Tag Archives: study

Pfizer vaccine side effects: Four new side effects reported on the body – new study

The global pandemic has put humanity to the test but it has also shone a light on its ingenuity. The development and deployment of vaccines at record speed have put the world back on track. The benefits of getting vaccinated far outweigh the risks, but there are a number of side effects that have been reported.

Around 85 percent of women report a skin reaction following a jab, while only 15 percent of men did.

The allergists also noted in the group they studied it was not common for patients to suffer the same reaction again when they had their second dose.

Eight out of 10 people (83 percent of the group) who had first suffered from itching or rashes after their first jab did not report further problems.

Lead author Lacey B. Robinson, MD, MPH, an allergist and researcher at MGH, said skin reactions should not be deterred from getting a second dose.

You cannot catch COVID-19 from the vaccine, but you may have caught it just before or after your vaccination.

Am I eligible for a coronavirus vaccine?

The NHS is currently offering the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine to people most at risk.

You can get the COVID-19 vaccine if you’re aged 18 or over.

You can book appointments at a larger vaccination centre or pharmacy now, or wait to be invited to go to a local NHS service.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Health Feed
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How to live longer: The single most important dietary item for longevity – major study

A comprehensive study called Food Habits in Later Life, conducted under guidance of the Union of Nutritional Sciences and the World Health Organization, found a consistent association between legume consumption and longer life expectancy.

The study examined the nutritional and health problems of an elderly cohort from 13 communities in six countries.

It examined individual food groups — vegetables, legumes, fruits and nuts, cereals, dairy, meat, fish, alcohol, and monounsaturated/saturated fat ratios – as predictors of mortality among people aged 70 and over.

Health-related data were obtained from a total of 2,013 individuals who participated in this cross-cultural, multi-centre study.

READ MORE: How to live longer: A warm beverage proven to reduce cancer and diabetes risk

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Statins reduce cancer risk by up to 40 percent among heart failure patients, says study

Statins are a group of medicines that can help lower the level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in the blood. LDL cholesterol is often called the “bad” cholesterol because it collects in the walls of your blood vessels, hiking your risk of having a heart attack. Fortunately, statins intercept this process by reducing the production of LDL cholesterol inside the liver. Another major benefit of taking the drug is its ability to reduce cancer risk, says a new study.

Lead researcher Dr Kai-Hang Yiu said: “Our findings should raise doctors’ awareness of the increasing cancer incidence among heart failure patients and encourage them to pay extra attention to non-cardiovascular-related outcomes.

“Moreover, our study highlights the relationship between heart failure and cancer development and provides important information regarding the possibility of reducing cancer incidence and related deaths by using statins in these patients.

“Randomised trials should be carried out to investigate this further.

“In addition, the findings, combined with previous research showing the strong association between heart failure and cancer, call for potential strategies to reduce the risk of cancer, such as screening for cancer in heart failure patients.”

Previous laboratory studies have suggested that lipids including cholesterol play a role in the development of cancer, and that statins inhibit cancer development, said lead author Paul Carter, Cardiology Academic Clinical Fellow at the Department of Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge, UK.

He added: “However, no trials have been designed to assess the role of statins for cancer prevention in clinical practice.

“We decided to assess the potential effect of statin therapy on cancer risk using evidence from human genetics.”

In a previous study, genetic variants which mimic the effect of statins through a technique known as Mendelian randomisation in UK Biobank was further analysed.

UK Biobank is a large study of UK residents which tracks the diagnosis and treatment of many serious illnesses.

Researchers were able to compare the risk of cancer in patients who inherit a genetic predisposition to high or low levels of cholesterol and were able to predict whether by lowering one’s cholesterol levels could their cancer risk be reduced too.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Health Feed
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Coronavirus can infect testicles finds new study – possible symptom in men to look for

The coronavirus pandemic has ravaged the world for well over a year now, yet new insights continue to emerge about the virus. A new study published in the journal Microorganisms has found SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes COVID-19 – can infect the testes of infected hamsters. The finding is instructive because it may help to explain a reported symptom peculiar to men.

