Making sense of Covid-19 with Silman: my blog

What do the numbers mean !

Monkeypox: why the sudden concern?

The media have been full of headlines about a tiny number of cases of the viral disease monkeypox.  What do we know about it, why has there been a recent surge and, given the experience with Covid-19, should we be getting concerned? What is monkeypox infection like? Monkeypox is a viral infection that causes flu-like symptoms […]

New Omicron variants coming our way soon: how protected are we?

As the original Omicron variant continues to mutate, its greater ability to transmit has been offset in terms of the public health risk by (i) the milder illness it causes and (ii) the protection against severe disease from both natural infection and the current vaccine regimes.  However, should we now be worried about the new variants […]

Could Covid be on the up again?

Despite the worldwide relaxation in Covid-19 mitigation and the awful situation in Ukraine displacing other news, that does not mean that Covid-19 has gone away.  What do the latest data show? We cannot rely on the numbers of self-reported cases Regular readers of this blog will know that the number of self-reported or health care professional-reported […]

Lifting all legal restrictions: does it make sense?

The UK government announced yesterday that it was planning to lift all remining legal restrictions to prevent Covid-19 transmission.  Other Western countries are acting likewise despite the current wave of Omicron infections.  Does reducing legally enforceable mitigation actions make sense? What are the current data? As mentioned previously in this blog, the UK’s weekly PCR sampling of […]

Does Covid-19 increase the risk of diabetes in children

A study published a few days ago from the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC), suggested that Covid-19 can more than double the risk of the new development of diabetes in children.  This study adds to the information from extensive research since the start of the pandemic that Covid-19 is bad news as far as […]

A 4th vaccine dose: is now the right time to consider?

The announcement this week that Israel was starting on a programme of providing a 4th dose of vaccine to those over 60 has stimulated a debate as to whether the booster now being rolled out will be enough to contain the pandemic of Omicron, or indeed other variants that may follow.  What is the evidence that other […]

Are self-testing rapid antigen (lateral flow) tests for Covid-19 accurate enough

The dramatic rise in the number of cases of the Omicron Covid-19 variant has led to an increased use of self-testing kits for the virus.  The results from these tests are used to guide personal behaviour.  Many people are confused about how their own results should be interpreted and acted on, with varying guidelines and differences in […]

Omicron and hospitalisation: new data on the protection from vaccines

Released yesterday (22nd December) are data from a study which has examined the rate of hospitalisation following infection with Omicron addressing the questions (i) does it differ from the rate following Delta infection and (ii) what is the influence of vaccination on this rate The study In this very rapidly produced report* (data was collected as late […]

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