Kidney Disease Plays Favorites With Sex; Pfizer Applies for Emergency Authorization; and Renaming Monkeypox

Kaitlin Edwards

August 24, 2022

Kidney Disease Plays Favorites With Sex

Despite having lower kidney function than men do at age 50, women's kidney function holds steady over time, whereas it drops more rapidly in men, according to new research.

Puzzling contradiction: Men undergo dialysis more frequently and require more kidney transplants than do women despite having seemingly healthier kidneys.

Methodology: The researchers recruited 1837 participants and tracked kidney filtration using glomerular filtration rate at three different times over the span of 12 years to see how results changed with age.

Expert concern: The participants were a homogenous population recruited from Norway. Experts raised concerns over the generalization of the findings and cautioned that they may not translate to more diverse communities.

Pfizer Seeks Approval for Updated COVID Booster

Pfizer applied for emergency use authorization with the FDA for its updated COVID-19 booster vaccine, the company announced Monday.

Bivariant vaccine: The updated vaccine is adapted for the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants and also protects against previous variants.

Coming soon: If authorized, the doses would be approved for those aged 12 years or older and could ship as soon as September.

Following orders: The FDA ordered Pfizer and Moderna to update their shots to target BA.4 and BA.5 earlier this year.

"Having rapidly scaled up production, we are positioned to immediately begin distribution of the bivalent Omicron BA.4/BA.5 boosters, if authorized, to help protect individuals and families as we prepare for potential fall and winter surges," said Pfizer's chairman and CEO Albert Bourla, PhD.

Why Experts Want to Rename Monkeypox

The spread of monkeypox has little to do with monkeys, yet the fear that monkeys pass the virus to people has recently prompted violence against the animals in Brazil, according to The New York Times.

Evoking stereotypes: In addition to the attacks on monkeys, public health officials say the name evokes racist stereotypes and reinforces offensive tropes about Africa.

More than two dozen scientists published a letter urging the WHO to come up with a new name that reduces shame and stigmatization.

Using abbreviations: Many scientists started using abbreviations like "hMPXV" and "MPV" when writing or talking about the disease.

"Names matter, and so does scientific accuracy, especially for pathogens and epidemics that we are trying to control," said Tulio de Oliveira, PhD, who was one of the scientists who authored the letter.

Kaitlin Edwards is a staff medical editor based in New York City. You can follow her on Twitter @kaitmedwards. For more news, follow Medscape on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.


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