New tools offer peace of mind during a pandemic

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Omicron has brought a slowly recovering tourism to its knees this holiday season. Thousands of airline workers remained at home after the coronavirus infection, and between Christmas Eve 2021 and January 2, 2022, some 14,000 flights were canceled. Thousands of passengers were stranded or tested and quarantined abroad.

With 210 million people fully vaccinated in the United States and Omicron showing signs of peak in some regions, estimated 80 a percentage of US travelers plan to travel the following year. However, they still need to assess the risk in their destinations and be familiar with the complexity of COVID-19 travel security requirements.

Some of the most important travel tips remain the same: Strengthen your vaccine with a suitable booster dose, wear a good mask when you are at home, prioritize outdoor activities if possible, and social distance to strengthen all these defenses.

Unlike the beginning of a pandemic, there are now many resources to help you with each stage of the journey, from calculators that assess your risk before the trip, to easily accessible tests for COVID-19. In the worst case, passengers can better plan for cancellation, quarantine and healthcare abroad. Here are some of the innovations that will make it easier and – potentially – easier for your next journey.

Planning your trip

Katelyn Jetelina, epidemiologist s University of Texas School of Public Health in Dallas, says passengers no longer have to live with the pandemic guessing games of 2020 and 2021. One of these tools is its working day newsletterwhere it presents facts and news about COVID-19 that can help readers assess the risks or timing of trips to various destinations.

Web page microCOVID contains an innovative risk calculator that allows users to enter where they are going, what they are doing and with whom they are meeting, and then generating a risk assessment. For example, if you travel to Germany and plan to meet two people inside, the risk is “dangerously high”, even if you are wearing a KN95 mask.

Maps showing information about COVID-19 can help you make travel decisions. While there are still an average of 744,000 new cases per day in the US and 1.5 million in Europe, locations within countries or continents will have different risks. But summarizing the world of information is not an easy task.

Amino Belyamani, computer scientist and musician, was disappointed with the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 online map. “There was no easy way to find out how many cases there were per million or how many deaths per million,” he says. “It was always just raw data.”

(A universal coronavirus vaccine is on the horizon?)

So you made your own COVID-19 world map, which allows viewers to switch between cases, deaths, vaccination levels and testing. The Belyamani tool provides a visual view of presenting data in context in relation to the country’s population. It is easy to see from his followers that Malta is the most stabbed nation in the world, with 99.7 percent of its population being fully vaccinated.

He says his follower has helped friends and family decide when and where to travel; he even used it himself to time his journey home to his parents in Morocco.

“I wanted to go when it was at the bottom of the curve so I had the freedom to embrace my family and not worry about distancing,” Belyamani said.

Vaccination and testing documentation

After deciding where to go, another hurdle that passengers face is the ever-changing number of entry requirements. Many arrival policies require proof of vaccination and are becoming more frequent boostersToo.

Many countries also require a recent negative test for COVID-19 to enter; passengers should check the testing requirements on the embassy website of their destination. Timing test validity rules can change quickly. Last month, for example, the United States ordered all international passengers, regardless of nationality or vaccine status, to prove a negative test performed no more than one day before departure; this new policy was shortened from three days when Omicron took over.

(This is why children under the age of five still cannot get the COVID-19 vaccine.)

While passengers had to try to find a local pharmacy during the pandemic or hope their hotel would offer testing, there are now more options.

New services such as Med (in the USA) a Qured (in the United Kingdom) have passengers order rapid antigen tests before the trip and then schedule a television visit with a proctor who can oversee a nasal swab. The results are ready and sent to the user within a few hours. Another testing option is Ellume, which is sold in stores like Target and CVS and requires an additional payment for a virtual processor to oversee a test acceptable for international travel. Some airlines, including Delta and Hawaiian Airlines, sell tests on their websites that can report results to a paired smartphone.

Travelers should bring a pool of rapid antigen tests for self-testing. Not only can they provide valuable information, but they can reduce the worries and stress of those who fear they may have been exposed to the virus. Rapid antigen tests are less accurate than other test protocols, but can provide results in as little as 15 minutes.

These home tests sell out fast in stores, but online sites contain many brands of FDA-approved tests. Some products have interesting properties; BD Veritor, for example, allows users to report results directly to health authorities. Thanks and new government programAmerican households are eligible for four free rapid antigen tests.

COVID-19 insurance

In addition to testing and vaccination, more and more countries require travel insurance covering COVID-19 and related interruptions such as quarantine or medical care. Due to these new requirements, travel insurance has increased worldwide.

“Omicron has added more anxiety to already nervous passengers,” says Rajeev Shrivastava, CEO Visitor coverage, the world travel insurance market. “Visitors have a lot more surveys to work on, even until the last moment they board the plane.”

(Here’s how cruise ships adapt to the COVID-19 at the age of Omicron.)

Prior to the pandemic, “cancel for whatever reason” policies were available to cautious passengers, but they were chosen less frequently, often because of the cost. Now, according to Shrivastav, more people are asking about these policies when buying travel insurance to protect themselves from any coronavirus cancellations. Policies covering quarantine costs (hotel stays, food delivery, additional tests) are also popular, although there are currently few options.

For passengers who are afraid of illnesses and strands abroad, Covac Global offers evacuation and repatriation. Since 2020, it has been providing private medical evacuations if a client has a positive coronavirus test and shows at least one symptom.

As COVID-19 approaches endemic disease, companies will develop additional solutions to alleviate some of these travel problems. “It seems to me that it’s been forever,” says Alice Jong, director of research at Phocuswright, a travel analysis company. “But it was only two years to implement all these changes.”

