China presses for Covid origins probe in US

Washington has ignored concerns over its “bio-military bases” both at home and abroad, Beijing said
The World Health Organization (WHO) should launch a new investigation into the origins of Covid-19 in the United States, China has said, rejecting charges by Washington that the deadly pathogen escaped from a high-security virology lab in Wuhan.
Asked about recent comments by WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus – who called on China and other nations to be “transparent in sharing data” regardin..

North Korea warns of ‘overwhelming’ response

Pyongyang said any American efforts to interfere with its weapons tests would be considered a “clear declaration of war”
North Korea has vowed to respond with “overwhelming” force should the US military attempt to intercept missiles fired during test launches. The warning came hours after Washington and Seoul carried out their latest round of air drills, which involved at least one nuclear-capable bomber.
In a statement on Tuesday, Kim Yo-jong – the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un a..

UK MPs issue warning on ammo stockpiles

Britain has allowed its reserves to “dwindle to dangerously low levels,” the Commons Defenсe Committee said
The UK’s national security is now at risk as it would take Britain at least a decade to rebuild its ammunition stocks given the assistance it has been providing to Ukraine, a new parliamentary report published on Tuesday has found.
According to a document compiled by the Defenсe Committee of the House of Commons, as the Ukraine conflict continues, “it is clear that the UK and its NATO al..

Caregiving During Covid

As told to Shannon Shelton Miller
March 3, 2023, is Caregiver Appreciation Day.
My mother is 71 and living with dementia. My older sister and I have been her primary caregivers for four years, and I’m also married with two young children, 7 and 5 years old.
Yes, I’m a member of the sandwich generation — people caring for older parents and young children. Our duties were always difficult, but during the pandemic, they became overwhelming.
When my mother was diagnosed in 2018, I checked in on her when I was in town, took her to appointments and bought groceries because she no longer felt comfortable driving. Although my sister and I noticed small mental declines, we wanted her to stay as independent as long as possible.
By 2019, she was no longer able to live on her own. She moved in with my sister in Baltimore, about four hours from my home in Hampton Roads, Virginia. I visited as much as possible to help.
When Covid hit, it made the strain we were experiencing even ..

Why Asthma Gets Worse in Cold Weather

Medically reviewed by Dr. Bayo Curry-Winchell, MD, MS, Urgent Care Medical Director and Family Medicine Physician

+ Infographic text Why is asthma often worse in the winter?
Cold air
Cold air can trigger spasms in the muscles that keep your airways open. These spasms can trigger asthma flare-ups.
Dry air
Dryness in the air, as often happens in the winter, can irritate your airways, cause coughing and problems breathing.
Changes in air pressure Even in warmer climates, unstable weather during winter months can create fluctuations in air pressure which can trigger asthma symptoms. Wind and rain can also stir up asthma triggers such as mold spores.
Exercise Exercising in cold weather can trigger asthma symptoms or make them worse. You’re more likely to breathe through your mouth when you exercise, but when you do that in the cold, it can force cold air directly into your airways and dry out the mucus lining of your bronchial tubes.
Respiratory illnesses In the winter, col..

PrEP and PEP: Prevention for HIV

Medically reviewed by Jeffrey Kwong, DNP, MPH, AGPCNP-BC, FAANP, FAAN
Around 7,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with HIV each year. But the good news is that there are two strategies, called PrEP and PEP, that can help you stay HIV negative. Both options require you to take antiretroviral drugs, which can prevent the virus from taking hold after it enters your body.
So how do you know if you should take PrEP or PEP?
PrEP, which stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis, is a pill or a shot you take before you’re exposed to HIV to prevent infection. It’s kind of like the birth control pill for HIV.
PEP, which stands for post-exposure prophylaxis, is kind of like the morning after pill. You take it after you’ve been exposed to prevent infection.
Who should take PrEP?
PrEP is for people who are negative for HIV but have a high risk of getting HIV. You’re at high risk if you have vaginal or anal sex without a condom or share needles. If you have had another sexually transmitted inf..

What Is Art Therapy and How Can It Help Women?

When Dana Robbins, 45, started working with an art therapist to help with her overall mental health, she was astonished by how liberating throwing paint on a canvas could be.
“I just felt so free,” Robbins said. “I could paint whatever I wanted. There were no rules. And unlike meditation, it wasn’t difficult for me to get to a meditative place because I had something tangible to do.”
As a single mom who leads a demanding life, Robbins also relished the absence of expectations.
“There was no pressure to get it right or to do it perfectly,” Robbins said. “How often in life do you have the opportunity to immerse yourself in something and not have to worry about the outcome?”
Robbins said she no longer sees an art therapist, but the experience of working with one was beneficial, particularly in helping her get in touch with her childhood self — who experienced great trauma. The sense of connecting to one’s younger self is one of the many possible goals of art therapy
What is art therap..

Understanding Monoclonal Antibodies

Gretchen Klee Musa, 50, is a special education teacher in Wheaton, Illinois. She’s also a transplant recipient who has been taking immunosuppressants — drugs that weaken the immune system — to prevent her body from rejecting the transplant for more than seven years.
“They make it harder to fight infections such as Covid,” Musa said, adding that while immunosuppressants are important for certain functions, they can also lower the amount of protection offered by vaccines.
Knowing her body might need help to fight off Covid-19, Musa used a monoclonal antibody therapy as prevention in March 2022 to lower her risk of infection. When she did eventually get Covid in October 2022, Musa was given a different monoclonal antibody for treatment.
“I am very fortunate that I got Covid as late as I did, after so many rounds of vaccines, boosters and [preventive] antibodies,” Musa said. She was able to get through the infection without serious issues.
Much emphasis has been placed on vaccines for pr..

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