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Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 10th Aug 2020

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German-Chinese coronavirus vaccine trial begins

Clinical trials on humans have begun in China for a potential coronavirus vaccine developed by German pharmaceutical group BioNTech with Chinese company Fosun Pharma, the companies said Wednesday. Seventy-two participants have already received their first dose following approval for the phase 1 trial from Chinese regulatory authorities, Mainz-based BioNTech and Fosun Pharma said in a statement. The vaccine candidate, known as BNT162b1, is one of four based on BioNTech's proprietary mRNA technology.
8th Aug 2020 - The Local Germany

Anakinra for severe forms of COVID-19

There is an urgent need to seek new therapeutic approaches to combat the infective and post-infective stages of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. The Article by Thomas Huet and colleagues1 on the clinical use of the interleukin-1 (IL-1) receptor antagonist, anakinra, to treat patients with COVID-19 is very interesting. The main hypothesis of the study was based on hyperinflammation caused by an increase in proinflammatory cytokines, such as IL-1β, IL-6, and tumour necrosis factor (TNF), triggered by SARS-CoV-2 infection. The recruited participants in this study did not have any other infection, but what if the patients did have another proinflammatory condition, such as obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, or other autoimmune disease?
8th Aug 2020 - The Lancet

Many COVID-19 patients lost their sense of smell. Will they get it back?

In early March, Peter Quagge began experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, such as chills and a low-grade fever. As he cut pieces of raw chicken to cook for dinner one night, he noticed he couldn’t smell the meat. “Must be really fresh,” he remembers thinking. But the next morning he couldn’t smell the Dial soap in the shower or the bleach he used to clean the house. “It sounds crazy, but I thought the bleach had gone bad,” he says. When Quagge stuck his head into the bottle and took a long whiff, the bleach burned his eyes and nose, but he couldn’t smell a thing. The inability to smell, or anosmia, has emerged as a common symptom of COVID-19. Quagge was diagnosed with COVID-19, though he was not tested, since tests were not widely available at the time. He sought anosmia treatment with multiple specialists and still has not fully recovered his sense of smell.
8th Aug 2020 - National Geographic UK

Japan, AstraZeneca agree on 120 mil. COVID-19 vaccine dose supply

The Japanese government has reached an agreement with British drugmaker AstraZeneca Plc to receive a supply of 120 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine being developed with the University of Oxford, health minister Katsunobu Kato said Friday. The vaccine will be supplied to Japan from next year if put into practical use, with 30 million doses to be received by March. The drugmaker, which has been conducting a final-stage clinical trial of its experimental AZD1222 vaccine, has not yet decided whether it is necessary to inoculate a person once or twice. "We want to reach a final contract as quickly as possible, as well as proceed with negotiating with other vaccine developers," Kato told reporters. Japan has already agreed to receive a supply of 120 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine for 60 million people by the end of June next year from U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. and its German partner BioNTech SE, if they succeed in developing it.
8th Aug 2020 - Kyodo News Plus

New clues on virus reproduction mystery; non-Covid vaccines may help

Scientists already knew that once the virus breaks into a cell, it forms double-membrane sacs, or vesicles, in which it makes copies of its genetic material. But the sacs appeared to be closed and it was previously unclear how the genetic material moved from the sac into the fluid in the cell, where new virus particles assembled themselves.
8th Aug 2020 - ETHealthworld.com

Wrexham Pharma Base Wins Race to Start Manufacturing Covid-19 Vaccines

A grey little factory in North Wales may be about to play a key part in rescuing us from the tedium of social network face mask shaming, as Wrexham's CP Pharmaceuticals is clearing the decks and preparing to take on the job of manufacturing mass doses of any covid-19 vaccine that aces trials and is deemed safe for the population. CP Pharmaceuticals is a subsidiary of Wockhardt, a multinational responsible for making many generic medical products. Most importantly for the UK's vaccine developers, the deal includes the rights to make millions of doses of the University of Oxford's world-leading attempt at a covid-19 vaccine underway in cooperation with AstraZeneca, known as AZD1222.
8th Aug 2020 - Gizmodo UK

Covid-19: lack of diversity threatens to undermine vaccine trials, experts warn

The remarkably fast progress of two leading contenders for an effective coronavirus vaccine has raised hopes the pandemic may be speedily tamed. But some experts have warned the vaccine trials risk being undermined by a lack of diversity among their participants. Last month, the University of Oxford reported a vaccine it is developing with AstraZeneca from a chimpanzee virus elicited a “strong immune response” in people involved in an initial trial. A separate vaccine project, overseen by the US biotech company Moderna, also saw encouraging results from an early small-scale trial. The two research trials, striving to charge ahead of a pack of more than 140 different teams racing to find a vaccine to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, have sparked a rare burst of optimism during the crisis. But the trials are striking not only for their rapid pace but also their overwhelming whiteness.
8th Aug 2020 - The Guardian

Anthony Fauci says COVID-19 vaccine may be partially effective

An approved coronavirus vaccine could end up being effective only 50 to 60 percent of the time, meaning public health measures will still be needed to keep the pandemic under control, Dr Anthony Fauci, the top United States infectious diseases expert, said on Friday. "We don't know yet what the efficacy might be. We don't know if it will be 50 percent or 60 percent. I'd like it to be 75 percent or more," Fauci said in a webinar hosted by Brown University. "But the chances of it being 98 percent effective is not great, which means you must never abandon the public health approach."
8th Aug 2020 - Al Jazeera English

Rare syndrome linked to COVID-19 found in nearly 600 US ...

Nearly 600 children were admitted to U.S. hospitals with a rare inflammatory syndrome associated with the novel coronavirus over four months during the peak of the pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a report on Friday. Multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) is a rare but severe condition that shares symptoms with toxic shock and Kawasaki disease, including fever, rashes, swollen glands and, in severe cases, heart inflammation. It has been reported in children and adolescent patients about two to four weeks after the onset of COVID-19. With rising COVID-19 cases, there could be an increased occurrence of MIS-C, but this might not be apparent immediately because of the delay in development of symptoms, said the report's authors, including those from the CDC's COVID-19 response team.
8th Aug 2020 - Thomson Reuters Foundation

Dogs could sniff out Covid and speed up testing

In the dogged search for mass testing, maybe dogs are the solution. Scientists are calling for volunteers in northwest England to take part in a trial to identify the smells that are unique to Covid-19 infection and then see if dogs can sniff them out. The hope is their sensitive noses will be able to spot the signs of coronavirus without the need for laboratory testing. Dogs could then offer another means of mass screening at airports and in hot spots. In the past decade researchers have found that dogs are able to spot illness before it is even apparent to the people who are sick. This ability was first noticed by owners who claimed that their dogs had spotted they had cancer.
8th Aug 2020 - The Times

Pfizer agrees to manufacture Gilead's coronavirus drug remdesivir

Pfizer has agreed to manufacture and supply Gilead Sciences’ antiviral drug remdesivir. The multiyear agreement will support efforts to scale up the supply of the intravenous drug. Pfizer will manufacture the drug at its McPherson, Kansas, facility.
7th Aug 2020 - CNBC


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 7th Aug 2020

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Covid-19 may spread more easily among children than thought, report warns

A report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) into an outbreak at a summer camp in Georgia suggests children – even asymptomatic cases – may play an important role in community transmission of Covid-19. The claim contradicts a number of earlier studies where the consensus appeared to be that children rarely transmit the virus between themselves or to other people. This week 260 employees in one of Georgia’s biggest school districts were barred from entering their schools to plan for reopening because they either had the virus or had been in contact with an infected individual.
6th Aug 2020 - The Guardian

AstraZeneca in first COVID-19 vaccine deal with Chinese company

Shenzhen Kangtai Biological Products will produce AstraZeneca Plc’s potential COVID-19 vaccine in mainland China, the British drugmaker said on Thursday, its first deal to supply one of the world’s most populous countries. The deal underscores Astra’s frontrunner position in a global race to deliver an effective vaccine, given that Chinese ventures are leading at least eight of the 26 global vaccine development projects currently testing on humans. Under the agreement Shenzhen Kangtai, one of China’s top vaccine makers, will ensure it has annual production capacity of at least 100 million doses of the experimental shot AZD1222, which AstraZeneca co-developed with researchers at Oxford University, by the end of this year, AstraZeneca said.
6th Aug 2020 - Reuters UK

Human Trials of Coronavirus Vaccine Set to Begin in Indonesia

Human trials on a potential coronavirus vaccine are due to start in Indonesia next week as part of a collaboration between state-owned pharmaceutical company Bio Farma and China's Sinovac Biotech Ltd, a senior researcher said. The launch of the vaccine trial comes as Indonesia has struggled to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, with a consistently escalating number of cases. The phase 3 clinical trial is set to begin on Aug. 11 and will involve 1,620 volunteers aged between 18 and 59, Professor Kusnandi Rusmil, head researcher at Bandung’s Padjadjaran University, told reporters. Half of the participants will receive the vaccine over a six-month period, while the rest will receive a placebo, he said, noting 800 volunteers had been signed up so far. "We want to have our vaccines so we can use it for our people," Rusmil told reporters.
6th Aug 2020 - U.S. News & World Report

Coronavirus: Vaccine may be less effective in obese adults

Previous studies have found that vaccines for the fu and hepatitis B are less effective in obese adults than non-obese adults. Some theorize this is because those who are obese have an impaired T-cell response, a type of immune system cell, to immunizations. Researchers fear that a similar event could occur when a coronavirus vaccine finally becomes available. This puts 42.4% of the US adult population, who are obese, at risk of severe infection or complications such as death.
6th Aug 2020 - Daily Mail

Nation’s Leading Vaccine Authorities Urge Thorough Review of Safety and Efficacy of COVID-19 Vaccines

COVID-19 vaccines should be made widely available only after the Food and Drug Administration has been able to evaluate safety and efficacy data from completed Phase 3 clinical trials, according to the nation’s leading vaccine authorities. Nearly 400 experts in virology, epidemiology, vaccinology, clinical care, and public health are calling on FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn to ensure a thorough, transparent process that will give experts and the general public alike reassurance that the candidate vaccines are safe and effective.
5th Aug 2020 - Center for Science in the Public Interest

COVID-19 and cancer insights revealed in new European study | Imperial News

A large Imperial-led study has revealed valuable insights into the impact and risk factors for cancer patients with COVID-19. The findings, from almost 900 cancer patients diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection in the UK, Spain, Italy and Germany, highlight a number of key clinical insights, including: The average mortality rate among cancer patients with SARS-CoV-2 was 33.6% - Patients who were male, older aged and had pre-existing conditions were more likely to have worse outcomes from COVID-19 - Continued chemotherapy and immunotherapy treatment had little impact on the severity of COVID-19, or survival rates
5th Aug 2020 - Imperial College London


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 6th Aug 2020

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Novavax Aims to Deploy Covid-19 Vaccine by December: R&D Head

Dr. Gregory Glenn, Novavax president of research and development, discusses the progress on the company's experimental vaccine for Covid-19 with Bloomberg's Alix Steel on "Bloomberg Markets.
5th Aug 2020 - Bloomberg

U.S. to pay $1 billion for 100 million doses of J&J's COVID-19 vaccine candidate

The United States government will pay Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) over $1 billion for 100 million doses of its potential coronavirus vaccine, as it stocks up on vaccine and drugs in an attempt to tame the pandemic. The latest contract is priced at roughly $10 per vaccine dose produced by J&J, or around $14.50 per dose, including a previous $456 million the U.S. government promised to J&J for vaccine development in March. That compares with the $19.50 per dose that the U.S. is paying for the vaccine being developed by Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) and German biotech BioNTech SE
5th Aug 2020 - Reuters UK

Coronavirus UPDATES: R rate 'could soar by 0.5 across UK when schools go back'

The UK's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) has asked for coronavirus survivors to receive the free winter flu vaccine. The proposal would mean that more than 250,000 Brits who have recovered from the disease can get the winter jab. It comes as the UK Covid-19 death toll went up by 65 today, while hospital fatalities increased by 15. The number of people who have died from coronavirus in hospital is down from the same time last week. Meanwhile, new lockdown restrictions have been put in place in Aberdeen following a rise in cases. Today's announcement is the first "local lockdown" in Scotland after a string of areas in England had restrictions reimposed.
6th Aug 2020 - Mirror.co.uk

Fauci talks vaccine prospects in Reuters interview

“We are likely going to have maybe tens of millions of doses in the early part of (next) year. But as we get into 2021, the manufacturers tell us that they will have hundreds of millions and likely a billion doses by the end of 2021. So I think the process is moving along at a pretty favorable pace.” “I’m cautiously optimistic, though you can never guarantee things with a vaccine. I’m cautiously optimistic that we will have a vaccine that’s effective enough to get approved, because the early studies in the Phase One study showed that it induced the kind of neutralizing antibodies that were at least comparable, if not better than what you see in convalescent serum. And that’s a whole mark of a predictive quality that a vaccine might work.”
5th Aug 2020 - Reuters UK


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 5th Aug 2020

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Convalescent Plasma Reduced Death Rate Among Covid-19 Patients, Study Data Signals

Hospitalized patients who got earlier transfusions of blood plasma rich in antibodies to the coronavirus show a lower mortality rate
5th Aug 2020 - Wall Street Journal

1.5 Million Italians Had Coronavirus, Lockdown was Critical in Stemming Infection: Antibody Test

The results of nationwide antibody tests conducted on nearly 65,000 Italians indicate that some 1.5 million individuals or 2.5% of the population have had the coronavirus, health officials said on Monday. That figure is six times the number of confirmed cases in Italy's official virus tally. The results - viewed with the country's overall death toll of close to 35,000 -align with the 2.3% estimated mortality rate of the virus. Dr Franco Locatelli, a key scientific government adviser, said the tests were designed to understand the virus' circulation nationwide and not whether Italians with antibodies were safe from the virus.
4th Aug 2020 - Yahoo India News

Coronavirus: WHO urges caution over Russian vaccine claims

Russia is planning to go ahead with mass vaccinations in October - something the World Health Organization (WHO) has raised concerns about, APA reports citing BBC. About 140 vaccines across the world are in early development, and around two dozen are now being tested on people in clinical trials, including the Russian vaccine. There are generally three main phases of human testing before a vaccine can be approved for general use. The final stage, phase 3, involves trials among a much larger group of volunteers. Six potential vaccines have reached this third stage. One, developed by the University of Oxford, appears safe and triggers an immune response in humans. Early results from two trials in the US, run by the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and biotech company Moderna, also appear to produce a good immune response in volunteers. However, they are all still under testing and none have received approval. According to a document release by the WHO last week, the Russian jab, which has been developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute, remains far behind and is still in phase 1.
4th Aug 2020 - apa.az


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 4th Aug 2020

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4 former FDA commissioners: Blood plasma might be the covid-19 treatment we need

Blood plasma — also known as convalescent plasma — has been used as a therapy for infectious diseases for a century, including against the flu in 1918 as well as SARS, Ebola, meningitis and measles. While it doesn’t work for all infections, the idea is to use one person’s successful defense system of antibodies to bolster the immune response of a newly infected person.
3rd Aug 2020 - The Washington Post

Covid test: 'An entire laboratory in this cartridge'

New 90-minute tests that can detect coronavirus and flu will be rolled out in care homes and laboratories from 10 August in the UK. Currently, three-quarters of test results are returned within 24 hours and a quarter can take up to two days. The government says almost half a million of the new rapid swab tests, called LamPORE, will be available in adult care settings and laboratories, with millions more due to be rolled out later in the year. Additionally, thousands of DNA test machines, which can analyse nose swabs, will be rolled out across NHS hospitals from September. The "on-the-spot" swab and DNA tests will help distinguish between Covid-19 and other seasonal illnesses, according to the government. Professor Chris Toumazou, CEO of DnaNudge, showed the BBC how the new test works.
3rd Aug 2020 - BBC News

COVID-19 has “devastating” effect on women and girls

WHO issued interim guidance for maintaining essential services during an outbreak, which included advice to prioritise services related to reproductive health and make efforts to avert maternal and child mortality and morbidity.
3rd Aug 2020 - The Lancet

Dozens of COVID-19 vaccines are in development. Here are the ones to follow.

More than 150 coronavirus vaccines are in development across the world—and hopes are high to bring one to market in record time to ease the global crisis. Several efforts are underway to help make that possible, including the U.S. government’s Operation Warp Speed initiative, which has pledged $10 billion (£7 billion) and aims to develop and deliver 300 million doses of a safe, effective coronavirus vaccine by January 2021. The World Health Organisation is also coordinating global efforts to develop a vaccine, with an eye toward delivering two billion doses by the end of 2021.
3rd Aug 2020 - National Geographic UK


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 3rd Aug 2020

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COVID-19: WHO warns of 'lengthy' pandemic as cases rise

The coronavirus pandemic is likely to be "lengthy", the World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Saturday as countries from France to Mexico reported a rise in cases. The WHO said it "highlighted the anticipated lengthy duration of this COVID-19 pandemic" in a statement after its emergency committee met on Friday to evaluate the crisis six months after it rang the global alarm on January 30. The group also warned of the risk of "response fatigue" given the socio-economic pressures on countries. "WHO continues to assess the global risk level of COVID-19 to be very high," said its latest statement.
1st Aug 2020 - Euronews

Antibody tests fail to detect people who had mild coronavirus symptoms

Tests designed to check whether people have had coronavirus might be missing those who only experienced mild symptoms, a new study has found. Researchers at Oxford University gave an antibody test to more than 900 healthcare workers and found significant numbers came back negative, even among those who were likely to have contracted Covid-19. The findings have thrown fresh doubts over the accuracy of the tests and how they can be used to help the UK avoid another lockdown.
2nd Aug 2020 - Metro.co.uk

Vaccine Confronts Humanity With Next Moral Test

When it comes to Covid-19, “It’s pretty hard to have informed consent when we barely know anything about this yet.” There are fears that the virus can cause lasting damage even in twentysomethings, for example, but little clear evidence. Can volunteers really consent to expose themselves to such poorly understood risks?
2nd Aug 2020 - Bloomberg

When It Comes to Covid Shots, Rich Nations Are First in Line

Although international groups and a number of nations are promising to make vaccines affordable and accessible to all, doses will likely struggle to keep up with demand in a world of roughly 7.8 billion people. The possibility wealthier countries will monopolize supply, a scenario that played out in the 2009 swine flu pandemic, has fueled concerns among poor nations and health advocates.
2nd Aug 2020 - Bloomberg

US gov announces $2.1bn deal with pharma companies to make 100 million doses of coronavirus vaccine

French firm Sanofi and British company GlaxoSmithKline will make the vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccine is being developed by both firms working together. They will receive up to $2.1 billion to supply vaccines for 50 million people. The U.S. government has the option to buy another 500 million doses
1st Aug 2020 - Daily Mail

1 in 5 Londoners who have had Covid-19 were symptomless, study suggests

One in five people in London and the South East who have had coronavirus did not show any symptoms, a new study suggests. It also found that more than a quarter (27 per cent) of people who fell ill did not display the three main signs of Covid-19 – persistent cough, fever and loss of smell (anosmia). Researchers said this is the first UK-based pre-print study linking detailed ongoing symptom collection data with antibody testing, and highlights the likely extent of Covid-19 infection across the region.
1st Aug 2020 - Evening Standard

The Three Key Hurdles for a Coronavirus Vaccine to Clear

Vaccines have transformed the world, saving hundreds of millions of lives. They are also by far our best hope to stop the Covid-19 pandemic. Our other choices for stopping the disease are staying apart, which hammers our economy and society, or building “herd immunity” through natural infection, which would mean more than a million deaths in the U.S. and 10 million or more deaths world-wide. But the push for a Covid-19 vaccine faces three key hurdles.
31st Jul 2020 - The Wall Street Journal

EU Poised to Secure Sanofi Deal for Coronavirus Vaccine

Sanofi SA and GlaxoSmithKline Plc on Friday said they are in advanced discussions to supply up to 300 million doses of an experimental COVID-19 vaccine for the 27-country European Union. Armed with an emergency fund of more than 2 billion euros ($2.4 billion), the European Commission wants to strike deals with up to six drugmakers for their vaccines for their 450 million citizens against the coronavirus that has killed 674,000 people worldwide. The Commission said the aim of the talks with Sanofi was to clinch an advance purchase deal.
31st Jul 2020 - New York Times

Large U.S. COVID-19 vaccine trials will exclude pregnant women for now

The first two COVID-19 vaccines to enter large-scale U.S. trials will not be tested in pregnant women this year, raising questions about how this vulnerable population will be protected from the coronavirus, researchers told Reuters. Moderna (MRNA.O) and Pfizer (PFE.N), which has partnered with Germany’s BioNTech (22UAy.F), this week separately launched clinical trials that use a new and unproven gene-based technology. Both companies are requiring proof of a negative pregnancy test and a commitment to using birth control from women of childbearing age who enroll. Drugmakers say they first need to make sure the vaccines are safe and effective more generally. In addition, U.S. regulators require that drugmakers conduct safety studies in pregnant animals before the vaccines are tested in pregnant women to ensure they don’t harm the fetus or lead to miscarriage.
31st Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

US agrees to buy Sanofi-GSK Covid-19 vaccine

The US has agreed to pay Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline up to $2.1bn to accelerate the development of the experimental Covid-19 vaccine the companies are developing and secure an initial 100m doses. The majority of the funding will go to Sanofi since the French pharma group came up with the vaccine candidate, which will be paired with GSK’s adjuvant, an extra ingredient designed to boost its effectiveness. The agreement is part of what President Donald Trump dubbed “Operation Warp Speed”, where the US is aiming to compress the time it takes to bring a vaccine to market from the usual decade to 12 to 18 months. It is also the eighth deal struck through the US’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (Barda) and brings the total pledged to over $8.3bn, more than any other country or government to date.
31st Jul 2020 - Financial Times

Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine performs well in early tests

A single dose of Johnson & Johnson’s experimental coronavirus vaccine elicited “robust” protection against Covid-19 when tested on animals, with clinical human trials now under way in the US and Belgium. The pre-clinical data, published in Nature magazine, show the drugmaker’s dose successfully prevented subsequent infection in non-human primates, spurring so-called “neutralising antibodies”. It also provided complete or near-complete protection against Covid-19 in their lungs. “The findings give us confidence as we progress our vaccine development and upscale manufacturing in parallel,” said Paul Stoffels, J&J’s chief scientific officer.
30th Jul 2020 - Financial Times

Scientists discover why coronavirus leads to a loss of smell

Scientists have discovered why coronavirus causes some patients to lose their sense of smell. Temporary loss of smell, or anosmia, is one of the earliest and most commonly reported warning signs of Covid-19. Studies suggest the “devastating” symptom better predicts the disease than other well-known symptoms such as a fever or cough. But the actual cause for loss of smell in Covid-19 patients has been unclear – until now. Researchers at Harvard Medical School in the United States have identified which cell types used for smelling are most vulnerable to infection by SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.
29th Jul 2020 - The Independent


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 31st Jul 2020

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Hancock: NHS needs to 'double down' on tech advances after Covid-19

Speaking about the future of healthcare at a Royal College of Physicians event, Hancock told the audience better technology was needed for better healthcare. “We want to double down on the huge advances we’ve made in technology within the NHS and social care, because it’s not really about technology, it’s about people,” he said. The health secretary also said in his speech that digital services should be used to keep patients out of hospital when appointments aren’t essential, free up clinicians time, and better connect people with their care. Referencing difficulties in developing new technology, Hancock added they don’t make it “any less valuable”. “To promote collaboration and change we need more transparency, better use of data, more interoperability and the enthusiastic adoption of technological innovation that can improve care,” he said. “This crisis has shown that patients and clinicians alike, not just the young, want to use technology.
30th Jul 2020 - Digital Health

Russia plans 'world's first approved' COVID-19 vaccine by Aug. 12

Russia plans to register a vaccine for the novel coronavirus by Aug. 10-12, clearing the way for what its backers say would be the world’s first official approval of an inoculation against the pandemic. The drug, developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute and the Russian Direct Investment Fund, may be approved for civilian use within three to seven days of registration by regulators, according to a person familiar with the process, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. The Gamaleya vaccine is expected to get conditional registration in August, meaning trials will still need to be conducted on another 1,600 people, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said in a televised meeting of officials with President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday. Production should begin in September, she said.
30th Jul 2020 - The Japan Times

This Is Where We're At With Treatments For Covid-19 Right Now

With a vaccine not looking likely this side of Christmas, scientists and health experts are scrabbling to find existing drugs that can help fight against the worst effects of Covid-19. The Recovery trial in the UK has already unearthed one game-changing drug, dexamethasone, and has crossed two other treatments off the list after they didn’t show any clinical benefits. The first is hydroxychloroquine, the drug fiercely advocated for by Donald Trump despite studies showing it’s not effective; the other is lopinavir-ritonavir, a drug commonly used to treat HIV.
30th Jul 2020 - HuffPost UK

Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine performs well in early tests

A single dose of Johnson & Johnson’s experimental coronavirus vaccine elicited “robust” protection against Covid-19 when tested on animals, with clinical human trials now under way in the US and Belgium. The pre-clinical data, published in Nature magazine, show the drugmaker’s dose successfully prevented subsequent infection in non-human primates, spurring so-called “neutralising antibodies”. It also provided complete or near-complete protection against Covid-19 in their lungs. “The findings give us confidence as we progress our vaccine development and upscale manufacturing in parallel,” said Paul Stoffels, J&J’s chief scientific officer.
30th Jul 2020 - Financial Times

Sufficient vaccine doses perhaps only in end-2021

Sufficient doses of a Covid-19 vaccine may be available only towards the end of next year, the Ministry of Health's director of medical services Kenneth Mak has said. He also said Singapore is proactively working with vaccine developers, pharmaceutical firms and research institutions on finding a vaccine for Covid-19. Discussions have begun to ensure Singapore will have access to vaccines when they become available, he told a virtual press conference yesterday.
25th Jul 2020 - The Straits Times


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 30th Jul 2020

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Russian COVID-19 vaccine approval imminent, source says

Russia's first potential COVID-19 vaccine will win local regulatory approval in the first half of August and be administered to frontline health workers soon afterwards, a development source close to the matter told Reuters. A state research facility in Moscow - the Gamaleya Institute - completed early human trials of the adenovirus-based vaccine this month and expects to begin large-scale trials in August. The vaccine will win regulatory approval from authorities in Russia while that large-scale trial continues, the source said, highlighting Moscow's determination to be the first country in the world to approve a vaccine. The speed at which Russia is moving to roll out the vaccine has prompted some Western media to question whether Moscow is putting national prestige before solid science and safety. "(Regulatory) approval will be in the first two weeks of August," the development source said. "August 10 is the expected date, but it will definitely be before August 15. All (trial) results so far are highly positive."
30th Jul 2020 - Yahoo News UK

Intravacc and Celonic to Develop and Produce a Novel COVID-19 Vaccine

Intravacc, a global leader in translational research and development of viral and bacterial vaccines, and Celonic Group, a premium biopharmaceutical contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO), specialized in development and production of Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMP) and mammalian cell lines expressed bio-therapeutics, today announced that they have signed a research agreement to further design, develop and produce a Covid-19 vaccine based on an immunogenic Spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2 combined with Intravacc's prorietary Outer Membrane Vesicle (OMV) technology.
29th Jul 2020 - PR Newswire UK

EU readies up to $53 million to boost collection of plasma to fight COVID-19

The European Union has made available up to 45 million euros ($53 million/£40 million) to increase the collection of plasma from COVID-19 survivors for the treatment of people who contract the disease, a spokesman told Reuters. The move confirms the EU's growing confidence in experimental therapies based on so-called convalescent plasma, which is currently used in hospitals for direct transfusions to critically ill patients and is being tested to develop possible medicines against COVID-19. Money is coming from an emergency fund that the European Union has so far used only for highly sensitive issues throughout the pandemic, including the purchase of another COVID-19 treatment and potential vaccines. Grants will be distributed to blood collection centres to help them buy new equipment, such as testing kits and machines that separate plasma from blood, the EU spokesman said.
29th Jul 2020 - Yahoo Finance UK

Case characteristics, resource use, and outcomes of 10 021 patients with COVID-19 admitted to 920 German hospitals: an observational study

In the German health-care system, in which hospital capacities have not been overwhelmed by the COVID-19 pandemic, mortality has been high for patients receiving mechanical ventilation, particularly for patients aged 80 years or older and those requiring dialysis, and has been considerably lower for patients younger than 60 years.
29th Jul 2020 - The Lancet

Coronavirus can infect people 26 FEET away in cold moving air, finds study that recreated an outbreak in a German food factory

Coronavirus is able to travel more than 26 feet (eight metres) in cold environments with moving air, according to a study that recreated an outbreak in a food factory. Researchers at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research focused on an outbreak of Covid-19 at a slaughterhouse in Rheda-Wiedenbrueck, Germany, that infected 1,500 workers. They found a single person in the plant appeared to have infected several others within a 26 feet radius, made possible because of the cold conditions and the constantly circulating air inside the plant.
24th Jul 2020 - Daily Mail


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 29th Jul 2020

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Pfizer Says Covid Could Endure, Sees Long-Term Need for Shot

Pfizer Inc. is preparing for the novel coronavirus to endure, leading to long-term demand for a seasonal shot to protect against Covid-19. The New York pharmaceutical giant and its German partner BioNTech SE are front-runners in the race to develop a Covid-19 vaccine, employing a technology known as messenger RNA that can quickly advance through clinical studies. The companies dosed their first U.S. patient in a late-stage trial Monday, and they could be ready to seek approval from regulators as early as October. There has been a growing sense that a one-time vaccine regimen may not be enough to ward off Covid-19 forever. It isn’t clear how long coronavirus antibodies can protect people from the disease, and early trials haven’t yet yielded proof that a shot could prevent infection for an extended period of time. Pfizer said it expects that a Covid-19 vaccine could, like the flu shot, be an inoculation that is needed regularly to be effective.
28th Jul 2020 - Bloomberg

Survey suggests aerosol is significant form of COVID-19 transmission

Early results from a survey of 2000 people in the UK and US has suggested that the COVID-19 transmitted through aerosol transmission is materially significant. The survey analysed by a team of data scientists in the UK, Norway and the US is one of the first to examine a wide range of personal and work-related predictors of transmission. Taking both samples together, being tall more than doubled the probability of having a COVID 19 medical diagnosis or positive test for people over 6ft. The data in both countries, argue the researchers, could suggest that aerosol transmission is very likely, with taller individuals at higher risk – something that would not be expected if transmission was exclusively through droplets. And that, they say, something that would not have been observed if downward droplet transmission was the only transmission mechanism.
28th Jul 2020 - Manchester University

Loss of smell from Covid-19 is not permanent, scientists say

Loss of smell caused by the coronavirus has baffled scientists. Now, it has been discovered that it's not the crucial sensory neurons affected. Instead, the cells the provide structural support are infiltrated by the virus. These can be repaired, offering hope that anosmia is not permanent
28th Jul 2020 - Daily Mail

Evaluation of the mRNA-1273 Vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 in Nonhuman Primates

The mRNA-1273 vaccine candidate induced antibody levels exceeding those in human convalescent-phase serum, with live-virus reciprocal 50% inhibitory dilution (ID50) geometric mean titers of 501 in the 10-μg dose group and 3481 in the 100-μg dose group. Vaccination induced type 1 helper T-cell (Th1)–biased CD4 T-cell responses and low or undetectable Th2 or CD8 T-cell responses. Viral replication was not detectable in BAL fluid by day 2 after challenge in seven of eight animals in both vaccinated groups. No viral replication was detectable in the nose of any of the eight animals in the 100-μg dose group by day 2 after challenge, and limited inflammation or detectable viral genome or antigen was noted in lungs of animals in either vaccine group.
28th Jul 2020 - nejm.org

Monkey Data Support Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine

The mRNA vaccine co-developed by Moderna and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) protected both the upper and lower airways of non-human primates against SARS-CoV-2 infection. Rhesus macaques receiving low or high doses of mRNA-1273 vaccine (10 or 100 μg, two injections 4 weeks apart) were then challenged with the virus via both the nose and the lungs a month after the second injection. Seven of eight vaccinated monkeys in both dosing groups had no detectable virus in the lungs two days afterwards, whereas viral RNA was found in lungs of all eight monkeys receiving placebo, according to Barney Graham, MD, PhD, of NIAID, and colleagues.
28th Jul 2020 - MedPage

COVID-19: The Latest NICE Guidance

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has added to its growing set of rapid COVID-19 guidelines. The latest addition covers arrangements the NHS should put in place for patients needing elective surgery and other planned treatments and procedures, including diagnostics and imaging, during the pandemic.
28th Jul 2020 - Medscape


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Llama antibodies could help treat COVID-19

Llamas could be the answer to treating severe bouts of COVID-19, researchers have said. A collaborative team from the Rosalind Franklin Institute, Oxford University, Diamond Light Source and Public Health England say antibodies from the animals have shown to neutralise coronavirus in lab tests. Their findings were based on nanobodies which prevent COVID-19 from entering human cells because it binds so tightly to the spike protein of the virus. The nanobodies are engineered from naturally produced antibodies found in llamas, camels and alpacas.
28th Jul 2020 - Diabetes.co.uk

Pfizer-BioNTech begin late-stage study of lead COVID-19 vaccine candidate

German biotech BioNTech and U.S. drugmaker Pfizer Inc said on Monday they would begin a pivotal global study to evaluate their lead COVID-19 vaccine candidate. If the study is successful, the companies could submit the vaccine for regulatory approval as early as October, putting them on track to supply up to 100 million doses by the end of 2020 and 1.3 billion by the end of 2021. Patients are each given two doses of the drugmakers’ vaccine to help boost immunity, so the first 100 million doses would vaccinate around 50 million people. The study is expected to include about 120 sites globally and could include up to 30,000 participants. It will include regions heavily impacted by COVID-19. “The initiation of the Phase 2/3 trial is a major step forward in our progress toward providing a potential vaccine to help fight the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” said Kathrin Jansen, head of vaccine research and development at Pfizer.
28th Jul 2020 - Reuters

Two coronavirus vaccines begin the last phase of testing: 30,000-person trials

The vaccines are being developed by Pfizer and biotechnology company Moderna in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health
28th Jul 2020 - The Washington Post

Moderna begins first late-stage US trial of Covid vaccine

Moderna has given the first doses of its experimental Covid-19 vaccine to participants in what will be a 30,000-person trial, as the US moved into a new phase in the race to develop a vaccine by the start of next year. The Boston-based biotech on Monday said it had begun the first phase-three study of a vaccine in the US, a large-scale trial that is usually the last before a new product is submitted for regulatory approval. The company’s shares were up as much as 10.6 per cent before paring some of their gains.
27th Jul 2020 - Financial Times

Covid-19 vaccines may cause mild side effects, experts say, stressing need for education, not alarm

While the world awaits the results of large clinical trials of Covid-19 vaccines, experts say the data so far suggest one important possibility: The vaccines may carry a bit of a kick. In vaccine parlance, they appear to be “reactogenic,” meaning they have induced short-term discomfort in a percentage of the people who have received them in clinical trials. This kind of discomfort includes headache, sore arms, fatigue, chills, and fever. As long as the side effects of eventual Covid-19 vaccines are transient and not severe, these would not be sources of alarm — in fact, they may be signals of an immune system lurching into gear. It’s a simple fact that some vaccines are more unpleasant to take than others. Think about the pain of a tetanus shot, for instance.
27th Jul 2020 - STAT News

Indonesia Steps Up in COVID-19 Vaccine Race

Indonesia is set to move into the front ranks of countries pursuing a vaccine against the coronavirus next week with the launch of phase 3 clinical trials in Bandung, West Java. About 2,400 samples of an experimental vaccine have been shipped from China to Bandung for the trial, which will begin August 3. The vaccine, developed by the Chinese biopharmaceutical firm Sinovac Biotech, is one of only five out of 166 candidates to have reached such an advanced stage of testing. An American entrant in the race for a vaccine, developed by Moderna, entered phase 3 trials in the United States on Monday. Phase 3 testing involves giving a vaccine to thousands of volunteers to see how many become infected, compared with others who are given a placebo. Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi announced the Bandung plan in a virtual press conference last week, saying the project is directed in Indonesia by the state-owned pharmaceutical holding company Bio Farma.
27th Jul 2020 - VOA Asia

Enrollment in Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine trial to complete by end of summer: Fauci

The top U.S. infectious diseases expert Dr Anthony Fauci said on Monday enrollment in Moderna Inc’s late-stage COVID-19 vaccine trial is expected to be finished by the end of summer this year. Data readouts from the trial, which enrolled the first of 30,000 trial participants on Monday, could occur by November or even earlier, Fauci said in a media call discussing the late-stage study.
27th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK


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US ‘failures’ are holding back search for coronavirus drugs

The failure of the US medical system to match this output has meant that other promising treatments that could have been cleared for widespread use have still to be evaluated. In particular, convalescent plasma (blood plasma that is taken from Covid-19 patients and which contains antibodies that could protect others against the disease) has still to be properly tested on a large-scale randomised trial. “Tens of thousands of people have already been given convalescent plasma in the US but these treatments were not randomised,” said Professor Martin Landray, one of the founders of the Recovery programme. “They just give individuals convalescent plasma in the hope it will work. Vast quantities have been given and they still have no idea whether it helps or harms or has no impact,” added Landray, an expert in the setting up of large-scale drug trials.
26th Jul 2020 - The Guardian

Gates Says Korean Firm Could Make 200 Million Vaccines by June

SK Bioscience, the South Korean pharmaceutical company backed by Bill Gates, may be capable of producing 200 million coronavirus vaccine kits by next June, the Microsoft Corp. co-founder said in a letter to South Korean President Moon Jae-in. Gates is seeking to cooperate closely with South Korea, the presidential office in Seoul said Sunday, citing the July 20 letter, without elaborating on what else it said.
26th Jul 2020 - Bloomberg

Your Coronavirus Antibodies Are Disappearing. Should You Care?

