Health & Medicine

COVID: new antibody treatment could offer up to 18 months’ protection against severe disease

Antibodies (light blue) binding to the spike proteins (dark purple) on the outside of the coronavirus. Design_Cells/Shutterstock Rebecca Aicheler, Cardiff Metropolitan University A new treatment could soon help protect people from developing severe COVID. AstraZeneca has just released results from a phase 3 clinical trial – the final stage of testing before a drug is authorised – that suggest its …

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Preliminary research finds that even mild cases of COVID-19 leave a mark on the brain – but it’s not yet clear how long it lasts

The new findings, although preliminary, are raising concerns about the potential long-term effects of COVID-19. Yuichiro Chino via Getty Images Jessica Bernard, Texas A&M University With more than 18 months of the pandemic in the rearview mirror, researchers have been steadily gathering new and important insights into the effects of COVID-19 on the body and brain. These findings are raising …

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Breastfeeding is tough: new research shows how to make it more manageable

Jacob Lund/Shutterstock David Comerford, University of Stirling The benefits of breastfeeding are wide-ranging and life-changing. Breast milk contains antibodies that reduce the risk of asthma, allergies, diarrhoea and ear infections. Breastfed infants are hospitalised less frequently than infants who are not. In later life, breastfed children and less likely to be overweight and have higher IQs. And women who have …

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COVID and flu: how big could the dual threat be this winter?

Subbotina Anna/Shutterstock Paul Hunter, University of East Anglia Although COVID infections are currently low or in decline in most western countries aside from the UK, there’s still a long way to go before the threat of the pandemic is over. A big concern this winter is if there’s a resurgence of COVID with other respiratory illnesses coming back strongly alongside …

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Want to know about vaccine rollouts in Africa? Click on a country here and find out

Shutterstock Catherine Kyobutungi, African Population and Health Research Center There has been a lot of focus on COVID-19 vaccine inequalities between high-income and low- and middle-income countries. For instance, it is estimated that up to 70% of all vaccines to be produced in 2021 were pre-booked by a handful of countries. This has caused severe bottlenecks in vaccine supply to …

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Breakthrough malaria vaccine offers to reinvigorate the fight against the disease

The first ever malaria vaccine promises to bring the battle against infections back on track. Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images Eunice Anyango Owino, University of Nairobi The World Health Organization has announced a historic move: it has recommended the widespread use of the first ever malaria vaccine. The recommendation is based on the results of an …

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World’s first mass malaria vaccine rollout could prevent thousands of children dying

Danielle Stanisic, Griffith University and Michael Good, Griffith University The world’s first mass vaccination program against malaria, announced this week, is set to prevent millions of children from catching malaria and thousands dying from this debilitating disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended widespread use of the RTS,S/AS01 (Mosquirix) vaccine in young children who are most at risk of …

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Back pain: why exercise can provide relief – and how to do it safely

Our spines are designed to move. Stock-Asso/ Shutterstock Suzanne McDonough, RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences; Joanne Marley, Ulster University, and Michael Thacker, RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences After many months in lockdown, a lot of us are finding that we’re experiencing back pain that we hadn’t been bothered by before. There could be many reasons for …

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