Local Daily News 13th September

Experts warn that suffering from covid accelerates Alzheimer's symptoms

Can covid accelerate symptoms of Alzheimer’s? There is more and more scientific evidence that points to a relationship between the covid disease and lasting cognitive impairment, such as the worsening of Alzheimer’s symptoms and even the appearance of the disease in infected people.

Research presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) has found links between the coronavirus disease and Alzheimer’s. This report indicates that, in addition to respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms, many infected suffer from neuropsychiatric symptoms in the short or long term. These symptoms include loss of smell and taste, and cognitive and attention deficits, known as brain fog.

This is stated by Carmen Alonso, a neuropsychologist at the Association of Relatives of People with Alzheimer’s of Elche (AFAE), who points out that in their center there have been cases of users infected by covid who have experienced a worsening of the dementia, while also seeing new patients who have developed senile dementia after infection. “In the association we have specific cases of users who were totally autonomous and who, after becoming infected, have found themselves immersed in almost total dependence,” says Alonso.

As for patients who have suffered from covid while having Alzheimer’s, AFAE highlights cases where the virus has accentuated both the cognitive and physical symptoms of dementia, worsening the patient’s health. Also coupled with a slow recovery in those who have been symptomatic. “You do not return to the starting point, the solution is to face the improvements little by little and celebrate them,” says Alonso.

Likewise, in relation to the changes observed in patients with senile dementia as a result of the pandemic, the expert affirms that the disease has been aggravated by the sudden changes that their routines have experienced. In addition, there has been an accentuation of symptoms of depression and apathy, together with the social isolation to which they have been subjected for months in the past. “Routine and connection with society are part of the treatments to delay the progression of the disease as much as possible,” says Carmen Alonso. That is why the workshops they carry out to mitigate the advance of dementia are vital for patients. “We carry out cognitive and physical stimulation, it is the most effective therapy,” says Alonso.

However, the health crisis has not led to a worsening in the course of the disease, which follows its own degenerative process. What it has affected has been the families which have been overloaded by not having health care. 

Experts say that it is still “too early” to establish a long-term relationship between the symptoms of covid and Alzheimer’s, but acknowledge that suspicions increase strongly with the arrival of new cases. They affirm that there is more and more evidence of the relationship between systemic infections, cognitive impairment and the acceleration of degenerative processes, such as occur in cases of Alzheimer’s.

Five boats intercepted in the province with 59 immigrants on board

A total of 59 immigrants, all adult men, except for one minor and one woman, were intercepted yesterday morning after reaching different points of the coast of the province of Alicante aboard five boats.

According to sources from the Civil Guard and the Red Cross, the first boat located was in the cove of Tío Ximo in Benidorm at 1.07 am yesterday, with eleven adult Algerian men.

At 4.13 am another fourteen Algerian immigrants were intercepted, one of them 17 years old, who had arrived in an inflatable boat to Santa Pola del Este, and at 2.13 am twelve more men were located on Vistamar beach in Cabo Roig, in the municipality municipal of Orihuela, also in this case of Algerian origin.

The fourth boat was located at 7.12 a.m. on the beach of l’Albir de l’Alfàs del Pi with fourteen people, all men except one woman, and at 7.57 a.m. a fifth and – for now – the last boat was spotted by a witness at the Higuerica beach in Pilar de la Horadada with eight immigrants, seven men and one woman.

All these people have been, or are currently being, transferred to the Port of Alicante where the Red Cross treats them and subjects them to a PCR test to detect possible cases of covid-19.

The Consell collaborates with the Torrevieja City Council to promote its Habaneras gala

The Consell has authorized the signing of the collaboration agreement between Turisme Comunitat Valenciana and the Torrevieja City Council to promote festivals of relevant tourist interest in Habaneras during the year 2021.

In this way, Turisme Comunitat Valenciana allocates a total of 40,000 euros in 2021 to carry out collaborative marketing actions aimed at promoting festivals of relevant tourist interest, such as the Torrevieja International Habaneras and Polyphony Gala.

The Torrevieja City Council has been in charge of carrying out different actions, such as the design of the photocall and the posters for the May Fair Gala. In addition, Torrevieja also promotes the campaign to promote tourist experiences ‘Closer than what you imagine’, the video of the ‘Torrevieja Safe Destination’ campaign, and the broadcasting campaign of the International Habaneras and Polyphony Gala.

It should be noted that Torrevieja is one of the most representative tourist destinations in the Valencian Community where the International Habaneras and Polyphony Gala is held every year, declared of International Tourist Interest.

