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New poll finds 15% of Americans have had COVID 2 or 3 times. How harmful is that??




New poll finds 15% of Americans have had COVID 2 or 3 times. How harmful is that??

A new Yahoo News/YouGov poll finds that while 32% of adults say they’ve had COVID once, 15% report they’ve been infected two or three times.

More specifically, the survey — which was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,636 U.S. adults interviewed online Sept. 14-18, 2023 — found that 12% of people said they’ve caught COVID twice, and 3% have been infected three times. The poll also revealed that 1% of people have had COVID four times. The majority — 46% — said they’d never contracted COVID.

However, more people may have been infected than they even realize. While U.S. Census data shows that nearly 55% of Americans believe they’ve had COVID, the reality is that it’s much higher, with an estimated 77.5% of Americans having antibodies from getting COVID at least once, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But as COVID cases continue to climb, experts say people can expect another round of infections.

“As we head into the fall, many individuals will contract COVID again,” Dr. Amesh A. Adalja, infectious disease expert and senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, tells Yahoo Life.

Dr. Aaron Friedberg, clinical co-lead of the Post COVID Recovery Program at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, agrees, telling Yahoo Life: “Since at this point, around 80% of the U.S. population has had COVID-19 at least once, as time goes on it will become increasingly common to have reinfection.”

Friedberg points out that COVID case rates are rising, and hospitalizations — which he explains lag behind the actual number of infections — have doubled since earlier in the summer. “Since COVID-19 first started spreading, there have been increased case rates in the winter months,” he says, “and it seems likely this will be the case in the next few months as well.”

Catching COVID more than once is now “extremely common,” says Adalja. “It’s actually the norm. Individuals will have COVID-19 multiple times throughout their life, just like they contract influenza and other respiratory viruses multiple times in their life.”

While the latest COVID variants typically cause mild cold-like symptoms in most people, such as sore throat, congestion, sneezing and fatigue, repeated infections aren’t as harmless as the common cold — and can put your health at risk. Here’s what experts want you to know.

Are repeat COVID infections harmful to your health?

They can be, say experts. “Most repeat infections are mild due to the immunity that has accrued from prior infections, but in high-risk individuals — or in those who have developed a high-risk condition in the interim — there is still a risk for severe disease occurring with a repeat infection,” says Adalja.

However, whether or not you’re a high-risk individual, Friedberg says it’s “definitely better” to avoid COVID-19 if you can. He points to a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs study that compared people who had only one known COVID infection with those who had two or more bouts with the virus and found that hospitalization risk increased and rates of death were doubled in those with two or more infections compared with just one infection. “In addition, there were increased health risks in other ways too, such as heart, lung, gastrointestinal, kidney, neurologic and endocrine problems,” he says.

Dr. Robert Atmar, professor of infectious diseases at Baylor College of Medicine, agrees that multiple infections are a health risk. “Although we are not seeing as many people get sick enough to be hospitalized, we are still seeing some persons who had prior COVID be hospitalized and even die from repeat infection,” he tells Yahoo Life.

Atmar says the symptoms are similar to what we saw with initial infections — “a febrile respiratory illness with cough, nasal and throat symptoms and systemic symptoms including malaise, fatigue, muscle aches and headache,” but he explains there can also be “the development or worsening of underlying diseases, including heart and lung disease.”

Does having COVID multiple times raise your chances of long COVID?

That’s still hard to tell, say experts. “The mechanics and risks of long COVID are poorly understood, and it’s unclear if repeated infections increase the risk,” says Adalja.

Friedberg agrees, saying, “It is hard to say for sure at this point whether a second or third COVID-19 infection has a different risk of long COVID than the first infection.”

However, Atmar says some studies have found that the risk of developing long COVID is greater after a second episode of COVID, while others have reported “a lower, but still important, risk of long COVID.” He adds: “Whether the risk is higher or somewhat lower after a second episode of COVID, this contrasts with the lack of such risk if COVID is prevented.”

Does having COVID more than once help your immune response?

Repeat infections — and vaccinations — tend to broaden the immune system’s response to existing and emerging SARS CoV-2 variants, says Atmar. “Such broader responses — being able to recognize newer strains — can provide protection against infection and illness from those strains,” he says.

Adalja notes that “each infection adds to the repertoire of immune response to the virus just as updated vaccines do.”

However, unlike vaccine-induced immunity, getting COVID naturally comes with more risks, including severe disease, long COVID and death.

So what can you do to lower the chances you’ll get COVID again?

Although Adalja points out that catching COVID again is “really unavoidable over time,” experts say there are things you can do to protect yourself — namely, the same prevention strategies infectious disease experts have recommended over the past several years.

