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      Texas sues Pfizer with COVID anti-vax argument that is pure stupid

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Monday, 4 December - 23:13

    Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

    Enlarge / Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. (credit: Getty | Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle )

    Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued Pfizer last week, claiming the pharmaceutical giant "deceived the public" by "unlawfully misrepresenting" the effectiveness of its mRNA COVID-19 vaccine and sought to silence critics.

    The lawsuit also blames Pfizer for not ending the pandemic after the vaccine's release in December 2020. "Contrary to Pfizer’s public statements, however, the pandemic did not end; it got worse" in 2021, the complaint reads .

    "We are pursuing justice for the people of Texas, many of whom were coerced by tyrannical vaccine mandates to take a defective product sold by lies," Paxton said in a press release. "The facts are clear. Pfizer did not tell the truth about their COVID-19 vaccines."

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      Severe outbreak tied to cantaloupe sickens 117 in 34 states; half hospitalized

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Friday, 1 December - 15:32

    Containers with cut cantaloupe in a cooler case.

    Enlarge / Containers with cut cantaloupe in a cooler case. (credit: Getty | Ben Hasty )

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning everyone in the country to back away from pre-cut cantaloupe unless you're certain the fruit in question is not tied to a large, nationwide Salmonella outbreak that is unusually severe.

    So far, 117 cases of infection across 34 states have been identified in the outbreak. The cases are in people ranging from infants to the elderly, including a 100-year-old. Of the cases, 61 (52 percent) have been hospitalized, and two deaths have been reported in Minnesota.

    The CDC attributes the unusually high hospitalization rate to the fact that the pre-cut fruit was served at long-term care facilities and childcare centers. The elderly and young children are at higher risk of severe Salmonella illness.

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      Biden’s EPA proposes water rule to finally ditch lead pipes within 10 years

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 30 November - 19:31 · 1 minute

    City workers unload a truck containing pallets of bottled water to distribute during a water filter distribution event on October 26, 2021 in Hamtramck, Michigan. The state Department of Health and Human Services has begun distributing water filters and bottled water to residents due to elevated levels of lead found in the drinking water due to old and un-maintained water pipes in the city.

    Enlarge / City workers unload a truck containing pallets of bottled water to distribute during a water filter distribution event on October 26, 2021 in Hamtramck, Michigan. The state Department of Health and Human Services has begun distributing water filters and bottled water to residents due to elevated levels of lead found in the drinking water due to old and un-maintained water pipes in the city. (credit: Getty | Matthew Hatcher )

    The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday proposed a stricter rule on lead in drinking water that would require that all lead service lines in the country be replaced within 10 years, and would lower the current lead action level in drinking water from 15 parts per billion to 10 parts per billion.

    More than 9.2 million American households have water connections that include lead piping, according to the White House. Lead moves from the pipes into the water when the plumbing experiences corrosion, which is most severe when the water is acidic or has low mineral content. There is no safe level of lead, which is a toxic metal with wide-ranging health effects, including neurotoxic effects. In children, lead exposure can damage the brain and nervous system, slow development, lower IQ, and cause learning, behavioral, speech, and hearing problems. In adults, it can increase the risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular problems, and kidney damage.

    The EPA estimates that the rule will generate between $9.8 billion to $34.8 billion in economic benefits each year based on health improvement, including higher IQs in children, healthier newborns, lower cardiovascular risks in adults, and a reduction in care for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

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      FDA warns chemical company not to mix brake cleaner into hand sanitizer

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 30 November - 13:13

    A person holding a bottle of soap and washing their hands.

    Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Jena Ardell )

    A chemical manufacturing facility in Wisconsin has drawn the ire of the Food and Drug Administration for making hand sanitizer with the same equipment it uses to make products with toxic industrial solvents and chemicals, such as automotive brake parts cleaner. The practice is a clear violation of manufacturing standards and could lead to harmful cross-contamination, the FDA said.

    The agency sent a warning letter dated October 26 to the maker of the hand sanitizer, Brenntag Great Lakes, LLC, in Wisconsin. The letter, which redacted the name of the hand sanitizer, stated that the agency had found "significant violations" in an inspection in the spring and that the company's responses since then were "inadequate."

    Toxic hand sanitizers became an alarming problem in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, when demand for the germ-fighting gels skyrocketed and manufacturers rushed products to market. Hundreds of products that flooded the market were found to contain methanol, a toxic alcohol that can cause harm via inhalation, ingestion, and skin absorption. Use of the products leads to poisoning, blindness, and even death, the FDA reported .

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      Study finds no “smoking gun” for mental health issues due to Internet usage

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 28 November - 14:27

    young woman using smartphone

    Enlarge / The report contrasts with a growing body of research in recent years that has connected the beginning of the smartphone era with growing rates of anxiety and depression, especially among teenage girls. (credit: Isabel Pavia )

    A study of more than 2 million people’s Internet use found no “smoking gun” for widespread harm to mental health from online activities such as browsing social media and gaming, despite widely claimed concerns that mobile apps can cause depression and anxiety.

    Researchers at the Oxford Internet Institute, who said their study was the largest of its kind, said they found no evidence to support “popular ideas that certain groups are more at risk” from the technology.

