Researchers have now shown that immunotherapy doesn't necessarily worsen complications for patients with both Covid-19 and cancer. | WeForNews | Latest News, Blogs Immunotherapy safe for patients with Covid-19, cancer: Study – WeForNews | Latest News, Blogs
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Immunotherapy safe for patients with Covid-19, cancer: Study

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Researchers have now shown that immunotherapy doesn’t necessarily worsen complications for patients with both Covid-19 and cancer.

“Many Covid-19 complications result from an overactive immune response, leading to an increased production of proteins called cytokines,” said study researcher Layne Weatherford from the University of Cincinnati (UC) in the US.

“Increased production of these proteins can cause issues like a respiratory failure. Patients with cancer are more susceptible to Covid-19 infection as well as severe complications from it,” Weatherford added.

According to the researchers, many patients with cancer are treated with immunotherapy, which activates the immune system against cancer to destroy it. In patients with both Covid-19 and cancer, the research team thought that immunotherapy might increase the immune system response, which could already be overactive because of the Covid-19 infection.

They thought treating Covid-19 patients with cancer immunotherapy might result in worsening patients’ health and overall outcomes. “We are continuing to investigate whether immunotherapy causes an increased production of these proteins by immune cells from Covid-19 patients, but our initial findings are showing that immunotherapy is not significantly impacting it,” said study researcher Wise-Draper.

Researchers have conducted this study using blood samples from patients with cancer taken from the UC Covid-19 biorepository. “We examined how immune checkpoint inhibitors, drugs that allow immune cells to respond more strongly, in combination with other treatments, like chemotherapy or radiation, affect the immune cells of Covid-19 patients and patients with both Covid-19 and cancer,” she said.

The preliminary data show that an anti-diabetic drug, metformin, can reduce the production of these proteins by immune cells of Covid-19 patients.

“These are promising, initial findings. Additional research is needed, but our results show that we might be able to treat Covid-19 complications with metformin or a similar drug one day,” the study authors noted

Entertainment

Bollywood wishes Shabana Azmi on her 70th birthday

Azmi took to Twitter to respond to each and every birthday wish.

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Shabana Azmi

Mumbai, Sep 18 : Wishes and greetings poured in from B-Towners for veteran actress Shabana Azmi on her 70th birthday. Bollywood celebrities took to their verified social media accounts on Friday to share good wishes for the multiple National Award-winning actress.

Hrithik Roshan tweeted: “Happiest Birthday @AzmiShabana aunty! You’re one of the most loving and caring person I have had the pleasure of knowing. Your objectivity and outlook is a source of inspiration. Lots of love & respect.”

Anil Kapoor wrote: “Happy 70th Birthday, @AzmiShabana! Thank you for always being my friend, guiding light and inspiration! Wishing you all the health & happiness always! Lots of love.”

Shilpa Shetty shared on Instagram Story: “Wish you a very happy birthday ‘padosan’ @azmishabana18 ji. May you continue to shine brighter and have happiness in abundance.”

Riteish Deshmukh wrote: “Dearest @AzmiShabana ji, your work on screen & off screen equally inspires us. May god bless you with good health and long life #HappyBirthdayShabanaAzmi.”

Dia Mirza posted: “Happy birthday @AzmiShabana!You know you inspire me everyday. So much love and respect for you. Thank you for being YOU.”

Manisha Koirala tweeted: “@AzmiShabana happy birthday Ma’am.”

Rahul Bose wrote: “Happy birthday, E. Thank you for the inspiration, kindness and laughter. @AzmiShabana.”

Vivek Oberoi posted: “Happy Birthday to one of the finest actors of Indian cinema, @AzmiShabana ! Your performances have inspired generations of actors and continue to do so! May god give you a long and healthy life! Much love always!”

Shefali Shah tweeted: “Happy birthday Shabanaji. May you always be filled with love, laughter and poetry. Lots and lots of love @AzmiShabana #ShabanaAzmi.”

Director Sanjay Gupta expressed: “Many Happy Returns Of The Day Shabanaji.

Have a fantastic day and a great year ahead.

Keep inspiring and guiding us.

@AzmiShabana.”

Swara Bhasker wrote: “Many many happy returns of the day to this inspiring legend! @AzmiShabana ma’am we walk the path you created.. so much love! Have a great day! Wishing u health, happiness and May we get to see many more delicious performances from uuuuu.”

Meera Chopra shared: “Happy birthday @AzmiShabana, a woman i totally admire for everything she is. Her grace, beauty, demeanour.. just everything!!”

Azmi took to Twitter to respond to each and every birthday wish.

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SEX AND CORONAVIRUS COVID-19

Having sex with yourself, masturbation, has no COVID-19 risk and is one of the best ways to keep enjoying sex during this pandemic.

