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MOSTLY MICROBES AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES

Welcome to Mostly Microbes and Infectious Diseases. David Ojcius posts newspaper and journal articles in the broad field of microbiology.

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Where will the next pandemic begin? The Amazon rainforest offers troubling clues

Scientists have traced about 1/3 of all known infectious disease outbreaks in humans to rapid land use change. Where will next pandemic begin? The Amazon rainforest offers clues. #pandemic #coronavirus #Amazon #infectiousdisease #ecology MARUAGA, Brazil — The 10-year-old took off running down a dirt road in the heart of the Amazon rainforest, turning cartwheels, playing tag and picking fistfuls of wild bougainvillea. Small fires flared all around Darah Lady Assunção Oliveira

Dental Care is Essential Care: The Importance of Getting Back on Track with Your Oral Healthcare

#dentalcare #oralhealth #dentistry #dental #pandemic #COVID19 Over the past year and a half, many of us have taken “business casual” to new lengths, working in sweatpants or pajamas and forgoing many of our usual self-care routines. While we lamented closed shops and salons, many of us also glossed over missed appointments with our physicians and —our dentists. The COVID-19 pandemic may have placed a spotlight on health, however physical restrictions resulted in missed dental

MERS-CoV just a few mutations away from becoming a pandemic threat

#MERS #MERSCoV #coronavirus #pandemic An international team of researchers has found that the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS-CoV) is just a few mutations away from becoming a serious pandemic threat. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes their study of different variants of the virus. MERS-CoV was first observed in 2012 in Saudi Arabia. Testing of the virus showed it to be highly lethal—approximately 40% of in

Mastercard Foundation donates US$1.3 billion to boost Africa's response to COVID pandemic

#COVID19 #COVIDvaccine #pandemic #coronavirus #Africa Mastercard Foundation donates US$1.3 billion to boost Africa's pandemic response in one of largest such efforts to date. The money will be used to buy COVID19 vaccines for >50 million people, boost vaccine manufacturing & strengthen public health. The Mastercard Foundation on Tuesday announced a $1.3 billion donation to boost Africa’s response to the coronavirus, which public health experts hailed as a significant step to

The Pandemic Might Have Killed Off Some Flu Strains for Good

#flu #influenza #masks #publichealth #COVID19 #coronavirus #pandemic Scientists say that two common strains of the seasonal flu have seemingly vanished from circulation, likely due to public health measures like mask-wearing meant to slow the covid-19 pandemic. Though it will take time to confirm the disappearing act, the unexpected good news could make developing next season’s flu shot all the easier. Every year, various types of the flu spread across the world, usually foll

As COVID19 Vaccines Turn Pandemic’s Tide, US & Europe Diverge on Path Forward.

#COVID19 #COVIDvaccine #corinavirus #pandemic The US has lifted most rules for those who are vaccinated against Covid-19, but a new coronavirus variant is leading Britain & the EU to move with more caution. The split is particularly stark in Britain, which is facing the spread of a new variant, while America has essentially lifted all rules for people who are vaccinated. Over Memorial Day weekend, 135,000 people jammed the oval at the Indianapolis 500. Restaurants across the

A Push to Make Outdoor Dining Spaces Permanent in California

#coronavirus #pandemic #COVID19 #California #dining #culture As California reopens, lawmakers are trying to preserve coronavirus pandemic measures that have worked well. Across California, restaurants have taken over parking lots, sidewalks and streets for outdoor dining as the state has crawled back toward normalcy. In some places, that has meant a couple of extra tables lined up along a curb. For other restaurants with more space nearby, it has meant setting up tents and mo

A new study suggests that “Zoom fatigue” is worse for women than men

#COVID19 #pandemic #Zoom #coronavirus #ZoomFatigue Having endured endless virtual meetings over the past year, many workers are unsurprisingly complaining about “Zoom fatigue”. Videoconferencing can be exhausting. Having to stay within the camera’s gaze leaves limbs stiff and bottoms sore. Looking at your own face on screen can be bad for self-esteem. And trying to communicate without all the usual visual cues (not least because of time-lags) adds to the “cognitive load” for

