Last Word

What is the new COVID-19 variant BA.2, and will it cause another wave of infections in the US?

BA.2, one of three main omicron sublineages, is sweeping the world. BlackJack3D/iStock via Getty Images Plus ~~~~~~~~ A new omicron subvariant of the virus that causes COVID-19, BA.2, is quickly becoming the predominant source of infections amid rising cases around the world. Immunologists Prakash Nagarkatti and Mitzi Nagarkatti of the University of South Carolina explain what makes it different...

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Which Companies Aren’t Exiting Russia? Big Pharma

Even as the war in Ukraine has prompted an exodus of international companies — from fast-food chains and oil producers to luxury retailers — from Russia, U.S. and global drug companies said they would continue manufacturing and selling their products there. Airlines, automakers, banks, and technology giants — at least 320 companies by one count — are among the businesses curtailing operations or...

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Whatever Happened to Biden’s Pandemic Testing Board?

When President Joe Biden was campaigning for office, he said that to beat the coronavirus, the U.S. needed the testing equivalent of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s War Production Board. That board had sweeping powers to shift the country’s economy to support the war effort, and it ultimately oversaw a reported 40% of the world’s munition production during World War II. “It’s how we produced...

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How Can Caregivers Better Manage Sleep and Burnout

Caregiving for those who are elderly or living with disabilities comes with both rewards and challenges, as any caregiver will tell you. It can be greatly satisfying to bring comfort and support to those in need, whether you are caring for a family member or are a professional caregiver. But the challenges are many, too. Those who are called to the task of caregiving often face sleep...

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Lyme and other tick-borne diseases are on the rise. But why?

The complex interplay of ticks, their habitats and hosts — along with changes in land use and climate — may be enabling the spread of the pathogens they carry On a warm spring day, disease ecologist Daniel Salkeld is hiking the hills of coastal scrub and chaparral of Marin County, north of San Francisco. It’s his favorite spot to collect ticks. As he walks, he trails a white flannel blanket...

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Insurers Must Cover Cost of At-Home Covid-19 Tests

As of January 15, private and group health plans must cover the cost of over-the-country Covid-19 diagnostic tests that have been authorized, cleared, or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Insurance companies and health plans are required to cover 8 free over-the-counter at-home tests per covered individual per month. However, there already seems to be some confusion among...

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