Jackie Snow is a Washington-based writer in DC, DC who specializes in travel and technology. Follow her Instagram.

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Due to rise in Omicron cases in the city, passengers arriving from outstation who are not fully vaccinated or carrying a negative RT PCR report along with them have to undergo nasal swab testing at the railway station before they are allowed to proceed to their respective destination. (Photo by Ashish Vaishnav/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)”,”ext”:”jpg”},”imageAlt”:”A healthcare worker collects a nasal swab sample from a man”,”belowParagraph”:true,”imageSrc”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/5483ff83-1e09-4b49-af65-18c3d6677c10/GettyImages-1237484260_16x9.jpg?w=636&h=358″},”type”:”inline”},{“id”:”html8″,”cntnt”:{“mrkup”:”Amino Belyamani, a computer scientist and musician, was disappointed with the World Health Organization’s online COVID-19 map. “There wasn’t an easy way to find out how many cases there were per million or how many deaths per million,” he says. “It was always just raw data.””},”type”:”p”},{“id”:”html9″,”cntnt”:{“mrkup”:”(Is a universal coronavirus vaccine on the horizon?)”},”type”:”p”},{“id”:”html10″,”cntnt”:{“mrkup”:”So he made his own COVID-19 World Map, which lets viewers toggle between cases, deaths, vaccine levels, and testing. Belyamani’s tool provides a visual perspective to present data in context relative to a country’s population. From his tracker, it’s easy to see Malta is the world’s most jabbed nation, with 99.7 percent of its population fully vaccinated.”},”type”:”p”},{“id”:”html11″,”cntnt”:{“mrkup”:”He says his tracker has helped friends and family make decisions on when and where to travel; he even used it himself to time his trip home to visit his parents in Morocco.”},”type”:”p”},{“id”:”html12″,”cntnt”:{“mrkup”:”“I wanted to go when it was on the low point of the curve, so I would have the freedom to hug my family and not worry about distancing,” Belyamani says.”},”type”:”p”},{“id”:”html13″,”cntnt”:{“mrkup”:”Documenting vaccinations and testing”},”type”:”h2″},{“id”:”html14″,”cntnt”:{“mrkup”:”After deciding where to go, the next hurdle travelers face is the ever shifting array of entry requirements. Many arrival policies require proof of vaccination and, increasingly, boosters, as well. “},”type”:”p”},{“id”:”html15″,”cntnt”:{“mrkup”:”Many countries also require a recent negative COVID-19 test for entry; travelers should check their destination’s embassy site for testing requirements. The rules about timing test validity can change quickly. Last month, for example, the U.S. mandated that all international travelers, regardless of nationality or vaccine status, show a negative test taken no more than one day before flying in; this new policy was shortened from three days as Omicron took hold. “},”type”:”p”},{“id”:”html16″,”cntnt”:{“mrkup”:”(This is why kids under five still can’t get a COVID-19 vaccine.)”},”type”:”p”},{“id”:”html17″,”cntnt”:{“mrkup”:”While travelers had to scramble earlier in the pandemic to find a local pharmacy or hope that their hotel offered testing, there are now more options. “},”type”:”p”},{“id”:”html18″,”cntnt”:{“mrkup”:”New services like eMed (in the U.S.) and Qured (in the U.K.) let travelers order rapid antigen tests before traveling and then schedule a televisit with a proctor who can oversee a nose swab. The results are ready and sent to a user within hours. Another testing option is Ellume, which is sold in stores like Target and CVS, and requires an additional payment for a virtual proctor to oversee a test acceptable for international travel. Some airlines, including Delta and Hawaiian Airlines, sell tests on their websites that can report results to a paired smartphone. “},”type”:”p”},{“id”:”html19″,”cntnt”:{“mrkup”:”Travelers should bring a cache of rapid antigen tests for self-testing on their trip. Not only can they provide valuable information, but they can reduce concern and stress to those who fear they may have been exposed to the virus. Rapid antigen tests are less accurate than other testing protocols, but can offer results in as little as 15 minutes.”},”type”:”p”},{“id”:”html20″,”cntnt”:{“mrkup”:”These home tests have been selling out quickly in stores, but online sites stock many brands of FDA-approved tests. Some products have interesting features; BD Veritor, for example, allows users to report results directly to health authorities. Thanks to a new government program, U.S. households are eligible to receive four free rapid antigen tests.”},”type”:”p”},{“id”:”html21″,”cntnt”:{“mrkup”:”COVID-19 insurance”},”type”:”h2″},{“id”:”html22″,”cntnt”:{“mrkup”:”Beyond testing and vaccination, more and more countries require travel insurance covering COVID-19 and associated disruptions, like quarantining or medical care. Because of these new requirements, travel insurance has seen a boost across the world.”},”type”:”p”},{“id”:”html23″,”cntnt”:{“mrkup”:”“Omicron added more anxiety to already anxious travelers,” says Rajeev Shrivastava, the CEO of VisitorsCoverage, a global travel insurance marketplace. “Visitors have a lot more research to do, even to the last moment when they are boarding a plane.””},”type”:”p”},{“id”:”html24″,”cntnt”:{“mrkup”:”(Here’s how cruise lines are adapting to COVID-19 in the age of Omicron.)”},”type”:”p”},{“id”:”html25″,”cntnt”:{“mrkup”:”For cautious travelers, “cancel for any reason” policies were available before the pandemic, but chosen less frequently, often because of the cost. Now, according to Shrivastava, more people are asking about these policies when buying travel insurance to protect from any coronavirus-caused cancellations. Policies that cover quarantining expenses (hotel stays, food delivery, additional tests) are also popular, although there are currently few options.”},”type”:”p”},{“id”:”html26″,”cntnt”:{“mrkup”:”For travelers worried about getting sick and stranded abroad, Covac Global offers evacuation and repatriation. Started in 2020, it provides private medical evacuations if a client tests positive for coronavirus and exhibits at least one symptom.”},”type”:”p”},{“id”:”html27″,”cntnt”:{“mrkup”:”As COVID-19 edges toward an endemic illness, companies will develop additional solutions to ease some of these travel bumps. “It feels like it’s been forever,” says Alice Jong, director of research at Phocuswright, a travel analysis firm. “But it’s only been two years to implement all these changes.””},”type”:”p”},{“id”:”author-bio”,”cntnt”:{“id”:”author-bio”,”cmsType”:”editorsNote”,”note”:”

