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eator those who enjoy turkey to celebrate Thanksgiving, you may have had some sticker shock this year – in supermarkets, the average price per pound has increased by 12% compared to last year. And a big reason for that is a massive outbreak of bird flu that hit the United States this year, which, unlike in previous years, didn’t slow down at the end of summer. About 8 million turkeys were either killed by bird flu or killed to prevent its spread. To give a sense of scale, about 46 million turkeys are expected to be cooked for Thanksgiving, so the flu number represents almost 20% of that amount.
Not even humans are immune to bird flu. Although very rare, poultry workers can become infected by the birds they handle, and this has happened in the United States already this year. In some cases, the damage can be high: in the very first recorded cases of bird flu in humans in 1997, 18 people were infected and 6 of them died. The mortality rate for other bird flu outbreaks was also high. Usually, human cases do not occur and more importantly, they are rarely transmitted from person to person. But because flu viruses can mutate quickly, there’s always the concern that a bird flu could spread from person to person. And if avian flu infections in birds remain persistently high, as they are now, the chances of that increasing.
Serious infections resistant to antibiotics are on the rise in England
Health officials have warned that the number of antibiotic-resistant infections is rising in England after the pandemic subsided, with around 148 new cases a day.
Read more here.
Offers of the week
Gene therapy: Hemgenix, a hemophilia gene therapy developed by uniQure and distributed by CSL, was approved by the FDA this week. It is one of the most expensive drugs of all time – $3.5 million per dose. But it is also a single-use drug, which greatly reduces the number of regular treatments that sufferers of the disease need.
AI for contraception: Insilico Medicine has received a $700,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to use its AI drug discovery platform to develop non-hormonal contraceptives for women.
AI For Insurance: Capitol, which has developed an artificial intelligence platform to aid decision-making by healthcare insurers, announced that it has raised a $10 million seed round led by 468 Capital.
University researchers have made what could be a breakthrough in drug development for treatment Zika virus infections– a potent monoclonal antibody that could potentially target the disease.
People who eat or drink foods with antioxidant flavonols– like tea, cabbage and broccoli – could show a slower rate of memory decline, according to a new study.
In a global survey of 9,500 primary care physicians in 10 high-income countries, more than half—including 65 percent in the United States—said their workload had increased before the pandemic.
Arizona health officials have reported one case Dengue fever they believe it was acquired locally rather than through travel, possibly joining Florida as the only state to record local transmission of the virus this year, which is rare in the US but is known to cause occasional outbreaks.
Updates on the coronavirus
IFound that some of the omicron variants that are currently spreading, such as BA.2.75.2, BA.4.6 and BJ.1 are resistant to most monoclonal antibody treatments. These are medicines that act like your own antibodies and prevent symptoms from getting worse. However, the BQ.1.1 subvariant – which is currently one of the most dominant strains in the US – appears to be resistant to all monoclonal antibody treatments. BQ.1.1 made up about 24% of all Covid cases reported in the last week in the US, and the other dominant variant, BQ.1, accounts for about 25% of cases, according to the CDC. With these variants accounting for nearly half of cases, the efficacy of monoclonal antibody therapies appears dim. This is of particular concern for people who are immunocompromised, for whom antibodies are one of the main treatments for Covid.
Why Business Leaders Need To Promote New Covid Aid Downloads For Omicron Variant
Business executives should take the lead in promoting the newly updated Omicron-specific boosters, he says Forbes partner Gleb Tsipursky. Doing so will help reduce the number of sick work days, minimize COVID cases, reduce employee fears of returning to the office, and facilitate stakeholder capitalism.
Read more here.
More news about the coronavirus
The researchers found that counties with NFL stadiums which hosted at least 20,000 fans saw spikes in Covid cases after matches.
The antibiotic amoxicillin has been in short supply since late October. Although it cannot exactly cure Covid and other respiratory diseases such as RSV and influenza, it is used to treat bacterial infections that usually follow the infection of these diseases.
Pfizer-BioNTech’s new bivalent Covid booster it has been shown to be more effective against the original Covid train and some Omicron sub-variants. Over 35 million people have received this booster shot so far.
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What else are we reading?
A simple screening question could help millions of women prevent cardiovascular disease. Why don’t we use it? (Statistics)
Autism treatment moves away from ‘fixing’ the condition (Scientific American)
The pandemic broke the flu … Again (The Atlantic)