Young women who repeatedly get sunburnt or use tanning beds may be increasing their risk of developing endometriosis, research suggests.
The study of more than 116,000 women also found that those who had regularly used sunscreen as teenagers or young adults — indicating that they spent a lot of time in the sun — had a higher risk of developing the often painful gynaecological disorder.
One in ten women in Britain has endometriosis, a long-term condition where tissue similar to that in the lining of the womb starts to grow in other places, such as the ovaries.
Building on research that found genetic similarities between endometriosis and melanoma, a serious skin cancer, scientists at the Harvard school of public health in Boston, Massachusetts, are the
The coronavirus death toll passed 75,000 yesterday with the release of figures from the Office for National Statistics.
The total is higher than the government’s official figure of 59,051, which counts only those who die within 28 days of a positive test. The latest data from the ONS, which records any death with Covid-19 on the death certificate, regardless of whether they tested positive for the virus, showed 2,697 such deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending November 20.
That took the combined death toll recorded by Britain’s three statistical agencies to 71,719.
Adding the 3,384 deaths recorded on the government’s list since the agencies’ latest figures takes the number of Covid-19 deaths to 75,103.
Coronavirus inoculations will be recorded on patients’ GP files but yesterday Michael Gove downplayed plans to provide vaccine passports.
The Cabinet Office minister said there were no plans for an “immunity passport” to allow access to hospitality and entertainment venues. His assurance comes less than a day after Nadhim Zahawi, the vaccines minister, said that venues might insist on seeing proof that customers had been vaccinated.
The minutes of a meeting of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation in August say, however, that regulators are demanding that “patient-level data” be recorded in any vaccination programme as part of efforts to monitor its effectiveness.
“This would require links to primary care electronic healthcare records,” the minutes state. They add that the NHS and Department of
The US federal government will pay for dry ice to help out jurisdictions that do not have the freezers needed to store Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine, a source familiar with Operation Warp Speed told CNN Tuesday.
The Food and Drug Administration has asked its vaccine advisers to meet Dec. 10 to discuss Pfizer’s application for emergency use authorization for its vaccine.
The temperature problem: States, cities and territories have worried about how they could handle the delicate vaccine if it is approved and distributed.
The vaccine must be shipped and stored at temperatures of around minus 100 degrees Fahrenheit, or minus 75 degrees Celsius. That requires a special freezer that most hospitals, pharmacies or clinics do not have.
The solution: The federal government’s plans to handle this problem were shared in a call with the health care industry, the source said.
Jurisdictions without an ultra-low freezer will automatically receive a complimentary shipment of dry ice within 24 hours of receiving the vaccine suitcase. The dry ice will be paid for and shipped by the federal government, the source told CNN.
The shipment will include the scoop, goggles, and cryogenic gloves needed to safely handle the dry ice.
The government is also contracting with the company making temperature monitoring devices that will be fitted onto each suitcase to ensure the vaccines inside never thaw out and get ruined. The suitcase will carry a log to notate temperature.
Each box can be used with the dry ice for five days and refreshed twice, meaning that the vaccine must be administered within a 15-day period. There may also be an option to refrigerate the vaccine for 20 days.
Images of eight people who carried on working on projects amid the pandemic beamed on to stone circle
The efforts of eight people who have continued working on heritage, community and arts projects during the Covid crisis have been celebrated in a spectacular light show at Stonehenge.
Images of the group, including volunteers ranging from an arboretum guide who carried on leading tours, to the curator of an exhibition telling the story of a West Indian community in Britain, were beamed on to the great stone circle.
It is believed to be the first time a group of individuals has been at the centre of such a night-time installation at the prehistoric monument on Salisbury Plain.
Also featured was Susan Pitter, from the Jamaica Society Leeds, who worked during the pandemic to curate a gallery of 40 images of residents from the 1940s and 1960s in an exhibition called Back to Life.
Alongside her image was that of William Colvin, a volunteer who helped keep a deconsecrated holy building, Cushendun Old Church, on the Antrim coast in Northern Ireland open as an arts and heritage centre.
The founder of Race Council Cymru, Uzo Iwobi, who led and delivered the first ever Black History Wales 365 initiative, an ambitious year-long educational, heritage, cultural and celebratory programme of events, was featured.
Also celebrated was the operations manager at Stonehenge, James Rodliff, of English Heritage, who has kept the monument safe and secure during lockdown. He said he was “surprised and humbled”, adding: “I certainly didn’t expect to turn up to work and see my face up in lights.”
Ros Kerslake, the chief executive of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “It’s the important work of the thousands of amazing individuals, some of whom we are celebrating and honouring, that keep these places going and make our visits memorable.”
