The Chicago Journal

An Exciting Match: Overview of MLS All-Stars vs. Arsenal FC

Soccer fans across the nation, mark your calendars for one of the most anticipated matches of the year! The MLS All-Stars will face off against the historic Premier League club, Arsenal FC, in the 2023 MLS All-Star Game at the stunning Audi Field in Washington, D.C. This marquee event promises to showcase the best of both leagues and will be a thrilling affair for fans in attendance and watching from home. Here’s everything you need to know about this exciting matchup.

An Overview: MLS All-Stars vs. Arsenal FC

The MLS All-Star Game is an annual event that celebrates the best talent Major League Soccer has to offer, featuring a roster of the league’s top players. In recent years, the format has pitted these all-stars against a prominent international club, adding an extra layer of excitement and global intrigue to the spectacle.

Arsenal FC, one of England’s most storied clubs, will be making their second appearance in the MLS All-Star Game, having previously participated in 2016. Known for their rich history, passionate fan base, and attractive style of play, Arsenal will undoubtedly prove a formidable opponent for the MLS All-Stars.

Audi Field: The Perfect Venue

Audi Field, the state-of-the-art home of D.C. United will play host to this exciting event. Opened in 2018, Audi Field boasts a seating capacity of 20,000 and offers an intimate, energetic atmosphere that has quickly become one of the best soccer experiences in the United States. Situated in the heart of Washington, D.C., the stadium offers easy access to the city’s numerous attractions, making it an ideal location for a marquee event like the MLS All-Star Game.

MLS All-Stars: A Roster of Top Talent

The MLS All-Star roster will feature the best and brightest from across the league, with fan voting playing a significant role in determining the final squad. Expect to see popular names such as Carlos Vela, Josef Martinez, and Nani, as well as exciting young talents like Cade Cowell and Daryl Dike. The team will be coached by the head coach of the reigning MLS Cup champions, adding another layer of prestige to the event.

Arsenal FC: A Premier League Giant

Arsenal FC is one of the most successful clubs in English soccer history, with a trophy cabinet boasting 13 league titles, 14 FA Cups, and multiple European honors. The Gunners, as they are affectionately known, have a reputation for playing attractive, attacking soccer and have a dedicated fan base around the world. The likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Bukayo Saka, and Thomas Partey will grace the Audi Field turf, providing a stern test for the MLS All-Stars.


The 2023 MLS All-Star Game promises to be a thrilling encounter between the best of Major League Soccer and one of Europe’s most historic clubs. With a fantastic venue in Audi Field and a host of events leading up to the big game, this is a can’t-miss event for soccer fans across the nation. Keep an eye out for ticket information, and make sure you’re a part of this unforgettable experience!

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Hepatitis outbreak found connected to respiratory virus

Hepatitis — Viruses typically take a long time in the medical business to learn about, ranging from days to weeks to months and even years.

An outbreak of sudden severe and unexplained hepatitis hit healthy youngsters in 2022.

Three distinct studies, however, were published last Thursday in the journal Nature with some unique recommendations.

According to the study, the hepatitis outbreak might be linked to adeno-associated virus 2, or AAV2.

What happened?

According to the World Health Organization, more than 1,000 children worldwide were diagnosed with hepatitis between April and July 2022.

At least 350 of the children are said to be in the United States.

Hepatitis is an inflammatory disease of the liver, and the children’s diagnosis had no known cause.

More than 50 of them needed a liver transplant, and 22 of them died as a consequence.

The research

According to current research, AAV2 may be implicated in the illness.

The common childhood virus cannot proliferate in the absence of another “helper” virus, such as adenovirus or herpesvirus.

According to the researchers, AAV2 was found in nearly all of the youngsters with unexplained acute hepatitis.

Some of the youngsters were infected with various helper viruses.

Possible Covid-19 link

The timing of the hepatitis outbreak might be linked to the global easing of Covid-19 pandemic restrictions following a lengthy period of relative isolation.

Experts, however, are unable to establish if they are directly related.

Although not being a participant in the study, Dr. Frank Tacke, a gastroenterologist in Germany, wrote an editorial that was published with the current publications.

“Children were suddenly exposed to a barrage of viruses after lockdowns or had poorly trained immune systems that led to an increased susceptibility to otherwise harmless viruses,” wrote Tacke.

