Health

Does the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine affect breastmilk?

Does the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine affect breastmilk?

New research investigates whether the mRNA from the COVID-19 vaccines can be passed on to infants through breastmilk. The development and administration of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines is helping to reduce transmission of COVID-19, and these vaccines have been an integral part of combating the global COVID-19 pandemic.  The first approved SARS-CoV-2 vaccines were mRNA vaccines, which use mRNA from the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein to train the immune system to recognize and attack the pathogen without the risk of COVID-19 infection.1 The two mRNA vaccines that are currently approved for COVID-19 are BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) and mRNA-1273 (Moderna).  Current research suggests that both…
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How to Start Dating Again If Youre Unvaccinated

How to Start Dating Again If Youre Unvaccinated

The post-vax slutty summer is happening all around us, but some participants aren’t actually post-vax. The vaccine has been free and widely available for months now, but about half the population still isn’t vaccinated against COVID-19. A portion of those unvaccinated people is still interested in dating and if you’re part of it, we have some tips for how to do this ethically.(Of course, we recommend getting vaccinated, but you know that by now.)Know that vaccination status will be a dealbreaker for someLast month, dating app Bumble released its latest research on COVID-era trends among surveyed users. About 30% of…
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Should you skip your second dose of COVID-19 vaccine?

Should you skip your second dose of COVID-19 vaccine?

Vaccine uptake has varied worldwide, with some countries still experiencing higher rates of first COVID-19 vaccine dose compared with a second dose, suggesting some people may be skipping their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. A recent study suggests why this might not be a good choice. Conventionally, the approval of new vaccines worldwide has always been a lengthy and systematic process. From an immunological perspective, new vaccines must be successful at inducing the production of neutralizing antibodies, made by specific immune cells called B cells, that block a virus from infecting the body.1 Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines The…
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There may be a gene for COVID-19 resistance

There may be a gene for COVID-19 resistance

Evidence from a recent study suggests that a specific gene may provide some resistance to severe symptoms of COVID-19. According to the study, the genetic make-up of those who experience severe COVID-19 symptoms, versus those who are asymptomatic, significantly differ at one gene location. The study found a significantly higher frequency of the HLA-DRB1*04:01 gene in asymptomatic individuals. This potential gene for COVID-19 resistance is a version – allele – of the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) family of genes, which are involved in immune system response. The research group from Newcastle University in the United Kingdom enrolled 49 patients in…
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Why am I so Tired? Top Causes of Fatigue

Why am I so Tired? Top Causes of Fatigue

Are you constantly tired and sluggish although you slept enough? Of course, some kind of deficiency or disease might be making making you feel like this, but all too often there are other reasons why you feel so lethargic. If you keep asking yourself “Why am I so tired?”, then check out the common causes of fatigue below.1. Your sleep rhythm is disturbedOften, we only focus on how long we sleep. You should try to get somewhere between seven and eight hours a night. This is very important because people who are continually sleep deprived tend to put on weight.However,…
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Specific antibodies may be effective against multiple coronavirus types

Specific antibodies may be effective against multiple coronavirus types

Patients who have been exposed to a coronavirus may produce a versatile, cross-reactive coronavirus antibody; this may be useful for the eventual development of a broad-acting vaccine. There are seven human coronavirus types, of which, four cause the common cold, named OC43, HKU1, 229E, and NL63. Most people become infected with at least one of these four coronaviruses at some point in their lives. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is another member of the coronavirus family that causes COVID-19. Infection with the cold-causing coronaviruses may lead to immune memory. This could potentially impact on the immune response to…
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COVID-19 and heart attack risk

COVID-19 and heart attack risk

Does a positive diagnosis of COVID-19 increase the risk of heart attacks for those with pre-existing atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) or familial hypercholesterolemia (FH)? It has been shown that higher rates of COVID-19 deaths can be associated with hypertension, heart failure, and cardiovascular disease. However, there were fewer patients reporting acute myocardial infarction (AMI), or heart attacks, when visiting hospitals during the pandemic. Researchers from across the United States gathered the data from approximately 55 million individuals for this study. They were divided into six categories based on the information available, which included combinations of diagnosed FH, probable FH, diagnosed…
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Detecting COVID-19 in wastewater to identify hotspots

Detecting COVID-19 in wastewater to identify hotspots

Canadian researchers have proposed a method to detect COVID-19 infection rates in wastewater through sewer sensors. The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a challenge to researchers because some of the spread of the virus has been from people that show no symptoms of the virus (1). Known as asymptomatic carriers, it is unknown how many cases of COVID-19 have been spread by asymptomatic versus patients with symptomatic COVID-19. COVID-19 is typically detected by diagnostic tests, antibody tests, or COVID-19 management tests (2). However, people that are asymptomatic are not likely to get tested. As restrictions begin to ease, there is an…
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COVID-19 and myocarditis in competitive athletes

COVID-19 and myocarditis in competitive athletes

New research investigates the prevalence of myocarditis in competitive athletes diagnosed with COVID-19. Myocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle.1  It is often difficult to identify because it is associated with a wide variety of clinical symptoms, and since it is commonly seen in younger populations, which are often not considered a high-risk group for cardiovascular conditions and emergencies.1  Getting treatment is important because it can help prevent adverse health outcomes associated with myocarditis, such as decreased function of the ventricles.2 A variety of different things can contribute to the development of myocarditis, including infection, certain drugs, and underlying health…
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How Long Does Immunity From the COVID Vaccines Last?

How Long Does Immunity From the COVID Vaccines Last?

Photo: Steve Heap (Shutterstock)If you’re fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you’ve probably breathed a sigh of relief. But how long can you expect that feeling to last? The CDC has yet to hazard a guess as to the durability of post-vaccine immunity on their website, but a few studies have given us some clues. And so far, it’s mostly good news. A letter from a vaccine research group to the New England Journal of Medicine in April (you can think of these letters like mini studies) found that people still had strong protection six months after receiving their second dose of…
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Exercise for COVID-19 recovery shows potential, study finds

Exercise for COVID-19 recovery shows potential, study finds

A study from the National Institute for Health Research Leicester Biomedical Research Centre suggests that exercise may be beneficial for COVID-19 recovery and help reduce lasting respiratory symptoms of COVID-19 infection. Researchers are hopeful that this finding will help develop effective rehabilitation programs for COVID-19 survivors. The study, published May 6, 2021, followed 30 individuals who were recovering from COVID-19. Researchers monitored the participants during exercise sessions twice a week for six weeks. Biweekly sessions included aerobic exercise (walking and treadmill-based), strength training for upper and lower limbs, and educational handouts on how to help manage post-infection symptoms.  Post-COVID-19 symptoms…
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Study shows long-lived immunity after COVID-19

Study shows long-lived immunity after COVID-19

Protective immunity against COVID-19 shown to be robust in a recent study. As new hospital admissions for people with COVID-19 continue to decrease (1), many locations are beginning to ease restrictions and return life to normal. Immunity to COVID-19 has increased due to vaccinations and natural immunity after infection. However, questions remain as to how long either immunity lasts (2). In healthy adults, immunity is achieved no matter how an infection occurs – through vaccination or through naturally getting sick (3). Doctors classify immunity as either acquired or natural. Vaccination and antibody transfer result in acquired immunity, while infection /recovery…
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