The study comes alongside separate research from the university which has suggested that the use of the anti-inflammatory drug tocilizumab can significantly reduce the number of deaths of patients hospitalised by Covid-19. The medication reduced mortality by a third for patients requiring simple oxygen, and nearly a half for those on more invasive ventilation. Image Credit: NIAID. License: CC BY-SA 2.0. The research, which was conducted in partnership with the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre and AstraZeneca, involved 146 participants. Half of those involved were given inhaled budesonide, which is usually used to treat the symptoms of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, while the other half received standard patient care. Professor Mona Bafadhel, a member of the Nuffield Department of Medicine at the University of Oxford and a Respiratory Consultant also working at the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, led the research. Professor Bafadhel spoke about the significance of these additional conclusions: “Although not the primary outcome of study, this is an important finding. I am encouraged to see the reduction in persistent symptoms at 14 and 28 days after treatment with budesonide. Persistent symptoms after the initial COVID-19 illness have emerged as a long-term problem. Any intervention which could address this would be a major step forward.” “The vaccine programmes are really exciting, but we know that these will take some time to reach everyone across the world. I am heartened that a relatively safe, widely available and well studied medicine such as an inhaled steroid could have an impact on the pressures we are experiencing during the pandemic.” In addition to the fall in hospitalisations, Professor Bafadhel’s research also demonstrated that budesonide could be effective in reducing the number of patients who require urgent care as a result of the disease, as well as reducing recovery time from the onset of symptoms. Findings from the study, which were published earlier this month, suggested that over a 28-day period, the drug could reduce the risk of patients needing hospital treatment by 90%. The trial was sparked by data which suggested that patients who used inhaled steroids for other medical conditions were less likely to be admitted to hospital with Covid-19. A study from Oxford University has shown that a common asthma treatment can reduce the risk of hospitalisations by 90% among Covid-19 patients. Commenting on the findings, she said: “There have been important breakthroughs in hospitalised COVID-19 patients, but equally important is treating early disease to prevent clinical deterioration and the need for urgent care and hospitalisation, especially to the billions of people worldwide who have limited access to hospital care.
— Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson has twice tested negative for the coronavirus and will race Sunday at Kentucky Speedway. Johnson missed the first race of his Cup career when he tested positive last Friday. He was tested after his wife received a positive result. Hendrick Motorsports said Johnson tested negative on Monday and Tuesday and will return to the No. 48 Chevrolet at Kentucky. NASCAR confirmed Wednesday that Johnson has been cleared to return. Johnson’s streak of 663 consecutive starts — most among active drivers — was snapped when he didn’t race Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Johnson is the only NASCAR driver to test positive for the coronavirus since the series resumed racing on May 17.— Cleveland Indians outfielder Franmil Reyes (FRAHN’-meel RAY’-uhs) has been cleared by the team’s medical staff to return to the field after being isolated for attending a party over the July Fourth weekend. The team kept Reyes away from Progressive Field as a precaution after he attended a holiday gathering without wearing a mask. The Indians learned of Reyes’ off-field actions from social media. Manager Terry Francona says Reyes was re-tested for the coronavirus and may now participate in training camp. Also, Indians outfielder Delino DeShields (deh-LY’-noh deh-SHEELDZ’) Jr., who tested positive for COVID-19, is traveling to Cleveland after he had one negative test. — The Chicago White Sox are giving fans the opportunity to purchase cardboard cutouts of themselves that will be displayed at Guaranteed Rate Field during the team’s season-opening homestand. The cutouts cost $49 and will be available while supplies last. Proceeds will benefit the team’s charitable arm. The White Sox open with a three-game series against the Minnesota Twins starting on July 24.— Milwaukee Bucks general manager Jon Horst says the group that travels to Florida on Thursday for the resumption of the NBA season at Walt Disney World likely won’t include the team’s entire 35-person traveling party. The Bucks closed their practice facility in Milwaukee after receiving results of their Friday coronavirus testing. Horst won’t say whether a positive test came from a Bucks player or another member of the traveling party. The Bucks owned a league-leading 53-12 record when play was halted in mid-March due to the pandemic. They return to action July 31 against the Celtics.