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Former Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton has suffered a "scary setback" as she fights a rare type of pneumonia while in the intensive care unit of a hospital, her family said Wednesday.

The 55-year-old, who lives in the Houston area, had been "going on the up and up" earlier this week with loved ones "seeing so much progress," daughter Shayla Kelley Schrepfer posted on

  • Robin Foster HealthDay Reporter
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  • October 19, 2023
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  • Long COVID, a constellation of symptoms that extend past the initial illness, is now a recognized condition.

    But researchers say COVID-19 may not be the only respiratory virus that causes these lasting health impacts -- "long colds" may also exist.

    “Our findings shine a light not only on the impact of long COVID on people's lives, but also other respiratory infections. A lack of ...

    Kids are back in school and it's time to think about viruses, for both yourself and them.

    It could be an early flu season in the United States, if what happened in the Southern Hemisphere offers any insight, according to Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles.

    The flu vaccine is now available in some locations. A new COVID-19 booster has been approved by federal health officia...

    Pope Francis was back delivering Mass on Palm Sunday, just one day after he was released from the hospital following a three-day stay for bronchitis.

    Francis, 86, celebrated in St. Peter's Square in Rome as about 60,000 people looked on, carrying palm fronds or olive tree branches, CBS News reported.

    Pope Francis will remain hospitalized for several days because of a respiratory infection that isn't COVID-19, the Vatican announced Wednesday.

    “In recent days, Pope Francis complained of some respiratory difficulties, and this afternoon he went to Policlinico A. Gemelli for some medical checks,” Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said in a

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • March 30, 2023
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  • While all Americans could benefit from proposed new limits on what's called PM2.5 air pollution, new research indicates the change has the potential to benefit Black and low-income Americans the most.

    The limits being considered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could cut death rates in those more vulnerable groups by up to 7%, according to researchers from Harvard T.H. C...

    Ordering special heart scans before a major surgery to gauge risks may be unnecessary, a new study suggests.

    Researchers found that surgeons can instead estimate patients' risk of heart attack or death by reviewing existing images of the chest captured months earlier during screening for lung issues, such as pneumonia or cancer.

    This could avoid surgery delays and increased costs, w...

    Children in Sweden's capital can breathe a little easier.

    As Stockholm's air has gotten cleaner, young people's lungs have gotten stronger, new research shows. The findings could have implications for cities worldwide.

    While the adverse impact of air pollutants on kids' lung health is well-documented, the impact of changes in air quality on lung development is less studied, research...

    Older people have vaccines available to prevent severe influenza and COVID-19, but there's been nothing to protect against the third respiratory virus that contributed to this season's wretched “triple-demic.”

    Until now.

    Two major pharmaceutical companies published clinical trial results this week that pave the way for an RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) vaccine to be available...

    As colds, flu and COVID continue to circulate this winter, a new U.S. government study finds that young children infected with COVID plus a second virus tend to become sicker.

    While severe COVID is rare among children, kids can and do fall ill enough to end up in the hospital.

    During the pandemic's first two years, young U.S. children who were hospitalized with COVID tended to be mo...

    Going into the holiday season, many public health experts feared a “tripledemic” of flu, COVID-19 and RSV cases.

    New government data now shows that didn't happen.

    Reports of flu-like illness are down for the sixth straight week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday.

    <...

    Public health experts have been warning of a “tripledemic” of respiratory viruses this fall and winter, so the American Lung Association has some tips for breathing easier this holiday season.

    Flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and COVID-19 are all spreading throughout the United States, overwhelming health care systems.

    One way to make holiday or seasonal gatherings safer ...

    Unos investigadores han descubierto otro peligro para la salud asociado con vapear.

    Inhalar los productos de vapeo podría dañar a una capa esencial de los pulmones, llamada surfactante. El surfactante está hecho de lípidos y proteínas, y posibilita que se respire con un esfuerzo mínimo al reducir la tensión superficial. Los investigadores afirman que la respiración requeriría má...

    Researchers have uncovered another health hazard associated with vaping.

    Inhaling vape products may damage a critical layer of the lungs called surfactant. Made of lipids and proteins, surfactant makes it possible to breathe with minimal effort by reducing surface tension. Researchers say breathing would require more effort and possibly mechanical help without this layer.

    "Vaping c...

    As three highly contagious respiratory viruses spread across the United States, straining hospitals and triggering drug shortages, health officials in some major cities and states are calling for a return to indoor masking.

    Over the past few weeks, COVID-19, the flu and RSV have made millions of Americans ill, and indoor masking is seen as one way to slow the spread of the viruses.

