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Articles on Immune response

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Researchers can test blood samples taken for other reasons to see if patients have previously had COVID-19. Don Bartletti/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

COVID-19 official counts can miss mild cases – here’s how serosurveys that analyze blood for signs of past infection can help

Your blood can hold a record of past illnesses. That information can reveal how many people have had a certain infection – like 58% of Americans having had COVID-19 by the end of February 2022.
Emergency medical technicians aid a COVID-19 patient at his home in Louisville, Kentucky. Like much of the U.S., Louisville is experiencing an uptick in COVID-19 patients requiring emergency transport to medical facilities. John Cherry/Getty Images

New treatments for COVID-19 may stave off the worst effects of the virus

Medications to treat COVID-19 are in no way a substitute for the vaccine. But under the right circumstances, some show great promise for helping patients.
A sign shows the way to a recovery area to monitor any immediate side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 17, 2020, in Reno, Nevada. Patrick T. Fallon /AFP via Getty Images

What COVID-19 vaccine side effects might I expect?

Many people never experience the least bit of discomfort from the COVID-19 vaccines, but mild side effects are common. They include swelling in the affected arm, nausea and chills.
Make that second appointment and get your final dose for full protection. MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

How effective is the first shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine?

An immunologist explains that you get some protection from the first dose of the mRNA vaccines but you need two to build up strong immunity, particularly to newer coronavirus variants.
Gene-based vaccines had never been approved for humans before the coronavirus pandemic. Juan Gaertner/Science Photo Library via Getty Images

3 medical innovations fueled by COVID-19 that will outlast the pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has driven a lot of scientific progress in the past year. But just as some of the social changes are likely here to stay, so are some medical innovations.
The older you get, the more slowly you heal, and there are a number of reasons why. Westend61 via Getty Images

Why do older people heal more slowly?

Healing is a complicated process. As people age, higher rates of disease and the fact that old cells lose the ability to divide slow this process down.

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