Mask Mandates Drop, International Salmon Survey, Long COVID Answers And Questions. March 11, 2022, Part 1

Mask Mandates Drop, International Salmon Survey, Long COVID Answers And Questions. March 11, 2022, Part 1

By Science Friday and WNYC Studios

Science Friday

Friday, 11 March

As Mask Mandates Drop, COVID Cases Increase In Some Parts Of World

Later this month, Hawai’i will become the 50th and final state in the U.S. to drop its indoor mask mandate, as those and other COVID-19 protections tumble down nationwide and in places like the United Kingdom and Austria.

But as the winter omicron surge eases in some places, an omicron subvariant called Ba.2 is joining the viral mix. And the pandemic is far from over elsewhere. Science journalist Roxanne Khamsi reports on rising case counts in Hong Kong—a country with previously low numbers. A year ago, it reported only 17 total cases per day, but recorded more than 56,000 this past week.

Plus, why war in Ukraine may threaten the effort to eliminate polio globally, the death of the recipient of a genetically modified pig heart, and other science stories.

 

U.S., Russia, and Canada Continue Collaboration On Wild Salmon Survey

Tensions continue to simmer between Moscow and Washington in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In many respects, the divide between East and West is deepening: Oil companies are canceling partnerships with Russian firms. State legislators are calling for the state’s sovereign wealth fund to dump Russian investments. President Joe Biden announced Tuesday the U.S. would close its airspace to Russian aircraft. But the United States and Russia are continuing to work together on at least one issue: salmon.

There’s a map scattered with orange, green, blue and red dots spanning most of the North Pacific above 46 degrees latitude. On the map are three flags of Arctic nations: the U.S., Canada and the Russian Federation. “This interaction between the countries in this is really something that has never happened to this scale before,” said Mark Saunders, the executive director of the five-country North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission.

He’s talking about the 2022 Pan-Pacific Winter High Seas Expedition. Vessels from both sides of the Pacific are braving gale-force winds and 13-foot seas as they crisscross the ocean from the edge of the Aleutian Chain to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. All in the name of research on challenges to wild salmon runs that are important to people on all sides of the north Pacific Rim.

Read the rest on sciencefriday.com.

 

While Long COVID Treatments Improve, Big Questions Remain

Over the two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, one topic has been on many people’s minds: long COVID. Some people with COVID-19 have symptoms that last for weeks, months, and sometimes even years after their initial infection.

Long COVID affects people in different ways. Some report debilitating fatigue or a persistent brain fog that makes it hard to concentrate. And for many long haulers, their ability to exercise and or perform simple daily tasks remains severely limited.

There’s still a lot that we don’t understand about the underlying causes of these symptoms. No one knows why some people develop long COVID, while others don’t. But over the last two years, researchers have slowly accumulated more knowledge about the drivers of long COVID, and how to best treat it.

Ira speaks with two people intimately familiar with long COVID: Dr. David Putrino, director of rehabilitation innovation at Mount Sinai Health System in New York, New York, and Hannah Davis, co-founder of the Patient-Led Research Collaborative based in Brooklyn, New York.

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