Kids With Cancer Are Not at Greater Risk for COVID
Kids With Cancer Are Not at Greater Risk for COVID-10 - Cancer Health Treatment News
Children with cancer were not more likely to catch the new coronavirus or to develop severe illness.
Children and teens with cancer are not at a higher risk of being affected by COVID-19 than kids without cancer, according to a recent study published in JAMA Oncology. Although recent studies have found that adults with cancer and COVID-19 have a higher rate of death, this does not appear to hold for pediatric cancer patients, who are neither more like to acquire the new coronavirus (officially known as SARS-CoV-2) nor to develop severe illness if they catch it. We are encouraged by these latest findings that kids with cancer are not more endangered by COVID-19 and their symptoms are mild like in healthy children, senior study author Andrew Kung, MD, PhD, chair of MSK Kids at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City said in a press release. These findings allow us to continue lifesaving cancer-directed therapy with standard precautions and safeguards but without heightened concern about adverse effects from COVID-19 infection. Kung and his colleagues screened children and adolescents receiving inpatient or outpatient care for COVID-19 symptoms or exposure to people known to have the coronavirus. MSK Kids is one of the largest pediatric cancer programs in the United States. The researchers performed PCR tests for the coronavirus on three groups: 1) children and teenagers who had symptoms or were exposed to the virus; 2) asymptomatic pediatric patients who were scheduled to be admitted to the hospital, undergo sedation for a medical procedure or receive immune-suppressing chemotherapy; and 3) caregivers who accompanied these children. Between March 10 and April 12, 2020, they tested 178 children and teens (107 boys and 71 girls) out of the 505 pediatric patients seen at the center. The average age of those tested was 11 years. Overall, 20 pediatric patients (11.2%) had positive PCR test results. This subgroup had an average age of about 16 years and all but three were boys—a significant sex skewing, according to the study authors. Looking just at the 58 children and teens who showed symptoms or had been exposed, 17 (29.3%) tested positive. By comparison, among the 120 remaining children without symptoms or known exposure, only three (2.5%) tested positive. Most of the pediatric patients who tested positive had mild illness (95%). Only one required hospitalization for COVID-19 symptoms but was not in critical condition. Three other patients without notable COVID-19 symptoms were admitted for fever and neutropenia (low white blood cell count), cancer-related problems or for planned chemotherapy. All the rest had mild symptoms and were managed at home. Among the 74 adult caregivers tested, 13 (17.6%) tested positive for the coronavirus. Three of the six caregivers (50.0%) with symptoms or known exposure tested positive, compared with 10 of the 68 asymptomatic and unexposed caregivers (14.7%). In five cases, a pediatric patient and caregiver tested positive at the same time, but five other children tested negative despite close exposure to a positive caregiver. Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that the overall morbidity of COVID-19 in pediatric patients with cancer is low with only 5% requiring hospitalization for symptoms, and that the rate of SARS-CoV-2 infection among asymptomatic children with cancer is very low. Given the observed sex disparity in positive tests, they noted, there is a male bias in SARS-CoV-2 infections in children, suggesting a biological basis in skewed infectivity. Among adults, several studies have shown that men are both somewhat more likely to acquire the virus and considerably more likely to develop severe illness or die, although the reasons are not yet known. This report suggests that pediatric patients with cancer may not be more vulnerable than other children to infection or morbidity resulting from SARS-CoV-2, the researchers wrote. However, they cautioned, unrecognized coronavirus infection among asymptomatic caregivers is a major infection control consideration. Click here to read the JAMA Oncology report.Learn about “What People With Cancer Need to Know About the New Coronavirus.”
Other News South Africa
Covid-19 projections show 12 to 13 million infections by November - News24
Projections by a consortium of experts advising the government have been clarified to show that 12 million to 13 million Covid-19 cases could have cumulatively occurred in the country by November, of which only roughly 3.7 million will be detected.
Projections by a consortium of experts advising the government have been clarified to show that 12 million to 13 million Covid-19 infections could have cumulatively occurred in the country by November, of which only roughly 3.7 million will be detected. LIVE | All the latest coronavirus and lockdown updates News24 reported on Wednesday that the South African Covid-19 Modelling Consortium projected a figure of between 1 and 1.2 million infections and that the model was not a crystal ball prediction, but subject to change as more data became available. During a further media briefing by the consortium and other modelling groups on Thursday, in conjunction with Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, it has now been clarified that the one million infections are the expected number of active cases at the peak of the country's infection curve at that specific moment in time. Peak infection is expected to occur between early-July (pessimistic, 1.2 million cases) and mid-August (optimistic, 1 million cases), according to the consortium's model. The total number of detected cases would be around 3.7 million to 3.9 million cases by November, a report by the consortium published on the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD's) website shows. Graphic shows the number of active symptomatic cases of Covid-19 at the time of peak infection, which is expected between early July and mid-August. Graphic - Rudi Louw But the detection rate was dependent on the availability of testing. Available ICU bed capacity was again highlighted as a concern. According to estimates, South Africa has around 3 300 ICU beds, which would quickly be overwhelmed. News24 reported on Thursday that 25 ICU beds at Tygerberg hospital in Cape Town, the city's largest hospital, were already filled with Covid-19 patients. As of Wednesday, the Western Cape had 6 157 active cases and 211 reported deaths – representing well over half of confirmed cases nationally. The number of deaths expected remains around 40 000, cumulatively. Of the projected 12 million to 13 million cases, 475 000 to 680 000 would require hospitalisation over time, Professor Juliet Pulliam, the director of the South African Centre for Epidemiological Modelling and Analysis, who is part of the consortium, said on Thursday. The clarification means:
- Between June and November, 40 000 to 45 000 people could die from Covid-19, with nearly 500 deaths by the end of May.
- The total number of cases between June and November is expected to be between 12 million and 13 million, with around 50 000 cases expected by the end of May.
- Projected need for ICU beds is between 20 000 and 35 000 between June and November, and 500 by the end of May.
- General hospital beds required are expected to be between 75 000 and 90 000 between June and November, with just more than 2 000 beds required by the end of May.
- Provinces are expected to peak at different times, with varying levels of infection and deaths, but the national peak infection rate is expected around early-July to mid-August
Court orders Zuma to apologise to Hanekom - eNCA
The Supreme Court Appeal has dismissed former president Jacob Zuma's bid to appeal a ruling that he had defamed former tourism minister Derek Hanekom.
JOHANNESBURG - The Supreme Court Appeal has dismissed former president Jacob Zuma's bid to appeal a ruling that he had defamed former tourism minister Derek Hanekom. The court has now ordered the former president to apologise. Zuma accused Hanekom of being an enemy agent. Judge Dhaya Pillay dismissed the application for leave to appeal with costs on the grounds that there is no reasonable prospect of success in an appeal and there is no other compelling reason why an appeal should be heard. WATCH: Court dismisses Zuma's application for leave to appeal The Pietermaritzburg High Court previously found Zuma's tweet about Hanekom was false and defamatory. It ordered Zuma to delete the post in which he'd claimed that Hanekom was an enemy agent.