At the top of the list is getting the updated booster vaccine now authorized by the CDC. “Vaccines protect best at preventing severe complications of SARS CoV-2 infection, but they also provide protection against reinfection, milder illness and long COVID,” says Atmar.

Other measures that “many pursued during the pandemic,” says Atmar, including wearing masks — particularly high filtration masks such as N95 or KN95 and especially when in large groups — isolating when ill or infected, and testing for SARS CoV-2 infection if exposed “can provide protection to the individual or to their families and friends.”

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Biden warns Netanyahu about the health of Israel’s democracy and urges compromise on court overhaul



Biden warns Netanyahu about the health of Israel's democracy and urges compromise on court overhaul

NEW YORK (AP) — President Joe Biden raised “hard issues,” including protecting the “checks and balances” in a democracy, in a Wednesday meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, pushing the Israeli leader to find a compromise on a judicial overhaul that has set off months of mass protests in Israel and concerns in Washington.

Biden also raised concerns about the far-right Israeli government’s treatment of the Palestinians, urging Netanyahu to take steps to improve conditions in the West Bank at a time of heightened violence in the occupied territory.

The two leaders sat down and took time to chat one-on-one on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly. It was their first meeting since Netanyahu took office at the helm of his country’s far-right government late last year.

Relations have cooled since Netanyahu returned to office with a coalition of ultra-Orthodox and ultranationalist partners. His new government has stepped up construction in West Bank settlements, angering the U.S., and pressed ahead with its contentious judicial overhaul plan despite deep divisions at home and criticism from the U.S. and other allies.

Netanyahu tried to play down concerns about the plan, saying there is “one thing that will never change and that is Israel’s commitment to democracy.”

Biden opened the meeting by stressing the U.S. friendship with Israel as being “ironclad” and saying that “without Israel, there’s not a Jew in the world who is secure. Israel is essential.” But Biden also acknowledged the tensions with Netanyahu’s government and its policies.

“We’re going to discuss some of the hard issues, that is upholding democratic values that lie at the heart of our partnership, including the checks and balances in our systems,” Biden said. He said they would also talk about a path to a negotiated two-state solution with Palestinians and “ensuring that Iran never, never acquires a nuclear weapon.”

A senior Biden administration official said Biden pushed Netanyahu to find a compromise on his planned changes to the Israeli court system. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private meeting, did not want to characterize Netanyahu’s reaction to what Biden said, only that the Israeli leader understood the need for a compromise.

Israeli media, citing a senior official, said Netanyahu assured Biden he was seeking a compromise. However, Netanyahu has made similar pledges in recent months while pushing ahead with the plan, drawing accusations from his opponents that he is not negotiating in good faith. His coalition pushed the first major piece of the legislation through parliament in July.

A statement by Netanyahu’s office said the meeting with Biden was primarily about brokering a peace agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia.

The prospect of an agreement was also raised by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who said in an interview with Fox News being aired Wednesday that the two countries are getting closer to normalizing relations. But Saudi Arabia’s de facto leader also said it was “very important” to reach a pact on the treatment of Palestinians as part of any agreement.

“We got to see where we go,” he said. “We hope that will reach a place, that it will ease the life of the Palestinians, get Israel as a player in the Middle East.”

The location of Biden and Netanyahu’s long-anticipated meeting — a New York hotel room on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly meetings rather than the grandeur of the Oval Office — has been widely interpreted in Israel as a sign of U.S. displeasure with Netanyahu’s new government.

Netanyahu has been a frequent White House visitor over the years, and Israeli leaders are typically invited within weeks of starting their tenure to the Oval Office. But his judicial proposals have raised concerns within Israel as well as the U.S. about his commitment to a democratic system.

Bien held out the possibility of the coveted Oval Office meeting, saying, “I hope we’ll see each other in Washington by the end of the year.” The U.S. later formally invited Netanyahu to the White House, eyeing a meeting in November or December.

Biden himself has repeatedly raised concerns about Netanyahu’s plan to overhaul Israel’s judicial system.

Netanyahu says the country’s unelected judges wield too much power over government decision-making. His plan seeks to give more authority to the ruling coalition in parliament, which he heads. Critics say that by weakening the independent judiciary, Netanyahu is pushing Israel toward authoritarian rule.

The plan has divided the nation and led to months of mass protests against his government. Those demonstrations followed him to the United States, with large numbers of Israeli expatriates waving the country’s flag in protest Wednesday in New York. Hundreds of Israelis also protested outside the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv on Wednesday.

Early this year, Biden voiced his unhappiness over the judicial overhaul, saying Netanyahu “cannot continue down this road” and urging the Israeli leader to find a compromise.

The Israeli government’s treatment of the Palestinians has also drawn American ire. Netanyahu’s coalition is dominated by far-right ultranationalists who have greatly expanded Israeli settlement construction on occupied lands claimed by the Palestinians for a future state. Israel’s government also opposes a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians — a cornerstone of White House policy in the region. The deadlock has coincided with a spike in fighting in the West Bank.