Traumatology tops the waiting lists for surgery in the province's hospitals

The delay in the waiting lists of hospitals in the province is a phenomenon that covid has aggravated in this year and a half of the pandemic.

According to official data for the month of July 2021, published on the website of the Ministry of Health, the hospital with the longest delay to perform a surgical intervention is Alcoy, followed by Sant Joan, General de Alicante and Elda. On the side of those with the least average waiting, Elche and Dénia are tied with 89 and 86 days on average. Then comes Orihuela with 80 days, followed by the Hospital de la Marina Baixa.

One of the departments that accumulates the most delay is Traumatology, perhaps because it is one of the ones that groups the most units. After consulting the latest data published by the Consell, in July, the Hospital with the longest delay in this department is the Virgen de los Lirios de Alcoy. It has an average waiting time of 249 days, with the bulk of patients in the section exceeding 180 days of waiting, with a total of 663. A waiting time that contrasts with that collected in May of this year, when they expected an average 210 days wait, which had decreased compared to 246 in March.

Another of the hospitals that leads the delay in Orthopedic Surgery and Traumatology is Sant Joan, with 206 days of delay for an operation in this department, 23 more than in May when they had 183 days.

The reference center of the province, the General Hospital of Alicante, has increased the extension. Now, patients wait 175 days compared to 167 days in May and 190 days in March. This hospital, despite increasing the delay, has decreased the number of patients with more than 180 days of waiting for an operation: from 853 in March, through 694 in May to 668 in July. However, it should be noted that this hospital is one of the most overloaded by covid, being the reference in the province and also the one that performs the most interventions in other departments in its operating rooms.

As an illustrative example, sources from the center tell this newspaper the delay for a non-urgent hip operation, estimated “at more than a year and a half.” The same source affirms that “trauma is always subject to the emergencies that arise daily in fractures, traffic and domestic accidents that, of course, are attended to at that very moment.”

With respect to the other general hospital, located in Elche, it maintains the same delay as in March with 127 days, which did decrease to 103 days in the month of May.

Dénia is one of the four with the shortest waiting time, with 118 days, five more than in May, when the average delay was of 113 days, A figure much lower than that recorded in March, when the third wave was still going strong and this hospital reached 130 days as the average waiting time for patients.

Next on the list is the General Hospital of Elda, with an estimated delay of 98 days, a little more than that indicated in the month of May, which was then 81. This is a considerable number if we compare it with the 151 days that it registered in March. Showing similar numbers is the Vega Baja Hospital in Orihuela. From the current wait of 92 days it dropped to 82 days in May. This is 22 less than in March, when the average waiting time for patients was 104.

Finally, the hospital with the least delay in this department is the Marina Baixa. Currently, the delay is 76 days, a slightly higher amount than in May, with 68 days. The longest delays were that of March, with 114 days on average.

DANA, two years without solutions

The channeling of the Rambla de Abanilla, the improvement of the capacity of the Segura riverbed, rolling reservoirs, hydraulic corridors … All these projects will likely sound familiar. Repeated ad nauseam in the last two years, they are the projects to minimize the risk of flooding in the Vega Baja. But they are just that, projects. Two years have passed since those fateful days in September 2019. Two days in which the rain did not stop falling on the region (2,800 cubic hectometres precipitated in the entire Segura, triple what it is capable of holding and up to 400 liters per square meter) which, together with the breakdown of the river speck in Almoradí and a terrible spatial planning that made things “easy” for the terrible DANA, which caused the greatest catastrophe in 140 years in the Vega Baja. We do not forget, of course, the three lives that were lost in the region due to the DANA. The economic cost of the tragedy was estimated at 3,000 million euros. Thousands of families were left without property and their homes were destroyed. And, two years later, the first stone of any structural work necessary for the preparation of the return of torrential rains has not yet been laid.

It is true that obtaining financing for infrastructures of such magnitude is not easy (the Generalitat has proposed in the new Segura Hydrological Plan, for the 2021 to 2027 annuities, measures to minimize the risks of floods in the Vega Baja valued in the exorbitant figure of 1,275,920,649 euros). But most of the necessary structural work has not yet been studied. As misfortunes do not come alone, the covid pandemic that began only six months after the DANA has also delayed the arrival of money, although most of the works are expected to be financed with European funds. The leader of the PP, Pablo Casado, during his visit to Orihuela just days after the DANA told some residents, many of them affected by the catastrophe, that “everything is ‘under control’, the mayor is here in command”. Of course, Casado spent more time in the city than the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, who barely stayed a few minutes and made no statements. The Vega Baja continues to tremble every time heavy rains are expected because it is not yet ready.

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