While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Nov 11

Reinfection with Covid-19 increases the risk of both acute outcomes and long Covid. PHOTO: REUTERS

Repeat Covid-19 is riskier than first infection, study finds

The risk of death, hospitalisation and serious health issues from Covid-19 jumps significantly with reinfection compared with a first bout with the virus, regardless of vaccination status, according to a study published on Thursday.

“Reinfection with Covid-19 increases the risk of both acute outcomes and long Covid,” said Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. “This was evident in unvaccinated, vaccinated and boosted people.”

The findings were drawn from U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs data collected from March 1, 2020 through April 6, 2022 on 443,588 patients with one SARS-CoV-2 infection, 40,947 with two or more infections, and 5.3 million noninfected individuals. Most of the study subjects were male.


Alex Jones ordered to pay US$473m in punitive damages in Sandy Hook defamation case

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones must pay US$473 million (S$654.99 million) in punitive damages for his defamatory claims about the 2012 Sandy Hook mass shooting, a Connecticut judge ruled on Thursday.

The ruling came a month after a jury in Waterbury, Connecticut, found Jones and the parent company of his Infowars website must pay more than a dozen relatives of Sandy Hook victims nearly US$1 billion in compensatory damages for falsely claiming they were actors who staged the shooting as part of a government plot to seize Americans’ guns.

In a separate order late Wednesday, the judge, Barbara Bellis, temporarily blocked Jones from moving any personal assets out of the country. The ruling came at the request of the plaintiffs, who claim Jones is trying to hide assets to avoid paying.


European regulator recommends Pfizer's Omicron booster for children

Pfizer Inc and its partner BioNTech said on Thursday the EU health regulator has recommended authorising the use of their bivalent Covid-19 shot as a booster in children aged 5 through 11.

The Omicron-tailored vaccine is already authorised by the European Commission for individuals aged 12 years and above.

The updated bivalent booster shot targets the original coronavirus strain as well as the BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants of Omicron.


Ikea offers cash, larger discounts to help staff weather soaring living costs

IKEA retailer Ingka Group is launching a 10 million euro ($14.1 million) social fund and bigger staff discounts to support employees struggling to cope with higher living costs.

Ingka, the owner of most IKEA furniture stores, said the fund would support its “most cash-strapped” staff throughout its fiscal year to the end of August.

“Each Ingka Group country will give support to co-workers who may need ‘one-off’ financial assistance to, for example, pay electricity bills or for housing costs,” it said in a statement on Thursday.


Football: Kean fires Juve into top four with Verona winner

Moise Kean shot Juventus into the Serie A top four with the winner in Thursday’s 1-0 victory at Verona which extended his team’s league winning run to five matches.

Italy international Kean struck his second league goal of the season just after the hour mark of a scrappy match at the Stadio Bentegodi to put Juve provisionally third in Italy’s top flight.

Massimiliano Allegri’s job had been up for discussion after a series of embarrassing results at home and in Europe but Juve will stay in the Champions League positions at least until the final matches of 2022 this weekend.


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