Scientists warn of a potential wave of COVID-linked brain damage

Scientists warn of a potential wave of COVID-linked brain damage

LONDON (Reuters) – Scientists warned on Wednesday of a potential wave of coronavirus-related brain damage as new evidence suggested COVID-19 can lead to severe neurological complications, including inflammation, psychosis and delirium.

A study by researchers at University College London (UCL)described 43 cases of patients with COVID-19 who suffered either temporary brain dysfunction, strokes, nerve damage or other serious brain effects.

The research adds to recent studies which also found the disease can damage the brain.

“Whether we will see an epidemic on a large scale of brain damage linked to the pandemic – perhaps similar to the encephalitis lethargica outbreak in the 1920s and 1930s after the 1918 influenza pandemic – remains to be seen,” said Michael Zandi, from UCL’s Institute of Neurology, who co-led the study.

COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, is largely a respiratory illness that affects the lungs, but neuroscientists and specialist brain doctors say emerging evidence of its impact on the brain is concerning.

My worry is that we have millions of people with COVID-19 now. And if in a year we have 10 million recovered people, and those people have cognitive deficits … then that’s going to affect their ability to work and their ability to go about activities of daily living,” Adrian Owen, a neuroscientist at Western University in Canada, told Reuters in an interview.

In the UCL study, published in the journal Brain, nine patients who had brain inflammation were diagnosed with a rare condition called acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) which is more usually seen in children and can be triggered by viral infections.

The team said it would normally see about one adult patient with ADEM per month at their specialist London clinic, but this had risen to at least once a week during the study period, something they described as “a concerning increase”.

“Given that the disease has only been around for a matter of months, we might not yet know what long-term damage COVID-19 can cause,” said Ross Paterson, who co-led the study. “Doctors need to be aware of possible neurological effects, as early diagnosis can improve patient outcomes.”

Owen said the emerging evidence underlined the need for large, detailed studies and global data collection to assess how common such neurological and psychiatric complications were.

He is running an international research project at covidbrainstudy.com where patients can sign up to complete a series of cognitive tests to see whether their brain functions have altered since getting COVID-19.

“This disease is affecting an enormous number of people,” Owen said. “That’s why it’s so important to collect this information now.”

How ‘Joan Kubai’ has Stupidly Exposed Her Corrupt and Dirty Parents to Detectives-VIDEO

How ‘Joan Kubai’ has Stupidly Exposed Her Corrupt and Dirty Parents to Detectives-VIDEO

As you struggle to raise the rent for your bedsitter, a family in Runda has dedicated a whole bedroom to folding clothes.

This is what has surprised most Kenyans as one Joan Kubai shared a video of her luxurious home on Snapchat.

The teen took her virtual friends to a tour of her humongous home in Runda which has five bedrooms, four living rooms and a library in the artic.

Outside the home, you are greeted to a lush green garden and swimming pool. There is also a garage for the family’s numerous vehicles.

Where does one get the money for all these? It seems that Joan’s parents just like most rich Kenyans got their wealth through backdoor means.

The famous Twitter Detectives have dug deep and revealed some details about the Kubai family that Joan would wish they remained buried. Joan Kubai is the daughter of city tycoons Peter Macharia Kubai and Isabella Wairimu Kubai.

Here is the video;

 

Peter Macharia Kubai and Isabella Wairimu Kubai are joint directors of Benisa Limited, a firm which at the centre of two separate investigations by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) into Murang’ a Governor Mwangi wa Iria’s alleged violation of the public procurement law and ghost projects in the county.

Benisa had been hired by the now-bankrupt Italian firm CMC Di Ravenna on May 15, 2015, as a subcontractor to do several works on the Itare dam project for Sh360 million.

At the time, the Italian firm accused Benisa of deploying inadequate staff and resources on-site and terminated the contract on June 22, 2018.

The company is believed to be part of a network of companies Mr Peter Macharia Kubai and his family have been accused of using to secure double payment for the same work, and in most instances, no work is done.

On this basis, Benisa Limited was, for instance, paid twice to construct a single water pan at Kangutu in Kakuzi Mitubiri ward.

According to documents, the first tender that was paid through LPO number 2835/2014 was worth Sh3.97 million while the second that was paid through LPO number 2724-2775/2 was worth Sh3.99 million.

Mr Peter Macharia Kubai is also being investigated for allegedly giving juicy kickbacks to Governor Mwangi Wa Iria to secure lucrative road repair tenders.

While digging up through the file, sleuths from EACC also stumbled onto Benisa Limited while investigating the stalled Marsabit Stadium, where the firm was paid over Sh88 million with only 20 per cent of the work done.

On July 30, 2019, Benisa Limited obtained a default judgment in a suit it filed against CMC Di Ravenna to recover Sh31.5 million for rock blasting works it did in the Itare dam project, which has also collapsed and is at the centre of a Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) probe.

