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The Round-Up: Week of 15 June

A weekly digest of health and wellness stories from Singapore and around the world.

As we are in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, you'll find articles that help you stay informed about the novel coronavirus.

Loss of sense of smell and taste may be markers of Covid-19

The story

More evidence shows that anosmia (loss of smell) is a symptom of the novel coronavirus, and is being used for frequently to screen for possible cases.

It's not an entirely new revelation

Scientists have for weeks argued that loss of the sense of smell is a symptom of Covid-19, as more and more anecdotal reports of it surface.

Last month, a global survey on the loss of the sense of smell or taste in people who have tested positive for Covid-19 found that for some, the loss of the ability to smell (anosmia) can be an early or the only symptom of infection.

After the World Health Organisation and the United States, Britain added anosmia to its official list of Covid-19 symptoms last month, asking those with continuous cough or fever or anosmia to self-isolate. In Singapore, anosmia is also included in the Ministry of Health website's list of Covid-19 symptoms.

It also affects taste The two sensations are closely linked. The sense of smell appears to affect women and younger patients more; the former may be more prone to it due to oestrogen receptors.

Read more in The Straits Times

Up to 45 percent of covid-19 infections may be asymptomatic

The story Results of a Scripps Research analysis of public datasets indicate that silent spread of virus makes it more challenging to control, and highlights the need for expansive testing and contact tracing to mitigate the pandemic.

Tell us more Information was gathered from testing studies around the world, and included data on nursing home residents, cruise ship passengers, prison inmates and other groups.

The results suggests that asymptomatic are able to transmit the virus for an extended period.

In addition, the absence of symptoms may not necessarily mean individuals are unaffected. CT scans conducted on 54 percent of 76 asymptomatic individuals on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, appear to show significant subclinical lung abnormalities.

Read more in Science Daily

The future of fitness classes

The story

When gyms and studios reopen, they’ll need to abide by strict social distancing and hygiene guidelines. Attending a class with 25 people in a small room, might be a thing of the past.

What should we expect?

Smaller group classes; for instance, fewer bikes in a spin class and more space between riders. Studios will need to improve ventilation, and boxing and yoga classes where equipment like gloves and mats are often shared, will also need to be rethought.

Read more in The Telegraph

Face masks most effective in preventing spread of Covid-19

The story

A team of researchers led by a Texas A&M University professor has found that not wearing a dramatically increases a person’s chances of being infected by the Covid-19 virus.

What researchers found out

The study established that using a face mask is not only useful to preventing infected coughing droplets from reaching uninfected person, but it is also crucial for these uninfected persons to avoid breathing the minute atmospheric particles (aerosols) that infected people emit when talking. These particles can remain in the atmosphere tens of minutes and can travel tens of feet.

Read more in Medical Xpress

Negative thinking can harm your brain

The story

Researchers at University College London say that have found repetitive negative thinking is linked to cognitive decline and a higher number of harmful protein deposits in the brain, which may lead to a greater risk of dementia.

What the new study revealed

Whilst prior research has repeatedly suggested a relationship between depression and dementia; this study stresses that the underlying risk associated with depression and anxiety may be the repetitive negative thinking associated with both.

What constitutes negative thinking?

Rumination, repeatedly focussing on thought and worry, and problems with organising, sequencing and planning.

Read more in Healthline

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