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August 26, 2022
Ah, the start of a new school year. Maybe you’re one of millions of Americans who have started mingling with peers in the dorms and suddenly find yourself sniffling and wondering if you have COVID-19.
Or you’re just getting back from your summer vacation and the back of your throat has a worrisome itch.
You consider taking an at-home rapid test, but you have lots of questions. With new FDA recommendations on testing, how many times should you test for a definitive result? And, how infectious are you if the positive line is faint? And what if the test turns positive — but only after an hour?Read More…
There’s nothing simple about chronic conditions. A complexity researcher has some ideas to improve care
August 26, 2022
Having a chronic disease can feel like a full-time job. There are the symptoms, the flare-ups, the medications and therapies and appointments. And there are tiny adjustments to be made all the time — to a sitting position, a meal, a plan, an expectation.
And, just like in any job, a person’s ability to do the work required of their chronic disease (or, more likely, their two or more chronic conditions) fluctuates. University of Minnesota researcher Nathan Shippee creates tools that can help providers understand and navigate patient complexity. “How we deliver health care can really either make it a little easier for a person to manage things or a little more difficult,” said Shippee, an associate professor of health policy and management at the university’s public health school.Read More…
August 19, 2022
The next generation of COVID-19 vaccines is on its way, but those shots will be looking to take a seat at an already crowded table.
On the menu in some countries this autumn will be the familiar standards — mRNA and protein vaccines based on the spike protein from the ancestral version of SARS-CoV-2, which ushered in the pandemic. Alongside them will be a smattering of new specials, including mRNA vaccines with spike sequences both from ancestral virus and from Omicron variants.
It is a luxury of choice that many countries don’t have. But the range of options, which will be available at different times, has left people wondering which vaccines to take, and when. “These are hard questions, and there are no real right answers,” says Kathryn Edwards, a pediatrician and director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.Read More…
August 16, 2022
For the health officials who steer vaccination campaigns, it’s going to be a complicated fall. The U.S. plan to roll out updated Covid-19 boosters will not only coincide with the logistical tangle of the regular flu shot drive, but will also face questions about when people should get the new shots to provide themselves with the best protection through our third Covid winter.
It’s a balancing act that health officials run into every year with flu. Vaccinating tens of millions of people takes weeks. People also need a few weeks after their shot for their immune systems to be fully primed. And yet, vaccinators don’t want to put shots in arms too early, either. The power of the flu shot wanes over months, so the concern is that someone who gets a shot in say, September, may lose a chunk of their protection if the peak of the season is going to be in February.Read More…
Medical News Today
July 30, 2022
The pursuit of meaning has underlined human activity for millennia, if not longer — stretching back to thinkers like Aristotle and Plato all the way up to modern-day philosophers, psychologists, and scientists. While different understandings of meaning coexist, both secular and religious thinkers agree that “meaning-search” is a quintessential part of being human — whether they believe that it stems from biological evolution or an innate predisposition. In the Islamic tradition, for example, this is known as the “fitra.”
The central role played by the search for meaning in human experience should come as no surprise. Research shows that not only does finding a sense of meaning in life inform our goals and priorities, but it also shapes how we respond to life’s twists and turns.
Studies, for example, consistently demonstrate a link between finding meaning in life and experiencing psychological well-being.Read More…
August 1, 2022
A vintage military-style trunk she bought at an eastern Michigan flea market when she was a teenager became a staple of Jennifer Poupard’s life. Poupard, now 37, originally bought it to store her CDs. Over the years, the trunk — styled with leather handles and metal buckles — served as a container for shoes, as a coffee table and as a resting place for a record player. When her child, Wallace, was born in 2013, it was put to a new use.
In 2014, Wallace’s 18-month lead check came back as 5.3 micrograms per deciliter. At the time, the Centers for Disease Control’s reference level was 5 micrograms per deciliter. The CDC lowered that threshold to 3.5 in October 2021.Read More…
August 4, 2022
Our tussle with Covid-19 — after a harrowing introduction and then wave upon wave of infections — seems to have settled into a persistent pattern. It may stay that way for a while.
While Covid is not nearly the threat it once was, transmission of the coronavirus remains at sky-high levels. At the same time, the death rate has dropped thanks to vaccinations and improved treatments, and the overwhelming majority of people in the United States have developed some level of protection, from shots, a previous infection, or some combination of the two.Read More…
July 31, 2022
More than two years after Georgia Linders first got sick with COVID, her heart still races at random times. She’s often exhausted. She can’t digest certain foods. Most days, she runs a fever, and when her temperature gets up past a certain point, her brain feels like goo, she says. These are commonly reported symptoms of long COVID.