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4 health myths that must go away in 2020 – National – Mash Viral

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It is one thing to believe in something completely harmless.

But health myths are often not harmless: they can trick you out of your money or, worse, harm you and others physically.

Here are some health myths that we no longer have to believe in. It’s time.

Vaccines cause autism

Let’s just get this out of the way. In 2010, Lancet withdrew a 12-year-old Andrew Wakefield newspaper that claimed a link between the MMR vaccine (measles, mumps and rubella) and autism.

Scientists had long questioned the study, claiming that its sample size was too small and they couldn’t repeat the results. It also turned out that Wakefield carefully selected the children he reported on and some of his research was funded by lawyers who acted for parents who sued vaccine manufacturers.

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Since then, he has lost his medical license.

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How a decade-old, fraudulent vaccine study still affects public health

Unfortunately, the damage was done. Measles has made a big comeback with recent outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ukraine, the Philippines, Greece and many, many other countries.

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Samoa says that almost 90 percent of people are vaccinated against measles after a fatal outbreak

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At the beginning of December, the World Health Organization announced that more than 140,000 people worldwide died from measles in 2018, which the director-general of the organization described as “outrage”.

The WHO also called vaccination hesitation one of the world’s greatest public health threats.

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Another study found no association between MMR vaccine and autism

And despite extensive research, scientists have found no link between vaccines and autism. Study after study, including one this year that nearly every child in Denmark was born over an eleven-year period, has shown that there is no relationship between the two.

However, this belief has not disappeared and it is time for this to happen.

Vaping is risk free

By December 4, 2019, 2,291 Americans had been hospitalized for an illness that could be related to their steaming habits, the Centers for Disease Control reported. Forty-eight people have died.

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In Canada, 13 cases of steam-related illness were reported by December 3.

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According to the CDC, these vape brands are linked to the outbreak of vaping diseases in the United States

It is still unclear exactly what is causing the problem. Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has suggested that it is a chemical called vitamin E acetate that is found in certain liquids, especially those that contain THC, one of the active ingredients in cannabis.

Public health officials have since advised people not to smoke if they are not.

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An Ontario teenager develops a popcorn-lung-like steam disorder

An Ontario teenager develops a popcorn-lung-like steam disorder

Please note the following: Vaping is definitely safer than smoking. According to a study by the Conference Board of Canada, around 45,000 deaths are associated with smoking in Canada each year. No deaths have been associated with vaping in Canada to date.

Just because something is safer than smoking is far from good. Since smoking is one of the most risky things you can do for your health, pretty much everything is safer than smoking.

You’ll find sponsored contents promoting vaping as safe and healthy. However, you should scrutinize what you read online and check if vaping is good for you or not. While many online resources show some research findings, but nothing is conclusive. Abstinence is still the safest way to prevent the ill effects of smoking. Of course, keep yourself away too from second-hand smoke.

Rest helps your back pain

It will not. This also applies to neck pain – several studies have now found that regular, gentle training is the best way to get back on your feet if you have back pain or neck pain.

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Bed rest is the worst thing you can do, Doug Gross, professor of physiotherapy at the University of Alberta, who co-authored an important study published in the Lancet, told Global News in 2018.

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We treat back pain completely wrong. Here’s how to do it right

Regular exercise can also help prevent back pain.

Unfortunately, his research has shown that even clinicians often suggest that someone stays at home and rest until they feel no pain.

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Opioids are no better than acetaminophen, ibuprofen for chronic back pain and arthritis pain

Prescription pain relievers are also not a good idea: Some studies have shown that opioids are no better than ordinary Tylenol or Advil in the treatment of back pain and can be associated with additional side effects and a risk of addiction.

Pillows can help too in indirect ways. Choose a high-quality pillow when sitting down or sleeping in a bed for a good night’s rest. Using a travel pillow can help you feel more comfortable when you’re suffering from back pain on a long trip.

Cannabis can cure everything

Cannabis is now legal, and that means the drug and its derivatives, like cannabidiol (CBD), are found in all types of products that are said to help you relax, develop dull anxiety symptoms, pain alleviate and much more.

The problem is that from a scientific point of view we just don’t know if these things are true.

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Four myths and misunderstandings about pot and your health

Since cannabis has been illegal for so long, there has not been much medical research into its properties. We haven’t done the studies, experts say, so we don’t know so much about what cannabis does and what doesn’t.

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Earlier this year, a review of the literature more or less came to the conclusion that cannabis or CBD can be used to treat anxiety and depression: doctors definitely don’t know enough to recommend it as a general treatment, and there is even evidence of it that this is the case could be detrimental to these conditions.

