2020-04-03: News Headlines

Gerardo Chowell, Kenji Mizumoto (2020-04-04). [Comment] The COVID-19 pandemic in the USA: what might we expect? thelancet.com As of March 19, 2020, 191‚Äà127 cases of, including 7807 deaths attributed to, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have been reported worldwide.1 The incidence of reported cases in China has dramatically reduced to tens per day as a result of strict social distancing measures; however, the pandemic severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is now generating sustained transmission in many countries including the USA. In The Lancet, Isaac Ghinai, Tristan D McPherson, and colleagues2 report details of the first known human-to-human transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in the USA, which was…

Richard Horton (2020-04-04). [Comment] Offline: COVID-19—what countries must do now. thelancet.com How should countries plan for the approaching health crisis caused by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)? In the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, himself struck down with infection, has written to every household warning that, "we know things will get worse before they get better". The UK Government is right to prepare the public for the coming human catastrophe. All governments have a responsibility to do the same. But this advice does not go far enough. Here are five critical actions that need to be considered immediately.

The Lancet (2020-04-04). [Editorial] COVID-19 will not leave behind refugees and migrants. thelancet.com Never has the "leave no one behind" pledge felt more urgent. As nations around the world implement measures to control the spread of SARS-CoV-2, including lockdowns and restrictions on individuals' movements, they must heed their global commitments. When member states adopted the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, they promised to ensure no one will be left behind. Chief among the world's most vulnerable people are refugees and migrants. The COVID-19 crisis puts these groups at enormous risk.

Renato D Lopes, Claudio Gimpelewicz, John J V McMurray (2020-04-04). [Correspondence] Chagas disease: still a neglected emergency? thelancet.com 10 years after highlighting the health consequences for millions of people infected with Trypanosoma cruzi, a 2019 report from the Pan American Health Organization concluded that there has been little progress in the prevention and treatment of Chagas disease, a problem that now extends beyond Latin America.1…

Juan M Pericà s (2020-04-04). [Correspondence] Authoritarianism and the threat of infectious diseases. thelancet.com Punitive social policy, encompassing the dismantling of the welfare state with the expansion of the penal state and its associated institutions, as nicely stated by Elias Nosrati and Michael Marmot in their Perspective,1 might indeed be considered an upstream social determinant of health. Nosrati and Marmot's analysis relates to the findings described by Navarro and colleagues,2 linking political ideology with policies aimed at reducing social inequalities such as welfare state and labour market policies.

Gorka Orive, Unax Lertxundi (2020-04-04). [Correspondence] Mass drug administration: time to consider drug pollution? thelancet.com Mass drug administration is the strategy recommended by WHO to control or eliminate many neglected tropical diseases that cause devastating consequences worldwide. This strategic approach, which has produced unquestionable benefits, consists of treating every person, infected or not, living in a defined geographical area at approximately the same time.1 In 2017, more than 1 ∑7 billion treatments (mainly albendazole, mebendazole, ivermectin, azithromycin, and praziquantel) were delivered to 1 ∑04 billion individuals.

Fathiah Zakham, Olli Vapalahti, Hilal A Lashual (2020-04-04). [Correspondence] Education and research are essential for lasting peace in Yemen. thelancet.com Yemen, known to many as the land of Sheba, and Manhattan of the desert, is now referred to only as one of the poorest countries on Earth. The name Yemen has become synonymous with cholera, famine, death, instability, and war. The war continues to erase the lives, history, and the future of Yemenis, and meaningful aid and peace have yet to reach Yemen.

The Lancet (2020-04-04). [Editorial] Redefining vulnerability in the era of COVID-19. thelancet.com What does it mean to be vulnerable? Vulnerable groups of people are those that are disproportionally exposed to risk, but who is included in these groups can change dynamically. A person not considered vulnerable at the outset of a pandemic can become vulnerable depending on the policy response. The risks of sudden loss of income or access to social support have consequences that are difficult to estimate and constitute a challenge in identifying all those who might become vulnerable. Certainly, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, vulnerable groups are not only elderly people, those with ill health and comorbidities, or…

The Lancet (2020-04-04). [Editorial] Open versus endovascular repair of aortic aneurysms. thelancet.com When the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) released draft guidelines on the diagnosis and management of abdominal aortic aneurysms in May, 2018, it caused outcry. By recommending that endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) of unruptured aneurysms should not be offered—even in patients for whom open surgical repair was contraindicated—critics said that many patients would be denied life-saving treatment and that the guidelines were unworkable.

