Oral Microbiome Linked to COVID-19 Diagnosis

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Oral microbial markers may be a potential diagnostic tool for COVID-19, researchers suggest. As reported in Gut, Dr. Lanjuan Li of Zhengzhou University in China and colleagues sequenced 392 tongue-coating samples, 172 fecal and 155 serum samples from Central and East China. They characterized the microbiome and lipid molecules, then constructed microbial classifiers in a […]

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Ocular Abnormalities Not Likely in Newborns of SARS-CoV-2-infected Mothers

(Reuters Health) – Unlike pathogens such as Cytomegalovirus and Zika, SARS-CoV-2 is not likely to cause ocular problems in newborns whose mothers were infected with the virus during pregnancy, a new case series suggests. In an analysis of data from 165 infants born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, researchers found that just six newborns had positive PCR findings for SARS-CoV-2, and […]

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Italy’s COVID-Hit Lombardy to Use Algorithm to Decide Who Gets Vaccine First

MILAN (Reuters) – Lombardy, the Italian region worst-hit by COVID-19, is going to adopt an algorithm devised by scientists to help get its faltering vaccination drive back on track by deciding who should get the jab first. A team at Milan’s Bicocca University developed the algorithm to put an end to regional disparities in vaccination policy, cutting through disputes among […]

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Italy’s COVID-Hit Lombardy to Use Algorithm to Decide Who Gets Vaccine First

MILAN (Reuters) – Lombardy, the Italian region worst-hit by COVID-19, is going to adopt an algorithm devised by scientists to help get its faltering vaccination drive back on track by deciding who should get the jab first. A team at Milan’s Bicocca University developed the algorithm to put an end to regional disparities in vaccination policy, cutting through disputes among […]

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COVID-19 Surging Dangerously in Brazil, WHO Americas Branch Warns

BRASILIA (Reuters) – The coronavirus is surging “dangerously” across Brazil, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) regional director for the Americas, Carissa Etienne, warned on Tuesday, urging all Brazilians to adopt preventive measures to stop the spread. “Unfortunately, the dire situation in Brazil is also affecting neighboring countries,” Etienne, director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), said in a briefing. […]

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New York Variant Harbors a Third Worrisome Mutation

(Reuters) – Researchers are learning more about the SARS-CoV-2 variant that’s on the rise in New York City. The variant is known to contain the same E484K mutation seen in variants in Brazil and South Africa that is believed to make COVID-19 vaccines and antibody therapies less effective, as well as a mutation called S477N that helps the virus bind […]

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Amid Scramble for COVID-19 Vaccine, Latin America Turns to Russia

LA PAZ (Reuters) – As Bolivia struggled late last year to secure deals with large drug firms to supply COVID-19 vaccines, the incoming president, Luis Arce, turned to Russia for help. By the end of December, Bolivia clinched its first major COVID-19 vaccine deal, with enough shots for some 20% of the population. The first Sputnik V doses arrived in […]

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South Korea’s Fertility Rate Falls to Lowest in the World

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea’s fertility rate fell to the lowest in the world last year, data showed on Wednesday, as uncertainty over the coronavirus discouraged couples from marrying and having children. The number of expected babies per South Korean woman fell to 0.84 in 2020, dropping further from the country’s previous record low of 0.92 a year earlier, the […]

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Israel’s COVID Vaccination Pass Opens Fast Track to Normal Life

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel reopened swathes of its economy including malls and leisure facilities on Sunday, with the government saying the start of a return to routine was enabled by COVID-19 vaccines administered to almost half the population. Shops were open to all. But access to gyms, hotels and theatres was limited to people with a “Green Pass”: those who […]

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