Jackie Snow is a Washington, D.C.-based writer specializing in travel and technology. Follow her on Instagram.

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Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, new resources such as pre-trip tests and virus-tracking tools can help travelers navigate.”,”credit”:”Photograph by Artur Widak, NurPhoto/Getty Images”,”image”:{“crps”:[{“nm”:”raw”,”aspRto”:1.4998093785741518,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/0167bba4-9eb0-43c2-bf6f-a7a51e2050b8/GettyImages-1237949572.jpg”},{“nm”:”16×9″,”aspRto”:1.7777777777777777,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/0167bba4-9eb0-43c2-bf6f-a7a51e2050b8/GettyImages-1237949572_16x9.jpg”},{“nm”:”3×2″,”aspRto”:1.5,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/0167bba4-9eb0-43c2-bf6f-a7a51e2050b8/GettyImages-1237949572_3x2.jpg”},{“nm”:”square”,”aspRto”:1,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/0167bba4-9eb0-43c2-bf6f-a7a51e2050b8/GettyImages-1237949572_square.jpg”},{“nm”:”2×3″,”aspRto”:0.6666666666666666,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/0167bba4-9eb0-43c2-bf6f-a7a51e2050b8/GettyImages-1237949572_2x3.jpg”},{“nm”:”3×4″,”aspRto”:0.75,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/0167bba4-9eb0-43c2-bf6f-a7a51e2050b8/GettyImages-1237949572_3x4.jpg”},{“nm”:”4×3″,”aspRto”:1.3333333333333333,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/0167bba4-9eb0-43c2-bf6f-a7a51e2050b8/GettyImages-1237949572_4x3.jpg”},{“nm”:”2×1″,”aspRto”:2,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/0167bba4-9eb0-43c2-bf6f-a7a51e2050b8/GettyImages-1237949572_2x1.jpg”}],”rt”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/0167bba4-9eb0-43c2-bf6f-a7a51e2050b8/GettyImages-1237949572″,”src”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/0167bba4-9eb0-43c2-bf6f-a7a51e2050b8/GettyImages-1237949572.jpg”,”altText”:”A man walks past a mural of medical workers wearing face masks painted in the center of Merida”,”crdt”:”Photograph by Artur Widak, NurPhoto/Getty Images”,”dsc”:”A man walks past a mural of medical workers wearing face masks painted in the center of Merida by Mexican artists Mare – Noookye. On Sunday, January 23, 2022, in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. (Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)”,”ext”:”jpg”},”imageAlt”:”A man walks past a mural of medical workers wearing face masks painted in the center of Merida”,”imageSrc”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/0167bba4-9eb0-43c2-bf6f-a7a51e2050b8/GettyImages-1237949572_16x9.jpg?w=636&h=358″,”hideEndBug”:true,”type”:”imageLead”,”hideLine”:true},”mdDt”:”2022-01-27T22:30:23.014Z”,”readTime”:”8 min read”,”schma”:{“athrs”:[{“name”:”Jackie Snow”}],”cnnicl”:”https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/article/new-tools-offer-peace-of-mind-for-pandemic-travel”,”kywrds”:”Planning for COVID 2022, Plan for vacation 2022, Countries with vaccine requirement, vaccine requirement travel, testing requirement travel, do I need vaccination record to travel?, do I need negative COVID-19 test to travel?, COVID-19 travel insurance, COVID-19 cancellation, pandemic travel, COVID-19 travel, COVID-19 quarantine requirement, quarantine 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for pandemic travel”,”share_method”:”twitter”}},”title”:”New tools offer peace of mind for pandemic travel”,”wrdcnt”:1343,”amplnk”:”https://api.nationalgeographic.com/distribution/public/amp/travel/article/new-tools-offer-peace-of-mind-for-pandemic-travel”,”pbDt”:”2022-01-27T15:28:04.580Z”,”dt”:”2022-01-27T15:28:04.580Z”}]}],”cmsType”:”ArticleBodyFrame”},{“id”:”email-sticky-footer-frame1″},{“id”:”paywall-meter-frame1″},{“id”:”paywall-frame1″},{“id”:”natgeo-web-template-readthisnext-frame”,”mods”:[{“id”:”natgeo-web-template-readthisnext-module”,”cmsType”:”RecirculationGridModule”,”itemTruncate”:{“description”:4,”title”:4},”contentList”:[{“description”:”Queens is known as “The World’s Borough” for a reason: what happens on Roosevelt Avenue has ripple effects near and far.”,”img”:{“crps”:[{“nm”:”raw”,”aspRto”:0.75,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/0ca6f68b-1353-4ab0-bac1-c607617abf51/MM9725_210924_003769.jpg”},{“nm”:”16×9″,”aspRto”:1.7777777777777777,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/0ca6f68b-1353-4ab0-bac1-c607617abf51/MM9725_210924_003769_16x9.jpg”},{“nm”:”3×2″,”aspRto”:1.5,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/0ca6f68b-1353-4ab0-bac1-c607617abf51/MM9725_210924_003769_3x2.jpg”},{“nm”:”square”,”aspRto”:1,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/0ca6f68b-1353-4ab0-bac1-c607617abf51/MM9725_210924_003769_square.jpg”},{“nm”:”2×3″,”aspRto”:0.6666666666666666,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/0ca6f68b-1353-4ab0-bac1-c607617abf51/MM9725_210924_003769_2x3.jpg”},{“nm”:”3×4″,”aspRto”:0.75,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/0ca6f68b-1353-4ab0-bac1-c607617abf51/MM9725_210924_003769_3x4.jpg”},{“nm”:”4×3″,”aspRto”:1.3333333333333333,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/0ca6f68b-1353-4ab0-bac1-c607617abf51/MM9725_210924_003769_4x3.jpg”},{“nm”:”2×1″,”aspRto”:2,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/0ca6f68b-1353-4ab0-bac1-c607617abf51/MM9725_210924_003769_2x1.jpg”}],”rt”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/0ca6f68b-1353-4ab0-bac1-c607617abf51/MM9725_210924_003769″,”src”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/0ca6f68b-1353-4ab0-bac1-c607617abf51/MM9725_210924_003769.jpg”,”crdt”:”Photograph