The first study

In one of the latest investigations, researchers looked at tissue samples from teenagers in the United States.

AAV2 was found in 93% of the 14 cases, but only in 4% of the 113 controls.

Researchers revealed that children with AAV2 had helper viruses co-infection.

The viruses were either human herpesvirus 6 or Epstein-Barr virus, which both might help AAV2 synthesis.

“Our results suggest that co-infection with AAV2 may cause more severe liver disease than infection by an adenovirus or herpesvirus alone,” the researchers wrote.

Read also: Anxiety can come from the heart, a mice study found

The second study

Another research published in the UK discovered high levels of AAV2 in 96% of 28 affected children but very small amounts in control groups.

Human adenovirus and human herpesvirus 5 were detected in the liver in the majority of patients.

Similarly, the researchers assume they aided AAV2 replication, resulting in liver damage.

The third study

The most recent study found that AAV2 liver damage may be amplified by abnormal immune responses.

Researchers from the United Kingdom detected AAV2 in 81% of 32 affected children’s blood and liver samples.

In addition, they detected low AAV2 levels in 7% of 74 healthy children.

83% of individuals afflicted had a genetic mutation that puts them at risk for autoimmune disease that affects T cells, which are a kind of immune cell.

More research to conduct

Previously, researchers assumed that the pandemic was caused by a human adenovirus.

Human adenovirus frequently causes minor cold or flu-like symptoms.

It primarily affects those who have weaker immune systems.

The existence of many strains meant that the outbreak could not have been caused by a single virus, putting the theory to rest.

Tacke feels that the new findings will stir debate and have an impact on disease management.

To develop a drug, scientists must first identify the mechanism.

If AAV2 is to fault, antivirals would be the best course of action.

If an exceptional immunological response is required, drugs that suppress the immune system may be the answer.

While ongoing research on two continents has shown promising results, many questions remain, such as whether AAV2 is a direct cause of liver illness or a bystander.

Because of their inability to grow on their own, adeno-associated viruses, for example, are preferred vectors for gene therapy.

While liver damage has been observed in trials utilizing AAV-based approaches, scientists believe it is infrequent and seldom fatal.

“If AAV2 directly caused hepatitis, one would expect more cases to have been reported,” said Tacke.

He suggested that additional research be conducted to determine if AAV2 infects on its own or in conjunction with another virus.

“Until then, surveillance for AAV2 (and related viruses) in such cases is to be advised.”

Hospitals still filled despite a dropping number of patients

Hospitals The 2020 Covid-19 outbreak resulted in serious issues since US hospitals were overrun with sick people.

Patients regularly filled the hallways and rooms due to the high patient volume.

However, vaccinations have helped to lessen the problem.

Despite the virus’ lower danger, hospitals in the US are nonetheless congested.

Winter recovery

The COVID-19, the flu, and RSV posed a triple danger to the US during the winter.

As a sign that the country has been healing, the majority of states now report little to no activity in respiratory diseases.

According to government statistics, there have been 30% fewer visits to emergency departments for respiratory conditions since January.

The number of flu-related hospitalizations is almost at its lowest point since October.

4% of hospital beds are still occupied by patients statewide, notwithstanding a recent reduction in Covid-19 admissions.

A shift

The new data reveals a dramatic change between January 2022 and the first Omicron wave, when Covid-19 patients overran hospitals.

However, the situation is still packed in hospitals, and it doesn’t appear that things will improve any time soon.

Experts claim that hospitals already struggled with capacity and resource challenges since patients were sicker than ever before to the epidemic.

According to Nancy Foster, vice president for patient safety and quality at the American Hospital Association:

“It’s been a continuing trend over the last decade or so that there’s been this greater acuity of patients inside the hospitals.”

“So what you see is this incredibly sick group of people inside of hospitals.”

“If you’re a doctor or nurse or respiratory therapist or pharmacist or any other health professional working inside the hospital, that means it’s always a difficult puzzle you’re trying to solve to help that patient out.”


The patient mix at hospitals is comparable to pre-pandemic levels, according to Aaron Wesolowski, vice president of policy research, analytics, and strategy at the American Hospital Association.

