Red blotch virus detected for first time in Australia in wine grape collections

A grape disease that has not been found in Australia before it has been identified in three separate states. Key points: The grape and wine industry says there is no evidence of spread of red blotch virus to vineyards or nurseries Biosecurity authorities are undertaking further testing The virus has potentially been in Australia for … Read more

Why COVID Is Still Worse Than Flu

When is the pandemic “over”? In the early days of 2020, we envisioned it ending with the novel coronavirus going away entirely. When this became impossible, we hoped instead for elimination: If enough people got vaccinated, herd immunity might largely stop the virus from spreading. When this too became impossible, we accepted that the virus … Read more

Ancient, HIV-Like Viruses Have Been Hiding in Mammalian Genomes

Many, many millions of years ago, an HIV-like virus wriggled its way into the genome of a floofy, bulgy-eyed lemur, and got permanently stuck. Trapped in a cage of primate DNA, the virus could no longer properly copy itself or cause life-threatening disease. It became a tame captive, passed down by the lemur to its … Read more

The Vaccine Loophole in Polio Eradication

In 1988, the World Health Assembly announced a very ambitious goal: Polio was to be vanquished by the year 2000. It was a reach, sure, but feasible. Although highly infectious, polioviruses affect only people, and don’t hide out in wild animals; with two extraordinarily effective vaccines in regular use, they should be possible to snuff … Read more

US approves updated Pfizer, Moderna shots targeting Omicron

US health officials on Wednesday updated authorized Covid-19 vaccinations by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech that specifically target the latest strains of the Omicron variant, with the goal of jump-starting a new booster campaign. The two updated booster shots aimed at providing “better protection against Covid-19 caused by the Omicron variant” are approved for people age 12 … Read more

Long Covid costs Australia millions of working days

Long Covid has already cost the Australian economy three million working days this year, according to a government analysis seen by AFP Friday, significantly worsening the country’s acute labor shortages. The treasury report found that lingering effects of the coronavirus have been keeping some 31,000 Australians away from work every day. “The thousands of workdays … Read more

Unvaccinated Djokovic to miss US Open

Novak Djokovic withdrew from the US Open on Thursday as his refusal to get vaccinated he cannot travel to the United States in a move which had been widely expected. It is the second Grand Slam the 35-year-old Serb will miss due to not being jabbed after he was deported prior to the Australian Open … Read more

White House Announces New Response Actions

aug. 18, 2022 – Acknowledging the seriousness of the monkeypox outbreak in the United States, the White House announced today that 1.8 million more vaccine doses will be available to order by local and state jurisdictions that are running low on supply starting next week. At the same time, US officials will send 50,000 more … Read more

Former Australian PM defends secret power grab

Australia’s former leader on Wednesday defended secret arrangements he made to swear himself in to key portfolios including defense and treasury, saying he would only have used the roles in an emergency during the Covid-19 pandemic. Revelations about Scott Morrison’s covert actions — labeled by his successor as the creation of a “shadow government” — … Read more

What is this new Langya virus? Do we need to be worried?

A new virus, Langya henipavirus, is suspected to have caused infections in 35 people in China’s Shandong and Henan provinces over roughly a two-year period to 2021. It’s related to Hendra and Nipah viruses, which cause disease in humans. However, there’s much we don’t know about the new virus – known as LayV for short … Read more