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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...
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...
Likelihood of COVID-19 reinfection low, but elderly at increased risk, study finds

Likelihood of COVID-19 reinfection low, but elderly at increased risk, study finds

Health
March 17 (UPI) -- Elderly people infected with the coronavirus are more likely to get reinfected by the bug a few months after recovery than younger people who have had COVID-19, a study published Wednesday by The Lancet found. Although most people infected with COVID-19 have about 80% immunity from catching it again for at least six months, people age 65 and older have less than 50% immunity, the data showed. Advertisement Still, fewer than 1% of those infected with the virus once get sick again within six months, though this could change as new variants emerge, the researchers said. The findings highlight the importance of measures to protect the elderly during the pandemic, such as prioritizing them for vaccines, even if they have recovered from COVID-19. "Our study confirms what a nu...
Thorntons leaves 600 jobs at risk through town centre exit

Thorntons leaves 600 jobs at risk through town centre exit

Business
Thorntons, the chocolate retailer, has announced plans to permanently close its entire UK store estate of 61 sites.The company said its decision, which was now the subject of consultation with employees, would affect 603 workers but said it hoped to redeploy some of those affected. Thorntons said it was based not only on the impact of COVID-19 lockdowns over the past year but factors related to the pandemic across the retail sector. Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player 'We want to open at exactly the same time as non-essential retail' ...
Drug prevents, delays Type 1 diabetes in 50% of those at risk, study finds

Drug prevents, delays Type 1 diabetes in 50% of those at risk, study finds

Health
March 3 (UPI) -- Half of those at risk for Type 1 diabetes treated with a new drug remained disease-free five years later, a study published Wednesday by the journal Science Translational Medicine found. Conversely, 22% of people who did not receive the drug remained disease-free five years after the start of the study, the data showed. Advertisement The drug, teplizumab, is a monoclonal antibody -- a synthetic version of the cells produced by the human immune system -- developed by the biotechnology company Provention and is designed to prevent the onset of Type 1 diabetes. Those who developed Type 1 diabetes after receiving teplizumab did so about five years after receiving the new drug, compared with 27 months for study participants who received a placebo, the researchers said. "If ap...