Liz Szabo

Liz Szabo

Unraveling the interplay of Omicron, reinfections and Long COVID

By: - September 4, 2022

The latest COVID-19 surge, caused by a shifting mix of quickly evolving omicron subvariants, appears to be waning, with cases and hospitalizations beginning to fall. Like past COVID waves, this one will leave a lingering imprint in the form of long COVID, an ill-defined catchall term for a set of symptoms that can include debilitating […]

Why won’t more older Americans get a COVID booster

By: - May 16, 2022

Even as top U.S. health officials say it’s time America learns to live with the coronavirus, a chorus of leading researchers say faulty messaging on booster shots has left millions of older people at serious risk. Approximately 1 in 3 Americans 65 and older who completed their initial vaccination round still have not received a […]

Pandemic poses short- and long-term risks to babies, especially boys

By: - December 24, 2021

The pandemic has created a hostile environment for pregnant people and their babies. Stress levels among expectant mothers have soared. Pregnant women with COVID are five times as likely as uninfected pregnant people to require intensive care and 22 times as likely to die. Infected moms are four times as likely to have a stillborn […]

Black and Hispanic Americans suffer biggest decline in life expectancy since WWII

By: - July 31, 2021

Although James Toussaint has never had COVID, the pandemic is taking a profound toll on his health. First, the 57-year-old lost his job delivering parts for a New Orleans auto dealership in spring 2020, when the local economy shut down. Then, he fell behind on his rent. Last month, Toussaint was forced out of his […]

Scientists scramble to unravel the delta variant of COVID

By: - July 28, 2021

Upon first inspection, the mutations in the highly contagious delta covid variant don’t look that worrisome. For starters, delta has fewer genetic changes than earlier versions of the coronavirus. “When people saw that the epidemic in India was driven by delta, they did not suspect it would be so bad or overtake other variants,” said […]

The pandemic’s twin — grief — will outlast COVID-19

By: - July 6, 2021

Cassandra Rollins’ daughter was still conscious when the ambulance took her away. Shalondra Rollins, 38, was struggling to breathe as COVID overwhelmed her lungs. But before the doors closed, she asked for her cellphone, so she could call her family from the hospital. It was April 7, 2020 — the last time Rollins would see […]

Doctors prescribing more opioids to COVID ‘long-haulers’ raising addiction fears

By: - May 30, 2021

Covid survivors are at risk from a separate epidemic of opioid addiction, given the high rate of painkillers being prescribed to these patients, health experts say. A new study in Nature found alarmingly high rates of opioid use among covid survivors with lingering symptoms at Veterans Health Administration facilities. About 10% of covid survivors develop […]

Coronavirus deranges the immune system in complex and deadly ways

By: - March 22, 2021

There’s a reason soldiers go through basic training before heading into combat: Without careful instruction, green recruits armed with powerful weapons could be as dangerous to one another as to the enemy. The immune system works much the same way. Immune cells, which protect the body from infections, need to be “educated” to recognize bad […]

When your turn comes, don’t worry about the numbers

By: and - February 6, 2021

When getting vaccinated against covid-19, there’s no sense being picky. You should take the first authorized vaccine that’s offered, experts say. The newest covid vaccine on the horizon, from Johnson & Johnson, is probably a little less effective at preventing sickness than the two shots already being administered around the United States, from Pfizer-BioNTech and […]

Even presidential pressure might not get vaccines moving faster

By: , , and - January 26, 2021

Americans are dying of covid-19 by the thousands, but efforts to ramp up production of potentially lifesaving vaccines are hitting a brick wall. Vaccine makers Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech are running their factories full tilt and are under enormous pressure to expand production or collaborate with other drug companies to set up additional assembly lines. That […]

Anti-Vaxxers peddle theory that COVID shots are deadly

By: - January 25, 2021

  Anti-vaccine groups are exploiting the suffering and death of people who happen to fall ill after receiving a covid shot, threatening to undermine the largest vaccination campaign in U.S. history. In some cases, anti-vaccine activists are fabricating stories of deaths that never occurred. “This is exactly what anti-vaccine groups do,” said Dr. Peter Hotez, […]