Declining antibody levels do not mean less immunity, experts say. Besides, two widely used tests may detect the wrong antibodies. Your blood carries the memory of every pathogen you’ve ever encountered. If you’ve been infected with the coronavirus, your body most likely remembers that, too. Antibodies are the legacy of that encounter. Why, then, have so many people stricken by the virus discovered that they don’t seem to have antibodies? Blame the tests. Most commercial antibody tests offer crude yes-no answers. The tests are notorious for delivering false positives — results indicating that someone has antibodies when he or she does not.
26th Jul 2020 - The New York Times

When will coronavirus cases peak? It's getting harder for experts to predict

The changing demographics of the latest outbreaks across the country, combined with inconsistent mitigation strategies by states, are making it more challenging for scientists to predict when the worrying new upward curve may start to level out. “The trends that we see across the U.S. don’t look like they’re peaking anytime soon,” said Loren Lipworth, an epidemiologist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. “If these trends continue to go up, I think this wave could continue through the winter.”
25th Jul 2020 - NBC News

German scientists to host series of concerts to test how coronavirus spreads in crowds

Scientists are planning to hold a series of concerts to work out whether it's possible to hold large indoor events without spreading coronavirus. Researchers at the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg in Germany are recruiting 4,000 volunteers for the "coronavirus experiment" at an indoor stadium in Leipzig with singer Tim Bendzko on August 22. The scientists have warned that "the existence of entire sports and cultural forms is endangered" as a result of banning crowds amid the Covid-19 outbreak. "We are trying to find out if there could be a middle way between the old and the new normal that would allow organisers to fit enough people into a concert venue to not make a loss," the university's head of clinical infectious diseases, Stefan Moritz, who is coordinating the experiment, told The Guardian.
25th Jul 2020 - Evening Standard

From Iceland — Iceland To Participate In Covid-19 Vaccine Project

In a civil defense information meeting yesterday, it was stated by chief epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason that Iceland is going to take part in a project led by the World Health Organisation to develop a vaccine against the coronavirus. The project is called COVAX and is an international co-operation lead by the WHO, in coordination with different manufacturers. According to a report from Vísir, the project is intended to support the development of a vaccine and establish overall control over its distribution. By participating, Iceland secures its access to vaccines. Fréttablaðið reports that nine manufacturers have been selected for collaboration and are deemed likely to succeed. Six of them are already in the clinical trail phase of testing their vaccine.
24th Jul 2020 - Reykjavík Grapevine

COVID-19 recovery can take a few weeks even for young adults

Recovering from even mild coronavirus infections can take at least two to three weeks, according to U.S. research published Friday. Lingering symptoms can even affect otherwise healthy young adults. Among those aged 18 to 34 with no chronic illness, 1 in 5 were still experiencing COVID-19 symptoms after two to three weeks, the study found. Cough, fatigue and body aches were among the most common persistent symptoms. Most previous research on long-lasting COVID-19 symptoms has focused on sicker hospitalized adults. Only 7% of patients in the new study needed hospital treatment.
24th Jul 2020 - The Associated Press

Preventing the next pandemic will cost $22.2 billion a year, scientists say

As the world grapples with the toll of the coronavirus pandemic, scientists are warning the funding needed to prevent the next zoonotic disease outbreak is severely lacking — leaving everyone vulnerable. The price tag for protecting and monitoring pristine forests and wildlife trade where diseases emerge is an estimated $22.2 billion to $30.7 billion, according to the report in the journal Science. While hefty, it pales in comparison to the minimum of $8.1 trillion in losses globally resulting from the current pandemic, the report said.
23rd Jul 2020 - NBC News


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A coronavirus vaccine will NOT be available this year, World Health Organization warns in blow to hopes of a jab getting the pandemic under control

Mike Ryan, head of WHO's emergencies programme, said the first use of a Covid-19 vaccine cannot be expected until early 2021.
23rd Jul 2020 - Daily Mail

U.K. Plans Biggest Ever Flu Vaccine Program as Covid Buffer

The U.K. announced its biggest ever flu vaccination program for the coming winter as it seeks to protect the National Health Service from a possible second wave of coronavirus. Authorities aim to vaccinate more than 30 million people, almost twice the 15.3 million inoculated in England last season, the Department for Health and Social Care said in a statement on Friday. Free vaccines -- normally available to the over-65s, young schoolchildren, pregnant women and other at-risk groups -- will also made available to all people over the age of 50. The beefed-up program, together with an additional 3 billion pounds ($3.8 billion) of funding for hospitals recently announced by Health Secretary Matt Hancock, is designed to help hospitals weather an expected surge of coronavirus cases when temperatures drop. Typically, hospitals are under the most strain in winter as seasonal flu spreads.
24th Jul 2020 - Bloomberg

Key Immune System Genes Identified to Explain High COVID Deaths and Spread in Northern Italy Versus Fewer Cases and Deaths in the South

“The identification of HLA alleles that are permissive or protective towards coronavirus infection could inform priorities in disease management and future vaccination campaigns in an easy, cost-effective manner,” says Prof. Luciano Mutti, MD, from the Sbarro Institute in Philadelphia, co-first author of the study. “Despite the intrinsic limits of the ecological approaches, such types of studies have the advantage of considering a large number of cases that are readily available through public datasets. Indeed, geographical studies are often the first to identify risk factors for a variety of diseases. Case-control studies will be then necessary to confirm these findings in Covid-19 patient cohorts,” says Giovanni Baglio, coauthor of the study, epidemiologist from the Ministry of Health. “We hope that this will be feasible in a reasonable timeframe because the research setting in Italy still presents many hurdles,” concludes Giordano.
23rd Jul 2020 - Newswise


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New antibody mix could form 'very potent' Covid-19 treatment, say scientists

Scientists at Columbia University in New York screened antibodies from 40 Covid-19 patients and identified 61 types from five individuals that effectively wiped out coronavirus. Among them were nine that displayed “exquisite potency” for neutralising the pathogen. Tests on cells showed that the antibodies killed off the virus, while experiments with hamsters revealed that an infusion of one of the more potent antibodies protected the animals from disease. “It shut off infectious virus completely in the lung tissue of the hamsters we treated,” said David Ho, a professor of medicine at Columbia who led the research.
22nd Jul 2020 - The Guardian

Pfizer, BioNTech snare $1.95B deal with U.S. government for 100M-plus doses of COVID-19 vaccine

The Trump administration's Warp Speed initiative has placed its biggest bet yet on an accelerated COVID-19 vaccine—and Pfizer and BioNTech are the lucky recipients. The vaccine partners landed an initial order from the U.S government for 100 million doses of their mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine at the eye-popping price tag of $1.95 billion, they said in a joint release Wednesday. The enormous order is the single largest pledge so far from the Trump administration's Warp Speed initiative to rapidly develop and distribute effective vaccines for COVID-19. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS') Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) will collect the first 100 million doses following an FDA approval or emergency authorization, Pfizer said. The government will then have the option of ordering an additional 500 million doses in the future at an undetermined cost.
22nd Jul 2020 - FiercePharma

Italy trials coronavirus test which gives accurate result in minutes

Italy is testing a coronavirus swab which gives a result in 12 minutes and costs only £11. The swab, manufactured in South Korea, has been tested 1,000 times in the northern region of Veneto and may soon be used in Italian airports to screen tourists for the infection, The Times reports. "It looks reliable and we hope to get it into use in Veneto by the autumn," Francesca Russo, who runs the region's Covid-19 response team, told the newspaper. Officials have recorded only two false results while trialling the test, which is called Standard Q Covid-19.
22nd Jul 2020 - Evening Standard

Research shows that Covid antibodies fade rapidly, raising risk of lost immunity

Recovering from Covid-19 may not offer much lasting protection from future infections for those with only mild cases, according to a report that suggests caution regarding so-called herd immunity as well as the durability of vaccines. The correspondence in the New England Journal of Medicine outlined research on antibodies taken from the blood of 34 patients who had recovered after suffering mainly mild symptoms that didn’t require intensive care. Just two needed supplemental oxygen and received an HIV medication, and none were on a ventilator or getting Gilead Sciences Inc.’s remdesivir. The first analysis was done on antibodies taken an average of 37 days after symptoms began, with a second after about 86 days, or less than three months. The researchers found that antibody levels fell quickly, with a half-life of about 73 days between the two time frames. The loss of antibodies occurred more quickly than with SARS, an earlier type of coronavirus infection.
22nd Jul 2020 - ETHealthworld.com

New COVID-19 vaccine trials under way in Brazil

Nearly two dozen potential vaccines for the novel coronavirus are under various stages of human testing worldwide, and at least two are being conducted in Brazil - the country with the world's second-worst outbreak. One is a Chinese-made drug that is being tested on 9,000 volunteers, the other is developed by Oxford University. Testing is now under way and is expected to last for about three months.
22nd Jul 2020 - Aljazeera.com

Don't expect first COVID-19 vaccinations until early 2021 - WHO's Ryan

WHO is working to ensure fair vaccine distribution, but in the meantime it is key to suppress the virus's spread, said Mike Ryan, head of WHO's emergencies programme, as daily new cases around the globe are at near-record levels. "We're making good progress," Ryan said, noting that several vaccines were now in phase 3 trials and none had failed, so far, in terms of safety or ability to generate an immune response. "Realistically it is going to be the first part of next year before we start seeing people getting vaccinated," he told a public event on social media
22nd Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Coronavirus: COVID-19 vaccine has 'above 50%' chance of success but 'won't be ready until mid-2021'

The boss of a drugs company that has agreed to deliver up to 100 million doses of a potential COVID-19 vaccine to the UK has told Sky News there is a more than 50% chance of it reaching patients. Thomas Lingelbach, chief executive of France-based Valneva, also told Sky's Ian King Live that he did not believe the drug would be widely available before the middle of next year. Valneva, which has a manufacturing base at Livingston in Scotland, is behind one of two coronavirus vaccine partnerships announced by the UK government earlier this week.
21st Jul 2020 - Sky News


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Coronavirus: Scientists call for caution after study suggests warm weather reduces severity of Covid-19

Scientists have called for caution over a new study that suggests the severity of Covid-19 may be reduced during the warmer months of the year, and that dry indoor air may encourage its spread. Researchers from King’s College London analysed data from 6,914 patients admitted to hospital with Covid-19 in Croatia, Spain, Italy, Finland, Poland, Germany, the UK and China. They mapped this against local temperature and estimated indoor humidity and found that severe outcomes – being taken to hospital, admittance to ICU or the need for ventilation – dropped in most European countries over the course of the pandemic, covering the transition from winter to early summer.
21st Jul 2020 - The Independent

Antibody study finds coronavirus infections may have been 10 times higher in Bay Area

Nearly ten times as many Bay Area residents had been infected with the coronavirus by the end of April than the official tally at the time, according to a new federal study that analyzed antibody tests to determine how widespread the virus was across a handful of United States hot spots. The study underscores just how deficient testing for the virus was in the early weeks of the pandemic, when the vast majority of cases were never identified. At the same time, it provides further evidence that aggressive shelter-in-place orders protected much of the Bay Area, where researchers estimate only about 1% of all residents had been infected by the time the study was done. That number is surely higher now with the outbreak surging again
21st Jul 2020 - San Francisco Chronicle

India coronavirus: Nearly one in four in Delhi had Covid-19, study says

Nearly one in four residents in India's capital, Delhi, has been exposed to coronavirus infection, antibody tests on a random sample of people suggest. The government survey said 23.48% of the 21,387 people whose blood samples were tested had Covid-19 antibodies. It suggests that infections in the city are much more widespread than the number of confirmed cases indicates. Delhi has so far recorded 123,747 cases, equivalent to less than 1% of its population of 19.8 million. At 23.44%, the number of infections would be 4.65 million in a city that size. A government press release says the difference shows that "a large number of infected persons remain asymptomatic". It even says the figure of 23.48% may be too low because Delhi has several pockets of dense population. But it adds that "a significant proportion of the population is still vulnerable" and all safety measures must be strictly followed.
21st Jul 2020 - BBC News

Controversial 'human challenge' trials for COVID-19 vaccines gain support

The volunteers come from an advocacy group, 1Day Sooner, that has signed up more than 30,000 people from 140 countries. The group, co-founded by a 22-year-old, organized an open letter that was signed by 15 Nobel laureates and 100 other prominent researchers, ethicists, and philosophers, which it sent to U.S. National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins on 15 July. The letter urged the U.S. government “to undertake immediate preparations for human challenge trials” in young, healthy people, who are less likely to suffer severe disease from COVID-19. Among the signatories was Adrian Hill of the University of Oxford, whose lab developed one of the leading COVID-19 vaccine candidates and plans to produce virus strains that could be used in the trials.
21st Jul 2020 - Science Magazine

Coronavirus: 'Infection here for many years to come'

The UK will be living with coronavirus for many years to come and even a vaccine is unlikely to eliminate it for good, experts are warning. Wellcome Trust director Prof Sir Jeremy Farrar told the House of Commons' Health Committee "things will not be done by Christmas". He went on to say humanity would be living with the virus for "decades". It comes after the prime minister said last week he hoped for a return to normality by Christmas. Boris Johnson made the comments as he set out plans to further ease restrictions, including the opening of leisure centres and indoor swimming pools later this month and the prospect of mass gatherings being allowed from the autumn. But experts giving evidence to the cross-party group of MPs said it was important to be realistic that the virus would still be here. Sir Jeremy, a member of Sage, the government advisory body, said the world would be living with Covid-19 for "very many, many years to come". "Things will not be done by Christmas. This infection is not going away, it's now a human endemic infection.
21st Jul 2020 - BBC News

Oxford academic dismisses idea of deliberately infecting volunteers with Covid-19 to test vaccine

Professor Sarah Gilbert said it would not be safe for them to do a 'challenge trial.' No drug has been proven to stop the disease progressing, only to reduce death. The trial will need to rely on seeing whether vaccinated people catch the coronavirus in the community, which scientists fear will take too long. But Professor Gilbert is still confident in the end of year target
21st Jul 2020 - Daily Mail

Genes May Influence COVID-19 Risk, New Studies Hint

As COVID-19 continues its fateful march around the globe, researchers have seen patterns of characteristics tied to bad cases of the disease. Increased age, diabetes, heart disease and lifelong experiences of systemic racism have come into focus as risk factors. Now some connections to certain genes are also emerging, although the links are fuzzier. Combing through the genome, researchers have tied COVID-19 severity and susceptibility to some genes associated with the immune system’s response, as well as a protein that allows the disease-causing SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus into our cells. They have also turned up links between risk and a person’s blood type—A, B, AB or O. The findings are not cut-and-dried, however. Scientists caution that even valid effects may be small, although knowledge about genes involved in serious disease outcomes may help to identify therapeutic drugs. Complicating the work are the effects of social and economic inequalities that also increase risk and tend to be concentrated in populations with specific ethnic backgrounds and ancestries
21st Jul 2020 - Scientific American


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Vaccine Studies Offer New Hope As Who Warns On Africa

One trial among more than 1,000 adults in Britain found that a vaccine induced "strong antibody and T cell immune responses." Two studies offered new hope of a potential vaccine for the novel coronavirus on Monday, as the World Health Organization warned about a possible acceleration of the disease in Africa. Seven months after COVID-19 was first identified in China and has since killed more than 600,000 people worldwide and battered economies, there is growing alarm over fresh outbreaks of the disease. Until recently, Africa had remained relatively unscathed by the pandemic compared to other parts of the world. But the situation has become increasingly worrying, particularly in South Africa, where the death toll passed 5,000 mark and the number of infections reached 350,000 at the weekend. The WHO's emergencies chief Michael Ryan told a virtual news conference in Geneva that the situation in South Africa could be seen as "a warning" for what the rest of the continent might have in store. "I am very concerned right now that we are beginning to see an acceleration of disease in Africa," he said.
21st Jul 2020 - New Vision

Immunosuppressant drug shows promise for Covid-19 patients

An initial trial showing that an immunosuppressant drug can significantly increase the likelihood of recovery among patients hospitalised by Covid-19 sent the share price of biotech company Synairgen soaring on Monday. In a study involving 101 patients from nine UK hospitals, those who were given interferon beta — which is commonly used to treat multiple sclerosis and thyroid dysfunction — were more than twice as likely to recover and were 79 per cent less likely to develop a more severe version of the disease. Their breathlessness was also “markedly reduced”, the company said.
20th Jul 2020 - Financial Times

Quest coronavirus test becomes 1st with FDA OK for sample pooling

A Quest Diagnostics coronavirus test is the first authorized by FDA for sample pooling, a method meant to screen more people using fewer resources, the agency announced Saturday. The product OK'd for use with the technique, Quest's SARS-CoV-2 rRT-PCR test, first got emergency use authorization by FDA on March 17. The company said it will begin leveraging the method at labs near Washington, D.C. and Boston by the end of this week, planning to expand it to other sites later. Although the pooling technique may help stretch testing resources, "it is not a magic bullet," Quest's chief medical officer Jay Wohlgemuth said in a statement Saturday, adding that "testing times will continue to be strained as long as soaring COVID-19 test demand outpaces capacity."
20th Jul 2020 - MedTech Dive

Oxford coronavirus vaccine safe and promising, according to early human trial results published in the Lancet

A University of Oxford group and the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca reported Monday that their coronavirus vaccine candidate, on which the U.S. and European governments have placed substantial bets, was shown in early-stage human trials to be safe and to stimulate a strong immune response. The study, published in the British medical journal the Lancet and involving 1,077 volunteers, was described as promising. A second report in the same publication on a Chinese vaccine showed what researchers not involved in the study described as modest positive results.
20th Jul 2020 - The Washington Post

AIIMS to start human trials of Covaxin today

The AIIMS Ethics Committee on Saturday gave its nod for a human clinical trial of the indigenously developed COVID-19 vaccine candidate Covaxin following which the premier hospital to begin the exercise by enrolling healthy volunteers from Monday. AIIMS-Delhi is among the 12 sites selected by the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) for conducting phase I and II human trials of Covaxin. In phase I, the vaccine would be tested on 375 volunteers and the maximum of 100 of them would be from AIIMS.
20th Jul 2020 - Deccan Chronicle

What happens when flu meets Covid-19?

Optimists had hoped Covid-19 might not withstand the blistering heat of a British summer. However those hopes have faded: the virus staged a recent resurgence in Iran amid actual blistering temperatures, and has had no trouble persisting in sultry Singapore. But what happens to Covid-19, and us, when the rain and chill – and flu and sniffles – of autumn set in? Especially, how will the annual winter flu epidemic play out amid a Covid-19 pandemic? One thing is a given. “We can expect waves of Covid in the fall,” says virologist Ab Osterhaus of the Research Centre for Emerging Infections and Zoonoses in Hanover. By then, he hopes, we might be better at treating severe cases, and more countries might be able to test, trace and quarantine all cases and their contacts, and contain the virus, better than they can now.
20th Jul 2020 - The Guardian

‘Game changer’ protein treatment 'cuts severe Covid-19 symptoms by nearly 80%'

A “groundbreaking” new coronavirus treatment dramatically reduces the number of patients suffering severe symptoms, according to preliminary trial results. The treatment, developed by Southampton-based biotech Synairgen, uses a protein called interferon beta which the body produces when it contracts a viral infection. Covid-19 patients inhale the protein into the lungs using a nebuliser, with the aim of stimulating an immune response. Initial findings, published on Monday, suggest the treatment cuts the chances of a hospitalised coronavirus patient developing severe symptoms of the disease by 79 per cent.
20th Jul 2020 - Evening Standard

Large analysis of 170 countries shows that lockdown measures did reduce Covid-19 mortality

New research from the Universities of Oxford and Edinburgh suggests that, in the absence of a vaccine, early, strict government measures and non-pharmaceutical interventions may have resulted in significantly fewer Covid-19 deaths. The aim of this study, published on medRxiv as a pre-print version, was to create a comprehensive database to track the response of 170 governments to the coronavirus, stretching from the period 1 January to 27 May 2020.
20th Jul 2020 - Health24

Over a million doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine possible by September - researcher

Early estimates of the production a million doses of the University of Oxford’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine by September could be an underestimate depending on how quickly late-stage trials can be completed, a researcher said on Monday. “There might be a million doses manufactured by September: that now seems like a remarkable underestimate, given the scale of what’s going on,” Adrian Hill of University of Oxford said, referring to the manufacturing capability of partner AstraZeneca. “Certainly there’ll be a million doses around in September. What’s less predictable than the manufacturing scale-up is the incidence of disease, so when there’ll be an endpoint.” He added it was possible that there would be vaccines available by the end of the year
20th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

How Long Does COVID-19 Immunity Last?

A new study from King’s College London inspired a raft of headlines suggesting that immunity might vanish in months. The truth is a lot more complicated—and, thankfully, less dire.
20th Jul 2020 - The Atlantic

Covid-19 vaccine being developed by Oxford 'safe and induces an immune reaction'

The Covid-19 vaccine being developed at the University of Oxford is safe and induces an immune reaction, findings of the first phases of the study suggest. Scientists and medical researchers across the UK have welcomed the results, with tests revealing the jab could provide double protection against Covid-19. The tests have shown the vaccine induces strong immune responses in both parts of the immune system – provoking a T cell response within 14 days of vaccination, and an antibody response within 28 days. It did cause minor side effects more frequently compared with the control group of those given a meningitis vaccine, according to the study, but researchers added that there were no serious adverse events from the vaccine. Professor Andrew Pollard, director of the Oxford vaccine group said the results were "very encouraging" but cautioned that much work lies ahead.
20th Jul 2020 - ITV News

Why those most at risk of COVID-19 are least likely to respond to a vaccine

A July 17 analysis of more than 50,000 coronavirus deaths in the U.S. found that 80 percent were people 65 or older. Second, the ageing thymus may also complicate vaccine development for the pandemic. Vaccines provide instructions for our immune system, which T-cells help pass along. By age 40 or 50, the thymus has exhausted most of its reserve of the kind of T-cells that can learn to recognise unfamiliar pathogens—and ‘train’ other immune cells to fight them. Many vaccines rely on such T-cells. Because of COVID-19, researchers are having to pay more attention than ever to how vaccines perform in older people. Moderna Therapeutics, for example, which published the first results this week from the phase-one trial of its novel mRNA vaccine, is running a phase two trial specifically for adults aged 55 and older.
20th Jul 2020 - National Geographic UK

Coronavirus | Seven Indian pharma players in race to develop COVID-19 vaccine

At least seven Indian pharma companies are working to develop a vaccine against coronavirus as they join global efforts to find a preventive to check the spread of the virus that has already infected more than 14 million globally. Bharat Biotech, Serum Institute, Zydus Cadila, Panacea Biotec, Indian Immunologicals, Mynvax and Biological E are among the domestic pharma firms working on the coronavirus vaccines in India. Vaccines normally require years of testing and additional time to produce at scale, but scientists are hoping to develop a coronavirus vaccine within months because of the pandemic.
19th Jul 2020 - The Hindu

Opaganib, a Sphingosine Kinase-2 (SK2) Inhibitor in COVID-19 Pneumonia

This is a phase 2/3 multi-center randomized, double-blind, parallel arm, placebo- controlled study with an adaptive design that will utilize a futility assessment. The study is planned be performed in Italy, other EU countries, Russia, Brazil, Mexico and the US in up to approximately 40 clinical sites. After informed consent is obtained, patients will enter a screening phase for no more than 3 days, to determine eligibility. Approximately 270 eligible patients will be randomized and receive either opaganib added to standard of care, or matching placebo added to standard of care, in a randomization ratio of 1:1. Treatment assignments will remain blinded to the patient, investigator and hospital staff, as well as the sponsor. As the approval and/or guidance for treating COVID-19 are evolving, for this protocol, standard of care will be defined by the recommended schemes of treatment according to the severity of the disease based on local diagnostic and guideline documents such as the Temporary Methodic Recommendations: Prophylactic, Diagnostics and Treatment of New Corona Virus Infection (COVID-19) (Appendix 10); the EU Commission, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the Heads of Medicines Agency (HMA) and FDA, and as updated to the most current version of the recommendations.
15th Jul 2020 - ClinicalTrials.Gov

Intravenous Aviptadil for Critical COVID-19 With Respiratory Failure (COVID-AIV)

Novel Corona Virus (SARS-CoV-2) is known to cause Respiratory Failure, which is the hallmark of Acute COVID-19, as defined by the new NIH/FDA classification. Approximately 50% of those who develop Critical COVID-19 die, despite intensive care and mechanical ventilation. Patients with Critical COVID-19 and respiratory failure, currently treated with high flow nasal oxygen, non-invasive ventilation or mechanical ventilation will be treated with Aviptadil, a synthetic form of Human Vasoactive Intestinal Polypeptide (VIP) plus maximal intensive care vs. placebo + maximal intensive care. Patients will be randomized to intravenous Aviptadil will receive escalating doses from 50 -150 pmol/kg/hr over 12 hours.
9th Jul 2020 - ClinicalTrials.Gov


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Coronavirus: UK secures early access to 90 million COVID-19 vaccine doses

The UK has secured early access to 90 million COVID-19 vaccine doses through partnerships with pharmaceutical companies. Included in the figure are 30 million doses of a vaccine being developed by BioNTech and Pfizer, the first agreement the two companies have signed with any government. This vaccine has reached Phase 2 trials. The second deal is an agreement in principle for 60 million doses of a vaccine being developed by Valneva, with an option to acquire a further 40 million doses if this vaccine is proven to be safe, effective and suitable.
20th Jul 2020 - Sky News

Coronavirus: Are mutations making it more infectious?

This coronavirus is actually changing very slowly compared with a virus-like flu. With relatively low levels of natural immunity in the population, no vaccine and few effective treatments, there's no pressure on it to adapt. So far, it's doing a good job of keeping itself in circulation as it is. The notable mutation - named D614G and situated within the protein making up the virus's "spike" it uses to break into our cells - appeared sometime after the initial Wuhan outbreak, probably in Italy. It is now seen in as many as 97% of samples around the world.
19th Jul 2020 - BBC News

Lockdown approach 'less effective in BAME communities', say scientists

The UK's coronavirus lockdown that began in March was less effective among black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities because of the "one-size-fits-all' approach, scientists have claimed. Researchers at the University of Leicester found that coronavirus infections continued to rise among BAME people in certain parts of Leicester, while rates of infection among white people dropped off sharply. The scientists said the findings, which were published in the EClinicalMedicine journal by the Lancet, raised "serious questions" about how effective a lockdown can be in a country with an ethnically diverse population.
19th Jul 2020 - Evening Standard

Dangerous blood clots form in leg arteries of COVID-19 patients

COVID-19 is associated with life-threatening blood clots in the arteries of the legs, according to a study published in Radiology. Researchers said COVID-19 patients with symptoms of inadequate blood supply to the lower extremities tend to have larger clots and a significantly higher rate of amputation and death than uninfected people with the same condition.
19th Jul 2020 - Science Daily

Most of the World May Face Covid Without a Vaccine

Klaus Stohr has urged governments for many years to prepare for the grim possibility of a pandemic. In 2003, he played a key role in a World Health Organization investigation that swiftly identified a coronavirus as the cause of SARS. Stohr also sounded the alarm on the pandemic potential of avian flu, bringing countries and companies to the table to increase production of vaccines in case it began spreading widely in people. In Covid-19, which has killed almost 600,000 people, the world faces the crisis that the virologist has long feared. Stohr, who left the WHO to join drugmaker Novartis AG in 2007 and retired a couple of years ago, paints a sobering picture. He spoke with Bloomberg by phone, and his remarks have been edited for clarity and readability:
18th Jul 2020 - Bloomberg

Oxford's Covid-19 vaccine will be produced in Moscow

A Russian drug company has signed a deal to mass produce a British coronavirus vaccine despite claims from intelligence agencies that British scientists were the targets of industrial espionage. R-Pharm, based in Moscow, said that it had agreed with Astrazeneca, the British pharmaceuticals giant, to manufacture the vaccine it is developing with Oxford University.
18th Jul 2020 - The Times

Scientists identify six different 'types' of Covid-19 each based on 'cluster of symptoms'

Data suggests coronavirus comes in several forms, each with symptom clusters King's College London's Symptom Study app findings could help the vulnerable Continuous cough, fever and loss of smell are the three main Covid-19 symptoms
18th Jul 2020 - Daily Mail

Steroid's COVID-19 benefits confirmed; spotlight on immune cells

The full results of a large randomized clinical trial in Britain - the gold-standard of tests - looking at the steroid dexamethasone confirm the benefits in its use in COVID-19 patients that were hinted at in early findings issued last month. The results, released on Friday in the New England Journal of Medicine, showed benefits for people with advanced or moderate disease. Overall, 2,104 COVID-19 patients were randomly assigned to receive dexamethasone and 4,321 to receive usual care. Four weeks later, dexamethasone had reduced the risk of death by 36% among patients who needed mechanical ventilation when they entered the study, and by 18% among those who were receiving oxygen without mechanical ventilation.
18th Jul 2020 - Reuters on MSN.com

Fast-working fingerprick coronavirus antibody tests pass first major trials

Ministers are preparing to roll out fast-working fingerprick tests that can tell if a person has had coronavirus after they passed their first major trials, according to reports. The antibody tests, which work by taking blood from the tip of the finger and give results in just 20 minutes, were found to be 98.6 per cent accurate in secret tests carried out in June. And now the Government is making plans to buy millions of the tests and send them out to people across the UK, The Daily Telegraph reported.
18th Jul 2020 - Evening Standard

Coronavirus: Over-65 death risk 18k times higher than under-20

Researchers estimated what the infection fatality risk is for Geneva, Switzerland.They found those over 65 had a 5.6 per cent risk of dying if they have Covid-19. For those under 20 the risk of death from the virus was just 0.0003 per cent
17th Jul 2020 - Daily Mail

Symptom tracker app reveals six distinct types of COVID-19 infection

British scientists analysing data from a widely-used COVID-19 symptom-tracking app have found there are six distinct types of the disease, each distinguished by a cluster of symptoms.A King’s College London team found that the six types also correlated with levels of severity of infection, and with the likelihood of a patient needing help with breathing - such as oxygen or ventilator treatment - if they are hospitalised. The findings could help doctors to predict which COVID-19 patients are most at risk and likely to need hospital care in future waves of the epidemic. “If you can predict who these people are at Day Five, you have time to give them support and early interventions such as monitoring blood oxygen and sugar levels, and ensuring they are properly hydrated,” said Claire Steves, a doctor who co-led the study. Besides cough, fever and loss of smell - often highlighted as three key symptoms of COVID-19 - the app data showed others including headaches, muscle pains, fatigue, diarrhoea, confusion, loss of appetite and shortness of breath.
17th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Coronavirus: are two strains together deadlier than one?

Researchers in the United States say some people could be infected by two variations of the pathogen at once, sending the immune system into overdrive Major study needed to confirm whether theory is supported, Chinese scientist says
17th Jul 2020 - South China Morning Post

Australian researchers invent 20-minute coronavirus blood test

Researchers in Australia have devised a test that can determine novel coronavirus infection in about 20 minutes using blood samples in what they say is a world-first breakthrough. The researchers at Monash University said their test can determine if someone is currently infected and if they have been infected in the past. “Short-term applications include rapid case identification and contact tracing to limit viral spread, while population screening to determine the extent of viral infection across communities is a longer-term need,” the researchers said in a paper published in the journal ACS Sensors on Friday. The research team was led by BioPRIA and Monash University’s Chemical Engineering Department, including researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence in Convergent BioNano Science and Technology (CBNS).
17th Jul 2020 - Reuters

Why Obesity May Stack the Deck for COVID-19 Risk

“My lungs were quite badly affected,” says O’Rahilly, 62, who spent almost a week getting extra oxygen in what’s known as a high-intensity care unit in the U.K. The experience got him thinking: While about 80% of cases of COVID-19 can be treated at home, why do some people, including him, wind up with more severe infections? Besides his age, O’Rahilly knew he had another strike against him when it comes to COVID-19 infection: his weight. His BMI, or body mass index, is over 30. O’Rahilly, who directs the MRC Metabolic Diseases Unit at Cambridge University, is considered one of the world’s leading obesity researchers. He was knighted in 2013 by Queen Elizabeth II for his work, which includes the discovery of a genetic condition that robs the body of the hormone leptin, which controls appetite and weight. And so after his brush with the coronavirus, he started digging into exactly what it is about obesity that makes it so risky for a COVID-19 infection
14th Jul 2020 - WebMD

The heart: Before, during and after COVID-19

Back in February, research from China found people with preexisting heart conditions were more likely to die of the infection, with the Chinese Center for Disease Control reporting a death rate four times the population's average.
12th Jul 2020 - ABC News


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Coronavirus: Encouraging results in vaccine trials

Encouraging early results from clinical trials have raised hopes for an effective coronavirus vaccine. Studies in the US and UK suggest several experimental vaccines produce a good immune response in volunteers without serious side-effects. Nearly two dozen coronavirus vaccines are in clinical trials while another 140 are in early development. But some scientists are calling for volunteers to be exposed to the virus to accelerate research. Nobel laureates are among those who say it would make it easier to see if those who had received a vaccine were protected. They signed an open letter to the head of the US National Institutes of Health, saying these "challenge trials" could accelerate vaccine development. The race to create a coronavirus vaccine is certainly accelerating.
16th Jul 2020 - BBC News

Earlier lockdowns do cut Covid-19 outbreaks quicker, study shows

Researchers measured how Covid-19 cases changed in response to strict rules. They looked at five physical distancing measures including work closures. Britain was one of the slowest to introduce the potentially life-saving measures.
16th Jul 2020 - Daily Mail

'Colour-blind' France avoids gauging COVID impact on ethnic minorities

Health and Medical Research (INSERM). French governments have long cherished their “colour-blind” policy. Census questionnaires, job applications and medical files avoid references to ethnicity or religion. But now – on the back of the global Black Lives Matter movement and heightened coronavirus suffering in immigrant communities – some campaigners in France say the policy can harm rather than shield minorities. “We’re too politically correct in France,” said Ghyslain Vedeux, who heads advocacy group the Representative Council of Black Associations. “Blacks, Arabs, immigrants, and more broadly poor people, were the hardest hit. Why not make it official?”
16th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Why do we have different blood types — and do they make us more vulnerable to Covid-19?

