Earlier in the week it was announced that the joint study by Oxford University and AstraZeneca had been paused because of a serious adverse effect in one of the human guinea pigs.
Today the studies have resumed after the University said it was “expected” that “some participants will become unwell” in large trials such as this one.
So nothing to worry about, I suppose. Matt Hancock certainly isn’t worried. In a statement on the issue he said:
This pause shows we will always put safety first. We will back our scientists to deliver an effective vaccine as soon as safely possible…. – BBC NEWS
We did finally get to find out what the adverse effect was that caused the trial to be paused. The patient was diagnosed with transverse myelitis.
If you are thinking ‘that doesn’t sound to good’, you’d be right, it’s not.
Transverse myelitis or TM as it’s often referred to is a rare neurological condition in which the spinal cord is inflamed. Transverse implies that the inflammation extends horizontally across the spinal cord.
Here is a brief rundown of the condition from the Mayo Clinic:
Transverse myelitis interrupts the messages that the spinal cord nerves send throughout the body. This can cause pain, muscle weakness, paralysis, sensory problems, or bladder and bowel dysfunction.
There are many different causes of transverse myelitis, including infections and immune system disorders that attack the body’s tissues. It could also be caused by other myelin disorders, such as multiple sclerosis. Other conditions, such as a stroke of the spinal cord, are often confused with transverse myelitis, and these conditions require different treatment approaches.
Treatment for transverse myelitis includes medications and rehabilitative therapy. Most people with transverse myelitis recover, at least partially. Those with severe attacks sometimes are left with major disabilities. – Mayo Clinic
Apparently this didn’t concern anyone involved too much though, as it’s back to business as usual.