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October 27, 2021 (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.


There’s Now CDC Data on How Much More Likely Unvaxxed Adults Are to Die of Covid (Yahoo)

…Throughout the month of August, unvaccinated adults were 11 times more likely to die from Covid-19 than fully vaccinated adults, according to new data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC also found that unvaccinated adults faced a six times as likely to contract the virus than fully vaccinated adults.

‘Oh my gosh. I’m myself again.’ Growing evidence vaccines prevent, treat long COVID (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Patients from San Diego to London to Paris are saying that lingering COVID-19 symptoms tend to improve after vaccination. Scientists are trying to understand why.

CNN Investigation: Tens of millions of filthy, used medical gloves imported into the US (CNN)

Trash bags stuffed full of used medical gloves, some visibly soiled, some even blood-stained, litter the floor of a warehouse on the outskirts of Bangkok….There are many more warehouses just like it still in operation today in Thailand -- trying to cash in on the demand for medical-grade nitrile gloves, which exploded with the coronavirus pandemic. And they're boxing up millions of these sub-standard gloves for export to the United States, and countries around the world amid a global shortage that will take years to ease. A months-long CNN investigation has found that tens of millions of counterfeit and second-hand nitrile gloves have reached the United States, according to import records and distributors who bought the gloves -- and that's just the tip of the iceberg. Criminal investigations are underway…

J&J vaccine recipients should get their second dose as soon as it's available, experts say (CNN)

The US Food and Drug Administration advisory committee recommended Friday that all adults who received the single-dose J&J shot should get a second vaccine at least two months after their first dose.  On Thursday, the same committee backed emergency use authorization for booster shots of Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine after six months, but not for everyone.

Merck will ask regulators to authorize the first antiviral pill designed to treat COVID-19, after a trial found it halved the risk of hospitalization or death (Business Insider)

…The companies said Friday morning that they would apply for emergency authorization from the Food and Drug Administration "as soon as possible," adding that they had stopped recruitment into their study early because the results were so positive. They said they'd also seek authorization from regulators around the world. If they get authorization, their drug, molnupiravir, would be the first antiviral pill on the market designed specifically to treat COVID-19 patients.

U.S. COVID-19 vaccine rates up thanks to mandates; cases and deaths down -officials (Reuters)

Vaccination rates against COVID-19 in the United States have risen by more than 20 percentage points after multiple institutions adopted vaccine requirements, while case numbers and deaths from the virus are down, Biden administration officials said on Wednesday.  White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients told reporters that 77% of eligible Americans had received at least one shot of a vaccine.

Chronic pain is surprisingly treatable — when patients focus on the brain (Washington Post)

An unexpected therapy shows results.

With Mandates Approaching, Demand for Fake COVID-19 Vaccination Cards Explodes (NBC San Diego)

In the weeks since President Biden mandated larger private employers to require their employees be vaccinated or regularly tested, both the supply and demand for fake vaccination cards in the U.S. has skyrocketed… fake vaccination cards can lead to fines and up to 5 years in prison in addition to local laws. But, there are other consequences buyers should be aware of…fake vaccination card vendors are likely to take the personal information given to them to make the cards and resell the data on the dark web to the highest bidder.

U.S. judge upholds COVID-19 vaccine requirement for those with 'natural immunity'  (Reuters)

A U.S. judge upheld the University of California’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement against a challenge by a professor who alleged he had immunity due to a prior coronavirus infection, in what appears to be the first ruling on the issue.

Global TB deaths are rising — and COVID gets the blame (NPR)

TB patients have become collateral damage in the train wreck that is COVID-19. Until the emergence of COVID, tuberculosis was the deadliest infectious disease in the world. But health care workers were making slow, steady progress to contain it. Now for the first time in more than a decade the death toll from TB is rising.


Ancient Footprints Show Humans Lived In The Americas Earlier Than Once Thought  (NPR)

The question of when humans first migrated to North America has long been a matter of hot debate among researchers who have continually uncovered evidence of ever-earlier dates. Now, analysis of ancient fossilized human footprints in New Mexico has pushed the date back once again — to at least 21,000 years ago.

Hacks and data breaches are all too common. Here’s what to do if you’re affected. (Washington Post)

Avoiding hacks isn’t always possible, but there are ways to mitigate the damage.

The Facebook Papers: What you need to know about the trove of insider documents  (NPR)

Facebook's rank-and-file employees warned their leaders about the company's effects on society and politics in the U.S. — and its inability to effectively moderate content in other countries magnified those dangers. Those are two of the main takeaways from thousands of internal Facebook documents that NPR and other news outlets have reviewed.

William Shatner, Star Trek’s Capt. Kirk, flies to space and back, adding to this year’s number of civilian astronauts (Washington Post)

The actor joined a private space movement that has picked up speed and outpaced NASA.

EPA Moves To Sharply Limit Potent Gases Used In Refrigerators And Air Conditioners  (NPR)

In what officials call a key step to combat climate change, the Environmental Protection Agency is sharply limiting domestic production and use of hydrofluorocarbons, highly potent greenhouse gases commonly used in refrigerators and air conditioners.

Elephants have evolved to be tuskless because of ivory poaching, a study finds (NPR)

 A hefty set of tusks is usually an advantage for elephants, allowing them to dig for water, strip bark for food and joust with other elephants. But during episodes of intense ivory poaching, those big incisors become a liability. Now researchers have pinpointed how years of civil war and poaching in Mozambique have led to a greater proportion of elephants that will never develop tusks.

Microsoft Shuts LinkedIn China, Citing ‘Challenging’ Climate (Bloomberg)

Microsoft Corp.’s LinkedIn is shuttering a localized version of its professional networking platform in China, becoming the last major U.S. social media provider to pull out of the country and marking the demise of a rare U.S. tech success there.

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