Week in Review: November 19

The Week in Review provides an overview of the past week’s top health care content, including industry news and trends, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Clinic Laboratories news, and upcoming events.

Industry News

Johnson & Johnson to split into 2, aim for faster growth

Johnson & Johnson is peeling off a consumer health business that helped it become the world’s biggest health care products maker. The company said Friday that it will separate its segment that sells Band-Aids, Listerine and over-the-counter medicines like Tylenol from its pharmaceutical and medical device businesses. Company leaders told analysts that the split, which will create another publicly traded company for the consumer health side, will make each business more nimble in adapting to their respective markets. Via Associated Press

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Report: ‘Whole of society’ effort must fight misinformation

Misinformation is jeopardizing efforts to solve some of humanity’s greatest challenges, be it climate change, COVID-19 or political polarization, according to a new report from the Aspen Institute that’s backed by prominent voices in media and cybersecurity. Recommendations in the 80-page analysis, published Monday, call for new regulations on social media platforms; stronger, more consistent rules for misinformation “superspreaders” who amplify harmful falsehoods, and new investments in authoritative journalism and organizations that teach critical thinking and media literacy. The report is the product of the Aspen Institute’s Commission on Information Disorder, a 16-person panel that includes experts on the internet and misinformation, as well as prominent names such as Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex. Via Associated Press

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Nearly a million kids 5-COVID-19 booster doses could be authorized by Friday, 'should be a priority' for US adults, experts say

COVID-19 vaccines do a great job of preventing hospitalization and death, but their protection against infection starts to fade at about six months – even in young, healthy people. That's why by the end of the week, booster doses may be recommended for all adults – or at least those over 30. Via USA Today

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Mayo Clinic News

Health officials issue new holiday guidance amid surge in COVID-19 cases

COVID-19 hospitalizations in Minnesota are also the highest they have been all year, according to state data. "I do think people should be a little more cautious approaching this Thanksgiving," said Dr. Abinash Virk, an infectious disease consultant at Mayo Clinic. She recommends hosting smaller holiday gatherings, wearing masks around elderly and immunocompromised family members, and limiting possible exposures before the holiday by laying low over the next 10 days. Via KAAL

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Is It the Winter Blues, or Something More? Here are 15 Signs You May Have Seasonal Affective Disorder

You’re all too familiar with the term “winter blues.” Everyone tends to feel a little more down and tired during the winter months, but what if it’s something more? What if you can hardly get out of bed in the morning, you haven’t seen your friends in weeks, and you just can’t seem to muster an interest in anything?  There is a form of depression that goes beyond the expected winter blues. It’s called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and according to Janice Schreier, MSW/LCSW, a clinical therapist at Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse, Wisconsin, it’s a form of clinical depression that happens only during certain months of the year.  Via Parade

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Answering questions about COVID-19 boosters with Dr. Abinash Virk

Dr. Abinash Virk, an infectious disease specialist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, answered questions about the booster shots from host Cathy Wurzer and Minnesota Now listeners. Virk said that increasing vaccination rates among those who are currently unvaccinated is the most effective way to fight the pandemic, but administering booster shots more widely will also help fight the current wave of cases by strengthening vaccinated people’s immunity against COVID-19. Via MPR News

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Chantell Canfield

Chantell Canfield is a web content coordinator for Mayo Clinic Laboratories. She began working for Mayo Clinic in 2021.