink's first Clinical Trial participants.' This suggests the company will soon implant its brain chips in humans.

Fauci says Pfizer vaccine could soon receive authorization for kids under the age of 5

Dr Anthony Fauci, America's top infectious disease expert, said Wednesday that he believes children under the age of five will soon be eligible for the Pfizer Covid jab. The company is currently trialing its shot in kids as young as six months old. The vaccine regimen for younger children will included three very small doses of the jab.

Last week, nearly every U.S. state was experiencing Covid case growth of 100 percent or more. This week, that figure has declined to 15 percent, more evidence Covid is burning out.

America's COVID situation could reverse fortune soon, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) releasing a projection this week showing a potential plummeting of deaths.

Covid outbreaks receded in ALL of England's 150 local authorities last week, official

King's College London scientists estimated 144,527 people were catching the virus on any given day last week, equivalent to one in 27 now having the virus. This was down from 183,364 in the previous seven-day spell. Every region was now seeing its outbreak shrink, they suggested (bottom right), with cases only rising among the under-18s because of the 'back to school' effect (top right).

Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco have discovered that 'brain fog' resulting from COVID-19 could be a result of the bodies immune response affective spinal fluid.

Up to 15 patients will be cared for at a city centre hotel in Norwich in a pilot scheme that will last three months, NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said.

Up to 60% of Covid 'patients' in London's hospitals are not primarily being treated for

Just 1,200 of London's nearly 3,000 infected patients were in hospital on Tuesday because they were mainly unwell with the virus (40.7 per cent), NHS England data shows (left and bottom right graph). And 7,600 of the 14,600 Covid patients in England who tested positive are primarily being treated for something else, meaning 47.9 per cent are so-called incidental cases (top right graph). Statistics from health service also reveal NHS staff absences due to Covid have fallen 40 per cent in a week. Fewer than 30,000 medics were off sick because of the virus on January 16, compared to nearly 50,000 on January 5. Daily Covid hospitalisations across the UK - the number of patients who test positive regardless of why they were admitted to hospital - have been trending downwards for 11 days.

Dr Kamran Abbasi accused the social media giant of suppressing 'fully fact-checked' journalism and 'trying to control how people think'. Facebook has labelled a BMJ story as 'missing context'.

Surgeons successfully transplant two PIG KIDNEYS into a brain dead human

Jim Parsons of Huntsville, Alabama, had two kidneys, procured from a genetically modified pig, transplanted in his abdomen after his own kidneys were removed. Amazingly, the transplanted pig kidneys filtered blood, produced urine and, importantly, were not immediately rejected by Mr Parsons' body. Results demonstrate how xenotransplantation (the transplantation of living cells, tissues or organs from one species to another) could address the worldwide organ shortage crisis.

Women who walk two to three miles per hour are at 27 per cent reduced risk of being diagnosed with heart failure than those who walk less than two miles per hour, US researchers found.

Britain's heaviest drinkers bought 17-times more alcohol from shops than the bottom 20 per cent during the first lockdown, Newcastle University researchers found.

Antibiotic-resistant superbugs killed 1.2MILLION people in 2019 - more than HIV or malaria

Superbugs, bacteria resistant to commonly prescribed antibiotics caused 1.2million deaths could have been a factor in nearly 5million a study by experts Washington and Oxford has found. This would make superbugs a bigger global killer than either HIV/AIDS or malaria, which killed 860,000 and 640,000 that year, respectively. On top of direct deaths, researchers estimate superbugs were also a potential factor in another 5million deaths globally in 2019. Superbugs are bacteria which have developed a resistance to antibiotics meaning they are more dangerous if they infect somebody. Overprescribing of antibiotics for minor health problems as well as incorrectly using them is believed to have fuelled the rise of these bacteria. In what is believed to be the most comprehensive review of global deaths caused by superbugs, researchers from the University of Washington and University of Oxford warn unless more action is taken the death toll will increase in years to come. The 1.2million fatality figure is much greater than previous estimates which suggested the problem caused 700,000 deaths per year. People can be infected by bacteria in a number of ways, from a person coughing, contaminated food or drink, to an open wound, infecting organs such as the lungs, or even the bloodstream. They can be fatal, causing issues like inflammation,  or sepsis, as the immune system tries to fight off the bacteria. Previously, medics could help a patient fight off the bacteria by prescribing antibiotics but some species have developed resistance to these medications making them far more dangerous.

