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A saltwater solution may help stop the SARS-CoV-2 virus in its tracks, Brazilian researchers report.

However, although saline may keep the virus from replicating, it does not offer full protection against infection or a cure for COVID-19.

"It's not a single solution, and it would have to be used in the first few days after infection," said researcher Cristiane Guzzo, a professor of...

A new DNA sensor can detect viruses and tell if they are infectious or not in minutes, a new study finds.

The sensor was developed by using DNA technology, and does not require the need to pretreat test samples. Researchers demonstrated this technique with the human adenovirus (which causes colds and flu) and the virus that causes COVID-19.

"The infectivity status is very important...

THURSDAY, Sept. 23, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Hispanic people in the United States have lower cancer rates than white people, but they are much more likely to develop certain preventable cancers.

"The good news is that overall cancer rates are lower in Hispanic people, but we are seeing very high rates of infectious disease-related cancers, many of which are potentially av...

The future of COVID-19 treatments might include a tiny antibody made by llamas.

British researchers credit a llama named Fifi with their finding.

The investigators said these llama nanobodies, which are also produced by camels, could eventually be produced in a lab and administered by a nasal spray, binding tightly to the COVID-19 virus and neutralizing it.

The potential solu...

Antibodies from current COVID-19 vaccines don't bind well to the new variants of the virus, a study finds.

Researchers collected data from previously published papers about the sequence of antibodies produced by the vaccines. They focused on antibodies against the spike protein, a part of the virus that binds to receptors on human cells to infect them. It's the target of most vaccines.

TUESDAY, Sept. 21, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Older children and kids with chronic diseases are those most likely to wind up in the hospital with COVID-19, researchers have found.

Conditions such as obesity, diabetes and neurologic problems, among others, put kids at risk for severe COVID-19, according to a new U.S. study.

"There's a myth circulating out there ...

As the highly contagious Delta variant has swept across the United States, the country has reached a tragic milestone.

COVID-19 has now killed more Americans than the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic did, when roughly 675,000 people died.

It didn't have to be that way.

"Big pockets of American society — and worse, their leaders — have thrown this away" by not getting vaccinated, ...

MONDAY, Sept. 20, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Pregnant women infected with certain strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) may have a heightened risk of preterm birth, a new study suggests.

HPV is a sexually transmitted disease that can cause genital warts. Most of the time, the immune system clears the infection. But some strains of HPV become persistent in a minority of pe...

If a person is diagnosed with COVID-19 in the United States right now, it's almost certainly caused by the Delta variant.

The highly transmissible variant, which caused crippling surges in India and Britain this past spring and fueled case spikes in the United States this summer, is now responsible for over 99% of all cases tracked in this country, according to the latest data from the

A study of millions of people vaccinated against COVID-19 has identified those at greatest risk of hospitalization and death after breakthrough infection.

The most vulnerable are those who are immunosuppressed from chemotherapy, a recent bone marrow or solid organ transplant, or HIV/AIDS. Also at risk are people with neurological disorders (such as dementia and Parkinson's disease), nur...

An advisory panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday recommended a third Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine booster shot for all Americans aged 65 or older, as well as for those deemed to be at high risk for severe illness.

According to The New York Times, that vote came after a near unanimous decision (16 to 2) by the same independent panel of experts that sa...

In kids and teens, symptoms of long COVID rarely last more than 12 weeks, a new international study reports.

The researchers also found that exposure to the highly contagious Delta variant did not result in more serious disease in children compared to earlier variants, and that most cases of COVID-19 were asymptomatic or mild.

Despite those reassurances, the study did include a trou...

U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisors will meet Friday to consider whether it is safe and effective for Americans to receive a third "booster" dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

The FDA posted the materials it intends to use in the review on Wednesday. The advisory panel will review a variety of evidence, including new data from Israel, the Associated Press<...

Health officials are bracing for a viral double whammy this fall and winter.

"This year, we expect influenza and COVID-19 to circulate at the same time," said Dr. Jonathan Grein, director of hospital epidemiology at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles.

That's why Grein and his colleagues remind Americans that it's time to get your seasonal flu shot. This fall, it's not only a key to keepin...

The cost of providing hospital care for unvaccinated Americans has reached $5.7 billion in just three months, CBS News reported.

Between June and August, about 287,000 people who were not vaccinated were hospitalized for COVID-19 in the United States, according to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) and the Peterson Center on Healthcare, which collaborated to track healt...

The number of U.S. infants born with syphilis is climbing at an alarming pace, reaching a high not seen since the 1990s, according to new government figures.

Newborn syphilis, a potentially fatal condition, was at one time nearly eliminated in the United States. But the disease has seen a resurgence in recent years — and 2020 was no exception, say researchers with the U.S. Centers for D...

As severe cases of COVID-19 rise and demand surges for monoclonal antibody treatments, the U.S. government is ordering more from two key suppliers.

Monoclonal antibodies, which are lab-engineered immune system proteins, can help trigger a healthy immune response against COVID-19 infection.

The Biden administration has also taken over distributing the therapeutics, to help avoid shor...

