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One Potential COVID Treatment Not as Potent as Hoped

Merck's pill, awaiting FDA review, is less effective than preliminary tests suggested

(Newser) - The COVID virus keeps mutating , and drugmakers are racing to adapt along with it. But on that front, Merck reported some relatively disappointing news about a pill under development—molnupiravir turns out to be 30% effective at reducing hospitalizations and deaths, which is down from preliminary estimates of 50%, reports...

First Case of New Variant Detected in Europe
WHO Names Variant;
US Issues Travel Restrictions
the rundown

WHO Names Variant; US Issues Travel Restrictions

World Health Organization dubs it 'Omicron' and calls it a 'variant of concern'

(Newser) - The world got an unwanted new arrival on Friday: Omicron. Here's the latest on the worrisome new COVID variant:
  • New name: After an emergency review, the World Health Organization on Friday declared the emerging strain of COVID a "variant of concern," reports the Washington Post . The variant,

Aaron Rodgers' Toe Is Now the Subject of Discussion

He made a quip about 'COVID toe,' then clarified it definitely wasn't that

(Newser) - If you didn't expect to spend part of your week wondering about Aaron Rodgers' toe, welcome to the club. The Green Bay Packers quarterback's digit has been the subject of discussion since Tuesday, when Rodgers appeared on the Pat McAfee show and touched on the toe injury he...

New COVID Variant Is a 'Big Jump in Evolution'
New COVID Variant Is
a 'Big Jump in Evolution'


New COVID Variant Is a 'Big Jump in Evolution'

EU countries rush to restrict travel from southern Africa

(Newser) - Almost two years after the first cases were detected in Wuhan, China, the fight against the coronavirus continues—and authorities are worried that a new variant detected in South Africa could be a major setback. The variant, currently known as B.1.1.529, has mutations that could make it...

France Decides on Third Shots but Not More Restrictions

As cases surge, officials cut gap between second and third shots to 5 months

(Newser) - France launched a plan Thursday to give COVID-19 booster shots to all adults, as it opted against a further lockdown or curfew to help combat an uptick in infections in the country. Coronavirus infections have jumped in France over the past few days, with daily new cases rising above the...

Germany Passes 100K COVID Deaths
Germany Passes
100K COVID Deaths

Germany Passes 100K COVID Deaths

Leader-in-waiting hasn't ruled out mandatory vaccinations

(Newser) - Official figures released Thursday show Germany has become the latest country to surpass 100,000 deaths from COVID-19 since the pandemic began. Germany’s disease control agency said it recorded 351 additional deaths in connection with the coronavirus over the past 24 hours, taking the total toll to 100,119....

Another EU Country Is Entering Lockdown

'We’re losing the battle against COVID,' Slovakia's president says

(Newser) - Slovakia's government on Wednesday approved a two-week national lockdown amid a record surge of coronavirus infections. Prime Minister Eduard Heger said the measures that take effect Thursday will target all—both unvaccinated and vaccinated, the AP reports. Under the lockdown, people can leave their homes only for some specific...

Putin Takes Nasal Spray After Booster

Russia deals with surging COVID-19 cases and vaccine hesitancy

(Newser) - President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday he has taken an experimental nasal vaccine against the coronavirus, three days after he received his booster shot. Russia is facing its worst surge of infections and deaths since the pandemic began and is struggling to overcome widespread vaccine hesitancy, the AP reports. Putin was...

After Anti-Vax Summit, 7 Docs Fall Sick

One claimed he'd been taking ivermectin and 'never felt healthier'

(Newser) - At an anti-vaccine summit in Florida, where alternative treatments for COVID-19 were discussed, a 71-year-old cardiologist stood up and criticized his 97-year-old father for getting vaccinated. "He had been brainwashed" and "didn't tell me," Dr. Bruce Boros told attendees on Nov. 6, per the Guardian . "...

After 30 Years on General Hospital, He's Out Due to Vaccine Mandate

Steve Burton refused to get COVID-19 vaccine

(Newser) - Steve Burton has been playing Jason Morgan on General Hospital since 1991. But no longer: The actor has been fired from the ABC soap opera for refusing to get vaccinated against COVID-19, Variety reports. Burton made the announcement himself on Instagram in a video including anti-vaccine rhetoric, and the show...