According to Foster, if the number of Covid-19 patients decreases, so too could the stress on medical personnel, which at first felt resentful of the limited resources available to help them.

Read also: Teenagers using social media should be older than 13

However, according to Wesolowski’s analysis of Strata data, fewer people attended inpatient and emergency departments in 2022 than they did in 2019.

Experts claim that several complex issues grew worse during the course of the epidemic, taxing the available resources.

“Length of stay is longer because people are needing more acute care,” said Wesolowski.

“Because of work force pressures, there are not as many people who can be treated in an inpatient setting all at once.”

“So both things, I think, can be true.”

Samuel Scarpino, the director of Northeastern University’s AI and life sciences department, believes that the current situation is characterized by a “perfect storm” of issues, including the following:

  • Covid-19 and ongoing control measures hospital use to keep in place
  • A backlog of patients with a delayed need for acute care
  • A workforce that’s burnt out after three years of the pandemic

Covid-19, according to Scarpino, is still the most crucial component.

Instead of building additional hospital beds because a new type increases hospitalizations, hospitals must create extra beds as a safety net due to uncertainty.

“The biggest risk is almost certainty associated with what’s coming,” said Scarpino.


The declaration of a pandemic emergency, according to Nancy Foster, permitted patients to use telehealth services outside of hospitals.

The emergency status has been continuously renewed by the federal government since January 2020, although it is believed that it will terminate in May.

Without the announcement, hospitals would likely have been busier than they are now, especially since the range of treatment options available outside of hospitals might once again become more limited.

“Part of the reason we have the kind of inpatient hospital scarcity that we have right now is that we do have a number of flexibilities that were granted by [the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services] and other federal agencies and the states during Covid that are being used for a wide variety of patients,” said Foster.

“If those were to disappear overnight, we would be struggling to care for the current level of patients.”

Covid-19 source still unknown, but raccoon fox could be linked

Covid-19The Covid-19 virus triggered a worldwide pandemic in 2020, causing devastation on the earth with long-term ramifications.

While there is now a vaccine to combat the virus, its origins remain unclear, which usually sparks passionate political debate.

Regardless of the virus’s origins, study has mostly focused on the pandemic beginning with animal viral spillover.

There is no strong evidence that the virus was leaked from a lab, either unintentionally or on purpose.


The US intelligence community is divided on which scenario is most credible.

The FBI and the Department of Energy are leaning more toward the virus leaking from a lab.

The National Intelligence Council, on the other hand, believes Covid-19 evolved spontaneously.

The bulk of agencies, however, have reached a questionable conclusion.

The National Intelligence Council stated that the intelligence community’s available information on which to base its projections were doubtful, fragmented, or restricted.

The pertinent intelligence may soon become public, since US President Joe Biden signed legislation on March 20 that requires the declassification of government information on the virus’s origin within 90 days.

Although theories swirl, a DNA investigation appears to fit the jigsaw puzzle of the overflow problem, with the raccoon dog at the center.

The latest evidence

During a news briefing on March 17, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus limited the origins of Covid-19 to a bare minimum.

“These data do not provide a definitive answer to how the pandemic began,” he said.

“But every piece of data is important to moving us closer to that answer.”

The first human Covid-19 cases were discovered in Wuhan, China, specifically at the Huanon Seafood Wholesale Market.

In 2020, environmental samples from the market’s southwest included both animal genetic material and coronavirus.

On the corner, live animals were also sold.

Alex Crits-Christoph, a computational scientist, and his international colleagues detected virus-positive specimens on the DNA of the common raccoon dog.

The fox-like animal found across Asia is vulnerable to coronavirus infections, particularly SARDS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.

The virus might have transmitted from bats to raccoon dogs or other animals at the market before infecting people, according to the researchers.

Their hypothesis is based on the detection of animal and coronavirus residues in the same samples.

The findings were released on Zenodo, a website that allows academics to share unpublished research findings with their colleagues, on March 20.

Read also: FGF21 shots in mice might be a solution to sobering up faster


Crits-Christoph and his colleagues conducted the present investigation using publicly available genetic data provided in early March by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The information is linked to a preliminary study from the Chinese CDC dated February 2022, allowing the researchers to narrow down on an animal stand in the market’s southwest with the largest number of virus-positive samples.