    ...

    An early surge in cold and flu cases has created shortages in key antiviral and antibiotic drugs needed for the annual “sick season,” pharmacists report.

    The antiviral flu drug Tamiflu is in short supply for both adults and children, in both its brand name formulation as well as the generic version, said Mich...

    Pediatricians' offices, children's hospitals, urgent care centers and emergency rooms across the United States are being overwhelmed by an early, heavy surge of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) among infants and young children.

    Reported cases of RSV started rising dramatically in September, and by mid-October were at their ...

    People hospitalized for COVID-19 are not necessarily out of the woods once they're discharged: Many land in the hospital again in the months afterward, a large U.K. study finds.

    The researchers found that in the 10 months after leaving the hospital, COVID-19 patients were more than twice as likely to be hospitalized or die, compared to the general population. And even compared with people...

    Secondhand vapor from electronic cigarettes is harmful to others, causing bronchitis symptoms and shortness of breath in young bystanders, a new study reports.

    Secondhand exposure to vapor increased teens' risk of bronchitis symptoms by 40% and shortness of breath by 53%, according to findings published online Jan. 10 in the journal

  • Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
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  • January 11, 2022
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  • When it comes to fending off new viruses, baby has Mom and Dad beat.

    An infant's immune system is better than an adult's at combating new viruses, researchers say.

    Compared to adults, babies get a lot of viral respiratory infections, but babies are dealing with these viruses for the first time, study author Donna Farber pointed out.

    “Adults don't get sick as often because we...

    Parent-collected nasal swab samples from kids could be as good at detecting respiratory infections such as COVID-19 as those taken by nurses, but that's not the case with saliva samples, British researchers say.

    Respiratory infections such as colds and flu are among the most common illnesses in kids treated by primary care doctors. COVID-19 is also a respiratory infection.

    "Our...

    The COVID-19 pandemic has offered some lessons on respiratory disease transmission, and now a new review suggests that hospitals could use those insights to create even smarter infection-control policies.

    The review, published Nov. 9 in the Annals of Internal Medicine, suggests that some longstanding infection-control tactics at hospitals are "outdated."

    And certain changes, like gr...

    Many people pop a zinc supplement at the first sign of a cold, and there's new evidence supporting the habit.

    Australian researchers found that the supplements appear to help shorten respiratory tract infections, such as colds, flu, sinusitis and pneumonia.

    Many over-the-counter cold and cough remedies offer only "marginal benefits," the researchers noted, making "zinc a viable 'na...

    Social distancing and mask mandates during the pandemic nearly eliminated cases of the flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) among children, a new study finds.

    "Numbers don't lie. Face masking, and proper hygiene and isolation, can be effective means to protect the vulnerable groups, such as the elderly and young children, during the respiratory virus season," said study author Dr. Os...

    Surprisingly, patients who isolate before surgery to protect themselves from COVID-19 actually have a higher risk of lung complications after their operation than those who don't isolate, a new study reports.

    The findings conflict with current guidelines that recommend isolation before surgery, researchers noted.

    "Our evidence suggests that removing preoperative isolation strategies...

    A rise in cases of a common childhood disease called respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is unfolding just as coronavirus infections are increasing among children.

    RSV is a highly contagious, flu-like illness that causes symptoms such as runny nose, coughing, sneezing and fever, and is more likely to affect children and older adults, The New York Times reported.

    There's been ...

    Infectious disease expert Ravina Kullar's husband has a cold. So does her sister-in-law.

    Meanwhile, the Cleveland Clinic's waiting rooms are becoming much more frequented by folks with coughs, sneezes and sniffles, said family medicine physician Dr. Neha Vyas.

    These folks are part of a nationwide trend occurring as COVID-19 vaccinations rise, masks drop, protective restrictions lift...

    Breathing in air that has even low levels of pollution poses a threat to older adults' heart and lungs, a new study warns.

    Researchers analyzed medical records of more than 63 million Medicare patients from 2000 to 2016. They found that long-term exposure to low levels of air pollution could increase the risk of pneumonia, heart attack, stroke and the irregular heart rhythm known as atria...

    Old age and chronic health conditions aren't the only risk factors for serious COVID-19 infection. Researchers say people with high levels of the heavy metal cadmium may also have higher odds of severe disease during the pandemic.

    Cadmium is found in cigarettes and in contaminated vegetables. Previous research has shown that long-term exposure to cadmium, even at low levels, may weak...

    Getting vaccinated to protect against pneumonia and flu may offer an unexpected benefit -- a lower risk of Alzheimer's disease, new research suggests.

