Are tick bites messing up your diet?
New data from the CDC shows that it’s much more common than previously thought. As many as 450,000 people may have contracted alpha-gal syndrome (AGS) from lone star ticks between 2010 and 2022. The disease causes an allergic reaction in people when eating red meat like beef, pork, or lamb. This tick is common in the eastern and southern parts of the U.S., and there’s no cure or treatment yet for the syndrome.
New technology can detect Covid-19 in just seconds
Researchers have developed a breath test that users simply blow into then wait for quick results. Unlike nasal swabs and current at-home tests that take up to 15 minutes, the results for this device appear in less than a minute. Researchers think this rapid testing will be most useful in hospitals and other facilities where people live in close quarters, like nursing homes and college dorms. The work is published in Nature Communications (Washington University in St. Louis).
Is your child a picky eater, or the victim of a chronic disease?
Eosinophilic esophagitis is a serious disease that’s more common in children than adults. It makes swallowing difficult and is caused by food allergies or airborne allergens. Fortunately, new research published in Nature Communications Biology suggests that blocking a pro-inflammatory immune system response is an effective treatment for children with the condition (Tulane University).
Do you really need an antibiotic?
Antibiotic resistance is a growing problem, so using them only when absolutely necessary is the best option. A study published in JAMA found that 5 million children are prescribed antibiotics each year for sinusitis, a common sinus infection. But only about half of those prescribed see improvements. The researchers say many of these cases may be misdiagnosed and suggest that a nasal swab for bacteria could help reduce the number of unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions (University of Pittsburgh).