The individuals celebrated all worked on projects supported by the National Lottery funding, which organised the light show.
The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, which runs Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital, was caring for 81 coronavirus patients as of Tuesday last week, according to the latest statistics from NHS England.
The data shows that the number of people being treated at the county’s main hospitals for Covid-19 by 8am on November 24 was up from 73 on the same day the previous week.
It has more than doubled since four weeks prior – on October 27 there were 31.
Hospital bosses at the trust say that staff are dealing with a more complex second wave of coronavirus – seeing higher levels of Covid-positive patients, as well as managing asymptomatic patients whose diagnosis is picked up during regular screening.
It comes as the level of urgent care activity at the hospitals has increased in recent months following a reduction over the summer.
As of Tuesday last week, Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust was also caring for 18 coronavirus patients – up from 17 on the same day the previous week.
There were two beds occupied by Covid-19 patients four weeks previously at the trust, which runs Bishop’s Castle Community Hospital, Bridgnorth Community Hospital, Ludlow Community Hospital and Whitchurch Community Hospital.
The most recent figures show The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, near Oswestry, was caring for three Covid patients, however that was down from four on the same day the previous week.
The hospital had no beds occupied by coronavirus patients a month ago.
Across England there were 14,506 people in hospital with Covid as of November 24, with 1,306 of them in mechanical ventilation beds.
The numbers of Covid-19 patients being hospitalised have increased by 69 per cent, while those on mechanical ventilators have increased by 76 per cent in the last four weeks across England.
The national month-long lockdown has now come to an end, with latest figures showing it has led to a massive fall in the number of positive Covid cases.
But health bosses in the county have warned that people need to continue following guidelines in an effort to maintain the progress so restrictions can be lifted further.
From today, the entirety of Shropshire – both the Shropshire Council area and the Telford & Wrekin borough – will be under the Government’s new Tier 2 regulations.
This means that people will not be able to mix indoors with people from outside their household or support bubble and will only be able to go to pubs and restaurants to eat a “substantial meal”.
And people are being urged to keep following national advice on hand hygiene, wearing face coverings and maintaining social distancing.
Norfolk has come out of the national coronavirus lockdown and entered Tier 2 of restrictions.
And council leaders and police have urged people to work together, to remain cautious and to keep their distance from others, to drive our rates of infection down before Christmas.
Tier 2 means people will only be allowed to meet in groups of up to six when they are outside (The rule of six) but there cannot be any mixing of households anywhere indoors, both at home and when in a public place, with the exception of support bubbles.
There are also restrictions on how businesses operate, particularly around opening hours, and what people can do as part of an organised sport.
The start of this next phase comes as rates of the virus in many areas of Norfolk continue to drop slightly, reflecting the national trend following lockdown, which came into effect on November 5.
You may also want to watch:
But not all areas of the county have seen such figures.
Andrew Proctor, leader of Norfolk County Council and chairman of the Norfolk Engagement Board, said: “While our aim was to leave the national lockdown in Tier 1, being in Tier 2 with much of the rest of the country, means we do face further restrictions so we must now work together towards a sustained decline in the virus to help us to return to lesser restrictions as soon as possible.
“It is essential that we stick to the rules, work together to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our county and ensure that the rates of infection continue to go downwards. The best way to protect ourselves and others is to keep our distance, wash our hands and cover our faces.
“It is also important to understand that people must continue to follow social distancing measures and isolate if they have symptoms, test positive or are asked to isolate by contact tracing teams.”
Norfolk chief constable Simon Bailey, said: “Our journey through this pandemic is not yet over and we must continue to work together to stop the spread of infections. We must all follow the restrictions in Tier 2 wherever we are in the county or country to ensure that we can return to lesser measures as soon as possible.
“These rules have been put in place to protect us all and we need you to work with us and follow them.”
In Tier 2:
you must not socialise with anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place
you must not socialise in a group of more than 6 people outside, including in a garden or a public space – this is called the ‘rule of six’
businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a Covid secure manner, other than those which remain closed by law, such as nightclubs
pubs and bars must close, unless operating as restaurants. Hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals
hospitality businesses selling food or drink for consumption on their premises are required to:
provide table service only, in premises which sell alcohol
close between 11pm and 5am (hospitality venues in airports, ports, transport services and motorway service areas are exempt)
stop taking orders after 10pm
hospitality businesses and venues selling food and drink for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through
early closure (11pm) applies to casinos, cinemas, theatres, museums, bowling alleys, amusement arcades, funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities, and bingo halls. Cinemas, theatres and concert halls can stay open beyond 11pm in order to conclude performances that start before 10pm
public attendance at outdoor and indoor events (performances and shows) is permitted, limited to whichever is lower: 50pc capacity, or either 2,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors
public attendance at spectator sport and business events can resume inside and outside, subject to social contact rules and limited to whichever is lower: 50pc capacity, or either 2,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors
places of worship remain open but you must not socialise with people from outside of your household or support bubble while you are indoors there, unless a legal exemption applies
weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on numbers of attendees – 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies and receptions, 30 people can attend funeral ceremonies, and 15 people can attend linked commemorative events such as wakes or stonesettings.
