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How the End of Roe Will Change Prenatal Care

Pregnancy, in this age of modern medicine, comes with a series of routinely recommended prenatal tests: At 11 weeks, a blood draw and an ultrasound to check for conditions such as Down syndrome. At 15 weeks, another blood test, for anomalies such as spina bifida. At 18 to 22, an ultrasound anatomy scan of the baby’s heart, brain, lungs, bones, stomach,...

So, Have You Heard About Monkeypox?

Updated at 9:51 a.m. on May 20, 2022Yesterday afternoon, I called the UCLA epidemiologist Anne Rimoin to ask about the European outbreak of monkeypox—a rare but potentially severe viral illness with dozens of confirmed or suspected cases in the United Kingdom, Spain, and Portugal. “If we see those clusters, given the amount of travel between the United...

Rich Parents Are Tapping Into a Baby-Formula Black Market

The baby-formula shortage has been something of a nightmare for Aleisha Velez, a 25-year-old mother of two who lives in Philadelphia. Velez relies on the federal government’s Woman, Infants, and Children (WIC) program to get free formula, which means she can’t just get the product shipped to her home. So over the past two months, she has called store...

What COVID Hospitalization Numbers Are Missing

For weeks now, as COVID-19 cases have ticked upward in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic, pundits and political leaders have offered a supposedly reassuring refrain: Cases might be climbing, but hospitalizations aren’t yet following suit. In some places, that has been true. Several health-care workers around the country told me they’re seeing the lowest...

No, They Didn’t Find the Cause of SIDS

Sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS, “will be a thing of the past,” according to Carmel Harrington, a sleep researcher at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, in Australia. A press release describes her new study, out this month, as a “game-changing” effort and a “world-first breakthrough” that could prevent future deaths from the tragic illness....

We’ve Never Been Good at Feeding Babies

Keeping an infant fed is a precarious task in the best of circumstances, and for many American parents, the circumstances have become quite bad. Nutritional formulas are currently in very short supply across the United States, and in some markets, more than half of all products are out of stock. For babies with medical conditions, as well as older kids...

Is a Common Virus Suddenly Causing Liver Failure in Kids?

Last October, a young girl with severe and unusual liver failure was admitted to a hospital in Birmingham, Alabama. Her symptoms were typical: skin and eyes yellow with jaundice, markers of liver damage off the charts. But she tested negative for all the usual suspects behind liver disease. Her only positive test was, surprisingly, for adenovirus—a...

The U.S. Is About to Make a Big Gamble on Our Next COVID Winter

Up here in the Northern Hemisphere, the spring weather’s just barely warming, but regulators in the United States are already wringing their hands over a tricksy fall brew: the contents of the COVID shot that vaccine makers are prepping for autumn, when all eligible Americans may be asked to dose up yet again (if, that is, Congress coughs up the money...

Can Anyone Out-Plan a Pandemic?

In this, the season of Bill Gates’s atonement, the billionaire is willing to acknowledge that things don’t always turn out as they should have, and that—at least in some cases—that’s on him. There was the high-profile divorce from his wife of 27 years, Melinda French Gates (“definitely a sad thing,” he said); allegations of an affair and inappropriate...

The Promising Treatment for Long COVID We’re Not Even Trying

Updated at 2:55 p.m. on May 10, 2022In the two years since she caught the coronavirus, 38-year-old Jessica McGovern has cycled through “well over 100 drugs, supplements, and therapies” to try to keep her long-COVID symptoms at bay. In almost all cases, she told me, the interventions were to no avail: Exhaustion, weakness, and aches still lashed her...

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