Multiple sclerosis (MS) patients undergoing a treatment that depletes a type of immune cell that fuels MS attacks still have a strong response to mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, a new study finds.

"The message from this study is clear — it is worthwhile for patients with MS receiving [anti-CD20] treatment to get a COVID-19 vaccine, which will prevent severe illness," said researcher E. John Whe...

It's hard to resist those big, pleading eyes in the pet store window. But buyer beware. Pet store puppies may infect people with a bacteria for which no common antibiotic treatment exists, a new study warns.

Campylobacter jejuni (C jejuni) cannot be treated with any common antibiotics and is an increasing public health threat, according to researchers at the U.S. Center...

Jeff Bridges has had a rough year.

Almost a year ago, the actor was diagnosed with lymphoma. Then in January, he was exposed to the COVID-19 virus while receiving chemotherapy.

"Covid kicked my (expletive) pretty good," Bridges wrote in a blog post on his website, USA Today reported.

Bridges, 71, said he spent five weeks in the hospital with COVID-19 because his imm...

People who eat plenty of fruits and vegetables may have a somewhat lower risk of COVID-19 than those with unhealthy diets, a new study suggests.

Of more than 590,000 adults surveyed, researchers found that the quarter with the most plant-rich diets had a 9% lower risk of developing COVID-19 than the quarter with the least-healthy diets.

Their risk of severe COVID-19, meanwhile, was ...

There's more sobering news for anyone still unvaccinated against the new coronavirus: Your odds of dying from COVID-19 are 11-fold higher than someone who's fully immunized, new research shows.

The data comes from one of three studies published Friday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Looking at cases over the past two months when the Delta variant was the pre...

The law on whether or not students in Florida schools will be required to wear masks has changed again.

On Friday the First District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee reinstated that state's ban on school mask mandates, CBS News reported.

The issue has been in flux since July, when Governor Ron DeSantis signed an executive order barring school districts from requiring...

Los Angeles has become the first major school system in the United States to mandate COVID-19 vaccination for all students 12 and older.

L.A.'s Board of Education voted unanimously Thursday to require all students 12 and older to be vaccinated before they can attend in-person classes, The New York Times reported. The school district is the second largest in the nation, and the m...

With tens of millions of Americans now vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of August, so-called "breakthrough" cases are bound to occur. But there's reassuring news from new data: Most such cases are mild and those leading to hospitalization are exceedingly rare.

Overall, the latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that as of Aug. 30, there have been...

President Joe Biden is slated to announce an ambitious six-point plan to double down on a resurgent COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, including more pressure on government, business and schools to implement vaccine mandates, news sources report. A speech outlining the new plan is scheduled for 5 p.m. Eastern on Thursday, The New York Times said.

Speaking Wednesday at a med...

School districts in Florida can require their students to wear masks, despite the governor's order blocking mask mandates -- for now at least.

A circuit court judge in Leon County ruled Wednesday that the state can't enforce Gov. Ron DeSantis' ban on school mask mandates,CBS News reported.

"We're not in normal times. We are in a pandemic," said Leon County Circuit Judge...

There have now been more than 40 million cases of COVID-19 recorded among Americans, according to a database maintained by The New York Times. That's nearly one-fifth of the global total of cases.

With the Delta variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus cutting a swathe through the United States, and about 47% of the eligible population still not fully vaccinated, COVID-19 has ro...

Young people appear to have normal lung function after recovering from COVID-19, new studies find.

In one, Swedish researchers found that even asthma patients had no significant impairment in lung function.

In the other, German researchers found unimpaired lung function after kids and teens had a COVID-19 infection -- unless their infection was severe.

"The COVID-19 pandemic h...

With the Delta variant surging and many Americans mask- and vaccine-free, new cases of COVID-19 spiked to levels over the long Labor Day weekend that were 300% higher than those seen over the same weekend in 2020, according to a new tally from Johns Hopkins University.

That means packed hospitals and rising numbers of infected children as a new school year begins, according to

  • Ernie Mundell HealthDay Reporter
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  • September 7, 2021
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  • While the United States is one of the only developed nations without universal sick leave, workers with COVID-19 can take paid emergency leave -- at least for now.

    Problem is: Fewer than half of U.S. workers know it's available, according to a new study. And, the researchers add, cases of sick employees who couldn't take time off have tripled during the pandemic.

    "When the governmen...

    It's still not OK to kiss your chickens or your ducklings -- you could catch a salmonella infection from barnyard birds.

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has offered that warning before, and now an agriculture expert reminds backyard farmers that it's better to have a less hands-on approach with their feathered friends.

    People should take simple sani...

    As the school year gets underway across the United States, new data shows that coronavirus cases among children are climbing.

    Since the pandemic began, children have represented 14.8% of total cases, but for the week ending Aug. 26, that percentage jumped to 22.4%, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

    While child COVID-19 cases declined in early summer, they have "increa...

    A new, huge study provides real-world proof that mask-wearing limits the spread of the coronavirus.

    "I think this should basically end any scientific debate about whether masks can be effective in combating COVID at the population level," Jason Abaluck, a Yale University economist who helped lead the study, told the Washington Post.