organised outdoor sport, and physical activity and exercise classes can continue
organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes will only be permitted if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with (or share a support bubble with). There are exceptions for indoor disability sport, sport for educational purposes and supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s, which can take place with larger groups mixing
you can continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open, but should aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible
if you live in a tier 2 area, you must continue to follow tier 2 rules when you travel to a tier 1 area. Avoid travel to or overnight stays in tier 3 areas other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities. You can travel through a tier 3 area as a part of a longer journey
The second national lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic is over, and this morning (Wednesday, December 2), Somerset finds itself adapting to the new tiered system.
Five of the county’s six regions – Bath and North East Somerset, Mendip, Sedgemoor, Somerset West and Taunton and South Somerset – find themselves in tier two, while North Somerset joins neighbouring Bristol and South Gloucestershire in the stricter tier three.
The changes mean that shops across the county are allowed to open for the first time since November 4, while pubs, bars and restaurants can welcome guests in all areas except for North Somerset.
We will have reporters out in force in towns across Somerset throughout the day as we examine how the county is getting to grips with the changes.
But while there is still a long way to go in the fight against the pandemic, the new changes will be viewed as a positive for many who will be looking forward to the increased freedoms that the new system offers.
This is a live blog and will be updated. Scroll down and regularly refresh your browser for the latest information.
The UK’s independent healthcare regulator has approved use of the Pfizer/BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine.
It means that from as early as next week the NHS, over 80s and care home workers could be vaccinated.
“The government has today accepted the recommendation from the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to approve Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for use,” the government said.
“The vaccine will be made available across the UK from next week.”
The Department of Health and Social Care spokesman added: “The NHS has decades of experience in delivering large scale vaccination programmes and will begin putting their extensive preparations into action to provide care and support to all those eligible for vaccination.https://7420400d2a9726e7ca438c9c84ea3f8a.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.htmlAdvertisement
“To aid the success of the vaccination programme it is vital everyone continues to play their part and abide by the necessary restrictions in their area so we can further suppress the virus and allow the NHS to do its work without being overwhelmed.
“Further details will be set out shortly.”
Help is on its way.
The MHRA has formally authorised the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for Covid-19.
The NHS stands ready to start vaccinating early next week.
The UK is the first country in the world to have a clinically approved vaccine for supply.
The Government has secured 40 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, with 10 million due in the UK by the end of the year.
Patients need two doses, meaning not enough shots have been secured for the entire UK population.
– How will a vaccine be rolled out?
Work has been going on behind the scenes to ensure that NHS staff are ready to start delivering jabs to the most vulnerable, as well as health and care workers, as a priority.
The NHS Nightingale Hospitals have also been earmarked as sites for mass vaccination clinics – among other uses.
In addition, NHS leaders have said there will be “roving teams” deployed to vaccinate care home residents and workers.
Based on the current information, the vaccines being developed require two doses per patient, with a 21 to 28 day gap between doses.
New regulations allowing more healthcare workers to administer flu and potential Covid-19 vaccines have also been introduced by the Government.
– Who is top of the list to get a coronavirus vaccine?
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has examined data on who suffers the worst outcomes from coronavirus and who is at highest risk of death.
Its interim guidance says the order of priority should be:
Older adults in a care home and care home workers
All those who are 80 years of age and over and health and social care workers
All those who are 75 years of age and over
All those who are 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals, excluding pregnant women and those under 18 years of age
All those who are 65 years of age and over
Adults aged 18 to 65 years in an at-risk group
All those aged 60 and over
All those aged 55 and over
All those aged 50 and over
– Don’t vaccines take a long time to produce?
In the past it has taken years, sometimes decades, to produce a vaccine.
Traditionally, vaccine development includes various processes, including design and development stages followed by clinical trials – which in themselves need approval before they even begin.
But in the trials for a Covid-19 vaccine, things look slightly different. A process which usually takes years has been condensed to months.
While the early design and development stages look similar, the clinical trial phases overlap, instead of taking place sequentially.
And pharmaceutical firms have begun manufacturing before final approval has been granted – taking on the risk that they may be forced to scrap their work.
