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Overall risk for global pandemics higher than previously thought, study finds

Overall risk for global pandemics higher than previously thought, study finds

Science
Aug. 23 (UPI) -- The COVID-19 pandemic may be the deadliest viral outbreak since the Spanish flu in 1918-19, but these events may not be as rare as previously thought, according to an analysis published Monday by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The assessment of new disease outbreaks over the past 400 years found that the probability of a pandemic with similar impact to COVID-19 in a given year is about 2%, the data showed. This means that a person born in 2000 had about a 38% chance of experiencing a major outbreak by now, the researchers said. That probability is only growing, highlighting the need to adjust perceptions of pandemic risks and expectations for preparedness, they said. "The most important takeaway [of our study] is that large pandemics lik...

Stock futures tick higher as pressure on tech stocks pauses

Finance
Traders on the floor of the New York Stock ExchangeSource: NYSEFutures contracts tied to the major U.S. stock indexes inched higher at the start of the overnight session Wednesday evening after pressure on technology stocks sent the Nasdaq Composite down 2% during the regular session.Dow futures rose 30 points, while contracts tied to the S&P 500 rose less than 0.1%. Futures tied to the Nasdaq 100 also traded just above the flatline.The overnight moves came after a rash of late-day selling in high-growth and technology shares during the regular session.The S&P 500 fell 0.6% after rising as much as 0.8% during the day, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq dropped 2% to close at its session low. Apple, Facebook and Netflix all slid more than 2%, while Tesla fell 4.8%.The Dow Jones Industrial ...
Study: COVID-19 death risk higher for people with severe MS disability

Study: COVID-19 death risk higher for people with severe MS disability

Health
March 19 (UPI) -- Older adults with severe disability due to multiple sclerosis are 25 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than those with more mild forms of the neurological disorder, a study published Friday by JAMA Neurology found. These same patients with multiple sclerosis are up to four times as likely to develop severe COVID-19 symptoms and require hospital care after getting infected with the virus, the data showed. Advertisement In addition, MS patients treated with corticosteroids like prednisone -- a common class of drugs used in people with the condition -- are three times as likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 and four times as likely to die from the disease compared to those who do not use these medications. Similarly, those treated with rituximab -- a man-made antibo...

Covid relief bill may trigger $36 billion cut to Medicare, higher student loan fees

Finance
Bill Clark | CQ-Roll Call, Inc. | Getty ImagesA Covid relief bill backed by Democrats could trigger billions of dollars in cuts to Medicare and other federal programs, like ones that support unemployed workers and student-loan borrowers, if it's ultimately passed.The funding cuts would take effect in 2022 and last for several years.Republicans are using the specter of pullbacks to argue against issuing more pandemic aid, which includes $ 1,400 stimulus checks and more jobless benefits.More from Personal Finance:Stimulus bill would make health insurance more affordable for millionsThe $ 15 minimum wage is in trouble. Here's what to knowTexas judge finds national eviction ban unconstitutionalIt's unclear lawmakers would allow them to occur. Even if they survive, the exact impact of cuts on...

The price of gas is climbing higher. Here’s how you can save at the pump

Finance
Buket Topal | iStock | Getty ImagesDon't be surprised if filling your car's tank at the pump keeps gobbling up a growing portion of your budget.Amid already rising gasoline prices, the average price you pay for per gallon could jump over the next couple of weeks, according to GasBuddy.com.On top of elevated prices for crude oil — which accounts for more than half the price of gas — as demand recovers from a pandemic-induced drop and production remains lower, millions of barrels of refining capacity are now offline due to extreme cold in the lower half of the U.S.Zoom In IconArrows pointing outwards"Much of the projected increase in gas prices is likely to play out in the coming days," said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.The current national average for a gallon of ...