by Natalie Keyssar, National Geographic”,”dsc”:”Sept 24, 2021. Queens, NY. The Faizi Sisters visiting for a wedding from Maine, do some shopping near Roosevelt Ave, and stop to pose for a portrait. Madina Faizi (right, pink with shawl and ponytail) Mokadisa Faizi (left, hair down. In the largely Bangladeshi community near Diversity Plaza off Roosevelt Avenue, vendors sell everything from Vegetables to gold Jewelry to prayer rugs. (Natalie Keyssar for National Geographic)”,”ext”:”jpg”,”ratio”:”3×2″},”isFeatured”:true,”sections”:[{“name”:”History & Culture”,”id”:”b0c8dd52-23a8-34c0-a940-f46792bc9e70″,”type”:”sources”,”uri”:”https://www.nationalgeographic.com/history”},{“name”:”Stories of Migration”,”id”:”10486db0-c0eb-313c-b983-785de6a42fb4″,”type”:”series”,”uri”:”https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/topic/stories-of-migration”}],”headline”:”More than 300 languages are spoken along this NYC street”,”link”:”https://www.nationalgeographic.com/history/article/more-than-300-languages-are-spoken-along-this-nyc-street”},{“description”:”In October 2020, after months of urgent work, researchers found an Asian giant hornet hive in Washington State. Its story was just beginning.”,”img”:{“crps”:[{“nm”:”raw”,”aspRto”:0.66650390625,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/5724ca78-c1e6-44d6-b9c5-372f04f8d6d5/MM9871_20220128_0106.jpg”},{“nm”:”16×9″,”aspRto”:1.7777777777777777,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/5724ca78-c1e6-44d6-b9c5-372f04f8d6d5/MM9871_20220128_0106_16x9.jpg”},{“nm”:”3×2″,”aspRto”:1.5,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/5724ca78-c1e6-44d6-b9c5-372f04f8d6d5/MM9871_20220128_0106_3x2.jpg”},{“nm”:”square”,”aspRto”:1,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/5724ca78-c1e6-44d6-b9c5-372f04f8d6d5/MM9871_20220128_0106_square.jpg”},{“nm”:”2×3″,”aspRto”:0.6666666666666666,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/5724ca78-c1e6-44d6-b9c5-372f04f8d6d5/MM9871_20220128_0106_2x3.jpg”},{“nm”:”3×4″,”aspRto”:0.75,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/5724ca78-c1e6-44d6-b9c5-372f04f8d6d5/MM9871_20220128_0106_3x4.jpg”},{“nm”:”4×3″,”aspRto”:1.3333333333333333,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/5724ca78-c1e6-44d6-b9c5-372f04f8d6d5/MM9871_20220128_0106_4x3.jpg”},{“nm”:”2×1″,”aspRto”:2,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/5724ca78-c1e6-44d6-b9c5-372f04f8d6d5/MM9871_20220128_0106_2x1.jpg”}],”rt”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/5724ca78-c1e6-44d6-b9c5-372f04f8d6d5/MM9871_20220128_0106″,”src”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/5724ca78-c1e6-44d6-b9c5-372f04f8d6d5/MM9871_20220128_0106.jpg”,”crdt”:”Photograph by Mark Thiessen”,”dsc”:”The Asian Giant Hornet specimen collected from a nest in Washington. The nest was found by catching a hornet and attaching a tiny transmitter. Then tracking the hornet as it flew back to its nest. At roughly 2 inches in length, the Asian Giant Hornet (AGH), ( Vespa mandarinia) is an invasive species from Southeast Asia and is the world’s largest hornet. It has distinctive markings: a large orange or yellow head and black-and-orange stripes across its body. ARS is investigating the AGH, dubbed the “Murder Hornet” because when they enter honey bee colonies to harvest bees for food for their own colonies, they bite the bees’ head off. Asian bees have learned how to kill the AGH by covering it to use their bodies to overheat and kill it. Bees in North America do not know how to do this. AGH is more dangerous to insects than anything else. While the hornet’s sting delivers a potent venom, it poses a health concern for people with bee or wasp allergies, but attacks against humans are rare. A few AGH specimens were discovered last year in the Pacific Northwest. ARS postdoctoral research associate Jacqueline Serrano leads the team efforts to develop attractants for use as bait in AGH traps in Washington State. RFID (radio) devices have been used to track hornets back to their nest. In the Pacific Northwest, honey bees play a significant role in the production of many fruit crops including apples, berries, pears, and cherries. “If AGH were to become established in Washington State, it could pose a serious threat to the beekeeping industry,” Serrano said. “AGH could subsequently impact the state’s billion-dollar agriculture industry.” ARS scientists will use those specimens to conduct genomic sequencing as part of the ARS Ag100Pest initiative. This initiative focuses on deciphering the genomes of 100 insect species that are most destructive to crops and livestock and are projected to have serious bioeconomic impacts on agriculture and the environment. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Systematic Entomology Laboratory (SEL) Research Entomologist Matthew L. Buffington works closely with the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History to identify captured hornet specimens and pass that information to other ARS scientists who are on the hunt for the Vespa mandarinia, the infamous Asian giant hornet (AGH) — a threat to honey bees native to the United States, on February 16, 2021, in Washington, D.C. For more info: Matthew Buffington matt.buffington@usda.gov Cell: 916 201 0550″,”ext”:”jpg”},”sections”:[{“name”:”Animals”,”id”:”fa010584-7bbf-3e92-90f9-586bb27fce94″,”type”:”sources”,”uri”:”https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals”}],”headline”:”The untold story of America’s first murder hornet nest”,”link”:”https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/article/untold-story-first-american-murder-hornet-hive”},{“description”:”Recent brain imaging shows the disease can cause physical changes equivalent to a decade of aging and trigger problems with attention and memory. Exactly why is still a mystery.”,”img”:{“crps”:[{“nm”:”raw”,”aspRto”:1.4981711777615216,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/b40550a6-0b09-4fea-a98e-caec44cc2ba3/MM9847-_211214_0691.jpg”},{“nm”:”16×9″,”aspRto”:1.7777777777777777,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/b40550a6-0b09-4fea-a98e-caec44cc2ba3/MM9847-_211214_0691_16x9.jpg”},{“nm”:”3×2″,”aspRto”:1.5,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/b40550a6-0b09-4fea-a98e-caec44cc2ba3/MM9847-_211214_0691_3x2.jpg”},{“nm”:”square”,”aspRto”:1,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/b40550a6-0b09-4fea-a98e-caec44cc2ba3/MM9847-_211214_0691_square.jpg”},{“nm”:”2×3″,”aspRto”:0.6666666666666666,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/b40550a6-0b09-4fea-a98e-caec44cc2ba3/MM9847-_211214_0691_2x3.jpg”},{“nm”:”3×4″,”aspRto”:0.75,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/b40550a6-0b09-4fea-a98e-caec44cc2ba3/MM9847-_211214_0691_3x4.jpg”},{“nm”:”4×3″,”aspRto”:1.3333333333333333,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/b40550a6-0b09-4fea-a98e-caec44cc2ba3/MM9847-_211214_0691_4x3.jpg”},{“nm”:”2×1″,”aspRto”:2,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/b40550a6-0b09-4fea-a98e-caec44cc2ba3/MM9847-_211214_0691_2x1.jpg”}],”rt”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/b40550a6-0b09-4fea-a98e-caec44cc2ba3/MM9847-_211214_0691″,”src”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/b40550a6-0b09-4fea-a98e-caec44cc2ba3/MM9847-_211214_0691.jpg”,”altText”:”A brain conserved in the biomedical sample preparation lab, where donated human organs are stored for research purposes part of Human Organ ATLAS.”,”crdt”:”Photograph by Luca Locatelli for National Geographic”,”dsc”:”A brain conserved in the biomedical sample preparation lab, where donated human organs are stored for research purposes part of Human Organ ATLAS.”,”ext”:”jpg”,”ttl”:”Brain”},”sections”:[{“name”:”Science”,”id”:”2af51eeb-09a8-3bcf-8467-6b2a08edb76c”,”type”:”sources”,”uri”:”https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science”},{“name”:”Coronavirus Coverage”,”id”:”a92c48ec-5e34-3b63-a1e1-2726bfc4c34e”,”type”:”series”,”uri”:”https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/topic/coronavirus-coverage”}],”headline”:”Even mild COVID-19 can cause your brain to shrink”,”link”:”https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/article/even-mild-covid-19-can-cause-your-brain-to-shrink”},{“description”:”Trees worldwide are being hit with a cascade of pressures. See how threats from drought and pests to rising sea levels are taking their toll on trees.”,”img”:{“crps”:[{“nm”:”raw”,”aspRto”:1.5003663003663004,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/39a1b8ee-bc72-4400-aea1-713d37b73aa6/endangered-forest-graphic-thumbnail.jpg”},{“nm”:”16×9″,”aspRto”:1.7777777777777777,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/39a1b8ee-bc72-4400-aea1-713d37b73aa6/endangered-forest-graphic-thumbnail_16x9.jpg”},{“nm”:”3×2″,”aspRto”:1.5,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/39a1b8ee-bc72-4400-aea1-713d37b73aa6/endangered-forest-graphic-thumbnail_3x2.jpg”},{“nm”:”square”,”aspRto”:1,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/39a1b8ee-bc72-4400-aea1-713d37b73aa6/endangered-forest-graphic-thumbnail_square.jpg”},{“nm”:”2×3″,”aspRto”:0.6666666666666666,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/39a1b8ee-bc72-4400-aea1-713d37b73aa6/endangered-forest-graphic-thumbnail_2x3.jpg”},{“nm”:”3×4″,”aspRto”:0.75,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/39a1b8ee-bc72-4400-aea1-713d37b73aa6/endangered-forest-graphic-thumbnail_3x4.jpg”},{“nm”:”4×3″,”aspRto”:1.3333333333333333,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/39a1b8ee-bc72-4400-aea1-713d37b73aa6/endangered-forest-graphic-thumbnail_4x3.jpg”},{“nm”:”2×1″,”aspRto”:2,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/39a1b8ee-bc72-4400-aea1-713d37b73aa6/endangered-forest-graphic-thumbnail_2x1.jpg”}],”rt”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/39a1b8ee-bc72-4400-aea1-713d37b73aa6/endangered-forest-graphic-thumbnail”,”src”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/39a1b8ee-bc72-4400-aea1-713d37b73aa6/endangered-forest-graphic-thumbnail.jpg”,”altText”:”Illustration