    However, Andrew Przybylski, professor at the institute—part of the University of Oxford—said that the data necessary to establish a causal connection was “absent” without more cooperation from tech companies. If apps do harm mental health, only the companies that build them have the user data that could prove it, he said.

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      “Mystery” pneumonia in China is mix of common respiratory germs, WHO says

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Monday, 27 November - 23:03 · 1 minute

    Parents with children who are suffering from respiratory diseases are lining up at a children's hospital in Chongqing, China, on November 23, 2023.

    Enlarge / Parents with children who are suffering from respiratory diseases are lining up at a children's hospital in Chongqing, China, on November 23, 2023. (credit: Getty | Costfoto/NurPhoto )

    Last week, news stories and a posting on an infectious disease surveillance system raised fears that another novel respiratory pathogen with pandemic potential was mushrooming in northern areas of China—namely Beijing and Liaoning province. The reports referenced " undiagnosed pneumonia " in " clusters " of children, hospitals that were "overwhelmed," and parents who were questioning whether "authorities were covering up the epidemic."

    But, rather than a sequel to the COVID-19 pandemic, the situation appears to be merely a side effect of it. According to independent experts and the World Health Organization, it's most likely that China is now experiencing a roaring comeback of a mix of common respiratory infections that were muted during the global health crisis. Many other countries experienced the same surges in the past year or two, including the US. As with the other countries, the wave of infection in China is mostly affecting children, who were less exposed to all sorts of pathogens amid the health restrictions, leaving them more vulnerable to infections now.

    The global explosion of COVID-19 transmission and subsequent pandemic health measures severely disrupted common cycles of many infectious diseases worldwide, knocking seasonal respiratory infections like adenoviruses and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) off their annual cycles. In the US, the 2020-2021 flu season was virtually nonexistent, for instance. But, as the novel coronavirus abated and restrictions lifted, those pathogens vigorously returned. (The US also experienced early and intense peaks of RSV and flu last year.)

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      Teen’s death after eating a single chip highlights risks of ultra-spicy foods

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Friday, 8 September - 22:16

    Teen’s death after eating a single chip highlights risks of ultra-spicy foods

    Enlarge (credit: Sarah Dussault/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images )

    Harris Wolobah, a healthy 14-year-old from Worcester, Massachusetts, tragically died last Friday, hours after eating a single ultra-spicy tortilla chip seasoned with two of the hottest peppers in the world.

    The teen's mother, Lois Wolobah, reportedly picked up her son from school that day after getting a call from the nurse that he was sick. She arrived to see him clutching his stomach and took him home. About two hours later, he lost consciousness and was rushed to the hospital, where he died.

    The teen had told his mother that he had eaten a Paqui chip—The 2023 Paqui One Chip Challenge chip, to be exact. Each chip is sold individually, wrapped in a foil pouch and packaged in a coffin-shaped box adorned with a skull, snakes, and a Grim Reaper. The box contains the challenge rules, which dare consumers to eat the whole chip and "wait as long as possible before drinking or eating anything"—and, of course, post reactions on social media.

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      Gun deaths among US children reached new record high in 2021, study finds

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 7 September - 23:00

    Students from Launch Charter School gather for a rally for National Gun Violence Awareness Day at Restoration Plaza on June 2, 2023, in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn borough in New York City.

    Enlarge / Students from Launch Charter School gather for a rally for National Gun Violence Awareness Day at Restoration Plaza on June 2, 2023, in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn borough in New York City. (credit: Getty | Michael M. Santiago )

    As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in 2020, so did another grim reality: For the first time, guns became the leading cause of death for American children and teenagers, surpassing car accidents, the long-standing leader.

    In 2021, youth firearm death rates did not fall to pre-pandemic levels as hoped, but instead continued a sharp rise to hit a new record high. That's according to a recent study led by researchers in New York and published in the journal Pediatrics. The study was based on national mortality data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Nationwide, there were 4,752 firearm deaths of American children and teens (ages 0 to 19) in 2021, translating to a rate of 5.8 gun deaths per 100,000 people. The deaths represent a nearly 9 percent increase from 2020 (4,368 or 5.4 deaths per 100,000).

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      BA.2.86 fears fizzle as other variants drive up hospitalizations, deaths

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 6 September - 23:11

    BA.2.86 fears fizzle as other variants drive up hospitalizations, deaths

    Enlarge (credit: Getty | Justin Sullivan )

    Concern over the highly evolved omicron subvariant BA.2.86 is easing as the first batch of preliminary studies on the virus suggests it may not be as immune evasive or dangerous as its numerous mutations suggest.

    But the good news is tempered by the latest COVID-19 data, which shows increasing rates of hospitalizations, emergency department visits, and deaths—all driven by the current gang of circulating omicron subvariants, led in the US by EG.5, FL.1.5.1 and XBB.1.16.6 . No single variant is dominant globally, though EG.5 is on the rise.

    In the US, hospitalizations are up nearly 16 percent since last week, and deaths have risen almost 18 percent in that time. Test positivity is also on a steep incline, according to the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data .

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