Healing a broken wrist with a plaster cast is cheaper and safer than using surgical metal pins to hold the bones together and delivers the same outcome new research from Oxford experts has found.

A study of more than 100,000 Britons by University College London found one in five born during WWII went on to develop the condition, with two-thirds of cases diagnosed in childhood.

People who watch TV for four hours or more a day are a third more likely to suffer from blood clots than those who watch for two-and-a-half hours, University of Bristol researchers have found.

University of Montreal researchers found cannabis also damages memory and makes it harder for adults and adolescents to react properly to instructions.

Covid deaths in America begin to slow - up only 7% in past week - despite grim projections

The Omicron variant is finally showing signs of receding in the U.S. New daily deaths, the most important metric in the pandemic that often lags behind cases, have steadied over the past week. On average, 1,717 Americans are dying from the virus every day, only a seven percent increase in the past seven days. This is despite a grim projection revealed by the White House this week that up to 300,000 people will die of the virus over the next two months.

Free lateral flow Covid tests to be scrapped by JULY under No10's 'Operation Rampdown'

Ministers urged Britons to take the rapid tests (top right) regularly in a bid to quell the spread of Omicron, but Government plans to 'ramp down of the Universal Testing Offer' will see only key workers able to access the free tests. Instead, officials say an online ordering system will be ready by the end of June to direct Britons to purchase the tests, which are said to cost the Government £30 per pack of seven. No10 has previously said it would stop offering the tests', which are free to order from the Government website or pick up at pharmacies but have cost the Government billions of pounds, 'at a later stage'. Amid record high cases at the start of the year, more than 8million tests were conducted over the space of one week. But cases have been in freefall for the last 13 days (bottom right graph), with 94,432 cases reported yesterday, a fall of 20 per cent on last week. The data led Boris Johnson (left) to announce today that he is lifting Plan B Covid curbs in England as he stepped up the fight for his political life with another 'Operation Red Meat' announcement.

Parents have launched a campaign to prevent 'overzealous' schools from imposing masks in schools after teaching unions threatened to derail Boris Johnson's easing of Covid curbs in England.

Researchers from King's College London and the Australian National University found heparin - which costs around £33 per dose - improves oxygen levels by 70 per cent in virus patients.

Covid plunged by a fifth in England: ONS finds infections dropped first time since Omicron

It marks the first week that the ONS has recorded a fall in infections in England since Omicron first took off in late November and the trend now matches the Government's daily stats. The ONS survey is regarded as the most reliable indicator of the UK's outbreak because it uses random sampling of around 100,000 people, rather than relying on people coming forward to be tested. Despite the fall, Covid was still more prevalent last week than at any point in the pandemic before the ultra-transmissible Omicron variant emerged, with one in 20 carrying the virus.

Oxford University researchers suggested mild coronavirus patients that did not report long Covid symptoms still had worse attention and memory for up to six to nine months.

The Office for National Statistics found 210 people died 'with' the virus rather than from it in England and Wales over the first week of January, compared to 128 the previous week.

Covid lateral flow tests don't work as well on children

A new study from UK and German experts found commonly used lateral flow devices only find 64 per cent of Covid cases in children casting doubt on the ability of testing to curb Covid in schools. A team of British and German scientists pooled together results from 17 different studies, involving over 6,000 children, on the effectiveness of lateral flow devices (LFD) in detecting Covid in young people. All secondary school students in the UK are currently encouraged to do LFD tests at least twice a week in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus in schools. But writing in the journal BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine experts have cast doubt on just how effective these tests are. In their analysis the team found that overall, the tests only detected 64 per cent of Covid positive children. Detection rates increased to 72 per cent when children had symptoms of Covid, like a new continuous cough or a change in the sense of taste and smell. However, detection rate declined to just 56 per cent for Covid positive children without symptoms, also known as asymptomatic cases. Regular LFD tests are one of the cornerstones of the UK Governments attempt to curb the spread of the virus amongst children, and potentially, their families. And the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) insists LFDs remain the best way to detect Covid among the wider population.

