Health

Covid Has Resurged, but Scientists See a Diminished Threat
Health

Covid Has Resurged, but Scientists See a Diminished Threat

The holidays have come and gone, and once again Americans are riding a tide of respiratory ailments, including Covid. But so far, this winter’s Covid uptick seems less deadly than last year’s, and much less so than in 2022, when the Omicron surge ground the nation to a halt.“We’re not seeing the signs that would make me think that we’re heading into another severe wave,” said Caitlin Rivers, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. “So far, we’re in relatively good shape.”Still, there are few masks in sight, and just a fraction of the most vulnerable people have received the latest Covid shots, she noted.“It’s not too late,” Dr. Rivers added. “We have not even reached peak yet for Covid, and once you reach peak, you still have to get down the other side.” That lea...
Monica Bertagnolli, NIH’s New Leader, Wants to Broaden Participation in Medical Research
Health

Monica Bertagnolli, NIH’s New Leader, Wants to Broaden Participation in Medical Research

When Dr. Monica M. Bertagnolli moved into the director’s suite at the National Institutes of Health, she brought with her a single piece of art, a lithograph created by the granddaughter of a cancer patient she once treated. It depicts an abstract geometric female figure and the organs she lost to cancer. Its title: “We Are Not What You Have Taken: A Response to Cancer.”The image speaks to Dr. Bertagnolli, a cancer surgeon who previously led the National Cancer Institute and is a breast-cancer survivor herself.After being nominated by President Biden in the spring and winning Senate confirmation last month, she became the 17th director of the N.I.H., which has a budget of more than $47 billion and occupies a sprawling campus in Bethesda, Md. She is only the second woman to lead the biomedi...
La variante JN.1 ya domina en EE. UU.
Health

La variante JN.1 ya domina en EE. UU.

Hasta donde saben los expertos, la JN.1 no parece causar enfermedad grave en la mayoría de las personas, aunque hasta un caso leve puede hacerte sentir “bastante mal durante tres o cuatro días”, señaló Schaffner. Los síntomas de una infección por JN.1 son similares a los que causaban las variantes anteriores de covid, pues incluyen tos, fiebre, dolor de cuerpo y fatiga.Para protegerte contra la infección y enfermedad grave, los expertos siguen recomendando el uso de mascarillas, mejorar la ventilación en interiores siempre que sea posible, quedarse en casa si se está enfermo y pomerse la vacuna más reciente contra la covid.Las investigaciones preliminares muestran que las vacunas actualizadas contra la COVID-19 lanzadas en septiembre producen anticuerpos efectivos contra la JN.1, que tiene...
Ohio Governor Blocks Bill Banning Transition Care for Minors
Health

Ohio Governor Blocks Bill Banning Transition Care for Minors

BackgroundLawmakers passed the measure earlier in December. Those in favor of the bill argued that parents are pressured by doctors to sign off on transition care treatments for their children. The bill’s sponsor, Representative Gary Click, said parents are “being manipulated by the physicians.’’ In addition to banning transition care for minors, the bill says medical professionals who provide the care could lose their licenses and be sued. It also prohibits transgender girls and women from playing on high school and college sports teams that correspond with their gender identity. On Friday, Mr. DeWine said that if the bill were to become law, “Ohio would be saying that the state, that the government, knows better what is medically best for a child than the two people who love that child t...
Covid Variant JN.1 Now Accounts for Nearly Half of U.S. Cases
Health

Covid Variant JN.1 Now Accounts for Nearly Half of U.S. Cases

As the holiday season winds down and Covid-19 cases start to pick up, a variant called JN.1 has now become the most common strain of the virus spreading across the United States.JN.1, which emerged from the variant BA.2.86 and was first detected in the United States in September, accounted for 44 percent of Covid cases nationwide by mid-December, up from about 7 percent in late November, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To some extent, this jump is to be expected. “Variants take some time to get going,” said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “Then they speed up, they spread widely, and just when they’re doing that, after several months, a new variant crops up.”JN.1’s momentum this month sug...
Your Top Health Questions of 2023, Answered
Health