CBD oil is not a medicine. It’s a food supplement product, like vitamin C capsules and grape seed extract. When you take CBD, you won’t feel pain-free instantaneously. Instead, you’ll experience subtle effects like calmness and relaxation 15 to 45 minutes after consumption.

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Study shows that there is little evidence that cannabis can be used to treat mental illness

Don’t worry, researchers definitely think so. Two large research centers have recently been set up at McMaster University and McGill University, and many people across the country are exploring the medical potential of cannabis.

Takeaway

Bust the myths away and welcome the new year with newfound knowledge from this article. Don’t be fooled with advertisement gimmicks. In addition, don’t hesitate to ask health experts if you have health-related concerns. Empower yourself with the correct information before buying a product or practicing an activity to improve your overall health.

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Over 1.2 million people died from drug-resistant infections in 2019 – study

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More than 1.2 million people died in 2019 from infections caused by bacteria resistant to multiple antibiotics, higher than HIV/AIDS or malaria, according to a new report published on Thursday.

Global health officials have repeatedly warned about the rise of drug-resistant bacteria and other microbes due to the misuse and overuse of antibiotics, which encourages microorganisms to evolve into “superbugs”.

The new Global Research on Antimicrobial Resistance report, published in The Lancet, revealed that antimicrobial resistance (AMR) was directly responsible for an estimated 1.27 million deaths and associated with about 4.95 million deaths. The study analysed data from 204 countries and territories.

“These new data reveal the true scale of antimicrobial resistance worldwide… Previous estimates had predicted 10 million annual deaths from AMR by 2050, but we now know for certain that we are already far closer to that figure than we thought,” said Chris Murray, co-author of the study and a professor at the University of Washington.

Last year, the World Health Organization warned that none of the 43 antibiotics in development or recently approved medicines were enough to combat antimicrobial resistance.

Cornelius Clancy, professor of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, said one of the ways to tackle AMR is to look at a new treatment model.

“The traditional antibiotic model that we’ve had for past number of decades since penicillin. I think it is tapped out.”

Most of 2019’s deaths were caused by drug resistance in lower respiratory infections such as pneumonia, followed by bloodstream infections and intra-abdominal infections.

AMR’s impact is now most severe in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, while around one in five deaths is in children aged under five years.

There was limited availability of data for some regions, particularly many low and middle-income countries, which may restrict the accuracy of the study’s estimates.

Clancy said the focus has been on COVID-19 for the past two years, but AMR is a “long-term kind of challenge”.

 

(Reporting by Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri and Devika Syamnath)

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Study casts doubt on reliability of rapid antigen tests in kids; COVID transmission through breastmilk unlikely

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The following is a summary of some recent studies on COVID-19. They include research that warrants further study to corroborate the findings and that has yet to be certified by peer review.

Rapid antigen tests may be unreliable in children

When used in children, rapid antigen tests for detecting the coronavirus do not meet accuracy criteria set by the World Health Organization and U.S. and UK device regulators, according to researchers who reviewed 17 studies of the tests.

The trials evaluated six brands of tests in more than 6,300 children and teenagers through May 2021. In all but one study, the tests were administered by trained workers. Overall, compared to PCR tests, the antigen tests failed to detect the virus in 36% of infected children, the researchers reported on Tuesday in BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine. Among children with symptoms, it missed 28% of infections. Among infected kids without symptoms, the tests missed the virus in 44%. Only about 1% of the time did the tests mistakenly diagnose the virus in a child who was not actually infected.

Given that more than 500 antigen tests are available in Europe alone, the authors said, “the performance of most antigen tests under real-life conditions remains unknown.” But the new findings “cast doubt on the effectiveness” of rapid antigen tests for widespread testing in schools, they concluded.

Breastmilk transmission of COVID-19 unlikely

A new study appears to confirm smaller, earlier studies that suggested nursing mothers are unlikely to transmit the coronavirus in breastmilk.

Between March and September 2020, researchers obtained multiple breastmilk samples from 110 lactating women, including 65 with positive COVID-19 tests, 36 with symptoms who had not been tested, and a control group of 9 women with negative COVID-19 tests. Seven women (6%) – six with positive tests and one who had not been tested – had non-infectious genetic material (RNA) from the virus in their breastmilk, but none of the samples had any evidence of active virus, according to a report published on Wednesday in Pediatric Research. Why breastmilk would contain coronavirus RNA but not infectious virus is unclear, said study leader Dr. Paul Krogstad of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, “Breastmilk is known to contain protective factors against infection, including antibodies that reflect both the mother’s exposure to viruses and other infectious agents and to vaccines she has received,” he noted.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that before breastfeeding, bottle-feeding, or expressing milk, women with COVID-19 should wash their hands or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. The CDC also recommends that they wear a mask when within 6 feet (1.8 meters) of the baby.

