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The CDC’s New Takes on COVID-19

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35% of novel coronavirus infections are asymptomatic and 0.4% of people who show symptoms may die, according to the US CDC’s new "best estimates," CNN reports.

The estimates are part of 5 planning scenarios for infectious disease modelers in new CDC guidance.

The CDC also estimates that 40% of transmission occurs before people feel sick, per CNN.

The CDC has also recently revised its "How COVID-19 Spreads" website
to emphasize that SARS-CoV-2 "spreads between people" and not easily from a contaminated surface, The Washington Post reports.

US and China Brawl on World Stage

WHO Tedros on COVID-19

Tensions between US and China boiled over at the virtual 73rd World Health Assembly yesterday, amid calls for investigations into source of the virus in China and the WHO’s COVID-19 pandemic response.

In scathing remarks, US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar blasted China and the WHO, NPR reports. "In an apparent attempt to conceal this outbreak, at least one member state made a mockery of their transparency obligations, with tremendous costs for the entire world," Azar said. "We saw that WHO failed at its core mission of information sharing and transparency when member states do not act in good faith."

High Stakes for Historic World Health Assembly

covid china

A historic 73rd World Health Assembly is underway, amid a global high-stakes battle against the "worst pandemic in modern history, NPR Goats and Soda reports.

The unprecedented gathering, for the first time ever taking place not in Geneva but via teleconference, gives global leaders a chance to work together on battle plans to fight the pandemic—especially cooperative efforts to secure a vaccine as soon as possible.

But at a time when global solidarity is crucial, disputes and political rivalries are threatening to undermine the proceedings.

How the pandemic has affected primary healthcare around the world

pandemic

The new coronavirus has affected people’s health in more ways than one. In this Special Feature, we look at what the pandemic has meant for primary healthcare access in countries around the world.

Over the past few weeks, Medical News Today have investigated the many ways in which the coronavirus pandemic has affected — directly or indirectly — the lives of people all around the globe.

In one feature, we spoke about how restrictive measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus have taken a toll on people’s daily lives and their mental health.

COVID-19: New drug candidates, treatments offer reasons for hope

new drug

Every 2 weeks, Medical News Today rounds up the latest research results that may offer hope among the turmoil that is the COVID-19 pandemic. In our previous Special Feature, we looked at vaccine trials and antibody tests.

In this article, we cover the latest scientific discoveries, from antibodies and testing to drug candidates and potential treatments.

The Problem with Propofol

Propofol

Demand for propofol—the ubiquitous intravenous anesthetic—has skyrocketed since the drug became key to ventilating ICU patients with COVID-19.

But hospitals have seen stressful shortages.

Why?

An investigation tracking propofol’s notoriously opaque journey from production to patient care underscores the vulnerabilities of a supply chain that relies on a few countries for production—and now faces a global crisis.

COVID-19 May Spike Child and Maternal Mortality

India kids covid

COVID-19’s collateral damage could drive up the global child mortality rate for the first time in 6 decades, The Washington Post reports, citing a Lancet Global Health study published today.

An additional 253,500 to 1.2 million children under 5 could die in the next 6 months, according to scenarios modeled by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers.

Maternal deaths could rise from 8% to 38%.

Another Explanation for Men's Vulnerability

Men's Vulnerability

Men have higher levels than women of an enzyme central to COVID-19 infection, a new study reveals—which could help explain why men are more vulnerable to the novel coronavirus, Reuters reports.

Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, or ACE2—which helps the invasion of healthy cells—“is thought to play a crucial role in the progression of lung disorders related to COVID-19,” Adriaan Voors, the study’s leader, said in a European Society of Cardiology news release.

Scientists identify promising drug candidates for COVID-19

COVID-19 tests

By mapping interactions between human proteins and the new coronavirus, researchers have pinpointed 29 potential treatments using drugs already approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a wide range of other conditions.

There is currently no vaccine or antiviral drug with proven efficacy against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, though several clinical trials are underway.

Lack of in-depth knowledge about how the newly emerged virus interacts with human cells has hampered the hunt for an effective treatment.

Scientists discover unique mutation of new coronavirus

SARS-CoV-2 mutation

Researchers have identified a mutation in the genetic code of SARS-CoV-2 that mirrors changes scientists saw in the 2003 SARS outbreak.

SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes the illness COVID-19. In the mutation, 81 letters in the virus’s genome had been deleted.

Viral mutations are a normal part of a virus’s evolution and can alter the severity of the disease they cause.

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