Infectious Disease


Among COVID-19 Survivors, an Increased Risk of Death, Serious Illness

Among COVID-19 Survivors, an Increased Risk of Death, Serious Illness

In a comprehensive study involving more than 87,000 COVID-19 patients, scientists at the University of Washington in St. Louis concluded that COVID survivors had a 60% increased risk of death during the six months following the initial infection compared to those in the general population. Moreover, long-term COVID-related health issues affected every organ system, including the respiratory, nervous, musculoskeletal, and gastrointestinal systems as well as the skin, metabolism, and more.

H. pylori: What It Is + 9 Natural Treatments

H. pylori: What It Is + 9 Natural Treatments

Do you know what’s been called “the most successful pathogen in human history?” It’s a type of bacteria known as Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) and it’s been around for at least two hundred thousand years.

According to the CDC, about 66 percent of the world’s human population is infected with Helicobacter pylori. . . . But, having this bacteria living in your body can make your risk of developing gastric cancer up to six times higher. Plus, H. pylori bacteria is often at the root of other major digestive problems . . .

Nutrition Can Strengthen the Immune System to Fight COVID-19

Nutrition Can Strengthen the Immune System to Fight COVID-19

Dietary changes can help bolster your natural immunity against viruses.

No diet can reduce your risk of catching COVID-19. . . . [I]t is largely the health of your immune system that ultimately determines your fate.

Yet even with a grand total of zero dietary studies available thus far, it would be a mistake to conclude that diet doesn’t matter in a pandemic. . . . [This is] because the majority of people who suffer serious consequences from COVID infections have something in common: poor metabolic health.

Flushing a Public Toilet? Don’t Linger, Since Aerosolized Droplets Do

Flushing a Public Toilet? Don’t Linger, Since Aerosolized Droplets Do

Study explores toilet flushing and disease transmission, including that of COVID-19, via aerosolized droplets

Flushing a toilet disperses microbe-containing aerosols that can spread diseases such as Ebola and COVID-19. Scientists from Florida Atlantic University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science examined the droplets generated by flushing toilets and urinals in a public bathroom, given its customary high foot traffic and poor ventilation. The research indicates a potential high risk of disease transmission.

Chronic Viral Infections Can Have Lasting Effects on Human Immunity, Similar to Aging

Chronic Viral Infections Can Have Lasting Effects on Human Immunity, Similar to Aging

Research from the Buck Institute and Stanford University suggests that chronic viral infections have a profound and lasting impact on the human immune system in ways that are similar to those seen during aging. Results are published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Using systems immunology and artificial intelligence, researchers profiled and compared immune responses in a cohort of aging individuals . . .

Make-up of Gut Microbiome May Influence COVID-19 Severity and Immune Response

Make-up of Gut Microbiome May Influence COVID-19 Severity and Immune Response

Imbalances in type and volume of bacteria may also be implicated in ‘long COVID’

The variety and volume of bacteria in the gut, known as the microbiome, may influence the severity of COVID-19 as well as the magnitude of the immune system response to the infection, suggests research published online in the journal Gut.

Imbalances in the make-up of the microbiome may also be implicated in persisting inflammatory symptoms, dubbed ‘long COVID’, the findings suggest.

Study Suggests High Vitamin D Levels May Protect Against COVID-19, Especially for Black People

Study Suggests High Vitamin D Levels May Protect Against COVID-19, Especially for Black People

A new research study at the University of Chicago Medicine has found that when it comes to COVID-19, having vitamin D levels above those traditionally considered sufficient may lower the risk of infection, especially for Black people.

The study, published in JAMA Open Network on March 19, retrospectively examined the relationship between vitamin D levels and likelihood of testing positive for COVID-19. While levels of 30 ng/ml or more are usually considered sufficient . . .

Flushing a Public Toilet? Don’t Linger, Since Aerosolized Droplets Do

Flushing a Public Toilet? Don’t Linger, Since Aerosolized Droplets Do

Study explores toilet flushing and disease transmission, including that of COVID-19, via aerosolized droplets

Flushing a toilet disperses microbe-containing aerosols that can spread diseases such as Ebola and COVID-19. Scientists from Florida Atlantic University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science examined the droplets generated by flushing toilets and urinals in a public bathroom, given its customary high foot traffic and poor ventilation. The research indicates a potential high risk of disease transmission.

