First, there is now a Resources Page here for the most commonly asked questions I'm getting.
Happy to continue to answer your questions/concerns as best I can, so don't be shy about that.
COVID survivors with depressive, cognitive symptoms show signs of brain inflammation
Patients with persistent symptoms of depression and cognitive impairment after a mild to moderate COVID-19 infection had elevated levels of a protein indicating inflammation of the brain, finds a Canadian case-control study published yesterday in JAMA Psychiatry.
The team led by researchers from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto used positron emission tomography (PET) to compare levels of translocator protein, a marker for gliosis (inflammation of the brain), in 20 participants with persistent symptoms of depression and cognitive impairment with those of 20 healthy controls.
The study was conducted from April 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022. Average participant age was 32.9 years, and roughly 60% were women.
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More than 1 in 6 unvaccinated people report health effects of COVID two years after confirmed infection
Around 1 in 6 unvaccinated individuals say they are still experiencing health effects of COVID-19 up to two years after infection, finds a study from Switzerland published by The BMJ.
The findings show that 17% of participants did not return to normal health and 18% reported COVID-19 related symptoms 24 months after initial infection.
Most people who have COVID-19 recover soon after the initial phase of the disease, but others experience persistent health problems (known as long COVID), which can impact quality of life and ability to work.
Previous studies on longer term outcomes after COVID-19 infection have reported a wide range of estimates (22-75% at 12-24 months) preventing researchers from making any firm conclusions about long term treatment and support.
To address some of this uncertainty, researchers looked at patterns of recovery and symptom persistence over two years in adults from the Zurich SARS-CoV-2 Cohort, an ongoing study of individuals with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection.
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Analysis: Mother-to-newborn COVID-19 transmission infrequent
A meta-analysis of 26 studies involving mother-to-child COVID-19 transmission in the first 30 days after birth reveals an overall estimate of SARS-CoV-2 infection among infants of 2.3%. The study was published today in Scientific Reports.
During the initial months of the COVID pandemic, many hospitals stopped practices known to promote breastfeeding and maternal bonding when the mother had an active COVID-19 infection at delivery, including infant room-in, skin-to-skin contact, and breastfeeding itself.
Subsequent studies have shown breastmilk is unlikely to transmit COVID-19 to infants, and indeed contains neutralizing antibodies when mothers have an active infection.
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The Brain and #LongCovid— Eric Topol (@EricTopol) May 28, 2023
I reviewed and contextualized 2 new important German studies and their findings of persistent neuro-inflammation even after mild Covid.
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As long COVID turns three, Americans play disability roulette
Prior mpox infection does not seem to confer even short-term immunity, let alone lifelong immunity, as was hoped based on experience with other orthopox viruses.
Two men were reinfected with mpox in Spain after being both previously infected and vaccinated against the disease.
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Young children, those who have weakened immune systems and older adults most at risk of serious illness from human metapneumovirus
That’s because cases of human metapneumovirus, or HMPV, surged across the U.S. in March.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 19.6% of antigen tests and 10.9% of PCR tests for HMPV were positive in early and mid-March. The numbers are about 36% higher than before the pandemic.
The virus is seasonal, like the annual flu. In the United States, HMPV infections begin circulating in winter and last through spring. And the good news is that levels have dropped.
“HMPV is not something most people need to worry about. It’s essentially another cause of the common cold,” said Larissa May, a professor of emergency medicine and an expert in public health and testing for infectious diseases.
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Fusarium solani implicated in fungal meningitis outbreak tied to Mexican cosmetic surgery
Mexican health officials have identified Fusarium solani, a common soil fungus, in cerebrospinal fluid samples from five American women who got sick after undergoing cosmetic surgery procedures performed under spinal anesthesia at two private clinics in Matamoros, Mexico, from January to April, the World Health Organization (WHO) said today.
The illnesses were the subject of a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Health Advisory Network notice on May 17. The WHO said that, as of May 26, 20 cases have been reported in people who have signs and symptoms compatible with central nervous system infection. The CDC has reported two deaths.
An investigation found that 547 people had procedures at the clinics during the time people got sick, 304 from Mexico and 237 from the United States, the WHO said. In an update this week, the CDC said 220 people in the United States have known exposure, with 11 listed as having probable infections, meaning tests were positive for fungal infection markers, and 14 are listed as having suspected cases, meaning their symptoms are consistent with meningitis. Some of the US patients seen at the clinic didn't have epidural anesthesia.
State health officials in Mexico closed the two clinics on May 13, and investigations into the illnesses are ongoing. So far the fungus source, vehicle, and transmission route are unknown.