Some patients have reported testicular pain and some reports have shown decreases in testosterone, a key hormone produced in the testes.

Autopsies have also shown significant disruption of the testes at the cellular level, including the presence of immune cells.

“Given the magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical to investigate how this disease can impact the testes, and the potential consequences for disease severity, reproductive health, and sexual transmission,” said Dr. Rafael Kroon Campos, the study’s lead author and postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Shannan Rossi at UTMB.

How did the researchers gather their findings?

The Rossi lab has been studying Zika virus infection in the testes for years and wondered if SARS-CoV-2 could cause a similar disease.

READ MORE: Delta Covid symptoms: Millions of vaccinated people are likely to share one ‘common’ sign

Hamsters are commonly used to model COVID-19 in humans since the viral disease seems to take a similar course in the rodents.

Virus was detected in the testes of all infected hamsters during the first week but tapered off.

The authors think this same symptom progression may occur in men with mild to moderate COVID-19 disease.

“These findings are the first step in understanding how COVID-19 impacts the male genital tract and potentially men’s reproductive health,” said Rossi, an associate professor in the Departments of Pathology and Microbiology & Immunology.

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“We have much more to do before we have the full picture. Moving forward, we will investigate ways to blunt this impact, including using antivirals, antibody therapies and vaccines.”

Future studies also include modelling conditions associated with severe COVID-19, such as pre-existing conditions like obesity and diabetes and SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, the study authors said.

Other new developments

A new study presented at the 7th Congress of the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) found COVID-19 patients suffered from cognitive and behavioural problems two months after being discharged from hospital.

Specific issues included impaired memory, spatial awareness and information processing problems.

“We have much more to do before we have the full picture. Moving forward, we will investigate ways to blunt this impact, including using antivirals, antibody therapies and vaccines.”

Future studies also include modelling conditions associated with severe COVID-19, such as pre-existing conditions like obesity and diabetes and SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, the study authors said.

Other new developments

A new study presented at the 7th Congress of the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) found COVID-19 patients suffered from cognitive and behavioural problems two months after being discharged from hospital.

Specific issues included impaired memory, spatial awareness and information processing problems.

“The chances of having long-term symptoms does not seem to be linked to how ill you are when you first get COVID-19,” explains the health body.

“People who had mild symptoms at first can still have long-term problems.”

How to respond to coronavirus symptoms

If you have any of the main symptoms of COVID-19 get a PCR test (test that is sent to a lab) to check if you have COVID-19 as soon as possible.

You and anyone you live with should stay at home and not have visitors until you get your test result – only leave your home to have a test.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Health Feed
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COVID May Cause Long-Term Brain Loss, Study Says

A new study from researchers in the United Kingdom has found that the coronavirus may cause long-term brain loss and could be the reason some COVID-19 patients lose their sense of smell and taste.  

“In short, the study suggests that there could be some long-term loss of brain tissue from COVID, and that would have some long-term consequences,” former FDA Director Scott Gottlieb, MD, said on CNBC’s The News with Shepard Smith.

“You could compensate for that over time, so the symptoms of that may go away, but you’re never going to regain the tissue if, in fact, it’s being destroyed as a result of the virus,” said Gottlieb, who is also a CNBC contributor.

According to the study, researchers in the United Kingdom had access to brain image testing on about 40,000 people that was done before the start of the coronavirus pandemic. 

In 2021, they asked hundreds of those people to come back for more brain scans. Almost 800 responded. Of those patients, 404 had tested positive for COVID-19, and 394 had usable brain scans that were taken before and after the pandemic.

Comparison of the before-and-after brain scans found “significant effects of COVID-19 in the brain with a loss of grey matter” in parts of the brain connected to smell and taste.

“All significant results were found in the primary or secondary cortical gustatory and olfactory areas, in the left hemisphere, using grey matter information (volume, thickness),” the study found.