Island Shuts Schools Amid 'Very Explosive' COVID Riots

French territory of Guadeloupe trashed during days of protests turned violent

(Newser) - Schools closed across the French Caribbean territory of Guadeloupe on Monday, and France's president warned of a "very explosive" situation in the island territory, after protests against COVID-19 rules and vaccinations descended into days of rioting and looting. France's central government sent in police special forces to...

Austrians Circulate Ahead of Lockdown
Circulate Ahead
of Lockdown

Austrians Circulate Ahead of Lockdown

As of Monday, there'll be no sipping mulled wine under holiday lights for a while

(Newser) - Under a clear blue sky, Austrians enjoyed a last day out in coffeehouses and at Christmas markets Sunday before the government imposes a nationwide lockdown to combat a surge of coronavirus infections. The measures, which take effect early Monday, are expected to last at least 20 days but will be...

Breakthrough COVID Was Mild, and Worse Than I Thought

Alexis Madrigal writes that the 'life disruption' very real even if you don't get very sick

(Newser) - Alexis Madrigal is a co-founder of the COVID Tracking Project, so as you can imagine, he took COVID pretty darn seriously. Which made his friend's October wedding in New Orleans a major dilemma. His best friend (a doctor) was getting married, Madrigal was a vaccinated 39-year-old endurance athlete, the...

Pregnant Patients with COVID Face Risk of Stillbirth, Death

Delta variant made things much more grim

(Newser) - Pregnancy puts patients at greater risk of dying of COVID, a new study shows. The death rate for the virus during pregnancy is three times greater than it would be otherwise, and the risk goes up for patients with the delta variant, per CBS News . The study used data from...

Protest on COVID Restrictions Turns City Into 'War Zone'

Police fire on demonstrators in Dutch city of Rotterdam; 2 rioters hospitalized

(Newser) - Police opened fire on protesters in rioting that erupted in downtown Rotterdam around a demonstration against COVID-19 restrictions late Friday night, with the Dutch city's mayor calling it "an orgy of violence." Police said two rioters were hospitalized after being hit by bullets, and investigations were underway...

CDC Panel Backs Boosters, Especially for Ages 50 and Up

After one more step, shots could be made available to all adults this weekend

(Newser) - Update: This file has been updated to reflect the recommendation of CDC advisers. The US government on Friday moved to open up COVID-19 booster shots to all adults, expanding efforts to get ahead of rising coronavirus cases that experts fear could snowball into a winter surge as millions of Americans...

Couple Nailed in $20M COVID Funds Scheme on the Run

Richard Ayvazyan, Marietta Terabelian left note for their kids before vanishing in August

(Newser) - Earlier this year, Richard Ayvazyan and Marietta Terabelian faced the music in a scheme to steal upward of $20 million in COVID relief funds, after using the money to finance upscale homes, jewelry and watches, gold coins, and other luxury goods. The Southern California husband and wife pleaded guilty at...

Virologist Says WHO Team Got First COVID Case Wrong

After looking at records, interviews Michael Worobey thinks market vendor was first

(Newser) - An expert in tracing the origins of viral epidemics claims to have identified the very first-known case of COVID-19: in a vendor at the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan, China. In a March report , a WHO team that had visited China in January concluded the first-known case appeared in a...

3 Pilots Canned After Testing Positive for COVID

Alleged breach of Cathay Pacific rules forced hundreds of people to enter quarantine

(Newser) - Three Cathay Pacific pilots who tested positive for COVID after returning to Hong Kong from a layover in Frankfurt have been canned. The Hong Kong-based airline said Thursday that the three cargo pilots were fired over a "serious breach" of crew rules, reports Reuters . Cathay requires aircrews with layovers...

Austria Announces Full Nationwide Lockdown
'All of Germany Is
One Big Outbreak'

'All of Germany Is One Big Outbreak'

Country may join Austria in announcing full nationwide lockdown

(Newser) - Days after ordering a lockdown for the unvaccinated , the government of Austria has extended it to the vaccinated as well. Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg says a full nationwide lockdown will begin Monday and last for a maximum of 20 days, the BBC reports. Under the European Union's first nationwide lockdown...

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