Chronic Viral Infections Can Have Lasting Effects on Human Immunity, Similar to Aging

Chronic Viral Infections Can Have Lasting Effects on Human Immunity, Similar to Aging

Research from the Buck Institute and Stanford University suggests that chronic viral infections have a profound and lasting impact on the human immune system in ways that are similar to those seen during aging. Results are published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Using systems immunology and artificial intelligence, researchers profiled and compared immune responses in a cohort of aging individuals . . .

Among COVID-19 Survivors, an Increased Risk of Death, Serious Illness

Among COVID-19 Survivors, an Increased Risk of Death, Serious Illness

In a comprehensive study involving more than 87,000 COVID-19 patients, scientists at the University of Washington in St. Louis concluded that COVID survivors had a 60% increased risk of death during the six months following the initial infection compared to those in the general population. Moreover, long-term COVID-related health issues affected every organ system, including the respiratory, nervous, musculoskeletal, and gastrointestinal systems as well as the skin, metabolism, and more.

H. pylori: What It Is + 9 Natural Treatments

H. pylori: What It Is + 9 Natural Treatments

Do you know what’s been called “the most successful pathogen in human history?” It’s a type of bacteria known as Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) and it’s been around for at least two hundred thousand years.

According to the CDC, about 66 percent of the world’s human population is infected with Helicobacter pylori. . . . But, having this bacteria living in your body can make your risk of developing gastric cancer up to six times higher. Plus, H. pylori bacteria is often at the root of other major digestive problems . . .

Nutrition Can Strengthen the Immune System to Fight COVID-19

Nutrition Can Strengthen the Immune System to Fight COVID-19

Dietary changes can help bolster your natural immunity against viruses.

No diet can reduce your risk of catching COVID-19. . . . [I]t is largely the health of your immune system that ultimately determines your fate.

Yet even with a grand total of zero dietary studies available thus far, it would be a mistake to conclude that diet doesn’t matter in a pandemic. . . . [This is] because the majority of people who suffer serious consequences from COVID infections have something in common: poor metabolic health.

Make-up of Gut Microbiome May Influence COVID-19 Severity and Immune Response

Make-up of Gut Microbiome May Influence COVID-19 Severity and Immune Response

Imbalances in type and volume of bacteria may also be implicated in ‘long COVID’

The variety and volume of bacteria in the gut, known as the microbiome, may influence the severity of COVID-19 as well as the magnitude of the immune system response to the infection, suggests research published online in the journal Gut.

Imbalances in the make-up of the microbiome may also be implicated in persisting inflammatory symptoms, dubbed ‘long COVID’, the findings suggest.

Study Suggests High Vitamin D Levels May Protect Against COVID-19, Especially for Black People

Study Suggests High Vitamin D Levels May Protect Against COVID-19, Especially for Black People

A new research study at the University of Chicago Medicine has found that when it comes to COVID-19, having vitamin D levels above those traditionally considered sufficient may lower the risk of infection, especially for Black people.

The study, published in JAMA Open Network on March 19, retrospectively examined the relationship between vitamin D levels and likelihood of testing positive for COVID-19. While levels of 30 ng/ml or more are usually considered sufficient . . .

Study Claims to Shut the Coffin Lid on Supplements for COVID-19

Study Claims to Shut the Coffin Lid on Supplements for COVID-19

“From A to Z, Supplements Fail for COVID-19” (MedPage Today, February 12, 2021)

[This] narrative won’t die.

Last week, an article in the Wall Street Journal disclosed the financial windfall obtained by executives at BigPharma firms that are rolling out various COVID vaccines . . .

Now, I don’t begrudge the vaccine developers . . .

[But] is it balanced and equitable for supplements to be relegated to the trash heap? Does it serve the public interest to campaign against their use?

Non-Invasive Skin Swab Samples Are Enough to Quickly Detect COVID-19, a New Study Finds

Non-Invasive Skin Swab Samples Are Enough to Quickly Detect COVID-19, a New Study Finds

Researchers at the University of Surrey have found that non-invasive skin swab samples may be enough to detect COVID-19.

In a paper published by Lancet E Clinical Medicine, chemists from Surrey teamed up with Frimley NHS Trust and the Universities of Manchester and Leicester to collect sebum samples from 67 hospitalised patients - 30 who had tested positive for COVID-19 and 37 who had tested negative. The samples were collected by gently swabbing a skin area rich in sebum . . .

Why Indoor Spaces Are Still Prime COVID Hotspots

Why Indoor Spaces Are Still Prime COVID Hotspots

Risks shoot up when virus particles accumulate in buildings, but it’s not clear how best to improve ventilation.