of four different trees”,”crdt”:”BY MONICA SERRANO AND CHRISTINA SHINTANI”,”dsc”:”As temperatures rise because of climate change, trees are being hit with heat waves and drought, killing them or weakening their resistance to a cascade of pressures, from pests to rising sea levels.”,”ext”:”jpg”,”ttl”:”endangered-forest-graphic-thumbnail”},”sections”:[{“name”:”Magazine”,”type”:”sources”},{“name”:”Feature”,”type”:”genres”}],”headline”:”An illustrated guide to how heat and drought are killing trees”,”link”:”https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/graphics/an-illustrated-guide-to-how-heat-and-drought-are-killing-trees”}],”headline”:”Read This Next”}],”cmsType”:”EnhancedFrame”},{“id”:”natgeo-globalpromo-ad-frame1″,”mods”:[{“id”:”natgeo-globalpromo-frame1-ad”,”cmsType”:”StackModule”,”align”:”left”,”edgs”:[{“id”:”natgeo-globalpromo-ad-tile”,”cmsType”:”AdTile”,”pos”:”infinitefeed”}]}],”cmsType”:”EnhancedFrame”},{“id”:”natgeo-globalpromo-frame1″,”fullWidth”:true,”mods”:[{“id”:”natgeo-globalpromo-frame1-headline”,”cmsType”:”StackModule”,”align”:”left”,”edgs”:[{“id”:”natgeo-globalpromo-headline-tile”,”cmsType”:”HeadlineTile”,”heading”:”Go Further”}]},{“id”:”natgeo-globalpromo-frame1-animals”,”cmsType”:”CarouselModule”,”centerHeading”:true,”edgs”:[{“id”:”natgeo-globalpromo-frame1-animals-tile”,”cmsType”:”RegularStandardPrismTile”,”cId”:”natgeo-globalpromo-frame1-animals-tile_2934a9e0-11d7-4083-85cf-e84dc02fc110″,”description”:”Innovative policies and a diverse scorpion population have led to new treatments in Mexico, providing a model for other developing countries, experts say.”,”ctas”:[{“url”:”https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/article/how-mexico-revolutionized-the-science-of-antivenom”,”text”:”natgeo.ctaText.read”,”icon”:”article”}],”img”:{“crps”:[{“nm”:”raw”,”aspRto”:1.499267935578331,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/344968d6-1a94-4589-80dc-e78072e075b0/MM9842_220322_001290.jpg”},{“nm”:”16×9″,”aspRto”:1.7777777777777777,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/344968d6-1a94-4589-80dc-e78072e075b0/MM9842_220322_001290_16x9.jpg”},{“nm”:”3×2″,”aspRto”:1.5,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/344968d6-1a94-4589-80dc-e78072e075b0/MM9842_220322_001290_3x2.jpg”},{“nm”:”square”,”aspRto”:1,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/344968d6-1a94-4589-80dc-e78072e075b0/MM9842_220322_001290_square.jpg”},{“nm”:”2×3″,”aspRto”:0.6666666666666666,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/344968d6-1a94-4589-80dc-e78072e075b0/MM9842_220322_001290_2x3.jpg”},{“nm”:”3×4″,”aspRto”:0.75,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/344968d6-1a94-4589-80dc-e78072e075b0/MM9842_220322_001290_3x4.jpg”},{“nm”:”4×3″,”aspRto”:1.3333333333333333,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/344968d6-1a94-4589-80dc-e78072e075b0/MM9842_220322_001290_4x3.jpg”},{“nm”:”2×1″,”aspRto”:2,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/344968d6-1a94-4589-80dc-e78072e075b0/MM9842_220322_001290_2x1.jpg”}],”rt”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/344968d6-1a94-4589-80dc-e78072e075b0/MM9842_220322_001290″,”src”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/344968d6-1a94-4589-80dc-e78072e075b0/MM9842_220322_001290.jpg”,”dsc”:”Cipriano Balderas Altamirano with a scorpion Diplocentrus ochoterenai Hoffman (little toxic) in his hand, This scorpion is found in Oaxaca.”,”ext”:”jpg”},”abstract”:”Innovative policies and a diverse scorpion population have led to new treatments in Mexico, providing a model for other developing countries, experts say.”,”title”:”How Mexico revolutionized the science of antivenom”,”tags”:[{“name”:”Animals”,”id”:”fa010584-7bbf-3e92-90f9-586bb27fce94″,”type”:”sources”,”uri”:”https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals”}]},{“id”:”natgeo-globalpromo-frame1-animals-tile”,”cmsType”:”RegularStandardPrismTile”,”cId”:”natgeo-globalpromo-frame1-animals-tile_577f933a-cfc8-41a4-97e6-e069c6118e55″,”description”:”In October 2020, after months of urgent work, researchers found an Asian giant hornet hive in Washington State. Its story was just beginning.”,”ctas”:[{“url”:”https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/article/untold-story-first-american-murder-hornet-hive”,”text”:”natgeo.ctaText.read”,”icon”:”article”}],”img”:{“crps”:[{“nm”:”raw”,”aspRto”:0.66650390625,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/5724ca78-c1e6-44d6-b9c5-372f04f8d6d5/MM9871_20220128_0106.jpg”},{“nm”:”16×9″,”aspRto”:1.7777777777777777,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/5724ca78-c1e6-44d6-b9c5-372f04f8d6d5/MM9871_20220128_0106_16x9.jpg”},{“nm”:”3×2″,”aspRto”:1.5,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/5724ca78-c1e6-44d6-b9c5-372f04f8d6d5/MM9871_20220128_0106_3x2.jpg”},{“nm”:”square”,”aspRto”:1,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/5724ca78-c1e6-44d6-b9c5-372f04f8d6d5/MM9871_20220128_0106_square.jpg”},{“nm”:”2×3″,”aspRto”:0.6666666666666666,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/5724ca78-c1e6-44d6-b9c5-372f04f8d6d5/MM9871_20220128_0106_2x3.jpg”},{“nm”:”3×4″,”aspRto”:0.75,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/5724ca78-c1e6-44d6-b9c5-372f04f8d6d5/MM9871_20220128_0106_3x4.jpg”},{“nm”:”4×3″,”aspRto”:1.3333333333333333,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/5724ca78-c1e6-44d6-b9c5-372f04f8d6d5/MM9871_20220128_0106_4x3.jpg”},{“nm”:”2×1″,”aspRto”:2,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/5724ca78-c1e6-44d6-b9c5-372f04f8d6d5/MM9871_20220128_0106_2x1.jpg”}],”rt”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/5724ca78-c1e6-44d6-b9c5-372f04f8d6d5/MM9871_20220128_0106″,”src”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/5724ca78-c1e6-44d6-b9c5-372f04f8d6d5/MM9871_20220128_0106.jpg”,”crdt”:”Photograph by Mark Thiessen”,”dsc”:”The Asian Giant Hornet specimen collected from a nest in Washington. The nest was found by catching a hornet and attaching a tiny transmitter. Then tracking the hornet as it flew back to its nest. At roughly 2 inches in length, the Asian Giant Hornet (AGH), ( Vespa mandarinia) is an invasive species from Southeast Asia and is the world’s largest hornet. It has distinctive markings: a large orange or yellow head and black-and-orange stripes across its body. ARS is investigating the AGH, dubbed the “Murder Hornet” because when they enter honey bee colonies to harvest bees for food for their own colonies, they bite the bees’ head off. Asian bees have learned how to kill the AGH by covering it to use their bodies to overheat and kill it. Bees in North America do not know how to do this. AGH is more dangerous to insects than anything else. While the hornet’s sting delivers a potent venom, it poses a health concern for people with bee or wasp allergies, but attacks against humans are rare. A few AGH specimens were discovered last year in the Pacific Northwest. ARS postdoctoral research associate Jacqueline Serrano leads the team efforts to develop attractants for use as bait in AGH traps in Washington State. RFID (radio) devices have been used to track hornets back to their nest. In the Pacific Northwest, honey bees play a significant role in the production of many fruit crops including apples, berries, pears, and cherries. “If AGH were to become established in Washington State, it could pose a serious threat to the beekeeping industry,” Serrano said. “AGH could subsequently impact the state’s billion-dollar agriculture industry.” ARS scientists will use those specimens to conduct genomic sequencing as part of the ARS Ag100Pest initiative. This initiative focuses on deciphering the genomes of 100 insect species that are most destructive to crops and livestock and are projected to have serious bioeconomic impacts on agriculture and the environment. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Systematic Entomology Laboratory (SEL) Research Entomologist Matthew L. Buffington works closely with the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History to identify captured hornet specimens and pass that information to other ARS scientists who are on the hunt for the Vespa mandarinia, the infamous Asian giant hornet (AGH) — a threat to honey bees native to the United States, on February 16, 2021, in Washington, D.C. For more info: Matthew Buffington matt.buffington@usda.gov Cell: 916 201 0550″,”ext”:”jpg”},”abstract”:”In October 2020, after months of urgent work, researchers found an Asian giant hornet hive in Washington State. Its story was just beginning.”,”title”:”The untold story of America’s first murder hornet nest”,”tags”:[{“name”:”Animals”,”id”:”fa010584-7bbf-3e92-90f9-586bb27fce94″,”type”:”sources”,”uri”:”https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals”}]},{“id”:”natgeo-globalpromo-frame1-animals-tile”,”cmsType”:”RegularStandardPrismTile”,”cId”:”natgeo-globalpromo-frame1-animals-tile_b6b3fc0a-a0f3-4fa1-8000-a922df471e2c”,”description”:”Indiscriminate traps, used to reduce crop and safety threats, also snare federally protected