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Author: Nuno Machado

Evidence Synthesis: What is a “Covid death”

The WHO has decided to make Covid-19 a compulsorily registerable disease and has issued guidelines for attributing cause of death to the disease. “…A COVID-19 death is defined for surveillance

CDC: Death certificates declare homicides, suicides and missing persons as Covid deaths

During 2020, 378,048 deaths in the US were attributed to Covid-19 on death certificates reported to CDC. Because the registration model was questioned and it was hypothesised that some deaths

Evidence Synthesis: What is a “Covid Case”

Evidence Synthesis: What is a “Covid Case” What is a Covid case? The WHO has updated its Covid case definition (16 December). These continue to include suspected, probable and confirmed

Post hoc fallacy (or why do all home-made remedies cure colds)

A logical fallacy is an error in reasoning that renders a given argument invalid. The Post hoc or Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc fallacy is a common logical fallacy that

Excess mortality under 65 in Europe in 2020

The Spectator newspaper has published the overall 2020 excess mortality under the age of 65 of several European countries. Some Eastern and Northern European countries stand out positively, while the

PCR tests: what procedures are used to identify “Covid cases”

PCR tests have been a fundamental part of the strategy that most countries have followed in fighting the pandemic, namely in identifying cases and deaths associated with the infection. In

The Swedish experiment: Who were the guinea pigs?

The Swedish response to the pandemic was described by many as a risky experiment. “Sweden bucks global trend with experimental virus strategy” – Financial Times, 25/03/2020 Today, one year later,

What is the role of asymptomatic transmission? History and evidence

One of the questions that arose in this pandemic was the possibility that individuals without symptoms could be major transmitters of the disease. This hypothesis is now perceived as a

The Authority bias

The authority bias is the tendency to overestimate the opinion of authority figures and obey their indications to the detriment of the analysis of the situation. Small details can reinforce

Cochrane review: effectiveness of masks and hand washing

Cochrane, a recognised organisation that conducts systematic reviews of high-quality studies, provided the update on ‘Physical interventions to interrupt or reduce the spread of respiratory viruses’. In this systematic review

Correlation: Confinements and mortality

In response to this pandemic, many countries have opted for extreme measures. General lockdown was introduced on the grounds that it was a way of decreasing transmission and hence mortality

Correlation and Causality: More than meets the eye

Our evolution has manifested itself largely in our ability to find patterns and trends with very little information. On the one hand, it has allowed us to develop ways of deciding quickly without having complete information (heuristics). For example, when we drive a car and make hundreds of decisions automatically.
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