The new way of working means that regulators around the world can start to look at scientific data earlier than they traditionally would do.
– Aren’t there other vaccines?
Yes, recent data from the Oxford/AstraZeneca, and Moderna vaccine trials suggests their candidates also have high efficacy.
Oxford data indicates the vaccine has 62% efficacy when one full dose is given followed by another full dose, but when people were given a half dose followed by a full dose at least a month later, its efficacy rose to 90%.
The combined analysis from both dosing regimes resulted in an average efficacy of 70.4%.
Final results from the trials of Moderna’s vaccine suggest it has 94.1% efficacy, and 100% efficacy against severe Covid-19.
Nobody who was vaccinated with the vaccine known as mRNA-1273 developed severe coronavirus.
– Which jab is best?
The early contenders all have high efficacy rates, but researchers say it is difficult to make direct comparisons because it is not yet known exactly what everyone is measuring in the trials.
– How many doses has the UK secured?
The UK has secured access to 100 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford University vaccine, which is almost enough for most of the population.
It also belatedly struck a deals for seven million doses of the jab on offer from Moderna in the US.
The deals cover four different classes: adenoviral vaccines, mRNA vaccines, inactivated whole virus vaccines and protein adjuvant vaccines.
The UK has secured access to:
– 100 million doses of the Oxford vaccine
– 60 million doses of the Novavax vaccine
– Some 30 million doses from Janssen
– 40 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine – the first agreement the firms signed with any government
– 60 million doses of a vaccine being developed by Valneva
– 60 million doses of protein adjuvant vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Sanofi Pasteur
– Seven million doses of the jab on offer from Moderna in the US.
– What do they cost?
Pfizer/BioNTech is making its vaccine available not-for-profit.
According to reports, the Moderna vaccine could cost about 38 dollars (£28) per dose and the Pfizer candidate could cost around 20 dollars (£15).
Researchers suggest the Oxford vaccine could be relatively cheap to produce, with some reports indicating it could be about £3 per dose.
AstraZeneca said it will not sell it for a profit, so it can be available to all countries.
However, the details of the deals made by the UK Government have not been made public.
– How do we know the vaccines are safe?
Researchers reported their trials do not suggest any significant safety concerns.
Since you are here, we wanted to ask for your help.
Journalism in Britain is under threat. The government is becoming increasingly authoritarian and our media is run by a handful of billionaires, most of whom reside overseas and all of them have strong political allegiances and financial motivations.
Our mission is to hold the powerful to account. It is vital that free media is allowed to exist to expose hypocrisy, corruption, wrongdoing and abuse of power. But we can’t do it without you.
If you can afford to contribute a small donation to the site it will help us to continue our work in the best interests of the public. We only ask you to donate what you can afford, with an option to cancel your subscription at any point.
To donate or subscribe to The London Economic, click here.
The TLE shop is also now open, with all profits going to supporting our work.
Nine years on from the Winterbourne View scandal, thousands are still in secure units, and Covid has increased the use of restraint and isolation
After a year in secure care 105 miles from home, Jack Cavanagh, 17, who has autism, a learning disability and epilepsy, desperately misses his family. They used to see him every weekend, but with Covid restrictions have been unable to visit. As a result, they say, Jack has become more anxious and isolated and recently begged staff to “be” his mum or dad.
His mother Dawn says: “He told me ‘you don’t get kisses, Mummy, you don’t get hugs’.” She says that staff at Ludlow Street Healthcare, which runs the secure placement in south Wales, have told her that Jack is not alone in asking to see his family. “This is happening with other people with learning disabilities due to the separation from loved ones”, she says.
Separation has always been an issue for those placed in secure care a long way from family and friends. But parents who are fighting during Covid to visit their loved ones say this is being made worse, with more restraint, seclusion and segregation being used to deal with their children’s increasing anxiety.
Jack was moved from a special school in west Wales to the residential secure facility after his seizures increased and he began running away.
Lack of affection makes Jack, who also has ADHD, become aggressive. This has led to staff increasingly restraining him, as is legally permitted and a common practice in secure care. His mother has seen the incident logs and staff have told her that some restraints involve seven adults holding him down for 10 minutes. She says she is aware the floor restraints are used as a last resort to stop Jack harming himself but she has asked for them to end because Jack finds them so distressing. Jack told her: “I hate the floor holds, Mummy. Make them stop.” In response to her requests, she says that staff are instead trying to use sitting holds.
Apart from the odd supervised walk in the grounds, Jack has been locked in a single bedroom, bathroom and living area. He started self-harming and became selectively mute after his parents weren’t able to visit for more than 15 weeks due to measures to stop the spread of coronavirus.
