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The Round-Up: Week of 29 June

A weekly digest of health and wellness stories from Singapore and around the world.

As we are in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, you'll find articles that help you stay informed about the novel coronavirus.

Global coronavirus cases top 10 million

The story

Global coronavirus cases exceeded 10 million on Sunday, 28 June, according to a Reuters tally. The number is nearly double the number of severe influenza illnesses recorded annually. In the past seven months, there have been nearly 500,000 fatalities linked to the disease so far.

Milestone comes as many hard-hit countries are easing lockdowns

Authorities in other countries have had to partially reinstate lockdowns, in what experts say could be a recurring pattern in the coming months and into 2021.

Countries including China, New Zealand and Australia have seen new outbreaks in the past month, despite largely quashing local transmission. The US, which has reported the most cases of any country at more than 2.5 million, managed to slow the spread of the virus, only to see it expand in recent weeks.

Read more in Reuters

Are meat processing plants Covid-19 hotbeds?

The story

There have been so many outbreaks in meat packing around the world that scientists are now examining whether the environment inside the plants could be part of the problem.

Where some of these outbreaks occurred:

Wales: Poultry processing plants was forced to close down after an outbreak, where 200 workers have since tested positive for the virus

Cleckheaten, northern England: 165 workers tested positive at a meat factory

Germany: Authorities quarantined 360,000 people this week after an outbreak in a meat plant

It’s speculation at the moment but…

A number of scientists have suggested that the cold, humid environment inside the plants could help the virus spread. Without fresh air and direct sunlight, the novel coronavirus can linger for hours, or even days, scientists have said.

Read more in CNN

Doctor tests oxygen levels and heart rate whilst wearing face masks

The story

US-based doctor Megan Hall wore four different face masks, each for five minutes, whilst testing her oxygen saturation and heart rate to prove that they don’t make it hard to breathe. She found no significant change in either measure.

What was the point of it?

Some people aka “anti-maskers” said they’re unable to breathe or that it limits oxygen intake. They’ve gone so far as to claim they’re “exempt” from these mandates because of certain medical conditions. Dr Hall set out to debunk these myths.

The takeaway

Though they may be inconvenient for some, you can still breathe. Wear your mask.

Read more in Business Insider

Highly acidic foods can increase breast cancer recurrence and mortality in past smokers

The story

A study of nearly 3,000 women breast cancer survivors found strong links between a diet higher in acidic foods and recurrence of breast cancer. If they smoked in the past, the risk of mortality is three times higher.

What are acidic foods?

Fresh and processed meats, cheese, sugary foods, to name a few. Whilst some fruit and have high acidic contents, once ingested, they convert to alkaline.

What this means

A diet balanced between acidic and alkaline-producing foods is best. Findings could also have implications for the dietary guidelines for cancer survivors. Current guidelines don’t consider the impact of acid producing diets on increased risk for breast cancer mortality.

Read more in Medical Xpress

Might real chicken become obsolete?

The story

Plant-based burger has gone mainstream, restaurant chains are replacing veggie burgers with meaty, plant-based burgers. Up next: Vegan chicken.

We already know plant-based meats are gaining traction

Impossible Burger has made its way to fast-casual chains in the US, like Burger King. At the same time, other next-generation, plant-based products like Beyond Meat are making their mark there and beyond.

Chicken may be expected to become the world’s most-consumed meat...

But farmers are on high alert due to a new, deadly strain of avian flu around the world. Historically, avian flu is deadly to birds, not to humans. But looking ahead, scientists have acknowledged that the next pandemic could come from animal agriculture.

Restaurant-chains are already experimenting

In the US, KFC trialled a plant-based meat that mimics the musculature of real chicken. The UK already has the popular KFC “Imposter” Vegan Burger on the menu.

Investors are also taking interest.

Read more in Medium

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