Anna Petherick (2020-04-04). [World Report] Developing antibody tests for SARS-CoV-2. thelancet.com Laboratories and diagnostic companies are racing to produce antibody tests, a key part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Anna Petherick reports.

thelancet (2020-04-04). [Department of Error] Department of Error. thelancet.com Mease PJ, Rahman P, Gottlieb AB, et al. Guselkumab in biologic-naive patients with active psoriatic arthritis (DISCOVER-2): a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled phase 3 trial. Lancet 2020; 395: 1126—36—In this Article, the following sentence from the Participants section has been corrected as follows: "Patients were permitted, but not required, to continue stable use of selected standard treatments, including NSAIDs or other analgesics up to the regional marketed dose approved; oral corticosteroids (‚â§10 mg/day of prednisone or equivalent dose); or non-biologic DMARDs (limi…

Alastair Brown, Richard Horton (2020-04-04). [Comment] A planetary health perspective on COVID-19: a call for papers. thelancet.com It is natural during the unfolding coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic to focus on emergency response planning, including containment, treatment procedures, and vaccine development, and nobody would doubt the need for these measures. However, an emergency can also open a window of opportunity for reflection and learning. We live in increasingly global, interdependent, and environmentally constrained societies and the COVID-19 pandemic exemplifies these aspects of our world. We would therefore be wise to take a broad integrated perspective on this disease, the impacts of which are already spilling over in…

Talha Burki (2020-04-04). [World Report] 2020 Canada Gairdner Award winners announced. thelancet.com On March 31, the Gairdner Foundation announced the winners of its annual prizes in biomedical science and global health. Talha Burki spoke with the laureates.

Genichi Sugihara, Nori Takei (2020-04-04). [Correspondence] Obsolete medical law in Japan harms doctors' health. thelancet.com Japan has achieved one of the most successful health-care systems in the world.1 Under the nation's insurance scheme, Japanese citizens have taken for granted that anyone can choose any health-care facility and receive the most advanced medical care across the nation. However, little attention has been paid to the fact that such a health system is supported by dedicated and self-sacrificing medical professionals. Such overloaded expectation is especially high in rural areas where the number of doctors remains low.

Fay Bound Alberti (2020-04-04). [Perspectives] Face transplants as surgical acts and psychosocial processes. thelancet.com In 2017 the face of Katie Stubblefield made headlines. Not the face she was born with or the face that emerged after 22 reconstructive surgeries. This was another face altogether: a transplant that Stubblefield would receive from Adrea Schneider. There have been 46 recorded face transplants in history. Katie's was the 40th—only the third to have taken place at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, which also undertook the first face transplant in the USA, on Connie Culp, in 2008. According to the Cleveland Clinic, it took 11 surgeons and staff from 15 specialties more than 31 hours to transplant Stubblefield's new…

Kathy Kelly (2020-04-03). "He's Got Eight Numbers, Just Like Everybody Else" dissidentvoice.org On April 4, 2020, my friend Steve Kelly will begin a third year of imprisonment in Georgia's Glynn County jail. He turned 70 while in prison, and while he has served multiple prison sentences for protesting nuclear weapons, spending two years in a county jail is unusual even for him. Yet he adamantly urges supporters …

John Nichols (2020-04-02). 'People Should Not Be Forced to Put Their Lives on the Line to Vote'. thenation.com 'People Should Not Be Forced to Put Their Lives on the Line to Vote'

Dale Fisher, Annelies Wilder-Smith (2020-03-19). [Correspondence] The global community needs to swiftly ramp up the response to contain COVID-19. thelancet.com "Much of the global community is not yet ready for COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019]".1 This is arguably one of the most resonating phrases in the Report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on Coronavirus Disease 2019,1 released publicly on Feb 28, 2020. Major transmission hotspots were brought under control in China, but subsequently others sprouted across the globe. Since late February, 2020, the daily number of new cases has been higher in other parts of the world. New major epicentres have established in South Korea, Japan, Iran, and Italy.

Strategic Culture (2020-02-08). US Deploys 'Mini-Nukes' in Deplorable Threat to World Peace. theantimedia.com These so-called "mini-nukes" represent—despite the diminutive-sounding name—an increased risk of nuclear war.

Jon Rainwater (2019-11-07). Take Action — Some actual, SANE legislation. peaceaction.org Trump has plans to spend nearly $2 TRILLION over the next 30 years on unneeded and unnecessary nuclear weapons and delivery systems. This makes no sense. This is insane. That's nearly $100 million wasted every day for thirty years on weapons we are supposed to be getting rid of. To put that amount in perspective, …