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SEX AND Coronavirus
SEX AND Coronavirus (Picture Credit WSJ)

FAST FACTS:

  • COVID-19 is passed on through droplets that come out of your mouth and nose when you cough or breathe out.
  • COVID-19 is not a sexually transmitted infection, however, it can be passed on through kissing and close contact, including having sex.
  • If you or a partner have COVID-19 symptoms, you should not kiss or have sex.
  • There are lots of ways to have sexual pleasure without physical contact– try having fun with lone masturbation, sex toys, and phone or webcam sex.
  • If you don’t have symptoms, having sex with a partner you live with is OK.  
  • If you decide to have sex with someone who doesn’t live with you, then you should take precautions to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.
  • Sexual health services – including for family planning, contraception and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) – may be disrupted by the impact of COVID-19. Get in touch with your provider for information.

Is COVID-19 sexually transmitted?

Based on current evidence, coronavirus – the virus that causes COVID-19 illness – is not passed on through vaginal or anal intercourse.

However, coronavirus is passed on through contact with droplets from the nose and mouth, including the saliva of an infected person, which can happen through close contact with others. This means there is a significant risk of passing on COVID-19 through kissing and physical touching if one person has the virus. There is also evidence that the virus is present in poop (faeces), so licking around the anal areas (rimming) may also be a way the virus is passed on.  

Can I have sex during the COVID-19 pandemic?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many governments are asking people to stay indoors to limit physical contact between people and the spread of the virus. Here are some things you should know concerning sex.

Sex with symptoms

If you or your sexual partner are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 – a dry persistent cough, temperature, or difficulty breathing – you should limit all close physical contact to stop the spread of the virus. This means avoiding physical intimacy, such as kissing and cuddling, as well as anal, vaginal, or oral sex.

Non-physical contact sex

Having sex with yourself, masturbation, has no COVID-19 risk and is one of the best ways to keep enjoying sex during this pandemic. You can also explore other ways to have sex without anyone physically present, including through phone or webcam.

If you decide to go online, be aware of what you are sharing and who you are sharing it with. Remember to only do what feels right. Your partner may want to explore this new way of being sexual but you shouldn’t feel pressured to share sexual content over the phone or internet if you don’t want to.

Sex with someone you live with

If you live in the same house as a regular sexual partner and you both have no symptoms, then you can continue having sex (with consent) as normal for your relationship.  

If your partner is having sex with other people who don’t live with you, then this increases your risk of getting COVID-19.

Sex with someone you don’t live with

During the pandemic, some countries are actively discouraging hooking up or having sex with people you don’t live with. This is because there is a heightened risk of picking up COVID-19 or passing it on to others, which undermines public health efforts. See below for advice on what to do if you decide to have sex.

If you are a sex worker, consider going online, sext or use videos and chat rooms, or taking a break from your business as usual activities if you can.

High-risk groups and sex

If you have a medical condition that puts you at greater risk of getting severe COVID-19, then you should be extra careful with all aspects of your life – including your sex life. You may want to consider stopping in-person sex or limiting your sex to just one partner who lives with you and is also taking extra precautions.

Limiting the spread of COVID-19 during sex

If you have sex with someone you don’t live with there are a few things you can do to lower the risk of getting or spreading COVID-19.

  • Avoid kissing or exchanging saliva with anyone outside of your household.
  • Avoid sexual activities which include licking around the anus.
  • Use condoms or dental dams to reduce contact with saliva or poo.
  • Take a shower and wash your hands and body thoroughly with soap and water both before and after sex.
  • If you use sex toys, wash these thoroughly with soap and water and do not share them.
  • Consider sexual arousal techniques that don’t involve physical contact – like talking.
  • Mutual masturbation while physical distancing.
  • Limit your physical interactions by reducing the number of sexual partners you have overall, and/or at the same time.

Sexual health services during COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic, some sexual health services may be disrupted. This includes services for family planning, contraception, sexual health testing and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).  

To limit the spread of the virus, many clinics may move to online consultations, suspend walk-in services, reduce hours, close or be referring people elsewhere. It’s important to stay up-to-date with your local health provider by checking their website or giving them a call.

Contraception and family planning

If you are not planning on getting pregnant, ensure you have an adequate supply of contraception.

  • If you usually use short-acting contraception, such as the pill, or barrier methods, such as condoms, make sure you have at least a 30-day supply.
  • If you use long-acting contraception, such as IUD or implant, make sure you don’t need this changed in the next month. Talk to your health care provider to ensure continuity in your preferred method.

Where legal, the COVID-19 pandemic may also disrupt the provision of essential abortion services. Contact your health provider for advice and information.

HIV and PrEP

Preventing HIV is still important during the COVID-19 pandemic. Make sure you have an adequate supply of condoms, and at least 30 days’ worth of PrEP, if you currently taking PrEP.

Some people on PrEP may decide that their HIV risk is low because they are having less sex during the pandemic. If you decide to stop taking PrEP, make sure you know how to stop it and start it again. For most populations taking daily PrEP, they’ll need to have seven sex-free days before they can stop taking PrEP so that their last sex act is fully protected. Check-out Prepster for lots more information.