According to a White House summary of the talks, Biden stressed the “need to take immediate measures to improve the security and economic situation” in the West Bank, where violence between Israelis and Palestinians over the past 18 months has intensified to its worst levels in roughly two decades. The two leaders also reaffirmed their intention to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

The Biden-Netanyahu meeting came at a time of cooling ties between Israel and the Democratic Party. A poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that while Americans generally view Israel as a partner or ally, many are questioning whether Netanyahu’s government shares American values. Republicans were significantly more likely than Democrats to call Israel an ally with shared values.

Topping Netanyahu’s wish list were discussions on U.S. efforts to broker a deal establishing full diplomatic relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia. The White House statement said Biden and Netanyahu discussed the shipping and rail corridor announced at the Group of 20 summit that would connect Israel with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan.

Netanyahu, who also led Israel when President Donald Trump brokered the “Abraham Accords” between Israel and four Arab countries, said a similar deal with Saudi Arabia would “go a long way” to promoting Israel’s relations with the broader Arab and Muslim world and help advance “a genuine peace” with the Palestinians.

The White House has acknowledged that it is seeking such a deal, but obstacles lie in the way. Saudi Arabia is pushing for a nuclear cooperation deal and defense guarantees from the U.S.

The Saudis have also said they expect Israel to make significant concessions to the Palestinians.

The Saudi foreign minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, told reporters “there is no other way” to solve the conflict than by establishing a Palestinian state. But senior ministers in Netanyahu’s government have already ruled out any concessions to the Palestinians.


Federman reported from Jerusalem. Associated Press writer Isabel Debre in Jerusalem and AP Diplomatic Writer Matthew Lee in Washington contributed to this report.

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A ‘sugar baby’ is taking over TikTok with her post about the many demands her ‘daddy’ has for her, but the real story is wilder than you’d think



A 'sugar baby' is taking over TikTok with her post about the many demands her 'daddy' has for her, but the real story is wilder than you'd think
  • A TikTok influencer shared how they got ready for their “sugar daddy.”

  • Then came the twist: The “sugar daddy” in question was the US Army.

  • “Did I say sugar baby? I meant soldier,” user Desirè Victoria said on TikTok.

Stay fit. Look good. And, in return, get that bag. These are the hallmarks of a sugar daddy arrangement.

But a TikToker going viral for sharing the strict requirements that they follow for their “sugar daddy” revealed that the man wasn’t a rich businessman paying for their lifestyle: It was Uncle Sam.

“Did I say Sugar baby? I meant Soldier,” Desirè Victoria wrote in a TikTok post published on August 27.

Victoria’s video, which has 4.5 million views and over half a million likes at press time, starts off with them getting ready for the “sugar daddy.”

“He definitely prefers my hair ponytail pulled back away from my face when it comes to my appearance as a whole,” Victoria said. “He likes it very natural. He’s a wholesome man. When it comes to, like, my actual body, he likes fit and healthy.”

Victoria said the “sugar baby” benefits include money for rent, flights and transportation, and personal expenses.

The monologue ends with a twist, however, with Victoria suiting up in an Army uniform.

Many people flooded the comments saying that Victoria’s video had them fooled.

“This was great! The US Army needs to use this as their recruiting commercial, I was sold!” one commenter wrote under the video.

Some said they could see the twist coming based on the T-shirt Victoria was wearing in the video.

“When I saw the green shirt, I said oh she talking bout Uncle Sam,” read one comment.

The popularity of the video follows a trend of military influencers going viral on TikTok for sharing glimpses of their life with the armed forces.

Better known as Military TikTok, or “MilTok,” videos under the genre usually offer humorous takes on their life in uniform.

Last month, a US Army soldier named Anthony Gonzales went viral for his videos poking fun at Gen Z and how they might react on the battlefield.

Gonzales told the New York Post in a story published in July, that he was going to become an influencer after his Army contract ends in two years.

The US Army had earlier banned soldiers from using TikTok on government devices, according to a report by in December 2019. The ban does not apply to the troops’ personal devices.

“We cannot direct anyone to do anything with their personal devices. If they do download this or any application on their device they are recommended to be wary of the ones they download,” US Army representative Robin Ochoa told Insider in a story published in January 2020.

According to a US Army webpage on personal social media use, personnel are told to “avoid use of DoD titles, insignia, uniforms or symbols in a way that could imply DoD sanction or endorsement of content on your personal page.”

Gonzales’ TikTok account currently does not contain any videos as of press time.

It is unclear if Victoria’s video is a violation of the US Army’s standards for online conduct.

