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World

Most Americans have been wearing masks since spring, the C.D.C. says.

Despite President Trump’s very public resistance to mask-wearing for much of this year, a newly released survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that a vast majority of Americans of all ages have been wearing face coverings since April.The data, released in the agency’s weekly Morbidity and Mortality Report, is roughly in line with other polls showing that most Americans report wearing masks, at least when they are inside stores.For example, Pew Research reported in August that 85 percent of 13,200 adults they surveyed said they wore masks in stores, up from 65 percent in June.In a National Geographic poll released early this month, 92 percent of 2,200 Americans surveyed said they always or sometimes wore a mask when leaving the house.The C.D.C. data, based on ...

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Health

A Malaria Mystery, Partly Solved: What Happens When the Rains End?

But during the dry season, the researchers found, the parasites in most red blood cells stopped making the sticky versions of that protein. They slipped away into the spleen to their destruction. But a few clingy survivors hung on, and appeared to slow down their metabolism, like microscopic bears hibernating for the winter.This had two effects that protected them.First, by measuring the inflammatory proteins produced by the immune system, Dr. Portugal showed that the reclusive parasites had somehow become too “quiet” to trigger the immune counterattack that might destroy them.Second, too few sticky cells remained to clog brain capillaries, so even infected children survived.“A parasite that kills its host during the dry season reaches a dead end,” Dr. Portugal said.Sarah K. Volkman, a ...

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Business

Wikipedia and W.H.O. Join to Combat Covid Misinformation

President Trump backed hydroxychloroquine for weeks and publicly asked whether Americans should inject themselves with disinfectants or put ultraviolet lights — which can cause burns and break human DNA, which leads to cancer — inside their bodies.Mr. Pattison said he had a staff of only five, although the agency subscribes to Newsguard, a service that hunts for new rumors springing up on the internet. His staff examines Newsguard alerts, consults medical experts, posts accurate information on the W.H.O. website and then calls its contacts at social media agencies and asks them to link to it.In contrast, collaborating with Wikipedia “is like having an army to work with,” he said.Wikipedia has about 5,200 Covid-related articles in 174 languages, Mr. Merkley said. More than 82,000 contrib...

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Science

Trump Administration Will Redirect $62 Million Owed to the W.H.O.

As the United States withdraws from membership in the World Health Organization, the Trump administration will redirect $62 million still owed for this year’s dues to other health-related causes also under United Nations auspices, State Department officials announced on Wednesday.Most of the redirected money will go to children’s immunization and influenza surveillance, officials said. But the United States Agency for International Development will continue with plans to give $68 million to the W.H.O. to support its work in Libya and Syria, and on polio eradication in Pakistan and Afghanistan.American government employees working as technical advisers to the W.H.O. will be withdrawn, the officials said.The W.H.O. declined to comment, other than to refer reporters to statements made when...

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World

Trump Administration Will Redirect $62 Million Owed to the W.H.O.

As the United States withdraws from membership in the World Health Organization, the Trump administration will redirect $62 million still owed for this year’s dues to other health-related causes also under United Nations auspices, State Department officials announced on Wednesday.Most of the redirected money will go to children’s immunization and influenza surveillance, officials said. But the United States Agency for International Development will continue with plans to give $68 million to the W.H.O. to support its work in Libya and Syria, and on polio eradication in Pakistan and Afghanistan.American government employees working as technical advisers to the W.H.O. will be withdrawn, the officials said.The W.H.O. declined to comment, other than to refer reporters to statements made when...

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World

Trump Administration Will Redirect $62 Million Owed to the W.H.O.

As the United States withdraws from membership in the World Health Organization, the Trump administration will redirect $62 million still owed for this year’s dues to other health-related causes also under United Nations auspices, State Department officials announced on Wednesday.Most of the redirected money will go to children’s immunization and influenza surveillance, officials said. But the United States Agency for International Development will continue with plans to give $68 million to the W.H.O. to support its work in Libya and Syria, and on polio eradication in Pakistan and Afghanistan.American government employees working as technical advisers to the W.H.O. will be withdrawn, the officials said.The W.H.O. declined to comment, other than to refer reporters to statements made when...

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Health

Why Antibody Tests Won’t Help You Much

Getting an antibody test to see if you had Covid-19 months ago is pointless, according to guidelines issued this week by a major medical society.Many tests are inaccurate, some look for the wrong antibodies and even the right antibodies fade away, said experts at the Infectious Diseases Society of America, which issued the new guidelines.Because current tests cannot determine if someone is immune, the society said, they “cannot inform decisions to discontinue physical distancing or lessen the use of personal protective equipment.”Antibody testing generally should be used only for population surveys, not for diagnosing illness in individuals, the panel said. But its guidelines described two situations in which antibody testing could be used when the normal diagnostic tests for the virus ...

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Health

Citrus Flavoring Is Weaponized Against Insect-borne Diseases

Adding a new weapon to the fight against insect-borne illnesses including Lyme disease and malaria, the Environmental Protection Agency on Monday approved a new chemical that both repels and kills ticks and mosquitoes.The chemical, nootkatone, an oil found in cedar trees and grapefruits, is so safe that it is used by the food and perfume industries.Nootkatone is considered nontoxic to humans and other mammals, birds, fish and bees, the E.P.A. said in a statement.Diseases caused by the bites of ticks, mosquitoes and fleas have tripled in the United States in the last 15 years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a 2018 report. They include Lyme disease, anaplasmosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever from ticks; West Nile, dengue, Zika and chikungunya from mosquitoes; an...

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