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Health Highlights, Dec. 1, 2020

By HealthDay Reporter

Below are newsworthy items compiled by HealthDay staff:

Trump Science Adviser Resigns

President Donald Trump's controversial science adviser, Dr. Scott Atlas, has resigned.

Atlas, a Stanford University neuro-radiologist with no formal experience in public health or infectious diseases, challenged the overwhelming consensus of the scientific community and criticized stronger efforts, including the use of face masks, to control the spread of the new coronavirus, the Associated Press reported.

Stanford issued a statement distancing itself from Atlas, saying he "has expressed views that are inconsistent with the university's approach in response to the pandemic."

Atlas resigned at the end of his temporary government appointment, the AP reported.

Skiing Activities Could Carry Coronavirus Infection Risk: WHO

Downhill skiing itself doesn't put people at high risk for COVID-19, but activities associated with the sport could, the World Health Organization said Monday.

"I suspect many people won't be infected barreling down the slopes on their skis," Dr. Michael Ryan said at a WHO news briefing, the Associated Press reported.

"The real issues are going to come at airports, tour buses taking people to and from ski resorts, ski lifts... and places where people come together," Ryan explained.

"We would advise that all countries look at the their ski season and other reasons for mass gathering," he said, and noted that indoor socializing after skiing might be particularly risky, the AP reported.

A number of European countries have closed ski areas to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Strawberry-Flavored HIV Medication Coming for Infants

A strawberry-flavored version of the first-line HIV medication dolutegravir will soon be available for infants.

It will come in a tablet that dissolves in water or juice, according to an announcement associated with World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, The New York Times reported.

Each year, about 160,000 children worldwide -- mostly in Africa -- are newly infected with HIV, according to the World Health Organization.

"This is truly an advance," Dr. Elaine J. Abrams, chief of pediatrics for ICAP, the global health outreach arm of Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and leader of a W.H.O. treatment guidelines panel, told the Times. "The products currently available for pediatric treatment are less than optimal. There have been a few new formulations, but they haven't been as successful as anticipated."

In another announcement, the WHO has approved the dapivirine ring, a vaginal insert that has shown to be effective in protecting against HIV in women who use it consistently, the Times reported.

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