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The Wall Street Journal published a news article on January 5, “Why It Feels Like Everyone You Know Is Getting COVID-19,” which contained several worrisome observations. It cited “a seven-day average of more than 26,000 people hospitalized with COVID in late December, about double the number two months earlier,” noting that although the numbers of hospitalizations and deaths are far lower than during the previous two winters, “it remains a disruptive and rapidly spreading illness.”

Those were understatements. Within hours after the article appeared, the CDC released updated December numbers that were significantly worse. During the week from Dec 24-Dec 30, COVID hospitalizations were up 20.4% week-...

 

Epidemiologist Katelyn Jetelina publishes regular, extremely informative updates of the state of respiratory infectious diseases in the U.S.  This was the punchline of her most recent one, published on December 5:

Respiratory illnesses continue to increase due to colder temperatures, changes in human behavior (i.e., holidays), and viruses mutating, like Covid-19.

As shown in this figure, overall respiratory illness levels are high or very high in almost half the country, and we are still fairly early in the season:

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Although most people who get COVID recover within a few days or, at most, weeks, we cannot ignore that this infection has already killed some 1.1 million Americans, and the death toll is currently about 4.000 per week. In addition, even those with only mild infections can experience the syndrome of "long COVID," which is marked by persistent, sometimes debilitating symptoms that last for months or even years following the acute infection.

According to a recent article in Nature Reviews Microbiology by Scripps Research’s Dr. Eric Topol and coworkers:

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The number of deaths from COVID-19 is way down from its peak and pandemic-related restrictions and mandates have virtually disappeared, but there are hints we are in for a late summer surge in infections.

Most of us know people, first- or second-hand who have been infected recently.  The brother-in-law of a friend of mine attended a baby shower suffering from what he thought were summer allergies…and gave COVID to almost every other attendee.  In addition, two distinguished academic physicians known for dispensing advice on COVID recently had serious outcomes from their own bouts with the infection. 

In early July, Dr. Bob Wachter, the chairman of the Department...

Access to adequate water contributes in various ways to Americans’ quality of life – for bathing and drinking, of course, but also for various manufacturing processes, disposal of human waste, and irrigating much of the farmland that provides our food.  But the water woes of the Western U.S. are severe and worsening, threatening our prosperity and quality of life.  As a fourth year of drought looms, California water managers predict that state-run reservoirs, including massive Lake Oroville, will not be able to provide much water for cities and farms next year.

Currently, as shown on the map below, ...

Below is the text of a letter sent to officials at London's UnHerd Club in anticipation of an appearance there on July 18 of anti-science, anti-technology, anti-innovation activist Vandana Shiva. The signatories of the letter, of whom I am one, wished to make them aware of Shiva's longstanding perfidy and mendacity and the damage she has wrought, especially to the world's poorest and most vulnerable. In addition to the link to my ACSH.org article cited in the letter, I have also written about Vandana Shiva elsewhere, including here

 

Letter regarding Dr Vandana Shiva's anti-scientific and unethical stances

Date...

By now, virtually everyone knows many people who have had COVID. Although most who get it recover within a few days or weeks, it has killed 1.2 million Americans (with the weekly death toll still in the hundreds), and even those with only mild infections can experience long COVID, marked by persistent, sometimes debilitating symptoms that last for months or even years following the acute infection.

According to Scripps Research Translational Institute’s Dr. Eric Topol and coworkers in a January 2023 article in Nature Reviews Microbiology: “At least 65 million individuals worldwide have long COVID, based on a conservative...

Here are the eleven from Nature, plus two bonus picks from me.

1. A diabetes drug, exenatide, for Parkinson's disease.  The choice of Dr. Roger Albin, Professor of Neurology at the University of Michigan Medical School, was the Phase 3 (late stage) clinical trial of exenatide for Parkinson's disease (PD). The drug is a GLP-1 agonist, which mimics a type of naturally occurring gut hormone, and is currently used in older patients to treat Type 2 diabetes.

Exenatide showed beneficial effects on nerve cells in laboratory tests, which raised the possibility that it might slow down or stop the degeneration of PD in patients. An open-label trial in patients with PD who self-administered the drug for...

February 13, 2009

Victories for Vaccines, Soda, Smokers, Cold Sufferers, Eggs, and Vacationers

Elizabeth Wade

Court rules in favor of vaccine safety

ACSH staffers are pleased that a special federal vaccine court followed the science and ruled against parents claiming that vaccines caused their children's autism. "The studies have been quite definitive on the fact that childhood vaccines have nothing to do with autism, and the three-judge panel commonly referred to as the 'vaccine court' seemed to exercise a very thorough analysis of the topic and came to the right conclusion," says ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross.

ACSH's Jeff Stier notes, "We shouldn't rely on the courts to be the arbiter of science, but this decision is certainly good news. People who are...

ACSH Hosts Media Symposium on Harm Reduction ...