US researchers studied 120 children struck down by multi-system inflammatory syndrome. The illness causes sore rashes, as was the case for West Midlands toddler Bertie Brown in 2020.

There is 'little evidence' that removing misinformation will limit the harm it causes and doing so 'could exacerbate feelings of distrust', according to researchers at the UK's Royal Society.

'The modelling has manipulated fear... it is pretty despicable': Furious Tory MPs say No10's use of SAGE projections is a 'national scandal' as they accuse 'Professor Lockdown' of seeking publicity for 'hysterical forecasts'

Conservative Bob Seely (top) called for a debate on scientific modelling during the pandemic in which he accused forecasters of wildly inaccurate predictions. Echoing Winston Churchill, Mr Seely said of the modelling: 'Never before has so much harm been done to so many by so few.' He slammed SAGE epidemiologist Professor Ferguson (bottom right) for producing 'doomsday scenarios' that were proven wrong time and time again. He was joined by the Covid Recovery Group deputy chair Steve Baker (bottom left), who accused modellers of bouncing No10 into restrictions throughout the pandemic. Professor Ferguson's prediction of 510,000 people dying if nothing was done to curb the virus' spread is widely credited with spooking Boris Johnson into announcing the first lockdown in March 2020.

At least 60,000 Americans could die of Covid by the time Omicron variant

While it is starting to appear that the Omicron COVID-19 wave could be nearing its end, one model projects a grim future ahead for the United States, modeling that 58,000 to 305,000 more Americans will succumb to the virus over the next two months.

The risk children face from Covid is especially low, per CDC data. Despite making up 22 percent of the population, children make up less than 0.1 percent of deaths from the virus.

Pfizer's Paxlovid showed an ability to prevent hospitalization and death from the Omicron Covid variant in three lab studies. The drug has been lauded as the best Covid treatment available.

Waiting six hours in A&E before being admitted can raise your risk of dying, study warns 

A&E delays of over six hours contribute to one extra patient death per 82 patients new research from the Royal College of Emergency Medicine suggests, and this is before the pandemic. NHS targets state that almost all Britons, 95 per cent, should be seen within four hours when they attend A&E. However, the health service has continually failed to meet this target and last month, recorded its lowest ever figure, with only 61 per cent of A&E patients in major emergency departments in England seen in four hours. Now, researchers from the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) have calculated the potential cost in lives caused by treatment delays. In a study of 5million patients admitted to A&E prior to the Covid pandemic, they found those who waited over six hours to be admitted had an increased chance of dying within 30 days. This risk was then calculated as contributing to one extra death per 82 patients made to wait longer than six hours to be admitted in A&E. Researchers said this could be due to variety of factors, including vital treatment being delayed, extended hospital stays, and delayed patients more likely to be admitted at night when staffing numbers are lower. RCEM figures have commented that the research shows the NHS's four-hour A&E treatment target is key indicator of patient safety, despite Government plans to scrap it.

An international study from experts in China, Australia, and Germany used 36,000 UK eye scans to find that people with retinas older than their biological age have an increased risk of dying.

More than 80,000 unvaccinated NHS workers face the sack

NHS staff who have not had the Covid vaccine will be sacked after formal meetings in just over two weeks. According to new NHS guidance to employers, all frontline staff who have not received a vaccine will be called into formal meetings from February 4 and given a warning that they face dismissal. Notices will be issued from that day with March 31 marking the end of the notice period, it was reported. All frontline staff are required to have both doses of the Covid jab by April 1 meaning that by February 3 the first must have been given. Managers within the NHS have been advised that they can move unvaccinated staff from the front line into backroom roles which do not involve direct patient contact.

