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Thursday, February 25, 2021
Pfizer’s vaccine appears to reduce coronavirus transmission

Pfizer’s vaccine appears to reduce coronavirus transmission

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Researchers are getting the first real-world hints that a vaccine can curb the coronavirus’s spread, not just prevent people from getting seriously ill.  People vaccinated with Pfizer’s shots and who still get infected with the coronavirus carry less virus in their bodies than unvaccinated people who are infected, researchers from Israel report in two separate…
Making masks fit better can reduce coronavirus exposure by 96 percent

Making masks fit better can reduce coronavirus exposure by 96 percent

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By now, most people have gotten the message that wearing a face mask is one way to help stop the spread of COVID-19. But now health officials are taking the masking message a step further: Don’t just wear a mask, wear it well. Taking steps to improve the way medical masks fit can protect wearers…
How coronavirus variants may drive reinfection and shape vaccination efforts

How coronavirus variants may drive reinfection and shape vaccination efforts

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Vaccine rollout in the United States has been undeniably slow. And while we wait, worrisome new coronavirus variants are emerging, heightening the urgency to control the pandemic. Some variants, including ones first identified in Brazil, South Africa and the United Kingdom, have mutations that help the coronavirus evade parts of the immune system, raising the…
The animals that ticks bite in the U.S. South can impact Lyme disease spread

The animals that ticks bite in the U.S. South can impact...

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The paucity of Lyme disease cases in the southern United States may be partly due to what black-legged ticks in southern locales bite. Although black-legged ticks (Ixodes scapularis) claim much of the eastern half of the country as their home, the Lyme disease they spread is largely concentrated in the Northeast and increasingly in the…
Nearly half a million U.S. children missed out on lead tests in early 2020

Nearly half a million U.S. children missed out on lead tests...

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Close to a half million U.S. children didn’t get tested for lead in the first half of 2020. Nearly 10,000 of those children may have elevated levels of the toxic metal in their blood, researchers estimate. The study is another troubling indicator of the preventive medical care that children as well as adults in the…
What do COVID-19 vaccines mean for daily life in the months ahead?

What do COVID-19 vaccines mean for daily life in the months...

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As more COVID-19 vaccines show signs of being able to protect people from getting really sick, they’re fueling hopes that some sense of normalcy is within reach. Two vaccines have been authorized for emergency use in the United States and are slowly getting into arms across the country. And two more vaccine makers have just…
One-shot COVID-19 vaccine is effective against severe disease

One-shot COVID-19 vaccine is effective against severe disease

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A single-shot coronavirus vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson is 85 percent effective at preventing severe disease and death, even against new variants of the virus, the company announced in its interim analysis January 29. The vaccine didn’t fare as well at preventing more moderate cases of COVID-19, particularly in Latin America and South Africa,…
Diabetes during pregnancy is tied to heart trouble later in life

Diabetes during pregnancy is tied to heart trouble later in life

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Diabetes brought on by pregnancy might set a woman up for heart trouble later on, even if her blood sugar levels snap back to normal. That finding, from a large, long-term study, suggests that doctors should pay careful attention to the hearts of people who previously had gestational diabetes. The results, published online February 1…
The antidepressant fluvoxamine could keep mild COVID-19 from worsening

The antidepressant fluvoxamine could keep mild COVID-19 from worsening

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The antidepressant fluvoxamine could prevent people from getting seriously ill with COVID-19, curbing hospitalizations, new data show. The results come from real-world use of the drug to treat workers at the Golden Gate Fields horse racing track in Berkeley, Calif. Of those who opted to take fluvoxamine, none got sicker, and within two weeks, their…
COVID-19 precautions may be reducing cases of flu and other respiratory infections

COVID-19 precautions may be reducing cases of flu and other respiratory...

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Heading into the dead of winter, doctors and scientists have noticed something odd: Missing cases of non-COVID-19 respiratory illnesses, specifically flu and respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV. “We’re seeing very low numbers of both of these infections, even now, while we’re in the peak season,” says Rachel Baker, an epidemiologist at Princeton University. “We really…

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