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Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine provides surprisingly robust protection against the highly infectious Delta variant of COVID-19 -- but only if you've gotten both doses.

Fresh data out of England shows that two doses of the messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine is 88% effective in protecting people against the Delta variant, compared with about 94% effectiveness against the original strain of COVID.

The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine will be produced for the first time in Africa by a South African firm, Pfizer announced Wednesday.

The Biovac Institute in Cape Town will produce the vaccine for distribution across Africa, which is in desperate need of more COVID-19 vaccines as cases surge, the Associated Press reported.

Biovac will receive large-batch ingredients for the vaccin...

It takes two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to "wake up" cells that play a very important role in the body's immune response, with the second dose increasing their numbers 100-fold, according to new research.

The Stanford University study may help explain why getting the second dose of mRNA vaccines, such as the Pfizer or Moderna shots, is so crucial to building a strong im...

COVID-19 vaccination rates in Canada have now beaten those in the United States.

As of Saturday, more than 49% of eligible people in Canada were fully vaccinated, and 70% had received at least one dose of vaccine, according to figures from the Our World in Data project, The New York Times reported. The rates in the United States are about 48% and 55.5%, respectively. In the Europ...

A Chinese researcher has died after catching a rare infectious disease called the Monkey B virus, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention officials say.

In March, the 53-year-old veterinarian dissected two dead monkeys as part of his work in a Beijing research institute specializing in nonhuman primate breeding. He developed nausea, vomiting and fever a month later, and died May...

A case of monkeypox has been confirmed in an American who had recently traveled to Nigeria, U.S. health officials reported. Officials believe the threat of the virus spreading to others is low.

Monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious viral illness that's in the same family of viruses as smallpox, but causes a milder infection, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prev...

How long can some COVID symptoms linger? New research suggests that more than a quarter of adults who had COVID-19 in 2020 weren't fully recovered six to eight months later.

There's growing evidence that COVID-19 can cause long-term physical and mental health problems. These cases -- called long-haul COVID -- are a growing issue for health care systems.

This study included 431 peopl...

A man in China has been hospitalized with the H5N6 strain of avian flu, which is one of several potentially dangerous strains that can infect humans.

The 55-year-old man came down with a fever and tested positive for the virus on July 6. He was hospitalized in Bazhong, a city in the province of Sichuan, according to the state-run China Global Television Network, The New York Times

THURSDAY, July 15, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- People who've been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 have a much stronger immune system response against the new coronavirus than those who've previously been infected, according to a new study.

"Vaccinated individuals had the highest antibody levels, nearly three times higher than that of convalescent individuals recovering f...

Here's some reassuring news for parents: Most heart problems in children with a rare inflammatory condition triggered by COVID-19 infection resolve within a few months, a new study finds.

Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) causes inflammation throughout the body, and many patients develop a range of non-respiratory symptoms such as abdominal pain, skin rashes, heart abn...

Breathing in protection: Scientists say an experimental inhaled COVID-19 vaccine shows promise in animal tests.

"The currently available vaccines against COVID-19 are very successful, but the majority of the world's population is still unvaccinated and there is a critical need for more vaccines that are easy to use and effective at stopping disease and transmission," said study co-leader ...

Men with low testosterone levels have a much higher risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19, a new study from Italy finds.

The study included nearly 300 symptomatic male COVID-19 patients who arrived at the emergency department and were admitted to San Raffaele University Hospital in Milan during the first wave of the pandemic.

The lower the patients' levels of the hormone te...

COVID-19 vaccines have prevented at least 279,000 deaths and 1.25 million hospitalizations in the United States, but the Delta variant poses a significant threat to that progress, researchers say.

"The vaccines have been strikingly successful in reducing the spread of the virus and saving hundreds of thousands of lives in the United States alone," said study author Alison Galvani, directo...

There is "exponential growth" of coronavirus cases in Los Angeles County as the Delta variant becomes the dominant strain, health officials there reported Thursday.

Even though 60% of people older than 16 in the county have been fully vaccinated, the case rate rose from 1.74 cases to 3.5 cases per 100,000 people in one week, according to a Los Angeles County Department of Public Health ne...

Why do some people infected with SARS-CoV-2 have either no or negligible symptoms, while others sicken and die?

Scientists who've pinpointed several genetic markers associated with severe COVID-19 say their findings could provide answers to that important question -- and targets for future treatments.

The investigators spotted 13 locations in human DNA that are strongly associated w...

Your job may significantly increase your risk of catching the flu, with potential implications for the spread of other infectious diseases including COVID-19, according to new research.

On average, working folks are 35% more likely to get the flu than those without jobs, but an analysis of U.S. federal data found sharp differences between certain jobs and industries.

The more work-r...

While COVID-19 surged in India, so did the overuse or widespread misuse of antibiotics -- risking a future threat of drug-resistant bacteria.

Antibiotic sales soared during India's first wave of COVID, suggesting the drugs were used to treat mild and moderate cases. That runs counter to guidelines for the medications.

"Antibiotic resistance is one of the greatest threats to global p...

