Most of the extant COVID-19 analyses have been based on national or state-level data; a more granular county-level analysis would be overwhelmed by “noise” since most counties experienced only single-digit daily caseloads. Here we used an intermediate scale, 100 counties that each include a major city. This protocol avoids the noise engendered by small populations and provides enough diversity for meaningful cross-sectional analysis.
The COVID-19 vaccines have been nothing short of miraculous. Life is returning to normal in many places. But ACSH advisor Dr. Henry Miller argues that we will still need effective medical treatments for COVID-19.
A virion is “the complete, infective form of a virus outside a host cell, with a core of RNA or DNA and a capsid.” It is the infectious form of the virus as it moves between cells and hosts. A year plus into the COVID-19 pandemic, and we still do not know the number of virions necessary and sufficient to cause an infection – a new study, at least, puts us into the ballpark.
The first general alarm about the lethal effects of community air pollution was sounded in London in December 1952 during a severe fog episode that shut the city down and flooded hospitals and morgues. Subsequent media discussions about the benefits of cleaner air often cite the World Health Organization's global estimate of 7 million air pollution-related deaths annually (about 12% of the total), primarily based on studies of long-term mortality differences among US cities during previous decades. More recent publications have focused on short-term temporal associations. So how do long- and short-term analyses relate?
Is Biogen's Alzheimer's drug a historic achievement or red herring? There are plenty of opinions on both sides. Nonetheless, it received FDA approval despite an unanimous downvote from its own expert panel. What is going on here? No one knows, but to me, it just doesn't smell right.
It's been well established that virus transmission is much less likely to occur outdoors than in poorly ventilated indoor spaces. Can we estimate how much airflow is needed to make an environment safe?
As more and more of the US population is vaccinated, we are not clutching our vaccine supplies so tightly. We are beginning to send them to others in need. There is a great deal of talk about the costs, and you know, somewhere, some “bean counter” is doing a cost-benefit analysis.
The New York Times recently featured a new study by Christopher Tessum and colleagues on disproportionate exposures to people of color from fine particle (PM2.5) emissions, raising questions about environmental injustice.
With a little over a year from the beginning of the pandemic, the shape of what was tried is becoming clearer. When everyone is dying, and nothing you can do makes a difference, you pull out all the stops, and you throw everything you have at the problem. What does it mean, medically, to throw everything you have at the problem? With 2 million deaths attributed to COVID-19 and 85 million confirmed cases, there is certainly enough “clinical material” to begin to see what does and does not work to improve outcomes.
Obesity is a health risk that can lead to changes in your metabolism. The condition can result in diabetes or elevated cholesterol, both of which, in turn, can cause cardiovascular disease. Excess weight can also put additional stress on joints, leading to trouble getting around. Of course, all of this is predicated on excess weight being “bad.” Instead, could it be that you’re really “big-boned”?
In March, the total number of COVID-19 infections paused their descent from the winter peak, and began to turn upward towards the start of another possible inflection point. Back then we wondered what lay ahead – and today we are still unsure.
Last week we took down an article about ivermectin, because of threatening phone calls and emails. Those responses are another sign of the destructive, divisive politicization of scientific discourse. It is another skirmish in the tearing of our national fabric of trust or at least the assumption of goodwill. I have to say something, as a physician and citizen, it is definitely in my lane.