Most humans fall into one of four blood groups — A, B, AB or O. Ordinarily, your blood type makes very little difference in your daily life except if you need to have a blood transfusion. However, some studies have people wondering if blood type affects coronavirus risk. One, for instance, suggests that people with Type A may have a higher risk of catching Covid-19 and of developing severe symptoms while people with Type O blood may have a lower risk. A study published this week counters some these early findings, a reminder that scientific discovery is an evolving process. Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital published a study Thursday that found no evidence that blood type affects whether someone develops severe symptoms (defined as intubation or death) from a coronavirus infection. Other past research indicates that certain blood groups may affect vulnerability to other diseases, including cancer.
16th Jul 2020 - CNN

US researchers say heparin may neutralise Covid-19 virus

This mechanism could enable the drug to act as a decoy, which may be delivered into the body via a nasal spray or nebulizer to interfere and lower the infection risk. According to the researchers, similar decoy strategies were observed to be beneficial in fighting other viruses such as influenza A, Zika and dengue. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute chemistry and chemical biology professor Robert Linhardt said: “This approach could be used as an early intervention to reduce the infection among people who have tested positive but aren’t yet suffering symptoms. But we also see this as part of a larger antiviral strategy.
16th Jul 2020 - Pharmaceutical Technology

From Hong Kong to Australia, COVID-19 spreads in unexplained ways

As countries across the Asia-Pacific region struggle with resurgences of the coronavirus, one data point is steering government responses: the share of cases with no clear indication of how infection occurred. These patients cannot be linked to other confirmed infections or existing outbreaks by virus responders, indicating hidden chains of transmission. A growing proportion of such cases in a city’s resurgence pushes governments, like in Australia and Hong Kong, to take broad and blunt action, returning entire cities to lockdown-like conditions. “You can hardly contain the outbreak because you have no idea where they will come out next,” said Yang Gonghuan, former deputy director general of China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention. “When there’s more cases where the origins are unknown, it adds to the difficulty for containment.”
16th Jul 2020 - The Japan Times

Coronavirus: Oxford vaccine could provide 'double protection' - report

Researchers at the University of Oxford believe they have made a breakthrough in the development of a coronavirus vaccine. Human trials are reported to have shown promising results after the team discovered the jab could provide "double protection" against the virus. Blood samples taken from volunteers in phase one trials have shown the vaccine stimulated the body to produce antibodies and T-cells, according to a report in The Daily Telegraph.
16th Jul 2020 - Sky News


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Covid-19 pandemic: the need for second-generation vaccines

It is astounding how quickly Covid-19 vaccines have progressed into and through clinical trials. However, there are concerns that these vaccines may not be particularly effective at preventing Covid-19 infections in the long-term, leading to the need for improved, next-generation vaccines against this novel coronavirus. One pair of companies working on the next phase of vaccine development are sister biotechs NantKwest and ImmunityBio.
15th Jul 2020 - Pharmaceutical Technology

Oxford's Covid-19 Vaccine Is the Coronavirus Front-Runner

The University of Oxford candidate, led by Sarah Gilbert, might be through human trials in September. AstraZeneca has lined up agreements to produce 2 billion doses. Could this be the one?
15th Jul 2020 - Bloomberg

More than 150 countries engaged in COVID-19 vaccine global access facility

Seventy-five countries submit expressions of interest to COVAX Facility, joining up to 90 further countries which could be supported by the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC). The COVAX Facility, and the AMC within it, is designed to guarantee rapid, fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for every country in the world, rich and poor, to make rapid progress towards slowing the pandemic Interest from governments representing more than 60% of the world’s population offers ‘tremendous vote of confidence’ in the effort to ensure truly global access to COVID-19 vaccines, once developed
15th Jul 2020 - World Health Organization

Early-stage trial data on AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine due Monday - Lancet

Early-stage human trial data on a vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University will be published on July 20, The Lancet medical journal said on Wednesday. The vaccine candidate is already in large-scale Phase III human trials to assess whether it can protect against COVID-19, but its developers have yet to report Phase I results which would show whether it is safe and whether or not it induces an immune response. “We expect this paper, which is undergoing final editing and preparation, to be published on Monday, July 20, for immediate release,” a spokeswoman for the journal said. The Lancet’s statement came after reports earlier on Wednesday that the Phase I data could be released as soon Thursday.
15th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK


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Canada's Medicago begins human trials of plant-based COVID-19 vaccine

Medicago said it has begun testing its plant-based coronavirus vaccine in an early-stage clinical trial as the Canadian company, backed by tobacco company Phillip Morris, races against larger drugmakers to develop a treatment option to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. Medicago's vaccine is being tested with adjuvants from GlaxoSmithKline and Dynavax Technologies. Medicago's potential vaccine uses the leaves of a plant from the tobacco family to produce the S-spike protein, one of the three spike proteins of the novel coronavirus. The company has already used this approach in a flu vaccine that is awaiting Canadian approval.
14th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Study predicts surge in HIV, TB and malaria deaths amid COVID-19 pandemic

Deaths from HIV, tuberculosis and malaria could surge in poor and middle-income countries as already weak health systems grapple with severe disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a predictive study published on Monday. Over the next five years, deaths from the three diseases could rise by as much as 10, 20 and 36 percent respectively - putting the mortality impact on a scale similar to the direct impact of the coronavirus pandemic itself, the modelling study found. "In countries with a high malaria burden and large HIV and TB epidemics, even short-term disruptions could have devastating consequences for the millions of people who depend on programmes to control and treat these diseases," said Timothy Hallett, a professor at Imperial College London who co-led the work. He said the knock-on impact of COVID-19 could undo some of the significant progress against these diseases made over the past two decades, "compounding the burden caused by the pandemic directly".
14th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Coronavirus antibodies may not help with cure, after Dutch study sees harmful effect in ICU patients

Researchers led by a professor in the Netherlands report that they might have found an important clue that may answer why immunoglobulin G appears only when patients are ill enough to be admitted to ICU. AFPResearchers led by a professor in the Netherlands report that they might have found an important clue that may answer why immunoglobulin G appears only when patients are ill enough to be admitted to ICU. Researchers led by a professor in the Netherlands report that they might have found an important clue that may answer why immunoglobulin G appears only when patients are ill enough to be admitted to ICU. Antibodies generated by the immune system to neutralise the novel coronavirus could cause severe harm or even kill the patient, according to a study by Dutch scientists. Immunoglobulin G (IgG) is a fork-shaped molecule produced by adaptive immune cells to intercept foreign invaders. Each type of IgG targets a specific type of pathogen. The IgG for Sars-CoV-2, the virus causing Covid-19, fights off the virus by binding with the virus' unique spike protein to reduce its chance of infecting human cells. They usually appear a week or two after the onset of illness, when the symptoms of most critically-ill patients suddenly get worse. A research team led by Professor Menno de Winther from the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands said they might have found an important clue that may answer why the IgG appears only when patients are ill enough to be admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU).
14th Jul 2020 - South China Morning Post

Moderna's coronavirus vaccine ready to advance to final phase of testing

The first COVID-19 vaccine tested in the United States revved up people's immune systems just the way scientists had hoped, researchers reported - as the shots are poised to begin key final testing. "No matter how you slice this, this is good news," Dr Anthony Fauci, the US government's top infectious disease expert, told The Associated Press news agency. The experimental vaccine, developed by Fauci's colleagues at the National Institutes of Health in partnership with Moderna Inc, will start its most important step around July 27: a 30,000-person study to prove if the shots really are strong enough to protect against the coronavirus. But Tuesday, researchers reported anxiously awaited findings from the first 45 volunteers who rolled up their sleeves back in March. Sure enough, the vaccine provided a hoped-for immune boost. Those early volunteers developed what are called neutralising antibodies in their bloodstream - molecules key to blocking infection - at levels comparable to those found in people who survived COVID-19, the research team reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.
14th Jul 2020 - CBS News

What was the impact of Sweden's soft approach to lockdown?

Sweden’s softer approach to lockdown involved closing universities and other schools for older pupils and recommending that anyone with COVID-19 symptoms and everyone over 70 self-isolate. Now, a new study suggests that these limited measures contributed to fewer deaths than expected. Still, Sweden saw more deaths from the pandemic than neighboring countries Denmark and Norway. The new research, published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, makes clear the complexity of determining which strategies for reducing the spread of the virus and saving lives are most effective.
14th Jul 2020 - Medical News Today

Pfizer coronavirus vaccine fast-tracked by FDA

The Food and Drug Administration said it will speed the review of two vaccine candidates from pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and partner company BioNTech. The fast-track status was granted based on preliminary data from phase one and two studies in the U.S. and Germany. The company expects to enroll 30,000 people in its next phase of trials. If the trials are successful, the companies hope to make 100 million doses by the end of the year and possibly more than 1.2 billion doses by the end of 2021. The administration is investing in a range of vaccine approaches with the hope of landing a successful shot before the year ends.
14th Jul 2020 - Washington Times

'Little chance of a Covid-19 vaccine before 2021' warns French epidemiologist

There is little chance of a 100-percent effective coronavirus vaccine by 2021, a French expert warned on Sunday, urging people to take social distancing measures more seriously. "A vaccine is several years in development," said epidemiologist Arnaud Fontanet, a member of the team of scientists advising the government on the crisis, speaking on BFMTV television. "Of course, there is an unprecedented effort to develop a vaccine, but I would be very surprised if we had that was effective in 2021," he added. While we would probably have one that worked partially, we were very far from the end of the crisis, he said. That being the case, "we have to live with this virus" he said. And since another lockdown was out of the question, people had to go back to "more serious habits".
14th Jul 2020 - The Local France


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Coronavirus warning from Italy: Effects of COVID-19 could be worse than first thought

The long-term effects of COVID-19, even on people who suffered a mild infection, could be far worse than was originally anticipated, according to researchers and doctors in northern Italy. Psychosis, insomnia, kidney disease, spinal infections, strokes, chronic tiredness and mobility issues are being identified in former coronavirus patients in Lombardy, the worst-affected region in the country. The doctors warn that some victims may never recover from the illness and that all age groups are vulnerable.
13th Jul 2020 - Sky News

Russia claims world’s first COVID-19 vaccine after successful clinical trials

After over six months of coronavirus outbreak, Russia has become the first nation to complete clinical trials of Covid-19 vaccine on humans. According to the reports, the vaccine has proven the medication's effectiveness, according to chief researcher, Elena Smolyarchuk, who heads the Center for Clinical Research on Miedications at Sechenov University
13th Jul 2020 - Business Insider India


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Thailand plans November human testing for potential coronavirus vaccine

Thai researchers plan to begin human trials of a potential vaccine for the new coronavirus in November and are preparing 10,000 doses, a senior official said on Sunday, aiming for a vaccine that could be ready for use by late next year. Following favourable results in trials on primates, the next step is to manufacture doses for human trials, said Kiat Ruxrungtham, director of the Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University vaccine development program. “At first we were going to send them in June, but it was not easy to plan everything,” Kiat told a news conference. There are no approved vaccines for the virus that causes COVID-19, but 19 candidates are being trailed in humans globally. China is leading the race, with an experimental vaccine by Sinovac Biotech Ltd
12th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

First cases of coronavirus-related inflammatory syndrome identified in children in South Carolina

Two children in South Carolina have been diagnosed with the coronavirus-related pediatric inflammatory syndrome, according to the state's Department of Health and Environmental Control. The children are both under the age of 10, DHEC said in a news release Sunday. One is located in the Midlands region in central South Carolina. The other is in the Pee Dee region in the northeastern part of the state. Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C, is a potential complication seen in some children and teenagers following Covid-19 infections or exposure to those with Covid-19. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a health advisory to doctors across the country in May, warning them to be on the lookout for the syndrome. Symptoms include fever, stomach pain, vomiting, a rash and fatigue, according to the CDC.
12th Jul 2020 - CNN

Infectious virus could survive in the air for more than an hour

Professor Wendy Barclay, a virologist from the Govenrment's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, has warned that the novel coronavirus could spend more than an hour airborne
12th Jul 2020 - Mirror.co.uk

Getting Covid-19 twice: Why I think my patient was reinfected

“Wait. I can catch Covid twice?” my 50-year-old patient asked in disbelief. It was the beginning of July, and he had just tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, for a second time — three months after a previous infection. While there’s still much we don’t understand about immunity to this new illness, a small but growing number of cases like his suggest the answer is “yes.” Covid-19 may also be much worse the second time around. During his first infection, my patient experienced a mild cough and sore throat. His second infection, in contrast, was marked by a high fever, shortness of breath, and hypoxia, resulting in multiple trips to the hospital.
12th Jul 2020 - Vox.com

Immunity to Covid-19 could be lost in months, UK study suggests

King’s College London team found steep drops in patients’ antibody levels three months after infection. People who have recovered from Covid-19 may lose their immunity to the disease within months, according to research suggesting the virus could reinfect people year after year, like common colds. In the first longitudinal study of its kind, scientists analysed the immune response of more than 90 patients and healthcare workers at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS foundation trust and found levels of antibodies that can destroy the virus peaked about three weeks after the onset of symptoms then swiftly declined.
12th Jul 2020 - The Guardian

India’s Biocon secures approval to use drug on Covid-19 patients

India's Biocon Ltd has received regulatory approval for its drug Itolizumab to be used on coronavirus infected patients suffering from moderate to severe respiratory distress, the biopharmaceutical company said in a statement on Saturday.
11th Jul 2020 - The Daily Star

Coronavirus: German vaccine study draws thousands of volunteers

Researchers say they are surprised at the number of people who have offered to take part, as they usually struggle to find enough guinea pigs. The study will test the success of a COVID-19 vaccine developed by CureVac.
11th Jul 2020 - Deutsche Welle

About half of health care workers positive for COVID-19 by serology have no symptoms, study finds

A new study suggests that front-line health care workers are at high risk for COVID-19 and that many health care workers with the virus may not have typical symptoms of a respiratory infection.
9th Jul 2020 - Science Daily

Dozens More Cases of Neurological Problems in COVID-19 Reported

SARS-CoV-2 generally attacks the lungs, but researchers are also stressing its effects on the brain in a fraction of patients.
8th Jul 2020 - The Scientist

Spain's coronavirus antibodies study adds evidence against herd immunity

Spain's large-scale study on the coronavirus indicates just 5% of its population has developed antibodies, strengthening evidence that a so-called herd immunity to Covid-19 is "unachievable," the medical journal the Lancet reported on Monday. The findings show that 95% of Spain's population remains susceptible to the virus. Herd immunity is achieved when enough of a population has become infected with a virus or bacteria -- or vaccinated against it -- to stop its circulation. The European Center for Disease Control told CNN that Spain's research, on a nationwide representative sample of more than 61,000 participants, appears to be the largest study to date among a dozen serological studies on the coronavirus undertaken by European nations. It adds to the findings of an antibody study involving 2,766 participants in Geneva, Switzerland, published in the Lancet on June 11.
6th Jul 2020 - CNN

Fast COVID-19 vaccine timelines are unrealistic and put the integrity of scientists at risk

We contend that a safe and effective vaccine against severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), which is the causative agent of coronavirus disease COVID-19, most likely cannot be made available to the public in time to make a substantial difference to the natural outcome of this pandemic. People often cling to hope even when prospects of success are low. However, this can have negative consequences if that hope is not realized. We are academic scientists who manage vaccine research programs. In fact, Dr. Bridle received COVID-19-focused funding to develop a novel vaccine platform. Although many of us are working hard towards developing vaccines against SARS-CoV-2, we worry that some in the scientific community have offered too much hope for this to be accomplished in a timely fashion. Sometimes these promises are used by politicians and governments to inform public policies. As a result, the integrity of the scientific community is now in the limelight and, arguably, at risk.
15th Jun 2020 - The Conversation

Analysis: How close are we to COVID-19 herd immunity?

This week a clip of Dr Michael Ryan, from the World Health Organization, went viral when he provided a strong rebuke about hopes that herd immunity could help us to control the coronavirus. "Humans are not herds,” he denounced, almost in anger. He went on to say: “I think we need to be really careful when we use terms in this way around natural infection in humans because it can lead to a very brutal arithmetic which does not put people and life and suffering at the centre of that equation."
15th May 2020 - Euronews


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 10th Jul 2020

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Coronavirus is revolutionizing scientific practices and communication. Here's how

Just as everyday life has been affected by COVID-19, science itself has changed. Scientists have had to learn how to produce meaningful information for a world clamoring for speedy results. This speed and openness is not typical of scientific research and required fundamental changes in the work scientists do. "Science immediately reorganized itself in a purposeful way to address a global threat," James Bradner, president of the Institutes for BioMedical Research at Novartis, said in a webinar hosted by Chemical & Engineering News. In most cases, scientists welcome the changes and are proud of what has been accomplished in such a short time.
7th Jul 2020 - USA Today

Scots wanted for coronavirus vaccine trial as more than 10,000 volunteers needed

Scots are being urged to volunteer for vaccine tests as health officials continue in their quest to find a cure for coronavirus. The study, which is run by the University of Oxford, is looking to recruit more than 10,000 volunteers to take part in the 12-month long trial.
9th Jul 2020 - Daily Record

Osivax receives funding for universal flu vaccine

Osivax receives public funding to apply its vaccine technology to protect against COVID-19 and future coronavirus strains.
9th Jul 2020 - BioPharma-Reporter.com

'It's going to happen again,' says former New Zealand PM Clark tasked with WHO COVID-19 review

New Zealand’s former prime minister Helen Clark warned if the world remained “flat-footed” in its response to pandemics it faces future economic, social and political crisis, after she was appointed by the World Health Organization (WHO) to lead a review of the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. WHO announced late on Thursday that Clark and Liberia’s former president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will lead a panel scrutinising the global response. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called both women “strong-minded, independent leaders”, aiming to underscore their freedom in assessing his agency’s and governments’ COVID-19 responses.
9th Jul 2020 - Reuters

Scientists hail 'stunning' results that show areas of New York may have reached 68 percent immunity

Areas of New York have recorded a nearly 70 per cent rate of immunity to Covid-19, in what scientists have described as “stunning” findings that suggest they could be protected from any second wave. Some 68 per cent of people who took antibody tests at a clinic in the Corona neighbourhood of Queens received positive results, while at another clinic in Jackson Heights, 56 per cent tested positive. The results, shared by healthcare company CityMD with the New York Times, appear to show a higher antibody rate than anywhere in the world, based on publicly released data. The next closest is the Italian province of Bergamo, which recorded 57 per cent, followed by Alpine ski resort Ischgl, the site of Austria's biggest coronavirus outbreak, which reported 47 per cent....
9th Jul 2020 - The Telegraph

In race to bring vaccine to market, big pharma struggles to protect its intellectual property rights

The pharmaceutical industry is being careful to not set any dangerous precedent that may weaken their future intellectual property rights, Milena Izmirlieva from IHS Markit said. The World Health Organization said 21 candidate vaccines are in clinical trials at the moment, meaning they are being tested on human volunteers. Three of them are said to be in the third phase of those trials, according to the WHO.
9th Jul 2020 - CNBC

COVID-19 trial progresses, as 'cautious optimism' grows for RNA vaccine | Imperial News

More than 300 participants have been screened for Imperial's COVID-19 vaccine trial as its lead speaks of "cautious optimism". Professor Robin Shattock and his team, including chief investigator Dr Katrina Pollock and senior clinician Dr David Owen, have successfully administered first doses to 15 trial volunteers. The group's self-amplifying RNA vaccine technology is cheap, highly scalable and has the potential to deliver many effective doses next year, should the trials succeed. Imperial is continuing to recruit participants for the trial, which will deliver two doses to 300 people in the current phase, with plans for a further efficacy trial involving 6,000 people to start in October. Imperial and Professor Robin Shattock have partnered with Morningside Ventures to launch a social enterprise, VacEquity Global Health, to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine as cheaply and as widely as possible.
9th Jul 2020 - Imperial College London

Coronavirus Vaccine Race: Moderna or Vaxart?

Let's talk about two companies developing COVID-19 vaccines that are much different from the ones we're generally used to. These two aren't going the traditional route of injecting a weakened version of the pathogen into the body. They have new ways of addressing the problem. You've probably heard of Moderna by now. Moderna has taken center stage over the past few months as it became the first company to bring a COVID-19 vaccine into human trials. The biotech company is developing a vaccine that harnesses the power of messenger RNA to instruct the body to make proteins to defend itself.
9th Jul 2020 - Motley Fool


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 9th Jul 2020

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Sinovac COVID-19 Vaccine Collaboration with Butantan Receives Approval from Brazilian Regulator for Phase III Trial | Vaccines | News Channels

Sinovac Biotech Ltd, a leading provider of biopharmaceutical products in China, today announced an update to its previously announced partnership with Butantan, a leading Brazilian producer of immunobiologic products and vaccines.
8th Jul 2020 - PipelineReview.com

Warning of serious brain disorders in people with mild coronavirus symptoms

Scientists at University College London are warning of the risk of brain damage from coronavirus. UCL researchers studied 43 patients who suffered either temporary brain dysfunction, stroke, nerve damage or other serious effects on their brain, and say the disease can lead to severe neurological complications including psychosis and delirium. The study found nine of the patients were diagnosed with a rare condition called acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM), which is usually seen in children and can be triggered by viral infections. The team said they would only usually see about one adult patient with ADEM a month, but it had risen to a "concerning" one a week while they were conducting the study. "Given the disease has only been around for a matter of months, we might not yet know what long-term damage COVID-19 can cause," said Ross Paterson, who co-led the study. "Doctors need to be aware of possible neurological effects, as early diagnosis can improve patient outcomes."
8th Jul 2020 - The Guardian

FDA Authorizes Becton, Dickinson Portable 15-Minute Coronavirus Test

A new test for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and the COVID-19 disease that results from it is now available on the market. Healthcare technology specialist Becton, Dickinson (NYSE:BDX) announced Monday that it has been granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for an antigen test that can effectively detect the presence of the coronavirus. The test is used in combination with the company's BD Veritor Plus System, a handheld electronic diagnostic machine. The small profile of this device makes it very portable, and thus ideal for situations where testing must occur at the many point-of-care locations now scattered throughout the country. According to Becton, Dickinson, it is also very fast; the company says it can produce results in 15 minutes.
8th Jul 2020 - The Motley Fool

Novavax, maker of Covid-19 vaccine, is backed by Operation Warp Speed

Novavax has joined the ranks of Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers being supported by the U.S. government’s Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration announced Tuesday. The Gaithersburg, Md.-based biotech has been awarded $1.6 billion to support late-stage clinical trials and expansion of its manufacturing capacity. In return, Novavax will supply the U.S. government with 100 million doses — likely enough product to vaccinate 50 million people, assuming the product is safe and effective — starting in late 2020. The full amount is expected to be made available by February, Stanley Erck, the company’s president and CEO, told STAT.
7th Jul 2020 - STAT

Risk of airborne coronavirus spread being underplayed, say researchers

Over 200 scientists have called for the world to take more precautions against the airborne transmission of the coronavirus. While the virus is known to spread through the air via large droplets produced when people cough or sneeze, they say it can also be spread by smaller droplets known as aerosols that can linger in the air. Preventing this means ventilating buildings and avoiding overcrowding. “Hand-washing and social distancing are appropriate, but, in our view, insufficient to provide protection from virus-carrying respiratory microdroplets released into the air by infected people,” states a letter written by Lidia Morawska at Queensland University of Technology in Australia. It has been signed by 239 researchers. The letter also calls for international bodies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) to acknowledge the possibility of this type of airborne spread and suggests precautions against it.
7th Jul 2020 - New Scientist News


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 8th Jul 2020

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Warning of serious brain disorders in people with mild Covid symptoms

Doctors may be missing signs of serious and potentially fatal brain disorders triggered by coronavirus, as they emerge in mildly affected or recovering patients, scientists have warned. Neurologists are on Wednesday publishing details of more than 40 UK Covid-19 patients whose complications ranged from brain inflammation and delirium to nerve damage and stroke. In some cases, the neurological problem was the patient’s first and main symptom. The cases, published in the journal Brain, revealed a rise in a life-threatening condition called acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (Adem), as the first wave of infections swept through Britain. At UCL’s Institute of Neurology, Adem cases rose from one a month before the pandemic to two or three per week in April and May. One woman, who was 59, died of the complication.
8th Jul 2020 - The Guardian

WHO acknowledges 'emerging evidence' of airborne spread of COVID-19

The World Health Organization on Tuesday acknowledged “evidence emerging” of the airborne spread of the novel coronavirus, after a group of scientists urged the global body to update its guidance on how the respiratory disease passes between people. “We have been talking about the possibility of airborne transmission and aerosol transmission as one of the modes of transmission of COVID-19,” Maria Van Kerkhove, technical lead on the COVID-19 pandemic at the WHO, told a news briefing. The WHO has previously said the virus that causes the COVID-19 respiratory disease spreads primarily through small droplets expelled from the nose and mouth of an infected person that quickly sink to the ground.
8th Jul 2020 - Reuters

Coronavirus: Majority testing positive have no symptoms

Only 22% of people testing positive for coronavirus reported having symptoms on the day of their test, according to the Office for National Statistics. This hammers home the role of people who aren't aware they're carrying the virus in spreading it onwards. Health and social care staff appeared to be more likely to test positive. This comes as deaths from all causes in the UK fell to below the average for the second week in a row.
7th Jul 2020 - BBC News

Research shows isolation of asymptomatic cases key to reduce COVID-19

A new modeling analysis of COVID-19 transmission data attributed to “silent” infections has suggests that even isolation of all symptomatic individuals may be insufficient to suppress outbreaks. According to the study, published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday, at least one-third of asymptomatic cases would need to be detected and isolated in order to reduce the attack rate below one percent. “Silent” infections refer to people who either are in the presymptomatic stage or have asymptomatic infections. In the absence of population-wide restrictions, isolation of infected individuals is key to curtailing transmission. However, the effectiveness of symptom-based isolation in preventing a resurgence depends on the extent of presymptomatic and asymptomatic transmission, said the study.
7th Jul 2020 - Macau Business

Lack of COVID-19 Lockdown Increased Deaths in Sweden, Analysis Concludes

Sweden’s controversial decision not to lock down during COVID-19 produced more deaths and greater health care demand than seen in countries with earlier, more stringent interventions, a new analysis finds. But Sweden fared better than would be expected from its public health mandates alone, roughly similar to France, Italy and Spain – countries that imposed more stringent measures, but adopted them after the pandemic took hold there. Sweden’s unusual approach also saw fewer patients admitted to intensive-care units than expected. But the country has seen a higher percentage of deaths in older patients outside ICUs than other countries when ICU beds were not limited. That suggests Swedish health authorities have considered patients’ chances of recovery in deciding who receives access to intensive care, the researchers say.
7th Jul 2020 - University of Virginia

Coronavirus: Spanish study casts doubt on herd immunity feasibility

A Spanish study has cast doubt on the feasibility of herd immunity as a way of tackling the coronavirus pandemic. The study of more than 60,000 people estimates that around just 5% of the Spanish population has developed antibodies, the medical journal the Lancet reported. Herd immunity is achieved when enough people become immune to a virus to stop its spread. Around 70% to 90% of a population needs to be immune to protect the uninfected. The prevalence of Covid-19 antibodies was below 3% in coastal regions, but higher in areas of Spain with widespread outbreaks, the report said.
7th Jul 2020 - BBC News

Sub-saharan Africa 'just at the start' of its coronavirus outbreak, UK aid department warns

"We're expecting the rate of increase to keep going in the next few months and particularly as a lot of countries lift their lockdown measures because of the economic pressures and sustaining those." Dr Watts said estimated by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Imperial College London supported by the department estimated that Covid-19 infections would peak in the next two to three months in parts of Africa.
7th Jul 2020 - The Independent

Blood Test at COVID-19 Diagnosis Can Predict Disease Severity, Study Finds

Doctors can examine COVID-19 patients’ blood to identify those at greatest risk of severe illness and to pinpoint those most likely to need a ventilator, new research from the University of Virginia School of Medicine suggests. The discovery could lead to new treatments to prevent deadly “cytokine storms” seen in severe cases of COVID-19. It also may help explain why diabetes contributes to worse outcomes in patients with the coronavirus. The UVA scientists found that the levels of a particular cytokine in the blood upon diagnosis could be used to predict later outcomes. Cytokines – proteins produced by immune cells – are responsible for severe overreactions by the immune system, known as cytokine storms, associated with COVID-19 and other serious illnesses.
29th Jun 2020 - University of Virginia


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 7th Jul 2020

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Regeneron starts Phase 3 trial of Covid antibody drug that might treat and prevent infection, company says

An antibody cocktail is now beginning late-stage clinical trials to evaluate the drug's ability to prevent and treat coronavirus infection. The biotechnology company Regeneron announced the late-stage clinical trials of REGN-COV2, its investigational double antibody cocktail for the treatment and prevention of Covid-19, in a news release on Monday. Specifically the release noted that a Phase 3 trial of the drug will assess its ability to prevent coronavirus infection among uninfected people who have had close contact to an infected person, such as a patient's housemate. The Phase 3 prevention trial is happening at around 100 sites and expected to include 2,000 patients across the United States, according to Regeneron
6th Jul 2020 - CNN

COVID-19 imperils AIDS progress, UN warns

COVID-19 could cause an additional half a million AIDS deaths if treatment is disrupted long term, the United Nations said Monday in a warning that the pandemic was jeopardising years of progress against HIV. At the start of a week of virtual International AIDS Conferences, the UN said the world was already way off course in its plan to end the public health threat even before COVID-19. Although AIDS-related deaths have fallen by 60 percent since the peak of the HIV epidemic in 2004, in 2019 around 690,000 still died from the illness.
6th Jul 2020 - FRANCE 24

One in 20 people in Spain have had coronavirus, national survey finds

More than one in 20 people in Spain have had coronavirus, a national survey has found. The nationwide antibody study discovered that 5.2% of Spanish people have been exposed to COVID-19. The study has tested almost 70,000 people across Spain every month for the past three months, and the number of infected has held firm around the 5% mark since May. The figures are backed up by those from Johns Hopkins University, which reports more than 250,000 coronavirus cases out of a population of 47 million people. It says there have been more than 28,385 COVID-19 deaths in Spain, one of the worst-hit countries.
6th Jul 2020 - Yahoo News UK

Spain's coronavirus antibodies study adds evidence against herd immunity

Spain's large-scale study on the coronavirus indicates just 5% of its population has developed antibodies, strengthening evidence that a so-called herd immunity to Covid-19 is "unachievable," the medical journal the Lancet reported
6th Jul 2020 - CNN

Counting the Lives Saved by Lockdowns—and Lost to Slow Action

On May 20, disease modelers at Columbia University posted a preprint that concluded the US could have prevented 36,000 of the 65,300 deaths that the country had suffered as a result of COVID-19 by May 3 if states had instituted social distancing measures a week earlier. In early June, Imperial College London epidemiologist Neil Ferguson, one of the UK government’s key advisers in the early stages of the pandemic, came to a similar conclusion about the UK. In evidence he presented to a parliamentary committee inquiry, Ferguson said that if the country had introduced restrictions on movement and socializing a week sooner than it did, Britain’s official death toll of 40,000 could have been halved.
6th Jul 2020 - The Scientist

Brazil trials of potential Chinese COVID-19 vaccine to begin July 20

João Doria, governor of Brazil’s richest and most populous state São Paulo, said on Monday that trials of a new potential vaccine against COVID-19, developed by China’s SinoVac, will start on July 20. The trials, to be done in partnership with the Instituto Butantan, will involve 9,000 volunteers spread across 12 research centers located in Sao Paulo and four other states as well as the federal district Brasília.
6th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

UK launches study of Covid-19's long-term health effects

The Department of Health today announced an £8.4million study will be carried out on people who were hospitalised with coronavirus in the UK and it will begin at the end of this month.
5th Jul 2020 - Daily Mail

CDC study reinforces COVID-19 cautions with pregnancy

As more young people test positive for COVID-19, doctors are reiterating the importance of social distancing for a subset of younger Minnesotans — expectant mothers. Federal health officials last month cited new study results when adding pregnancy to their list of conditions that might put people at greater risk of serious illness from the pandemic virus. Last week, the Minnesota Department of Health similarly updated online information for pregnant women while adding prevention tips. Pregnant women shouldn’t be alarmed, doctors say, but the study underscores the wisdom of following guidance on avoiding the coronavirus.
5th Jul 2020 - StarTribune

Study confirms new version of coronavirus spreads faster, but doesn't make people sicker

A global study has found strong evidence that a new form of the coronavirus has spread from Europe to the US. The new mutation makes the virus more likely to infect people but does not seem to make them any sicker than earlier variations of the virus, an international team of researchers reported Thursday. "It is now the dominant form infecting people," Erica Ollmann Saphire of the La Jolla Institute for Immunology and the Coronavirus Immunotherapy Consortium, who worked on the study, told CNN. "This is now the virus."
3rd Jul 2020 - CNN

How China's CanSino Biologics jumped to the front of the coronavirus vaccine race

In May, CanSino became the first globally to publish a full scientific study on its early human trials, an important step because it allows researchers worldwide to assess a vaccine’s potential. The company — which is yet to generate revenue and logged a $22 million loss last year — has so far kept up with, and occasionally even outpaced, Western pharmaceutical giants with the speed of its initial coronavirus vaccine trials. The research is still too nascent to know if the shot from CanSino, or indeed any company, will provide the magic bullet countries are seeking to open up while the pandemic rages. But CanSino’s inroads show China’s young biotechnology industry is becoming a global contender, and a powerful tool for President Xi Jinping.
2nd Jul 2020 - The Japan Times


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 6th Jul 2020

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The Fullest Look Yet at the Racial Inequity of Coronavirus

New federal data provides the most comprehensive view to date of how Black and Latino people have been likelier than their white peers to contract the virus and die from it.
5th Jul 2020 - New York Times

Coronavirus mortality in Italy is highest among poor, study shows

Poor Italians are significantly more likely to die of the coronavirus than higher-income groups, the country’s first significant study into the disease’s disproportionate social impact showed on Friday. Italy is one of the world’s worst-hit countries with almost 35,000 COVID-19 deaths since its outbreak emerged on Feb. 21 and it was the first European nation to report large-scale infections. In its annual report, national statistics bureau ISTAT studied mortality rates for each month from January 2019 to March 2020, when the outbreak took off, focusing on the education levels of those who died. On average, Italians who leave school early with few qualifications have lower life-expectancy than those who study for longer, ISTAT said, and this “excess mortality” remained roughly constant through February this year.
3rd Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Hundreds of scientists say coronavirus is airborne, ask WHO to revise recommendations: NYT