The Delta variant of COVID-19 is upending any return to normalcy in some parts of the United States, with locales like Los Angeles County urging vaccinated folks to once again don masks indoors.

Infectious disease experts said these places are acting with an abundance of appropriate caution, given that the Delta variant is more transmissible and potentially more dangerous.

But the d...

A steep rise in vaccination rates has dropped COVID-19 from the first to the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, a new analysis shows.

The disease was the third leading cause of death for much of 2020, but became the leading cause of death in December 2020 and early 2021, reaching a peak of 3,136 deaths per day in January 2021 and far surpassing U.S. deaths from heart di...

Some folks suffering COVID long-haul symptoms might actually be experiencing an attack of fatigue-inducing Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a new study argues.

Two-thirds of a group of 30 COVID long-haul patients had high levels of Epstein-Barr antibodies, suggesting that EBV lying dormant in their bodies had been reactivated by their coronavirus infection, researchers reported.

"While SAR...

Because they're often given drugs that suppress their immune systems, people battling a blood cancer known as multiple myeloma have varying responses to the COVID-19 vaccine, new research shows.

Some patients had no evidence at all of COVID-fighting antibody production after getting two doses of vaccine, the new study found.

In a minority of cases, fully vaccinated myeloma patients ...

COVID-19 infection doesn't reduce the chances of successful fertility treatment in women, a small new study suggests.

Concerns have been raised about how the virus affects women's fertility because it invades its target cells by binding to the ACE2 receptor, which is widely expressed in the ovaries, uterus, vagina and placenta, the Spanish researchers explained.

Their study followed...

Unvaccinated people now account for nearly all COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths in the United States, federal government figures show.

An Associated Press analysis of May data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that infections in fully vaccinated people accounted for fewer than 1,200 (0.1%) of the more than 853,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations, and o...

India, already hit hard by the Delta variant of COVID-19, has labeled a closely related new variant -- dubbed "Delta Plus" -- as a "variant of concern."

But some epidemiologists in India and abroad say there's just not enough data yet to warrant broader cautions about the variant, CBS News reported.

Delta Plus cases are rising in India, and the variant has also been spotted...

Infectious disease expert Ravina Kullar's husband has a cold. So does her sister-in-law.

Meanwhile, the Cleveland Clinic's waiting rooms are becoming much more frequented by folks with coughs, sneezes and sniffles, said family medicine physician Dr. Neha Vyas.

These folks are part of a nationwide trend occurring as COVID-19 vaccinations rise, masks drop, protective restrictions lift...

The first case of COVID-19 may have occurred in China weeks earlier than previously thought, a new study claims.

The first officially identified case occurred in early December 2019, but increasing evidence suggests the original case may have emerged earlier.

In this study, British researchers conducted a new analysis and concluded that the first case of COVID-19 arose between early...

A year on, nearly all patients in a French study who lost their sense of smell after a bout of COVID-19 did regain that ability, researchers report.

"Persistent COVID-19-related anosmia [loss of smell] has an excellent prognosis, with nearly complete recovery at one year," according to a team led by Dr. Marion Renaud, an otorhinolaryngologist at the University Hospitals of Strasbourg.

...

COVID-19 patients with mental confusion are at increased risk for a severe form of the illness, a new study finds.

Researchers analyzed the electronic health records of more than 36,000 COVID-19 patients at five Florida hospitals. Of those, 12% developed severe COVID-19.

Patients with mental confusion were three times more likely to develop severe illness than those without such sym...

Pollen is tough enough for allergy sufferers, but a new study suggests it also helps spread the new coronavirus and other airborne germs.

Researchers had noticed a connection between COVID-19 infection rates and pollen concentrations on the National Allergy Map of the United States.

That led them to create a computer model of all the pollen-producing parts of a willow tree. They th...

The brains of people who died from COVID-19 were remarkably similar to the brains of people who die from neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, showing inflammation and disrupted circuitry, researchers report.

"The brains of patients who died from severe COVID-19 showed profound molecular markers of inflammation, even though those patients didn't have any reporte...

Birthday celebrations raised the risk of spreading SARS-CoV-2 by 30% last year in U.S. counties with high rates of COVID-19, according to a new study.

No such surge was seen in places with low rates of infection.

For the study, researchers at Harvard Medical School and the RAND Corporation analyzed health insurance claims data from nearly 3 million U.S. households in the first 45 we...

After spending billions to speed the creation of COVID-19 vaccines, the United States said Thursday that it will now devote $3.2 billion to the development of antiviral pills that could stop the new coronavirus before it does its worst damage.

Along with "accelerating things that are already in progress" for COVID-19, the new program would also encourage treatments for other viruses, Dr. ...

Aiming to deliver a one-two punch to the herpes virus, animal research on an experimental drug found it tackled active infections and reduced or eliminated the risk of future outbreaks.

Existing treatments, such as Zovirax, Valtrex or Famvir, are only effective at the first task; they can help treat cold sores and genital eruptions once a herpes outbreak occurs. But...

People living with HIV have to take powerful drug cocktails to keep their disease in check, but a new study finds they also need to worry about a doubled risk of sudden cardiac death.