A cart sample in the stall included a lot of genetic material from raccoon dogs, ducks, and other animals.

The lack of human DNA in the sample also suggests that the animals were in close contact with the coronavirus.

According to the research, raccoon dogs (or other animals) may have transported the coronavirus from bats to people.


While the evidence seems impressive, Tedros adds that the findings do not support the idea of spillover.

The presence of DNA from both animals and coronaviruses in samples merely indicates that they are linked.

Yet, the spillover theory is still hypothetical.

It’s unclear if the animals in the stalls were infected with Covid-19 or if they passed it on to humans.

A positive swab from a healthy animal from the market in late November or December 2019 would have been ideal, but it is now impossible to get.

When inspectors investigated the auction in early 2020, the sick animals were most likely gone.

Covid-19 has subsequently evolved, morphing in people to form alpha, delta, and omicron versions, which have in turn produced other variants.

Covid-19 is also developing in animals.

Coronaviruses seen in animals today (or two years ago), for example, would not resemble SARS-CoV-2 by the end of 2019, and hence would not match.

“It’s like a cold criminal case,” said the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis epidemiologist Michael Osterholm.

“There may be mounting evidence that, you know, John Doe did it. But not conclusive enough to try John Doe for the crime.”

Mental health becomes concern following studies

Mental health: The brains of teenagers in the US changed during the Covid-19 pandemic, causing them to age faster than average, according to studies.

Younger study participants reported more severe symptoms of anxiety, depression, and internalized problems.

Internalized problems typically include feelings of sadness, low self-esteem, anxiety, and difficulty regulating emotions.

The symptoms all appeared after the first year of the pandemic.


Recent studies reveal multiple factors that caused adolescent mental health to suffer during the pandemic.

Teens were pulled out of school and separated from friends and support structures.

Many were forced to live with fear and uncertainty the Coronavirus brought.

Additionally, teens witnessed their parents losing their jobs while millions lost their parents and loved ones to the Coronavirus.

The study

Titled Biological Psychiatry: Global Open Science, the study is among the first to examine physical changes in the brain caused by stress and anxiety.

The paper was also published last Thursday.

The research comes from a more extensive study in which scientists tried to understand gender differences in adolescent depression.

Eight years ago, scientists launched a plan to perform MRI scans on 220 children aged 9 and 13 every two years.

The team conducted two rounds of analysis before the pandemic halted their research.

As a result, they had to wait until late 2020 to resume the scanning.

Read also: Portland woman breaks into another apartment and raises mental health help concerns

The brain

By then, scientists determined that the children affected by the 2020 pandemic had brains older than their chronological age.

The brain had growths in the amygdala and hippocampus.

The amygdala is the area regulating anxiety and stress, while the hippocampus is the area controlling access to memories.

During this time, tissues in the cortex, the part of the brain that controls executive functions, have thinned.

While a child’s brain naturally changes over time, research has shown that physical changes can happen more quickly in the face of significant adversity.

Other studies show that the brains of people who experience abuse, neglect, poverty and family problems early in life age faster.

They are also prone to later mental health issues.


The study’s lead author is Ian Gotlib, who teaches psychology at Stanford University.

He said the team expected to find a problem behind anxiety and depression.

However, they weren’t sure what they’d find with the MRI scans.

“The pandemic has not been kind to adolescent mental health,” said Gotlib.

“It’s always interesting to do research like this when you’re not really sure what’s going to happen.”

“These effects were interesting and happened pretty quickly.”

“This wasn’t just a one-year shutdown,” Gotlib added.

“So we didn’t know that the effects on the brain would be this pronounced after that short a period of stress.”

“It tracks with the mental health difficulties that we’re seeing.”

Ian Gotlib says it is unclear whether brain changes will have an impact as they grow older.

Future plans

Ian Gotlib’s team plans to examine ten children from the study who had Covid-19 to see if there is a different effect.

He noted that the physical difference is more pronounced in children with Covid-19.

Meanwhile, the diversion chief of pediatric neurology at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, Dr. Max Wiznitzer, agreed that the brain changes were interesting.

However, he stressed whether the mental health issues persist is more important.

“The anatomy is not important,” said Wiznitzer, who was uninvolved with the research.

“It’s the functionality that’s important.”

