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Rising Trend of Cannabis Consumption Among IBD Patients

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IBD

A cross-sectional study at Digestive Disease Week states that about 66% of patients who complain having inflammatory bowel disease tell that they have been using cannabis actively. 45 percent say that they use the substance for managing their symptoms of the disease.

Scientists have experimented on animals and have come to the conclusion that CBD has antioxidant properties. Some researchers have also run a few tests on humans. The antioxidative properties of cannabis make it extremely beneficial for alleviating symptoms of the disease. The objective markers of inflamed regions in the body also showed improvement.

However, there is a need to do more research on the efficiency of cannabis in quantitative measures. The use of cannabis for medical and recreational purposes has elevated. According to the World Health Organization statistical data, about 147 million people use cannabis worldwide.

Comparison with the previous study

In 2006, scientists researched to examine cannabis consumption with people having inflammatory bowel disease. The main goal of the recent research was evaluating whether the data has changed in comparison to the data from previous study or not. In addition to this, scientists evaluated the use of the substance in the patients having the bowel disease and its connection with the individual having it and the factors influencing the disease.

Scientists conducted the cross-sectional study at a mono tertiary health care facility in Toronto. The patients eligible for the evaluation were outpatients and above the age of 16. In addition to that, these patients had the inflammatory bowel disease confirmed through radiograph or a biopsy. The diagnosis time had to be at least one month prior to the selection of the patient for the survey.

The scientists collected data regarding the demographics of the patients. In addition, they also gathered their medical history and noted their cannabis usage in their social history. In the survey, the following things were observed:

  • Harvey Bradshaw Index and Ulcerative Colitis Score
  • Mental health problems (9-Item Patient Health Questionnaire and 7-Item General Anxiety Disorder Questionnaire)
  • The overall quality of life (Short Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire)

They reported that around 56 percent of men had CD while 52 percent of them had ulcerative colitis. 71 percent of individuals with CD received a biologic. On the other hand, 52 percent of people with ulcerative colitis had been getting a biologic. Among them, more than a half patients said that they were chronic users of cannabis. On the contrary, about 30 percent of patients had been consuming cannabis actively. It meant that they were using the substance within the last month.

The usage has increased but there is still a need to do more research

On comparison of the results with the previous study, scientists noted that there is an increase in the number of patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis consuming cannabis actively.

However, there is a need to do further research to evaluate the effect of cannabis on patients with inflammatory bowel disease. There is a need to study the way of usage and the formulation of the substance as well to vividly extract beneficial information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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British PM Boris Johnson in ICU as COVID-19 Symptoms Worsen

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On Monday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was moved to an intensive care unit (ICU) after the worsening of his COVID-19 symptoms. However, he was claimed to still be conscious according to his Downing Street.

During a time of national emergency, the seriousness of the British Prime Minister’s condition has raised questions regarding the leadership of the country. Should the British Prime Minister become incapacitated, Britain has no formal succession plan. However, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab was asked by Johnson, aged 55, to deputize for him.

On March 26, 2020, Johnson, aged 55, was tested positive for the COVID-19. Downing Street reported in a press briefing on April 6 that on Sunday night, the British Prime Minister was admitted to the hospital and had been undergoing tests after the suffering of persistent COVID-19 symptoms, which included a high temperature, for the duration of more than 10 days.

While British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson was in good spirits and still in charge according to Downing Street, he was moved from the House of Parliament in central London to an intensive care unit – where the treatment of the most serious cases takes place – at about 1800 GMT at St Thomas’ hospital, across the River Thames.

According to a spokesman for his office, the condition of the Prime Minister had deteriorated over the course of the afternoon, and he had been moved to the Intensive Care Unit at the hospital on the strict advice of his medical team.

Furthermore, according to Downing Street, the Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab – who is also the First Secretary of State, was asked by the PM, to deputize for him wherever necessary. Downing Street added that the PM remained conscious at that time. However, if the sitting Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, is incapacitated for a lengthy time period, there is no recent precedent. Furthermore, the PM shifting to the intensive care unit is a precautionary measure in case he requires ventilation to aid his recovery, according to Downing Street.