As a Window Opens, a Plea for Patience and Grace

#COVID19 #pandemic Rising out of a pandemic is not going feel like flipping a switch. Hidden traumas abound, and the road to recovery is long. https://www.wsj.com/articles/as-a-window-opens-a-plea-for-patience-and-grace-11615558491?mod=e2fb&fbclid=IwAR1kGOXGkxeO6YvWNz-lbjxPitLloRmKd8OoV2LcTLD555PfdXPafepAETY

Yersinia pestis and plague: evolution, virulence, vaccination

#plague #bubonic #bubonicplague #immunology #microbiology #pandemic #Yersinia pestis and plague: An updated view on evolution, virulence determinants, immune subversion, vaccination and diagnostics. Plague is a vector-borne disease caused by Yersinia pestis. Transmitted by fleas from rodent reservoirs, Y. pestis emerged less than 6000 years ago from an enteric bacterial ancestor through events of gene gain and genome reduction. It is a highly remarkable model for the understa

Heroes to zeros: how German perfectionism wrecked its Covid vaccine drive

The same thoroughness that made Angela Merkel’s government a #COVID19 #pandemic role model is now holding it back. Last spring, at the start of the pandemic, Germany looked like a role model for how to deal with the viral threat. It was managing to contain #coronavirus outbreaks thanks to a high rate of testing and an advanced contact-tracing system. In mid-April, its case fatality rate for Covid-19 infections was less than 3%, compared with 14% in the UK and 13% in France, i

Making it easier to be a patient in times of a pandemic

What responses are needed when a public health crisis, the #COVID19 #pandemic, disrupts continuity of care in a #dental school clinic? To what extent do fears regarding safety during treatment deter patients from attending appointments in dental school clinics and can the school control these factors to ensure educational experiences? #dentistry https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/jdd.12588

How Do Plague Stories End?

In the literature of contagion, when society is finally free of disease, it’s up to humanity to decide how to begin again. #pandemic #history https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/how-do-plague-stories-end?utm_source=nl&utm_brand=tny&utm_mailing=TNY_Daily_032421&utm_campaign=aud-dev&utm_medium=email&bxid=5febf83c23443a757f66334f&cndid=63336197&hasha=39e059deaf043d76fc380fa83ebf1186&hashb=a7839715034863fef547763a77b21889e8e480f9&hashc=90e50cdc33962c56124782694f2c3eb7170f

Scientists Are Trying to Spot New Viruses Before They Cause Pandemics

Is it possible to build an early warning system for viruses? The pilot project envisions an immense surveillance system that can check blood from all over the world for antibodies to hundreds of viruses. #pandemic https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/15/health/scientists-viruses.html?action=click&module=Spotlight&pgtype=Homepage

How the coronavirus pandemic has intensified our connection to the outdoors.

"A walk in the park, or even just looking out a window at some trees, decreases blood pressure, stress hormones & symptoms of anxiety & depression." #COVID19 #pandemic #coronavirus #nature #healthyliving #anxiety #depression https://www.washingtonpost.com/magazine/2020/12/28/isolation-pandemic-caused-her-form-new-intense-relationship-nature-she-was-hardly-alone/?arc404=true

The coronavirus pandemic might not be the "big one" that experts have long feared, WHO warns

The #COVID19 #pandemic might not be the “big one” that experts have long feared, WHO warns. Since the 1st reports of the #coronavirus began circulating a year ago, WHO repeatedly warned that the world must prepare for deadlier pandemics in the future. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2020/12/29/coronavirus-2020-the-big-one-who-pandemics/

Where Year Two of the Pandemic Will Take Us

Many experts cautiously optimistic that the U.S. is headed for a better summer. But they emphasized that such a world, though plausible, is not inevitable. Its realization hinges on successfully executing the most complicated vaccination program in U.S. history, on persuading a frayed and fractured nation to continue using masks and avoiding indoor crowds, on countering the growing quagmire of misinformation, and on successfully monitoring and countering changes in the #coron

2020 Was Especially Deadly in the US. Covid Wasn’t the Only Culprit.

The year 2020 has been abnormal for mortalities. At least 356,000 more people in the US have died than usual since the #coronavirus #pandemic took hold in the country in the spring. But not all of these deaths have been directly linked to #COVID19. More than a quarter of deaths above normal have been from other causes, including #diabetes, #Alzheimer’s disease, high blood pressure and #pneumonia. Many of them are most likely indirectly related to the virus and caused by disru

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