Documents at the Companies’ Registry show that Benisa Limited is owned by Peter Macharia Kubai (50%), Isabella Wairimu Kubai (25%) and Jadiel Macharia Kubai the remaining percentage.

All the three are said to be business associates of Murang’ a county Governor Mwangi Wa Iria.

 

Nightmare As Kenyan Parents Struggle To Control Online Content For Their Children

Nightmare As Kenyan Parents Struggle To Control Online Content For Their Children

The government has decried increasing cases of children accessing inappropriate content following the closure of schools over the COVID-19 pandemic. ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru noted that there has been significant increase in the use of technology over the past three months as most of the learning is taking place online.

As people continue using technology, families are straining to understand how to manage and control how their kids are using either mobile devices or laptops. The government has directed that the Communications Authority works extremely closely with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to ensure that children are protected online and parents learn how to filter websites from harmful content.

According to CS Mucheru, within the next 7 days, the Communication Authority and ISPs will be expected to give a very clear roadmap on how to train internet users to ensure that the Kenyan ‘cyberspace is safe’.

Parents should know that there are methods of controlling what is viewable for the young people. The media has played a big role for the content they have been releasing. It’s been good to see that for the educational content a lot of that is being provided by broadcast media both TV and radio and that is really helping families keep children occupied.

According to the United Nations, children are accessing the internet at a younger age, spending longer times online and are at greater risk of cyber bullying as the COVID-19 pandemic keeps them at home. It is estimated that 1.5 billion children are out of school due to lockdown measures to stop the spread of the new Coronavirus, forcing them to go online for their schooling but also their social lives and hobbies.

Many children are coming online earlier than their parents had intended, at much earlier ages, and without the necessary skills to protect themselves whether it is from online harassment or cyber bullying. The other thing is the length of time children are spending online whether simply for schooling, entertainment, gaming or socializing after their learning is completed.

Experts say there are two important things parents can do to protect their children from the dangers of online: Pay attention to their internet habits, and teach them how to surf the web carefully. As parents, we have to constantly be vigilant.

If you notice any warning signs, where they are spending more time online or on their phone, especially at night, there are calls coming in that seem to be out of the ordinary, go look at the history, see what’s going on.

Parents should keep their child’s computer or tablet in a common area when they do their online work and for older students, keep a close eye on any unusual charges. With many students now doing remote learning from home, it’s also important for educators to help protect children from online abuse.

Teachers should keep the scope of assignments narrow and make sure the websites they are instructing students to visit are trusted. We encourage parents of the young ones to have full access to the student’s online credentials. Children should never share any images of themselves or a classmate with anybody online.

Let them know that you can see where they go on the Internet, and whom they’re contacting on social media. Explain that this is the cost of their using tech. They will complain, but they will trust you, and in the long run, they will develop self-control.

Nightmare As Kenyan Parents Struggle To Control Online Content For Their Children

Nightmare As Kenyan Parents Struggle To Control Online Content For Their Children

The government has decried increasing cases of children accessing inappropriate content following the closure of schools over the COVID-19 pandemic. ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru noted that there has been a significant increase in the use of technology over the past three months as most of the learning is taking place online.

As people continue using technology, families are straining to understand how to manage and control how their kids are using either mobile devices or laptops. The government has directed that the Communications Authority work extremely closely with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to ensure that children are protected online and parents learn how to filter websites from harmful content.

According to CS Mucheru, within the next 7 days, the Communication Authority and ISPs will be expected to give a very clear roadmap on how to train internet users to ensure that the Kenyan ‘cyberspace is safe’.

Parents should know that there are methods of controlling what is viewable for the young people. The media has played a big role for the content they have been releasing. It’s been good to see that for the educational content, a lot of that is being provided by broadcast media, both TV and radio, and that is really helping families keep children occupied.

According to the United Nations, children are accessing the internet at a younger age, spending longer time online and are at greater risk of cyber bullying as the COVID-19 pandemic keeps them at home. It is estimated that 1.5 billion children are out of school due to lockdown measures to stop the spread of the new Coronavirus, forcing them to go online for their schooling but also their social lives and hobbies.

Many children are coming online earlier than their parents had intended, at much earlier ages and without the necessary skills to protect themselves whether it is from online harassment or cyber bullying. The other thing is the length of time children are spending online whether simply for schooling or for entertainment, gaming or socializing after their learning is completed.

Experts say there are two important things parents can do to protect their children from the dangers online: Pay attention to their internet habits, and teach them how to surf the web carefully. As parents, we have to constantly be vigilant.

If you notice any warning signs, where they are spending more time online or on their phone, especially at night, there are calls coming in that seem to be out of the ordinary, go look at the history, see what’s going on.

Parents should keep their child’s computer or tablet in a common area when they do their online work and for older students, keep a close eye on any unusual charges. With many students now doing remote learning from home, it’s also important for educators to help protect children from online abuse.