Your Top Health Questions of 2023, Answered

One thing I love about editing the Ask Well column is the camaraderie of it. Every week we answer a health question: Why am I so congested all the time? (I’ve wondered that too!) Why does my sleep get worse as I age? (I’m right there with you.) Is my coffee habit in need of an intervention? (Pour me another while we figure it out.)When I survey our inbox, I’m amazed at what comes in — questions that cover the joys, agonies, confusions and vulnerabilities of being a person. And luckily for us all, we get to seek out the answers.Here are 10 of the most popular health questions of 2023.1. Is it bad to wash your hair every day?The answer depends on your hair texture, how oily it is, whether it’s color-treated and more.“While it may seem that getting the scalp squeaky clean and without any oils...
This Gorilla’s Caregivers Face Familiar Questions About Aging
Health

This Gorilla’s Caregivers Face Familiar Questions About Aging

This month, as the patient lay anesthetized on a table, a cardiologist made a half-inch incision through the skin of his chest. She removed a small implanted heart monitor with failing batteries and inserted a new one.The patient, like many older males, had been diagnosed with cardiac disease; the monitor would provide continuing data on heart rate and rhythm, alerting his doctors to irregularities.Closing the incision required four neat stitches. In a few hours, the patient, a gorilla named Winston, would rejoin his family in their habitat at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.“Winston, at 51, is a very old male gorilla,” said Dr. Matt Kinney, a senior veterinarian at the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance who led the medical team through the procedure. With improved health care, new technology a...
Bristol Myers to Acquire the Drugmaker Karuna for $14 Billion
Health

Bristol Myers to Acquire the Drugmaker Karuna for $14 Billion

Bristol Myers Squibb, the global pharmaceutical giant, said on Friday that it would acquire Karuna Therapeutics, which makes drugs to treat schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s, in an all-cash deal valued at $14 billion as it looks to strengthen its pipeline of neuroscience drugs.Bristol Myers said in a statement that it would pay $330 per share in cash, a premium of roughly 53 percent to Karuna’s share price on Thursday.An increasing prevalence of schizophrenia, driven in part by an aging population, has led to a push to make more drugs to treat it. The market for such therapies is estimated to grow to $12.6 billion by 2032, according to the research firm Market.Us. Earlier this month, the biomedical company AbbVie bought Cerevel Therapeutics, which develops drugs to treat psychiatric and neurol...
How Tongue Tie and Lip Tie Surgery Became a Big Business
Health

How Tongue Tie and Lip Tie Surgery Became a Big Business

Later in 2020, Ms. Lavelle also complained to the board, describing how she had been traumatized by her daughter’s tongue-tie release.The lactation board, which reports its disciplinary decisions, has not taken action against Ms. Henstrom. A spokeswoman for the board, Susan Brayshaw, declined to comment on the complaints, citing a policy of confidentiality. “Some complaints take significantly longer than others due to the nature of the allegations and related investigations,” she said.Since 2002, the board has revoked the certifications of only three lactation consultants.Ms. Lavelle also filed a complaint against Dr. Zink with the Idaho board of dentistry. The board collected medical records and statements from Ms. Lavelle and Dr. Zink. Dr. Zink told the board that June’s procedure was “u...
Mystery Amid an Anthrax Outbreak in Africa
Health

Mystery Amid an Anthrax Outbreak in Africa

Five African countries are battling outbreaks of anthrax, with nearly 1,200 people affected so far and 20 deaths, according to the World Health Organization. But the official tally belies confusion about the exact nature and scale of the outbreaks, which may complicate the efforts needed to contain them.Of the 1,166 presumed anthrax cases in Kenya, Malawi, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe, only 35 have been confirmed with lab tests. That is not unusual or unreasonable, experts said, especially in regions with limited resources.But at least in Uganda, many of the presumed cases have resulted in negative tests for anthrax, raising the possibility that a second disease is circulating.“It could simply be that the diagnostic testing is inadequate, or it could be that you have a moderate number of an...