coronavirus
Why There’s No Simple Answer to Whether the Coronavirus Is Airborne

Hundreds of scientists across the world have just petitioned the World Health Organization via an open letter with one demand: Acknowledge publicly that the coronavirus behind covid-19 can be airborne, meaning it can spread through the air (and linger there) via tiny aerosols emitted by the breath of infected people, not just large droplets. But there’s no easy answer to this ongoing debate, for several reasons: It’s still difficult to know how often aerosol transmission of covid-19 occurs, and the idea that a virus is either airborne or not may be an outdated concept. Read More >>

coronavirus
Doctors Find Brain Damage in Children With Mystery Syndrome Connected to Covid-19

New research this week describes some of the harrowing and possibly long-term neurological complications that can happen in children who develop a mysterious condition linked to covid-19. They can suffer everything from headaches to muscle weakness, along with visible signs of damage to the brain. Read More >>

science
Rapid Antibody Testing Won’t Reliably Tell You If You’ve Had Coronavirus, Review Finds

A new review out Wednesday paints a sorry picture about the state of antibody tests meant to find out whether you’ve ever had covid-19. It suggests that these tests range wildly in accuracy from manufacturer to manufacturer, with tests that quickly return results at the doctor’s office faring so badly that they probably shouldn’t be used at all for now. Read More >>

coronavirus
Cotton Is Best for Homemade Masks, Study Suggests

A new US government-led study has found that common materials such as cotton can effectively filter particles as small as the coronavirus, especially when layered. The findings offer more evidence that homemade masks can slow the pandemic’s spread and possibly provide some personal protection against covid-19, albeit not as much as you would get from medical-grade respirators. Read More >>

health
Not Now, Ominous New Swine Flu Strains

Researchers in China are sounding the alarm over strains of the influenza virus that have become common among some farm pigs – strains that have the potential to erupt into a easily transmissible pandemic in people, they warn. But while the threat is serious and worth keeping an eye on, it’s not an urgent risk of doom. Read More >>

science
A Certain Frequency of Red Light Boosted People’s Eyesight in New Study

Scientists at University College London think they may have found a cheap, low-tech way to help fight age-related loss of vision. In a small clinical trial, people over 40 who were told to stare into a deep red light for three minutes a day had noticeable improvements to their sight. They reported being able to see better in the dark and to better distinguish colours. Read More >>

coronavirus
How Do You Deal With People Who Aren’t Wearing Masks?

Being the cantankerous native New Yorker that I am, I’ve been taken aback by the sense of camaraderie I’ve seen in public during the pandemic. Most prominently, I’m talking about the ubiquitous mask-wearing I’m seeing in my neighbourhood, at grocery stores, and on mass transit on the few occasions I’ve had to take it. Read More >>

coronavirus
How Long Could Covid-19 Immunity Last? It’s Not Just About Antibodies

A recent study making the rounds everywhere is certainly unnerving: It found that previously infected people can lose almost all of a type of antibody to the coronavirus within three months. But the study’s findings are far too limited to assume that immunity to the virus is so short-lived. Read More >>

coronavirus
US Centers For Disease Control Expands List of Medical Conditions That Make People More Vulnerable to Covid-19

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expanding the list of people it considers to be at higher risk of severe covid-19. Its new guidelines, published Thursday, say that people living with many chronic conditions including diabetes, kidney disease, and sickle cell are more likely to develop a serious case of the viral illness, outside of other considerations like age. Read More >>

health
Second-Largest Ebola Outbreak in History Is Finally Over

Local health officials and the World Health Organization today finally declared the end of an outbreak of Ebola that had plagued the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Africa for nearly two years. It was the second-largest outbreak of the deadly viral disease in recorded history, infecting over 3,400 people and killing 2,280. The good news comes after a recent close call, in which new cases in March and April prolonged the outbreak. Read More >>

coronavirus
Does Your Blood Type Affect Your Risk of Covid-19?

An intriguing study published last week found a link between covid-19 severity and having type A blood; type O blood, on the other hand, was linked to a lower chance of severe illness. But it’s unlikely that any potential connection between covid-19 and blood type will be very relevant to the average person. Read More >>

science
This Man Sees Numbers as Squiggles

A man’s baffling inability to see certain numerical digits might provide insight into how our brains work. According to the scientists who have studied him, the nature of his condition – which makes him see spaghetti-like shapes in place of the numbers 2 through 9 – suggests that our brains can recognise complex concepts such as numbers before we’re consciously aware of them. Read More >>

coronavirus
Toilets Can Blow Coronavirus Poo All Over the Place – You’ve Been Warned

Here’s some bathroom advice for the covid-19 pandemic era, courtesy of a new study published Tuesday. Read More >>

coronavirus
Another Blow for Hydroxycholoroquine as WHO Cuts It From Coronavirus Trial

The World Health Organization has, for the second time in less than in a month, decided to suspend its clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine for covid-19 patients. The decision was made following a review of the latest evidence as well as its own preliminary data, which concluded the drug would likely not help save people from dying of the viral illness. Read More >>

coronavirus
Scientists Warn That Covid-19 Could Cause Diabetes

There may be a double whammy when it comes to the covid-19 pandemic and diabetes. Scientists are warning that people with pre-existing diabetes have a higher risk of developing serious complications from the viral illness, while the infection may also raise people’s risk of developing a new case of diabetes. But it’s not completely certain why this relationship between the two conditions exists. Read More >>