Hundreds of scientists say there is evidence that novel coronavirus in smaller particles in the air can infect people and are calling for the World Health Organization to revise recommendations, the New York Times reported on Saturday. The WHO has said the coronavirus disease spreads primarily from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, which are expelled when a person with COVID-19 coughs, sneezes or speaks. In an open letter to the agency, which the researchers plan to publish in a scientific journal next week, 239 scientists in 32 countries outlined the evidence showing smaller particles can infect people, the NYT said
5th Jul 2020 - Reuters

WHO expects to see first results from coronavirus drug trials within two weeks

The director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO) says it should soon get results from the clinical trials of drugs that might be effective in treating COVID-19 patients. The Solidarity Trial started in five parts looking at possible treatment approaches to COVID-19: standard care; remdesivir; the anti-malaria drug touted by US President Donald Trump, hydroxychloroquine; the HIV drugs lopinavir/ritonavir; and lopinavir/ritonavir combined with interferon.
4th Jul 2020 - ABC News

Asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection in Belgian long-term care facilities

Belgium was the worst-hit country per capita in Europe. They did systematic testing for #SARSCoV2 in long-term care facilities, just reported @TheLancetInfDis No symptoms were reported in 6,244 *(74.8%)* of 8,343 people who tested positive
3rd Jul 2020 - The Lancet

Stroke More Likely in COVID-19 Than Flu Patients

Ischemic stroke rate appears more than seven times higher with coronavirus
2nd Jul 2020 - MedPage Today


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 3rd Jul 2020

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Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine shows positive results

An experimental COVID-19 vaccine being created by America’s pharmaceutical giant, Pfizer, and the German firm, BioNTech, activated immune responses in receivers more than individuals naturally recovering from an infection, according to a small journal published online yesterday. However, the research work has not yet been certified by other medical experts and it is still unknown what degree of immune response will protect an individual from falling sick. Still, medical experts praised Pfizer for publishing the data on 45 people and said the results encouraged moving to a larger clinical trial to test if the COVID-19 vaccine is actually safe and effective for humans. “It’s the first positive data I’ve seen coming out of Operation Warp Speed,” Peter Jay Hotez, dean for the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine said to Washington Post, referring to the U.S. government effort to speed up the development, testing, and production of multiple coronavirus vaccines. “I’m really happy Pfizer took the initiative to publish it, whereas the others haven’t. I think we need to see more of this.”
2nd Jul 2020 - Nairametrics

Covaxin: COVID-19 vaccine candidate cleared for human trials |

In a record feat, India’s Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine (Covaxin) has been approved for human trials, making it India’s first domestic candidate to get the green light from the government’s drug regulator as reported by Aljazeera. However, no vaccine has yet been approved for commercial use against the COVID-19 virus, as some COVID-19 vaccines from more than 100 different candidates worldwide are being tested on humans. The Drug Controller-General of India has approved the Bharat Biotech’s application to conduct a Phase I and II clinical trial of Covaxin, which was developed along with the Indian Council of Medical Research’s National Institute of Virology, the company said in a statement yesterday. Human clinical trials are scheduled to begin in India next month for the vaccine, which was developed and manufactured in Bharat Biotech’s facility at Genome Valley in Hyderabad, India.
2nd Jul 2020 - Nairametrics

How lockdown stopped the virus in Italy

Previous studies have shown that many severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) cases were tied to asymptomatic carriers or those who do not manifest symptoms of the viral infection. Now, a new study reveals that in the first Italian town hit by the virus, as much as 40 percent of the population had no symptoms of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The researchers at the University of Padua and Imperial College London revealed that many people in the town of Vo, northern Italy, and the first one to be locked down in Europe due to the coronavirus outbreak, had been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, but did not display any symptoms. The results add to previous data that the number of those who had contracted the virus may be higher than what the official tally shows.
2nd Jul 2020 - News-Medical.Net

Russian fund steps up production of anti-viral drug approved by Moscow for COVID-19

Russia’s sovereign wealth fund said on Thursday it will step up the production of the anti-viral drug Avifavir, an anti-influenza medicine which the Russian government has granted preliminary approval for treatment of COVID-19 patients. The Russian health ministry gave its approval for the drug’s use under a special accelerated process in May. Its Russian backers say it has shown a benefit in COVID-19 patients in early research. The first 100,000 treatment courses were delivered last month to 35 Russian regions, as well as to neighbouring Belarus, said the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) which has promoted the drug. RDIF said it was now set to produce more than 100,000 courses in July and that a joint venture with pharmaceutical firm ChemRar Group would allow it to increase production threefold to meet growing demand both domestically and internationally
2nd Jul 2020 - Reuters

Oxford COVID-19 vaccine safe for people with weak immunity says Oxford Professor Sarah Gilbert

Volunteers have begun participating in Brazil's first clinical trial of Oxford COVID-19 vaccine. The ChAdOx1 vaccine technology is based on an adenovirus and it is considered very safe, even in people with a weak immune system. "We have removed some of the adenovirus genes, so that when we use it as a vaccine, the adenovirus cannot spread through the body. That makes it very safe, even in people with a weak immune system. But because it is a live virus, it is good at inducing a strong immune response after vaccination," said Professor Sarah Gilbert, Nuffield Department of Medicine, Oxford University. Gilbert gave a short talk while participating in an informal discussion with ambassadors of the UN member states.
1st Jul 2020 - Business Insider India


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 2nd Jul 2020

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British scientists start a study of wastewater to see if Covid-19 can be spread by sewage and help warn of future outbreaks

£1million grant will help create a standardised process to study wastewater. Scientists hope it will allow consistent data on coronavirus in sewage. Will help shed light on if coronavirus in wastewater is infectious and poses a transmission risk for humans and animals
2nd Jul 2020 - Daily Mail

Almost a third of people may have developed coronavirus immunity, Swedish study claims

Public immunity to Covid-19 could be as high as 30 per cent, a new study from Sweden has claimed. T cells, a type of white blood cell, could be a source of immunity for twice as many people as Covid-19 antibodies. The findings have been published by the Karolinka Institutet, in a paper that has yet to be peer reviewed and that only had a test sample of 200 people in Karolinska University Hospital in Sweden. Sweden sparked controversy by being the only European country, other than Belarus, to refuse to impose a lockdown.
2nd Jul 2020 - Evening Standard

Fauci: US ‘Unlikely’ To Reach Herd Immunity Even With Coronavirus Vaccine

Scientists have been moving closer to developing an effective vaccine for COVID-19. But even if it becomes available, the U.S. is "unlikely" to achieve herd immunity if the country fails to do one thing, according to the White House’s top infectious disease expert. That important step is to encourage the majority of citizens to get vaccinated. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said just a portion of the population that refuses it could jeopardize the country’s efforts to fight COVID-19. "That's one of the reasons why we have to make sure we engage the community as we're doing now, to get community people to help us, for people to understand that we are doing everything we can to show that it's safe and that it's effective and that it's for the good of them as individuals and in society to take the vaccine," he said during the Aspen Ideas Festival.
1st Jul 2020 - Medical Daily

Poor oral hygiene in COVID-19 patients can increase ..r risk of lung infections and pneumonia, says UK study

Certain enzymes change the mucosa of the mouth in such a way that it allows the lung-infection causing bacteria to stick and grow on the mucosa.
1st Jul 2020 - FirstPost

WHO warns some countries may have to reinstate lockdowns as coronavirus pandemic accelerates

Some countries might have to reimplement severe restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus such as “lockdowns,” a top World Health Organization official said Wednesday. The outbreak in some countries might seem “overwhelming,” Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove said, urging national leaders to “break down” the problem. Some countries may have not fully committed to their initial coronavirus response, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
1st Jul 2020 - CNBC

BioNTech, Pfizer report progress in coronavirus vaccine trial

BioNTech of Germany and the US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer reported positive preliminary results on Wednesday from a joint project to develop a coronavirus vaccine. Known as BNT162b1, it produces antibody responses at or above the levels seen in any convalescent serum -- blood from people who have recovered -- at relatively low doses, according to BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin. The preliminary data come from a so-called phase 1/2 trial that aimed to show the vaccine is not toxic and triggers an immune system response to prepare the body to fight off the virus. Of 45 people aged 18 to 55 who took part in the trial, most received two doses, 21 days apart, of the vaccine or a placebo.
1st Jul 2020 - Yahoo! News

Covid-19: Evidence of effects on 'many organ systems', long-term damage

Scientists are only starting to grasp the vast array of health problems caused by the Covid-19 virus, some of which may have lingering effects on patients and health systems for years to come, according to doctors and infectious disease experts. Besides the respiratory issues that leave patients gasping for breath, the coronavirus attacks many organ systems, in some cases causing catastrophic damage. "We thought this was only a respiratory virus. Turns out, it goes after the pancreas. It goes after the heart. It goes after the liver, the brain, the kidney and other organs," said Dr Eric Topol, a cardiologist and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in La Jolla, California. "We didn't appreciate that in the beginning."
1st Jul 2020 - RNZ

Tracking COVID-19’s spread through an Italian town

Italy was one of the countries hit earliest as the COVID-19 pandemic spread beyond its origin in China, and the country struggled with a sudden surge in cases that threatened to overwhelm its health services. But Italy turned into a success story, as an aggressive lockdown reversed its curve, causing new daily cases to drop from a peak of over 6,000 down to a steady flow of about 300. Compared to a number of other industrialized democracies, this was a major success. Now, a team of researchers largely based in Italy is looking more carefully at the pandemic's spread there as well as the impact of control measures. The researchers have gotten most of the population of a small town to agree to testing before and after Italy's lockdown, providing a window into the behavior of the virus and how things changed during the lockdown.
1st Jul 2020 - Ars Technica


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 1st Jul 2020

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40% of virus carriers in Italian town show no symptoms: study

More than 40 percent of people diagnosed with COVID-19 in one Italian town showed no signs of being ill, according to research published Tuesday indicating that asymptomatic carriers may be significant spreaders of the virus. The authors said their research showed how important mass testing and isolating carriers was in containing clusters of the virus. The town of Vo, population 3,200, registered Italy's first death from the disease in late February. It was immediately placed in a two-week lockdown, during which researchers were able to test more than 85 percent of the population for COVID-19. They found that 2.3 percent of Vo was infected at the beginning of quarantine, compared with 1.2 percent at the end of lockdown, and that more than 40 percent of those who tested positive showed no symptoms. The authors of the research, published in the journal Nature, said their findings showed how rapid case isolation and mass testing was able to effectively eliminate the virus from Vo.
30th Jun 2020 - Medical Xpress

Researchers search for SARS-CoV-2 fomites on an operational Italian bus

All surface and air samples proved negative for viral genes. If this is true, this means that the current cleaning and sanitization requirements – alcohol-based sanitizer use at the door of entrance, and wearing gloves - are adequate to keep the surfaces and air inside the bus virus-free. Meanwhile, the use of a facial mask and keeping the windows open during the ride allows free ventilation and prevents the virus from spreading to other passengers through the air. This finding also agrees with earlier studies that show facial masks prevent viral spread by aerosols and droplets emitted by asymptomatic people, as does free ventilation of confined spaces such as within a city bus. The end of a lockdown imposed to combat a viral pandemic is always a tension-fraught period, as growing numbers of individuals re-enter the travel mainstream, among other activities. The current study shows that public buses can be safely used to convey passengers even in the presence of about 30% asymptomatic but infected individuals if safety requirements are observed.
30th Jun 2020 - News-Medical.Net

US buys up world stock of key Covid-19 drug remdesivir

No other country will be able to buy remdesivir, which can help recovery from Covid-19, for next three months at least
30th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

China imposes lockdowns as new coronavirus cases surge

China proposes the use of six traditional medicines as treatments for COVID-19. The country reports that 91.6 percent of patients in Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak in China, and 92.4 percent across the country have been treated with TCM. The country’s COVID-19 TCM used include three formulas and three medicines, which were claimed to be effective in treating infection. These include the Jinhua Qinggan granule, which was developed during the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, the Lianhua Qingwen capsule, a common treatment for flu and colds, the Xuebijing injection, which was developed during the SARS epidemic, the Lung cleansing and detoxifying decoction, which has 21 herbal components to improve fever, cough, and fatigue, the Huashi Baidu formula, a core recipe developed by Chinese herbal experts, and the Xuanfei Baidu granule, which contains 13 potent herbal components.
30th Jun 2020 - News-Medical.Net

Dr. Anthony Fauci says new virus in China has traits of 2009 swine flu and 1918 pandemic flu

White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said U.S. health officials are keeping an eye on a new strain of flu carried by pigs in China that has characteristics of the 2009 H1N1 virus and 1918 pandemic flu. The virus, which scientists are calling “G4 EA H1N1,” has not yet been shown to infect humans but it is exhibiting “reassortment capabilities,” Fauci told the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee during a hearing Tuesday. The H1N1 swine flu emerged in Mexico in April 2009, infecting 60.8 million people in the U.S. and at least 700 million worldwide. An estimated 151,700 to 575,400 people died from the virus across the globe, according to the CDC.
30th Jun 2020 - CNBC


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WHO director: Pandemic 'speeding up' | TheHill

More than 10 million people across the globe have tested positive for the coronavirus, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Monday, nearly 180,000 of whom tested positive in the last 24 hours. Almost half a million people have died worldwide. "The reality is this is not close to being over," Tedros told reporters. "Globally, the pandemic is actually speeding up." About half the cases, and nearly half the deaths across the globe, have come in the Americas. The United States, which accounts for about 4 percent of the global population, has nearly a quarter of the total confirmed cases, 2.4 million.
29th Jun 2020 - The Hill

Temasek-led investor group in $250 million vaccine bet on BioNTech

Singapore's state investor Temasek and other investors are injecting $250 million into German biotech company BioNTech , which is developing an experimental vaccine against the coronavirus with pharmaceutical giant Pfizer. The investment, which BioNTech said was via a private placement, reflects heightened investor interest in the race to develop an agent that will stop the pandemic and sent shares in biotech firms such as Moderna and Novavax soaring this year. U.S.-listed shares in the German company jumped almost 15% to their highest since March 19 on the news. They have surged more than 80% so far this year against the Nasdaq biotech index's gain of 12%.
29th Jun 2020 - WSAU News

Gilead's coronavirus treatment remdesivir to cost $3,120 per U.S. patient with private insurance

Gilead Sciences announced its pricing plans in preparation for it to begin charging for the drug in July. The company has been donating doses to the U.S. government for distribution since it received emergency use authorization in May. The drugmaker said it will sell remdesivir for $390 per vial to governments “of developed countries” around the world, and the price for U.S. private insurance companies will stand at $520 per vial.
29th Jun 2020 - CNBC

Mexico consulting with China, Oxford and AstraZeneca on coronavirus vaccine trials

Mexico is in talks with the Chinese government and private Chinese laboratories, as well as the University of Oxford and company AstraZeneca about running trials for experimental COVID-19 vaccines, a senior Mexican official said on Monday. More than 100 vaccines against the novel coronavirus, which has killed hundreds of thousands of people and ravaged the global economy, are now being developed and tested by various teams around the world. Martha Delgado, a Mexican deputy foreign minister, told Reuters the government was seeking to collaborate with different countries and laboratories that are working on experimental vaccines.
29th Jun 2020 - Reuters

India's first COVID-19 vaccine candidate approved for human trials

Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for human trials, making it India’s first domestic candidate to get the green light from the government’s drug regulator as cases surge in a country with more than 1.3 billion people. The Drug Controller General of India has approved the company’s application to conduct a Phase I and II clinical trial of Covaxin, which was developed along with the Indian Council of Medical Research’s National Institute of Virology, the company said in a statement on Monday. Human clinical trials are scheduled to start across the country in July for the vaccine, which was developed and manufactured in Bharat Biotech’s facility at Genome Valley in Hyderabad, India. India, which lags only the United States, Brazil and Russia in total cases, reported close to 20,000 new infections on Monday, according to data from the country’s federal Health Ministry.
29th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

CanSino's COVID-19 vaccine candidate approved for military use in China

China’s military has received the greenlight to use a COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed by its research unit and CanSino Biologics (6185.HK) after clinical trials proved it was safe and showed some efficacy, the company said on Monday. The Ad5-nCoV is one of China’s eight vaccine candidates approved for human trials at home and abroad for the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus. The shot also won approval for human testing in Canada. China’s Central Military Commission approved the use of the vaccine by the military on June 25 for a period of one year, CanSino said in a filing. The vaccine candidate was developed jointly by CanSino and a research institute at the Academy of Military Science (AMS).
29th Jun 2020 - Reuters


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Some COVID-19 patients aren't getting better. Major medical centers are trying to figure out how to help.

She was diagnosed with COVID-19 in April, about a month after her symptoms — cough, congestion and extreme fatigue — began. Now, those symptoms have evolved into weeks of low-grade fever and a burning sensation under her skin. Watson's illness was never severe enough to warrant hospitalization. Instead, her symptoms have lurked in the background, never fully resolving. Doctors have had few answers for her.
28th Jun 2020 - NBC News

Coronavirus Or Flu? Scientists Are Developing A Sensor Which Tests For Both Simultaneously

In anticipation of these upcoming challenges, researchers from the University of Texas at Austin are developing a sensor which can differentiate between Covid-19 and the flu by testing a person for both simultaneously. The research is being funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation as a means to urgently roll out the project to benefit public health by the time flu season hits. The sensor, made of graphene, is tiny, about the dimensions of a micro-SD card. The researchers developed the sensor at this size so the results could be read out via laptop or cellphone.
28th Jun 2020 - Forbes

Asymptomatic COVID-19 findings dim hopes for 'herd immunity' and 'immunity passports'

A closer look at people who tested positive for COVID-19 but never developed symptoms has found that such asymptomatic carriers have few to no detectable antibodies just weeks after infection, suggesting they may not develop lasting immunity. There's growing evidence that a significant proportion of people who test positive for COVID-19 never show symptoms, although it's not clear what percentage of people that is and what role they play in spreading the disease. A Chinese study published this week in Nature followed 37 people in Wanzhou District in China who did not show any outward signs of the disease, despite testing positive when their respiratory tracts were swabbed and being kept in hospital for observation.
28th Jun 2020 - CBC.ca

INTERVIEW: What to know about COVID-19 strains in Nigeria - Molecular Biologist

In this interview with Chiamaka Okafor, Mr Happi, a molecular biologist and Director of the World Bank-funded African Center of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID) at the Redeemer’s University, Ede, in Nigeria’s Osun State, discusses the findings of a recent study from an advanced sequencing of the SARS-COV2 which shows that there are 3 lineages or strains of COVID-19 existing in Nigeria. This interview also explored the implications of these findings in containing the virus, as well as other speculations around the mutation of the virus.
27th Jun 2020 - Premium Times

Brazil signs deal to produce experimental virus vaccine

The Brazilian government announced on Saturday an agreement with Oxford University and pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca to produce a promising coronavirus vaccine that is undergoing tests. Brazilian Health Ministry authorities said at a news conference that the country will pay $127 million and receive material to produce 30.4 million doses in two batches in December and January, which would allow it to quickly start inoculation efforts if the vaccine is certified to be safe and effective. They said the total deal is for 100 million vaccines for a country of about 210 million residents. It will be produced by local vaccine maker Fiocruz.
27th Jun 2020 - This is Money

Brazil university in talks to test Italian coronavirus vaccine

“We are already in advanced discussions with Italy’s Lazzaro Spallanzani National Institute,” Unifesp President Soraya Smaili said in an interview on Wednesday. “We expect to bring it here, the accord is already moving forward and we’ll be able to do a lot of studies with this vaccine.” The Italian researchers want to conduct midstage trials and final Phase III studies involving thousands of subjects in Brazil, Smaili said. Francesco Vaia, the chief medical officer at Lazzaro Spallanzani, said the institute had agreed to do Phase II and III trials in Sao Paulo, once it completes the first phase which is expected to start in Italy in the first half of July. The candidate vaccine is produced by Italy’s ReiThera, he said. Over the weekend, Unifesp began clinical trials of a vaccine developed by Oxford University with support from AstraZeneca Plc. Brazil’s government is nearing an agreement to eventually produce that vaccine.
26th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Key U.S. Medical Group Adds Steroids to COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines

The group now suggests dexamethasone, or an equivalent steroid such as methylprednisolone or prednisone, for hospitalized COVID-19 patients who require supplemental oxygen, mechanical ventilation or extracorporeal mechanical oxygenation (ECMO). The IDSA does not recommend steroids for COVID-19 patients who do not require supplemental oxygen. In patients with severe COVID-19, the immune system can overreact, triggering a potentially harmful cascade. Steroids are an older class of drugs used to suppress that inflammatory response, but they can also make it easier for other infections to take hold - and doctors are leery of their use in a hospital setting, or in patients in earlier stages of the illness when they body's immune response needs to be on high alert.
26th Jun 2020 - The New York Times

South Korea Backs Remdesivir for COVID-19, Urges Caution With Dexamethasone

South Korea has added Gilead's anti-viral drug remdesivir to its coronavirus treatment guidelines in its first revision of recommendations since the outbreak began and urged caution in the use of the steroid therapy dexamethasone. South Korea, widely praised around the world for its handling of the pandemic without a full lockdown, has reported 12,602 coronavirus cases as of Thursday midnight, with 282 deaths. Remdesivir is designed to hinder certain viruses, including the new coronavirus, from making copies of themselves and potentially overwhelming the body's immune system. The drug previously failed trials as an Ebola treatment. South Korea's updated guidelines come after a study showed that the cheap and widely used dexamethasone reduced deaths in very sick COVID-19 patients. They advised doctors to take caution until a full study is published.
26th Jun 2020 - The New York Times

Coronavirus traces found in March 2019 sewage sample, Spanish study shows

Spanish virologists have found traces of the novel coronavirus in a sample of Barcelona waste water collected in March 2019, nine months before the COVID-19 disease was identified in China, the University of Barcelona said on Friday. The discovery of virus genome presence so early in Spain, if confirmed, would imply the disease may have appeared much earlier than the scientific community thought. The University of Barcelona team, who had been testing waste water since mid-April this year to identify potential new outbreaks, decided to also run tests on older samples. They first found the virus was present in Barcelona on Jan. 15, 2020, 41 days before the first case was officially reported there. Then they ran tests on samples taken between January 2018 and December 2019 and found the presence of the virus genome in one of them, collected on March 12, 2019.
26th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Gilead's remdesivir endorsed as first COVID-19 treatment in Europe

Doctors in Europe will soon be able to treat COVID-19 patients with Gilead’s antiviral drug, remdesivir, after the healthcare regulator’s endorsement put it on track to become the first therapy for the disease on the continent
26th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Astrazeneca, Moderna most advanced in COVID-19 vaccine race ...

Astrazeneca's COVID-19 vaccine candidate is probably the world's leading candidate and most advanced in terms of development, the World Health Organization's chief scientist said on Friday. Soumya Swaminathan said that Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine candidate was also "not far behind" Astrazeneca's, among more than 200 candidates, 15 of which have entered clinical trials. The WHO is in talks with multiple Chinese manufacturers, including Sinovac, on potential vaccines, she said. Swaminathan, speaking to a news briefing, called for considering collaborating on COVID-19 vaccine trials, similar to the WHO's ongoing Solidarity trial for drugs.
26th Jun 2020 - Thomson Reuters Foundation

Scientists just beginning to understand the many health problems caused by COVID-19

Scientists are only starting to grasp the vast array of health problems caused by the novel coronavirus, some of which may have lingering effects on patients and health systems for years to come, according to doctors and infectious disease experts. Besides the respiratory issues that leave patients gasping for breath, the virus that causes COVID-19 attacks many organ systems, in some cases causing catastrophic damage. “We thought this was only a respiratory virus. Turns out, it goes after the pancreas. It goes after the heart. It goes after the liver, the brain, the kidney and other organs. We didn’t appreciate that in the beginning,” said Dr. Eric Topol, a cardiologist and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in La Jolla, California. In addition to respiratory distress, patients with COVID-19 can experience blood clotting disorders that can lead to strokes, and extreme inflammation that attacks multiple organ systems. The virus can also cause neurological complications that range from headache, dizziness and loss of taste or smell to seizures and confusion.
25th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Coronarvirus testing bot probes nose with incredibly long stick

A robot could replace healthcare workers administrating coronavirus tests. The system is operated using a joystick, allowing staff to direct the machine. A long swab is attached to the end that is insert through the nose to the throat. A healthcare worker watches the procedure on a monitor in another room.
25th Jun 2020 - Daily Mail

Severe COVID-19 can damage the brain, preliminary study ...

A preliminary study of patients hospitalised with COVID-19 has found the disease can damage the brain, causing complications such as stroke, inflammation, psychosis and dementia-like symptoms in some severe cases. The findings are the first detailed look at a range of neurological complications of COVID-19, the researchers said, and underline a need for larger studies to find the mechanisms behind them and assist the search for treatments. "This (is) an important snapshot of the brain-related complications of COVID-19 in hospitalised patients. It is critically important that we continue to collect this information to really understand this virus fully," said Sarah Pett, a University College London professor who co-led the work. The study, published in the Lancet Psychiatry journal on Thursday, looked in detail at 125 cases from across the UK. Co-lead researcher Benedict Michael, from Liverpool University, said it was important to note that it focused on severe cases.
25th Jun 2020 - Thomson Reuters Foundation

Why strange and debilitating coronavirus symptoms can last for months

From extreme fatigue to weight loss, numbness, breathing difficulties and chest pain, some people’s covid-19 symptoms are proving very hard to shake
24th Jun 2020 - New Scientist


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 26th Jun 2020

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French consortium wins further approval for saliva-based coronavirus test

French technology company Vogo said a saliva-based product it was developing with partners to test for the coronavirus had won ‘CE marking approval’, denoting it meets required health standards set out by regulators. Vogo and its partners SKILLCELL and the CNRS SYS2DIAG laboratory aim to place their ‘EasyCov’ saliva-based coronavirus testing product on the market.
26th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Coronavirus infection may make pregnant women more severely ill, CDC says

Pregnant women may be at an increased risk for severe illness from Covid-19 compared with women who are not expecting, according to a new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Pregnant women who get infected are more likely to be hospitalized, admitted to an intensive care unit and put on a ventilator, the CDC said in its weekly report on Thursday. The CDC previously has said on its website: "Although there are currently no data showing that COVID-19 affects pregnant people differently than others, we do know that pregnant people are at greater risk of getting sick from other respiratory viruses than people who are not pregnant." Now the new MMWR report has provided data; but there are some important limitations.
25th Jun 2020 - CNN

CDC head warns pregnant women with COVID-19 face greater risks

Pregnant women have increased risk of severe COVID-19 compared to women who are not pregnant, the head of the US Centers for Disease Prevention Robert Redfield told reporters on Thursday, warning that states with rising coronavirus cases need to take action. The CDC has found that pregnant women are more likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit and to be put on mechanical ventilators than non-pregnant women, he said. The agency said that pregnant women did not have a higher risk of death. The added it does not have data yet on how COVID-19 affects the outcomes of those pregnancies.
25th Jun 2020 - The Jakarta Post

Europe-wide study shows child Covid-19 deaths 'extremely rare'

Fewer than one in a hundred children who test positive for Covid-19 end up dying - although a small but significant percentage develop severe illness, a new Europe-wide study showed on Friday. A team of researchers led by experts in Britain, Austria and Spain looked at the outcomes of nearly 600 children under 18 infected with the novel coronavirus and found that only a quarter had pre-existing medical conditions. This is in sharp contrast to adults, among whom the vast majority of patients have underlying health problems. The team found that more than 60 per cent of Covid-19 positive children required hospital treatment, and that 8 per cent needed intensive care. Of the 582 children studied, just four died. On the other hand, more than 90 children, or 16 per cent, showed no symptoms at all.
25th Jun 2020 - New Straits Times

Brazil university in talks to test Italian coronavirus vaccine

The Federal University of Sao Paulo (Unifesp) is in talks to test a potential coronavirus vaccine developed by Italian researchers, the dean of the Brazilian university told Reuters. With the world's worst outbreak outside the United States, Brazil has become a key front in the global race for a vaccine, as vaccine clinical trials are likely to yield results faster in places where the virus is widespread. "We are already in advanced discussions with Italy's Lazzaro Spallanzani National Institute," Unifesp President Soraya Smaili said in an interview on Wednesday. "We expect to bring it here, the accord is already moving forward and we'll be able to do a lot of studies with this vaccine."
25th Jun 2020 - msn.com


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 25th Jun 2020

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Scientists want UK city to lift lockdown completely to see what happens

Scientists have proposed lifting lockdown completely in a UK city about the size of Southampton to see if coronavirus can be controlled through the weekly testing of residents. A demonstration study is needed on a “medium-sized city” of around 250,000 people to see if regular testing and local quarantines could tackle Covid-19 outbreaks, according to a paper published in the Royal Society Open Science journal. “It is a deep mystery to me why this idea has not gained traction,” said Julian Peto, professor of epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who co-authored the paper with 10 other experts.
24th Jun 2020 - The Independent

Chinese Covid-19 Vaccines Cleared for Final Testing in U.A.E.

Beijing-based China National Biotec Group Co. was awarded approval on Tuesday to conduct Phase III trials for its Covid-19 vaccines in the Middle Eastern country, the company said in a statement posted on its official WeChat account.
24th Jun 2020 - Bloomberg

First Vaccinations Begin in Africa for Covid-19 Trial

Africa’s first participation in a COVID-19 vaccine trial started Wednesday as nervous volunteers received injections, while officials said the continent of 1.3 billion people cannot be left behind. The large-scale trial of the vaccine developed at the University of Oxford in Britain is being conducted in South Africa, Britain and Brazil. South Africa has nearly one-third of Africa’s confirmed cases with more than 106,000, including more than 2,100 deaths. The country late Tuesday reported its biggest one-day death toll of 111. “I feel a little bit scared but I want to know what is going on with this vaccine so that I can tell my friends and others what is going on with the study,” one of the vaccine trial volunteers, Junior Mhlongo, said in Johannesburg.
24th Jun 2020 - Courthouse News Service

Coronavirus: Human trial of new vaccine begins in UK

About 300 people will have the vaccine over the coming weeks, as part of a trial led by Prof Robin Shattock and his colleagues, at Imperial College London. Tests in animals suggest the vaccine is safe and triggers an effective immune response. Experts at Oxford University have already started human trials. The trials are among many across the world - there are around 120 vaccine programmes under way.
24th Jun 2020 - BBC News

Testing ALL of Britain for coronavirus every week 'could prevent second lockdown'

Testing everyone for coronavirus every week could drive out the coronavirus without a second wave or another lockdown, according to scientists. Researchers led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine said routine testing, contact tracing and household isolation could stop Covid-19 'quite quickly'. They said Britain should do a single-city trial of the system to see whether it could bring down new infections and deaths faster than the current situation.
24th Jun 2020 - Daily Mail


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 24th Jun 2020

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Coronavirus tracker: Sanofi corners vaccine tech new and old; Merck series tackles cancer during COVID-19

Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson doesn't share the "need for speed" driving so many other big pharmas in the COVID-19 vaccine race; instead, his company will focus on older, proven tech to bring a shot to market sometime next summer. Still, Sanofi doubled down on a 2018 pact with Translate Bio, currently at work on an mRNA vaccine candidate. A private equity firm nabbed a former Bristol Myers Squibb plant where it hopes to entice drugmakers to ramp up production on U.S. shores. Plus, Indian CDMO Piramal Pharma Solutions continued its U.S. expansion when it snared a former G&W Laboratories site on Monday. Plus, Merck & Co. is expanding its partnership with Katie Couric in a new web series tackling the hurdles cancer patients face during the COVID-19 pandemic
24th Jun 2020 - FiercePharma

Covid-19 vaccine may work better as a nasal spray instead of an injection, top scientists claim

A coronavirus vaccine may be more effective as a nasal spray or inhaler, researchers behind Britain's most promising Covid-19 jabs claimed today. Oxford University and Imperial College London scientists believe getting the vaccine directly into the lungs may be the best way to protect people against the respiratory infection. Both universities are currently testing their Covid-19 jabs — administered by injection into the muscle — on thousands of humans in clinical trials, in the global race to find a way to end the pandemic. The Oxford vaccine, leading the global race for a Covid cure, is currently being trialled on more than 10,000 people in Britain, Brazil and South Africa after moving in phase III trials.
23rd Jun 2020 - Daily Mail

The long term predictions from Imperial College CovidSim Report 9

We present calculations using the CovidSim code which implements the Imperial College individual-based model of the COVID epidemic. Using the parameterization assumed in March 2020, we reproduce the predictions presented to inform UK government policy in March 2020. We find that CovidSim would have given a good forecast of the subsequent data if a higher initial value of R0 had been assumed. We then investigate further the whole trajectory of the epidemic, presenting results not previously published. We find that while prompt interventions are highly effective at reducing peak ICU demand, none of the pro- posed mitigation strategies reduces the predicted total number of deaths below 200,000. Surprisingly, some interventions such as school closures were predicted to increase the projected total number of deaths.
23rd Jun 2020 - Medrixv.org

S. Africa to start Africa's first coronavirus vaccine pilot

South Africa will roll out the continent’s first coronavirus vaccine trial this week, the university leading the pilot said Tuesday, as the country grapples with the highest number of cases in Africa. The vaccine, developed by the Oxford Jenner Institute, is already being evaluated in Britain, where 4,000 participants have signed up for the trial. South Africa has set out to vaccinate 2,000 people with the vaccine known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. Fifty of the candidates have HIV. “We began screening participants for the South African Oxford 1 Covid-19 vaccine trial last week, and the first participants will be vaccinated this week,” University of Witwatersrand (Wits) vaccinology professor Shabir Madhi told a virtual press conference.
23rd Jun 2020 - Manila Bulletin

Economic and social consequences of human mobility restrictions under COVID-19

The lockdown measures introduced in Italy to deal with COVID-19 have produced a mobility contraction which is not homogeneously distributed across Italian municipalities and regions. An examination of the steep fall on the Italian mobility network during the pandemic reveals some counterintuitive results, calling for further analysis.
23rd Jun 2020 - Medical Xpress

Coronavirus: Scotland achieves New Zealand-style testing benchmark as only one Covid case detected for every 200 tests

The ratio of positive to negative test results indicates that Scotland “is on the safe side” in terms of controlling the pandemic, according to a scientific briefing paper that draws comparisons with the performance in New Zealand and South Korea. It has also plunged since April, when more than one in five tests were coming back positive. It came as Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that no deaths from Covid had been reported in Scotland for a second day in a row, with just 15 confirmed or suspected Covid patients in intensive care.
23rd Jun 2020 - HeraldScotland

Inovio gets $71 million from U.S. defense department for COVID-19 vaccine device

U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to scale up production of the company’s devices that are used to administer its experimental COVID-19 vaccine into the skin. The drug developer’s shares rose nearly 13% to $17.27 before the opening bell. The funding from the DoD will be used to expand the manufacturing of a next-generation version of the company’s Cellectra devices. The company began developing the devices in 2019 and has already begun initial production. Cellectra is a small, hand-held device that can be stockpiled in large quantities without maintenance. Inovio said a previous version of the device has been used in clinical trials to safely dose more than 2,000 patients
23rd Jun 2020 - Reuters

