Delta variant has 235% higher risk of ICU admission than original virus
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(Katharine Lang/ Medical News Today) — A Canadian study has found a link between the new variants of SARS-CoV-2, particularly the Delta variant, and an increased risk of severe disease and death.

The retrospective study, by the University of Toronto and appearing in the Canadian Medical Association Journal  …

Smokers up to 80% more likely to be admitted to hospital with Covid
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(Linda Geddes/ The Guardian) — Smokers are 60%-80% more likely to be admitted to hospital with Covid-19 and also more likely to die from the disease, data suggests.

A study, which pooled observational and genetic data on smoking and Covid-19 to strengthen the evidence base, contradicts research published at the  …

What Canadians can expect from COVID-19 this fall and winter
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(Marc Gollom/ CBC News) — With the beginning of fall and a more transmissible strain of the coronavirus than last year’s taking hold, Canadians may wonder about the outlook of the pandemic over the next few months.

Some epidemiologists and infectious disease specialists are expressing cautious optimism,  …

Merck says it has the first antiviral pill effective against Covid
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(Rebecca Robbins/ New York Times) — The drug maker Merck said on Friday that its pill to treat Covid-19 was shown in a key clinical trial to halve the risk of hospitalization or death when given to high-risk people early in their infections.

The strong results suggest that a new wave of effective and easy-to-use treatments  …

COVID-19 study that turned out to be wrong spread like wildfire among anti-vaxxers
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(Adam Miller/ CBC News) — An inaccurate Canadian study suggesting an extremely high rate of heart inflammation after COVID-19 vaccines has been retracted due to a major mathematical error — but not before it spread like wildfire on anti-vaccination websites and social media.

The preprint study, which was released  …

Nurses say pandemic experience pushing them out of Quebec hospitals
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(Jacob Serebrin/ CBC News) — Nursing students and recent graduates from Quebec nursing programs say working conditions in the public health-care system are driving them to the private sector, further exacerbating a shortage of nurses in provincial hospitals.

Audrey-Ann Bissonnette-Clermont, 27, graduated  …

CDC finds unvaccinated 11 times more likely to die of COVID-19
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(Lauren Neergaard/ The Associated Press) — New U.S. studies released Friday show the COVID-19 vaccines remain highly effective against hospitalizations and death even as the extra-contagious Delta variant swept the country.

One study tracked over 600,000 COVID-19 cases in 13 states from April through mid-July.  …

What is the Mu variant of COVID-19 the WHO is now monitoring?
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(ABC News) — The World Health Organization is tracking a new variant of interest as it monitors the evolution of the virus that causes COVID-19 — it’s called the Mu variant.

First detected in Colombia at the start of the year, Mu has been reported in sporadic outbreaks in parts of South America and Europe.  …

People who are vaccinated and get COVID-19 half as likely to have long-term symptoms
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(Healthline) — COVID-19 can cause severe illness, sometimes leading to hospitalization and death. But even for people who had mild symptoms, some people have been left with long-term symptoms, now called long-haul COVID-19, or “long COVID.”

“Long COVID is the syndrome of persistent symptoms that develops after the   …

Brazilian viper venom may become tool in fight against coronavirus, study shows
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(Leonardo Benassato/ National Post) — Brazilian researchers have found that a molecule in the venom of a type of snake inhibited coronavirus reproduction in monkey cells, a possible first step toward a drug to combat the virus causing COVID-19.

A study published in the scientific journal Molecules this month found that  …

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