People, Not Science, Decide When a Pandemic Is Over

All pandemics end eventually. But how, exactly, will we know when the COVID-19 pandemic is really “over”? It turns out the answer to that question may lie more in sociology than epidemiology. As the world passes the second anniversary of the World Health Organization’s declaration of the COVID pandemic, things seem to be at a … Read more

COVID Still Threatens Millions of Immunocompromised People

Iesha White is so fed up with the U.S. response to covid-19 that she’s seriously considering moving to Europe. “I’m that disgusted. The lack of care for each other, to me, it’s too much,” said White, 30, of Los Angeles. She has multiple sclerosis and takes a medicine that suppresses her immune system. “As a … Read more

Chewing Gum with GMO Could Reduce the Spread of COVID

A type of chewing gum mixed with a protein that is a gateway for infections with the novel coronavirus, or SARS-CoV-2, could serve as a low-cost way to help prevent its spread, a recent study suggests. The angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) protein, which is present on the surface of many human cells, can be mixed … Read more

Nasal Spray COVID Preventives Are Finally in Development

Different methods of drug delivery give us more tools to fight disease Credit: James Olstein Advertisement Covid is credited with propelling clinical innovation. But for a disease that seems to start in people’s noses, none of the available drugs or vaccines are delivered intranasally. Killing the virus before it travels into our lower airways could … Read more

COVID Long Haulers Are Calling Attention to Chronic Illnesses

When the first wave of coronavirus infections hit the U.S. in March 2020, what kept me up at night was not only the tragedy of the acute crisis but also the idea that we might soon be facing a second crisis—a pandemic of chronic illness triggered by the virus. I had just finished reporting and … Read more

There Is Nothing Normal about One Million People Dead from COVID

Sometime in the next few weeks, the official death toll for the two-year COVID pandemic in the U.S. will reach one million. Despite being the wealthiest nation on the planet, the U.S. has continued to have the most COVID infections and deaths per country, by far, and it has the highest per capita death rate … Read more

COVID Smell Loss and Long COVID Linked to Inflammation

An impaired sense of smell affects from about 30 to 75 percent of people infected with the novel coronavirus, according to a recent estimate, suggesting that millions of people worldwide have suffered this condition at some point in the past two years. Called anosmia, the olfactory system dysfunction is typically temporary, but it can take months … Read more

How Many COVID Vaccine Boosters Will We Need?

Late last year, studies showed that third shots (boosters) of COVID vaccines were effective at providing a little extra protection from infection — particularly in the face of the Omicron variant. Some countries are now offering fourth doses, but scientists say that endless boosting might not be a viable strategy, nor is it how these vaccines were … Read more

Dangerous Flu Comeback Expected atop COVID This Winter

A feared “twindemic” of influenza and COVID never came to pass last year, but the outlook for such a confluence this winter is resurfacing similar concerns among epidemiologists and other infectious disease experts. Flu cases started to tick up in October and November, and those months saw an outbreak at the University of Michigan at … Read more

When Should You Get a COVID Test?

As the Omicron variant continues to spread wildly, millions of people are worried they have been exposed—and are desperate to find out if they are infected. But in many areas, at-home rapid antigen tests are difficult to find, and PCR tests—if an appointment is available—can take days to return a result. So if you can … Read more