Blood Type May Play a Role in Covid-19 Severity

A very early study of patients with Covid-19 in Wuhan and Shenzhen, China was among the first to suggest an association between blood type and SARS-CoV-2 susceptibility and disease severity. In that study, published ahead of peer review, the type A blood group appeared to be associated with a greater risk for acquiring Covid-19 and the type O blood group was linked to lower risk. Another early study involving cases in New York City, also published ahead of peer review, found a higher prevalence of group A blood type in patients who were SARS-CoV-2 positive and a lower prevalence of infection with group O blood type. And, preliminary data recently reported by the commercial genetic testing site 23andMe also suggested a protective role for type O blood type against the novel coronavirus when compared to other blood types. Blood specialist Parameswaran Hari, MD, of the Medical College of Wisconsin, said while the research suggesting a role for blood type in Covid-19 remains preliminary, the findings appear to be consistent. Hari was not involved with the newly published study, but he talked to BreakingMED about the findings. “The studies are all pointing in the same direction, and that is really intriguing,” he said.
23rd Jun 2020 - Physician's Weekly


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Telehealth in lockdown meant 7 million fewer chances to transmit the coronavirus

The expansion of telehealth services was a deliberate strategy to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission between practitioners and patients, so is it working? According to our analysis, the answer is that telehealth is indeed reducing the risk. Since March 2020, more than 7 million MBS-funded telehealth consultations have been reported, with the vast majority (91%) being done by telephone
22nd Jun 2020 - The Conversation AU

Gilead Sciences to start clinical trials of inhaled remdesivir for COVID-19

Gilead Sciences plans to start clinical trials for an inhaled version of the antiviral remdesivir for the treatment of COVID-19, company officials said Monday. The inhaled form is delivered using a nebulizer -- similar to many asthma drugs -- making it easier to administer outside of a hospital at earlier stages of infection, they said.
22nd Jun 2020 - UPI News

What countries did right and wrong in responding to the pandemic

COVID-19 numbers with how strict their containment policies were, as measured by the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker, which rates countries on a host of factors such as workplace closures, travel controls, restrictions on gatherings, and testing regimens. With the help of experts, CBC News found that successful countries were not only swift to respond, but also applied the three Ts of disease control: testing, tracing and trust.
22nd Jun 2020 - CBC.ca

EU to spend billions of euros to secure coronavirus vaccine

The EU plans to pump billions of euros into advance purchase deals with pharmaceutical companies for potential coronavirus vaccines, in a sign of intensifying rich country efforts to secure supplies of any future treatment. The bloc’s health ministers on Friday gave political backing to a European Commission plan to use a “large majority” of a €2.7bn emergency fund for the effort and to ensure fair access to any remedy worldwide. The move highlights the urgency of European efforts to escape a pandemic that has hit the populations and economies of many of its countries hard. It may also stoke fears that poorer countries will be squeezed out of vaccine purchases by the financial muscle of the world’s biggest economies.
15th Jun 2020 - Financial Times


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 22nd Jun 2020

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Glaxosmithkline's coronavirus vaccine starts human trials | Business

A coronavirus vaccine being developed in partnership with Glaxosmithkline has begun human clinical trials. The FTSE 100 drugs company is providing its adjuvant technology as part of a collaboration with Clover Biopharmaceuticals, of China. After promising pre-clinical results in animals, the vaccine has begun a phase one study in Perth, Australia. Glaxo and Clover are planning a more in-depth phase two trial, which it is hoped will start later in the year. The partnership with Clover is one of several Covid-19 vaccine projects involving Glaxo, which also include a venture with Sanofi, of France. Glaxo, based in west London, is a leading player in the global vaccines market, along with Sanofi and the American companies Merck and Pfizer.
20th Jun 2020 - The Times

NHS Pathways coronavirus triage

This is a summary of the assessments completed using NHS Pathways in support of NHS 111 and 999 telephone services, and NHS 111 online, where potential coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms were reported.
22nd Jun 2020 - NHS Digital

Longitudinal Surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 RNA Among Asymptomatic Staff in Five Colorado Skilled Nursing Facilities: Epidemiologic, Virologic and Sequence Analysis

SARS-CoV-2 emerged in 2019 and has become a major global pathogen in an astonishingly short period of time. The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 also has been notable due to its impacts on individuals residing within skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) such as rehabilitation centers and nursing homes. SNF residents tend to possess several risk factors for the most severe outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 infection, including advanced age and the presence of multiple comorbidities....
22nd Jun 2020 - Medrxiv.org

Genomewide Association Study of Severe Covid-19 with Respiratory Failure

We identified a 3p21.31 gene cluster as a genetic susceptibility locus in patients with Covid-19 with respiratory failure and confirmed a potential involvement of the ABO blood-group system.
17th Jun 2020 - Nejm.org

From Oxford to an Italian lab, one race for coronavirus vaccine is gaining backers

Oxford manufactured its own vaccine for use in the earliest small trial known as Phase 1. But for the far larger ongoing trials — involving tens of thousands of people — it turned to Advent, a division of a larger group known as IRBM, which for a decade has focused on making one particular type of experimental vaccines, using adenoviruses. The notion of having a vaccine so quickly — when the process of experimentation and approval normally takes a decade — might have seemed fanciful at the beginning of the outbreak. But given the scale of the pandemic and the speed at which scientists are racing ahead, European countries are lining up behind the Oxford University project, saying the early signals give grounds for optimism.
20th Jun 2020 - Washington Post

Nigerian researchers announce COVID-19 vaccine

"The vaccine is real. We have validated it several times. It is targeted at Africans, but will also work for other races. It will work. It cannot be faked. This is a result of the determination. It took a lot of scientific efforts," Kolawole told reporters at Adeleke University in Nigeria's Eda state Friday. "The population of those that need vaccines is more than those that need drugs. That is why the research focused on a vaccine," he noted. The study that the vaccine was based on was initially funded by the Trinity Immunodeficient Laboratory and Helix Biogen Consult, Ogbomosho, with roughly 7.8 million Nigerian nairas ($20,000), according to the report. Kolawole went on to say that his team had worked extensively on the virus's genome from samples across Africa to select the best potential vaccine candidates. The researchers of the team had made the possible latent vaccine constructs, Kolawole revealed, without naming the vaccine. He added that it would take a minimum of 18 months to release the vaccine for widespread use, due to a large amount of research, analysis and approvals required by medical authorities.
20th Jun 2020 - Anadolu Agency

New Study Casts More Doubt on Swedish Coronavirus Immunity Hopes

Sweden's hopes of getting help from herd immunity in combating the coronavirus received a fresh blow on Thursday, when a new study showed fewer than anticipated had developed antibodies. Sweden's has opted for a more liberal strategy during the pandemic, keeping most schools, restaurants, bars and businesses open as much of Europe hunkered down behind closed doors. While Health Agency officials have stressed so-called herd immunity is not a goal in itself, it has also said the strategy is only to slow the virus enough for health services to cope, not suppress it altogether. However, the study, the most comprehensive in Sweden yet, showed only around 6.1% of Swedes had developed antibodies, well below levels deemed enough to achieve even partial herd immunity.
19th Jun 2020 - New York Times

Fergus Walsh: At last some good news about coronavirus

The study that dexamethasone is part of is called Recovery - Randomised Evaluation of Covid-19 Therapy. Clinical trials usually take months, even years to get under way and involve a few hundred patients. The Recovery trial was set up in nine days, and has recruited 11,500 Covid patients in 175 hospitals across the UK. Speed was vital in order to catch the rising wave of hospital admissions here and to do so before doctors were overwhelmed. The UK has had Europe's worst coronavirus outbreak with a terrible death toll. But that has also meant there were sufficient patient numbers here to create what is the world's biggest trial of Covid-19 treatments. The trial is led by Prof Peter Horby, who had spent recent years looking at how best to prepare for and respond to disease X, an unknown pathogen that could cause a pandemic.
19th Jun 2020 - BBC News

China Publishes Coronavirus Genome Data After Latest Beijing Outbreak

Details published on China's National Microbiology Data Center website revealed the genome data was based on three samples - two human and one environmental - collected on June 11. That was the same day Beijing reported its first new local COVID-19 infection in months. In the eight days since, the city has reported a total of 183 cases, linked to the sprawling wholesale food centre of Xinfadi in the city's southwest. "According to preliminary genomic and epidemiological study results, the virus is from Europe, but it is different from the virus currently spreading in Europe," Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) official Zhang Yong said in an article published on Friday. "It's older than the virus currently spreading in Europe."
19th Jun 2020 - NDTV

CureVac Begins Human Trials of Optimized mRNA COVID-19 Vaccine

CureVac AG (Tübingen, Germany) has received regulatory approval from the German and Belgian authorities to initiate Phase 1 clinical trial of its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate. CureVac, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing a new class of transformative medicines based on optimized mRNA, has received approval from the German Health Authority Paul-Ehrlich-Institute (PEI) and the Belgian Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products (FAMHP) to begin the Phase 1 clinical trial for its vaccine program to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection. The trial will be conducted in Germany and Belgium.
19th Jun 2020 - HospiMedica

Rules for Clinical Trials in a Pandemic

A new study finds that adding a simple steroid to the treatment of severe Covid-19 cases can significantly reduce deaths. That’s another milestone in the battle against the virus. It shows a path for reducing Covid deaths faster through medical innovation and for keeping the health-care system from being overwhelmed as the epidemic spreads.The U.S., unlike Europe and Asia, seems to have decided not to crush the virus but try to reduce its spread to a controllable level.
19th Jun 2020 - The Wall Street Journal

You May Have Antibodies After Coronavirus Infection. But Not for Long.

It’s a question that has haunted scientists since the pandemic began: Does everyone infected with the virus produce antibodies — and if so, how long do they last? Not very long, suggests a new study published Thursday in Nature Medicine. Antibodies — protective proteins made in response to an infection — may last only two to three months, especially in people who never showed symptoms while they were infected. The conclusion does not necessarily mean that these people can be infected a second time, several experts cautioned. Even low levels of powerful neutralizing antibodies may still be protective, as are the immune system’s T cells and B cells.
18th Jun 2020 - The New York Times


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Priority vaccination queue headed by frontline workers and over-50s

Mr Hancock said: “As soon as [a vaccine] comes available, just as we did for testing will be guided by the clinical science prioritising those in most need.” He said advice published yesterday by the joint committee on vaccination and immunisation recommended priority vaccination for two groups: frontline health and social care workers, and those at increased risk of serious disease and death from coronavirus, including adults over the age of 50 and those with heart and kidney disease. Mr Hancock went on: “As we learn more about the virus we will continue to take into account which groups may be particularly vulnerable, including for example those from ethnic minority backgrounds so we can protect the most at risk first should a vaccine become available and get this country back on our feet as soon as we possibly can.” He said the Government’s approach to vaccines “is to throw everything at it as fast as we can and rigorously to test and make sure that they're safe before deployment”.
18th Jun 2020 - Telegraph.co.uk

COVID-19 patients without disease symptoms may have weaker immune response: Study

The research, published in the journal Nature Medicine, presents an analysis of the clinical and immunological manifestations of 37 asymptomatic patients infected with the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2.
18th Jun 2020 - The Indian Express

Explained: How rapid antigen test detects Covid-19, where it will be used

PCR, the rapid antigen detection test too seeks to detect the virus rather than the antibodies produced by the body. On Monday, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) approved one more kind of test for diagnosis of Covid-19. The rapid antigen detection test is to be used in specified settings, and kits from only one manufacturer have got approval.
18th Jun 2020 - The Indian Express

Lockdowns in Europe saved millions of lives, say researchers | News

A research team at Imperial College London estimates that COVID-19 measures averted over 3 million deaths in 11 European countries from March to May. Published in the journal ‘Nature’, the study assessed the impact of restrictions in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The team used data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) on the recorded deaths in the 11 countries. By early May, about 130 000 people had died from coronavirus.
17th Jun 2020 - Cordis News


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Covid-19 immunity may last just six months, study finds

Researchers from the University of Amsterdam found people who had been infected with seasonal coronaviruses enjoyed 'an alarmingly short duration of protective immunity'.
17th Jun 2020 - Daily Mail

Coronavirus: 45% of asymptomatic patients may have lung damage

Researchers looked at studies from 16 different groups including prison inmates, cruise ship passengers and nursing home residents. About 45% of people infected with COVID-19 may never have traditional signs such as coughing, fever or shortness of breath. Among the cruise ship passengers, 54% of the 76 those who were asymptomatic had lung damage indicated on CT scans. Specifically that lad hazy, white clouds in their lungs, meaning the organs were full of fluid, bacteria or immune system cells
17th Jun 2020 - Daily Mail

Mass testing is the safest way to reopen the economy and society and will cost much less than a hard lockdown, research reveals

Implementing a mass testing policy is the safest way to reopen the economy and society and has much less of a damaging impact on the economy than a hard lockdown, reveals new research from Durham University Business School. Billions of people globally have been called to stay at home. This has reduced the transmission of Covid-19 and saved lives, but brought economies to a standstill. Now countries must provide an exit roadmap that balances reopening the economy and controlling infection.
17th Jun 2020 - India Education Diary


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In the future, your phone could test you for coronavirus – here's how

It may seem far-fetched, but it’s possible to use your smartphone to detect diseases. Mobile devices can be turned into tools to rapidly identify a variety of disease-causing agents, including bacteria, toxins and viruses. Smartphone-based tests have been developed for detecting HIV, malaria, TB and various food contaminants. Work is now also underway to use smartphones to detect COVID-19 – though there are various questions about the practicality and usefulness of using technology in this manner. We’ve been involved in developing ways of using smartphones to monitor food contamination as part of the EU project FoodSmartphone. Here, we weigh up the potential of using this exciting technology to fight the virus.
16th Jun 2020 - The Conversation UK

Coronavirus Vaccine Makers Are Hunting for Vital Equipment: Glass Vials

Frantic efforts to develop coronavirus vaccines are facing a maddening bottleneck: a shortage of the small glass vials that hold the shots.
17th Jun 2020 - Wall Street Journal

MIT’s new way to remotely monitor vital signs over time could help with early COVID-19 detection in care homes

The new tech, which is called “RF-ReID” is useful because it could allow for monitoring individuals cohabiting in a group over time, like seniors in a retirement or long-term care facility, for instance. This development is particularly important because the ability to monitor an individual over time is crucial for actually being able to observe and detect any deviation from a healthy baseline.
16th Jun 2020 - TechCrunch

Commonly used steroid reduces risk of death in sickest coronavirus patients, preliminary study results suggest

The widely available steroid drug dexamethasone may be key in helping to treat the sickest Covid-19 patients who require ventilation or oxygen, according to researchers in the United Kingdom. Their findings are preliminary, still being compiled and have not been published in a peer-reviewed journal -- but some not involved with the study called the results a breakthrough. The two lead investigators of the Recovery Trial, a large UK-based trial investigating potential Covid-19 treatments, announced to reporters in a virtual press conference on Tuesday that a low-dose regimen of dexamethasone for 10 days was found to reduce the risk of death by a third among hospitalized patients requiring ventilation in the trial. "That's a highly statistically significant result," Martin Landray, deputy chief investigator of the trial and a professor at the University of Oxford, said on Tuesday.
16th Jun 2020 - CNN

Patients with underlying conditions were 12 times as likely to die of covid-19 as otherwise healthy people, CDC finds

People with underlying medical conditions such as heart disease and diabetes were hospitalized six times as often as otherwise healthy individuals infected with the novel coronavirus during the first four months of the pandemic, and they died 12 times as often, according to a federal health report Monday.
16th Jun 2020 - The Washington Post

Covid-19 news: Dexamethasone drug saves lives of coronavirus patients

In the trial, 2104 covid-19 patients were randomly selected to receive dexamethasone and 4321 received standard care. The preliminary results suggest that treatment with dexamethasone could save one life for every eight patients receiving ventilation, and one for every 25 requiring oxygen. Researchers suggest the drug could have saved up to 5000 lives in the UK if it had been used to treat patients from the start of the pandemic, the BBC reports. Dexamethasone should only be taken if prescribed by a doctor.
16th Jun 2020 - New Scientist

In South Africa, COVID-19 Breath Test Trial Set for June

In Hillbrow, a suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa, researchers are gearing up to start a trial to assess a rapid breath test for COVID-19 to deliver results on-site in less than five minutes. If successful, the test would offer the advantages of being non-invasive, easy to use, and appropriate in settings other than hospitals. “We believe that breath is potentially a powerful medium in detecting certain diseases early,” says Mohammed Majam, the head of medical technologies at Ezintsha, an academic policy and research unit of the health sciences faculty at University of the Witwatersrand (Wits). “We are evaluating if this is the same for a virus like COVID. Our body responds immediately to the virus metabolically, and in the process, unique gases are produced. These gases are a signature of the virus and a breath test would be able to capture that,” Majam, who previously worked on the evaluation of HIV self-tests for the World Health Organization in South Africa, tells The Scientist.
16th Jun 2020 - The Scientist

Super-potent human antibodies protect against COVID-19 in animal tests: Scientists isolate powerful coronavirus-neutralizing antibodies from COVID-19 patients and successfully test in animals

esearchers have discovered antibodies in the blood of recovered COVID-19 patients that provide powerful protection against SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes the disease, when tested in animals and human cell cultures.
15th Jun 2020 - Science Daily

Effectiveness of isolation, testing, contact tracing, and physical distancing on reducing transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in different settings: a mathematical modelling study

Consistent with previous modelling studies and country-specific COVID-19 responses to date, our analysis estimated that a high proportion of cases would need to self-isolate and a high proportion of their contacts to be successfully traced to ensure an effective reproduction number lower than 1 in the absence of other measures. If combined with moderate physical distancing measures, self-isolation and contact tracing would be more likely to achieve control of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 transmission.
15th Jun 2020 - The Lancet

UK modelling study finds case isolation and contact tracing vital to COVID-19 epidemic control

In the absence of a vaccine or highly effective treatments for COVID-19, combining isolation and intensive contact tracing with physical distancing measures—such as limits on daily social or workplace contacts—might be the most effective and efficient way to achieve and maintain epidemic control, according to new modelling research published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal.
15th Jun 2020 - University of Cambridge


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Coronavirus vaccine: Chinese biotech says jab produced antibodies in more than 90 per cent of people

Some 743 healthy adults were recruited to two randomised control trials – 600 took part in phase II and 143 in phase I. The larger trial showed that the vaccine induced neutralising antibodies in more than 90 per cent of volunteers, who were tested 14 days after receiving two injections, two weeks apart. There were no adverse events reported in the trials. Weidong Yin, chief executive of Sinovac, said: “Our phase I/II study shows CoronaVac is safe and can induce immune response. Concluding our phase I/II clinical studies with these encouraging results is another significant milestone we have achieved in the fight against Covid-19.” He added that the company, which has developed similar inactivated virus vaccines against hepatitis A and B as well as seasonal and pandemic influenza, has already begun to invest in manufacturing facilities.
15th Jun 2020 - Telegraph.co.uk

Coronavirus vaccine hope as potentially 'game-changing' government-backed candidate enters human trials

Ministers have also pledged millions of pounds to a separate candidate being developed by Oxford University, with Mr Sharma claiming in May that around half of the UK population could have access to that vaccine by September if trials are successful. The Imperial vaccine will be trialled in 300 healthy volunteers aged between 18 to 70, the Department for Business said, with “rigorous pre-clinical safety tests” showing “encouraging signs of an effective immune response in animal studies”.
15th Jun 2020 - PoliticsHome.com

Sinovac claims progress with early coronavirus vaccine study

Sinovac, a Beijing-based drugmaker, said on Saturday a vaccine it's developing for the new coronavirus spurred immune responses in healthy adults given the shot in an early-stage study, a hint that the experimental candidate could be working as intended. The company offered little supporting data for its claim, indicating only that neutralizing antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 were found in more than 90% of study participants tested two weeks after inoculation. Importantly, no serious side effects occurred among the more than 700 volunteers enrolled in the trial, according to Sinovac. Results from the Phase 1/2 study, which Sinovac conducted in the Jiangsu province of China, will be published in a medical journal, the company said. So far, only one company — China's CanSino Biologics — has detailed coronavirus vaccine study data in an academic publication
15th Jun 2020 - BioPharma Dive

US revokes emergency use of drugs touted by Trump vs. virus

The Food and Drug Administration said the drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are unlikely to be effective in treating the coronavirus. Citing reports of heart complications, the FDA said the drugs’ unproven benefits “do not outweigh the known and potential risks.” In a separate announcement, the FDA also warned doctors against prescribing the drugs in combination with remdesivir, the lone drug currently shown to help patients with COVID-19. The FDA said the anti-malaria drugs can reduce the effectiveness of remdesivir, which FDA cleared for emergency use in May.
15th Jun 2020 - The Associated Press

AstraZeneca to supply Europe with up to 400 million doses of Oxford University's vaccine at no profit

AstraZeneca has reached an agreement with Europe’s Inclusive Vaccines Alliance (IVA), spearheaded by Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands, to supply up to 400 million doses of the University of Oxford’s COVID-19 vaccine, with deliveries starting by the end of 2020. AstraZeneca continues to build a number of supply chains in parallel across the world, including for Europe. The Company is seeking to expand manufacturing capacity further and is open to collaborating with other companies in order to meet its commitment to support access to the vaccine at no profit during the pandemic. Pascal Soriot, Chief Executive Officer, said: “This agreement will ensure that hundreds of millions of Europeans have access to Oxford University’s vaccine following approval. With our European supply chain due to begin production soon, we hope to make the vaccine available widely and rapidly. I would like to thank the governments of Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands for their commitment and swift response.”
15th Jun 2020 - Pharmaceutical Business Review

Coronavirus: Imperial College to begin human trials for COVID-19 vaccine

A total of 300 healthy people will be given two doses of the vaccine, which has been found during animal testing to cause higher levels of antibodies to COVID-19 than normally produced in those who have the illness. If it appears to be safe in humans, the trial could be widened to 6,000 people later in the year. The trial, backed by £41 million of government funding and £5 million in philanthropic donations, is the second British vaccine candidate to reach human trials after Oxford University. Rather than using the virus itself, Imperial's vaccine injects synthetic strands of genetic material into muscle, which prompts the body to create copies of a coronavirus protein that triggers immune system protection
15th Jun 2020 - LBC

Covid-19 can damage lungs of victims beyond recognition, expert says

In findings that he said showed the potential for “real problems” after survival, he told the Lords science and technology committee that he had studied the autopsies of patients who died in Italy after 30 to 40 days in intensive care and discovered large amounts of the virus persisting in lungs as well as highly unusual fused cells. “What you find in the lungs of people who have stayed with the disease for more than a month before dying is something completely different from normal pneumonia, influenza or the Sars virus,” he said. “You see massive thrombosis. There is a complete disruption of the lung architecture – in some lights you can’t even distinguish that it used to be a lung.
15th Jun 2020 - The Guardian


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Agenda: We should follow Estonia's lead in the digital revolution

BEFORE Covid-19, the Scottish Government was active in fostering existing and new relationships with our Nordic and Baltic neighbours. Now that the world has been turned upside down by the horror of this pandemic, connections with these smaller northern nations seem all the more important in terms of what we can learn from their individual responses to the crisis. Estonia is a case in point, a small nation state with a population of 1.3million, with one of the fastest-growing economies in the EU and one of the highest standards of living in the world. This success is in no small part due to its digitisation and e-governance revolution since becoming independent in the 1990s, adding leading digital nation status to its many accolades.
13th Jun 2020 - HeraldScotland

Repurposing drugs for treatment of Covid-19, Singapore News & Top Stories

As scientists worldwide race to develop vaccines and drugs to prevent and treat Covid-19, some members of the public have resorted to remedies they see on social media which have no basis in science. Accidental injuries have been reported in some countries, where people consumed methanol or snorted disinfectants in the belief that this could prevent infection. There is an urgent need to develop effective and safe drugs against this virus which has wrought havoc around the world.
13th Jun 2020 - The Straits Times

Several Coronavirus Treatments Besides Remdesivir Show Promise : Shots

Right now, there is only one drug shown by rigorous scientific testing to be helpful for treating COVID-19. That drug is the antiviral medication called remdesivir, made by Gilead Sciences. But remdesivir's proven benefits are modest: reducing hospital stays from 15 to 11 days. So there's an urgent need for better therapies. The good news is that there are some on the horizon. Some are being tested now, some will be begin testing soon, and others are in the beginning of the pipeline.
11th Jun 2020 - NPR


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Searching for coronavirus clues in single cells

Why it matters: Pinpointing the cells in the body's immune response would help speed the development of treatments and vaccines. It also offers insights into inflammation, which underlies diseases ranging from cancer to arthritis to heart disease. How it works: Different molecules (cytokines and antibodies, for example) and cells (white blood cells, T cells, macrophages and others) in different pathways control the inflammation response that kicks in when the body is injured or infected. But inflammation can also persist due to disease and turn the body's immune system against itself, as in the case of autoimmune conditions like lupus and diabetes, causing damage. "Inflammation is a double-edged sword," says Yuan Tian, a computational immunologist at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
11th Jun 2020 - Axios

Moderna Set to Test COVID-19 Vaccine in 30000 People Starting in July

Moderna announced it had finalized the Phase III clinical trial structure for its COVID-19 vaccine, mRNA-1273. The company’s messenger RNA vaccine has been generally the furthest ahead in clinical development. It dosed the first patient in its Phase I trial with the National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases (NIAID) on March 16, with a second dose—the vaccine requires two doses—on April 23. mRNA-1273 is an mRNA vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 that encodes for a prefusion stabilized form of the Spike (S) protein. The mRNA vaccine is a new type of technology, where the vaccine contains a section of messenger RNA that codes for a protein associated with the virus. The vaccine is injected into a person and the mRNA moves into the test subject’s cells, where the cells then churn out the protein. The body’s immune system should then treat the protein like the virus and attack it, developing an immune response that it will then use if it comes into contact with the actual virus.
11th Jun 2020 - BioSpace

Moderna Plans To Start Phase 3 Testing of its COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate in July

On June 11, biotech company Moderna announced it had finalized plans for phase 3 testing of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate. The late-stage trial will include 30,000 participants and is expected to begin in July.
11th Jun 2020 - TIME

Regeneron to begin trials for COVID-19 antibody cocktail

Regeneron will conduct placebo-controlled trials of REGN-COV2 at multiple sites in four different populations: hospitalized COVID-19 patients, non-hospitalized patients with COVID-19 symptoms, uninfected people in high-risk groups such as healthcare workers, and uninfected people in close contact with infected patients. The first two trials will focus on virologic, safety, and clinical end points in hospitalized and non-hospitalized patients.
11th Jun 2020 - CIDRAP


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Human trials for a coronavirus vaccine are starting in late July

The pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson announced Wednesday that it is going to begin its human trial phase of developing a potential coronavirus vaccine in the second half of July, rather than September as originally planned. In a press release, Chief Scientific Officer Paul Stoffels explained that "based on the strength of the preclinical data we have seen so far and interactions with the regulatory authorities, we have been able to further accelerate the clinical development of our investigational SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, Ad26.COV2-S, recombinant."
11th Jun 2020 - Salon

Exclusive: Europe to accelerate trials of gene-engineered COVID-19 vaccines - sources

European officials aim to speed up trials for coronavirus vaccines containing genetically modified organisms, two EU sources told Reuters, in a move that could help shots developed by companies like AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.
10th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Potential COVID-19 vaccine from China shows promise in animal tests

A potential COVID-19 vaccine being developed by Chinese researchers showed promise in trials in monkeys, triggering antibodies and raising no safety issues, researchers said, and a human trial with more than 1,000 participants is under way. The vaccine candidate, called BBIBP-CorV, induced high-level neutralising antibodies that can block the virus from infecting cells in monkeys, rats, guinea pigs and rabbits, researchers said in a paper published in online by the medical journal Cell on Saturday. “These results support the further evaluation of BBIBP-CorV in a clinical trial,” researchers said in the paper. BBIBP-CorV, developed by Beijing Institute of Biological Products affiliated to state-owned China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm), is among five candidates China is testing in humans.
10th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Singapore to launch TraceTogether Token device for COVID-19 contact tracing

In March, MobiHealthNews reported that the Singapore government launched the mobile app TraceTogether to help support and supplement current contact tracing efforts in the nation-state in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19. TraceTogether works by exchanging short-distance Bluetooth signals between phones to detect other participating TraceTogether users in close proximity. Records of such encounters are stored locally on each user’s phone. According to a statement by the Smart Nation Office under the Prime Minister’s Office in Singapore, there are about 1.8 million people who have downloaded the TraceTogether app, but “it is not enough,” as the app does not currently cover the digitally excluded population including the elderly and young children who may not have smartphones.
10th Jun 2020 - MobiHealthNews

Explainer: Summer might slow coronavirus but is unlikely to stop it

Two other studies did find an effect, including a look at new infections in 47 countries that linked higher temperatures to slower transmission in places like the Philippines, Australia and Brazil. “The Northern hemisphere may see a decline in new COVID-19 cases during summer and a resurgence during winter,” concluded the authors of another study of 117 countries, which found that each 1-degree of latitude increase in distance from the Equator was associated with a 2.6% increase in cases. The head of the World Health Organization’s emergencies programme, Mike Ryan, cautioned: “We cannot rely on an expectation that the season or the temperature will be the answer to (the disease’s spread).”
10th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Impact of seasons on coronavirus unclear, WHO's Ryan says

It is unclear how the arrival of winter in the southern hemisphere will impact the novel coronavirus, the head of the World Health Organization’s emergencies programme Mike Ryan said on Wednesday. “We don’t know how the coronavirus is going to be,” Ryan said during a virtual press conference. “Right now, we have no data to suggest that the virus will behave more aggressively or transmit more efficiently or not,” Ryan said, adding that the impact of summer’s arrival in the northern hemisphere was also unclear. “We cannot rely on an expectation that the season or the temperature will be the answer to (the disease’s spread),” he said.
10th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Fujifilm plots $928M infusion at Danish biologics plant to double production capacity

Fujifilm's infusion into its Denmark site comes weeks after the Japanese drugmaker agreed to set aside manufacturing space at the site for the Bill Gates-funded COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator. In late April, Fujifilm agreed to dedicate room at the Hillerød, Denmark, facility and "work with a selected pharmaceutical partner in supporting the swift manufacture and dedicated supply for patients with COVID-19 in lower-income countries," the drugmaker said in a release. The deal set aside an unspecified production volume for 2021 with options for the following years.
10th Jun 2020 - FiercePharma

Polish scientists design remote-controlled ventilator to fight COVID-19

A team of Polish scientists has designed a remote-controlled ventilator they hope will allow doctors to help critically ill patients breathe, but from a distance, in a bid to make medical personnel safer during the coronavirus pandemic.
10th Jun 2020 - Reuters


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Insight on the Impact of COVID-19 on Medical Imaging

Now that the COVID-19 pandemic has peaked in most states, hospitals are starting to reopen general imaging services and have seen a surge in the number of patients needing scans. So, where does the industry currently stand on imaging procedures, as compared to 2019 figures for the same time period?
10th Jun 2020 - Imaging Technology News

Healthcare RPA could boom with COVID-19 'tailwinds'

The healthcare industry could see an RPA ‘takeover’ as organizations look to streamline operations and save costs. These tools are quick to integrate with existing tools and systems to help handle repetitive, admin-heavy tasks
9th Jun 2020 - TechHQ


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COVID-19: Google Maps rolls out new features to avoid crowds when using public transit

Google on Monday introduced new features to Google Maps that aim to inform users better about how their trip may be impacted due to the coronavirus. When a user will look up public transit directions for a trip that is likely to be affected by COVID-19 restrictions, Google Maps will show "relevant alerts" from local transit agencies. Transit alerts are rolling out in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, France, India, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, Thailand, United Kingdom and the US where the company has information from local transit agencies, with more coming soon.
8th Jun 2020 - Yahoo India News

Spain’s macro study shows just 5.2% of population has contracted the coronavirus

The results indicate no major resurgence of the virus in this period, and confirm geographical variations observed the first time around. They also underscore the role of asymptomatic spreaders and the greater presence of the coronavirus in large cities. The eight-week seroprevalence study is being conducted by the Carlos III Health Institute, a public research agency. It comprises three waves of testing on a random sampling of households across Spain, and is due to end in late June. Between May 18 and June 1, researchers tested 63,564 individuals, a large sample size compared with similar studies conducted worldwide.
8th Jun 2020 - EL PAÍS in English

Italian Researchers Identify Common Susceptibility Genes in COVID-19 Patients

Scientists based in Italy studying the exomes of patients with COVID-19 identified links between genetic and molecular markers and susceptibility to infection, as well as disease severity. Presenting at the European Society of Human Genetics on Saturday, June 6, the researchers with the GEN-COVID project identified a number of common susceptibility genes that were linked to a favorable or unfavorable course of disease. The GEN-COVID team based at the University Hospital of Siena, Italy performed whole exome sequencing (WES) on 130 patients with COVID-19 to try to find any genetic causes for differences in clinical outcomes. The group’s larger plan is to collect and analyze 2,000 patient samples.
8th Jun 2020 - Clinical OMICs News

Over half of people tested in Italy's Bergamo have COVID-19 antibodies

More than half the residents tested in Italy's northern province of Bergamo have COVID-19 antibodies, health authorities said on Monday, citing a sample survey. Of 9,965 residents who had blood tests between April 23 and June 3, 57% had antibodies indicating they had come into contact with the coronavirus, the survey showed. Health authorities in Bergamo said the results were based on a "random" sample which was "sufficiently broad" to be a reliable indicator of how many people had been infected in the province, which became the epicentre of Italy's outbreak.
8th Jun 2020 - Nasdaq

EU watchdog assessing Gilead application for COVID-19 treatment

The European health regulator said on Monday it had received an application from U.S. drugmaker Gilead Sciences Inc for approval of its antiviral drug, remdesivir, as a potential COVID-19 treatment in Europe. "The assessment of the benefits and risks of remdesivir is being performed under a reduced timeline and an opinion could be issued within weeks," the European Medicines Agency said in its statement.
8th Jun 2020 - Thomson Reuters Foundation


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China would make a coronavirus vaccine a 'global public good'

China is expending great efforts in the global scramble to develop a vaccine for the new coronaries epidemic that began in its central city of Wuhan, with Chinese researchers conducting five separate clinical trials on humans, or half of all such trials globally, according to the data compiled by the World Health Organization. President Xi Jinping vowed last month at the World Heath Assembly, the WHO’s governing body, that vaccines China’s develops will become a “global public good” once they are ready for use, and it will be China’s contribution to ensuring vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries. Developing “a vaccine is still the fundamental strategy in our effort to overcome the new coronavirus,” Science and Technology Minister Wang Zhigang told a news conference in Beijing.
7th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Scientists find link between COVID-19 severity and genetics

Patients with blood type A were linked to a 50% increase in the likelihood in needing to get oxygen or go on a ventilator. Genetic variations may be what causes different people to suffer from different symptoms of the coronavirus, according to a new study by European scientists, The New York Times reported. The study, which has not been peer-reviewed yet, is the first to find a strong statistical link between genetic variations and COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.
7th Jun 2020 - The Jerusalem Post

The danger of blaming Covid-19 deaths on our genes

The researchers noticed that dementia was an underlying condition among many patients who died from Covid-19 and decided to explore whether the same gene that made people predisposed to Alzheimer's disease might also be associated with severe Covid-19 outcomes. The theory is not a new one. A molecule that carries cholesterol called apolipoprotein E (APOE) has a variant, APOE4, that is seen in higher rates among Alzheimer's patients than other APOE variants. Interestingly, the same variant also has also been linked to strong inflammatory responses. And an overwhelming inflammatory response is a hallmark of severe Covid-19.
6th Jun 2020 - CNN

Genetic Variations and Blood Type May Leave Some People More Vulnerable to Severe COVID-19

Researchers concluded that patients with Type A blood were 50 percent more likely to need to get oxygen or go on a ventilator
5th Jun 2020 - PEOPLE

Oxford vaccine clinical trials to take volunteers from Brazil

The clinical trial for a vaccine conducted by experts at the University of Oxford will soon recruit 2,000 volunteers in Brazil The university said that on Tuesday, the Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency approved the inclusion of Brazil in the clinical trials. Scientists are resuming Covid-19 trials of the now world-famous drug hydroxychloroquine, as confusion continues to reign about the anti-malarial hailed by US President Donald Trump as a potential “game-changer” in fighting the pandemic. It follows widespread criticism of the quality of data in a study in The Lancet which found high risks associated with the treatment.
5th Jun 2020 - Hindustan Times


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124 coronavirus vaccines are in development – but will any work?