Millions of Britons have accused the inoculations of triggering headaches, fatigue and even diarrhoea among other symptoms. But US scientists say these are likely not linked to the jabs.

Incoming NHS England chair Richard Meddings admits he has used private healthcare

Former banker Richard Medding, 63, is Sajid Javid's preferred choice to take the role that will see him holding health chiefs to account for how they spend public money. But the ex-TSB boss revealed he chose to use private health care 'late last year' when being treated for deep vein thrombosis. In a grilling with MPs, Mr Medding admitted he had received private health care as part of the perks of his career in the city for nearly 40 years.

Fourth shot of Covid vaccine is NOT enough to prevent 'lots of infections' from Omicron

The study of more than 270 medical staff found that the fourth shot only raised antibodies 'a little' compared to those who were triple-jabbed. And those in the four jabs group were only 'a bit less' likely to test positive for the mutant strain than the control group. The findings were true for a fourth dose of both Pfizer and Moderna, and will reignite the debate about whether constant boosting is necessary. Researchers from the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv, who ran the trial, said those infected in the study had very mild symptoms or none at all. Dr. Gili Regev-Yochay, the lead researcher of the trial, told a press conference: 'These are very preliminary results. This is before any publication. 'But we're giving it out since we understand the urgency of the public to get any information possible about the fourth dose.'

NHS England told local leaders today that 20 batches of Pfizer's Covid jab can be administered up to 45 days after being removed from ultra-cold freezers, compared to the currently advised 31 days.

There are currently 200 daily Covid deaths in England on average as the fourth wave peaks, compared to 400 from flu in a bad year. But Dr Kit Yates said that was still too many.

Pioneering operation using tiny beads turned off my hunger hormones!

NHS hospitals will soon start trials of a new procedure to treat obesity by turning off the 'hunger hormone'.  Kirsten Kerfoot, 32, a nurse and mother of one, from Baltimore in the U.S., was one of the first in the world to benefit from it.  Here, Kirsten and the doctor who treated her, as well as the British surgeon who will perform the first such procedure in the UK within the next few months, talk to Rachel Ellis.  

Why do doctors know so little about natural HRT that can stop menopause wrecking your

KATE MUIR: It took me desperate years to get my hands on body-identical HRT, during which time my life collapsed. Stonewalled by my GP, and relying on the recommendations of friends, I tried to source my own HRT. Eventually, after considerable expense and risk (I had been taking compounded HRT from an unregulated pharmacy without realising the potential harms), in 2019 I found Dr Louise Newson, a GP who runs a specialist menopause clinic. She quickly prescribed oestrogen gel and micronised progesterone, explaining that they were manufactured under strict regulation for use on the NHS and that I could get them from my own GP. None of this need have happened. My GP could have given me this natural stuff, safely, three years before, when I went in with the heart palpitations. Kate Muir is pictured left while Davina McCall is seen right in the Channel 4 documentary Davina McCall: Sex, Myths And The Menopause.

DR MARTIN SCURR: One in four of us over the age of 50 will suffer shingles - it is much less common in younger people because as we age our immune system weakens.

Gout typically affects the big toe because it is furthest from the heart - uric acid is more likely to turn into crystals at the extremities where body temperature is coolest.

With postbiotics, there's nothing alive to be killed off. That means postbiotics provide the nutritional benefits in an easily absorbable form that the body can use straight away.

Icy temperatures lead to many deaths triggered by respiratory illnesses and heart problems. But now that the coldest period of the year is warming up, fewer people are dying from them.

Expert calls for much stricter rules on how Roaccutane is prescribed to teenagers

For Helen and Simon Wright, attending the inquest into the death of their 15-year-old daughter Annabel was always going to be an ordeal. They were, however, determined to see it through in the hope that the coroner would share their concerns about Roaccutane, the acne medication they believed had driven their child to suicide, and use his powers to order the medical watchdog to review its use in young people. Instead, at the inquest in Northallerton last month, they were dismayed when the assistant coroner for North Yorkshire declared there was 'no settled and agreed view' on a link between the drug's active ingredient, isotretinoin, and self-harm.