“The clinical consequence here is the functional impact, the mental health condition clinically and how it’s functioning and how you deal with it.”

Wiznitzer also said that people can manage anxiety or depression with the right mental health interventions.

“The brain has that capacity for reorganization – or call it improvement, if you will,” said Wiznitzer.

Read also: Dylan Sessler’s One-on-One Mental Health Coaching Helps People Overcome Their Struggles

Other notes

Ian Gotlib is hopeful that parents and guardians will remember that mental health consequences can linger despite the end of lockdowns and school closures.

“Be sure that your adolescent or your teen is getting any help that he or she, that they, might need if they’re experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety or being withdrawn.”


Teens’ brain aged faster during the first year of the pandemic, study says, and stress may be to blame

Covid-19 surges among senior citizens or ‘senior waves’

Covid-19: Despite a spike in hospitalizations throughout the majority of states in the winter of 2022, Covid-19 has only slightly increased.

When compared to other surges, the overall rate is still a very small portion of what it once was.

Cases involving senior individuals have so far been the only prominent exception.

Senior hospitalization

The age difference is at its widest degree ever as senior hospitalizations approach the height of the Delta spike.

In Covid-19, the hospitalization rate for seniors has been four times higher than the national average since October.

There was never a gap between nursing facilities greater than threefold, even during the winter spike in 2020.

Seniors who tested positive for Covid-19 during the pandemic have repeatedly been a source of concern.

Only 13% of all cases reported in the US were adults 65 years of age or older, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

However, that age group has been responsible for 50% of all hospitalizations and 75% of all deaths.

According to larger trends, the hospitalization rate for seniors in Covid-19 has changed.

Before seeing a steep drop in the summer, it hit a record high during the Omicron spike last winter.

However, senior hospitalization rates have often been greater than those of other age groups.

Age Gap

Professor of molecular medicine at Scripps Research, Dr. Eric Topol, has termed the latest increase the “senior wave.”

“Right now, we have an immunity wall built up against the Omicron family – between shots and prior infections and combinations thereof – that seems to be keeping younger folks in pretty good stead,” said Topol.

“But the immune systems of people of advanced age are not as strong.”

Topol says that the most recent wave is likely having disproportionately severe effects on young people who have immunocompromised systems.

To assess the trends in that age range, however, not enough data is available.

According to Dr. Eric Topol, a factor in the growth in senior hospitalization rates may have been the underuse of medications like Paxlovid and new, immune-evasive variants.

He emphasized booster deficiency as the main culprit, notwithstanding the appallingly low rates.

“It all points to waning immunity,” said Topol.

“If more seniors had their booster, the effect would be minimal.”

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Vaccines & boosters

Only a third of those 65 and older had an updated booster shot, according to CDC data, which worries experts.

Infectious diseases and geriatric medicine specialist Dr. Preeti Malani from University of Michigan Health said: “It’s very, very concerning.”

“There’s a sizable number of people who actually got previous boosters who have not gotten this one and I worry that there’s confusion, there’s misinformation,” Malani added.

“So to seniors – and to everyone – I say: if you have not been boosted, get boosted.”

According to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey, 60% of seniors were concerned about an increase in Covid-19 cases and hospital admissions this winter.

More over 40% of respondents said they were concerned about becoming sick, but almost as many said they had no immediate plans to get the new booster.

Additionally, 25% of seniors claim they don’t have any plans to get a booster and will only do so if it’s required.


Vaccinations and booster doses continue to be effective at preventing serious illnesses.

Seniors still utilize boosters more frequently than other age groups, despite their low uptake.

Less than 10% of adults under 50 and less than 5% of children got their most recent booster, according to CDC data.

Despite this, experts insist that the difference in hospitalization rates cannot be explained by the expanding gap in vaccination rates alone.

“The truth is that, really, anyone can get this,” said Dr. Preeti Malani.

“But the older you are, the more likely you are to have severe symptoms, the more likely you are to be hospitalized, and the more likely you are to die.”

According to experts, viral diseases like COVID-19 spread equally among older and younger people.

Seniors are often introduced to Covid-19 by family, friends, and the greater community since they are more likely to suffer more serious consequences.

“Seniors are the most at risk, but we bring it to them,” said Malani.

