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FDNY veteran says heart damage from required COVID vax forced early retirement

Firefighter injured from vacccineAn FDNY firefighter says he was forced to retire on half his salary after the city-mandated COVID-19 vaccine left him with permanent heart damage.

now wants a judge to award him a more lucrative disability pension, which would pay three-quarters of his final salary tax-free, according to court papers.

Pastrana, 37, got the jab in October 2021 because the city required it, and had an immediate allergic reaction, including swollen lips, chills and body aches.

Despite three trips to the emergency room, he claims he was forced to get the second Pfizer shot a month later.

“I thought I was going to die after that second dose,” Pastrana told The Post, adding he was again rushed to the ER after the second shot.


Cases of this COVID variant tripled in just two weeks, CDC estimates

Latest variant cases tripled and growingIncidence of a COVID-19 variant appears to have increased threefold in the U.S. in recent weeks, federal tracking showed.

The BA.2.86 variant – a mutated COVID-19 strain previously thought to be uncommon – is projected to account for nearly one-tenth of circulating viruses, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Nowcast variant tracker posted Monday. Two weeks ago, the variant made up 3% of cases. These figures are based on estimates of circulating variants.

“The numbers are less important,” Dr. Perry Halkitis, dean of the Rutgers School of Public Health in New Jersey, told USA TODAY. “The pattern is more important. And it looks like it's growing.”



Growing number of US children taking melatonin for sleep

Melatonin given to children in the US

Melatonin use is becoming "exceedingly common" among American children, with nearly one in five under age 14 now consuming melatonin to aid sleep.

Parents are increasingly giving it to younger children. About 18% of children age five to nine are using it as a sleep aid, a new study suggests.

Last year, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine issued a health advisory about melatonin use for young people.


A new COVID variant, HV.1, is now dominant. These are its most common symptoms

Covid variant HV.1A new COVID-19 variant called HV.1 has become the dominant strain in the United States and now accounts for nearly one-third of cases nationwide.

The highly infectious omicron subvariant has been circulating in the U.S. since the summer. In October, HV.1 rapidly gained speed and overtook other variants, including EG.5, aka Eris, to become the most prevalent strain, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


1.3 million chickens to be culled after bird flu detected at Ohio farm

Bird flu causes culling of 1.3 million birds

Over 1.3 million chickens are being killed on an Ohio farm to contain an outbreak of avian influenza, as first reported by The Associated Press.

The US Department of Agriculture reported Tuesday that the flock is being slaughtered after the detection of a case of bird flu on the Union County egg farm.

Though the spread of the disease has been less severe this year, compared to 2022, 8.1 million birds have been killed on commercial poultry farms this year with flock in Ohio among 5.8 million being killed this month the AP reported.

This is the second farm to kill over 1 million birds this month as a Taylor County, Iowa egg farm killed 1.1 million birds. A Wright County, Minnesota farm also killed 940,000 birds this month.


Nearly Two Dozen Toddlers Sickened By Lead Linked To Applesauce Pouches: CDC

Apple sauce pouchU.S. health officials are warning doctors to be on the lookout for possible cases of lead poisoning in children after at least 22 toddlers in 14 states were sickened by lead linked to tainted pouches of cinnamon apple puree and applesauce.

Children ages 1 to 3 were affected, and at least one child showed a blood lead level eight times higher than the level that raises concern, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

There’s no safe level of lead exposure, but the CDC uses a marker of 3.5 micrograms per deciliter to identify children with higher levels than most. The affected children’s blood lead levels ranged from 4 to 29 micrograms per deciliter.


FDA approves Zepbound, a new obesity drug that will take on Wegovy

FDA approves Zepbound, new weight loss drug

An obesity drug called Zepbound won approval for use in adults from the Food and Drug Administration Wednesday, ushering in a new rival to Novo Nordisk's blockbuster Wegovy.

Eli Lilly & Co., maker of Zepbound, says it shows greater weight loss at a lower list price than Wegovy. The Lilly drug will be available in the U.S. by the end of the year. A version of the shot, known generically as tirezepatide, is already sold as Mounjaro to treat Type 2 diabetes.

The Lilly drug works by acting on two hormone receptors in the brain, including one called GLP-1, short for glucagon-like peptide-1 – that regulate appetite and metabolism.

The new class of medicines for managing obesity that includes Zepbound and Wegovy has given people with obesity and overweight a potent option for treatment. But the drugs are expensive, and many people who lose weight regain it after stopping the medicines.


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