Melissa Healy
Melissa Healy
LA Times science & medicine reporter, veteran of many newsbeats, inveterately long writer, and ardent student of human behavior.Source
Bethesda, MD
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Why a fast-spreading coronavirus and a half-vaccinated public can be a recipe for disaster

Why a fast-spreading coronavirus and a half-vaccinated public can be a recipe for disaster

If you were responsible for tracking the pandemic, divining what the coronavirus’ next trick will be, and keeping illness and death to a minimum, you’d be really worried right now. The COVID-19 vaccines are making a difference, and they’ve prevented nearly all recipients from becoming very sick or dying. But with infections surging among the unvaccinated, hospitalizations reaching a height not seen since February, and just half the population fully inoculated, the coronavirus is not done with us yet. And new perils lie in wait that could escalate or prolong the outbreak. Each has the...

Aug 17
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Could a homegrown coronavirus strain be partly to blame for California's surge?

Could a homegrown coronavirus strain be partly to blame for California's surge?

Copyright © 2021, Los Angeles Times | | | |AdvertisementCalifornia scientists have discovered a homegrown coronavirus strain that appears to be propagating faster than any other variant on the loose in the Golden State.Two independent research groups said they stumbled upon the new strain while looking for signs that a highly transmissible variant from the United Kingdom had established itself here. Instead, they found a new branch of the virus’ family tree — one whose sudden rise and distinctive mutations have made it a prime suspect in California’s vicious holiday surge. As they pored...

Jan 23
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Super-spreading Trump rallies led to more than 700 COVID-19 deaths, study estimates

Super-spreading Trump rallies led to more than 700 COVID-19 deaths, study estimates

Copyright © 2020, Los Angeles Times | | | |AdvertisementPresident Trump has described his campaign rallies as “fun,” “wonderful,” “,” and, of course, “.” An effort to calculate whether those events have increased the spread of the coronavirus in the United States suggests that “contagious” and “deadly” would also apply.For the record:A rigorous attempt to gauge the after-effects of 18 of the president’s reelection rallies, all held in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, suggests they have led to more than 30,000 additional cases and at least 700 additional deaths.Those casualties would not...

Nov 1
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About 110,000 Californians have bought a gun since the coronavirus arrived, study says

About 110,000 Californians have bought a gun since the coronavirus arrived, study says

Copyright © 2020, Los Angeles Times | | | |AdvertisementIn the first five months of the COVID-19, thousands of Californians bought new guns and changed the way they stored their firearms in a bid to counter the unrest, government crackdowns and societal disintegration they feared would be unleashed by the public health emergency, a new survey has found.The UC Davis researchers who conducted the survey detected shifts in gun ownerships trends that they said are likely to drive an uptick in firearm-related injuries and deaths, including suicides and the consequences of accidental...

Oct 17
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