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Coronavirus Update: Australia Extends the State of Emergency

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Australia extended its state of emergency till 19th July due to a spike in the number of coronavirus cases.

Coronavirus cases have been increasing since the infection’s start in November. It has, so far, spread to over 100 countries and has affected millions of people. What started as a minor infection has now turned into an epidemic. Up till now, it has affected 8,950,626 people and caused 467,356 deaths.

Many research teams and scientists have been trying to develop a vaccine for the infection. However, there has been no fruitful outcome. Currently, human trials are taking place to see if the proposed treatment plans are effective.

Reason behind Extension

Australia also saw an increase in the coronavirus cases around March. Strict measures were taken to flatten the curve. Most areas have now become coronavirus free. However, Victoria, one of the most populous state of Australia, recently saw a spike in the coronavirus curve. Hence, it has extended the state of emergency till 19th July.

Also read: COVID-19 Helps Malta’s Cannabis Industry Grow

The state reported 19 new cases on Sunday alone. The toll has now risen to 1,836 in Victoria, which is almost ¼ of the total cases in Australia. A football player from Australia Rules has also been infected.

The spike in new cases in the state has been the highest in the country. Previously, the rate was slowing down, however, the sudden spike has alarmed everyone. Western Australia and Queensland had shut down their boundaries around March-April, to control the situation.

According to Steven Miles, Queensland Deputy Premier, “The last thing we want to do is lift the borders, have lots of people come here, for example for school holidays, spread coronavirus in our state and then force us to go backwards on restrictions”.

Despite the surge in the cases, officials believe that since the transmission rate is relatively low, there is no need for face masks compulsion yet. Nick Coatsworth, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, also said that avoiding physical contact was far more important.

Restrictions

According to Jenny Mikakos, Victorian health minister, 210 of the coronavirus cases in the state were due to public and home gatherings. They were caused by community transmission, due to the nonseriousness of the public.

He said, “We obviously have been concerned by the increasing numbers that we have seen in recent days. It is still a very serious situation.”

The state announced that they would reimpose the restrictions. Visitors to a house would be limited to 5, and public gatherings would be limited to 10 individuals only. This would be imposed from Monday.

Last month, the government had eased the restrictions, to allow 20 people in house and public gatherings.

Also read: COVID19 update: Why is South Africa Lifting Restrictions Amid Rising Cases?

The police would be responsible for enforcement measures to make sure people abide by the restrictions and the rate of new cases is reduced. Anyone who will be caught violating the restrictions can face a fine of up to $1,652 Australian dollars.

The extension of the emergency period means that people would be working from home. There is also a low chance that businesses would be opening anytime soon.

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Possibility of Brain Disorders in COVID-19 Patients

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Recent researches revealed that people with mild COVID-19 symptoms have a chance of developing fatal brain disorders.

COVID-19 is an infection that differently attacks every individual. Some people develop acute respiratory problems while others only develop mild symptoms like fever, cough etc. Mostly, doctors tend to ignore the patients with mild symptoms as they get normal on their own. However, the recent reports revealed some shocking and disturbing detail about the virus.

Brain Disorders in COVID-19 Patients

Coronavirus can trigger brain disorders in patients. Scientists have warned that doctors may be overlooking signs of brain disorders in patients with mild coronavirus symptoms. Neurologists in U.K. found over 40 coronavirus patients with severe brain inflammation, nerve damage, delirium and even a stroke. This is a serious condition called acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (Adem). Cases of Adem have risen from one case a month to 2-3 weekly cases in the months of April and May.

Also Read: Cannabis Maybe A Cure For Various Cancers

Doctors are particularly worried because no virus has previously affected the brain as COVID-19 is. A 55-year-old COVID-19 patient without any history of mental illness, started behaving oddly the day after getting discharged from the medical center. She was having recurrent hallucinations. Another 47 year-old woman was admitted with a headache. However, later, she became unresponsive. The doctors conducted an emergency surgery to cut out a portion of her skull to release pressure on her inflammed brain.

 

Recent researches revealed that people with mild COVID-19 symptoms have a chance of developing fatal brain disorders.

Image Credits: Discovermagazine.com

Also Read: Human Trials for Coronavirus Vaccines Have Started in The U.K.

 

The way COVID-19 affects the brain hasn’t been observed before with any other virus. This could very well be due to the fact that the virus has numerous mutations. However, that is just speculation for now.

So, what needs to be done?

Well, clinicians need to be on their toes about these complications of the coronavirus. Patients with memory issues, fatigue, weakness, numbness, or cognitive symptoms need special attention. Healthcare workers, GPs, and physicians should also consult neurologists in regard to these cases.

Note that these are all precautions. It does not neglect the fact that complete recovery isn’t possible. In most cases, the coronavirus does not involve the brain.

Because of the intensity of the symptoms of the virus most of the patients in hospitals cannot be examined through brain scanners or other procedures. Therefore, the full spectrum of brain disorders caused by the corona virus cannot be determined just yet. Efficient research needs to be done to determine the complete depth of the complications.

One major concern!

One major concern with this new discovery is the possibility of the virus to leave the affected people with brain disorders that could only become apparent later in life. The number of such cases might not be as staggering, but that is still a major concern.

This has happened before in flu outbreak in 1918. After the pandemic, almost a million patients came up with brain disorders.

It is far too early to give a verdict, but it could still haunt the people like a ghost. Like most subtle brain disorders, the effects might not become apparent at once. However, in the years to come it could affect the lifestyles of a lot of people.