When Lidia Morawska leaves home, she takes with her a slick, shoe-sized device . . . [H]er carbon dioxide monitor reads just above 400 parts per million (p.p.m.) [while outside].

Even in a seemingly spacious, high-ceilinged restaurant, the number sometimes shoots up as high as 2,000 p.p.m. — a sign that the room has poor ventilation and could pose a risk for COVID-19 infection.

COVID-19 Can Kill Heart Muscle Cells, Interfere with Contraction

COVID-19 Can Kill Heart Muscle Cells, Interfere with Contraction

Study reveals details of how coronavirus infects heart; models of tissue damage may help develop potential therapies

COVID-19 has been associated with heart problems, including reduced ability to pump blood and abnormal heart rhythms. But it’s been an open question whether these problems are caused by the virus infecting the heart, or an inflammatory response to viral infection elsewhere in the body.

A new study from Washington University School of Medicine . . .

Who Are COVID Long-Haulers? And What Is the Solution?

Who Are COVID Long-Haulers? And What Is the Solution?

Covid-19 long-haulers is a term used to refer to individuals for whom COVID-19 is far more than a passing infection. . . . It’s estimated that anywhere from 50% to a whopping 80% of COVID patients are still struggling with lingering symptoms 3 or more months after their initial onset . . .

While more research is needed to fully understand the exact underlying mechanism of how COVID-19 provokes these long-term effects, we do have an idea of how and why some individuals end up with these residual effects.

High-Risk Sexually Transmitted HPV Virus Associated with Increased Cardiovascular Disease Risk

High-Risk Sexually Transmitted HPV Virus Associated with Increased Cardiovascular Disease Risk

Infection with high-risk strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), which have been linked to cancer, might increase the risk of heart and blood vessel or cardiovascular disease, especially among women with obesity or other cardiovascular risk factors, according to new research in Circulation Research, an American Heart Association journal.

Case Western Reserve University-Led Team Finds That People with Dementia at Higher Risk for COVID-19

Case Western Reserve University-Led Team Finds That People with Dementia at Higher Risk for COVID-19

Researchers found that patients with dementia were at a significantly increased risk for COVID-19—and the risk was higher still for African Americans with dementia.

Reviewing electronic health records of 61.9 million adults in the United States, researchers found the risk of contracting COVID-19 was twice as high for patients with dementia than for those without it—while among those with dementia, African Americans had close to three times the risk . . .

COVID-19 Antibodies Transmit from Moms to Babies during Pregnancy

COVID-19 Antibodies Transmit from Moms to Babies during Pregnancy

SARS-CoV-2 antibodies transferred across the placenta in 87% of pregnant women who had COVID-19 at some point, suggesting that newborns of seropositive mothers may have some protection against the novel coronavirus at birth, according to a study today in JAMA Pediatrics. However, a second, unpublished study suggests that the maternal-infant antibody transfer is lower than expected.

Study Finds Genetic Clues to Pneumonia Risk and COVID-19 Disparities

Study Finds Genetic Clues to Pneumonia Risk and COVID-19 Disparities

Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and colleagues have identified genetic factors that increase the risk for developing pneumonia and its severe, life-threatening consequences.

Their findings, published recently in the American Journal of Human Genetics, may aid efforts to identify patients with COVID-19 at greatest risk for pneumonia, and enable earlier interventions to prevent severe illness and death.

Researchers Discover New Variant of COVID-19 Virus in Columbus, Ohio

Researchers Discover New Variant of COVID-19 Virus in Columbus, Ohio

Scientists at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and College of Medicine have discovered a new variant of SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The new variant carries a mutation identical to the U.K. strain, but it likely arose in a virus strain already present in the United States. The researchers also report the evolution of another U.S. strain that acquired three other gene mutations not previously seen together in SARS-CoV2.

Coping with the Loss of Smell and Taste

Coping with the Loss of Smell and Taste

As I cut a slice of lemon for my tea one morning last March, I found that I could not detect the familiar zing of citrus. Nor, it turned out, could I taste the peach jam on my toast. . . . [L]ater that day I saw a newspaper article about the loss of smell and taste in patients with COVID-19, and I realized that I’d likely caught the virus. [M]onths after testing negative for COVID, my senses of both smell and taste are still not fully recovered.

In this, I know, I’m hardly alone.

Protective Immunity Against SARS-CoV-2 Could Last Eight Months or More

Protective Immunity Against SARS-CoV-2 Could Last Eight Months or More

Why declining antibodies don't spell disaster for long-lasting immunity

New data suggest that nearly all COVID-19 survivors have the immune cells necessary to fight re-infection.