UST months after the coronavirus pandemic began, 10 vaccines designed to prevent covid-19 are already being tested in people, and another 114 are in development. A vaccine that provides effective, long-lasting protection against the coronavirus would be a game-changer, far better than any treatment. “Do we need a vaccine? Absolutely we do. It’s really better to prevent,” says Peter Horby, who is leading a UK trial evaluating several covid-19 treatments.
4th Jun 2020 - New Scientist

AstraZeneca lays out plans to produce 2 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccine

The drug giant AstraZeneca said Thursday that it has found partners to manufacture and distribute 2 billion doses of the experimental Covid-19 vaccine created by Oxford University, inking a series of deals with non-government organizations and another manufacturer. AstraZeneca said that CEPI and Gavi, public-private partnerships aimed at developing and distributing vaccines, would spend $750 million to manufacture and make available 300 million doses of the vaccine to distribute by the end of the year — assuming the vaccine is shown to be safe and effective. It also reached a licensing agreement with SII, previously known as the Serum Institute of India, to supply 1 billion doses of the vaccine to low- and middle-income countries. SII committed to provide 400 million doses before the end of 2020.
4th Jun 2020 - STAT

COVID-19 Can Last for Several Months

The disease’s “long-haulers” have endured relentless waves of debilitating symptoms—and disbelief from doctors and friends.
4th Jun 2020 - The Atlantic

Remdesivir: Ebola drug endorsed as a coronavirus treatment in Australia

The antiviral drug remdesivir has been recommended for the treatment of Covid-19 patients in Australia, by the national taskforce bringing together the country’s peak health groups. The National Covid-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce said Australian doctors treating adults with moderate, severe or critical Covid-19 should consider using the drug to aid recovery times. The antiviral drug is the first medication to be recommended as a considered treatment for patients treated in hospital after contracting coronavirus.
4th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Study reveals slow easing of lockdowns might be good for global economy - ​Easier rebound

The study found that stricter lockdowns imposed earlier - such as the two-month lockdown imposed in China - are economically preferable to more moderate lockdowns imposed for four or six months, as the duration of lockdown matters more to economies than their severity. This is because businesses can absorb the shock of a brief lockdown better by relying on reserves and because shorter lockdowns cause less disruption to regional and global supply chains. This is the first peer-reviewed study to comprehensively assess potential global supply chain effects of Covid-19 lockdowns, modelling the impact of lockdowns on 140 countries, including countries not directly affected by Covid-19.
4th Jun 2020 - Economic Times

Covid-19 causing 10,000 dementia deaths beyond infections, research says

There were almost 10,000 unexplained extra deaths among people with dementia in April, according to official figures that have prompted alarm about the severe impact of social isolation on people with the condition. The data, from the Office for National Statistics, reveals that, beyond deaths directly linked to Covid-19, there were 83% more deaths from dementia than usual in April, with charities warning that a reduction in essential medical care and family visits were taking a devastating toll.
4th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Will Warm Weather Slow Spread of Novel Coronavirus?

We’ll obviously have to wait a few months to get the data. But for now, many researchers have their doubts that the COVID-19 pandemic will enter a needed summertime lull. Among them are some experts on infectious disease transmission and climate modeling, who ran a series of sophisticated computer simulations of how the virus will likely spread over the coming months [1]. This research team found that humans’ current lack of immunity to SARS-CoV-2—not the weather—will likely be a primary factor driving the continued, rapid spread of the novel coronavirus this summer and into the fall. These sobering predictions, published recently in the journal Science, come from studies led by Rachel Baker and Bryan Grenfell at Princeton Environmental Institute, Princeton, NJ. The Grenfell lab has long studied the dynamics of infectious illnesses, including seasonal influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Last year, they published one of the first studies to look at how our warming climate might influence those dynamics in the coming years
2nd Jun 2020 - National Institutes of Health


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Coronavirus: Solar fridge firm set for role in Covid-19 fight

A firm that produces solar-powered fridges to keep vaccines cool in the world's most remote outposts could play a key role in fighting coronavirus. Dulas has been working with global vaccine alliance Gavi, exporting its products to Africa, Asia and South America. The technology is essential to keep vaccines preserved in places with unreliable power supplies. For them to work they must be kept between two and eight degrees Celsius. This is also likely to be the case for any future Covid-19 vaccine.
3rd Jun 2020 - BBC News

Fauci is 'optimistic' Moderna's coronavirus vaccine will work

Dr Anthony Fauci said Tuesday that he is 'cautiously optimistic' that the US will have an effective coronavirus vaccine 'within a reasonable period of time.' Speaking at a Wall Street Journal Tech Health Conference, Fauci said his chief concern is that it's not clear how long vaccine protection will last. At least 124 vaccine candidates are being developed worldwide. Fauci expressed particular optimism about the Moderna vaccine that the NIH is helping to develop. Moderna's vaccine showed promising early results last week, but the economic and medical experts have criticised the data as 'over-hyped'
3rd Jun 2020 - Daily Mail

Million-pound fund a “step change” for innovative coronavirus research | Imperial News

Community Jameel and Imperial College London have created a new fund to support the scale-up of crucial COVID-19 projects. The £1 million Community Jameel Imperial College COVID-19 Excellence Fund will provide a new injection of financial support for major research projects into the impact, understanding, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of COVID-19.
3rd Jun 2020 - Imperial College London

Governments and WHO changed Covid-19 policy based on suspect data from tiny US company

The World Health Organization and a number of national governments have changed their Covid-19 policies and treatments on the basis of flawed data from a little-known US healthcare analytics company, also calling into question the integrity of key studies published in some of the world’s most prestigious medical journals. A Guardian investigation can reveal the US-based company Surgisphere, whose handful of employees appear to include a science fiction writer and an adult-content model, has provided data for multiple studies on Covid-19 co-authored by its chief executive, but has so far failed to adequately explain its data or methodology.
3rd Jun 2020 - The Guardian

WHO restarts drug trial as doubts grow over clinical data

The World Health Organisation will resume coronavirus trials of the contentious drug hydroxychloroquine after doubts emerged over the validity of a study that led to them being put on hold. WHO officials said on Wednesday that the decision to resume was made after considering data from a number of studies. “We are now fairly confident, not having seen any differences in mortality . . . that the trial can continue,” said Soumya Swaminathan, the WHO’s chief scientist.
3rd Jun 2020 - Financial Times

Hydroxychloroquine no better than placebo, Covid-19 study finds

Taking hydroxychloroquine does not protect people who have been close to someone with coronavirus from becoming infected, a study suggests. Donald Trump told the world he was taking one pill a day to safeguard himself against the coronavirus, on the advice of his doctor. However, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests the drug is no more effective in protecting people exposed to the virus than a placebo. The trial, which was carried out in the USand Canada, recruited people who were at moderate to high risk of contracting Covid-19. Most of them were deemed at high risk because they had been closer than 2 metres from somebody with the virus for more than 10 minutes without wearing any personal protective equipment. The hope was that the drug could be used to protect people where somebody in their family was infected.
3rd Jun 2020 - The Guardian


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COVID-19 disrupting vital healthcare services globally, WHO warns

COVID-19 has disrupted vital healthcare services in more than half of countries recently surveyed by the World Health Organization (WHO), and low-income nations are among the worst hit. The survey of 155 countries found that 53% now have partially or completely disrupted services for hypertension treatment, with diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular treatments impacted in 49%, 42% and 31% respectively. Services for these non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are included in the COVID-19 response and preparedness plans of 72% of high-income countries, but the same can only be said for 42% of low-income ones.
2nd Jun 2020 - The Actuary

Fauci is 'optimistic' Moderna's coronavirus vaccine will work - despite criticism that early trials were 'over-hyped' to pad the pockets of execs

Dr Anthony Fauci said Tuesday that he is 'cautiously optimistic' that the US will have an effective coronavirus vaccine 'within a reasonable period of time.' Speaking at a Wall Street Journal Tech Health Conference, Fauci said his chief concern is that it's not clear how long vaccine protection will last. At least 124 vaccine candidates are being developed worldwide. Fauci expressed particular optimism about the Moderna vaccine that the NIH is helping to develop Moderna's vaccine showed promising early results last week, but the economic and medical experts have criticised the data as 'over-hyped'
3rd Jun 2020 - Daily Mail

King’s College London starts Coronavirus symptoms app study

Now, an app developed by King's College London and technology company Zoe is being used to conduct one of the world’s largest studies into the symptoms and spread of coronavirus. Unrelated to the NHS track and trace app, the King's College Covid Symptom Study app tracks symptoms of the disease, and has so far been downloaded by over three million smartphone users in the UK.
2nd Jun 2020 - uSwitch.com

Strong public health response in China slowed coronavirus transmission, study finds

Swift isolation and quarantine policies as well as city lockdowns imposed by the Chinese government in late January 2020 significantly decreased the transmission rate of COVID-19, new research led by the Yale School of Public Health finds.
2nd Jun 2020 - Medical Xpress

What have we learned about preparing for pandemics to come?

Pandemics like COVID-19 are set to become part of our new normal. We have to learn how to respond to future outbreaks effectively and with the least economic damage. Active strategies and well-resourced healthcare organizations should be the cornerstones of any future pandemic response.
2nd Jun 2020 - World Economic Forum

Death rates for UK ethnic minorities up to double that of whites

Black and minority ethnic groups in England are up to twice as likely to die of coronavirus than their white counterparts, according to a report published by a government agency. Public Health England found the largest disparity in Covid-related deaths was age, with people aged 80 or older 70 times more likely to die than those aged under 40. The agency also concluded that being male was a “significant risk factor”; working-age men had been twice as likely to die from the virus as women.
2nd Jun 2020 - The Financial Times

Study in Chinese doctors shows mental toll of caring in the time of COVID-19

Rigorous study shows depression and anxiety symptoms worsened among medical residents in Shanghai, and fear of workplace violence doubled, in early 2020
2nd Jun 2020 - EurekAlert

Deutsche Bahn's Medibus is a mobile laboratory in the battle against COVID-19

Deutsche Bahn’s Medibuses are currently being used in a large-scale study by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) into the COVID-19 distribution in Germany. By using the Medibuses, researchers and physicians have access to high-quality laboratory environments, which can also be flexibly deployed at various locations. The buses were built by VDL Bus & Coach. The main objectives of the so-called ‘Corona-Monitoring local’ study are to map the virus spread and to obtain a more complete picture of the number of unreported coronary events. A total of 8,000 citizens from four different areas in Germany are investigated.
2nd Jun 2020 - Innovation Origins

COVID-19 provides opportunity for digital innovation in diabetes care

A new report has highlighted how COVID-19 is an opportunity for digital innovation in diabetes care.As the pandemic forces healthcare systems across the globe to respond rapidly to the crisis, many are adopting digital solutions such as digital medicine products, telehealth, and remote monitoring. A new report, published by IQVIA, has now highlighted how the COVID-19 pandemic is also an opportunity to transform diabetes care with digital innovation.
2nd Jun 2020 - Health Europa


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Evidence suggests even those with mild covid-19 symptoms can be left with long-term damage to organs

The vast majority of the tens of thousands of patients in the UK who have tested positive for Covid-19 will be counting their lucky stars that they have had only a mild encounter with the deadly virus — but they may not be able to relax just yet. There is growing evidence from China, where the virus originated, and from Italy, the first European country to report cases, that patients diagnosed with even a mild case of Covid-19 may be left struggling with long-term health problems long after the virus has left their bodies.
2nd Jun 2020 - Daily Mail

Coronavirus: Reducing social distancing to one metre would double risk of infection, study suggests

Reducing social distancing from two metres to one could double the risk of being infected with coronavirus, according to a comprehensive new study published amid growing calls for the UK to reduce its guidance to allow more businesses to reopen. Researchers found distancing of a metre or more reduces the risk of infection to 13 per cent, compared to 3 per cent for less than a metre. However, analysis of modelling published in The Lancet suggests for every extra metre further away up to three metres, the risk of infection or transmission may halve.
2nd Jun 2020 - The Independent

WHO warns overuse of antibiotics for Covid-19 will cause more deaths

The increased use of antibiotics to combat the Covid-19 pandemic will strengthen bacterial resistance and ultimately lead to more deaths during the crisis and beyond, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned. WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday that a “worrying number” of bacterial infections were becoming increasingly resistant to the medicines traditionally used to treat them.
1st Jun 2020 - The Guardian

How New Zealand Used Evidence-Based Policies to Beat The Pandemic

"Here in New Zealand, we are all very aware of how lucky we are, and we connect with colleagues overseas and really feel for them," Auckland City Hospital intensive-care specialist Chris Poynter previously told Business Insider. Experts say it's more than luck, but rather early lockdown efforts, citizen's adherence to the rules, widespread testing and contact tracing, and good communication that are the keys to its success.
1st Jun 2020 - ScienceAlert

Photos: step by step, how to use Egypt Health app against coronavirus

Egypt Health is the latest application launched by the Egyptian Health and Population Ministry to follow up on coronavirus infections. In this report, we guide you through how it works, and how it helps you diagnose your illness in case of suspected infection with the virus. 1.You can download the application for both iPhone and Android mobile phones. The app takes up less than 10 MB of space, and can work offline. However, in order to receive the latest information and data, the app should be kept updated.
1st Jun 2020 - Egypt Independent

Distancing and masks cut coronavirus risk, largest review of evidence finds

The findings, published in The Lancet journal on Monday, will help guide governments and health agencies, some of whom have given conflicting advice on measures, largely because of limited information about COVID-19. “Our findings are the first to synthesize all direct information on COVID-19, SARS, and MERS, and provide the currently best available evidence on the optimum use of these common and simple interventions to help ‘flatten the curve,’” said Holger Schunemann from McMaster University in Canada, who co-led the research.
1st Jun 2020 - The Japan Times

New Zealand Has Just One Remaining Case of Coronavirus

New Zealand is down to its last known coronavirus case, approaching a milestone beyond reach in most countries: the elimination of the virus within its borders. It has been nine days as of Sunday since the last new Covid-19 case was confirmed. The only active case is an Auckland woman in her 50s who was diagnosed May 1. The last recorded death was a week ago and more than 1,100 people have recovered. The island nation of 5 million residents took advantage of a substantial easing of lockdown conditions—allowing people to travel outside their local area and gather in groups of up to 100—to enjoy a three-day holiday weekend that was nearing normalcy.
1st Jun 2020 - The Wall Street Journal

Standing three feet apart, wearing a mask AND face shield cut coronavirus transmission risks by up to 80 percent, new study finds

Researchers looked at 172 observational studies on the benefits of social distancing, face masks and eye gear against COVID-19, SARS and MERS. Standing at least three feet lowered the risk of virus transmission, but standing six feet away cut the risk by half. Not wearing an eye covering increased the risk infection by 2.5-fold and not wearing a mask increased the risk six-fold. Even when all three are used together, the team says none offer complete protection and that other measures. such as hand hygiene, are vital
1st Jun 2020 - Daily Mail

WHO says coronavirus has not become less potent after Italian doctor claims

Experts from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other scientists have warned there is no evidence to back up a claim made by a high-profile Italian doctor that the coronavirus has been losing its potency. Professor Alberto Zangrillo, head of intensive care at Italy’s San Raffaele Hospital in Lombardy, prompted the warning when he told state television the new coronavirus “clinically no longer exists”. Mr Zangrillo is well-known in Italy as the personal doctor of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.
1st Jun 2020 - The Independent


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Covid-19 expert Karl Friston: 'Germany may have more immunological “dark matter”'

Neuroscientist Karl Friston, of University College London, builds mathematical models of human brain function. Lately, he’s been applying his modelling to Covid-19, and using what he learns to advise Independent Sage, the committee set up as an alternative to the UK government’s official pandemic advice body, the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage).
31st May 2020 - The Guardian

UK regulator halts antibody home tests for coronavirus

UK regulators have asked all coronavirus antibody test providers that use a blood sample taken with a finger prick to halt operations as doubts persist over their accuracy. On Wednesday, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s director of devices, Graeme Tunbridge, said the use of unvalidated samples may lead to unreliable results. “People who have purchased one of these sampling kits, and received an antibody test result, should not consider the result to be reliable and should not take any action on it,” he said.
27th May 2020 - The Financial Times

AstraZeneca Says It May Consider Exposing Vaccine Trial Participants to Virus

The chief executive of AstraZeneca, which is developing a leading coronavirus vaccine with Oxford University, said it is too early to deliberately expose vaccine trial participants to the pathogen, but it may become an option if ongoing trials hit a snag. The British drugmaker has started phase 2 and 3 trials of a vaccine, and will need a certain number of participants to become infected in the course of their normal lives to achieve a reliable reading from the study over the next few months.
29th May 2020 - Medscape

Scientific Doubt Tempers COVID-19 Vaccine Optimism

"If all the cards fall into the right place and all the stars are aligned, you definitely could get a vaccine by December or January," Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said last week. But Fauci said a more realistic timeline is still 12 to 18 months, and experts interviewed by Medscape Medical News agree. They say that although recent developments are encouraging, history and scientific reason say the day when a COVID-19 vaccine is widely available will not come this year and may not come by the end of 2021
28th May 2020 - Medscape


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The World Is Still Far From Herd Immunity for Coronavirus

Official case counts often substantially underestimate the number of coronavirus infections. But in new studies that test the population more broadly, the percentage of people who have been infected so far is still in the single digits. The numbers are a fraction of the threshold known as herd immunity, at which the virus can no longer spread widely. The precise herd immunity threshold for the novel coronavirus is not yet clear; but several experts said they believed it would be higher than 60 percent.
28th May 2020 - The New York Times

Even mild coronavirus illness leads to antibodies: French study raises hope of immunity

Researchers screened the blood of 160 medics who had confirmed Covid-19 Some 99.4 per cent of the group had antibodies to the virus 13 days after illness The antibodies had the ability to 'neutralise' - or kill - the virus in tests. Antibodies are a sign a person mounted an immune response to the virus. But whether or not this protects a person from future infection is contested
29th May 2020 - Daily Mail

Asymptomatic coronavirus cases may be more common than suspected

The study from Wuhan looked at 78 patients who tested positive for COVID-19, and found that 33 of the individuals had no symptoms of the illness. These patients were more likely to be women, and more likely to be younger, in their 20s, 30s and early 40s.
28th May 2020 - New York Post

Sewage testing gives clues of coronavirus | TheHill

Scientists looking for new ways to identify potential coronavirus outbreaks are turning their attention to what could be an early warning sign: the stuff you flush down the toilet. New studies increasingly show that the coronavirus's genetic code can be detected in the remnants of fecal matter that flows through sewers and into sewage facilities, either in raw wastewater or in what is euphemistically known as sludge. The genetic information represents such a good cross-section of a city or region that taking just a few samples can be the equivalent of testing millions of people in a given day. Using one method, just 14 samples could test the prevalence of the virus in all of New York City.
28th May 2020 - The Hill

Covid-19 study on hydroxychloroquine use questioned by 120 researchers and medical professionals

The large observational study analysed data from nearly 15,000 patients with Covid-19 who received the drug alone or in combination with antibiotics, comparing this data with 81,000 controls who did not receive the drug. Questions about the paper’s statistical modelling were also raised by Columbia University in the US, prompting Surgisphere, the company that manages the database of patients used to inform the study, to issue a public statement defending the integrity of the study.
28th May 2020 - The Guardian


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More than 500 scientists to map Covid-19 effects and treatments in blood

More than 500 scientists from around the world have formed a coalition to share data on coronavirus based on techniques which examine people’s blood. The Covid-19 MS Coalition is made up of leading mass spectrometry experts who will work together to look at the ways the virus is present in patients’ blood and examine how it is structured. The aim is to refine testing approaches, look at treatment options, and determine isolation requirements. Mass spectrometry (MS) is able to measure molecules that change in a patient’s blood as the infection takes hold
27th May 2020 - Belfast Telegraph

Trinity Biotech expects Covid-19 immunity test to be authorised shortly

Trinity Biotech expects to receive emergency use authorisation to roll-out a Covid-19 test that can determine whether people immunity to the SARS-CoV-2 virus by the end of next month. The Irish life sciences company said it is also at an advanced stage in developing a rapid point-of-care test that could diagnose cases of the virus in just 12 minutes.
27th May 2020 - The Irish Times

Isolating the ill and prioritising remote work are key strategies in combating the coronavirus

In March of this year, Aalto University, the Finnish Meteorological Institute, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the University of Helsinki launched a joint project aimed at investigating airborne transmission and spread of coronavirus in indoor spaces. When a person speaks, cough or sneezes, droplets are generated from their respiratory tract, and these can carry pathogens such as coronaviruses. Researchers have now published the first, preprint version of the paper, which has been submitted for peer-review and published at Arxiv.org. The paper details how they have modelled the airborne transport of different-sized droplets. These are emitted through coughing, so the study evaluated the quantities of particles that someone could come into contact with upon entering a supermarket or any other indoor public space.
27th May 2020 - Medical Xpress

Asymptomatic COVID-19 cases may be more common than suspected

New estimates of the number of asymptomatic people with the coronavirus suggest that "silent" COVID-19 is much more prevalent than once thought, according to two studies published Wednesday. The first study, published in JAMA Network Open, found that 42 percent of cases from a group of people in Wuhan, China, were asymptomatic. The second study, published in Thorax, found much higher rates of asymptomatic individuals: 81 percent of cases on a cruise to Antarctica.
27th May 2020 - NBC News

Blood markers discovered for COVID-linked syndrome in children

Findings from a large, multinational study could help speed development of an accurate diagnostic blood test for the mysterious inflammatory illness.
27th May 2020 - NBC News


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Urgent need for coronavirus testing in care homes, suggests study

A team of academics from the UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI) has undertaken a coronavirus outbreak investigation in four London nursing homes. The research, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, showed 26 per cent of residents across four nursing homes died between March and May, three times the rate in previous years. High rates of coronavirus infection (40 per cent) were detected, and 60 per cent of those infected were asymptomatic or had atypical symptoms. Specific, tailored measures are needed to manage coronavirus infection in care homes, say the research team, including comprehensive and repeated testing
27th May 2020 - Imperial College London

Study blames sit-down restaurants, fast food chains and hotels for being 'super-spreader' businesses during the Covid-19 outbreak in New York, California and six other US states

Researchers analysed nearly a million businesses in eight US states in their study Found risk of coronavirus spreading was five times higher in these businesses They're densely packed with people and visitors linger for long time period
27th May 2020 - Daily Mail

Coronavirus: WHO suspends hydoxychloroquine trial over safety

Hydroxychloroquine is most typically used to treat malaria, lupus and arthritis. The WHO had been testing the drug as part of its Solidarity trial looking at the safety and efficacy of four medications against coronavirus. But a study on Friday revealed higher mortality rates among COVID-19 patients who took the drug. On Monday, the WHO announced it was suspending the hydroxychloroquine arm of its trial over safety concerns. President Donald Trump announced on Sunday that he finished taking his two-week prescription of the drug, which he had used as a prophylactic
26th May 2020 - Daily Mail

Coronavirus: UK authorises anti-viral drug remdesivir

A drug treatment called remdesivir that appears to shorten recovery time for people with coronavirus is being made available on the NHS. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said it was probably the biggest step forward in the treatment of coronavirus since the crisis began. Remdesivir is an anti-viral medicine that has been used against Ebola. UK regulators say there is enough evidence to approve its use in selected Covid-19 hospital patients.
26th May 2020 - BBC South East Wales

Merck in collaboration to develop coronavirus vaccine, with clinical trials to start this year

U.S. drugmaker Merck plans to work alongside nonprofit scientific research organization IAVI to develop a potential vaccine against the coronavirus. Most experts agree that it could take 12 to 18 months for a safe vaccine to be rolled out to the market. Even if an effective vaccine becomes available, many have warned of significant logistical challenges around distributing enough doses for the global population.
26th May 2020 - CNBC

Front-line coronavirus workers could be vaccinated as soon as this year, Novavax CEO says

Workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic will be first to receive a vaccine and that could come as soon as later this year, Stanley Erck, CEO of vaccine development company Novavax, said Tuesday. Novavax announced Monday that it has launched clinical trials of its coronavirus vaccine candidate and it expects preliminary results in July. Erck said his company plans to price its potential vaccine on a tiered approach based on affordability.
26th May 2020 - CNBC

Merck Leaps Into COVID-19 Development Fray With Vaccine, Drug Deals

Merck & Co Inc, which has largely kept to the sidelines of the race for COVID-19 treatments, said it was buying Austrian vaccine maker Themis Bioscience and would collaborate with research nonprofit IAVI to develop two separate vaccines. It also announced a partnership with privately held Ridgeback Biotherapeutics to develop an experimental oral antiviral drug against COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
26th May 2020 - New York Times

Bill Gates Funds a Crucial COVID-19 Vaccine Human Trial, Merck Adds 2 Candidates

Over the Memorial Day weekend, an experimental vaccine made by Maryland-based biotech firm Novavax started phase 1 clinical trial in Australia. The trial plans to enroll approximately 130 volunteers, with results coming out as soon as July. If phase 1 is successful, Novavax will move on to a phase 2 trial in more countries, including the U.S. The vaccine, called NVX‑CoV2373, proved to produce high levels of neutralizing antibodies against COVID-19 in pre-clinical testing. “These results provide strong evidence that the vaccine candidate will be highly immunogenic in humans, leading to protection from COVID‑19 and thus helping to control the spread of this disease,” the company said in a statement on Monday.
26th May 2020 - Observer

Study reconfirms coronavirus has higher transmission rate among close contacts: ICMR

The novel cornonavirus has a higher rate of transmission among close contacts and thus, public health measures such as physical distancing, personal hygiene and infection control are necessary to prevent its spread, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has reconfirmed. Sharing the findings of the first cluster of SARS-CoV-2 infection among Italian tourists in a study, the ICMR also said testing of close contacts identified infection in presymptomatic and asymptomatic cases, and stressed that the strategy to trace and test close contacts is crucial for early identification and isolation of positive patients to prevent community transmission.
26th May 2020 - THE WEEK


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Virginia Department of Health creates COVID-19 symptom checker website

In a partnership with the Virginia Department of Health, Buoy Health has developed the COVID-check website.The digital company came from the Harvard Innovation Lab's doctors and data scientists. COVID-Check has three sections: check your symptoms, find a test, and get answers. You can start by going to the "symptoms" section. It'll ask questions about symptoms related to coronavirus.
25th May 2020 - WVEC-TV Norfolk on MSN.com

Covid 19 coronavirus: Call for NZ clinical trials after Govt's $37m vaccine spend

Scientists have hailed a just-announced $37m Government spend toward a Covid-19 vaccine – and now a major clinical research organisation has called for trials to be carried out here. This afternoon, ministers revealed the fund would be sending $10m toward local vaccine research and $5m for exploring manufacturing a vaccine here. Up to $15m would also be steered toward global research collaborations and $7m would go to Gavi - an alliance that distributes vaccines to developing nations. Alongside the fresh funding, the Government unveiled its long-awaited vaccine strategy, which aimed to secure enough doses of a safe, effective vaccine for New Zealand at the earliest possible time.
25th May 2020 - The New Zealand Herald

Ulster University develop COVID-19 symptom checker, diagnostic and contact tracker app

The app collects information, checks for symptoms, helps perform diagnostics and provides advice. Data from the app can also be used to aid contact tracing and inform policy and decision makers in their overall recovery strategy. A novel add-on to improve overall result accuracy is the ability to read an antibody test result that is performed in the home setting. Led by Professors Jim McLaughlin and Chris Nugent, the Connected Health Innovation Centre Team project team used technology based on their Xprize Tricorder success in 2017 where they finished joint third in a global competition to address similar diagnostic solutions currently required to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
25th May 2020 - Ulster University

Fitbit introduces COVID-19 tab in South Africa

South Africans can now access a tab which will house all local COVID-19 information. Fitbit is introducing a designated COVID-19 tab on its app so South Africans can access information, support and resources in one place. The update includes tools which remind users to keep up healthy habits, such as new clock faces with reminders to wash hands, to move, to include at-home workouts and take mindfulness breaks. In addition, the tab will add real-time updates from the World Health Organization on the virus.
25th May 2020 - TechRadar South Africa

Remdesivir Results Published

Preliminary results regarding the use of remdesivir against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have been updated and published in the New England Journal of Medicine. (An earlier accounting, which we also reported here, led to the drug's emergency approval by the FDA.) Over 1000 hospitalized patients with COVID-19 were randomized to receive either 10 days of remdesivir or placebo. The mean time to recovery — the primary outcome — was shorter in the remdesivir group than the placebo group (11 vs. 15 days). Recovery was defined as a patient no longer requiring hospitalization or hospitalization no longer requiring supplemental oxygen or ongoing medical care. Results were significant only among those receiving oxygen — but not more intensive support — at baseline. At 14 days, mortality was 7.1% in the remdesivir group and 11.9% in the placebo group, but the difference was not statistically significant. The authors write: "Our findings highlight the need to identify Covid-19 cases and start antiviral treatment before the pulmonary disease progresses to require mechanical ventilation. However, given high mortality despite the use of remdesivir, it is clear that treatment with an antiviral drug alone is not likely to be sufficient."
25th May 2020 - NEJM Journal Watch

COVID-19: Vaccine Trial / Hydroxychloroquine

Vaccine trial: A phase I trial in China found CanSino's non-replicating adenovirus type-5 (Ad5) vectoredvaccine to be safe and induce an immune response in humans. Over 100 healthy adults were randomized to receive various doses of the vaccine candidate. Fever, headache, muscle pain, and fatigue were common among recipients. A positive antibody response was found in 97% of the low-dose group, 94% of the middle-dose group, and 100% of the high-dose group. Hydroxychloroquine & chloroquine: A large registry study in the Lancet found hazards associated with use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine for COVID-19. Researchers compared roughly 15,000 hospitalized for COVID-19 who were given hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without a second-generation macrolide with 81,000 who weren’t given these treatments. All of the hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine groups had higher rates of in-hospital mortality (16-24%) than the control group (9%). They also had higher rates of ventricular arrhythmia during hospitalization (4-8%) versus controls (0.3%). Meanwhile, the World Health Organization announced that it had temporarily halted a hydroxychloroquine trial owing to safety concerns,
25th May 2020 - NEJM Journal Watch


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 25th May 2020

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Promising hints from Chinese Covid-19 vaccine to Oxford trails: Latest from labs

Developers of a vaccine at the University of Oxford described their efforts as progressing “very well”, moving to the next phase after completing 1,000 immunisations by its candidate-vaccine on healthy human adults
24th May 2020 - Hindustan Times

Oxford vaccine 'progressing very well,' 10,000 more to be inoculated

The head of the Oxford Vaccine Group, Andrew Pollard, said on Friday that clinical trials of its coronavirus vaccine candidate were "progressing very well." More than 1,000 people in the UK been inoculated. In the next phase of the trial, about 10,000 more people will be given the vaccine in May and June, Pollard said. The experimental vaccine was first tested in people on April 23 following promising results from a trial with macaques. The group said it could take two to six months to get results.
23rd May 2020 - Business Insider

US secures 300 million doses of Oxford vaccine with US$1.2 billion pledge

Amount represents almost a third of first batch planned by British drug maker. AstraZeneca, as world powers scramble for therapeutics. Chief of French firm Sanofi drew flak earlier this month for saying company’s vaccine could go to US patients first
23rd May 2020 - South China Morning Post

Vaccine development is like a rollercoaster, says Serum Institute CEO

Serum Institute CEO Adar Poonawalla said developing a vaccine is like a rollercoaster ride with ups and downs. There have been reports that a potential vaccine for Covid-19 being tested by researchers at the Oxford University has failed to protect monkeys from being infected by the virus
23rd May 2020 - Livemint

Pa. doles out 3rd round of remdesivir, which might help coronavirus recovery; these hospitals received it

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has distributed the third shipment of the investigational antiviral medication remdesivir to treat patients in the hospital with COVID-19. The medication was sent to the department by the federal government on Thursday and 8,928 doses of medication were shipped to 81 hospitals on Friday. “The department is working to give our hospitals every opportunity to treat patients with COVID-19,” Secretary of Health Rachel Levine said. “It is important to note that there is limited information on the safety and effectiveness of using remdesivir to treat people in the hospital with COVID-19.
23rd May 2020 - Middletown Press and Journal

Gilead's remdesivir mainly helped healthier COVID-19 patients

Gilead Sciences Inc.'s remdesivir, the first medicine cleared for the treatment of COVID-19, mainly benefited healthier patients who weren't dependent on ventilators or heart-lung bypass machines, according to published results of the study used to get the medicine on the market. The drug helped patients infected with the novel coronavirus heal faster, allowing them to return home after about 11 days, compared to 15 days for those who were treated with a placebo, according to the report in the New England Journal of Medicine. There were also signs the medicine increased their survival rate — 7.1% on patients on remdesivir and 11.9% on a placebo died within two weeks. Still, the difference wasn't statistically significant, meaning it could have stemmed from chance.
23rd May 2020 - Greater Milwaukee Today

Remdesivir Alone Is Not Enough, Researchers Conclude In First Major COVID-19 Trial Of The Drug

Researchers have finally published the data that led the federal government to recommend the use of the antiviral drug remdesivir in very ill coronavirus patients, and they say the drug alone will not be enough to help patients. The data, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, show the drug shortened the course of illness from an average of 15 days to about 11 days. “Preliminary results of this trial suggest that a 10-day course of remdesivir was superior to placebo in the treatment of hospitalized patients with Covid-19,” the researchers wrote. But it was not a cure and it did not act quickly.
23rd May 2020 - CBS Baltimore

Researchers begin trials of COVID-19 vaccine

Research at the Jenner Institute at Oxford University, carried out in conjunction with an organization called the Oxford Vaccine Group, has been ongoing since January, with scientists now looking to recruit in excess of 10,000 people to take part in further trials following preliminary efforts in April. The trial, now in its second phase following preliminary testing on a small sample size of 160 patients, will involve people of all age demographics — from children older than 5 years to the elderly — to help test the effectiveness of the vaccine, called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, in a wider variety of people.
23rd May 2020 - Arabnews

Exclusive: U.S. Plans Massive Coronavirus Vaccine Testing Effort to Meet Year-End Deadline

The United States plans a massive testing effort involving more than 100,000 volunteers and a half dozen or so of the most promising vaccine candidates in an effort to deliver a safe and effective one by the end of 2020, scientists leading the program told Reuters. The project will compress what is typically 10 years of vaccine development and testing into a matter of months, testimony to the urgency to halt a pandemic that has infected more than 5 million people, killed over 335,000 and battered economies worldwide.
23rd May 2020 - The New York Times

Coronavirus, Alberto Zangrillo: "Less lethal virus now"

"The virus seems to be less deadly now," according to Alberto Zangrillo, director of the anesthesia and resuscitation unit of the San Raffaele hospital in Milan, speaking to Rai Due. Too many have spoken of physical suffering without ever having seen it" and "today after some time it is necessary not to terrify people anymore because the viral load has decreased as the tests attest", he underlined. "We certify that the virus has not changed but that it has been perhaps affected by environmental factors and temperatures," he concluded.
23rd May 2020 - AdnKronos

Drugs Combo 'Could Be Outcome' of COVID-19 Treatment Trial

A combination of existing drugs may emerge as the best treatment for COVID-19, rather than the emergence of a single 'big winner' according to the leaders of a major UK trial.
22nd May 2020 - Medscape

Coronavirus: 500 volunteers sought for vaccine trials

Scientists developing a vaccine against Covid-19 are seeking 500 volunteers from among NHS workers in south east Wales to take part in trials. The first stage of the Oxford researchers' trials began in April and with more than 1,000 immunised it is recruiting again. The next stage will enrol up to 10,260 people, with 500 from Wales including Aneurin Bevan health board staff. Some older adults and children aged over five will also be recruited. The venture involves Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, Public Health Wales and Cardiff University's Centre for Trials Research.
22nd May 2020 - BBC News

Clinical and Epidemiological Characteristics of 1,420 European Patients with mild‐to‐moderate Coronavirus Disease 2019

Clinical and Epidemiological Characteristics of 1,420 European Patients with mild‐to‐moderate Coronavirus Disease 2019
30th Apr 2020 - Journal of Internal Medicine


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 22nd May 2020

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In Delhi, more Covid-19 patients prefer home isolation to hospital

Taking the pressure off the 12 Covid-19 dedicated hospitals - both government and provate - more and more people who test positive are opting for isolation at home. Significantly, 2,358 coronavirus patients were in home isolation as against 1,722 in the hospitals
21st May 2020 - Times of India

Coronavirus isolation ward to open at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital in June 2020

The single-storey specialist isolation unit is being built next to an out-patients block at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) off Colney Lane. Chris Cobb, NNUH chief operating officer, said: “This highly-specialised unit will provide nine negative pressure beds to treat our very sick Covid-19 patients. Negative pressure beds are in rooms which prevent cross-contamination of any virus. We expect the first patients to be admitted next month.”
21st May 2020 - Eastern Daily Press

Mixed reality headsets are helping medics treat people infected with coronavirus. Hand gestures allow doctors using the Microsoft devices to look at x-rays, scans and test results, and communicate with colleagues in a different, virus-free room.

