The Health Variant

A weekly dive into health and healthcare from NewsMD, offering interesting interviews, quick looks at new research and reporting from behind the scenes.

All Episodes

COVID-19 Vaccine Answers

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Some fast answers to COVID-19 vaccine questions from someone who knows what they're talking about: Dr. Louis Mansky, director of the Institute for Molecular Virology at the University of Minnesota. He answers questions about finding good information, booster shots, fertility questions, a universal flu shot and why he has a giant image of the COVID-19 virus hanging on his wall. 

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The Four That Worked

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This past year was a mad scramble for drugs to fight off COVID-19. The hunt was full of trials, errors, blind alleys and conspiracy theories. So what actually worked? Paul Scott, NewsMD health correspondent, joins host Jeremy Fugleberg to run down what we know, including two treatments that didn't work and four that were proven to help. To read more from Scott's "The Future of COVID" series, find his work online: www.inforum.com/incoming/author/Paul-John-Scott

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Nursing Homes on the Brink

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COVID-19 tore through many nursing homes. Now the question is, what's next for them? Some just might close. Others, if they're to survive, need big changes. Tu-Uyen Tran, a senior writer for the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, recently dug into the uncertain future for nursing homes. We talk to him about his findings. Yes, robots do come up. To read his reporting, go online to minneapolisfed.org.

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Your Child's Development

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Worried your child may isn't hitting developmental milestones? You're not alone. A federal effort, "Learn The Signs. Act Early" has a host of resources, including a smartphone app, to help you out, including family support groups and program "ambassadors" in every state. Hilory Liccini, the North Dakota ambassador for the program, fills us in. For more info about the program, go online to the CDC.gov website and search for it by name. 

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The Other Virus

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That's right -- we're talking influenza, better known as the flu. Thanks largely to steps taken to fight the spread of COVID-19, this season was a welcome failure for influenza. How did that work, and what might next flu season look like? We talk to Karen Green Martin of the Minnesota Department of Health, who breaks it all down.

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About the Podcast

A weekly dive into health and healthcare from NewsMD, offering interesting interviews, quick looks at new research and reporting from behind the scenes.

Hosted by

Picture of Jeremy Fugleberg

Jeremy Fugleberg is South Dakota state news director for Forum News Service and NewsMD regional health correspondent, based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.