Loss of smell and taste is one of the hallmarks of a COVID-19 infection. Research shows it can continue up to 5 months after the virus first strikes.

“The diminishment in the amount of cortical tissue happened to be in regions of the brain that are close to the places that are responsible for smell,” Gottlieb said. “What it suggests is that the smell, the loss of smell, is just an effect of a more primary process that’s underway, and that process is actually shrinking of cortical tissue.”

SOURCES:

CNBC. “New Covid study hints at long-term loss of brain tissue, Dr. Scott Gottlieb warns.”

MedRxiv. “Brain imaging before and after COVID-19 in UK Biobank.”

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This post originally appeared on Medscape Medical News Headlines

Study: Want to Have a Baby? Mind Your Alcohol

Most women know that drinking alcohol during pregnancy can endanger the fetus before they know they’re pregnant and that there’s no established safe amount while pregnant.

What women may not know is that drinking even moderately in the middle and the latter half of the menstrual cycle may reduce the odds of successful conception.

According to a new study of drinking patterns and hormone levels at different monthly stages, moderate intake of alcohol (3-6 drinks a week) and heavy intake (more than 6 per week) during the post-ovulation phase of a woman’s cycle can disturb the delicate hormonal sequence needed to conceive. The researchers also found that heavy drinking earlier in a woman’s cycle, during ovulation, could also disrupt conception.

The message? If you want a baby, don’t wait until that much-anticipated missed period to cut back on drinking.

“The take-home message from our study is that if you want to get pregnant, don’t have more than one drink a day at any time during your menstrual cycle, and have less than half a drink during ovulation and after ovulation in the implantation period,” says lead author Kira C. Taylor, PhD, an associate professor of epidemiology and population health at the University of Louisville in Kentucky.

“Alcohol’s impact on [the likelihood of conception] has been suspected since the 1990s but has not been well-studied,” says Nishath A. Ali, MD, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. “Moderate and heavy drinkers generally take longer to conceive and are at higher risk of needing an infertility evaluation,” she says.

Already, women who are having fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization are advised to cut back on drinking.

Published June 9 in the journal Human Reproduction, the study, begun in 2017, looked at alcohol and fecundability — that is, the chance of becoming pregnant in a single menstrual cycle. It analyzed data from 413 women, ages 19 to 41, who completed daily diaries on alcohol intake, including the number of drinks and type (beer, wine, or liquor) for a maximum of 19 months of follow-up. Participants were mainly white, non-Hispanic, and married with some college education.

The women submitted monthly urine samples to assess pregnancy status, and their monthly cycle phases were calculated using a calendar-based method and compared between drinkers and nondrinkers.

During the study, 133 women became pregnant, and outcomes showed an effect of alcohol — the more alcohol a woman drank, the less chance she had of conceiving. “Among heavy drinkers, the probability of conceiving was 27.2%, rising to 41.3% in nondrinkers. Light and moderate drinkers both had about a 32% chance of conceiving,” Taylor says.

When the researchers looked at the effect of drinking alcohol during different phases of the menstrual cycle, they found that moderate and heavy drinking in the post-ovulation phase reduced the odds of conception by nearly half (44% and 49%, respectively), compared with nondrinkers. There was also some suggestion that heavy drinking before ovulation was also tied to reduced likelihood of conception.

How about binge drinking? Notably, each extra day of excessive intake over a short period was associated with a 19% reduction in conception around the time of ovulation and between ovulation and menstruation. But it didn’t seem to have an effect early in the cycle, before ovulation.

The researchers also found that the type of alcoholic beverage didn’t change the results.

“In addition, the study showed that the menstrual cycle lengths were the same for women in every drinking category, suggesting that drinking did not affect the hormones that regulate the length of the cycle,” says Christine Metz, PhD, a professor at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research in Manhasset, NY.

The authors think that part of the alcohol-conception connection may be disruptive changes in steroid hormones, particularly a surge in estradiol, a form of estrogen

“The increase in estrogen can result in irregular cycles, delayed ovulation, or anovulation. So couples could be trying to get pregnant at the wrong time in terms of ovulation,” Taylor says. “An increase in estrogen can also impact the timing of the window of opportunity in the lining of the uterus for implantation after fertilization.”

Experts are not exactly sure how a badly timed spike in estradiol might affect the odds of conception. While this is not clearly understood, it seems that the timing of heavy drinking may not only suppress ovulation, but may also suppress the ability to sustain an early pregnancy, notes Ali.

And men aren’t off the hook either — their testicles can also be affected by drinking. “Heavy alcohol consumption is associated with abnormalities in gonadal function in men, including a reduction in serum testosterone and decreased sperm counts,” Ali says.

One caution about the new data, the authors say, is that only 20% to 25% of women across the study’s groups were actually trying for a pregnancy, while ideally such a study should include only women intending to conceive.

Also, the study didn’t look at the influence of male partners’ drinking, and the data relied on self-reporting by participants, which depends on accurate recollection. Still, the study points to one more compelling reason to cut back on alcohol before you start trying to conceive.

The bottom line, says Ali: “Lifestyle interventions are important for both members of a couple planning a pregnancy.”

For more news, follow Medscape on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

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This post originally appeared on Medscape Medical News Headlines

Delta variant may cause hearing and balance issues while irritating tinnitus says study

The Delta variant is now accounting for more than 90 percent of new cases in the UK. While the country’s vaccination programme continues to roll out, people should continue to spot if they have symptoms of the virus and to self isolate upon a positive Covid test to stop further spread.

The main symptoms of Covid are still stated as a high temperature, a new continuous cough, and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.

But new and different symptoms are beginning to emerge in recent research.

A study led by Professor Colleen Le Prell’s study suggests Covid can cause hearing and balance issues while irritating tinnitus – the term given for hearing noises not caused by sounds coming from the outside world.

Professor Le Prell, of the University of Texas in the USA, said symptoms are most commonly witnessed in patients who already have tinnitus.

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The virus has been shown to cause inflammation which can damage hearing and balance “pathways” in the central nervous system in a similar way to how it impacts smell and taste.

These effects can then be magnified by things such as lockdown-related stress and can impact people who had tinnitus before the pandemic the most.

She said: “Increases in tinnitus bothersomeness were associated with reports of pandemic-related loneliness, sleep troubles, anxiety, depression, irritability and financial worries.

“In other words, participants who experienced general increases in stress reported their tinnitus to be more bothersome than before the pandemic.”

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The findings of the study were presented at the annual meeting of the Acoustical Society of America.

Professor Le Prell also said some early experimental treatments, such as chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, can also have auditory side effects, particularly in patients with kidney problems.

She continued: “When the kidneys are not functioning properly, the drug may not be metabolised and eliminated from the body as quickly, which can increase physiological drug concentrations and risk of side effects.

“Old age is often accompanied by decreased renal function, and COVID-19 can cause renal dysfunction.”

According to data from the ZOE Covid study at King’s College London, Delta variant cases aren’t presenting with the classic triad of Covid symptoms.

Symptoms of the Delta variant have been described by study lead Professor Tim Spector as more like a bad cold.

Fever and cough have been shown to be less common than with previous variants, and loss of smell isn’t even in the top ten.

Professor Spector said most cases appeared to be in young people who had not yet been vaccinated and the variant appeared to be far more transmissible with every person infected passing it on to six others.

Professor Spector warned cases were rising exponentially and people who have only had one vaccine dose should not be complacent.

He said: “The UK really does now have a problem and we’ll probably be seeing, in a week, 20,000 cases and by 21st June well in excess of that number.

“Most of these infections are occurring in unvaccinated people. We’re only seeing slight increases in the vaccinated group and most of those in the single vaccinated group.