Parents of girl, 4, who is battling rare neuroblastoma cancer are raising £250,000

Florentina Burton (right), from Braintree, Essex, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma - a cancer that develops from specialised nerve cells - in May last year, after doctors found a tumour on her kidney. With parents Amelia and Kevin by her side (left), Florentina has undergone months of treatment at Great Ormond Street Hospital, in London, and is now due to have radiotherapy and immunotherapy. It is hoped her treatment will end in September. However the cancer has a high relapse rate. To reduce this, the family are hoping to pay £250,000 to fly Florentina (inset with her sister) to New York for the bivalent vaccine, which is not available on the NHS.

London's roads today are the BUSIEST since Plan B came in

Another 84,429 tests came back positive for the virus in the past 24 hours, according to Government dashboard data, down around 41 per cent on last week. Daily cases have fallen week-on-week since January 6. There were also 85 coronavirus deaths registered today in a 10 per cent rise compared to last Monday. Latest hospital data shows there were 2,357 admissions on January 11, virtually unchanged in a week. In a sign of public confidence in the promising stats, London's roads were the busiest they have been during the morning rush-hour since the day Boris Johnson confirmed that England would enter Plan B restrictions.

Covid has left as many as 250,000 Britons suffering from parosmia - a symptom where people experience strange and often unpleasant smell distortions.

Covid deaths increase 36% and hospitalizations are up 60% over the past two weeks in US

Deaths caused by Covid in the United States are continuing to rise, with the 1,839 Americans succumbing to the virus every day being a 36 percent increase over the past two weeks. The number of people in the hospital testing positive for Covid is rising as well, increasing 61 percent over the past two weeks to an average of 155,943 people per day according to the New York Times.

Researchers at NYU found that some elderly people who were infected with Covid were developing a condition that caused them more brain damage than Alzheimer's does.

Dr Anthony Fauci, the U.S.'s top infectious disease expert, warns that the Omicron variant may not be the last of the Covid pandemic and that a new strain could eventually emerge.

Jabs to reverse Love Island lip fillers could leave your daughter disfigured for LIFE

A recent survey of 18-to-24-year-olds suggested that as many as seven per cent of this age group had undergone a cosmetic lip enhancement, while a staggering 68 per cent said they knew someone who had. Yet experts have warned they are now having to tackle a 'tsunami' of unhappy patients with botched or abnormal-looking results who are desperate to have lip filler removed. One woman, Daniella Bolton (inset), 24, from Edinburgh, recently needed treatment with steroid medication after her lips ballooned to '20 times their normal size'. Ashley Stobart, 31, meanwhile booked in for a new kind of lip-filler procedure, dubbed 'Russian lips', in which extra filler is injected into the centre of the lips to accentuate the cupid's bow - giving a Russian-doll-like look, hence the name. She immediately regretted it. Ashley paid about £250 for her Russian lips procedure - but £3,000 for three appointments at the end of last year with Dr Acquilla to have them dissolved (Ashley is pictured before and after having her Russian lips procedure dissolved).

How to beat the insomnia epidemic caused by Covid anxiety, PROFESSOR GUY LESCHZINER

PROFESSOR GUY LESCHZINER: Whether as a symptom of long Covid or as a side-effect of living through heightened stress, the pandemic has had a terrible effect on the world of sleep. A wide-ranging review, published in 2021 in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, looked at 44 papers involving almost 55,000 patients across 13 countries, and showed that sleep problems during the pandemic affected approximately 40 per cent of the general population, and almost 75 per cent of patients with the virus. Of course, most of us will have experienced the odd sleepless night - before a big interview, or perhaps following a difficult time such as losing a loved one. I know I have. But in the time of Covid, the scale of this is something new.

A reader who has developed 'unpleasant' pins and needles in their left hand asks DR ELLIE CANNON what they could try to get rid of it.

More than half of Britons have not seen a dentist in the past year, with most saying they could not get an appointment. The crisis led to one in five treating themselves at home.

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