Mixed reality headsets are helping medics treat people infected with coronavirus. Hand gestures allow doctors using the Microsoft devices to look at x-rays, scans and test results, and communicate with colleagues in a different, virus-free room. The technology has cut down the demand for PPE.
21st May 2020 - BBC News

U.S. to Invest $1.2 Billion to Secure Potential Coronavirus Vaccine From AstraZeneca, Oxford University

The U.S. government has agreed to hand AstraZeneca PLC up to $1.2 billion to secure the supply of a potential coronavirus vaccine that could be ready as early as October. Under the deal, the government will bankroll a 30,000-person vaccine trial in the U.S. starting in the summer, plus the ramp-up of manufacturing capacity to make at least 300 million doses. The first doses will be ready in the fall should the vaccine prove effective, it said. Alex Azar, the Health and Human Services secretary, called the deal a “major milestone” in the administration’s effort—code-named “Operation Warp Speed”—to make a safe, effective vaccine widely available to Americans by 2021.
21st May 2020 - The Wall Street Journal


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Monkeys infected with COVID-19 develop immunity in studies, a positive sign for vaccines

Two studies in monkeys published on Wednesday offer some of the first scientific evidence that surviving COVID-19 may result in immunity from reinfection, a positive sign that vaccines under development may succeed, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday.
20th May 2020 - Reuters

SARS-CoV-2 infection protects against rechallenge in rhesus macaques

An understanding of protective immunity to SARS-CoV-2 is critical for vaccine and public health strategies aimed at ending the global COVID-19 pandemic. A key unanswered question is whether infection with SARS-CoV-2 results in protective immunity against re-exposure. We developed a rhesus macaque model of SARS-CoV-2 infection and observed that macaques had high viral loads in the upper and lower respiratory tract, humoral and cellular immune responses, and pathologic evidence of viral pneumonia. Following initial viral clearance, animals were rechallenged with SARS-CoV-2 and showed 5 log10 reductions in median viral loads in bronchoalveolar lavage and nasal mucosa compared with primary infection. Anamnestic immune responses following rechallenge suggested that protection was mediated by immunologic control. These data show that SARS-CoV-2 infection induced protective immunity against re-exposure in nonhuman primates.
20th May 2020 - ScienceMag

Two new studies suggest COVID-19 antibodies provide immunity | TheHill

A pair of peer-reviewed lab studies conducted by research teams at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) in Boston suggest that antibodies created in response to COVID-19 provide immunity from the disease. The studies suggesting one can't become reinfected with the coronavirus were both published in the journal Science on Wednesday. In one of the studies, nine rhesus macaque monkeys, which share 93 percent of the same DNA as humans, were injected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The virus quickly spread and all of the animals developed viral pneumonia, though all of them recovered within 28 days.
20th May 2020 - The Hill

Coronavirus: Hydroxychloroquine trial begins in the UK

A trial to see whether two anti-malarial drugs could prevent Covid-19 has begun in Brighton and Oxford. Chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine or a placebo will be given to more than 40,000 healthcare workers from Europe, Africa, Asia and South America. All the participants are staff who are in contact with Covid-19 patients.
20th May 2020 - BBC News


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To prevent a second coronavirus wave, we need to look beyond the R number

In Germany, where shops and restaurants have tentatively reopened, the reproduction number R has risen to 1.1. In Seoul, a recent outbreak of at least 170 infections has been linked to five bars and nightclubs. Even in South Korea, one of the most successful countries at controlling the virus, there’s no room for complacency. As a veterinary epidemiologist, I study how viruses spread between animals and animal populations. The principles of viral transmission are much the same in humans (indeed, many scientists work on both). The concept of a second wave in public health is often linked to factors outside of human control. This might include the birth of infants who are susceptible to a particular disease causing the wavelike patterns we see in childhood illnesses, or environmental factors that influence the seasonality of influenza. But for Covid-19, the anticipation of a second wave has more to do with actions within our control.
19th May 2020 - The Guardian

Coronavirus: Private company rises to 'exceptional challenge' to double antigen testing

The government's early response to COVID-19 showed the "frailty" in our testing capacity, according to a private laboratory working with the NHS. Source BioScience is one of a small number of private companies processing antigen tests for the government, letting NHS staff and patients know if they have COVID-19. The chief operating officer at Source BioScience, Russell Wheatcroft, said he hopes the UK can learn from the pandemic and that there will be more "significant investments" in testing.
20th May 2020 - Sky News

Coronavirus: Want to know the risk of Covid in your area? Think tank ranks every council ward by probability of deaths and infection

A map ranking the Covid risk for each of Scotland's 354 council wards has been created, with parts of Inverclyde and Clydebank most in danger. Researchers and analysts at new think tank Scotianomics used multiple dataset sets to draw up its Covid-19 Community Risks Index, the most detailed possible picture of which Scottish communities are most under threat.
19th May 2020 - HeraldScotland


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 19th May 2020

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Moderna Covid-19 vaccine generates immune response, early data show

A candidate vaccine for Covid-19 developed by the drug maker Moderna appears to generate an immune response similar to the response seen in people who have been infected by the virus and recovered, the company said Monday. In a Phase 1 trial, eight patients who received two doses of the vaccine at the lowest and middle doses tested — 25 and 100 micrograms — developed neutralizing antibodies to the virus at levels similar to people who had recovered from infection, the company said in a statement.
18th May 2020 - STAT

Doubts over Oxford vaccine as it fails to stop coronavirus in animal trials

Jonathan Ball, professor of molecular virology at the University of Nottingham, said the vaccine data suggests that the jab may not be able to prevent the spread of the virus between infected individuals. "That viral loads in the noses of vaccinated and unvaccinated animals were identical is very significant. If the same happened in humans, vaccination would not stop spread," he said. "I genuinely believe that this finding should warrant an urgent re-appraisal of the ongoing human trials of the ChAdOx1 vaccine." The trials investigating the immune response to the Oxford vaccine in rhesus macaque monkeys were carried out at the National Institute of Health's Rocky Mountain Laboratory in the US, with initial results published in a press release at the end of April.
19th May 2020 - The Daily Telegraph

Covid Patients Testing Positive After Recovery Aren’t Infectious

Findings are from a Korean study of 285 ‘re-positive’ patients and the virus samples collected from recovered patients weren’t viable for re-infection
19th May 2020 - Bloomberg


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 18th May 2020

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Mathematical modeling suggests containment of COVID-19 possible

Mathematical modeling studies suggest containment of COVID-19 might be possible but success of containment operations “cannot be guaranteed” since there is efficient human to human transmission, the Union health ministry said on Saturday. It also said there is no approved drug or vaccine for the treatment of COVID-19 as of now and Chemoprophylaxis with Hydroxychloroquine are recommended for healthcare workers and high risk contacts. “Since there is efficient human to human transmission, success of containment operations cannot be guaranteed. Mathematical modeling studies suggest containment might be possible,” the health ministry said.
17th May 2020 - The Indian Express

Coronavirus update: New trial using dogs to detect symptoms of COVID-19

A new trial which brings together leading disease control experts from universities with medical detection dogs who have already been used in training for detection in Parkinson’s disease could help to detect coronavirus in humans. The dogs are already trained to detect odours of certain cancers including malaria and Parkinson’s disease. The first phase of the trail will be led by the London School of hygiene and Tropical Medicine alongside the charity of Durham University. The innovation minister Lord Bethell had said of this initiative: "I hope the dogs could provide speedy results as part of the government’s wider testing strategy.”
17th May 2020 - Express

Breakthrough hope as doctors find blood-thinning drugs can help save Covid-19 patients

Doctors at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London have found that most critically ill coronavirus patients suffer blood clots, raising hopes that blood-thinning drugs could save lives
17th May 2020 - Mirror Online

UK plans £38m centre to start production of coronavirus vaccine

An experimental coronavirus vaccine will go into production this summer at a “rapid deployment facility” before clinical trials have established whether the shots are safe and protect against the infection. The business secretary, Alok Sharma, said the £38m centre would allow manufacture to begin “at scale” this summer in anticipation of the vaccine being shown to work by the end of the year. The centre will churn out doses of vaccine before a larger facility, called the Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC), opens next summer at the Harwell science and innovation campus in Oxford.
17th May 2020 - The Guardian

Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children and adolescents with COVID-19

As of 15 May 2020, more than 4 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, including more than 285,000 deaths have been reported to WHO. The risk of severe disease and death has been highest in older people and in persons with underlying noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), such as hypertension, cardiac disease, chronic lung disease and cancer.1-4 Limited data describe clinical manifestations of COVID-19 that are generally milder in children compared with adults,5-8 but also show that some children do require hospitalization and intensive care.
15th May 2020 - World Health Organization

Yet another study shows hydroxychloroquine doesn't work against Covid-19

A new study -- the largest of its kind -- shows that hydroxychloroquine, the drug touted by President Trump, does not work against Covid-19 and could cause heart problems. The study was published Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. It follows a study published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine that also showed the drug doesn't fight the virus. Even before these reports were published, the US Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health issued warnings about using the drugs for coronavirus patients.
11th May 2020 - CNN


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Coronavirus vaccine could be ready by this time next year, says EU drugs agency

A coronavirus vaccine could be ready for approval in a year’s time in an “optimistic” scenario, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has said. The head of vaccines for the EMA – the body which approves medicines for the European Union – said he had doubts over claims one could be available by September. Dr Marco Cavaleri said: “For vaccines, since the development has to start from scratch ... we might look from an optimistic side in a year from now, so beginning of 2021.”
14th May 2020 - The Independent

Novartis CEO Says Covid-19 Vaccine May Take Until End of 2021

Novartis AG Chief Executive Officer Vas Narasimhan said a vaccine for Covid-19 may only become available in the second half of next year, echoing the consensus view in much of the pharmaceutical industry. “The ultimate way to deal with this pandemic is likely to be a vaccine against Covid-19,” the CEO wrote in an opinion piece published in Switzerland’s Handelszeitung Thursday. “That will take more time -- my guess is about one and a half to two years.”
15th May 2020 - Bloomberg

Oxford coronavirus vaccine found protective in small study on monkeys

A potential coronavirus vaccine being developed by scientists at Oxford University has showed promising signs in a small study of six monkeys. According to a report, some of the monkeys given a single shot of the vaccine developed antibodies against the virus within 14 days. All of them developed protective antibodies within 28 days, before being exposed to high doses of the virus, experts said.
14th May 2020 - Evening Standard

Coronavirus: A quarter of COVID-19 patients who died in England had diabetes

NHS England said of the 22,332 people who died since 31 March, 5,873 (26%) of them had diabetes as an underlying health condition.
14th May 2020 - Sky News

Data on children and Covid-19 based on 'small amounts of evidence', warns specialist

Professor Karina Butler, Consultant Paediatrician and Infectious Diseases Specialist has warned that emerging data on children and Covid-19 was based on “very small amounts of evidence”. While the data was encouraging, Prof Butler told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland “we are on a learning curve.”
14th May 2020 - Irish Examiner


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 14th May 2020

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Exclusive: First coronavirus antibody test given approval by Public Health England

(PHE), The Telegraph has learned, in a breakthrough that could be key to easing the UK's lockdown restrictions. The Telegraph understands that the Department of Health is in negotiations with the Swiss healthcare company Roche to buy millions of the kits. The accuracy of the test was given approval by experts at PHE’s Porton Down facility last week.
13th May 2020 - Telegraph.co.uk

App Shows Promise in Tracking New Coronavirus Cases, Study Finds

The Covid Symptom Study, developed by Zoe Global, a health science company, in collaboration with Massachusetts General Hospital and King’s College in London, had 2.5 million users who reported their symptoms in four weeks.
13th May 2020 - The New York Times

Triple-drug combo of anti-malaria pill hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin and ZINC improved coronavirus patients' chances of being discharged and cut death risk by almost 50%, study finds

Researchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine looked at 932 coronavirus patients hospitalized between March 2 and April 5. Half were given a combination of hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin and zinc sulfate and the other half did not receive zinc. Patients receiving the triple drug combination were 1.5 times more likely to recover enough to be discharged and 44% less likely to die. The team believes hydroxychloroquine helps zinc, which has antiviral properties, get into infected cells
13th May 2020 - Daily Mail

WHO sees 'potentially positive data' in treating coronavirus

The Geneva-based WHO is leading a global initiative to develop safe and effective vaccines, tests and drugs to prevent, diagnose and treat COVID-19. The respiratory illness has infected 4.29 million people around the world, according to a Reuters tally. “We do have some treatments that seem to be in very early studies limiting the severity or the length of the illness but we do not have anything that can kill or stop the virus,” spokeswoman Margaret Harris told a briefing. “We do have potentially positive data coming out but we need to see more data to be 100% confident that we can say this treatment over that one,” she added, saying more research was needed and planned. Harris did not name the treatments. She later said she had been referring to early results of four or five treatments already in the public domain and not to the WHO’s Solidarity Trial which is broader in scope but whose results are not yet available
13th May 2020 - Reuters UK

Coronavirus: New 100% accurate COVID-19 antibody test approved for use in UK

Boris Johnson has previously called antibody testing a "game-changer" as it may reveal how many people have had COVID-19.
13th May 2020 - Sky News

80% of children in Italian hospital with rare inflammatory disorder tested positive for coronavirus

In Lombardy, Italy, over the last 5 years, 19 children were admitted to a hospital with an inflammatory syndrome with symptoms resembling Kawasaki Disease. Between February 18, 2020 and April 20, 2020, 10 children were admitted with the same symptoms such as a full body rash. 80% of the 10 tested positive for coronavirus bodies and 60% had more severe complications such as heart issues. Researchers say this is evidence the mysterious condition is linked to COVID-19 and that it should be classified as 'Kawasaki-like Disease.' On Wednesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo revealed 15 US states are investigating a link between coronavirus and the syndrome
13th May 2020 - Daily Mail


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 13th May 2020

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The Independent SAGE scientific coronavirus report

On 4 May 2020 a 13-strong committee convened by former UK government Chief Scientific Adviser Sir David King discussed some aspects of the science behind the UK strategy in a two and a half hour meeting. Leading experts in public health, epidemiology, primary care, virology, mathematical modelling, and social and health policy, raised ideas and issues for consideration which we are pleased to share. Our Independent SAGE focuses on the priorities for measures to be taken to support a gradual release from social distancing measures through a sustainable public health response to COVID-19. This will be essential in suppressing the virus until the delivery of an effective vaccine with universal uptake. We do not address, except as it is directly relevant, the clear structural and procedural weaknesses that contributed to the current situation as we expect these to be addressed in a future inquiry. We draw extensively on the policy considerations proposed by the World Health Organization, which provide a clear structure on which an effective policy should be based given the inevitability that the virus will continue to cross borders.
12th May 2020 - The Independent Sage Report

Scanning for answers to a pandemic

The greater Seattle Coronavirus Assessment Network—or SCAN—is a first-of-its-kind disease surveillance platform for COVID-19 that allows participants to use a self-swab test to collect their own nasal samples and send them to a lab without leaving home. As a surveillance program, SCAN’s goal isn’t to test every person or serve as a replacement for medical care. Instead, SCAN is testing a sample of people in the Seattle region, including those who are healthy as well as those who are feeling sick. The test results and other data (like a person’s age, gender, race, zip code, and any underlying health conditions) are used by researchers, data modelers, and public health officials to paint a clearer picture of how COVID-19 is moving through the community, who is at greatest risk, and whether physical distancing measures are working
12th May 2020 - Gates Notes

Coronavirus patient DNA study could tell us why some fare worse

Doctors hope that analysing their DNA will reveal genetic variations that affect the course of the infection in different people, and potentially point to specific drugs that patients might benefit from. Nearly 2,000 Covid-19 patients have already donated DNA for the £28m study, run by Edinburgh University and multiple NHS hospitals. The work is backed by the UK government, Genomics England and the Genetics of Mortality in Critical Care consortium of researchers.
12th May 2020 - The Guardian

How to pick a real winner in the Covid-19 vaccine race

The important, but counter-intuitive, message is that when one has a great many vaccine candidates for the same disease — as is the case today — estimating and managing correlations in the portfolio can be more important than adding yet another “winner”.
11th May 2020 - Financial Times


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 12th May 2020

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Practices can consider remote working or 'buddying' to get BAME GPs off frontline -

Staff from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds could work remotely during the Covid-19 crisis, while small practices may wish to get into ‘buddying’ arrangements with neighbouring practices if their GPs are at higher risk. These were messages in a webinar on how to protect BAME GPs and general practice staff which took place yesterday evening, ahead of NHS England releasing a bespoke risk assessment tool for general practice. And it comes as new data from the Office for National Statistics has shown that people from certain black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups are twice as likely to die from coronavirus than their white counterparts. NHS England medical director for primary care Dr Nikki Kanani told GPs last night that practices should consider remote working for their staff who are at risk.
11th May 2020 - Management in Practice

Enzyme makes men more vulnerable to coronavirus; adding interferon may improve treatment

A study from 11 European countries may help explain reports that the new coronavirus seems to attack men more often and more severely than women. Researchers have found that men have higher blood levels of the enzyme that helps the virus infect cells. The higher levels of "angiotensin-converting enzyme 2," or ACE2, in men's blood might mean their organs have more of the ACE2 "receptors" the virus uses to get into cells, researchers suggest in a paper published on Monday in European Heart Journal.
11th May 2020 - Reuters UK

Surviving Covid-19 May Not Feel Like Recovery for Some

Debilitating symptoms can last long after a person’s body has gotten rid of the coronavirus, a reality Italians are now confronting.
11th May 2020 - The New York Times


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 11th May 2020

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The problem with predicting coronavirus apocalypse in Africa

Claims that Africa will be hit the worst by the pandemic ignore African epidemiological know-how and action.
10th May 2020 - Al Jazeera English

Coronavirus: Professor 'can't easily tell' who is more at risk from COVID-19 - fit black men or obese white men

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam was speaking about the "complicated" situation surrounding the vulnerability of people from black and minority ethnic communities. It follows an Office for National Statistics (ONS) report earlier this week that said black people are up to four times more likely to die with coronavirus than white people. And a separate study found that being male, older in age, having uncontrolled diabetes and severe asthma are key factors related to COVID-19 deaths, according to researchers at the University of Oxford and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
10th May 2020 - Sky News

New York warns of children's illness linked to Covid-19 after three deaths

State reports 73 cases of children falling severely ill with toxic shock-like reaction that has symptoms similar to Kawasaki disease
9th May 2020 - The Guardian

Japan's Shionogi primed to mass-produce coronavirus vaccine in 2021

Shionogi aims to supply 10 million doses of the potential vaccine. The company looks to invest 10 billion yen to 20 billion yen ($94.1 million to $188 million) to proceed with expanding capacity, an unusual gamble in hopes of ensuring a swift mass release. Teshirogi acknowledged that drugmakers usually wait for trial results before moving to scale up. "In view of the situation, we've decided to take the risk to plan for mass production in parallel with development," he said.
8th May 2020 - Nikkei Asian Review


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Effects of coronavirus in children adds to list of Covid-19 unknowns

Numerous studies have found that the virus is a mild disease for children. In one of the largest, by doctors in Shanghai, 94 per cent of children with the virus had an asymptomatic, mild or moderate illness. A separate review by the Karolinska Institute in Sweden found that children accounted for fewer than 5 per cent of diagnosed Covid-19 cases globally. Of 2,572 infected children analysed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US, 5.7 per cent were hospitalised and three died. But why children exhibit such mild forms of a virus that has killed almost 265,000 people around the world remains unclear. “Right now it’s still a big mystery,” said Isabella Eckerle, a virologist at the Geneva Centre for Emerging Viral Diseases. “We don’t know what’s going on with the children. They don’t get sick at all, and if they do they’re only mildly sick.”
8th May 2020 - The Financial Times

COVID-19 death rate sinking? Data reveals a complex reality

In many countries, fewer COVID-19 patients are dying than in earlier weeks of the pandemic. But scientific experts say we should be looking at all-cause death numbers instead — they tell a very different story.
7th May 2020 - DW (English)

Coronavirus: Underlying health conditions don’t explain higher BAME deaths, say scientists

In the largest study of its kind, on behalf of NHS England, the health records of more than 17 million people and 5,700 Covid-19 deaths were examined. Researchers were able to examine the medical histories of each patient and any role their health appeared to play in people suffering worse infections. The team from the University of Oxford and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), found death from Covid-19 was strongly associated with being male, with men twice as likely to die from the disease as women. That risk was greater for people with uncontrolled diabetes and obesity, but the researchers said the existence of diseases and deprivation only accounted for a small part of the risk for people from ethnic backgrounds
7th May 2020 - Independent


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 7th May 2020

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Exclusive: Sanofi to enroll thousands for its coronavirus vaccine trials

Sanofi is working on two vaccine projects to prevent COVID-19 - the illness caused by the new coronavirus - and said it is exploring several manufacturing options, including fresh collaborations to ensure it can meet demand, if either program is successful. Drugmakers are rushing to develop treatments and vaccines for the highly contagious coronavirus that has killed over 255,000 people worldwide, infected more than 3.6 million and ravaged economies globally. Of more than 100 vaccine candidates in development, 10 have reached the clinical testing stage so far, according to California-based think tank Milken Institute.
5th May 2020 - Reuters UK

Coronavirus vaccine hope as scientists find it has not mutated into different types

Researchers from the Medical Research Council-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research (CVR) believe fears that there of two coronavirus strains are "unfounded"
6th May 2020 - Mirror Online

Bicester family compare symptoms during coronavirus vaccine trial

Half of the trial volunteers will receive the potential Covid-19 vaccine, and half will get a placebo vaccine which protects against meningitis but not coronavirus. None of them will know which one they are given. Now the Vineys, who live in Bicester, must keep a daily diary online checking their temperatures and keeping a score from zero to five of how they feel. Mum-of-four Katie Viney, who will also feature on the latest series of BBC TV show 'You Are What You Wear' with her husband, said it was still 'really exciting' knowing that they could be part of the vaccine that ‘makes history’.
6th May 2020 - Oxford Mail

Washington approves virus drug as US states ease lockdowns - The Jakarta Post

American authorities have approved an experimental drug for emergency use on coronavirus patients, as more US states eased pandemic lockdowns despite another spike in deaths from the disease. The approval is the latest step in a global push to find viable treatments and a vaccine for the coronavirus, which has left half of humanity under some form of lockdown, hammered the world economy and infected more than 3.3 million people. Remdesivir, an antiviral drug initially developed to treat Ebola, was given the green light on Friday after a major trial found that it boosted recovery in serious COVID-19 patients.
6th May 2020 - Jakarta Post

New ‘genetic code’ coronavirus vaccine in the works

Here is what makes this potential coronavirus vaccine different. The vaccine carries the genetic code known as “messenger RNA” that teaches the cells in the body to make the proteins associated with the coronavirus, but without making someone sick. The hope is that the body’s immune system can then fight off COVID-19 after getting the vaccine. NBC News got an exclusive look inside the lab where the testing is underway. Dr. Peter Hotez, who is developing a vaccine himself, says this type of vaccine has had success in animal trials but never in humans. He thinks Pfizer is rushing it.
6th May 2020 - KPRC Click2Houston

Why it'll still be a long time before we get a coronavirus vaccine

The UK trial, led by the University of Oxford, will ultimately involve 1100 adults, half of whom will receive the experimental vaccine. The other half will get a meningitis vaccine as a control. The team behind the trial hopes to move on to tests to gauge how effective the vaccine is against the coronavirus as early as August, raising hopes that a vaccine could be ready before the end of the year, and that this could be the answer to the difficult question of how the country gets out of strict social distancing measures. Unfortunately, these hopes are probably misplaced. Vaccine design expert Maria Bottazzi of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, calls the schedule “unrealistic”. Even if everything goes according to plan in the first phase of trials, Bottazzi points out that researchers will still need time to determine how well the vaccine protects people from covid-19 and whether it provokes any side effects when a vaccinated person is subsequently exposed to the virus.
6th May 2020 - New Scientist News

Summer months will yield crucial data on coronavirus vaccine, Moderna exec says

In the race to create an effective coronavirus vaccine, the summer months should provide crucial data on the potential benefits of the highly-regarded vaccine being developed by Cambridge-based Moderna. “My only two competitors in this race are the virus and the clock,” Moderna’s Chief Medical Officer Tal Zaks said in a Wednesday webinar with Stat. Moderna’s mRNA vaccine was called “impressive” by top National Institutes of Health official Anthony Fauci, and last week the company announced a worldwide strategic collaboration to manufacture the vaccine with the goal of up to 1 billion doses per year. But before the vaccine can even come close to reaching everyday citizens, an intricate timeline of testing to ensure safety and efficacy is needed, said Zaks, adding that the timeline isn’t “black and white.”
6th May 2020 - Boston Herald

Famously cautious White House Covid-19 doctor 'confident' vaccine ready by 2021

America’s top coronavirus expert Dr Anthony Fauci has said he is confident a coronavirus vaccine will be ready by January. The characteristically cautious White House immunologist said he has already seen ‘impressive’ results for one potential vaccine currently being trialed by a company called Moderna Therapeutics in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
5th May 2020 - Metro.co.uk


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 6th May 2020

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First US participants get experimental coronavirus vaccine in Pfizer BioNTech study

US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and German biotechnology company BioNTech have begun testing an experimental coronavirus vaccine on humans in the United States, according to an announcement from the companies on Tuesday. The companies’ coronavirus vaccine program is called BNT162. Study participants in the program in Germany were given doses of the vaccine last week and now the US trial — at NYU Grossman School of Medicine in New York and the University of Maryland School of Medicine — is underway, the companies have revealed. The program's Phase 1/2 study is designed to test the safety, effectiveness and best dose level of four mRNA vaccine candidates and is to be evaluated in a single, continuous study, the companies said. The first participants in the first stage of the study will be healthy adults ages 18 to 55, according to the announcement.
5th May 2020 - CNN Philippines

Japan sending Fujifilm's flu drug favipiravir to over 40 countries for Covid-19 trials

Chinese researchers said Fujifilm’s flu drug favipiravir (Avigan) was “clearly effective” in treating Covid-19. Now Japan is shipping favipiravir to 43 countries for clinical trials and testing it with mild and moderate patients. Medical centers in Massachusetts are evaluating the drug in a Phase 2 trial. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday he wants favipiravir approved for Covid-19 in May, as Japan moves to fast-track approval for remdesivir as well.
4th May 2020 - CNBC


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 5th May 2020

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UK scientists create coronavirus antibody test with '99.8% accuracy and results in 35 minutes'

UK scientists have developed a new coronavirus antibody test which they say produces results in 35 minutes with 99.8 per cent accuracy. Edinburgh researchers at blood-screening company Quotient have developed kit to see if people are immune to Covid-19 by spotting antibodies to the disease. Each serological screening machine has capacity for up to 3,000 tests a day. But there are fears the NHS could miss out on the test due to interest in Europe. It has 12 screening machines available, with a further 20 expected to be ready by the end of the year, but it has already had talks with interested parties across the continent.
4th May 2020 - Evening Standard

Roche Coronavirus Antibody Test Wins FDA Approval for Emergency Use

Roche’s test, which identifies antibodies made by the body to fight off the new coronavirus, is designed to tell people whether they have been infected in the past. For many diseases, antibodies remain in the blood for weeks, months or even years after infection. Antibody tests are performed on a blood sample and are different from the swab tests used to diagnose a current infection.
3rd May 2020 - The Wall Street Journal

Coronavirus: Discovery of antibody to stop human cell infection

Antibody found to block infection by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in cells. The '47D11' antibody targets the 'spike protein' of the destructive coronavirus. It could alter the 'course of infection' or protect an uninfected person exposed
5th May 2020 - Daily Mail

SA engineers produce two mechanical ventilator prototypes for COVID-19 patients

Government has tasked experts at the Square Kilometre Array with testing the most promising technologies to conceptualise a local ventilator design
1st May 2020 - EWN

expert reaction to an ONS report on deaths involving COVID-19 by local area and socioeconomic deprivation

Prof Dave Gordon, Director of the Bristol Poverty Institute and Director of the Townsend Centre for International Poverty Research, University of Bristol, said: “There are a range of reasons why the death rates in the 30% of the most deprived areas are more than twice as high as in the richest areas.
1st May 2020 - Science Media Centre


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 4th May 2020

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Profits and Pride at Stake, the Race for a Vaccine Intensifies

Governments, companies and academic labs are accelerating their efforts amid geopolitical crosscurrents, questions about safety and the challenges of producing enough doses for billions of people.
2nd May 2020 - The New York Times

Coronavirus: US authorises use of anti-viral drug Remdesivir

The US's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorised emergency use of the Ebola drug remdesivir for treating the coronavirus. The authorisation means the anti-viral drug can now be used on people who are hospitalised with severe Covid-19. A recent clinical trial showed the drug helped shorten the recovery time for people who were seriously ill. However, it did not significantly improve survival rates.
2nd May 2020 - BBC

We found and tested 47 old drugs that might treat the coronavirus: Results show promising leads and a whole new way to fight COVID-19

Our multidisciplinary team of researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, called the QCRG, identified 69 existing drugs and compounds with potential to treat COVID-19. A month ago, we began shipping boxes of these drugs off to Institut Pasteur in Paris and Mount Sinai in New York to see if they do in fact fight the coronavirus. In the last four weeks, we have tested 47 of these drugs and compounds in the lab against live coronavirus. I’m happy to report we’ve identified some strong treatment leads and identified two separate mechanisms for how these drugs affect SARS-CoV-2 infection. Our findings were published on April 30 in the journal Nature.
30th Apr 2020 - The Conversation US


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 1st May 2020

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Coronavirus: Children just as likely to catch infection, study says

A study in Shenzhen, China, found that 7.4 per cent of children were infected. This was on par with the 6.6 per cent average found in the population. Low death and hospitalisation rates led to belief children might be protected. Britain was hesitant to close schools and will be keen to reopen them soon. Authorities mustn't be hasty because children could trigger spread, the expert said
1st May 2020 - Daily Mail

South Korea admits 292 coronavirus 'reinfections' were false positives

Over the past month South Koreans cleared of the virus testing positive again The country was grappling with fears that people could be reinfected A infectious disease expert has claimed the results are due to a testing fault He said the test can pick up viral fragments left in the body even if inactive It relieves worries that immunity is short lived for people who have had the virus
1st May 2020 - Daily Mail

Covidence-UK – The study that could find a cure for coronavirus

The Covidence-UK study will explore every aspect of the pandemic and, so long as enough people take part, it will capture the clues needed to answer hundreds of questions. It will also spotlight topics for future coronavirus research.
1st May 2020 - Daily Express

Substantial undocumented infection facilitates the rapid dissemination of novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2)

The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has now become pandemic. How has it managed to spread from China to all around the world within 3 to 4 months? Li et al. used multiple sources to infer the proportion of early infections that went undetected and their contribution to virus spread. The researchers combined data from Tencent, one of the world's largest social media and technology companies, with a networked dynamic metapopulation model and Bayesian inference to analyze early spread within China. They estimate that ∼86% of cases were undocumented before travel restrictions were put in place. Before travel restriction and personal isolation were implemented, the transmission rate of undocumented infections was a little more than half that of the known cases. However, because of their greater numbers, undocumented infections were the source for ∼80% of the documented cases. Immediately after travel restrictions were imposed, ∼65% of cases were documented. These findings help to explain the lightning-fast spread of this virus around the world.
1st May 2020 - Science Magazine

Remdesivir drug shows promise -- but it is far from a coronavirus cure

The study showing that the experimental drug remdesivir might help Covid-19 patients recover more quickly is positively good news. Shortly afterward, Dr. Anthony Fauci said remdesivir will become the "standard of care" for all infected patients. But beyond the initial optimism, the study also made clear that remdesivir is far from a cure for Covid-19. "This is not a blockbuster drug," CNN Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen said.
30th Apr 2020 - CNN

The problem of asymptomatic positive infections among care home staff and residents: emerging evidence and implications

As this LSE paper shows, 69% of care home residents in Belgium that tested positive for COVID-19 were asymptomatic. The author, Adelina Comas-Herrera says ideally all care home residents and staff should be tested regularly whether symptomatic or not.
18th Apr 2020 - LTC Responses to Covid19


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 30th Apr 2020

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Remdesivir: New findings on coronavirus drug 'highly significant'

Scientists in the US have announced the first effective treatment against coronavirus - an experimental drug that can speed the recovery of Covid-19 patients. While not a vaccine against Covid-19, the findings mark a major medical advance in the fight against the respiratory disease which has killed more than 220,000 people worldwide and infected more than three million. Early results of an international trial have revealed that the anti-inflammatory, anti-viral drug remdesivir, is a potential breakthrough. It is not a vaccine or a cure, but can aid with patients' recovery.
29th Apr 2020 - ITV News

Extensive contact tracing, isolation controlled coronavirus spread in Shenzhen, China: Study

Extensive contact tracing and isolation were key tools in controlling the spread of COVID-19 in Shenzhen, China, a new study has found. The study, which was published Monday in the Lancet Infectious Diseases, utilized January and February information from the Shenzhen Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Researchers analyzed data from 391 COVID-19 patients and 1,286 of their close contacts, and found that extensive contact tracing and rapid isolation of potentially infected individuals reduced the time that infectious people interacted with others in the community by two days.
28th Apr 2020 - ABC News

Large Vessel Strokes in Younger Patients Tied to COVID-19

Five COVID-19 patients ages 33 to 49 developed acute ischemic large-vessel stroke, data from a New York City health system showed. All five presented to Mount Sinai Health System from March 23 to April 7 and all tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, wrote Thomas Oxley, MD, of Mount Sinai, and colleagues, in the New England Journal of Medicine on Tuesday.
28th Apr 2020 - MedPage Today


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 29th Apr 2020

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Vaccine trials have begun: how do they work and when could we see results?

