Is a covid and flu “twindemic” on the horizon?

As the weather cools in the Northern Hemisphere, and people increasingly mix indoors, we can expect cases to rise, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the WHO, told journalists at a press briefing on Wednesday. It’s not just the UK—several countries in Europe are already seeing increases in covid-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.

Another cause for concern stems from the virus’s ability to evolve. The omicron variant is still responsible for the vast majority of cases globally. But the WHO is monitoring more than 300 omicron subvariants, all of which are considered to be “of concern.” As Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s covid-19 technical lead, said at the same briefing: “We will continue to see waves of infection … because we will be living with this virus.”

Tech Review has been covering covid-19 since the pandemic began. Here are a few recent pieces from the archive:

  • Covid-19 hit some much harder than others. We’ve only just begun to examine the racial disparities of long covid, as Elaine Shelly reports in this piece.
  • And there’s still a big debate over long covid in children—with groups at loggerheads on the impact, and even the definition, of the illness, as I reported earlier this year. 
  • In China, a covid pop-up on your phone that requires you to get a PCR test could leave you quarantining for days for no apparent reason, my colleague Zeyi Yang reports.
  • Two inhaled covid vaccines were recently approved for covid-19 in India and China, as I covered last month … 
  • … But the hunt is on for a universal covid vaccine based on nanoparticles, reports Adam Piore.

From around the web

Ever had your mind go blank? Brain scans show our brains can enter a neural state that makes it impossible to tap into our thoughts. (PNAS)

Doctors are discovering new, ultra-rare blood group systems—and have just described a 44th. (Wired)

Rapid antigen tests for covid-19 have paved the way for other home test kits—covering everything from flu to kidney disease. (Neo.Life)

The US shortage of Adderall—prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy—is biting, with affected people saying their lives have been “turned upside down.” (Vice) 

We’re becoming increasingly nearsighted. Myopia will affect half of the world’s population by 2050, partly because we’re spending more time reading indoors. (BBC Future)

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