Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version Share this

February 18, 2024 (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.


US is '18 months or so' away from finding bird flu vaccine, says agriculture secretary (Reuters)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is "18 months or so" away from identifying a vaccine for the current strain of bird flu and is developing a process to distribute it, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Wednesday. USDA has found bird flu in 8 commercial flocks and 14 backyard flocks so far this year, affecting 530,000 poultry, according to agency data. More than 81 million U.S. poultry and aquatic birds have been killed by avian flu across 47 states since January 2022, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Does Your Blood Type Affect Your Heart Health? Yes, but Here's the Full Story (CNet)

Certain blood types are associated with health problems like blood clotting, but that's just one piece of the heart health puzzle.

How the anti-vaccine movement is downplaying the danger of measles(NBC)

As outbreaks of measles spread throughout the world, anti-vaccine activists…[are] falsely downplaying the dangers from the highly contagious respiratory disease….  Last month, the World Health Organization announced an “alarming” 45-fold increase in measles in Europe from 2022 to 2023…. Before a measles vaccine became available in 1963, the U.S. saw millions of cases per year,  tens of thousands of related hospitalizations, and hundreds of deaths, according to the CDC.

The abortion pill case on its way to the Supreme Court cites a retracted paper  (NPR)

A scientific paper that raised concerns about the safety of the abortion pill mifepristone was retracted by its publisher this week. The study was cited three times by a federal judge who ruled against mifepristone last spring. That case, which could limit access to mifepristone throughout the country, will soon be heard in the Supreme Court.

Listeria recall expands to include bean dips, salad dressings, taco kits and more 

More foods are being recalled in the wake of a deadly outbreak of listeria food poisoning, including snack foods that may be part of Super Bowl Sunday party menus. / Seven-layer bean dip, chicken enchiladas, cilantro salad dressing and taco kits sold at stores like Costco, Trader Joe's and Albertson's are part of the growing recalls of products made by Rizo Lopez Foods, Inc., of Modesto, California, federal health officials said.


Climate scientist Michael Mann is suing for defamation in court  (NPR)

In a D.C. courtroom, a trial is wrapping up this week with big stakes for climate science. One of the world's most prominent climate scientists is suing a right wing author and a policy analyst for defamation.

Finance worker pays out $25 million after video call with deepfake ‘chief financial officer’ (CNN)

A finance worker at a multinational firm was tricked into paying out $25 million to fraudsters using deepfake technology to pose as the company’s chief financial officer in a video conference call, according to Hong Kong police.The elaborate scam saw the worker duped into attending a video call with what he thought were several other members of staff, but all of whom were in fact deepfake recreations, Hong Kong police said at a briefing on Friday.

FCC declares AI-generated voices in robocalls are illegal (CBS News)

The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday declared the use of voice-cloning technology in robocalls to be illegal, giving states another tool to go after fraudsters behind the calls. The ruling takes effect immediately and comes amid an increase in such calls due to technology that offers the ability to confuse people with recordings that mimic the voices of celebrities, political candidates and even close family members.  "Bad actors are using AI-generated voices in unsolicited robocalls to extort vulnerable family members, imitate celebrities and misinform votes," FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel stated. "State attorneys general will now have new tools to crack down on these scams and ensure the public is protected from fraud and misinformation."

Reduce, reuse, redirect outrage: How plastic makers used recycling as a fig leaf (KPBS)

The plastics industry has worked for decades to convince people and policymakers that recycling would keep waste out of landfills and the environment….Yet from the early days of recycling, plastic makers, including oil and gas companies, knew that it wasn't a viable solution to deal with increasing amounts of waste, according to documents uncovered by the Center for Climate Integrity.










Error message

Support community news in the public interest! As nonprofit news, we rely on donations from the public to fund our reporting -- not special interests. Please donate to sustain East County Magazine's local reporting and/or wildfire alerts at to help us keep people safe and informed across our region.