Health

Why ‘Fetal Personhood’ Is Roiling the Right
Health

Why ‘Fetal Personhood’ Is Roiling the Right

As I.V.F. grew in popularity, so did the concerns of its opponents. Standard practice involves creating multiple embryos, which are screened for genetic abnormalities, and the ones that appear healthiest can be transferred. Extra embryos are often frozen; by one count, there are a million and a half frozen embryos in the United States. After a designated time period, they may be donated to science or destroyed, just as the Catholic Church feared.The anti-abortion movement won a partial victory for protecting life at conception in 2001, when President George W. Bush banned the use of federal funds for embryonic stem cell research, but President Barack Obama reversed the policy eight years later.Starting in the late 2000s, voters rejected ballot initiatives to enshrine fetal personhood in at...
C.D.C. Shortens Isolation Period for People With Covid
Health

C.D.C. Shortens Isolation Period for People With Covid

Americans with Covid or other respiratory infections need not isolate for five days before returning to work or school, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday, a striking sign of changing attitudes toward the coronavirus.People with respiratory illnesses may resume daily activities if they have been fever-free for at least 24 hours without the aid of medications and if their symptoms are improving, agency officials said. Acknowledging that people can be contagious even without symptoms, the C.D.C. urged those who end isolation to limit close contact with others, wear well-fitted masks, improve indoor air quality and practice good hygiene, like washing hands and covering coughs and sneezes, for five days.The guidelines apply to Covid, influenza and respiratory syncyti...
R.S.V. Vaccines May Slightly Increase Risk of Rare Neurological Condition
Health

R.S.V. Vaccines May Slightly Increase Risk of Rare Neurological Condition

Vaccines for respiratory syncytial virus may have caused a few cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare neurological condition, federal health officials said on Thursday.The numbers were small, on the order of two cases per 100,000 vaccinated people or fewer, and much more data is needed to pin down the risk, the officials said. In May 2023, the Food and Drug Administration approved two vaccines against R.S.V.: Abrysvo, by Pfizer, and Arexvy, by GSK.In June, rather than recommend the shots to all older adults, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that adults aged 60 or older might opt to receive a single dose of an R.S.V. vaccine in consultation with their health care providers. Fewer than 10 million doses had been administered by Feb. 16.The new safety data, disclose...
Lead-Tainted Applesauce Highlights Failings in Food Safety System
Health

Lead-Tainted Applesauce Highlights Failings in Food Safety System

The tainted applesauce might have gone unnoticed for even longer had it not been for a family in North Carolina.Early last summer, Nicole Peterson and Thomas Duong were alarmed by their young children’s blood-lead levels in a routine screening. Within weeks, the levels had doubled.Ms. Peterson said the couple worked with the local health department as they tried to determine what could be hurting their children. We “weren’t sleeping and we’re not eating — like this is driving us crazy,” said Ms. Peterson. She and her husband are suing Dollar Tree, where they bought the applesauce, and WanaBana, a U.S. distributor led by Austrofood officers.A Dollar Tree spokeswoman said the company is committed to the safety of the products it sells. Austrofood said that it had relied on its supplier’s cer...
$1 Billion Donation Will Provide Free Tuition at a Bronx Medical School
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$1 Billion Donation Will Provide Free Tuition at a Bronx Medical School

The 93-year-old widow of a Wall Street financier has donated $1 billion to a Bronx medical school, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, with instructions that the gift be used to cover tuition for all students going forward.The donor, Ruth Gottesman, is a former professor at Einstein, where she studied learning disabilities, developed a screening test and ran literacy programs. It is one of the largest charitable donations to an educational institution in the United States and most likely the largest to a medical school.The fortune came from her late husband, David Gottesman, known as Sandy, who was a protégé of Warren Buffett and had made an early investment in Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate Mr. Buffett built.The donation is notable not only for its staggering size, but also bec...
Severe Frostbite Gets a Treatment That May Prevent Amputation
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Severe Frostbite Gets a Treatment That May Prevent Amputation

The first time Dr. Peter Hackett saw a patient with frostbite, the man died from his wounds. It was in Chicago in 1971, and the man had gotten drunk and passed out in the snow, his fingers so frozen that gangrene eventually set in.Dr. Hackett later worked at Mount Everest Basecamp, on Denali, Alaska, and now in Colorado, becoming expert in treating cold-weather injury. The experience was often the same: There was not much to do about frostbite, except rewarm the patient, give aspirin, amputate in severe cases and, more often, wait and accept that six months later the patient’s body might “auto-amputate” by naturally shedding a dead finger or toe.His mentor in Anchorage used to say, “Frostbite January, Amputation July,” remembered Dr. Hackett, clinical professor at the Altitude Research Cen...
Abortion Shield Laws: A New War Between the States
Health

Abortion Shield Laws: A New War Between the States

Behind an unmarked door in a boxy brick building outside Boston, a quiet rebellion is taking place. Here, in a 7-by-12-foot room, abortion is being made available to thousands of women in states where it is illegal.The patients do not have to travel here to terminate their pregnancies, and they do not have to wait weeks to receive abortion medication from overseas.Instead, they are obtaining abortion pills prescribed by licensed Massachusetts providers, packaged in the little room and mailed from a nearby post office, arriving days later in Texas, Missouri and other states where abortion is largely outlawed.This service and others like it are operating under novel laws enacted in a half-dozen states — Massachusetts, Washington, Colorado, Vermont, New York and California — that have sought ...
Some Pregnant Women and Infants Received the Wrong R.S.V. Shots
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Some Pregnant Women and Infants Received the Wrong R.S.V. Shots

This winter, for the first time ever, there were two vaccines available to ward off respiratory syncytial virus, which is particularly dangerous to older adults and infants. Only one of them — Abrysvo, made by Pfizer — was approved for pregnant women, and neither was for young children.The distinction apparently slipped by some clinicians and pharmacists.At least 128 pregnant women were mistakenly given the alternative vaccine — Arexvy, by GSK — and at least 25 children under age 2 received a vaccination, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned. Dr. Sarah Long, professor of pediatrics at Drexel University College of Medicine and an adviser to the agency, said she was “blindsided” by the reports. “It is very upsetting that this should happen,” she said.Arexvy has not been ...
How Sleep Affects Your Mood: The Link Between Insomnia and Mental Health
Health

How Sleep Affects Your Mood: The Link Between Insomnia and Mental Health

It started with mild anxiety.Emily, who asked to be identified only by her first name because she was discussing her mental health, had just moved to New York City after graduate school, to start a marketing job at a big law firm.She knew it was normal to feel a little on edge. But she wasn’t prepared for what came next: chronic insomnia.Operating on only three or four hours of sleep, it didn’t take long for her anxiety to ramp up: At 25, she was “freaking nervous all the time. A wreck.”When a lawyer at her firm yelled at her one day, she experienced the first of many panic attacks. At a doctor’s suggestion, she tried taking a sleeping pill, in the hopes that it might “reset” her sleep cycle and improve her mood. It didn’t work.Americans are chronically sleep deprived: one-third of adults ...