Representatives for Victoria and the US Department of Defense did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider sent outside regular business hours.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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Some Virginia Democrats say livestreamed sex acts a distraction from election’s real stakes



Some Virginia Democrats say livestreamed sex acts a distraction from election's real stakes

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — More Virginia Democrats on Tuesday cast the controversy surrounding a legislative candidate who livestreamed herself performing sex acts as a distraction from the stakes in this fall’s elections, while stopping short of fully championing her continued campaign.

Neither the state party nor the House Democratic caucus has publicly called for Susanna Gibson to end her campaign after it was revealed last week that she had sex with her husband in live videos posted on a pornographic website and asked viewers to pay them money in return for carrying out specific sex acts.

But neither group has publicly declared how much support — financial or otherwise — Gibson can expect moving forward.

“Our focus is and has always been on flipping the House and taking back the majority. The MAGA Republicans are continuing to try to distract us while working to implement their plan to ban abortion and roll back the rights and freedoms of all Virginians,” House Democratic Caucus Executive Director Amy Friedman said in a statement to The Associated Press.

House Democratic Leader Don Scott said in a brief interview Tuesday: “Us regaining the majority is all I’m focused on so that we can make sure we protect women’s reproductive freedom.”

Del. Dan Helmer, campaign chair for the House Democrats, said Monday his thoughts were with Gibson’s family while emphasizing that she’s running against an opponent who supports additional restrictions on abortion.

Every seat in the General Assembly, which is currently politically divided with the House of Delegates controlled by Republicans and the Senate by Democrats, will be on the November ballot. Both parties see a possible path to total control, and the suburban Richmond seat where Gibson, a nurse practitioner, is competing with retired home builder David Owen is seen as a critical battleground.

Virginia Democrats, Gibson among them, have made protecting abortion access a top campaign priority. Many Republican candidates in competitive districts, including Owen, have coalesced around GOP Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s proposed ban on abortion after 15 weeks with certain exceptions. Most abortions take place before that cutoff, federal data show.

Virginia, an outlier in the South for its relatively permissive access, currently allows abortion during the first and second trimesters. The procedure may be performed during the third trimester only if multiple physicians certify that continuing the pregnancy is likely to “substantially and irremediably” impair the mental or physical health of the woman or result in her death.

Gibson’s campaign did not respond to an interview request or a detailed list of questions from the AP on Tuesday. Gibson previously denounced the release of the videos as a violation of law and her privacy. She’s given no indication of ending her campaign, saying she won’t be intimidated or silenced.

On Tuesday, the Richmond Times-Dispatch published a commentary piece by Gibson addressing prescription drug prices and her work in health care. She didn’t mention the controversy.

While the caucus and some of its leaders have weighed in, many other Virginia Democrats have either declined to comment, insisted on anonymity to discuss their frustrations or deliberations about the matter, or have not responded to media inquiries. The state party also maintained its silence on Tuesday, with spokesperson Liam Watson declining to comment.

Among elected officials, Democratic state Sen. Louise Lucas has stood out for her early, clear and vocal support of Gibson.

A spokesman for U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger, who previously endorsed Gibson, did not immediately respond to an emailed inquiry asking about a post on X, the social media platform previously known as Twitter, featuring Spanberger and Gibson that appeared to have been deleted.

Clean Virginia, an energy policy advocacy group that’s a major donor to mostly Democratic candidates, is “not commenting on this story,” spokesperson Cassady Craighill said. Clean Virginia gave Gibson $175,000 in August, according to campaign finance records, which also show Gibson ended the latest reporting period with over $460,000 cash on hand, about $220,000 more than Owen.

Citing what he called Gibson’s “remarkable” fundraising, Bob Holsworth, a longtime political analyst, said he thinks it’s entirely possible that Democrats “come back in the end” and help Gibson campaign and raise money.

“My big question is: Does she still have the organizational volunteers who are going to generate enthusiasm and turnout?” Holsworth said.

Most Republican elected officials also have kept their distance from the matter, although the state party has spoken out, casting Gibson’s behavior as disqualifying.

In a social media post days after the news broke, the Republican Party of Virginia accused Democrats of “celebrating a candidate who moonlights as a porn star,” adding: “They are the party of moral decay.”

Aaron Evans, a campaign spokesperson for Owen, said Tuesday that Gibson’s campaign was misrepresenting Owen’s position on abortion.

“The Gibson campaign is dumping thousands of dollars into lying about David’s commitment to defend choice during the first 15 weeks of pregnancy and his support for exceptions in the cases of rape, incest, and health of the mother. The fact they are lying about David reinforces that his common-sense, consensus building position is resonating with voters for a win in November,” Evans said in a written statement.


Associated Press reporter Denise Lavoie in Glen Allen, Virginia, contributed to this report.

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