Teachers should keep the scope of assignments narrow and make sure the websites they are instructing students to visit are trusted. We encourage parents of the young ones to have full access to the student’s online credentials. Children should never share any images of themselves or a classmate with anybody online.

Let them know that you can see where they go on the Internet, and whom they’re contacting on social media. Explain that this is the cost of their using tech. They will complain, but they will trust you, and in the long run, they will develop self-control.

During The Covid-19 Epidemic, Let Us Stay Apart So That We Can Be Together Tomorrow

During The Covid-19 Epidemic, Let Us Stay Apart So That We Can Be Together Tomorrow

Coronavirus is all about how interconnected we all are, how a virus crosses borders without regard to nationality, ethnicity, class, race and gender. And yet, to mitigate the rising number of those infected, we are told to isolate ourselves, to create social distance. So how do we create community, kindness, generosity and love in a time of Coronavirus?

This isn’t the first time that we learned we are interconnected and have to deal with a crisis in very personal ways. When DusitD2 hotel was sieged in 2019, Kenyans confronted the fact that our borders did not protect us from terrorist attacks. Having often fought wars “over there,” we understood in a new way that we had a fight here.

During that time, we had to pull ourselves up, take a deep breath and imagine the time when we would return to a new normal. We all hung flags, held community meetings and mourned for those lost and in pain. It was a time to coalesce and came together to do what was necessary, albeit with outcomes that created hardship for many. Nonetheless, we persisted and moved forward.

The new Coronavirus is different. It is both democratic and random, except by age and underlying medical conditions. Indeed, many Kenyans now expect that they will be staying in their homes for some time, only to be connected to the outside world by the internet and by their television. And most of us have already been keeping distance, even those we know and love.

What do we do in a time of Coronavirus to create community as we isolate ourselves? What do we do when the messages coming from the President and health experts say one thing, keep safe? The best way to get through this crisis is to confront it; to prepare, plan and proceed even when it is hard; to realize action is urgent but no need to panic.

During times like these, we must treat one another graciously. We need to be easy with each other, generous to each other and kind. Stay connected by the internet or by the telephone. Put apps on your phone, computer or device that allows you to facetime, skype and zoom. If you have none of these devices, use a telephone to stay in touch, to reach out even more to those you love.

And you can use the greeting that women do in cultures where we can’t shake hands with men. Put your hand across your chest and nod, not too close but with respect and recognition. Use caution and prudence and cancel a meeting rather than worry about whether it’s the right thing to do. Don’t go on that trip or excursion right now; wait until you can do so without concern and anxiety. Imagine life some time from now when this awful time will be behind us and act day by day in ways that will bring that time closer.

In terms of our leadership, listen to both national and local authorities. Governors are taking the reins in their Counties, delivering the tough love needed to move through this crisis as quickly and as safely as possible. Turn on local news, not just national news, and stay up to date with your own community.

None of this is easy. The social distancing is hard in a time when we need each other so badly. But we can still find love in a time of Coronavirus. We just have to invent, innovate and do what we have always done in a time of crisis, sticking together even when we must be apart.

Amid COVID-19 Restrictions, Make Use Of Your Time, Don’t Waste It Doing Nothing

Amid COVID-19 Restrictions, Make Use Of Your Time, Don’t Waste It Doing Nothing

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it an unprecedented top up of free time due to the many disruptions it came with including, but not limited to, movement restrictions and curfew.

For many Kenyan citizens, the overflow of time has hardly resulted in increased output as the use of the surplus remains a puzzle to most. ‘Lockdown’ fatigue has already hit a large section of Kenyans with many resulting to illegal dealings to kill boredom during this period.

Authorities have thus far reported the arrest of hundreds drinking out of prohibited entertainment joints contrary to government directives. Meanwhile, many more spend their excess time scratching their heads over what is or what should have been. The eat-sleep-repeat routine has been one of the favorite go-to options.

However, experts reckon this is not the time to let the extra time waste away, time is money and must always count, especially during this period that we have lots of it. As others worry of the current situation, someone else is looking to adapt the conditions to their advantage.

You can never lack an opportunity; to grow and contribute, develop a skill, an emotion or feeling so that you can become a better person. The opportunity presents itself to build connections and learn new things. What you do with this time will determine your success.

Additionally, one must not trouble themselves with what they cannot control as he or she draws parallels from the serenity prayer synonymous with Alcohol Anonymous (AA) groups. You seek to do your best but cannot control whatever is outside yourself. You cannot stress yourself up over tomorrow. The only control you have is today and is based on your strengths.

Experts reckon that this is the time to redeem one’s financial position. Drawing reference to three pointers; revelation, conviction and action, now is the time to prioritize on goals previously shelved. Let’s say you have always thought of starting up a business or pursuing a talent but lacked the time. This is now the time to try it out. To be successful in life one must try out a number of things to find success.

Moreover, financial experts argues that the window to reorganize personal budgets and shore up savings is now open as secondary expenditures such as eating out and partying stand frozen. The time is now to save more and spend less.