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March 2, 2022 (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.


New CDC Covid-19 metrics drop strong mask recommendations for most of the country (CNN)

Most people in the United States live in areas where those who are healthy do not need to wear masks indoors, according to new US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance -- a sweeping change from what earlier Covid-19 metrics recommended …ow, the CDC's "Covid-19 community level" metrics are based on three pieces of data in a community: new Covid-19 hospitalizations, hospital capacity and new Covid-19 cases. The CDC's website includes a list of US counties and their current Covid-19 levels.. (Note:  In San Diego County, community level is still high.)

More contagious version of omicron spreads in U.S., fueling worries (NPR)

… The virus, known as BA.2, is a strain of the highly contagious omicron variant that appears to spread even more easily — about 30% more easily…BA.2 has now been found from coast to coast and accounts for an estimated 3.9% all new infections nationally…And adding to the concern, one of the remaining antibody treatments for COVID-19 may be less effective against BA.2, according to recent research.

73% of the U.S. immune to omicron variant, experts estimate (10 News)

Immunity is expected to go up to 80% by mid-March.

In-Depth: Exercise may boost antibody levels after vaccination (10 News)

Study finds 90-minute workout increases immunity.

Five months post-covid, Nicole Murphy’s heart rate is still doing strange things (Washington Post)

The prevalence of such symptoms has experts projecting a ‘tidal wave’ of cardiovascular cases related directly and indirectly to the coronavirus


As the Tanks Rolled into Ukraine, So Did Malware. Then Microsoft Entered the War. (Yahoo News)

Last Wednesday, a few hours before Russian tanks began rolling into Ukraine, alarms went off inside Microsoft’s Threat Intelligence Center, warning of a never-before-seen piece of “wiper” malware that appeared aimed at the country’s government ministries and financial institutions. Within three hours, Microsoft threw itself into the middle of a ground war in Europe — from 5,500 miles away. The threat center, north of Seattle, had been on high alert, and it quickly picked apart the malware, named it “FoxBlade” and notified Ukraine’s top cyberdefense authority. Within three hours, Microsoft’s virus detection systems had been updated to block the code, which erases — “wipes” — data on computers in a network.

Anonymous: the hacker collective that has declared cyberwar on Russia (Guardian)

The group has claimed credit for hacking the Russian Ministry of Defence database, and is believed to have hacked multiple state TV channels to show pro-Ukraine content

Apple pauses sales in Russia and stops all exports (NPR)

Apple has paused the sale of iPhones and all other products inside Russia and will stop exports into the country in response to the invasion of Ukraine, the company announced on Tuesday.  The move represents the most dramatic action a Big Tech company has taken to economically squeeze Russia. It comes as governments in the U.S. and Europe along with a growing list of companies, including ExxonMobil and Volkswagen, have acted to isolate Russia as it escalates its conflict in Ukraine.

AirTags are being used to track people and cars. Here's what is being done about it (NPR)

Apple's AirTags were billed as a cheap and easy way to track everything from your keys and wallet to your backpack, but in recent months there have been a number of reports of the small button-sized device being used by stalkers and thieves to track people.

Help Ukraine crypto scams emerge as Ukraine raises over $37 million (Bleeping Computer)

Scammers are now targeting unsuspecting users via phishing webpages, forum posts, and email links enticing users to "help Ukraine" by donating cryptocurrency.  The development follows Ukraine's successful effort of raising over $37 million in crypto donations from all around the world amid the country's ongoing invasion by Russian troops. 

EXCLUSIVE Ukraine to seek action against Russia from about 50 gaming, cloud and other tech firms (Reuters)

Ukraine plans to urge about 50 additional tech companies, including in gaming, esports and internet infrastructure, to take action against Russia following a slew of earlier requests, a top Ukrainian government tech official told Reuters on Wednesday.




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