— As U.S. team sports prepare to resume, journalists are facing the same issues that their colleagues who cover politics and entertainment have encountered: coming up with new approaches to coverage with reduced access. Professional leagues closed media access to locker rooms and clubhouses in early March. When the games restart, that access is not going to return. Major League Baseball and the NBA will make managers and players available only via telephone or Zoom. — The Baltimore Ravens have informed season ticket holders that their seats will not be available this year. The team says season ticket holders will be offered the same seats in 2021, and money already spent for this season can be used for next year or refunded upon request. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, NFL games this season are expected to be held without fans or in front of a greatly reduced audience. If fans are permitted to attend, seats would be sold on a game-by-game basis with season ticket holders getting the first chance to buy in advance of any public sale.— Northwestern’s football game against Wisconsin scheduled for Nov. 7 at Wrigley Field in Chicago is being moved to Ryan Field because of uncertainties due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Northwestern announced the decision Wednesday after consulting with the Chicago Cubs, state and local authorities and the Big Ten Conference. Athletic director Jim Phillips cited the possibility of a limited crowd at the famed ballpark even if fans were allowed. — Stanford is dropping 11 sports amid financial difficulties caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The school announced it will discontinue men’s and women’s fencing, field hockey, lightweight rowing, men’s rowing, co-ed and women’s sailing, squash, synchronized swimming, men’s volleyball and wrestling after the 2020-21 academic year. Stanford also is eliminating 20 support staff positions. Stanford projected a deficit of more than $25 million in the 2021 fiscal year and a shortfall of nearly $70 million over the next three years due to the pandemic. The school estimated the cost of sustaining the 11 sports permanently would exceed $200 million. — Associated Press research finds that four-year U.S. colleges have eliminated 171 sports programs because of budget problems blamed on the coronavirus outbreak. About 30 percent of those are in Division I, with Stanford being the only one from a Power Five conference.— In a track and field season almost entirely wiped out by the coronavirus pandemic, athletes and organizers are setting new marks in creativity. On Thursday, the storied Weltklasse meet will broadcast near-live from Zurich in an ambitious mix of social distancing and technological innovation. Only a few of the 30 athletes that will share the $200,000 prize fund on an eight-event program will actually be in the city’s Letzigrund Stadium. Others will start and compete simultaneously, three athletes or teams per event, in one of six empty stadiums scattered across Europe and the United States. Olympic sprint champion Allyson Felix will race in California, while world 200-meter champion Noah Lyles and Olympic triple jump gold medalist Christian Taylor will be in Florida. Associated Press Update on the latest sports TENNIS-SODERLING-MENTAL HEALTH2-time French Open finalist Soderling talks of mental healthSTOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) — Two-time French Open finalist Robin Soderling (SAH’-dur-ling) has written about his mental health in a social media post and revealed that he suffered from anxiety and panic attacks after playing professional tennis.Soderling, who was the first man to beat Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros in 2009, wrote on Instagram on Tuesday that he wasn’t given the right information to handle pressure on and off the court. He says mental health is crucial for tennis players. Soderling last match on tour was a win in the Swedish Open final. He says he feels good again and “maybe even better than before.” BRITISH SPRINTER-POLICELondon police apologize to sprinter for ‘distress’ in searchLONDON (AP) — London police have apologized to British sprinter Bianca Williams after officers stopped and searched her car over the weekend. Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick has told the British parliament that police apologized for “the distress it has clearly caused her.” Dick says reviews of the evidence found no apparent misconduct during the search but that the Metropolitan Police had voluntarily referred itself for review by the Independent Office for Police Conduct. Williams and Ricardo dos Santos, a Portuguese sprinter, are both Black and were stopped in their Mercedes on Saturday afternoon while traveling with their 3-month-old son. Williams accused London police of racial profiling. Both Williams and dos Santos were handcuffed during the search. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditVIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTSRyder Cup postponed until next year at Whistling StraitsUNDATED (AP) — With no guarantee of fans, there won’t be a Ryder Cup this year. The PGA of America says the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin has been pushed back to 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The French manufacturer said in a statement Wednesday that the 38-year-old Alonso will replace Daniel Ricciardo (rih-KAHR’-doh), who is joining McLaren next year.Renault, which struggled in F1 last season, did not say how many seasons Alonso has signed for. He won both of his world titles with Renault in 2005 and ’06. He quit McLaren and F1 at the end of 2018 to focus on winning motorsport’s triple crown.Having already won the Monaco Grand Prix, he then won the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race but not the Indianapolis 500.Alonso won 32 F1 races and is widely considered one of the most talented drivers of his era alongside six-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton.AUSTRALIA-PULLIN DEATH The last time the PGA Tour had back-to-back tournaments on the same golf course was in 1957, five years before Nicklaus turned pro. The All American Open and the World Championship of Golf were played at Tam O’Shanter in Illinois. Workday is a one-time event replacing the canceled John Deere Classic.F1-RENAULT-ALONSOFernando Alonso returning to F1 next season with RenaultSPIELBERG, Austria (AP) — Fernando Alonso will return to Formula One next season with the Renault team. July 8, 2020 PGA-WORKDAY OPENHow to make 1 golf course look like 2 different tournamentsDUBLIN, Ohio (AP) — Muirfield Village is gearing up for the first doubleheader on the PGA Tour in 63 years. A new tournament called the Workday Charity Open starts Thursday on the course Jack Nicklaus built. And then it’s onto the Memorial, the tournament Nicklaus created. The goal for tour officials is to protect the condition of the course from 157 players this week and 120 players next week. They also want to try to present a different test. That means slower greens, different tees and rough that isn’t quite as high this week. The PGA Tour still hasn’t allowed spectators at its events, and no other golf tournament is dependent on partisan cheering like the Ryder Cup. After working with the PGA Tour and its Presidents Cup, the decision was reached to move the Ryder Cup to Sept. 24-26 in 2021. That means the Presidents Cup will return to even-numbered years starting in 2022 at Quail Hollow in North Carolina.The Ryder Cup had been scheduled for Sept. 25-27 at Whistling Straits, one week after the U.S. Open.It’s the second time in the last two decades the Ryder Cup was postponed. It was moved off the odd-numbered years in 2001 because of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.In other developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic:— NASCAR will move its August road course race from Watkins Glen in upstate New York because of state health restrictions, and the event will shift instead to the road course at Daytona International Speedway. The move means the Cup Series will make its debut on Daytona’s road course, which is used by the IMSA sports car series and incorporates part of the famed 2.5-mile oval. The race on Aug. 16 was necessary to move from Watkins Glen because NASCAR cannot meet New York’s quarantine requirements for out-of-state visitors. Snowboard world champion Pullin drowns in diving mishapGOLD COAST, Australia (AP) — Two-time world snowboard champion and Winter Olympian Alex Pullin drowned Wednesday while spearfishing on Australia’s Gold Coast.A police spokesperson said a 32-year-old man, later identified as Pullin, was unresponsive when taken from the water and died despite receiving CPR from lifeguards and emergency treatment from paramedics. Pullin had been diving on an artificial reef when he was found by a snorkeler.Pullin, known by the nickname Chumpy, won gold medals in the snowboard cross event at the 2011 La Molina and 2013 Stoneham world championships. He was Australia’s flag bearer at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.OBIT-MIKE MORAN Ex-USOC spokesman Mike Moran dead at 78 after short illnessCOLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (AP) — Former US Olympic Committee spokesman Mike Moran died Tuesday after a short illness at age 78, according to the University of Colorado.Moran served as the Buffaloes’ sports information director for 11 years before his stint as chief communications officer and principal spokesman for the USOC from 1978-2003. He spent the last 17 years as senior media consultant for the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation as well as serving as a keynote speaker and emcee for numerous sports events.In 2002, Moran received the USOC’s highest honor, the General Douglas MacArthur Award, and was inducted into the College Sports Information Director’s Hall of Fame. Williams was a sprint relay gold medalist at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and 2018 European Championships.