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Twice as Many White Kids Get Unnecessary Antibiotics

Researchers call for investigation of parental expectations

(Newser) - It's becoming something of a mantra: Antibiotics do nothing to treat the flu or common cold. And it apparently needs repeating, because even though antibiotics treat bacterial instead of viral infections, as many as 75% of kids with viral respiratory infections like a cold are prescribed them, reports Health... More »

Lethal Tick Bite Claims Woman in Missouri

Tamela Wilson is fifth known person to have contracted the Bourbon virus

(Newser) - Tamela Wilson was no stranger to tick bites. The 58-year-old assistant superintendent at Meramec State Park in Missouri had worked at a state park for more than a decade and would pick the bugs off her skin routinely, reports CBS News . But in late May, just four days after she... More »

WHO on 'High Alert' Over Bird Flu

Worrying strains are spreading fast

(Newser) - The World Health Organization says it's on high alert over outbreaks of bird flu that have killed people in China and caused large-scale slaughtering of birds elsewhere. "The rapidly expanding geographical distribution of these outbreaks and the number of virus strains currently co-circulating have put WHO on high... More »

Viruses May Hit Men Harder Than Women for a Reason

From a virus' perspective, women are the superior host

(Newser) - It is now well established that many viruses wreak more havoc on men than on women. Examples: Men are five times as likely to develop cancer from HPV as women, twice as likely to develop Hodgkin's lymphoma from the Epstein-Barr virus, and 1.5 times as likely to die... More »

100-Year-Old Antiseptic Could Battle Viruses and Superbugs

It does double duty, binding to DNA of both patients and bacteria

(Newser) - An antiseptic that German scientists invented in 1912 using coal tar has the potential to help treat and prevent both viral and bacterial infections, according to new research out of the Hudson Institute of Medical Research in Australia. Acriflavine was used throughout both world wars as a shotgun approach to... More »

6-Year-Old Boy's Suspected Stomach Virus Turns Deadly

Wash. boy dies after unknown virus began attacking his brain

(Newser) - Mystery surrounds the death of a 6-year-old boy who landed at Seattle Children's Hospital two weeks ago, ostensibly with a stomachache, only to rapidly decline as the virus began attacking his brain. It all started on Oct. 15, when Daniel Ramirez was rushed to the hospital with what was... More »

Our Bodies Fight Off Illness Far Better in the Mornings

Some viruses and pathogens even manipulate our molecular 'clockwork' to up their chance of thriving

(Newser) - Studies have suggested that the time of day one receives a flu shot can actually affect how effective it is, and now University of Cambridge researchers are reporting in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that our immune systems are better at fighting off viruses and pathogens at... More »

Scientists May Have Answer for Birds' Gross Deformity

An alarming number of birds are being spotted with mangled beaks

(Newser) - Just before the start of the 21st century, scientists spotted chickadees in Alaska with grossly deformed beaks that seriously impeded the animals' ability to do the most basic tasks for survival, such as eating and grooming. With sightings on the rise—throughout the lower 48 states and in chickadees as... More »

Could an 1890s Smallpox Outbreak Come Back to Haunt Us?

Researchers fear melting permafrost will revive the virus

(Newser) - A video of scientists in hazmat suits incinerating animal carcasses in Siberia looks straight out of a sci-fi movie about a rogue virus, notes Vice News . The scariest part? Such a sight might become more familiar. The video arose because melting permafrost caused a long-frozen reindeer carcass to thaw and... More »

Getting a Zika Shot May Soon Be the New Normal

Researchers say once virus arrives, it's here to stay

(Newser) - A Zika vaccination is likely in your future, and in the futures of your children and grandchildren. Once the virus reaches the US, it will become a permanent, low-level threat, like the West Nile virus, according to researchers at this week's annual meeting of the Global Virus Network in... More »

Ancient Virus Could Determine the Sex of Your Baby

'Why ... is a fascinating question'

(Newser) - The sex of baby mice—and quite likely baby humans—is determined by a virus that inserted itself into the mammalian genome 1.5 million years ago, Live Science reports. Yale researchers published their surprising findings on March 30 in Nature . According to a press release , more than 40% of... More »

Scientists Claim Link Between Herpes Virus and Alzheimer's

Renowned researchers pen an editorial calling for more research into virus and bacteria

(Newser) - Roughly two-thirds of American adults have been exposed to the herpes type 1 virus (oral; type 2 is the genital one), and they could be predisposed to developing Alzheimer's disease later in life. So writes a group of 31 international scientists and clinicians in an editorial in the Journal ... More »

Country Confirms Zika Crisis, Denies Birth Defects

Colombia's president speaks on the issue

(Newser) - Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos said Saturday that there's no evidence Zika has caused any cases of the birth defect known as microcephaly in his country , though it has diagnosed 3,177 pregnant women with the virus. Santos also announced that a US medical-scientific team will arrive in... More »

Brazil to Women: Don't Get Pregnant Right Now

Amid fears mosquito-borne virus is causing spike in infant neurological condition

(Newser) - In what Brazil's Health Ministry is calling an "unprecedented situation," six states have declared a state of emergency and health officials are warning women not to get pregnant (especially in the country's northeast) due to a mosquito-carried virus linked to brain damage in infants , CNN reports.... More »

MIT Scientists Figure Out What Happens When We Sneeze

They map out how mucus and saliva break into droplets

(Newser) - A sneeze is not just a sneeze. It is a "high-propulsion" cloud of mucus and saliva that spreads across entire rooms, even reaching ceilings and the ventilation ducts found there, in a matter of minutes. MIT researchers first gained attention last year with these findings, reports CBS Boston , and... More »

Test Can Detect Every Virus to Afflict Humans, Animals

Even uncommon viruses and ones present in low levels: scientists

(Newser) - A new test developed by scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis may prove an invaluable aid to doctors who can't figure out what's wrong with their patients. The test, described in a study in the Genome Research journal, is able to detect, all at... More »

Scientists Find New Virus Passed Through Blood

Don't fret yet: HHpgV-1 might be good for you

(Newser) - Scientists have discovered a new virus apparently transmitted through blood transfusions. Little else is known about human hepegivirus-1, or HHpgV-1, besides that it looks a bit like hepatitis C and the harmless and perhaps beneficial human pegivirus. "It is the first transfusion-associated virus that's been described in a... More »

Prehistoric 'Frankenviruses' Could Rise Again

Viruses, buried in permafrost, could be revived with climate change

(Newser) - A 30,000-year-old "giant virus" could be brought back to life thanks to a surprise discovery 100 feet deep in Siberia's permafrost. The virus, Mollivirus sibericum or "soft virus from Siberia," qualifies as giant because it is 0.6 micrometers and can be seen under a... More »

Deadly New Virus Jumped From Squirrels to People

Mystery of exotic pet breeders' deaths solved

(Newser) - Squirrel breeding is a real job—and apparently a very dangerous one if you're dealing with the wrong kind of squirrel. After the mysterious deaths of three German men who all worked as breeders of variegated squirrels—a kind of squirrel native to Central America that's sometimes kept... More »

$25 Blood Test Finds Every Virus You've Ever Had

VirScan lets doctors scan for hundreds of viruses at once

(Newser) - Blood tests can reveal a lot about you, from your suicide risk to your need for antibiotics . Now, researchers at Howard Hughes Medical Institute say a simple blood test can identify every virus you've ever had. From just a single drop of blood, VirScan can detect the remains of... More »

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