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CDC report highlights the need for improved ill-worker policies to prevent foodborne illness
A new report from the CDC underscores the need for improved policies and enforcement to prevent food contamination by ill or infectious food workers. The implementation of paid leave for sick workers is a primary concern.
The research suggests that implementing comprehensive ill-worker policies, such as requiring employees to report illnesses to managers, can effectively reduce the occurrence of employees working while they are sick in restaurants. Furthermore, the study suggests that paid sick leave and supportive regulations are linked to improved food safety outcomes, resulting in lower rates of foodborne illnesses.
In the past few weeks, the U.S. has seen a California restaurant sicken nearly 100 with norovirus, 45 confirmed patients in a Salmonella outbreak from two Mexican restaurants in Boston, and a case of Hepatitis A linked to a Taco Bell in Washington state, showing that foodborne illness outbreaks in retail food establishments are a significant public health concern.
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still an incredible, negligent last of testing.
Drugs and Vaccines:
Devices and Ventilation:
More than 70% of US household COVID spread started with a child
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CDC’s 2023 Epidemic Intelligence Service superspreader conference
Cats can transmit COVID-19 to each other
Tips, general reading for public:
see Epidemiology and CDC's outbreak
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Fired COVID Whistleblower Doesn't Want to Settle His Case
— Ming Lin, MD, says he wants an admission of wrongdoing instead of millions. He is an emergency medicine physician from Washington state who was fired early in the COVID pandemic for publicly airing alleged safety concerns about PeaceHealth.
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Hospitals in Two States Denied an Abortion to a Miscarrying Patient. Investigators Say They Broke Federal Law.
Doctors told her she might die but she couldn’t have an abortion under state law until she got sicker, documents show. The Biden administration says failing to act violates a federal law requiring hospitals to provide emergency care.
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The current coordinated anti-LGBTQ backlash does not represent the views of most Americans. CC:
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ATLANTA POLICE ARREST ORGANIZERS OF BAIL FUND FOR COP CITY PROTESTERS
Part of a brutal crackdown on dissent against the police training facility, the SWAT raid and charges against the protest bail fund are unprecedented.
City Jails No Longer Announcing Deaths Behind Bars, Angering Watchdogs
The Department of Correction says that the de Blasio-era practice of notifying the press when someone dies in a detention facility is over. Advocacy groups and a federal monitor say it’s part of a broader effort to hide wrongdoing.
In India, children under 16 returning to school this month at the start of the school year will no longer be taught about evolution, the periodic table of elements or sources of energy.
The news that evolution would be cut from the curriculum for students aged 15–16 was widely reported last month, when thousands of people signed a petition in protest. But official guidance has revealed that a chapter on the periodic table will be cut, too, along with other foundational topics such as sources of energy and environmental sustainability. Younger learners will no longer be taught certain pollution- and climate-related topics, and there are cuts to biology, chemistry, geography, mathematics and physics subjects for older school students.
Feel good du jour:
Every #MemorialDay, I share this video.— Danny Deraney (@DannyDeraney) May 29, 2023
French caretakers take the sand from Omaha Beach in Normandy and scrub them into the letters to give them the brown/gold coloring.
They do this for all 9,386 soldiers who died.
France also gave us this land as American soil. pic.twitter.com/TfE6gFD6lD
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The Biden Administration, under the supervision of Interior Secretary Haaland, has banned oil drilling at Chaco Canyon, an Indigenous sacred site, for the next 20 years.
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In Chandler, Arizona, Doug is a loyal customer at Arby's restaurant. Actually, he's the most loyal customer they have there. Doug is a 97-year-old World War II veteran, and has long loved the famous roast beef sandwiches on which the chain has built its reputation.— CALL TO ACTIVISM (@CalltoActivism) June 3, 2023
Doug comes… pic.twitter.com/Of0lTxnJpe
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The winner from the Texas Sand Sculpture Festival. pic.twitter.com/lH2sKrz69Q— Mohamad Safa (@mhdksafa) May 27, 2023
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This is Bowie. He overheard you talking about his rubber ducky jacket. Jealousy is a disease. Hopes you get well soon. 12/10 pic.twitter.com/tqBbAWB3pa— WeRateDogs (@dog_rates) May 15, 2023
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Smile for your timeline.. 😊 pic.twitter.com/PzMnresteY— Buitengebieden (@buitengebieden) May 23, 2023
Nothing is wasted in nature or in love. pic.twitter.com/GyjEeBUJ0h— Sarah Bernstein, MD, MHA, FAAP (@sbernsteinmd) May 25, 2023
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"There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature—the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter" —Rachel Carson.
Bits of beauty: