Health

Cat’s Meows Are So Misunderstood
Health

Cat’s Meows Are So Misunderstood

What is the meaning of a cat’s meow that grows louder and louder? Or your pet’s sudden flip from softly purring as you stroke its back to biting your hand?It turns out these misunderstood moments with your cat may be more common than not. A new study by French researchers, published last month in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science, found that people were significantly worse at reading the cues of an unhappy cat (nearly one third got it wrong) than those of a contented cat (closer to 10 percent).The study also suggested that a cat’s meows and other vocalizations are greatly misinterpreted and that people should consider both vocal and visual cues to try to determine what’s going on with their pets.The researchers drew these findings from the answers of 630 online participants; res...
Lead-Tainted Applesauce Highlights Failings in Food Safety System
Health

Lead-Tainted Applesauce Highlights Failings in Food Safety System

The tainted applesauce might have gone unnoticed for even longer had it not been for a family in North Carolina.Early last summer, Nicole Peterson and Thomas Duong were alarmed by their young children’s blood-lead levels in a routine screening. Within weeks, the levels had doubled.Ms. Peterson said the couple worked with the local health department as they tried to determine what could be hurting their children. We “weren’t sleeping and we’re not eating — like this is driving us crazy,” said Ms. Peterson. She and her husband are suing Dollar Tree, where they bought the applesauce, and WanaBana, a U.S. distributor led by Austrofood officers.A Dollar Tree spokeswoman said the company is committed to the safety of the products it sells. Austrofood said that it had relied on its supplier’s cer...
What to Know About Xolair and Food Allergies
Health

What to Know About Xolair and Food Allergies

The Food and Drug Administration approved a drug this month that cuts the risk of severe reactions in children and adults exposed to trace amounts of peanuts, tree nuts, milk, dairy and other food allergens — a move that could dramatically improve quality of life for people coping with these risks. The results of the clinical trial supporting the decision were published on Sunday.While the drug, Xolair, offers a new layer of protection to people who may have life-threatening reactions to common foods, and especially to those who are allergic to several foods, its use comes with important caveats.Does Xolair cure food allergies?No. Xolair is not a cure for food allergies, nor can it be used to treat acute reactions. People who take Xolair must continue to avoid foods that they are allergic ...
Study of Patients With a Chronic Fatigue Condition May Offer Clues to Long Covid
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Study of Patients With a Chronic Fatigue Condition May Offer Clues to Long Covid

Jennifer Caldwell was active and energetic, working two jobs and taking care of her daughter and her parents, when she developed a bacterial infection that was followed by intense lightheadedness, fatigue and memory problems.That was nearly a decade ago, and she has since struggled with the condition known as myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome, or ME/CFS. Ms. Caldwell, 56, of Hillsborough, N.C., said she went from being able to ski, dance and work two jobs as a clinical research coordinator and a caterer to needing to stay in bed most of every day.“I haven’t been right since, and I haven’t worked a day since,” said Ms. Caldwell, whose symptoms include severe dizziness whenever her legs are not elevated.The condition has also “messed me up cognitively,” she said. “I can’t re...
Some Pregnant Women and Infants Received the Wrong R.S.V. Shots
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Some Pregnant Women and Infants Received the Wrong R.S.V. Shots

This winter, for the first time ever, there were two vaccines available to ward off respiratory syncytial virus, which is particularly dangerous to older adults and infants. Only one of them — Abrysvo, made by Pfizer — was approved for pregnant women, and neither was for young children.The distinction apparently slipped by some clinicians and pharmacists.At least 128 pregnant women were mistakenly given the alternative vaccine — Arexvy, by GSK — and at least 25 children under age 2 received a vaccination, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned. Dr. Sarah Long, professor of pediatrics at Drexel University College of Medicine and an adviser to the agency, said she was “blindsided” by the reports. “It is very upsetting that this should happen,” she said.Arexvy has not been ...
Old and Young, Talking Again
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Old and Young, Talking Again

On Fridays at 10 a.m., Richard Bement and Zach Ahmed sign on to their weekly video chat. The program that brought them together provides online discussion prompts and suggests arts-related activities, but the two largely ignore all that.“We just started talking about things that were important to us,” said Mr. Ahmed, 19, a pre-med student at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.Since the pair met more than a year ago, conversation topics have included: Pink Floyd, in a long exploration led by Mr. Bement, 76, a retired sales manager in Milford Township, Ohio; their religious faiths (the senior conversation partner is Episcopalian; the younger is Muslim); their families; changing gender norms; and poetry, including Mr. Ahmed’s own efforts.“There’s this fallacy that these two generations can’t co...
75 Hard Has a Cultish Following. Is It Worth All the Effort?
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75 Hard Has a Cultish Following. Is It Worth All the Effort?

Two 45-minute daily workouts. One gallon of water. 10 pages of a nonfiction book. A diet. No “cheat meals” or alcohol. For 75 days.And if you mess up, you have to start from the beginning.Sound like a lot? It’s supposed to be. The program, called 75 Hard, is meant to build mental toughness. Some say that rigidity is what makes it great, and others say that makes it problematic.Since it was created in 2019, 75 Hard has developed somewhat of a cult following, with practitioners posting daily progress pictures and videos that sometimes rack up millions of views on TikTok and Instagram. One of Reddit’s biggest subreddits, with over 44,000 members, is dedicated to the program.But is it beneficial, and are the changes sustainable? Psychologists say that while the program can have mental-health b...
CooperSurgical’s Botched IVF Liquid Destroyed Embryos, Lawsuits Claim
Health

CooperSurgical’s Botched IVF Liquid Destroyed Embryos, Lawsuits Claim

CooperSurgical, a major medical supply company, is facing a wave of lawsuits from patients who claim that one of its products destroyed embryos created with in vitro fertilization.Fertility clinics across the world used the product, a nutrient-rich liquid that helps fertilized eggs develop into embryos. This week federal regulators made public that the company had recalled three lots of the liquid, which was used by clinics in November and December. The number of affected patients is unclear, although experts estimated that it is in the thousands.On Thursday, a couple in Virginia filed a lawsuit against the company, the eighth in two months from families around the United States. Collectively, the patients say they lost more than 100 embryos that had bathed in the defective product, known ...
Man Dies in First Known Fatal Case of the Alaskapox Virus
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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...