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November 9,  2020 (San Diego's East County) -- Our Health and Science Highlights provide cutting edge news that could impact your health and our future.



For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.


Pfizer Says Experimental COVID-19 Vaccine Is More Than 90% Effective  (NPR)

…That news comes from an interim analysis of a study involving 43,538 volunteers…  this analysis alone does not provide enough information about the vaccine for Pfizer to ask the FDA for permission to distribute it. The agency has informed manufacturers that it wants a minimum of two months of follow-up data from at least half of the volunteers. The FDA says the reason for that requirement is that most dangerous side effects from a vaccine occur within two months of getting the final injection. Pfizer says that data won't be available until the third week in November.

Task force warns new coronavirus cases are increasing 'exponentially' in weekly state reports (CNN)

Despite President Donald Trump's claims at campaign rallies that the pandemic would vanish on November 4 and members of the media would stop covering it, rising cases, hospitalizations, and deaths nationwide are causing the White House coronavirus task force to sound dire warnings in weekly reports released to states.

Building wave of ransomware attacks strike U.S. hospitals (Reuters)

Eastern European criminals are targeting dozens of U.S. hospitals with ransomware, and federal officials on Wednesday urged healthcare facilities to beef up preparations rapidly in case they are next.

Wildfire smoke may help virus spread, mouthwash helps curb it (Reuters)

The following is a roundup of some of the latest scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus.

Colleges turn to wastewater testing in an effort to flush out the coronavirus (NPR)

People who have been infected with SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, shed virus particles through their feces when they go to the bathroom. Wastewater monitoring provides an early opportunity to catch the virus because it can detect an infection days before respiratory symptoms show up, and even if they never show up at all in the case of asymptomatic individuals.

Long-term problems in younger low-risk COVID-19 patients; flu shot may offer some protection (Reuters)

The following is a roundup of some of the latest scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus.

Federal Documents Show Which Hospitals Are Filling Up With COVID Patients : Shots - Health News   (NPR)

About 24% of U.S. hospitals are using more than 80% of their ICU capacity, based on reporting from nearly 5,000 "priority facilities," and more hospitals have joined their ranks in recent weeks.


Twitter and Facebook warning labels aren’t enough to save democracy(Washington Post)

This election proved Big Tech still hasn’t figured out how to make truth spread faster than lies.

Facebook’s latest attempt to slow disinformation means probation for groups (Washington Post)

Facebook's latest attempt to control the spread of misinformation following the election is setting limits for groups it detects violating community standards.

The feds just seized Silk Road’s $1 billion stash of bitcoin (Newsbreak)

On Wednesday, Ars reported that someone had transferred close to $1 billion in bitcoin out of a wallet likely associated with the Silk Road crime bazaar. Now we know who that mystery party is: the US Department of Justice, which in 2013 shut down Silk Road and went on to put its founder, Ross Ulbricht, behind bars for life.



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