species.”,”ctas”:[{“url”:”https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/article/us-government-agency-accidentally-killed-almost-3000-animals-in-2021″,”text”:”natgeo.ctaText.read”,”icon”:”article”}],”img”:{“crps”:[{“nm”:”raw”,”aspRto”:1.5003663003663004,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/74ae813b-7eb8-4608-87c7-967dc14c7daa/NationalGeographic_2711299.jpg”},{“nm”:”16×9″,”aspRto”:1.7777777777777777,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/74ae813b-7eb8-4608-87c7-967dc14c7daa/NationalGeographic_2711299_16x9.jpg”},{“nm”:”3×2″,”aspRto”:1.5,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/74ae813b-7eb8-4608-87c7-967dc14c7daa/NationalGeographic_2711299_3x2.jpg”},{“nm”:”square”,”aspRto”:1,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/74ae813b-7eb8-4608-87c7-967dc14c7daa/NationalGeographic_2711299_square.jpg”},{“nm”:”2×3″,”aspRto”:0.6666666666666666,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/74ae813b-7eb8-4608-87c7-967dc14c7daa/NationalGeographic_2711299_2x3.jpg”},{“nm”:”3×4″,”aspRto”:0.75,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/74ae813b-7eb8-4608-87c7-967dc14c7daa/NationalGeographic_2711299_3x4.jpg”},{“nm”:”4×3″,”aspRto”:1.3333333333333333,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/74ae813b-7eb8-4608-87c7-967dc14c7daa/NationalGeographic_2711299_4x3.jpg”},{“nm”:”2×1″,”aspRto”:2,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/74ae813b-7eb8-4608-87c7-967dc14c7daa/NationalGeographic_2711299_2x1.jpg”}],”rt”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/74ae813b-7eb8-4608-87c7-967dc14c7daa/NationalGeographic_2711299″,”src”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/74ae813b-7eb8-4608-87c7-967dc14c7daa/NationalGeographic_2711299.jpg”,”crdt”:”Photograph by MELISSA GROO, Nat Geo Image Collection”,”dsc”:”Red fox father, Vulpes vulpes, with his kits at sunset in Lansing, New York, USA.”,”ext”:”jpg”,”ttl”:”NationalGeographic_2711299″},”abstract”:”Indiscriminate traps, used to reduce crop and safety threats, also snare federally protected species.”,”title”:”U.S. government agency accidentally killed almost 3,000 animals in 2021″,”tags”:[{“name”:”Animals”,”id”:”fa010584-7bbf-3e92-90f9-586bb27fce94″,”type”:”sources”,”uri”:”https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals”},{“name”:”Wildlife Watch”,”id”:”8de8cc4e-e0d1-3b72-8c7a-dac037e03cb4″,”type”:”series”,”uri”:”https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/topic/wildlife-watch”}]},{“id”:”natgeo-globalpromo-frame1-animals-tile”,”cmsType”:”RegularStandardPrismTile”,”cId”:”natgeo-globalpromo-frame1-animals-tile_ff1382a1-6232-42cc-9e66-413c1ca55830″,”description”:”The seahorse is a very unusual animal. Sure, it’s a fish, but it’s also so un-fish-like. Along with its horse-shaped head, it has eyes like a chameleon that can move independently and a prehensile tail that, similar to a hand, can grip objects. But as we grow our understanding of these unique creatures, the data is also making us realize that seahorses need our help. Leading to a fact for certain, it’s time we start paying more attention to seahorses.”,”ctas”:[{“url”:”https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/article/how-seahorses-are-a-fish-but-also-so-un-fish-like”,”text”:”natgeo.ctaText.watch”,”icon”:”play”}],”img”:{“crps”:[{“nm”:”raw”,”aspRto”:1.7777777777777777,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/62b2bb60-af73-413e-846c-d383aa7101a3/nge-seahorses-2022.jpg”},{“nm”:”16×9″,”aspRto”:1.7777777777777777,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/62b2bb60-af73-413e-846c-d383aa7101a3/nge-seahorses-2022_16x9.jpg”},{“nm”:”3×2″,”aspRto”:1.5,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/62b2bb60-af73-413e-846c-d383aa7101a3/nge-seahorses-2022_3x2.jpg”},{“nm”:”square”,”aspRto”:1,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/62b2bb60-af73-413e-846c-d383aa7101a3/nge-seahorses-2022_square.jpg”},{“nm”:”2×3″,”aspRto”:0.6666666666666666,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/62b2bb60-af73-413e-846c-d383aa7101a3/nge-seahorses-2022_2x3.jpg”},{“nm”:”3×4″,”aspRto”:0.75,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/62b2bb60-af73-413e-846c-d383aa7101a3/nge-seahorses-2022_3x4.jpg”},{“nm”:”4×3″,”aspRto”:1.3333333333333333,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/62b2bb60-af73-413e-846c-d383aa7101a3/nge-seahorses-2022_4x3.jpg”},{“nm”:”2×1″,”aspRto”:2,”url”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/62b2bb60-af73-413e-846c-d383aa7101a3/nge-seahorses-2022_2x1.jpg”}],”rt”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/62b2bb60-af73-413e-846c-d383aa7101a3/nge-seahorses-2022″,”src”:”https://i.natgeofe.com/n/62b2bb60-af73-413e-846c-d383aa7101a3/nge-seahorses-2022.jpg”,”dsc”:”The seahorse is a very unusual animal. 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Port-Au-Prince, Haiti.”,”ext”:”jpg”,”ttl”:”easter-explainer-442703″},”abstract”:”The 2,000-year-old Christian holiday marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ—but some of its modern traditions have pagan origins as symbols of new life.”,”title”:”Why Easter is celebrated with bunnies and egg hunts”,”tags”:[{“name”:”History & Culture”,”id”:”b0c8dd52-23a8-34c0-a940-f46792bc9e70″,”type”:”sources”,”uri”:”https://www.nationalgeographic.com/history”}]},{“id”:”natgeo-globalpromo-frame1-history-tile”,”cmsType”:”RegularStandardPrismTile”,”cId”:”natgeo-globalpromo-frame1-history-tile_5ef2ca65-944a-442a-a62b-4afd7ee9602b”,”description”:”One of Judaism’s most widely celebrated holidays, Passover commemorates the Israelites’ liberation from enslavement in ancient 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