New technique may speed vaccine, antibody drug development

Researchers are working on a way to speed development of vaccines and monoclonal antibody drugs for COVID-19 and other illnesses, shortening the time from collection of volunteers’ blood samples to identification of potentially useful antibodies from months to weeks.

As described in Science Advances on Wednesday, the new technique employs cryo-electron microscopy, or cryoEM, which involves freezing the biological sample to view it with the least possible distortion. Currently, “generation of monoclonal antibodies involves several steps, is expensive, and typically takes somewhere on the order of two to three months, and at the end of that process you still need to perform structural analysis of the antibodies” to figure out where they attach themselves to their target, and how they actually work, explained Andrew Ward of Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California.

In experiments using the new approach to look for antibodies to HIV, “we flipped the process on its head… by starting with structure,” Ward said. Because cryoEM affords such high resolution, instead of having to laboriously sort through antibody-producing immune cells one by one to identify promising antibodies, the process of identifying antibodies, mapping their structure and seeing how they are likely to attack viruses and other targets goes much faster, he added. “The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for such robust and rapid technologies,” his team concluded.

Click for a Reuters graphic on vaccines in development.

 

(Reporting by Nancy Lapid; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

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Vaccination plus infection offered most protection during Delta surge, U.S. study shows – CBC News

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Protection against the previously-dominant Delta variant was highest among people who were both vaccinated and had survived a previous COVID-19 infection, according to a report published Wednesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The report also found those who had previously been infected with COVID-19 were better protected against the Delta variant than those who were vaccinated alone, suggesting that natural immunity was a more potent shield than vaccines against that variant, California and New York health officials reported on Wednesday.

Protection against Delta was lowest among those who had never been infected or vaccinated, the CDC report continued.

“The evidence in this report does not change our vaccination recommendations,” Dr. Ben Silk of the CDC and one of the study’s authors told a media briefing.

“We know that vaccination is still the safest way to protect yourself against COVID-19,” he said.

The findings do not apply to the Omicron variant of the virus, which now accounts for 99.5 per cent of COVID-19 cases in the United States.

Study includes data from May to November

For the study, health officials in California and New York gathered data from May through November, which included the period when the Delta variant was dominant.

It showed that people who survived a previous infection had lower rates of COVID-19 than people who were vaccinated alone.

That represented a change from the period when the Alpha variant was dominant, Silk told the briefing.

“Before the Delta variant, COVID-19 vaccination resulted in better protection against a subsequent infection than surviving a previous infection,” he said.

In the summer and fall of 2021, however, when Delta became the predominant circulating iteration of the virus in the United States, “surviving a previous infection now provided greater protection against the subsequent infection than vaccination,” he said.

But acquiring immunity through natural infection carries significant risks. According to the study, by Nov. 30, 2021, roughly 130,781 residents of California and New York had died from COVID-19.

The analysis did not include information on the severity of initial infection, nor does it account for the full range of illness caused by prior infection.

One important limitation to the study was that it ended before administration of vaccine booster doses was widespread.

WATCH | Experts agree the science behind booster shots is sound:

The safe science behind COVID-19 booster shots

5 days ago

Duration 1:55

While some Canadians who have received their booster shots have later tested positive for COVID-19, medical experts agree that the science behind booster jabs is sound. 1:55

‘Clearly shows’ vaccines provide safest protection

Dr. Erica Pan, state epidemiologist for the California Department of Public Health, said in an email that the study “clearly shows” that vaccines provide the safest protection against COVID-19 and they offer added protection for those with prior infections.

“Outside of this study, recent data on the highly contagious Omicron variant shows that getting a booster provides significant additional protection against infection, hospitalization and death,” Pan said.

Silk said the CDC is studying the impact of vaccination, boosters and prior infection during the Omicron surge and expects to issue further reports when that data becomes available.

So far, Omicron has proven to evade some level of immunity from both vaccination and previous infection, but vaccines are still largely preventing serious illness and death.

An Israeli hospital on Monday also said preliminary research indicates a fourth dose of leading mRNA-based vaccines provides only limited defence against infection from the variant.

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