The findings, based on analyses of blood samples from 188 COVID-19 patients, suggest that responses to the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, from all major players in the "adaptive" immune system, which learns to fight specific pathogens, can last for at least eight months . . .

CHOP Researchers Find Elevated Biomarker Related to Blood Vessel Damage in All Children with SARS-CoV-2 Regardless of Disease Severity

CHOP Researchers Find Elevated Biomarker Related to Blood Vessel Damage in All Children with SARS-CoV-2 Regardless of Disease Severity

Researchers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) have found elevated levels of a biomarker related to blood vessel damage in children with SARS-CoV-2 infection, even if the children had minimal or no symptoms of COVID-19. They also found that a high proportion of children with SARS-CoV-2 infection met clinical and diagnostic criteria for thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA). TMA is a syndrome . . .

How Kissing as a Risk Factor May Explain the High Global Incidence of Gonorrhea

How Kissing as a Risk Factor May Explain the High Global Incidence of Gonorrhea

Monash University's Professor Kit Fairley, Director of the Melbourne Sexual Health Clinic in Australia, has presented data in Canada that indicates that a significant, and previously unrecognised, route of transmission of the bacterial infection is kissing, which [may explain why] the rates of infection are so high globally.

Half of Recovered COVID-19 Patients Report Lingering Fatigue

Half of Recovered COVID-19 Patients Report Lingering Fatigue

More than half of people who recover from COVID-19 still report fatigue 10 weeks later, regardless of the seriousness of their initial infection, an observational study published Nov 9 in PLOS One has found.

Led by researchers at Trinity College Dublin, the study involved taking blood samples from and administering the Chalder Fatigue Scale (CFQ-11) assessment to 128 patients visiting an outpatient post-coronavirus care clinic at St. James's Hospital in Dublin.

Bronchitis Signs, Symptoms and 13 Natural Remedies

Bronchitis Signs, Symptoms and 13 Natural Remedies

Bronchitis is one of the top 10 conditions for which people seek medical care. . . . Although many physicians treat bronchitis with antibiotics, a majority of cases are caused by viruses and antibiotics are completely ineffective. Try using some safe and natural remedies. They can help to reduce swelling in the bronchial tubes and relieve your sometimes painful cough.

Bartonella: How to Protect Yourself from This Stealthy Intruder

Bartonella: How to Protect Yourself from This Stealthy Intruder

A walk through the woods. Playing with your cat. Getting a spider bite. These things might all seem unrelated, but they have one important thing in common – they can all potentially expose you to a sneaky and possibly dangerous bacteria known as Bartonella Henselae.

This stealthy intruder can be dangerous and is notoriously hard to treat. Today we’re going to dive into exactly what Bartonella is. And most importantly we’re going to cover practical . . .

Leyla Weighs In: Five Ways to Stay Healthy during Cold and Flu Season

Leyla Weighs In: Five Ways to Stay Healthy during Cold and Flu Season

Besides regular hand washing—which can reduce your chances of getting the flu by 50 percent according to the CDC—here are some other things you can do to keep your immune system optimal during cold and flu season:

Take a probiotic. As much as 70 percent of the immune system is in the gut – the gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT). Keeping your gastrointestinal tract inoculated . . .

Why Schools Probably Aren’t COVID Hotspots

Why Schools Probably Aren’t COVID Hotspots

Young children are unlikely to spread the virus — but older kids are more at risk, say researchers.

Data gathered worldwide are increasingly suggesting that schools are not hot spots for coronavirus infections. Despite fears, COVID-19 infections did not surge when schools and day-care centres reopened after pandemic lockdowns eased.

However, research also shows that children can catch the virus and shed viral particles, and older children are more likely than very young kids to pass it on . . .

Covid-19 Study Sheds Light on Transmission

Covid-19 Study Sheds Light on Transmission

Patients with Covid-19 have the highest levels of virus in the first five days and show no evidence of the live virus, which can cause infections, in the body nine days after symptoms begin, according to the most comprehensive study of the virus to date, led by the University of St Andrews.

The first systematic review of the three human coronaviruses showed that those infected with Covid-19 are most likely to be highly infectious . . .

