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Hair loss common symptom after COVID-19 infection

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KUWAIT CITY, Jan 16, (Agencies): At a time when the mutant ‘omicron’ infection cases continue to rise in Kuwait hovering near the 5,000 mark, latest scientific evidence indicates shows it is less likely to have any serious effect but in the months following the infection it can cause hair loss on the head, reports Al-Rai daily. Researchers say, the symptoms of the “omicron” mutant include night sweating, sore throat and muscle pain. The American Academy of Dermatology report said hair loss is a common symptom after infection with “Covid 19” because hair follicles weaken after the patient is exposed to a high temperature, which is a complication that occurs naturally after a fever.

However, recent reports indicate that hair loss may occur, near the end of the disease, with an infection of the “omicron” variant, at rates greater than the normal complications. A World Health Organization official warned last week of a “closing window of opportunity” for European countries to prevent their health care systems from being overwhelmed as the omicron variant produces near-vertical growth in coronavirus infections. In France, Britain and Spain, nations with comparatively strong national health programs, that window may already be closed. The director of an intensive care unit at a hospital in Strasbourg is turning patients away.

A surgeon at a London hospital describes a critical delay in a man’s cancer diagnosis. Spain is seeing its determination to prevent a system collapse tested as omicron keeps medical personnel off work. “There are a lot of patients we can’t admit, and it’s the non-Covid patients who are the collateral victims of all this,” said Dr. Julie Helms, who runs the ICU at Strasbourg University Hospital in far eastern France. Two years into the pandemic, with the exceptionally contagious omicron impacting public services of various kinds, the variant’s effect on medical facilities has many reevaluating the resilience of public health systems that are considered essential to providing equal care. The problem, experts say, is that few health systems built up enough flexibility to handle a crisis like the coronavirus before it emerged, while repeated infection spikes have kept the rest too preoccupied to implement changes during the long emergency.

Lockdowns
Hospital admissions per capita right now are as high in France, Italy and Spain as they were last spring, when the three countries had lockdowns or other restrictive measures in place. England’s hospitalization rate of people with Covid-19 for the week ending Jan. 9 was slightly higher than it was in early February 2021, before most residents were vaccinated. This time, there are no lockdowns. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, a population health research organization based at the University of Washington, predicts that more than half of the people in WHO Europe’s 53-country region will be infected with omicron within two months.

That includes doctors, nurses and technicians at public hospitals. About 15% of the Strasbourg hospital system’s staff of 13,000 was out this week. In some hospitals, the employee absentee rate is 20%. Schedules are made and reset to plug gaps; patients whose needs aren’t critical must wait. The French public hospital’s 26 ICU beds are almost all occupied by unvaccinated patients, people ”who refuse care, who refuse the medicine or who demand medicines that have no effectiveness,” Helms said. She denied 12 requests for admission early in the week, and 10 on Wednesday night. The World Health Organization said Sunday that a U.N.-backed program shipping coronavirus vaccines to many poor countries has now delivered 1 billion doses, but that milestone “is only a reminder of the work that remains” after hoarding and stockpiling in rich countries.

A shipment of 1.1 million Covid-19 vaccine doses to Rwanda on Saturday included the billionth dose supplied via the COVAX program, the U.N. health agency said. WHO has long criticized unequal distribution of vaccines and called for manufacturers and other countries to prioritize COVAX. It said that, as of Thursday, 36 of its 194 member countries had vaccinated less than 10% of their population and 88 had vaccinated less than 40%. The program has made deliveries to 144 countries so far, “but the work that has gone into this milestone is only a reminder of the work that remains,” WHO said in a statement. “COVAX’s ambition was compromised by hoarding/ stockpiling in rich countries, catastrophic outbreaks leading to borders and supply being locked,” it added. “And a lack of sharing of licenses, technology and know-how by pharmaceutical companies meant manufacturing capacity went unused.” At the end of December, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged everyone to make a “new year’s resolution” to get behind a campaign to vaccinate 70% of countries’ populations by the beginning of July. Covid-19 infections are soaring again at U.S. Nursing homes because of the omicron wave, and deaths are climbing too, leading to new restrictions on family visits and a renewed push to get more residents and staff members vaccinated and boosted. Nursing homes were the lethal epicenter of the pandemic early on, before the vaccine allowed many of them to reopen to visitors last year. But the wildly contagious variant has dealt them a setback.

Nursing homes reported a near-record of about 32,000 Covid-19 cases among residents in the week ending Jan. 9, an almost sevenfold increase from a month earlier, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A total of 645 Covid-19-related deaths among residents were recorded during the same week, a 47% increase from the earlier period. And there are fears that deaths could go much higher before omicron is through.

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