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THURSDAY, Aug. 11, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Details of two outbreaks of gastrointestinal illness associated with splash pad use in a park in Kansas in June 2021 are presented in the Aug. 5 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins has been sidelined by an unspecified illness. He was sent home after reporting he wasn’t feeling well and held out of practice on Thursday. Coach Kevin O’Connell confirmed the Vikings were evaluating Cousins for COVID-19. Minnesota’s first exhibition game is Sunday at Las Vegas. It’s possible Cousins would skip the trip considering established starters are not expected to play much, if at all. The coaches were still determining their playing time plan for the game.

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THURSDAY, Aug. 11, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday it has loosened its COVID-19 social distancing recommendations as the American public learns to live with the virus in its midst. The new guidance was published in the Aug. 11 early-release issue of the CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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New U.S. recommendations call for three home tests for people exposed to COVID-19 to improve accuracy. Previously, the Food and Drug Administration had advised taking two rapid antigen tests over two or three days to rule out infection. But the agency says new studies suggest that protocol can miss too many infections. That could result in people spreading the coronavirus to others, especially if they don’t develop symptoms. The new guidance announced Thursday applies to people without symptoms who think they may have been exposed. People with symptoms can continue using two tests spaced 48 hours apart.

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Congressional panel leaders say an additional 135 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine from a troubled Baltimore factory will have to be destroyed due to quality problems. The announcement Thursday follows a report in May that detailed how more than 400 million vaccine doses made at the Emergent BioSolutions plant would have to be trashed.  The latest round of doses slated for destruction were made between August 2021 and February. Johnson & Johnson says that no doses produced at the site since the factory restarted have reached the market.

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The South Carolina Supreme Court delivered another loss Wednesday to restaurant owners seeking insurance payouts over COVID-19 losses. The justices say that just because the Carolina Ale House franchise lost the use of their locations due to indoor dining restrictions, they did not suffer physical loss or damage. In its ruling, the high court joins several other state courts in siding with insurance companies. Both the Iowa and Massachusetts Supreme Courts ruled in April that restaurants could not collect damages following pandemic dining restrictions. The window of opportunity for filing these insurance challenges is also closing as most policies have a two-year limitation period.

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Heathrow Airport in London says its limit on the number of passengers is easing a travel crunch that has led to flight cancellations and lost luggage. Britain’s busiest airport has capped the daily number of departing passengers at 100,000 until Sept. 11 and asked airlines to stop selling tickets and cut flights. Heathrow said in a statement Thursday that the cap has cut down on last-minute flight cancellations and improved baggage delivery and on-time planes. It says the number of security screeners is at pre-pandemic levels, allowing 88% of travelers to get through checkpoints within 20 minutes. Soaring numbers of travelers this summer have overwhelmed airports and airlines, which had laid off thousands of employees during the depths of the pandemic.

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THURSDAY, Aug. 11, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Removing small, asymptomatic stones during endoscopic removal of ureteral or contralateral kidney stones is beneficial, according to a study published in the Aug. 11 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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THURSDAY, Aug. 11, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Day-of-injury plasma concentrations of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase L1 (UCH-L1) have good-to-excellent prognostic value for predicting death and unfavorable outcomes among patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI), according to a study published in the September issue of The Lancet Neurology.

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THURSDAY, Aug. 11, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals with severe mental illness or type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) have increased levels of peripheral immune-inflammatory biomarkers, which may contribute to neurocognitive and social deficits, according to a study recently published in the Frontiers of Neurology.

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When removing a big kidney stone, get the little ones, too. Doctors know there is a high likelihood that those stones could cause symptoms later on, and a new study confirms that removal reduces recurrence. Read more

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