Health & Medicine

Why it could be dangerous to exercise with a face mask on

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Daniel Carpio/Shutterstock Lindsay Bottoms, University of Hertfordshire The coronavirus began to affect sporting events as early as January 30, when the Chinese Football Association announced it was delaying the start of the football season. Two months later it was revealed that the Tokyo Olympic Games would be postponed until the summer of 2021 – the first postponement in modern Olympic …

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One metre or two? The science behind social distancing

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eamesBot/Shutterstock Lena Ciric, UCL What constitutes a safe distance when it comes to the spread of COVID-19? The answer depends on where you live. China, Denmark and France recommend social distancing of one metre; Australia, Germany and Italy recommend 1.5 metres, and the US recommends six feet, or 1.8 metres. The UK, meanwhile, is reconsidering its relatively large two-metre distancing …

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Coronavirus: wastewater can tell us where the next outbreak will be

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Daniel Jedzura/Shutterstock Davey Jones, Bangor University Fairly early in the COVID-19 outbreak, scientists discovered that the virus that causes the disease – SARS-CoV-2 – is shed in faeces. But unlike the virus found in mucus and spit, the bits of virus found in faecal matter are no longer infectious, having lost their protective outer layer. They are merely bits of …

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Scientists around the world are already fighting the next pandemic

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Riccardo Mayer/Shutterstock.com David W Graham, Newcastle University and Peter Collignon, Australian National University If a two-year-old child living in poverty in India or Bangladesh gets sick with a common bacterial infection, there is more than a 50% chance an antibiotic treatment will fail. Somehow the child has acquired an antibiotic resistant infection – even to drugs to which they may …

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Cleaners enter the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke, Massachusetts, where a coronavirus outbreak has killed more than 40 veterans. Getty/Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe

8 ways veterans are particularly at risk from the coronavirus pandemic Cleaners enter the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke, Massachusetts, where a coronavirus outbreak has killed more than 40 veterans. Getty/Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe Jamie Rowen, University of Massachusetts Amherst From the elderly who are facing deadly outbreaks in nursing homes to communities of color facing higher infection and death …

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Asian tiger mosquito gains ground in Illinois

Thanks to unintentional reintroductions and adaptive strategies that enable it to survive the state's harsh winters, the Asian tiger mosquito is becoming more abundant in Illinois.

Photo by James Gathany/CDC NEWS RELEASE 4-JUN-2020 UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN, NEWS BUREAU Researchers report that the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus, has become more abundant across Illinois in the past three decades. Its spread is problematic, as the mosquito can transmit diseases – like chikungunya or dengue fever – to humans. The Asian tiger mosquito originated in the …

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Why it’s important to study coronaviruses in African bats

Viral sequences related to known human coronavirus outbreaks have been identified in horsehoe bats. Dr. Low de Vries, Author provided Wanda Markotter, University of Pretoria The current outbreak of a new coronavirus disease, named COVID-19, raises the question of where diseases like this come from and where the risks lie. By the middle of February almost 2000 people had died …

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Five surprising benefits of a plant-based diet

shutterstock. Shireen Kassam, University of Winchester Many of the important benefits of a plant-based diet – particularly for climate health and animals – are well known. Yet despite the science being very clear, there remains confusion about the impact on human health. We have long known for example, that a diet centred around whole plant-foods – fruits, vegetables, whole-grains, beans, …

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