    Two new studies being presented Monday at this summer's virtual Alzheimer's Association International Conference found a lower incidence of Alzheimer's in people who got flu and pneumonia vaccines. A third study underscored the importa...

    Reports of serious, even deadly, vaping-linked lung injuries dominated the headlines late last year, then COVID-19 took over the news.

    But those lung injuries haven't gone away, and signs of e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury (EVALI) can look a lot like a COVID-19 infection, federal and state health officials warn.

    Eight cases of EVALI were reported i...

    One-quarter of U.S. parents are hesitant about seasonal flu shots for their kids, and roughly 1 in 15 feel the same way about routine childhood vaccinations, a nationwide study finds.

    The issue has gained added urgency this year, as fears around coronavirus keep many parents from bringing their kids to the doctor -- including routine vaccinations.

    Twelve percent of the nearl...

    New research reveals that COVID-19 attacks the lungs in a far different manner from the flu.

    Unlike most respiratory diseases, significant impacts on blood vessels were seen in the lungs of seven COVID-19 patients. The lung tissue of those patients was compared to lung tissue from seven people who died of pneumonia caused by the flu.

    There was evidence that COVID-19 attacks ...

    THURSDAY, April 16, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- With protective gear in short supply, Duke University researchers say they've designed a much-needed respirator for health care workers battling COVID-19.

    The respirator was created by a medical and engineering team at the university and is being used by Duke Health doctors treating patients with suspected cases of COVID-19.

    The ...

    With a sudden need for more ventilators due to the coronavirus pandemic, researchers have been busy trying to come up with alternatives to a standard ventilator.

    Engineers from Georgia Tech and Emory University in Atlanta think they may have developed such a device. They've created a simple, low-cost ventilator that builds on the widely used resuscitation bags found in ambulances and...

    The first generic albuterol inhaler in the United States was approved Wednesday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in response to inhaler shortages caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

    The inhalers are widely used by people with asthma, but it's become more difficult to get them because they're being used to treat patients with COVID-19.

    "The FDA recognizes the increas...

    As COVID-19 pushes American hospitals to the breaking point, intensive care units are finding creative ways to deal with a looming shortage of lifesaving mechanical ventilators.

    New York-Presbyterian Hospital last week began splitting single-use ventilators into machines that can serve two patients at a time. Now another New York-based hospital system, Northwell Health, has stepped up...

    Fighting the flu can be an unpleasant experience -- but the misery may not stop there.

    When you have the flu, your immune system is under attack, making complications common. Other infections can weasel their way into your body, according to Libby Richards, an associate professor at Purdue University's School of Nursing in West Lafayette, Ind.

    Common complications include ...

    Don't get tackled by the flu if you go to a Super Bowl party this weekend.

    Some simple precautions can protect you and others, said Libby Richards, an associate professor who specializes in public health at Purdue University School of Nursing in West Lafayette, Ind.

    "If you are sick or a family member or friend you are planning on visiting for a Super Bowl gathering is sick ...

    If you already have a cold, you're less likely to get the flu, and vice versa, a large new study shows.

    That finding could lead to improved prediction of cold and flu outbreaks as well as new ways to control the diseases' spread, British researchers said.

    While this interaction between colds and the flu has been observed, this is the first study large enough to provide stron...

    Natural compounds added to marijuana-derived vaping liquid produce toxic chemicals in the vapor that users inhale, a new lab study reports.

    The compounds, known as terpenes, are added into pure THC distillations to dilute the product and provide the vapor with aroma and taste, said senior researcher Robert Strongin, a professor of organic chemistry at Portland State University in Ore...

    Many health care workers are still on the job even if they have symptoms of a cold, flu or other respiratory infection, putting patients and coworkers at risk, a new study finds.

    It included more than 2,700 health care workers at nine Canadian hospitals who completed online diaries whenever they had symptoms of a respiratory infection.

    Half reported an acute respiratory vira...

    Seasonal flu and other respiratory infections may be especially dangerous for kidney failure patients, researchers say.

    A new study found that influenza-like illnesses likely contribute to more than 1,000 deaths among kidney failure patients in the United States each year. These illnesses include potentially serious respiratory tract infections caused by flu and other viruses.

    ...

    It's not too late to get your flu shot, which can protect you in ways that may surprise you.

    The flu vaccine can be a lifesaver for people with heart disease, according to infectious disease specialist Dr. Michael Chang, assistant professor of pediatrics at University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

    "Previous studies have shown influenza vaccination could reduce d...