Downing Street was reported stressing over the fact that Raab, with the support of government officials, was running the country from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. According to a spokesperson, meetings – if any were needed, at the National Security Council would be chaired by Raab while he is deputizing for the Prime Minister, and the UK’s Cabinet holds authority regarding responses on military action in the PM’s absence. The spokesperson further added that while Raab and other ministerial groupings will chair the daily meetings about the decisions regarding COVID-19, Raab holds no authority regarding the hiring and firing of ministers or officials.

Caution was urged by his spokesman earlier, regarding media reports that said that Johnson was the recipient of oxygen treatment, and invasive or non-invasive ventilation was not required. However, when he was asked about whether the PM had pneumonia – which is common in more severe cases of COVID-19, the spokesman had refused to answer directly.

According to The Times newspaper and ITV correspondent Robert Peston, Johnson was indeed the recipient of oxygen. According to the New York Times, Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove had reported that Johnson is the recipient of “standard oxygen treatment” and is able to breathe without assistance, and is hence, not on a ventilator.

On Monday, the government’s emergency COVID-19 meeting was chaired by Raab, aged 46.

While Johnson seems to be the most high-profile leader to contract the virus, his pregnant partner, Carrie Symonds has claimed to be sick with symptoms for the duration of a week but is now in recovery.

At least 55,242 cases of COVID-9 have been confirmed in the U.K, AS OF April 7, with an estimation of 6,159 related deaths.

 

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A Bronx Zoo Tiger Tests Positive for Coronavirus

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The four-year-old Malayan female tiger is believed to be the first known case of an infected COVID-19 animal, in the US.

The tiger, named Nadia, was housed at the Bronx Zoo, in New York City. The Zoo has claimed that the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Iowa had confirmed the test results. It is believed that an infected asymptomatic zookeeper has infected Nadia and six other big cats. Symptoms such as dry cough were shown by the cats late last month after being exposed to the unidentified employee.

While isolated instances of pets testing positive for the COVID-19 have existed elsewhere in the world, experts are stressing over the fact that there is no evidence regarding the sickness or spread of the disease.

Mr. Calle has intended to share the findings, with other zoos and institutions that are currently working on the research regarding the transmission of COVID-19. According to Mr. Calle, Nadia was tested out of an abundance of caution, and knowledge gained about the COVID-19 will be ensured to be contributed to the world’s increasing understanding of the COVID-19.

According to the Zoo, a full recovery is expected by the three African lions, two Amur tigers, Nadia, and her sister Azul, who also showed symptoms.

There was a decrease in appetite in the big cats, but they were bright, alert, and interactive otherwise, under veterinary care

The zoo has claimed to monitor all animals closely while explaining that the development of the virus in animals such as tigers and lions is not known, as several species can potentially react differently to new infections.

While no symptoms have been shown by the zoo’s other big cats, it is also reported that all tigers that are showing symptoms, were initially housed in the zoo’s Tiger Mountain area.

The Wildlife Conservation Society in New York City runs all four zoos, including Bronx Zoo that has been closed since March 16, to the public. The protection of animals and caretakers at all the facilities has called for new measures.

It is believed that the coronavirus ( called Sars-CoV-2, which causes the disease COVID-19) originated in wild-life, and was eventually passed to humans through a live animal market in Wuhan.

While researchers know about how the pandemic is spread by human-to-human transmission, the infection of Nadia has caused researchers to question human-to-animal transmission.

Less than a handful of isolated reports of companion animals, that were tested positive for the COVID-19, have been found, with the inclusion of two dogs in Hong Kong.

According to the Zoo, no evidence of infected cases of COVID-19 has been found in the US by animals, with the inclusion of pets dogs and cats.

Furthermore, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Organization for Animal Health have reported that no evidence exists regarding the infection of coronavirus in pet dogs or cats. Additionally, the World Organization for Animal Health has reported that further studies are being conducted for a better understanding of the issue, and urges limitation of contact of an infected person, with pets.