“A thing unique to older adults is that many of them are grandparents and many of them provide childcare for their grandchildren.”

“So they sometimes get infected from their grandkids, who may also be going to school or daycare.”

Malani also emphasized the particular risks that senior citizens who live in communal settings, like nursing homes, present.

Read also: Mental health becomes concern following studies

Nursing homes

Despite how vulnerable they may appear, seniors do not constitute the majority of population growth.

A government watchdog report from earlier this month discovered a strong connection between breakouts in nursing homes and community spread.

This winter, nursing homes are at risk once more.

With the exception of the initial winter wave and the Omicron wave, weekly cases among residents have already surpassed previous highs.

They continue to rise.

However, according to information from the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, only 22% of the staff and 47% of the residents had received all of their vaccines.

The Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists’ executive director, Janet Hamilton, said:

“We all would have hoped that we would have a vaccine that prevents transmission. We don’t have a vaccine that does that, but it does reduce transmission and it does reduce severe outcomes.”

Hamilton underscored the importance of vaccination for elders who interact with other seniors in order to avoid detrimental consequences.

“But really, any individuals that come in contact with high-risk groups need to be the primary focus for getting vaccinated.”


A Covid-19 ‘senior wave’ is diving up hospitalizations

Pfizer cleared of stroke risks, CDC and experts claim

Pfizer: Despite the necessity of Covid-19 booster doses and vaccinations in general, some people still opt not to get the shots due to fear of getting sick.

Seniors, in particular, are anxious about the injections’ potential side effects since many have developed a phobia of strokes.

However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has conducted studies to dispel such concerns.


The discovery prompted the implementation of a CDC surveillance system that Pfizer’s omicron Covid variant booster dose was linked to an increased risk of stroke in adults 65 and older.

In collaboration with networks across the US, the CDC’s Immunization Safety offices, and a comprehensive healthcare organization, the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) system was developed.

It monitors and evaluates the safety of vaccinations using electronic health data from affiliate facilities.

It includes information on the type administered, the vaccination date, and any other vaccines received on the same day.

The VSD also utilizes information on health problems identified during doctor visits, ER visits, urgent care visits, and hospital stays.


The CDC issued a press release on its website on Friday.

Following the availability and use of the updated (bivalent) COVID-19 vaccines, CDC’s Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD), a near real-time surveillance system, met the statistical criteria to prompt additional investigation into whether there was a safety concern for ischemic stroke in people ages 65 and older who received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent.

Rapid-response investigation of the signal in the VSD raised a question of whether people 65 and older who have received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, Vivalent were more likely to have an ischemic stroke in the 21 days following vaccination compared with days 22-42 following the vaccination.

A review of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services database found that there was no increased risk of stroke as a result of the modified vaccines.

Additionally, Pfizer-BioNTech’s global safety database has not discovered any signs of stroke in connection with the updated injections.

Read also: Covid-19 surges among senior citizens or ‘senior waves’


A CDC spokesperson said the problem was first brought up in late November.

The CDC began looking into the possibility of seniors suffering a stroke 21 days after receiving the Pfizer injection when it was discovered in the middle of December, and worries persisted.

For Moderna boosters, the initial signal and results were the same.

The representative stated that 130 patients 65 and older who had the Pfizer omicron booster injection suffered strokes within 21 days.

More than 550,000 seniors who had their booster injection reported the data.

According to the CDC, no other monitoring system has so far detected any issues with the Pfizer booster.


No extra stroke risk was noted when researchers examined the data from the following sources:

  • Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs
  • The Vaccine Adverse Reporting System
  • Pfizer’s global safety database

“Although the totality of the data currently suggests that it is very unlikely that the signal in VSD represents a true clinical risk, we believe it is important to share this information with the public, as we have in the past, when one of our safety monitoring systems detects a signal,” the CDC wrote.

The CDC asserts that the monitoring system picks up signals from sources unrelated to immunization.

The agency spokesperson noted that the investigations should provide a clearer view and additional facts in the upcoming weeks.


The Food and Drug Administration will convene a panel discussion with independent immunization authorities on January 26 to tackle the issue.

Furthermore, Pfizer said in a statement made on Friday that there is no proof between the Covid vaccination and ischemic strokes.

Pfizer, BioNTech, the CDC, and the FDA have not discovered any connections between the different monitoring systems in the United States, claims company spokesperson Kit Longley.

“Compared to published incidence rates of ischemic stroke in this older population, the companies to date have observed a lower number of reported ischemic strokes following the vaccination with the omicron BA.4/BA.5-adapted bivalent vaccine,” said Longley.

The omicron injection from Pfizer is still prescribed by the CDC.

Those who have finished the primary vaccine series and are five years of age or older are eligible for the booster.

Ages six months to four years old are the youngest children that can receive an omicron injection.


CDC says it’s ‘very unlikely’ Pfizer booster carries stroke risk for seniors after launching review

CDC & FDA identify preliminary COVID-19 vaccine safety signal for persons aged 65 years and older

Foxconn production is back, reviving iPhone city

Foxconn, Apple’s supplier, has announced plans to gradually restore manufacturing capacity at its sprawling campus in central China.

Covid-19 restrictions and worker protests hit the site two months ago.


Known as iPhone City, Foxconn has hundreds of thousands of employees.

The Taiwanese contractor said that they recently brought the factory’s epidemic situation under control.

“We have also started to recruit new employees,” the statement said.

“And [we] are gradually moving toward the direction of restoring production capacity to normal.”

The Foxconn statement says that the fourth quarter outlook likely aligns with market consensus.

Read also: Elon Musk wary of Twitter removal from Apple


Continued supply disruption to Foxconn’s Zhengzhou campus is costing Apple more than $1 billion a week in lost iPhone sales, according to Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives.

Ives estimates that Apple will be short on just over 10-15 million iPhones before the holiday season.

The disruptions came in October after workers left the campus over concerns about working conditions and food shortages.

The factory offered bonuses to employees due to worker shortages.

However, protests erupted in November when newly hired employees claimed management had not kept its promises.

As a result, employees clashed with security officers before the company offered them cash to quit and leave.

Analysts say the iPhone city’s manufacturing woes are speeding up Apple’s supply chain diversification outside of China.

Read also: Apple to see iPhone 14 models shipment setback

Production shift

According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple recently accelerated plans to move production out of China.

Additionally, the tech giant is telling suppliers to move Apple product assembly to other countries like India and Vietnam.

Daniel Ives wrote a report on Sunday, saying:

“The shift out of China will not be easy and come with clear logistical, engineering, and infrastructure hurdles as the aggressive move to India and Vietnam now begins with the Apple ecosystem alerted.”

If Apple acted aggressively, more than 50% of iPhone production could come from India and Vietnam by the 2025/2026 fiscal year.


Foxconn says it’s restoring production at the world’s largest iPhone factory

Jenna Ortega reveals having Covid-19 filming Wednesday

Jenna Ortega has been making waves since taking on the role of Wednesday Addams for the hit Netflix show.

While many praised the young actress’ performance, controversial reports emerged that turned people against her.

The news

Jenna Ortega is one of the brightest emerging talents in Hollywood today.

Since she took the role on Wednesday, her face has been all over the internet.

However, one scene from the Netflix show, in particular, stands out.

The star’s strange dance moves started a trend where people imitated the gothic icon.

However, the scene is now at the center of criticism and controversy.

In a recent interview with NME, Jenna Ortega confesses that the scene was filmed while she was waiting for a result of Covid-19.

Read also: Cardi B shares mouthwatering payslip to shut troll up


In the NME interview, Ortega shared that she received the song (The Cramps’ Goo Goo Much) a week before filming began, giving her time to get familiar with it.

She, therefore, had to film the scene of her first day with Covid.

Jenna Ortega said she was still waiting for confirmation as her health was rapidly declining.

That morning, she felt pain and a sore throat.

“I woke up and – it’s weird,” said the actress. “I never get sick, and when I do, it’s not very bad – I had the body aches.”

She continued: “I felt like I’d been hit by a car and that a little goblin had been let loose in my throat and was scratching the walls of my esophagus.” 

“They were giving me medicine between takes because we were waiting on the positive result.”

Studio reaction

Although alarming, the MGM production company emailed NME to clear things up.

MGM said it made sure to follow strict protocols.

After her test was confirmed positive, production pulled Jenna Ortega out.

