Health & Medicine

How will the COVID pandemic end?

Paul Hunter, University of East Anglia After over 18 months of this pandemic, with the social distancing, mask wearing and on-off lockdowns, what we all want to know more than anything else is when it will all be over and how it will end. While nothing is certain, we have a lot of evidence on which to build some realistic …

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Here’s what happens when two very different respiratory viruses infect the same cell – new study

Influenza virus particles. Kateryna Kon/Shutterstock Connor Bamford, Queen’s University Belfast Right now, there’s just one virus on everyone’s minds: SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. But humanity is plagued by many respiratory viruses, such as influenza A (IAV) and respiratory syncytial viruses (RSV), which cause hundreds of thousands of deaths every year. Most of these viruses – apart from influenza …

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COVID infections may give more potent immunity than vaccines – but that doesn’t mean you should try to catch it

Charlotte Thålin, Karolinska Institutet Israel was way ahead of the rest of the world when it came to COVID vaccination, so it’s not surprising that data from this corner of the Mediterranean causes a lot of excitement – it’s a glimpse into the future. Indeed, this happened recently when researchers at Maccabi Healthcare Services in Tel Aviv released a preprint …

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Mu: everything you need to know about the new coronavirus variant of interest

Lightspring/Shutterstock Luke O’Neill, Trinity College Dublin The World Health Organization (WHO) has added another coronavirus variant to its list to monitor. It’s called the mu variant and has been designated a variant of interest (VOI). What this means is that mu has genetic differences to the other known variants and is causing infections in multiple countries, so therefore might present …

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COVID-19 in India: an unfolding humanitarian crisis

Michael Head, University of Southampton There have been many predictions about how many people have had COVID-19 and whether or not this or that country has reached herd immunity. We have seen this before in Manaus, Brazil, and in India. The optimism is alas always misplaced and occasionally used irresponsibly. We have seen approaches to naturally acquired herd immunity proposed …

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Ronapreve: new COVID-19 treatment has just been authorised – here’s everything you need to know

Corona Borealis Studio/Shutterstock Lara Marks, University of Cambridge The UK medicines regulator has just approved a new COVID-19 treatment. Branded Ronapreve in the UK and REGEN-COV in the US, the drug was developed by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals with Roche. It first grabbed headlines in October 2020 when President Trump received it during his COVID-19 infection. Already licensed for emergency use in …

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COVID: long-lasting symptoms rarer in children than in adults – new research

Halfpoint/Shutterstock Robert Hughes, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine; Emma Duncan, King’s College London; Michael Absoud, King’s College London, and Sunil Bhopal, Newcastle University When COVID-19 arrived, it quickly became clear that older age was the biggest risk factor for developing severe disease. Indeed, there are few diseases for which age is so clearly the most important risk factor. …

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The impact of COVID-19 has been lower in Africa. We explore the reasons

International efforts should prioritise equitable access to vaccines. Immanuel A.Afolabi/Majority World/Universal Images Group via Getty Images Alex Ezeh, Drexel University; Michael Silverman, Western University, and Saverio Stranges, Western University There’s been an increase in COVID-19 deaths across Africa since mid-July 2021. But the impact of the pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa remains markedly lower compared to the Americas, Europe and Asia. …

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Type 2 diabetes: more than one type of diet can help people achieve remission

Low-carbohydrate diets have also been shown to help people achieve remission. Elena Shashkina/ Shutterstock Duane Mellor, Aston University and Dr Adrian Brown, UCL Until recently, type 2 diabetes has mainly been managed by controlling risk factors – such as high blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar (glucose) levels – usually by prescribing drugs. But this approach doesn’t address the underlying …

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