Unlike a heart attack caused by a blocked heart artery, sudden cardiac death can happen without warning and is triggered by an electrical malfunction that causes an irregular heartbeat. Within minutes, there...

People who have had severe COVID-19 and worry about going through another bout of it can relax: New research finds that less than 1% of people who've had a severe coronavirus infection get re-infected.

For the study, University of Missouri researchers analyzed data from more than 9,100 COVID-19 patients at 62 health facilities in the United States.

Only 0.7% of patients with sever...

Public health precautions meant to reduce the spread of COVID-19 may have had an unintended but happy side effect.

They may also have benefited individuals who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a new study.

During the pandemic, admissions for COPD flare-ups dropped dramatically -- by 53% -- at University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) hospitals.

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British researchers report that babies have a strong immune response to the virus that causes COVID-19, based on a new, small study.

For the research, the investigators assessed the immune systems of four infants under 3 months of age who had recovered from COVID, and compared them with adults who also had recovered from the disease.

Compared to adults, the babies produced relative...

As the number of people fully immunized against COVID-19 rises into the hundreds of millions, immunologists and infectious disease experts now are pondering a new question in the unfolding pandemic.

Namely, how long will vaccine immunity last, and will people who've gotten the jab need booster shots to maintain their protection?

It's an important question, as waning immunity in the ...

After Texas relaxed COVID-19 restrictions, other respiratory illnesses -- such as colds, bronchitis and pneumonia -- made rapid rebounds.

Pathologists from Houston Methodist Hospital found that the rhinovirus and enterovirus infections that can trigger these illnesses started rebounding in the fall of last year after Texas eased capacity limits in bars and restaurants.

More recently...

A real-world study shows that even when folks who get the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines do have 'breakthrough' infections, those illnesses are mild.

The study, from researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is among the first to show that people who get COVID-19 despite being fully or partially vaccinated are less likely to have serious illness or to infec...

It has been an elusive goal so far -- finding a potent treatment that can beat back the new coronavirus before it grabs a hold of a patient's immune system and sends it into overdrive.

But new research suggests that more than a dozen existing drugs or drugs under development may do the trick.

Investigators tested more than 12,000 drugs in two different types of human cells infected ...

In some good news for those who have already suffered through a bout of COVID-19, a new study finds they may have a much lower risk of reinfection for at least 10 months.

For the study, the researchers analyzed rates of SARS-CoV-2 infections between October 2020 and February 2021 among more than 2,000 nursing home residents (median age 86) and staff. Antibody testing was used to determine...

Moderna plus Pfizer? J&J plus Moderna? There's a new clinical trial underway to assess the safety and effectiveness of mixing different types of booster shots in adults who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

"Although the vaccines currently authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration offer strong protection against COVID-19, we need to prepare for the possibility of ne...

COVID-19 does not pose a threat to the safety of the United States' blood supply under existing donor screening guidelines, researchers report.

For the study, the investigators reviewed the results of tests for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in nearly 18,000 pools of donated blood, representative of over 257,800 single blood donations that were collected between March and September 2020 from ...

Low testosterone levels may increase men's risk of severe COVID-19, according to a new study.

On average, men fare worse with COVID-19 than women.

"During the pandemic, there has been a prevailing notion that testosterone is bad. But we found the opposite in men," said senior study author Dr. Abhinav Diwan. He's professor of medicine, cell biology and physiology at Washington Univer...

If you can't stand broccoli, celery or kale, you may be a supertaster, and it just might protect you from COVID-19.

Supertasters are folks who are highly sensitive to bitterness. They're not only less likely to get COVID-19 than people who aren't so sensitive to sharp, pungent flavors, they're also less likely to wind up hospitalized with it, the researchers said.

What's more, super...

The virus fueling the COVID-19 pandemic could become just an ordinary sniffle-causing nuisance within the next 10 years, a new study suggests.

Researchers stressed that the projection is based on mathematical models, and not a crystal-ball prediction.

But, they say, given what's known about the human immune response to SARS-CoV-2 -- the virus that causes COVID-19 -- it is possible t...

MONDAY, May 24, 2021 (HealthDay News) - As researchers work to learn more about COVID-19 and so-called long-haulers, a new study suggests "brain fog" can persist and even worsen for those who were infected months before.

Long-haulers continue to have symptoms long after their COVID diagnosis, and these symptoms can be mental as well as physical.

"People have trouble problem-solving,...

A new coronavirus that appears to have jumped from a dog to a child has been discovered from a case three years ago, but it's unclear what threat it may pose.

This new canine-like coronavirus was found in a child in Malaysia in 2018. If it is confirmed as a human pathogen, it could be the eighth coronavirus known to cause disease in people.

The case suggests that transmission of cor...

Researchers have reported the first case of COVID-19 causing dangerous, recurring blood clots in a patient's arm.

The report offers new insight into how the damage of inflammation caused by COVID-19 can linger and how best to treat recurring clots, the Rutgers University researchers said.

There have been reports of lower extremity blood clots in patients after COVID-19, but this is ...