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When the news broke, people had mixed feelings.

Meanwhile, Twitter was vocal.

“I love Jenna but why would she expose herself and the director like this, r [sic] we supposed to applaud them for this wtf,” one user said.

Another chimed in, saying, “That’s not the flex they think it is.”

“I love this show and loved this scene but she should’ve been at home recovering and not potentially spreading Covid,” a third wrote.

Despite the terrible news, Jenna Ortega fans came to her rescue.

“Idk why y’all blaming Jenna when you shouldn’t making [sic] someone work if they’re that sick,” a fan wrote.

Another blamed the production team instead of the actress in a lengthy tweet.

“I don’t see how it’s her fault and not on Netflix’s production team that they decided to keep filming while waiting for results when she clearly spoke up about it and had clear Covid symptoms and likely she couldn’t leave to a contract.”


Jenna Ortega slammed after revealing she filmed iconic dance scene while having Covid-19

Health experts divided on Biden’s Covid announcement that the pandemic is over

The United States is bracing for a potential COVID-19 outbreak, but President Biden has reassured people that the pandemic is over.

Last weekend, Biden wandered the halls of the Detroit Auto Show for an interview on CBS’s 60 Minutes, pointing to the unmasked attendees and telling the nation that the worst was over.

“We still have a problem with Covid,” he told correspondent Scott Pelley.

“But the pandemic is not over.”

Covid Efforts

His words caught the attention of some when his administration launched a campaign two weeks earlier to urge people to get vaccinated.

The call for boosters against the latest strains of COVID-19 came at the same time they received the annual flu shot.

Meanwhile, health officials recently renewed their efforts to get Congress to spend $22.4 billion to contain Covid.

Shared sentiments

President Joe Biden’s statement shared the sentiment regarding efforts to contain COVID-19.

Some public health experts feared that political motives were driving his testimony rather than putting public health at the forefront.

Others agree with Biden that the acute phase of the pandemic is over, although the United States still faces a heavy disease burden.

Covid in the United States

On average, more than 400 Americans die from COVID-19. According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the number has remained unchanged in more than three months.

According to estimates by the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, COVID-19 is the second leading cause of death in the country.

“In a week, that’s Twin Towers, right?” said Gregg Gonsalves, an epidemiologist at the Yale School of Public Health.

“It’s 9/11, week after week after week.”

He added that the high number of deaths and mortality from Covid is higher in the United States than in other rich countries.

“We’ve had a significant dip in life expectancy,” Gonsalves continued.

“By any appreciable epidemiologic data points, the pandemic is not over.”

Confusion over the definition of pandemic

In the United States, there is still some confusion over the definition of a pandemic.

A pandemic is an epidemic that occurs worldwide and affects a large number of people.

Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scientist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, said:

“It’s sort of a term of art. There’s no criteria or some checklist that you make.”

The World Health Organization recognizes that a global health threat is something else – a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, or PHEIC.

The United States also recognizes a public health emergency, and COVID-19 is still considered a public health emergency domestically and globally.

The Administration comments

On Monday, a government official said Biden’s comments did not mark a change in policy in the fight against the coronavirus.

They also said there were no plans to lift the health emergency as of January 2020.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has promised to give states 60 days’ notice before the emergency declaration expires, a move that has yet to be made.

Reaction to Biden’s statement

Despite the official’s words, Gonsalves expressed his dismay at Biden’s claim that the pandemic was over, especially as winter approaches.

“We are terribly under-boosted and under-vaccinated in this country,” he said.

“What kind of message does it send to say ‘the pandemic is over’ when you want anyone to get shots into arms, both primary series and boosters? And you want to probably get some money out of Congress to do it?”

However, a recent Axios/Ipsos poll echoed the US president’s comment, showing that most Americans feel there is little risk of returning to their pre-Covid lives.

The survey revealed that the number of people who resumed their normal activities reached the highest level since the start of the pandemic (46%).

“I know the President is taking a lot of criticism,” Adalja chimed in. “I actually agree with him on this.”

“To me, it’s about having the tools to shift infections to the mild side and not seeing any concerns about hospital capacity,” he added.

“And we have not seen hospital capacity concerns in the United States for some time.”


Biden’s comments about pandemic widen public health split over how US should respond to COVID-19