Post-COVID Syndrome: A Functional Medicine Approach with Dr. Elizabeth Boham

Post-COVID Syndrome: A Functional Medicine Approach with Dr. Elizabeth Boham

In this podcast, Dr. Mary Hyman, MD, and Dr. Elizabeth Boham, MD, discuss the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly focusing on effective natural approaches that individuals can employ to fortify the body’s immune system to make them more resilient to the disease and to drastically improve the chances of a full recovery if the coronavirus is contracted. Moreover, the doctors examine various holistic therapies that individuals can implement to overcome post-COVID syndrome.

New Diagnostic Test Suggests Chronic Lyme Disease Associated with Altered Gut Microbiome

New Diagnostic Test Suggests Chronic Lyme Disease Associated with Altered Gut Microbiome

Over 800,000 Americans suffer from chronic Lyme disease and experience associated symptoms such as malaise, neurological disorders, cardiac complications, and arthritis. Lyme disease is often treated with antibiotics, however 10-20% of Lyme patients develop posttreatment Lyme disease syndrome (PTLDS). A study published in the American Society for Microbiology .

How to Stop Restaurants from Driving COVID Infections

How to Stop Restaurants from Driving COVID Infections

US mobile data suggests restaurants, gyms and cafes can be covid hotspots — and reveals strategies for limiting spread.

In cities worldwide, coronavirus outbreaks have been linked to restaurants, cafes and gyms. Now, a new model using mobile-phone data to map people’s movements suggests that these venues could account for most COVID-19 infections in US cities.

The model, published in Nature today, also reveals how reducing occupancy in venues can significantly . . .

Lyme Disease: A Personal Journey and Path to Recovery

Lyme Disease: A Personal Journey and Path to Recovery

Lyme disease, an acute bacterial infection that often develops into a chronic condition, is a burgeoning epidemic. In this video, learn from a true Lyme Warrior’s first-hand experience coping with and conquering this relentless illness.

The False Promise of Herd Immunity for COVID-19

The False Promise of Herd Immunity for COVID-19

Why proposals to largely let the virus run its course — embraced by Donald Trump’s administration and others — could bring “untold death and suffering”.

In May, the Brazilian city of Manaus was devastated by a large outbreak of COVID-19. Hospitals were overwhelmed and the city was digging new grave sites in the surrounding forest. But by August, something had shifted. Despite relaxing social-distancing requirements in early June, the city of 2 million people had reduced its number of excess deaths . . .

Studies Detail Risk of Preterm Birth, Severe COVID-19 in Pregnant Women

Studies Detail Risk of Preterm Birth, Severe COVID-19 in Pregnant Women

Two new US studies have identified an elevated risk of preterm birth and severe COVID-19 illness in pregnant women, while a systematic review and meta-analysis of maternal and neonatal outcomes found that the novel coronavirus doesn't seem to significantly influence pregnancy.

Women Are More Concerned about COVID-19 than Men, Dartmouth-Gallup Study Finds

Women Are More Concerned about COVID-19 than Men, Dartmouth-Gallup Study Finds

Implications for Workplace Reopenings and 2020 Election

A Dartmouth-Gallup study finds that women are more concerned about COVID-19 than men, a difference that transcends party lines. This female perspective towards the pandemic may be overlooked due to the underrepresentation of women in the workplace that is compounded by an underrepresentation in politics, creating what the researchers refer to as a representational "double whammy" effect.

Previous infection with Other Types of Coronaviruses May Lessen Severity of COVID-19

Previous infection with Other Types of Coronaviruses May Lessen Severity of COVID-19

Being previously infected with coronaviruses that cause the “common cold” may decrease the severity of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) infections, according to results of a new study. Led by researchers at Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine, the study also demonstrates that the immunity built up from previous non-SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infections does not prevent individuals from getting COVID-19.

Fast Coronavirus Tests: What They Can and Can’t Do

Fast Coronavirus Tests: What They Can and Can’t Do

Rapid antigen tests are designed to tell in a few minutes whether someone is infectious. Will they be game changers?

The United States leads the world in COVID-19 deaths but lags behind many countries — both large and small — in testing capacity. That could soon change.

At the end of August, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted emergency-use approval to a new credit-card-sized testing device for the coronavirus that costs US$5, gives results in 15 minutes . . .

Treating COVID-19 with Vitamin D

Treating COVID-19 with Vitamin D

Over the past several months I have been writing and broadcasting about the potential role of vitamin D as it relates to COVID-19.

By and large, effectiveness of any intervention is looked at in terms of either prevention of a problem or its actual treatment. And while there is a fairly robust body of literature accumulating that clearly shows higher risk for the disease as well as worse outcome associated with low levels of vitamin D . . .


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