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Health & Medicine

Long COVID: symptoms experienced during infection may predict lasting illness

Prostock-studio/Shutterstock Olalekan Lee Aiyegbusi, University of Birmingham and Shamil Haroon, University of Birmingham Earlier in the pandemic, it appeared that the majority of people infected with the coronavirus experienced mild-to-moderate symptoms and generally recovered within two to three weeks, depending on the severity of their illness. However, as time has passed, it’s become clear that some people, regardless of the …

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Birth control continues to fail women – so why has nothing changed?

Unpleasant side effects from contraceptives are experienced by many women. Image Point Fr/ Shutterstock Bethan Swift, University of Oxford and Christian Becker, University of Oxford The hunt for a “male birth control pill” is a topic that often grabs attention. But so far no products have been licensed for use, either because they haven’t been effective enough, or because of …

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Are COVID-19 vaccine passports fair?

Simon Kolstoe, University of Portsmouth At the age of 18 I very excitedly packed my bags and headed off for what turned into two years working on a charity hospital ship off the coast of West Africa. Prior to going I was given a list of vaccinations I needed, including yellow fever, hepatitis B, MMR and tetanus/diphtheria. At the time …

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How COVID-19 measures have affected food safety in East Africa

Traders leave their cabbages after the County Governor ordered the closure of the main open air market to curb the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Kisumu, Kenya. CASMIR ODUOR/AFP via Getty Images Florence Mutua, International Livestock Research Institute ; Delia Grace, International Livestock Research Institute , and Erastus Kang’ethe, University of Nairobi Foodborne diseases are thought to impose a …

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COVID-19 vaccine boosters: is a third dose really needed?

Sheena Cruickshank, University of Manchester The UK is enjoying real success with its COVID-19 vaccine coverage. Around 85% of adults (44.8 million people) have received one vaccine dose and 63% (33 million people) both doses, with around 160,000 doses a day still being administered. Vaccination with two doses helps prevent infection, and in those that do still get infected, lessens …

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Plant-based burgers: should some be considered ‘junk food’?

barmalini/ Shutterstock Richard Hoffman, University of Hertfordshire Plant-based diets have surged in popularity during the past few years. As a result, there’s been a boom in demand for plant-based alternatives to favourite foods – including meats, such as sausages and burgers. The plant-based meat alternatives industry is projected to see massive growth over the next few years. But there is …

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COVID variants: could dangerous new ones evolve in pets and farm animals?

V. Belov/Shutterstock Sarah L Caddy, University of Cambridge People have been panicking about COVID-19 in animals since the very start of the pandemic. There’s now plenty of evidence that SARS-CoV-2 – the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 – can cross from humans into other animals. This is known as spillback. The virus is capable of infecting a range of species, from …

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