Sunday, June 16

Health

Are We Headed for Another Summer COVID-19 Wave?
Health

Are We Headed for Another Summer COVID-19 Wave?

Just in time for summer vacation season, COVID-19 seems to be creeping back in the U.S. Nationally, the amount of SARS-CoV-2 virus in wastewater is still low, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but levels have been gradually increasing in recent weeks. COVID-19 hotspots have already emerged in parts of the Northeast, West, and South, as well as Hawaii, wastewater data show.The increase is apparently driven by the so-called FLiRT variants, which began circulating in the U.S. earlier this spring. FLiRT variants now account for the majority of new U.S. cases, according to CDC monitoring, and seem to be driving an increase in transmission as well as a 16% rise in COVID-related emergency-department visits. Hospitalization and death rates are, for now, hold...
Hikers Fall Ill During Trips to Arizona Waterfalls
Health

Hikers Fall Ill During Trips to Arizona Waterfalls

Dozens of hikers say they fell ill during trips to a popular Arizona tourist destination that features towering blue-green waterfalls deep in a gorge neighboring Grand Canyon National Park.Madelyn Melchiors, a 32-year-old veterinarian from Kingman, Arizona, said she was vomiting severely Monday evening and had a fever that endured for days after camping on the Havasupai reservation.She eventually hiked out to her car in a weakened state through stiflingly hot weather and was thankful a mule transported her pack several miles up a winding trail, she said.“I said, ‘If someone can just pack out my 30-pound pack, I think I can just limp along,’” said Melchiors, an experienced and regular backpacker. Afterward, “I slept 16 hours and drank a bunch of electrolytes. I’m still not normal, but I w...
Can Bird Flu Survive in Milk?
Health

Can Bird Flu Survive in Milk?

Now that avian influenza is circulating among dairy cattle in at least 12 states in the U.S. and has infected three dairy workers, health experts are keeping a close eye on whether people can be infected from consuming infected milk or meat.So far, the federal government maintains that the risk of getting infected is low for the general public, and that commercially sold milk remains safe to drink. That’s despite the fact that U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found that about 20% of milk sold in stores contains fragments of the bird flu virus H5N1. Those fragments so far are not active, however; researchers report that they could not generate any live virus from them in the lab, and animals exposed to them did not develop infections.Both agencies also say that pasteurization, or h...
E. Coli Found in Paris’ Seine River Ahead of Olympics
Health

E. Coli Found in Paris’ Seine River Ahead of Olympics

Paris — Water in the Seine River had unsafe elevated levels of E. coli less than two months before swimming competitions are scheduled to take place in it during the Paris Olympics, according to test results published Friday.Contamination levels in the first eight days of June, after persistent heavy rain in Paris, showed bacteria such as E. coli and enterococci beyond limits judged safe for athletes.The report was published by monitoring group Eau de Paris one day after a senior International Olympic Committee executive said there were “no reasons to doubt” races will go ahead as scheduled in in a historic downtown stretch of the Seine near the Eiffel Tower.The first Olympic event in the cleaned-up Seine is men’s triathlon, including a 1.5-kilometer (under 1 mile) swim, on the morning o...
Why You Sweat So Much at Night—And What to Do About It
Health

Why You Sweat So Much at Night—And What to Do About It

Waking up in a pool of sweat can feel alarming. And even though lots of people sweat more overnight, it’s a sign that things may not be working as they should: the body’s core temperature typically decreases slightly during sleep. But a variety of medical and lifestyle factors can signal to the brain that it’s time to start sweating, leading to scorching-hot wakeups. We asked experts how to figure out what’s leading to those sweat-drenched sheets, and what to do about it.It could be a medical issueSweating at night can indicate that something is going on health-wise, says Dr. Aarthi Ram, a sleep medicine specialist at Houston Methodist. You could be going through menopause or have an abnormal thyroid or a neurological disorder—or even an infection like tuberculosis, malaria, or typhoid f...
Philadelphia Sees Huge Drop in Gun Violence. Here’s Why
Health

Philadelphia Sees Huge Drop in Gun Violence. Here’s Why

Philadelphia has experienced the biggest drop in gun violence among major U.S. cities so far in 2024, according to a new report from a Washington D.C.-based think tank.The Center for American Progress (CAP) released Tuesday its analysis of Gun Violence Archive (GVA) data, which is an online archive of gun violence incidents gathered from more than 7,500 law enforcement, media, government and commercial sources each day. CAP analyzed “gun homicides and gun violence victimizations” data from 2019, 2021, 2023, and 2024 from Jan. 1 to April 30 (which CAP referred to as “year to date,” or “YTD”). CAP defined “gun violence victimizations” as all firearm-related injuries and deaths.“Philadelphia has seen the most significant decline in population-adjusted gun violence victimizations YTD of the ...
How People Relax Around the World
Health

How People Relax Around the World

It’s no secret that Americans are among the most stressed-out people in the world, prone to overwork and spending what little free time we have on performance-based hobbies.“Americans do not have a great relationship with relaxation,” says Iris Mauss, professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. Even though we are aware of the need for downtime, she says, we just can’t seem to escape the hustle culture that tells us we must earn any downtime we take. “People here define themselves by their work and activity.”While Americans are burning the candle at both ends, many other cultures have no problem making time for a little R&R each day. Here are 7 relaxation rituals from around the world—and why they might be worth a try.Forest bathing in JapanTaking a regular walk...
Southern Baptists Vote to Oppose IVF
Health

Southern Baptists Vote to Oppose IVF

The Southern Baptist Convention signaled their disapproval of in vitro fertilization (IVF) in a Wednesday vote, asking the “government to restrain” the procedure. The vote took place during the church’s annual two-day meeting, where delegates also voted for a new president and on whether women should be able to hold pastoral positions (the latter of which also failed to secure support). In February, Alabama hospitals paused IVF treatments after the state supreme court ruled that frozen embryos are considered children under Alabama state law. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle signaled support for passing legal protections for IVF, though many Republicans were more tepid in their statements following the court decision. Now, Democrats are considering a vote on legislation that would pro...
We Are Not Safe from Bird Flu Until We Protect Farm Workers
Health

We Are Not Safe from Bird Flu Until We Protect Farm Workers

H5N1 avian influenza, or bird flu, continues to rip across the U.S. In just the last few months, it’s infected at least three people—all dairy workers—while spreading among chickens and cows in dozens of farms across several states.Government officials and farmers have been responding to H5N1 since Feb. 2022 when the virus was first detected in U.S. poultry farms. When it spread to dairy farms in recent weeks, the U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) immediately surged their response efforts—ensuring the safety of our commercial milk supply, educating health care providers, scaling up testing, and ordering the production of millions of vials of H5N1 vaccine—with coordination support from the White House Office of Pandemic Preparedness and Response an...
Joey Chestnut Out of Nathan’s July 4 Hot Dog Eating Contest
Health

Joey Chestnut Out of Nathan’s July 4 Hot Dog Eating Contest

New York — America’s perennial hot dog swallowing champion won’t compete in this year’s Independence Day competition due to a contract dispute, organizers said Tuesday.Joey “Jaws” Chestnut, 40, has been competing since 2005 and hasn’t lost since 2015. At last year’s Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July hot dog eating contest he downed 62 franks and buns in 10 minutes.But Major League Eating event organizer George Shea says Chestnut is moving away from the contest due to a contract dispute.“We love him, the fans love him,” Shea said, adding that “He made the choice.”Shea says Chestnut struck a deal with a competing brand — a red line for the Nathan's-sponsored event — but did not elaborate. He said the dispute came down to exclusivity, not money.“It would be like Michael Jordan saying to Nike, ...