Month: March 2021

The Clock is Ticking: as TB claims some 1.4 million lives in 2019

More than a century has passed since the March 24, 1882, announcement by Robert Koch that Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) bacteria cause tuberculosis (TB), but the disease still ranks as one of the world’s great killers, claiming some 1.4 million lives in 2019 alone.

New Law Classifies Delivery Robots as “Pedestrians”

Car and Driver reports that the Keystone State technically defines delivery robots as “pedestrians” under a newly implemented measure. The law, which went into effect earlier this year, stipulates that autonomous delivery robots can maneuver on sidewalks, pathways, and roadways in Pennsylvania. They can carry up to 550 pounds of cargo at speeds of up to 25 miles per hour on roadways but must cap their speed at 12 miles per hour in human — presumably — pedestrian areas.

African Americans who smoke seem at higher risk of coronary heart disease

African Americans who smoke appear to have more than twice this risk of  developing coronary heart disease compared to those who do not smoke, a new study has found. The findings — the first up-close look at the relationship between smoking and coronary heart disease in this population—also examined the risk for plaque buildup in the arteries of African Americans who smoke. Excessive plaque in the arteries is a known predictor of heart attacks and heart failure.    

Investigational AstraZeneca vaccine prevents COVID-19

Results from a large clinical trial in the United States and South America indicate that AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, AZD1222, is well-tolerated and protects against symptomatic COVID-19 disease, including severe disease or hospitalization. The independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) overseeing the trial identified no safety concerns related to the vaccine. The United Kingdom-based global biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca developed the vaccine and led the trial as regulatory sponsor.

WHO statement on AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine safety signals

Some countries in the European Union have temporarily suspended use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine as a precautionary measure based on reports of rare blood coagulation disorders in persons who had received the vaccine. Other countries in the EU – having considered the same information – have decided to continue using the vaccine in their immunization programmes.