National guidelines at the time did not make it clear that relatives could meet their loved ones in a care provider’s grounds. With the help of a solicitor’s advice, Jack’s parents were finally able to visit their son from late summer. Wearing gloves and masks, they have met up to a dozen timesfor an hour in a cordoned-off outdoor area, overseen by two staff.
Before Covid, Cavanagh would discuss with staff to arrange visits home, for example monthly. But since March, Jack has been home only three times, she says.
Cavanagh, who is an autistic academic specialising in learning disability, believes that during the pandemic the authorities have forgotten about people like Jack “because they’re already locked away”. She says: “Institutionalisation has never gone away and Covid’s allowed it to grow.”
For Chris Hatton, professor of social care and social work at Manchester Metropolitan University, Covid seems to have led to a general closing of services to the outside world and people becoming more isolated. “With high stress, continuing uncertainty, worries about people’s safety, and high staff turnover, these are the conditions that breed institutional cultures,” he says.
John Mulligan’s 27-year-old son Liam, is in an NHS-funded private care home on the south coast. He believes the lack of focus on younger people is “a mini-epidemic in the making”.
Mulligan, who visited Liam several times a week before Covid, has had contact during the second lockdown limited to Skype or phone calls, even though Liam – who is quadriplegic and has cerebral palsy, learning disabilities and complex health issues – is also visually impaired and non-verbal.
Covid has deprived Liam of family contact and familiar activities, leaving him apathetic, listless, confused, bored “and with no sense of why this is happening to him”, says Mulligan.
Susan Bevis’s 33-year-old daughter Elizabeth (not her real name) has complex needs and autistic traits and has been in an acute mental health ward for six months in south-east England.It follows a decade of being in and out of different secure placements. Bevis says Covid has made visits more impersonal due to the constant supervision of staff and the fact they meet in a separate visiting room away from the ward. It feels, she says, that her daughter “is treated like an object”
Six month on, Attree says: “The second lockdown increased Dannielle’s anxiety, and we’re talking less as a result as she isn’t able to speak during periods of heightened anxiety … Her self-harm has increased again. She has been doing prolonged headbanging, pulling out her hair and eyelashes and punching hard surfaces.”
Dannielle, 23, is due to move to a flat in an inpatient unit specialising in autism later this year, but her mother fears the second lockdown will delay the transfer.
Kamran Mallick, chief executive of Disability Rights UK, says: “If this was going on in other countries we’d talk about it as a breach of human rights.”
Mallick believes one answer to get people out of inappropriate care settings is to divert budgets from institutional to community care. “Budgets are looked at in silos and local authorities [which fund community-based support] would rather not take that on, but as taxpayer-funded money, it’s all coming from the same source,” he explains.
In response, the Department of Health and Social Care insists that in England it is “putting the right community-based support in place to reduce the need for specialist inpatient care,” says a DHSC spokesman. He adds: “We want to ensure people with a learning disability and autistic people receive safe and high-quality care, and they are treated with dignity and respect.” He made no specific comment on inpatient care and Covid.
In Wales, the government is “focusing on actions to support people with a learning disability and their families in response to the pandemic,” says a Welsh government spokesman.
She explains that people in supported living can form an extended household, care home visits are permitted under the new post-firebreak regulations and NHS inpatient units are covered by hospital visiting guidance. But she had no information for people in residential secure placements.
A spokesman for Ludlow Street Healthcare says that it has been “constantly balancing” the need to protect the safety of students, parents and staff against the emotional needs of individual students.
“There have only been limited occasions where we have had to limit family visits and parents have been very supportive of the imaginative approach we have taken to ensure that families maintain constant contact via Zoom, SeeSaw, Facebook, and other mediums,” he says.
“Anticipating that students might be anxious during this time, our education team developed a range of fun educational activities, which reinforced the virus control and social distancing messages. Our therapies team have also ensured that students have all the essential information they need in a variety of formats that everyone can access.
“Although changes have had to be made to some aspects of the college provision, we have been dedicated to offering as much consistency as we can to ensure that students remain positively engaged in activities at all times and that they continue to progress on their own individual education and development pathways.”
This is of little comfort to Jack’s mother.
“There are some decent people working there [with Jack] who are trying their best but … how can you support people if your training’s based on how to carry out restrictive practices and not how to prevent them? You should understand things like human rights and know what people are trying to tell you when you see behaviour deemed as ‘challenging’.”
Cavanagh worries Jack will never return home: “His world’s got smaller. My biggest fear is when his time’s finished at this place, he’ll end up in another secure setting and we’ll never get him back.”
She says: “He’s a human being and he needs to live a human life.”