One should hope that it doesn’t come to that. But, with a pandemic affecting people by thousands everyday, being alert is the wisest thing to do.

 

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Cannabis

Pennsylvania: Lt. Gov. Fetterman Urges Cannabis Legalization

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Lt. Gov. John Fetterman urges Cannabis Legalization to reduce the impact of the budget deficit. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy has suffered a lot. Due to the economic setback, the state faces a budget shortfall of $3.2 billion.

Fetterman tweeted to support the legalization of recreational marijuana. He says that legalization of marijuana will open new avenues to generate tax revenue. According to Fetterman, the legalization of marijuana could generate half of this COVID-19 deficit. It will also be helpful in reforming the state prison system.

Recently, Lt. Gov. Fetterman took to Twitter in support of cannabis legalization.

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Catering For Budget Deficit

In an economy greatly hit by the global pandemic, the legalization of recreational cannabis will help providing thousands of jobs to the unemployed.

Majority people of Pennsylvania support the legalization. Fetterman is of the viewpoint that cannabis in Pennsylvania could bring up to 500 million dollars into the state’s coffers which is why he urges Cannabis Legalization.

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Pennsylvania has a big marijuana market. Its legalization will allow Pennsylvania to stand on its own feet.

Some other politicians, however, disagree with the notion of legalization. They think that instead of adding new taxes, they should try to control the spending. The bill to legalize the adult use of Marijuana is in the committee. However, nothing can be said about the legalization with certainty.

Also Read: Police Caught 50 kgs of Cannabis from Plungington Area

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman urges Cannabis Legalization to reduce the impact of the budget deficit. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic,

Image Credits: ru.nl

However, According to State Sen. Stefano, his committee is reviewing new research. He told KDKA’s Meghan Schiller that the biggest hurdle is that there is no measurement technique for determining THC concentration in the human body. He said he’s hesitant to move forward, until there’s a way to determine the amount of intoxication.

The State Senator said that the bill was in his committee and he didn’t have plans to bring it up anytime soon. There is still room for a lot of research to be done. The decision to legalize adult-use marijuana isn’t a very wise decision without taking all the factors into account.

However, it’s research business owner Posteraro sees this as an opportunity. He hopes that it doesn’t take too much time to legalize it, because opportunities like these seldom present themselves.

Whether or not Cannabis should be legalized still remains open to debate, but there is no denying could help the nation face a huge financial deficit.

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Cannabis Rendered Helpful in Saving Lives of COVID-19 Patients

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Recent Researches revealed how Cannabis plant can help in saving lives of COVID-19 patients. The active components found in Cannabis Plant make it seem as a possible treatment for coronavirus infections.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabis

The University of Nebraska and the Texas Biomedical Research Institute are conducting further researches to study the utility of CBD to check its utility in treating inflammation of lungs caused by coronavirus. The anti-inflammatory properties of Cannabis can be especially valuable in improving issues related to behaviour, immunity and brain.

Researchers explained that the infection is related to a cytokine superstorm, that causes symptoms like cough, fever and muscle pain. The increased inflammation can even cause pneumonia and breathing difficulties. Breathing difficulties are the number one cause of deaths due to COVID-19.

Also Read: Cannabis Found Effective in Treating Pain with Zero Side Effects

Reduction in the Amount of Cytokines

Previously, researches conducted on CBD show that it can bring down the level of several cytokines, that cause inflammation, including IL-6. It also helps in controlling interleukin (IL)-2, interferon gamma, IL-1α and β, inducible protein-10, macrophage inflammatory protein-1α, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 and tumor necrosis factor-α. Excess of these leads to severe COVID-19 conditions. Moreover, CBD also increases the  interferons production. Interferon is a protein that prevents viruse replication and activates immune cells.

CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties have worked wonders for asthma patients by reducing the production of pro-inflammatory cytokine production. CBD also reduces pulmonary fibrosis. This condition causes scarring, thickening and damage to the lung tissue, along with making breathing considerably more painful. COVID-19 actually leaves patients with pulmonary fibrosis. This is the major reason why Cannabis can greatly help COVID-19 patients.

Recent Researches revealed how Cannabis plant can help in saving lives of COVID-19 patients. The active components found in Cannabis

Image Credits: healtheuropa.eu

An insight into how COVID-19 works

Much like other respiratory pathogens, COVID-19 is also spread through respiratory droplets. However, it also has potential for contact and aerosol spread.

Coronavirus makes it way into the human body through receptor-mediation. This is done through angiotensin-converting enzyme II (ACE2). ACE2 is present in lung tissue, oral and nasal mucosa, gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, and testes.

This information opens door to a new way of hindering the spread of coronavirus. Modulation of ACE2 could prove fruitful in this regard.

Cannabis’ prospects

A special strain of cannabis can render this function. Through ACE2 modulation it could block the virus’ entry into the human body. Nipping the evil in the bud.

Basically, ACE2 acts like doorways to the virus. The main idea is to temporarily alter the extent of ACE2 gene expression. Therefore, it could very well make the human body a no entry zone for the virus. The same strain could also be used to stop the virus’ propagation if it has made its way into a person’s body.

This is where Cannabis sativa comes into play. Plants with high CBD content have been proposed as a way to modulate the ACE2 gene expression in target tissues.

At this point in time, it is more of a theory than a confirmed fact. However, it sure opens a new avenue with promising prospects. If it proves successful, the next step would be to start manufacture that particular strain into a medication.

It sure looks like CBD properties of cannabis can prove fruitful in the treatment and prevention of coronavirus. However, further research will prove whether it is the case or not.

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