Among the experts that have responded to the report, is Dr. Sarah Caddy, Veterinarian and Clinical Researcher at the University of Cambridge. According to Dr. Sarah Caddy, the infection of the tiger with a seemingly fairly low dose of the virus, seems surprising, with the assumptions of no continual close contact between the tiger and the asymptomatic zookeeper.

The virus has been warned to pose a threat to some wildlife such as the great apes, according to conservation experts. The experts further explained the need for an attempt to take measures to ensure the reduction of the risk of wild gorillas, chimps, and orangutans.

 

 

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FDA Approves Trials to Test the Effectiveness of Anti-Malarial Drugs Against COVID-19

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As touted by President Donald Trump, on Sunday, an emergency authorization was issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in Washington. It was regarding the use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine – both anti-malaria drugs, for experimental coronavirus treatments, despite the inconclusive clinical proof of their efficacy.

However, on Sunday, the Department of Health and Human Services had announced that distribution of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine products can be done by doctors, and they may prescribe these drugs to hospitalized teen and adult patients that are infected with COVID-19, as appropriate, in the situation where the availability or feasibility of a clinical trial are not seen.

According to HHS, 30 million doses of hydroxychloroquine has already been given by Germany’s Sandoz, to the Strategic National Stockpile – the inventory of medical supplies for public health emergencies, of the Federal Government. Meanwhile, Bayer has reported having donated a million doses of chloroquine, according to the international media.

HSS further added that the issuance of the emergency authorization was due to the potential benefits of the product that seemed to outweigh the risks. HHS further acknowledged that some benefit in the treatment of hospitalized COVID-19 patients may be offered by these drugs, as suggested by the anecdotal reports. However, HSS cautioned the need for clinical trials, so that the effectiveness of these treatments can be backed up with scientific evidence.

Amidst the ambiguity, some Americans have attempted to seek over-the-counter replacements. An example was the man from Arizona who had bought a nonpharmaceutical form of chloroquine phosphate – a common chemical used for the cleanliness of fish tanks, which ultimately killed him, landing his now-widow in intensive care.

Consumption of non-pharmaceutical chloroquine phosphate without a prescription and supervision of a certified health care provider is warned by the CDC due to the dangers of it causing serious health consequences, including death.

While President Donald Trump continues his support and praise for anti-malarial drugs in daily press briefings, Fox news has released separate segments specifically devoted to the drugs’ potential benefits. Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as coronavirus cures have been further promoted by others, including the President’s personal lawyer Rudy Guiliana, and Turning Points USA founder Charlie Kirk.

Furthermore, a tweet by Giuliani was removed by Twitter, since Giuliani had falsely claimed hydroxychloroquine to have a 100% effective treatment rate for COVID-19, despite no scientific proof.

However, scientists hope the decade-old drugs – chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, may show effectiveness as a treatment for COVID-19, despite early studies providing mixed evidence regarding their effectiveness, due to the potential associated risks such as vision problems or cardiac arrest.

Prescription limiting rules have been issued by some state pharmacy boards including Texas, Louisiana, Ohio, and North Carolina.

A nationwide trial is underway to test the effectiveness of the drug hydroxychloroquine as a vaccine for COVID-19, while a second trial will test the effectiveness of the drug in the treatment of COVID-19.

David Boulware, an infectious disease scientist at the University of Minnesota, is currently running trials. According to Boulware, the rationale for trying it as a vaccine for COVID-19 is based on laboratory studies that would have shown the capability of the drug of keeping COVID-19 from entering cells. Boulware and his team are currently looking for people that have recently been in contact with a COVID-19 infected case, such as health workers or people living with an infected person, and are recruiting online.

To avoid the placebo effect, the trial will be double-blind. Furthermore, Boulware says the trial is approved by the FDA.

An initial look at the results will be taken next week by a committee of independent experts known as the data safety and monitoring board.

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