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Spring Weather Effects on Allergies and World Asthma Day

Spring has sprung in most places in the U.S., a welcome change from the cold weather. However, spring can be difficult if you are among the more than 100 million people with asthma and/or allergies, especially if you have to be outside.  Unless allergies are a common challenge for you, it can be difficult to know what to do if you suddenly find yourself sniffling, sneezing, coughing, or finding it harder to breathe. Being able to differentiate allergies from other viral infections like COVID-19 can make allergies easier to treat. Also, if you have asthma, you can take steps to breathe easier...

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Candida Auris: Public Health Threat in Healthcare Facilities

Fungus plays a complex role in our lives. While some forms are harmless or even helpful, others can threaten our health. Medical facilities around the world are dealing with one such fungus known as Candida auris, which has become more threatening in recent years.  Candida auris is increasingly showing up in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. It is spreading globally, causing severe sickness in patients. This article discusses the spread of this public health threat, the symptoms of infection, and how to contain it.  What Is Candida Auris?  Candida auris (C. auris) is an antimicrobial-resistant...

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PEPFAR AIDS Relief — 20 Years Later

In 2003, when the George W. Bush presidential administration announced its public health campaign to help reduce the burden of AIDS, it was seen as ambitious. The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is still “the largest commitment by any nation to address a single disease,” according to a report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At the time of its proposal, PEPFAR was designed to help improve the health inequities in AIDS and STI prevention, specifically on the African continent.  As this successful public health program celebrates its 20th...

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COVID Origins: New Information and Declassifying Documents

Access to essential data, documentation, and other information can prove helpful in accurately determining the origins of COVID-19. Currently, the source of the coronavirus is not yet completely known.  However, a new study supports linking the virus to infected animals in a Wuhan, China, market. These new findings and the recent declassification of several U.S. intelligence documents will potentially shed more light on where and how the COVID spread began.  Investigating the Origins of COVID-19  In December 2019, the first COVID cases emerged from Wuhan, China. Experts theorized that the...

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Which U.S. States Are Banning Vaccine Mandates?

As the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) declaration winds down this spring, states across the United States are taking different approaches to vaccine mandates. Some states, like Massachusetts, have decided to end their vaccine mandate coinciding with the end of the federal PHE on May 11. Officials in other states have taken the tack of preventing vaccine mandates from occurring in the future. These COVID vaccine bans may persist the next time a pandemic situation (or otherwise) arises.  Public health communicators and members of the general public alike stand to benefit from knowing...

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