Health

Man Dies in First Known Fatal Case of the Alaskapox Virus
Health

Man Dies in First Known Fatal Case of the Alaskapox Virus

An Alaska man died last month of Alaskapox, a rare virus that occurs mostly in small mammals and can cause skin lesions, according to state health officials.Alaskapox was first identified in 2015 in a woman who lived near Fairbanks, Alaska, and there have been a total of seven cases of the virus reported to the Alaska Section of Epidemiology. Until last month, no one had been hospitalized or died of Alaskapox, which can also cause swollen lymph nodes and muscle or joint pain, Alaska epidemiology officials said on Friday.Of the seven people who have had Alaskapox, six lived in the Fairbanks North Star Borough, where red-backed voles and shrews have been found to have the virus, according to the Alaska Department of Health. Alaskapox has not been found to spread between humans.Dr. Julia Roge...
Brooke Ellison, Prominent Disability Rights Advocate, Is Dead at 45
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Brooke Ellison, Prominent Disability Rights Advocate, Is Dead at 45

Brooke Ellison, who after being paralyzed from the neck down by a childhood car accident went on to graduate from Harvard and became a professor and a devoted disability rights advocate, died on Sunday in Stony Brook, N.Y., on Long Island. She was 45.Her death, in a hospital, was caused by complications of quadriplegia, her mother, Jean Ellison, said.As an 11-year-old, Brooke had been taking karate, soccer, cello and dance lessons and singing in a church choir. But on Sept. 4, 1990, she was struck by a car while running across a road near her home in Stony Brook. Her skull, her spine and almost every major bone in her body were fractured.After waking from a 36-hour coma, she spent six weeks in the hospital and eight months in a rehabilitation center. And for the rest of her life she was de...
Will the Super Bowl Affect Fans’ Political Views? Bet on It.
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Will the Super Bowl Affect Fans’ Political Views? Bet on It.

Damian R. Murray, a psychologist at Tulane University, studies how various social circumstances and life events affect people’s political views. For instance, he found recently, becoming a parent makes a person grow more socially conservative. On the eve of the Super Bowl, he sat down for an interview with The New York Times to discuss another recent study, which examined how the political perspectives of sports fans can be altered by their teams’ wins and losses.This conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.What inspired this work?These games are so emotionally potent, and people are so emotionally invested. The question is: What might be the downstream, real-world implications for things that have nothing to do with the sporting event itself? Are there consequences for poli...
J&J, Merck and Bristol Myers Squibb CEOs Defend Drug Prices at Senate Hearing
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J&J, Merck and Bristol Myers Squibb CEOs Defend Drug Prices at Senate Hearing

The chief executives of three major pharmaceutical companies defended the prices of their drugs in front of the Senate health committee on Thursday, drawing them further into a confrontation with lawmakers and the Biden administration over the cost of some of the most widely used prescription medications.Lawmakers, including Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the panel’s chairman, noted that the companies charged more in the United States than in other wealthy countries, accusing them of profiting at the expense of American patients. The pharmaceutical executives — from Johnson & Johnson, Merck and Bristol Myers Squibb — conceded that patients in the United States paid too much but said that new medications arrived there faster than anywhere else in the world.Mr. Sanders, an independen...
Many Transgender Americans Face Stigma and Financial Hardship, Survey Finds
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Many Transgender Americans Face Stigma and Financial Hardship, Survey Finds

Transgender and nonbinary Americans experience stark rates of unemployment and harassment, according to the largest survey of their life experiences to date. The data reflect a longstanding pattern of discrimination at a time when states across the country have passed laws restricting their health care, bathroom access and participation in sports.The findings come from the U.S. Transgender Survey, which many researchers and policymakers have relied on since a version of it debuted in 2011. The National Center for Transgender Equality, an advocacy group, carried out the latest iteration of the survey in late 2022, garnering responses from more than 92,000 transgender and nonbinary Americans, age 16 and up, from every state in the country.The group released a preliminary analysis of response...
Users of Zepbound or Mounjaro Had Lower Blood Pressure in Study
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Users of Zepbound or Mounjaro Had Lower Blood Pressure in Study