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Understand the risks of sex and intimate contact in the time of COVID-19

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Sex and COVID-19
Images used in photo illustration by Shutterstock

With mandatory mask wearing and physical distancing of at least six feet becoming the norm around the nation, the question remains—is sex safe?

In short—it can be, but experts say any type of in-person sexual activity does carry some risk. But there are ways to have intimate contact and remain connected.

How is it transmitted?

Let’s start with what we know. COVID-19 is a respiratory disease, so direct contact with saliva—through kissing, for example—can easily pass the virus. While COVID-19 has not yet been found in vaginal fluid, it has been found in feces of people who are infected. So this means that rimming (oral/anal contact) and anal sex may spread COVID-19 as well. Remember that condoms and dental dams reduce contact with saliva and feces during anal and oral sex or oral/anal contact.

recent study has also found the coronavirus in semen, both in men who had active infections and those who had recovered, but it isn’t clear at this point if it can be sexually transmitted through semen.

What’s the risk?

So where does that leave us? With different levels of risk. Given we currently know about COVID-19 and how it’s transmitted, the safest sexual activity is solo or remote. Solo sex (a.k.a. masturbation) can be both satisfying and safe—just remember to wash your hands! And technology makes different types of remote options, like video chats, sexting, available too.

The next safest option is sex with someone you already live with, provided that person is also taking steps to reduce their potential exposure to COVID-19 (like social distancing, hand washing, wearing a mask in public spaces).

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has some excellent guidance on safer sex during these times, which you can read in full here. But here are a few basic tips from NYC Health on how to enjoy sex and to avoid spreading COVID-19:

  • You are your safest sex partner. Masturbation will not spread COVID-19, especially if you wash your hands (and any sex toys) with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after sex.
  • The next safest partner is someone you live with. Having close contact—including sex—with only a small circle of people helps prevent spreading COVID-19. All partners should be consenting.
  • You should limit close contact—including sex—with anyone outside your household. If you do have sex with others, have as few partners as possible and pick partners you trust. Talk about COVID-19 risk like you would other safer sex topics (e.g. PrEP, condoms). So ask: do they have symptoms or have they had symptoms in the last 14 days? Have they been diagnosed with COVID-19? People are considered likely no longer infectious if at least 10 days have passed since the day their symptoms started and if they have not had fever for at least three days.
  • If you usually meet your sex partners online or make a living by having sex, consider taking a break from in-person dates. Video dates, sexting or chat rooms may be options for you.

For couples from whom pregnancy is a concern, don’t forget contraception as well. Once again, condoms (both internal and external) can fill that role, and telemedicine options are available as well, if you can’t venture out to a clinic or pharmacy.

Expert Answers to Common Questions

The National Coalition of STD Directors, in partnership with NASTAD have developed some excellent resources to answer questions about real-life situations many people are experiencing. Like, my partner has a high-contact job, where they cannot practice social distancing. Is it safe to have sex? These fact sheets, based on current evidence, help you understand the different levels of risk for spreading COVID-19 and safety measures you can take for lowering the potential risk of spreading or getting the virus.

Relationships Under Lockdown

Some of you may be thinking, “Sex?! Are you kidding? My partner is driving me crazy!” You’re not alone. Even couples with healthy, strong relationships may find themselves under strain during this time—struggling with being confined 24/7 under stay-at-home orders. Others may be pressed because of distance, forced to live apart due to health concerns or quarantine.

If you’re feeling the stress, there are resources to help. You can get tips on how to respect and help one another and disagree fairly. If you need more support, you can find a counselor who can offer phone or online support.

COVID-19 restrictions can be particularly dangerous for those in abusive relationships. The National Domestic Violence Hotline cites specific ways the pandemic can a survivor of intimate partner violence, from an abuser withholding necessary items or threatening to cancel health insurance, to the lack available shelters due to COVID-related closures.

The National Sexual Health Coalition suggests taking specific steps to stay safe in this situation, including making some space between you and you abuser by taking walks or a drive if possible and They also suggest making an a safety plan and having an emergency bag ready in case you need to leave your home quickly. Loveisrespect.org has an Interactive Guide to Safety Planning that can take you a series of steps and identify your safety options.

A Note of Caution for Parents

With schools cancelled across the country, many kids are spending more time online, possibly with less supervision than usual as parents are struggling to work remotely while caring for children. For this reason, law enforcement has warned that kids are particularly vulnerable to online predators at this time. Some reports suggest an increase in digital activity among sexual predators who target children.

So what can parents do? Talk to your kids about the risks and help them learn how to identify “red flag behavior” in people they may meet online, like asking for personal information or encouraging secrecy. Be an askable parent—willing to talk to your kids without judgement or shame.

The Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children has an extensive list of resources for parents to help their kids stay safe online, including how to access privacy and security settings on a number of apps and online platforms as well as ways to block and report users.

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Corona Virus (COVID-19) Live Data

COVID-19 affects different people in different ways. Most infected people will develop mild to moderate illness and recover without hospitalization.