“Covid is also acting differently now. It’s more like a bad cold in this younger population and people don’t realise that and it hasn’t come across in any of the government information.

“This means that people might think they’ve got some sort of seasonal cold and they still go out to parties and might spread it around to six other people and we think this is fuelling a lot of the problem.”

The number one symptom of the Delta variant was found to be headache, followed by runny nose, sore throat and fever.

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Hospitalization Not Rare for Children With COVID, Study Says

Hospitalization Not Rare for Children With COVID

UPDATED June 7, 2021 — This story has been corrected to clarify that the patient sample study reflects only those children who presented to an emergency department or received inpatient care for COVID-19 in a hospital network and were included in the Premier Healthcare Database Special COVID-19 Release. A previous version of the story incorrectly implied that 12% of all US children with COVID-19 had required inpatient care.

About 12% of US children who presented to an emergency department or received inpatient care for COVID-19 in a hospital network and were included in the Premier Healthcare Database Special COVID-19 Release were hospitalized in 2020. Nearly a third of those had severe disease that required mechanical ventilation or admission to an intensive care unit, according to a new study published in JAMA Network Open on April 9.

That means about 1 in 9 kids with COVID-19 in this cohort needed hospitalization, and about 1 in 28 had severe COVID-19.

“Although most children with COVID-19 experience mild illness, some children develop serious illness that leads to hospitalization, use of invasive mechanical ventilation, and death,” the researchers wrote.

The research team analyzed discharge data from 869 medical facilities in the Premier Healthcare Database Special COVID-19 Release. They looked for COVID-19 patients ages 18 and under who had an in-patient or emergency department visit between March and October 2020.

More than 20,700 children with COVID-19 had an in-patient or emergency department visit, and 2,430 were hospitalized with COVID-19. Among those, 756 children had severe COVID-19 and were admitted to an intensive care unit or needed mechanical ventilation.

About 53% of the COVID-19 patients were girls, and about 54% were between ages 12-18. In addition, about 29% had at least one chronic condition.

Similar to COVID-19 studies in adults, Hispanic, Latino and Black patients were overrepresented. About 39% of the children were Hispanic or Latino, and 24% were Black. However, the researchers didn’t find an association between severe COVID-19 and race or ethnicity.

The likelihood of severe COVID-19 increased if the patient had at least one chronic condition, was male, or was between ages 2-11.

“Understanding factors associated with severe COVID-19 disease among children could help inform prevention and control strategies,” they added. “Reducing infection risk through community mitigation strategies is critical for protecting children from COVID-19 and preventing poor outcomes.”

As of April 8, more than 3.54 million U.S. children have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the latest report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and Children’s Hospital Association. Cases among children are increasing slightly, with about 73,000 new cases reported during the first week of April.

Children represent about 13.5% of the COVID-19 cases in the country, according to the report. Among the 24 states that provide data, children represented 1% to 3% of all COVID-19 hospitalizations, and less than 2% of all child COVID-19 cases resulted in hospitalization.

“At this time, it appears that severe illness due to COVID-19 is rare among children,” the two groups wrote.

“However, there is an urgent need to collect more data on longer-term impacts of the pandemic on children, including ways the virus may harm the long-term physical health of infected children, as well as its emotional and mental health effects,” they added.

SOURCE:

JAMA Network Open: “Characteristics and Disease Severity of US Children and Adolescents Diagnosed With COVID-19.”

American Academy of Pediatrics: “Children and COVID-19: State-Level Data Report.”

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This post originally appeared on Medscape Medical News Headlines

Obesity Increases Risk for Long-COVID, Study Finds

June 8, 2021 — Obesity — an established major risk factor in the development of severe infection or death from COVID-19 infection — also appears to significantly increase the risk of developing long-term complications from the disease, a syndrome often referred to as long-haul COVID-19, according to a new study.