    He called the findings "a nail in the cof...

    As the new school year begins, teachers can take comfort in a new report that finds they have no greater risk of catching or being hospitalized for severe COVID-19 than anyone else.

    Researchers in Scotland say that might be because many schools take precautions that other workplaces don't. It's also possible that the teachers in the study were younger and healthier than other workers, the...

    The COVID-19 pandemic has spurred a resurgence in other infections that strike hospitalized patients, a U.S. government study finds.

    The study, by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, highlights the broad toll the pandemic has taken. It found that rates of several types of hospital-acquired infections rose after the pandemic reached U.S. shores in 2020.

    More hospital...

    In a finding that should reassure Americans who have already lined up to get their coronavirus shots, a new study shows the risk of long COVID-19 is halved in fully vaccinated adults if they do get a breakthrough infection.

    Researchers analyzed data from people who provided information for a COVID symptom study in the U.K. between Dec. 8, 2020, and July 4, 2021, including 1.2 million who...

    A new study of more than 19,000 San Diego health care workers finds that COVID-19 vaccination may have lost some of its power to ward off "breakthrough" infections.

    But that's no reason to lose faith in the vaccines: In the study, the rate of COVID-19 infection in July among unvaccinated workers was nearly triple that of people who had gotten their shots.

    Still, the study found a "d...

    As doctors around the world come up against severe cases of COVID-19, some positive news has emerged: New research shows the rheumatoid arthritis drug baricitinib may help reduce hospitalized COVID patients' risk of death.

    Current standard-of-care medications aren't enough, said study co-author Dr. E. Wesley Ely, a professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville...

    If you're vaccinated against COVID-19, you may still get infected -- but the odds you'll need hospitalization are reduced by about two-thirds compared to unvaccinated people, a new study reveals.

    Vaccination also greatly increases the chances that COVID-19 infection will be asymptomatic and halves the risk of long-haul symptoms -- those lasting 28 days or more, researchers report in T...

    The debate over masks in schools intensified on Monday, as the U.S. Education Department launched a civil rights investigation into mask mandate bans in five states while Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis made good on his promise to slash funds to school districts that have defied his ban.

    Why a federal investigation? Such bans may restrict access to classrooms for disabled students who are at hi...

    The ability of COVID-19 vaccines to protect adults older than 75 against hospitalization appears to wane over time, but still remained 80% effective as of the end of July, new federal data shows.

    The same data indicates that vaccines continued to offer the same or nearly the same level of protection against hospitalization for people up to the age of 75, and the shots remained 94% effecti...

    You caught a case of COVID-19 and then you got your first dose of a vaccine. Maybe you now think you are protected from coronavirus infections in the future.

    Think again: New research shows that prior COVID-19 infection alone doesn't guarantee a high level of antibodies against the coronavirus or a strong response after just one dose of two-dose vaccines.

    The new study included 27 ...

    A high amount of coronavirus in the lungs is a major contributor to death in COVID-19 patients, new research shows.

    The findings challenge previous theories that simultaneous infections such as pneumonia or an overreaction of the body's immune system are significant factors in COVID-19 deaths, the researchers noted.

    To come to that conclusion, the investigators analyzed bacterial an...

    Demand for Abbott Laboratories' at-home COVID-19 tests has reached "unprecedented" levels and supply may be limited in the coming weeks, the company says.

    Sales have skyrocketed due to the surge in cases driven by the highly transmissible Delta variant, CNN reported.

    "We're seeing unprecedented demand as case rates rise -- and we've been scaling up manufacturing since Delta...

    In another grim reminder of the toll that the pandemic continues to take on Americans, the daily average for hospitalized COVID-19 patients is now higher than any previous case surge except last winter.

    As that daily average topped 100,000, coronavirus deaths have also risen to an average of more than 1,000 a day for the first time since March, The New York Times reported.

    ...

    MONDAY, Aug. 30, 2021 (Healthday News) -- A case study from California may fuel further debate about vaccine mandates in schools as students return to classrooms.

    It occurred in Marin County, Calif., in May and involved an unvaccinated elementary school teacher infected with the highly contagious Delta variant who then infected half of the students in a classroom, triggering an outbreak t...

    A common bug called respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) circulating among American kids during what's normally its off-season may cause concern if parents don't know how to tell it apart from COVID-19, experts say.

    Getting RSV during the summer is unusual, but the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently issued an alert about a rise in RSV cases in Southern states.

    "We...

    The Delta variant is not only much more infectious than earlier versions of the new coronavirus, but it's also twice as likely to land you in the hospital with life-threatening complications, new British research shows.

    "Our analysis highlights that in the absence of vaccination, any Delta outbreaks will impose a greater burden on health care than an Alpha epidemic," co-lead study author ...

    Nearly half of coronavirus patients in a large, new study were still suffering at least one lingering symptom of their illness a full year after being hospitalized for COVID-19.

    The latest findings add to a growing pile of evidence that suggests recovery is no easy task with this virus.

    Published Thursday in

  • Ernie Mundell and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
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  • August 27, 2021
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