A study of the weight loss drug tirzepatide showed that people who took it had significantly lower blood pressures after 36 weeks of using the medication.Tirzepatide, made by Eli Lilly, is used to treat Type 2 diabetes, under the brand name Mounjaro, and to treat obesity, under the brand name Zepbound. It is the latest among a new class of weight loss drugs, and its chief competitor is semaglutide, made by Novo Nordisk and sold as Ozempic for diabetes and as Wegovy for weight loss. For both drugs, researchers have been assessing whether they have additional effects that go beyond weight loss.The blood pressure study, supported by Eli Lilly and published on Monday in the journal Hypertension, was part of a larger effort to assess tirzepatide’s effects on weight loss. Researchers had already...
When a Spouse Goes to the Nursing Home
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When a Spouse Goes to the Nursing Home

Even as the signals of approaching dementia became impossible to ignore, Joseph Drolet dreaded the prospect of moving his partner into a long-term care facility.Mr. Drolet, 79, and his beloved Rebecca, 71, both retired lawyers and prosecutors in Atlanta, had been a couple for 33 years, though they retained separate homes. In 2019, she began getting lost while driving, mishandling her finances and struggling with the television remote. The diagnosis — Alzheimer’s disease — came in 2021.Over time, Mr. Drolet moved Rebecca (whose surname he asked to withhold to protect her privacy) into his home. But serving as her round-the-clock caregiver, as she needed help with every daily task, became exhausting and untenable. Rebecca began wandering their neighborhood and “getting dressed in the middle ...
He Hunts Sloppy Scientists. He’s Finding Lots of Prey.
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He Hunts Sloppy Scientists. He’s Finding Lots of Prey.

Are you done hunting scientists for the day?I haven’t had time today. But if I spent a couple of hours reading papers, I’d probably write four or five comments about errors in scientific papers. It’s not hard to find these problems, and it’s not hard to find them at any institution. They’re all out there to find, if anyone wants to read the scientific literature.What motivates you to spend the time to do it?I’m not an anti-vaxxer, I’m not a crank conspiracist or anything like that. I’m a scientist myself, and I care about getting the science right.You focus in part on images that have been mislabeled, or used twice in a paper but as evidence for different things, lazily cut-and-pasted from one spot to another. Is there a simple way for you to tell that an image is wrong?You just look at th...
Runner With Long Covid Creates Flagstaff’s Dream Run Camp
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Runner With Long Covid Creates Flagstaff’s Dream Run Camp

Never one to waste a spare moment, Matt Fitzgerald clambered into the second row of his Mazda CX-90 on a recent weekday morning and cracked open his MacBook so that he could work on another book.Mr. Fitzgerald, 52, is many things — writer, public speaker, coach — but mostly he is prolific. He has written or co-written 34 books, most of them about running, endurance sports and nutrition. He writes early. He writes often. He writes a lot.“Sometimes I do feel like I’m doing B-plus work on a dozen things versus A-plus work on three or four,” he said. “But I am who I am. There’s always a couple of things where I try to give the absolute best of myself at any given time, and I guess that’s enough.”Mr. Fitzgerald has the sort of slim, athletic build that hints at another part of his identity: dis...
Canada Delays Plan to Offer Medically Assisted Death to the Mentally Ill
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Canada Delays Plan to Offer Medically Assisted Death to the Mentally Ill

Canada is postponing a plan to offer people suffering from mental illnesses the option of a medically assisted death, two cabinet ministers said on Monday.The announcement by Mark Holland, the health minister, and Arif Virani, the justice minister, came after a special parliamentary committee looking into the plan concluded that there are not enough doctors, particularly psychiatrists, in the country to assess patients with mental illnesses who want to end their lives and to help them do so.“The system needs to be ready, and we need to get it right,” Mr. Holland told reporters. “It’s clear from the conversations we’ve had that the system is not ready, and we need more time.”Neither minister offered any timeline for the latest extension. Following an earlier delay, the expansion had been sc...