Elderly hit so hard by COVID-19 because of lower levels of certain immune cells

Elderly people who get COVID-19 have lower levels of important immune cells, which may explain why they are more likely than younger patients to have severe symptoms or die, new research suggests.

For the study, the researchers analyzed blood samples from 30 people with mild COVID-19, ranging in age from the mid-20s to late-90s. Compared with healthy people, all of the COVID-19 patients had lower numbers of T cells — which target virus-infected cells — in their blood.

But COVID-19 patients over 80 years of age had fewer T cells than those who were younger, and so-called “killer” T cells in older patients produced lower amounts of cytotoxic molecules that find and kill infected cells, the investigators found.

This age-related difference in immune response may partially explain why older COVID-19 patients have more severe illness, according to the authors of the study published this month in the journal mBio.


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Women Hit the Bottle Hard During COVID-19

Adults started drinking more alcohol during the COVID-19 pandemic, but women not only drank more frequently, but also reported significant increases in heavy drinking and alcohol-related problems, a national survey found.

Overall frequency of alcohol consumption among adults ages 30-80 increased 14% versus 2019, with increases of 17% for women, reported Michael Pollard, PhD, of RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, California, which administers the survey, and colleagues.

Other demographic groups experiencing increases in frequency of alcohol consumption included non-Hispanic whites (up 19% vs 2019) and adults ages 30-59 (up 10%), the team wrote in a research letter in JAMA Network Open.

Nielsen surveys showed a 54% increase in national sales of alcohol for the week of March 21 versus a year ago, Pollard and colleagues noted, as stay-at-home orders began in U.S. states and the World Health Organization warned that alcohol use during this time may “exacerbate health concerns and

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White House reportedly pushed CDC hard to fall in line on sending kids to school, sought alternate safety data

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began working in early summer on guidance for sending children back to school, and the White House then “spent weeks trying to press public health professionals to fall in line with President Trump’s election-year agenda of pushing to reopen schools and the economy as quickly as possible,” The New York Times reported Monday night, citing documents and interviews with current and former government officials.

This “strikingly political intervention in one of the most sensitive public health debates of the pandemic” included searching for “alternate data” that suggested children were at little or no risk from the coronavirus, the Times reports, and trying to swap in guidance from a little-known Health and Human Services Department agency, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

SAMHSA was focused on the emotional and mental health toll remote school could have on children, but CDC scientists

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3 Fitness Stocks Whose Hard Work Can Reward You

One sector of the market that has benefited from the stay-at-home trend is fitness stocks. As the coronavirus pandemic put a wrench in social gatherings, group fitness classes lost its allure and more people looked for new ways to stay fit from within the confines of their home.

This shift in workout regimes was a boon for stocks that cater to the at-home fitness industry. Thanks to on-demand classes and technology that allows you to workout virtually alongside your peers, many find exercising from home to be just as engaging as an in-person class.

Experts also believe that the smart home gym may be here to stay long after the pandemic.

The pandemic presented a unique opportunity for fitness companies to redesign fitness routines as we know it. Investors who are looking to strengthen their portfolios in a volatile market should consider investing in these stocks.

  • Peloton (NASDAQ:PTON)
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The 1918 flu hit Native American tribes hard, just as coronavirus has done

The letter from the school was dated Oct. 29, 1918. It read:

During the scourge of Spanish Influenza from which your daughter Cecilia died I was so extremely busy that it was impossible for me to tell you the particulars in connection with the death of Cecilia.

This plague attacked this school on the 15th of October. It was brought here at first by new students coming in and it spread rapidly until we had about 250 cases. The entire school stopped its regular activities and devoted itself absolutely to the care and nursing of the sick. Out of the 250 cases we lost a comparatively few. Among the number was your daughter.

Cecilia was one of thousands of American Indians who died of the 1918 flu, which swept the world and killed upward of 50 million people. Like the coronavirus, which has devastated Native American reservations and people, the

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