“To our knowledge, this current study for the first time suggests that patients with moderate to severe obesity are at a greater risk of developing long-term complications of COVID-19 beyond the acute phase,” the study’s lead author, Ali Aminian, MD, director of Cleveland Clinic’s Bariatric & Metabolic Institute, said in a press statement.

The study included 2,839 patients who tested positive for COVID-19 in the Cleveland Clinic Health System between March and July 2020 who did not require admission to the ICU and survived the initial phase of COVID-19.

The doctors looked for three indicators of possible long-term complications of COVID-19 — hospital admission, death, and need for diagnostic medical tests — that occurred 30 days or more after the first positive viral test for COVID-19.

In the 10 months after their initial COVID-19 infection, 44% of the patients required hospital admission and 1% had died.

The need for diagnostic tests after infection was 25% higher among those with moderate obesity (BMI of 35-39.9) and 39% higher in those with severe obesity (BMI of >40), compared with those of with a BMI of 18.5-24.9.

Specifically, those with obesity were more likely to require diagnostic tests for the heart, lung, and kidney; for gastrointestinal or hormonal symptoms; or blood disorders; and for mental health problems following COVID-19 infection.

Obesity was not associated with a higher risk of death during the follow-up period, however.

The findings suggest that obesity’s effects extend beyond worsening infection and influence the long-term symptoms.

“The observations of this study can possibly be explained by the underlying mechanisms at work in patients who have obesity, such as hyperinflammation, immune dysfunction, and comorbidities,” senior author Bartolome Burguera, MD, PhD, said in the Cleveland Clinic press statement.

While a wide array of milder long-term effects after COVID-19 infection including psychological symptoms, fatigue, brain fog, muscle weakness, and sleep difficulties have been reported, the current study did not include information on those symptoms.

However, even the finding that up to 44% of the patients required hospital admission after COVID-19 — regardless of weight status — is of concern, the authors noted.

“These findings suggest a profound magnitude of the public health impact of [long-haul COVID-19] in the setting worldwide infection,” they wrote.

The study is published in the journal Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism.

SOURCES:

Ali Aminian, MD, director of Cleveland Clinic’s Bariatric & Metabolic Institute.

Bartolome Burguera, MD, PhD, Cleveland Clinic.

Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism: “Association of Obesity with Post-Acute Sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC).”

Editor’s note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape’s Coronavirus Resource Center.

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This post originally appeared on Medscape Medical News Headlines

NASA chief orders researchers to study UFOs amid Pentagon report – ‘We want to know’

Bill Nelson, who recently became NASA’s new administrator last month, said there was not yet any evidence that extraterrestrials have visited Earth but admitted it was too early to rule out the possibility. The US space agency’s research into the phenomena comes as the Pentagon prepares to make public a report detailing all known UFO investigations by the US military.

Speaking on the recent UFO encounter filmed by US Navy pilots, Mr Nelson told CNN: “We don’t know if it’s extraterrestrial. We don’t know if it’s an enemy. We don’t know if it’s an optical phenomenon.

“We don’t think [it’s an optical phenomenon] because of the characteristics that those Navy jet pilots described … And so the bottom line is, we want to know.”

NASA press secretary Jackie McGuinness told reporters that Mr Nelson had not established a formal task force to investigate UFOs.

However, she added that researchers could look into the topic as they see fit.

She said: “There’s not really a lot of data and … scientists should be free to follow these leads, and it shouldn’t be stigmatized.

“This is a really interesting phenomenon and Americans are clearly interested in it [so if] the scientists want to investigate, they should.”

Recent reports have suggested the Pentagon is concerned that the mysterious objects filmed during the recent US navy encounter could be Chinese or Russian “hypersonic” weapon experiments.

The experimental technology which can launch aircraft or missiles up to 4,000 miles per hour would perhaps explain how the mystery objects are able to move in ways that defy the laws of physics.

READ MORE: Translated UFO files shows Brazilian police saw ‘humanoid’ beings

The highly anticipated Pentagon report is set to be released by June 25.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Weird Feed