How do the vaccine trials work and when can we expect to see results? LBC puts these questions to Oxford Vaccine Group's leader Professor Andrew Pollard. Two volunteers have been vaccinated for Covid-19 and the Oxford Vaccine Group are currently working out logistics to enable vaccination for more volunteers, Professor Andrew Pollard told LBC. The vaccine task-force are confident to pursue this vaccine because in animals, the UK vaccine "induces good immune responses" and if encouraging responses are seen in animals "often that is the case in humans," he said.
28th Apr 2020 - LBC


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 28th Apr 2020

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EIT Health announces €6m for innovations to tackle COVID-19

EIT Health has announced funds of over €6 million in the fight against COVID-19, which will be dedicated to 14 specially selected health innovation projects across Europe.
27th Apr 2020 - Med-Tech Innovation

Global health innovators mobilize to help developing countries combat COVID-19

Novel, affordable ways to acquire medical oxygen, ventilators, masks and other critically-needed COVID-19 supplies and services are among 20 Grand Challenges Canada innovations mobilizing to assist developing countries through the global pandemic.
27th Apr 2020 - EurekAlert

How World-Class Institutes Leaned in to Innovate Healthcare Against COVID-19?

The IIT-Delhi has developed a COVID-19 test kit which recently got the approval of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). As per the ANI report, Vivekanandan Perumal, Professor at IIT-Delhi said, “We started working on it by the end of January and got it ready in three months. We wanted to contribute to affordable low-cost diagnostics that could be used in large numbers.” According to him, it is a swab testing kit and the testing will be cheaper than all existing devices as the device is affordable for commercial production.
27th Apr 2020 - Analytics Insight

In Race for a Coronavirus Vaccine, an Oxford Group Leaps Ahead

Most other teams have had to start with small clinical trials of a few hundred participants to demonstrate safety. But scientists at the university’s Jenner Institute had a head start on a vaccine, having proved in previous trials that similar inoculations — including one last year against an earlier coronavirus — were harmless to humans. That has enabled them to leap ahead and schedule tests of their new coronavirus vaccine involving more than 6,000 people by the end of next month, hoping to show not only that it is safe, but also that it works.
27th Apr 2020 - The New York Times

Japan to approve remdesivir for coronavirus patients in May

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday that Japan will soon approve the anti-viral drug remdesivir for the treatment of coronavirus patients, in what will be the country's first such decision amid the pandemic. A government official said separately that the drug will be approved as early as next month to treat patients with COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus, as moves to develop therapeutic drugs and vaccines have been accelerating around the globe.
27th Apr 2020 - Kyodo News

Digital innovations tested to support vulnerable people during COVID-19 outbreak

People who may be particularly vulnerable or isolated during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, including new parents, the homeless, unpaid carers, young people and cancer patients, could soon benefit from a range of innovative digital solutions selected as part of the TechForce19 challenge. Today, NHSX, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the Ministry for Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) have announced 18 innovative digital solutions being awarded up to £25,000 under the TechForce19 challenge. The funding for each project will be used to develop new ways to support vulnerable people who need to stay at home or need other help in the community for extended periods of time.
24th Apr 2020 - UK Government

Bill Gates: 5 innovations to overcome coronavirus pandemic

Bill Gates just laid out what needs to happen to halt the coronavirus pandemic. Gates said we need innovations in areas like treatments, vaccines, and testing. "The coronavirus pandemic pits all of humanity against the virus," Gates said in a document posted on his blog on Thursday, adding, "This is like a world war, except in this case, we're all on the same side."
23rd Apr 2020 - Business Insider


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 27th Apr 2020

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Effectiveness of isolation, testing, contact tracing and physical distancing on reducing transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in different settings

Isolation of symptomatic cases and tracing of contacts has been used as an early COVID-19 containment measure in many countries, with additional physical distancing measures also introduced as outbreaks have grown. To maintain control of infection while also reducing disruption to populations, there is a need to understand what combination of measures – including novel digital tracing approaches and less intensive physical distancing – may be required to reduce transmission.
23rd Apr 2020 - CMMID Repository

Blood-pressure drugs are in the crosshairs of COVID-19 research

Scientists are baffled by how the coronavirus attacks the body - killing many patients while barely affecting others. But some are tantalized by a clue: A disproportionate number of patients hospitalized by COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, have high blood pressure. Theories about why the condition makes them more vulnerable – and what patients should do about it – have sparked a fierce debate among scientists over the impact of widely prescribed blood-pressure drugs.
26th Apr 2020 - Reuters UK

UK coronavirus vaccine to be tested on patients from Thursday

Mr Hancock told the government's daily briefing that the Oxford trial and another at Imperial College London would each get at least another £20m of public money. The Jenner Institute team at Oxford is starting production before the trial is complete and wants about a million doses ready to be sent out by September.
22nd Apr 2020 - Sky News on MSN.com

Coronavirus vaccine might not be ready until 'well into next year'

Professor Gina Radford urged people to be "realistic" about the prospect of developing a vaccine for Covid-19 despite the government "throwing everything" at it. It comes after the UK government announced a coronavirus vaccine taskforce at last Thursday's daily press conference from Downing Street. The professor stressed the difficulty of "having to start from scratch" when developing a vaccine while speaking to Sky News' Sophie Ridge On Sunday show. She said: "We haven't got a hugely good track record with vaccines for this particular virus, coronavirus, the family of viruses. "But having said that everything is being thrown at it, there are researchers all over the world trying to identify a vaccine. "We have never seen anything like the effort that is being put to discover this vaccine."
26th Apr 2020 - LBC Radio


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 24th Apr 2020

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Worldwide race on to find coronavirus vaccine

Of the more than 100 research projects around the world to find a vaccine - described by the United Nations as the only route back to "normality" - seven are currently in clinical trials, according to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Such trials are already under way in China and the United States and are due to begin at the end of this month in Germany, where the federal vaccine authority gave the green light yesterday.
23rd Apr 2020 - RTE.ie

Combating coronavirus: New gadgets designed to fight Covid-19

The saying goes 'necessity is the mother of invention', and so has the coronavirus pandemic propelled an urgent need of creativity and innovation to safeguard from the contagion.These tricky times have hence brought to the fore the need to be able to use innovations in everyday life when it comes to hygiene. New innovations are being introduced almost everyday, from hands-free door openers that can be 3D-printed, to basic ventilators, wrist-mounted disinfectant sprays, to a wristband that buzzes whenever you're about to touch your face.
24th Apr 2020 - Khaleej Times


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 23rd Apr 2020

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National Covid-19 Testing Action Plan

Our National Covid-19 Testing Action Plan lays out the precise steps necessary to enact robust testing, tracing, and coordination to more safely reopen our economy – starting with a dramatic expansion of testing from 1 million tests per week to initially 3 million per week and then 30 million per week, backed by an Emergency Network for Covid-19 Testing to coordinate and underwrite the testing market, a public-private testing technology accelerator, and a national initiative to rapidly expand and optimize the use of U.S., university, and local lab capacity.
22nd Apr 2020 - The Rockerfeller Foundation

Researchers develop new guidance for the remote delivery of psychological therapy to children

The guidance, created with collaborators at the American University of Beirut, Médecins du Monde and Johns Hopkins University, draws on the researchers’ experience adapting an existing psychological treatment to phone delivery for Syrian refugee children living in Lebanon as part of an ongoing clinical research study.
21st Apr 2020 - Queen Mary University of London

How flying economy could change after coronavirus - including hygiene screens and backward seats

New airplane designs show ways in which passengers could help limit the spread of illnesses using hygiene screens and backwards facing seats. The ideas were revealed by aircraft cabin designers Aviointeriors, the company which previously created stand-up seats. If the plans were implemented, in economy class each seat would have a screen around the head and side which would stop unnecessary contact with the passengers sitting beside them
22nd Apr 2020 - HeartFM

COVID-19 Vaccine Study - What is the purpose of this trial?

This study will enable us to assess if healthy people can be protected from COVID-19 with this new vaccine called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. It will also give us valuable information on safety aspects of the vaccine and its ability to generate good immune responses against the virus. We will do this by randomly allocating participants to receive the COVID-19 vaccine or a control injection in addition to doing blood tests and collecting information about any symptoms that occur after vaccination.
23rd Apr 2020 - Covid19 Vaccine Trial


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 22nd Apr 2020

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Human coronavirus vaccine trials to start this week in the UK

The UK Health Ministry has announced plans to start human trials of a coronavirus vaccine on Thursday. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Tuesday the COVID-19 vaccine was being developed by scientists at Oxford University and a separate team at Imperial College in London.
21st Apr 2020 - ABC News

How drones are used for life-saving healthcare

Traditional approaches for connecting and supplying people with care and medicines are not just antiquated, they are increasingly inadequate. This is where we have a new possible solution - namely, drones - to address this challenge and bring medicines to patients faster, when they need them the most.
21st Apr 2020 - World Economic Forum

Putting AI to work against COVID-19

Until the coronavirus pandemic took hold, it seemed that at least every other headline about healthcare innovations was related to machine learning or other forms of artificial intelligence (AI) - systems that can mimic human processes such as the capacity to learn and adapt on the basis of new information increasingly used in technology. We have heard a great deal about how AI might improve healthcare, but what use is it in the face of the massively disruptive effects of a serious infectious disease outbreak?
21st Apr 2020 - PHG Foundation

Coronavirus health monitoring app launched encouraging 'good neighbours'

Lord (Paul) Drayson, CEO of Sensyne Health, said: “Current social distancing and self-isolation advice is limiting people’s ability to care for the ones we love. While physical isolation during the crisis makes sense, social isolation doesn’t. In line with Sensyne’s aim to improve patient care, I hope CVm-Health becomes an app for everyone, including the digitally disconnected, and enables people to volunteer, from their laptop on their sofa, or at a safe distance in their neighborhood, to help look after those most vulnerable in society.”
21st Apr 2020 - Med-Tech Innovation

University College London and Causaly to partner on COVID-19 research

The AI and innovative technology company Causaly has announced that they will be partnering with UCL Innovation & Enterprise, in the UK, to help advance their ongoing research into COVID-19. The company have granted several UCL researchers access to their software, with a view to opening up access to others in the future.
21st Apr 2020 - Healthcare IT News

How technology innovation is boosting healthcare systems

On International Creativity and Innovation Day, a look at technology advancements and their impact on healthcare infrastructure. Let us have a look at some of these technologies
21st Apr 2020 - Geospatial World


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 21st Apr 2020

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Twenty-one new studies into the novel coronavirus have been funded by the UK government, including the first clinical drug trial in primary care, vaccine and therapy development, and studying epidemiology, disease transmission, behavioural interventions and policy approaches to COVID-19.

Twenty-one new studies into the novel coronavirus have been funded by the UK government, including the first clinical drug trial in primary care, vaccine and therapy development, and studying epidemiology, disease transmission, behavioural interventions and policy approaches to COVID-19. This second round of projects receive £14.1 million as part of the £24.6 million rapid research response funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), and by the Department of Health and Social Care through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).
17th Apr 2020 - UK Research and Innovation

These are the new hot spots of innovation in the time of coronavirus

There has already been an impressive amount of collaboration, says Sam Altman, the former president of top Silicon Valley start-up accelerator Y Combinator and current CEO of artificial intelligence research lab Open AI. “This will be a before moment and an after moment for the world,” Altman tells CNBC Make It, and “there’s incredible innovation coming,” he says. Here’s a look at the areas of innovation which have become freshly important as the coronavirus pandemic takes center stage.
15th Apr 2020 - CNBC

Institutions form UK Coronavirus testing consortium

New national collaborations such as the UK-RTC will contribute to the government’s wider target to carry out 100,000 tests a day by the end of April, focusing on frontline healthcare and other essential workers first before deploying the tests to the wider population. The consortium will draw on BBI Solutions’ rapid test development and expertise, as well as its wider manufacturing capabilities, primarily at its headquarters at Crumlin, South Wales, and its site in Edinburgh. The company will also draw on resource and expertise in other parts of the global BBI Group, in the United States, China and South Africa.
14th Apr 2020 - Med-Tech Innovation

The Polish coronavirus test is ready. "Young volunteers worked day and night" - we made our own

There was a shortage of reagents on the market. So we thought why not try to develop our own test? - Dr. Luiza Handschuh, a member of the team that developed the Polish coronavirus test explains what they did. The test is based solely on Polish reagents.Thanks to this, it will be cheaper than foreign counterpart tests. The application for registration has already been submitted. The start of production at the Medicofarma plant in Radom is a matter of days thanks to a grant provided by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education "- wrote the Polish Academy of Sciences on Facebook on Friday.
10th Apr 2020 - Tokfm.pl


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 20th Apr 2020

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Germany starts mass-testing for coronavirus antibodies in bid to learn more about COVID-19

Germany is carrying out Europe’s first large-scale coronavirus antibody testing to help assess infection rates and monitor the spread of the virus. Antibodies in the blood are an indication that someone has had the virus. The theory is that those people will have at least some level of immunity, although there is no guarantee of full immunity or how long it would last. The research will involve blood donations in four regions of the country where there've been large outbreaks of the virus, as well as a representative study of the broader population.
19th Apr 2020 - Euronews

UK scientists to make a million potential COVID-19 vaccines before proof

A million doses of a potential COVID-19 vaccine being developed by British scientists are already being manufactured and will be available by September, even before trials prove whether the shot is effective, the team said on Friday. The Oxford University team’s experimental product, called “ChAdOx1 nCoV-19”, is a type known as a recombinant viral vector vaccine and is one of at least 70 potential COVID-19 candidate shots under development by biotech and research teams around the world. At least five of those are in preliminary testing in people.
17th Apr 2020 - Reuters


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 17th Apr 2020

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Gilead data suggests coronavirus patients are responding to treatment

A Chicago hospital treating severe Covid-19 patients with Gilead Sciences’ antiviral medicine remdesivir in a closely watched clinical trial is seeing rapid recoveries in fever and respiratory symptoms, with nearly all patients discharged in less than a week, STAT has learned. Remdesivir was one of the first medicines identified as having the potential to impact SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19, in lab tests. The entire world has been waiting for results from Gilead’s clinical trials, and positive results would likely lead to fast approvals by the Food and Drug Administration and other regulatory agencies. If safe and effective, it could become the first approved treatment against the disease.
16th Apr 2020 - STAT

Oxford University to begin tests of its coronavirus vaccine on humans NEXT WEEK in hope of having a jab ready for autumn

Oxford's vaccine programme has already recruited 510 people, aged between 18 and 55, to take part in the first trial. They will receive either the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine - which has been developed in Oxford - or a control injection for comparison. Professor Adrian Hill, who will lead the research, said: 'We are going into human trials next week. We have tested the vaccine in several different animal species. 'We have taken a fairly cautious approach, but a rapid one to assess the vaccine that we are developing.'
15th Apr 2020 - Mail Online

Hyped Malaria Pill Doesn’t Help Clear Coronavirus in Study

Hydroxychloroquine, the 65-year-old malaria drug that President Donald Trump has praised, appeared not to help patients get rid of the pathogen in a small study. The pill didn’t help patients clear the virus better than standard care and was much more likely to cause side effects, according to a study of 150 hospitalized patients by doctors at 16 centers in China. The research, which hasn’t been peer-reviewed, was released Tuesday.
15th Apr 2020 - Bloomberg

COVID 19: Halix ready for vaccine production

Dutch CDMO HALIX B.V. has joined a research consortium coordinated by the University of Oxford, to provide GMP-compliant production of Vaccitech Ltd’s COVID-19 vaccine (ChAdOx1 nCoV-19) targeting the viral spike protein, which is clinically developed by the University’s Jenner Institute. The clinical program, led by Professor Sarah Gilbert at the Jenner Institute and Professor Andrew Pollard of the Oxford Vaccine Group, will recruit up to 510 volunteers, who will receive either the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine or a control injection for comparison. Since March 23, 2020, The University of Oxford is recruiting individuals in the UK to take part in trialing the vaccine.
15th Apr 2020 - European Biotechnology

MilliporeSigma Supports Jenner Institute to Reach First Milestone in Covid-19 Vaccine Manufacturing

MilliporeSigma and The Jenner Institute today announced that The Jenner Institute has laid the foundation for large-scale production of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. With patients enrolled for clinical trials for this vaccine, rapid development of the large-scale manufacturing process is a critical step in quickly and safely delivering it from the lab to patients. "We have brought the future of vaccine manufacturing to the present," said Udit Batra, CEO, MilliporeSigma. "This is an important step in treating Covid-19 and other diseases that impact global public health. This work marks a milestone in the vaccine manufacturing development journey, as clinical testing continues to advance."
14th Apr 2020 - P&T Community


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 16th Apr 2020

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Italy aims to turn suffering to advantage with experimental Covid-19 treatment

People who recover from an infection, or who tested positive but never experienced symptoms, develop antibodies in their blood plasma. Those antibodies can be transfused into another victim, where they might help to neutralize the virus in the recipient's body. For decades, doctors have used plasma or even whole blood from recovered patients to treat the newly infected. Baldanti is a virologist at the University of Pavia San Matteo Hospital in Italy's northern Lombardy region, which has seen the most cases and deaths in the country. He hopes "this plasma treatment can be crucial for controlling the infection in patients admitted to intensive care units."
15th Apr 2020 - CNN

Healthcare workers can carry coronavirus particles on their shoes, new CDC research shows

The coronavirus typically spreads via airborne droplets from an infected person's coughs or sneezes. But viral particles can survive for a time on surfaces — between three hours and seven days, depending on the material. New research suggests the coronavirus can even stick to the soles of healthcare workers' shoes in a hospital setting. The same study found that the virus could travel up to 13 feet (4 meters) in the air in a Chinese hospital.
16th Apr 2020 - Business Insider

Testing Reveals 'Stunning' Asymptomatic Coronavirus Spread Among Boston's Homeless

Clinicians realized that a cluster of the people who had come up positive were staying at Boston's Pine Street Inn. So the state made testing kits available, and just over a week ago, Health Care for the Homeless tested everyone coming into that shelter. The results? Out of 397 people tested, 146 (36%) came up positive. But even more surprising, they weren't showing any signs of sickness. Dr. Jim O'Connell, president of Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, is urging public health officials here and nationwide to take notice and act on this.
16th Apr 2020 - WBUR

Report From Wuhan: Hard-Won Insights From China

In a special series of articles published online in Anesthesiology, Chinese physician anesthesiologists shared first-hand accounts from the front lines of the coronavirus battle in Wuhan. These articles discuss a broad range of the COVID-19 experience, including the response of Chinese anesthesiologists to the outbreak, perioperative management of infected patients, and best practices for intubation and ventilation.
15th Apr 2020 - Infectious Disease Special Edition


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Sinovac Announces Approval of Human Clinical Trial for a Vaccine Candidate Against COVID-19

The vaccine development commenced at the end of January 2020. Sinovac scientists have raced to complete comprehensive preclinical studies in partnership with leading academic research institutes in China. As part of this work, an animal challenge study has shown that the vaccine candidate protects animals without antibody-dependent enhancement (or ADE). In addition, the vaccine candidate can neutralize virus strains from different countries, which supports the potential of using the vaccine to prevent the spread of the disease globally. Mr. Weidong Yin, Chairman, President, and CEO of Sinovac, commented, “At present, the whole world is facing an unprecedented public health crisis. It is a matter of urgency to develop an effective vaccine to control the spread of COVID-19 globally, as quickly as possible. Sinovac has been working closely with the regulators in China in order to make this happen. Sinovac has always been committed to developing vaccines for global use when facing pandemics.”
14th Apr 2020 - Business Wire

GSK and Sanofi join forces to work on coronavirus vaccine

Two of the world’s biggest vaccine companies have joined forces in an “unprecedented” collaboration to develop a Covid-19 vaccine. GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi, which combined have the largest vaccine manufacturing capability in the world, are working together on a hi-tech vaccine they say could be in human trials within months. The pairing is significant because, if successful, the two companies have the capacity to manufacture the hundreds of millions of doses that are likely to be required worldwide.
14th Apr 2020 - The Guardian

Welsh doctor’s ventilator approved by regulators

A new type of ventilator developed by a senior consultant from Glangwili Hospital, and an engineering company from Ammanford to help coronavirus patients, has been approved by regulators. Designed by Glangwili senior consultant Dr Rhys Thomas, with the help of Maurice Clarke of CR Clarke & Co, an engineering company in Ammanford, it helps patients to breathe more easily. Dr Thomas has previous experience working in anaesthetics and resuscitation in the military and with help of a company in Ammanford and advice from doctors in Italy fighting the virus.
14th Apr 2020 - ITV

Small Chloroquine Study Halted Over Risk of Fatal Heart Complications

A small study in Brazil was halted early for safety reasons after coronavirus patients taking a higher dose of chloroquine developed irregular heart rates that increased their risk of a potentially fatal heart arrhythmia.
12th Apr 2020 - The New York Times

Could old vaccines for other germs protect against COVID-19?

Already nearly 1,500 Dutch health care workers have rolled up their sleeves for one study that Netea’s team is leading. It uses that TB vaccine, named BCG, which is made of a live but weakened bacterial cousin of the TB germ. In Australia, researchers hope to enroll 4,000 hospital workers to test BCG, too, and 700 already have received either the TB vaccine or a dummy shot. Similar research is being planned in other countries, including the U.S. Possibly next in line: Oral polio vaccine, drops made of live but weakened polio viruses. The Baltimore-based Global Virus Network hopes to begin similar studies with that vaccine and is in talks with health authorities, network co-founder Dr. Robert Gallo told The Associated Press.
13th Apr 2020 - Associated Press


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C-CAMP picks 13 anti-coronavirus innovations to tackle outbreak

A special accelerator focused on Covid-19 has identified 13 innovations, including assisted respiratory devices, air and surface sanitising technologies and a cold-chain viral swab sample transport that could be deployed to tackle the epidemic.
13th Apr 2020 - Economic Times

The key to rebounding from coronavirus may lie with antibody tests. But caveats abound.

As leaders strategize about reopening schools and businesses and plan for life on the other side of the so-called coronavirus curve, all eyes are on a type of testing that may help determine who has been infected with COVID-19 and whether they’re immune. The test that may define this new frontier detects specific proteins in a person’s blood, known as antibodies, which develop to fight off infections such as COVID-19. The antibodies could help determine just how pervasive the disease is across the world, but also could potentially pinpoint whether an infected person who recovered has developed an immunity. Though their accuracy remains in question, these antibody tests have become highly sought in the pathway out of the pandemic. Federal regulators have eased standards in an effort to speed production of the tests. Meanwhile, a Framingham company, believed to be the first in Massachusetts, is now distributing the test and says it has a dozen regional hospitals signed on to use it.
13th Apr 2020 - The Boston Globe

India to be involved in coronavirus vaccine trials, manufacturing, says WHO

India will 'definitely' be involved in the trials of coronavirus vaccine and its manufacturing as well as scaling, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Tuesday. The global health body was responding to a query from India TV Digital on the progress in the development of a vaccine for coronavirus. "India was involved in the R and I meeting (Research and Innovation) – represented by DBT (Department of Biotechnology) and ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research). India has expressed interest in joining Solidarity 1 and will definitely be involved in vaccine trials as well as manufacturing and scaling," WHO's spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic said in an emailed response.
13th Apr 2020 - India TV

South Dakota, Sanford Health to hold clinical trials for hydroxychloroquine

Sanford Health and Gov. Kristi Noem announced a clinical trial that will look at whether the drug hydroxychloroquine is effective in treating COVID-19 in South Dakota. The announcement was made Monday, April 13, during a news conference. "We are going to be the first state in the nation to run a statewide clinical trial on hydroxychloroquine," Noem said. The controlled study will include 2,000 outpatient individuals exposed to COVID-19, according to a news release. Noem said that the state has attained 100,000 doses of the drug.
13th Apr 2020 - Dickinson Press

Bill Gates on a coronavirus vaccine: The major issue is time

"People like myself and [Dr. Anthony] Fauci are saying eighteen months,” Gates told BBC Breakfast. “If everything went perfectly, we could do slightly better than that. But there will be a trade-off: We’ll have less safety testing than we typically would have... we just don't have the time to do what we normally do.” The urgency to develop a COVID-19 vaccine is necessary, Gates stressed. “If you want to wait and see if a side effect shows up two years later, that takes two years,” he said. “So when you’re acting quickly... this is a public good, so those trade-offs will be necessary.”
13th Apr 2020 - YAHOO!

COVID-19 innovation: These gadgets were designed to fight the pandemic

COVID-19 may be having a devastating impact on our industries, social lives and personal grooming standards, but it is also prompting an outpouring of creativity in other arenas. From Spiderman-esque wrist-mounted disinfectant sprays, to a wristband that buzzes whenever you’re about to touch your face, a wealth of new prototypes are demonstrating what human ingenuity is capable of in the face of adversity. Here are just some of the newest coronavirus inventions.
5th Apr 2020 - World Economic Forum


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 13th Apr 2020

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New process can detect COVID-19 in five minutes

A process being used at a testing facility in the Detroit Health Center can detect if someone is positive for coronavirus in five minutes. The testing procedure takes about 15 minutes and consists of a technician taking a nasal swab, which is then examined. The test delivers positive results in about five minutes and negative results in 13 minutes. Medical technicians from the Henry Ford Health System and medical students from Wayne State University in Detroit have been operating the testing facility.
11th Apr 2020 - CGTN

How Frontline Doctors Are Saving Coronavirus Patients with Innovative New Techniques, Sharing Advice

Luis Angel, one of Cerfolio's colleagues, invented a new self-contained method for tracheostomies that can sometimes keep doctors from putting critically-ill patients on ventilators, which requires them to be put in a medically induced coma. The procedure, which requires incisions into the lower neck, is known to place health care providers at risk, but if safely performed allows doctors to use a bigger tube than is used for ventilation, one that is easier to clean.
10th Apr 2020 - Newsweek

'India using innovation as arsenal to fight coronavirus'

The Covid-19 crisis has compelled countrymen to think about innovation, and early news in this direction came at the end of last month when Pune-based MyLab Discovery Solutions announced that it has got the clearance for indigenously manufacturing Covid-19 test kits. The company claimed that the kit manufactured by them will reduce the country’s import dependence for test kits and enable low-cost, real-time testing. Deepak Kumar, official spokesperson of MyLab Discovery Solutions, told The Sunday Guardian: “We have already supplied the first batch of MyLab Covid-19 Qualitative PCR kits that screen and detect the infection within 2.5 hours, compared to more than seven hours taken by existing protocols.”
11th Apr 2020 - The Sunday Guardian

OSU Medical Center shares coronavirus innovations

Recognizing the threat, a rapidly assembled team of Ohio State researchers worked overnight and, within 24 hours, created an in house “recipe” to make the crucial VTM. Essentially, it’s a salt solution buffered in the way necessary to stabilize the virus. In addition, the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, working with faculty and staff in the university’s colleges of Engineering and Dentistry, have created and 3-D printed more than 50,000 new swabs for COVID-19 test kits will be shared with hospitals across Ohio, which will allow more people to be tested.
11th Apr 2020 - PeakOfOhio

Hyderabad innovators turning crisis into opportunity

While one entrepreneur has developed a full-coverage mask some others are making 3D printed ventilators, another innovator has developed sanitation tents and another startup is setting medical kiosks to detect symptoms among patients
12th Apr 2020 - Telangana Today


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 10th Apr 2020

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Australian companies to build 2,000 ventilators to boost coronavirus capacity

The federal government’s $31.3m agreement with the Grey Innovation consortium is supported ... to deal with an actual threat to public health caused by an emergency”. The new powers were registered on Wednesday and will cease on 31 January 2021. Ventilators are key in responding to Covid-19. Shortages in places such as Italy and the United ...
10th Apr 2020 - The Guardian

Life Sciences Hub Wales calls for industry collaboration to fight coronavirus

Life Sciences Hub Wales is leading industry efforts to combat COVID-19 by launching a nation-wide drive to get companies from a range of sectors working together on solutions. Having already received interest from hundreds of businesses and professionals, its mission is to accelerate the development of urgently needed products and treatments, such as ventilators, hand sanitisers and Personal Protective Equipment to ease the pressures on health care services and help protect frontline staff combatting the outbreak. The organisation, which works to improve Wales’ health and wellbeing by facilitating collaborations and innovations between NHS Wales, industry and academia, has identified four key challenge areas that must be urgently addressed to support healthcare services during the outbreak: medical devices, infection control, digital solutions, and social isolation
10th Apr 2020 - News from Wales

UK launches landmark trial of treatments to help coronavirus patients

Quietly and without fanfare, the UK government has just launched the world’s most extensive randomised clinical trial of potential coronavirus treatments as part of the race to find a treatment. Almost 1,000 patients from 132 different hospitals have joined what is being called the Randomised Evaluation of COVID-19 Therapy (RECOVERY) trial, and thousands more are expected to take part in the following weeks. The government claims it is the biggest randomised controlled trial of potential COVID-19 treatments in the world, and the researchers will be looking at more than 30 different treatments.
9th Apr 2020 - Reaction

Coronavirus breakthrough: Lab-free COVID-19 test gives result in barely an hour

Thousands of pioneering, lab-free coronavirus tests capable of offering a result in just over an hour are set to be rolled out to clinical sites, underlining the key role Britain is playing in the war against COVID-19.
10th Apr 2020 - Daily Express

Much-maligned robots may become heroes in war on coronavirus

One team of robots temporarily cared for patients in a makeshift hospital in Wuhan, the Chinese city where the COVID-19 outbreak began. Meals were served, temperatures taken and communications handled by machines, one of them named “Cloud Ginger” by its maker CloudMinds, which has operations in Beijing and California. “It provided useful information, conversational engagement, entertainment with dancing, and even led patients through stretching exercises,” CloudMinds president Karl Zhao said of the humanoid robot. “The smart field hospital was completely run by robots.”
9th Apr 2020 - The Japan Times

Coronavirus: Railways, IIT Bring Innovative Solutions To Protect Healthcare Workers

Even though the country is capable of acquiring medical equipment, there is a lack of equipment available in the market, this is a growing cause for concern. Now Indian Railways and IIT have come to the rescue with homegrown alternatives.
9th Apr 2020 - ABP Live

Amid global pandemic, global on-the-fly innovation in some hospitals

With hospitals fighting over limited supplies of equipment to combat the coronavirus pandemic, some doctors and nurses working in the most sensitive settings are getting creative to protect themselves and their teams from the deadly disease, and finding help from an idea hatched half a world away.
9th Apr 2020 - ABC News

Coronavirus: UL rapid innovation unit living up to name as they produce PPE for frontline health staff

A Rapid Innovation Unit at the University of Limerick is living up to its name by designing solutions to three critical challenges facing hospital doctors fighting Covid-19 in less than two weeks. The quick thinking, twinned with the speedy manufacturing turn-around, will help to protect the health of front line staff and increase treatment capacities in the hospital system. One result their efforts is the mass production of protective face visors for HSE front-line staff, with the design and capacity created to manufacture 5,000 a day to meet local needs.
9th Apr 2020 - Independent.ie


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 9th Apr 2020

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Coronavirus: Vaccine hopes boosted as scientists find virus has 'low shielding'

The model displays the coronavirus as having several spikes sticking out from its surface, which allow it to attach to and enter cells in the human body. Professor Max Crispin, who is leading the research, said the spikes are coated in sugars called glycans, which hide their viral proteins so to evade our immune systems. "By coating themselves in sugars, viruses are like a wolf in sheep's clothing," said the professor. "But one of the key findings of our study is that despite how many sugars there are, this coronavirus is not as highly shielded as some other viruses.
9th Apr 2020 - Sky News

Healthtech firm announces availability of COVID-19 toolkit

Healthtech company DrDoctor has announced its complete COVID-19 toolkit is now available, free of license fees to any hospital that requires it. The toolkit comprises of the broadcast messaging and video consultation services and the digital symptom assessment tracker.
8th Apr 2020 - Med-Tech Innovation

EU unveils coronavirus app tracking guidelines

The European Commission on Wednesday recommended establishing a pan-European approach to using mobile technologies and data to better tackle the novel coronavirus pandemic. The Commission called for the development of a so-called toolbox — an array of policy instruments — to use such technologies to better inform the public and track the effect of various measures aimed at curbing the outbreak, including social distancing and contact tracing.
8th Apr 2020 - Deutsche Welle

Coronavirus: medication and plasma being experimented on in Bergamo hospitals

Bergamo hospitals have seen the start of authorised experimentation with drugs and therapies that have offered some encouraging results for the treatment of Covid-19 . Remdesivir, an anti-viral already used against Sars and Ebola, will be tested at the Pope John XXIII hospital in Bergamo; we've seen tocilizumab, an anti-arthritis drug ready to be tested in Naples. There's also going to be some work done with the plasma from healed donors to measure its impact here in Bergamo hospitals as well
8th Apr 2020 - Il Giorno Bergamo

US trial of Japanese flu drug for coronavirus gets green light

The US Food and Drug Administration has given the green light for the country’s first clinical trial of a Japanese flu drug that could be used to treat the coronavirus, according to a report. The drug, also known by the brand name Avigan, was hailed by Chinese health officials as “clearly effective” when used on 340 patients in trials there that showed reduced recovery time and improved lung function. Three Massachusetts hospitals were granted approval Tuesday to launch small trials of the antiviral drug favipiravir, a doctor involved in the efforts told the Boston Globe.
7th Apr 2020 - New York Post

New vaccine platform used to develop COVID-19 candidates

The University of Bristol and spin-out company Imophoron have announced they are ready to test COVID-19 vaccine candidates in a pre-clinical programme.
7th Apr 2020 - University of Bristol

New Coronavirus Drug Shows Promise in Animal Tests

An oral medicine was able to hinder the coronavirus behind COVID-19 as it attempted to replicate itself in human lung cells in test tubes, scientists reported Monday. It also hampered closely related coronaviruses from reproducing in mice for several days and improved their lung functions. The drug, called EIDD-2801, interferes with a key mechanism that allows the SARS-CoV-2 virus to reproduce in high numbers and cause infections, the researchers explained in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
7th Apr 2020 - Scientific American

Plasma treatment being tested in New York may be coronavirus 'game changer'

One of the first recovered patients to donate, Danny Riemer, 37, of New Rochelle, New York, said he and his wife feel "blessed" that they are now healthy and can volunteer their plasma to help others. "And despite the fact that we did have the virus, our thoughts are really with others, the people who are still fighting the virus, the people who have had much more serious cases than us," he said.
7th Apr 2020 - NBCNews.com

World's largest trial of potential coronavirus treatments rolled out across the UK

The largest randomised clinical trial of potential coronavirus (COVID-19) treatments is underway as part of the race to find a treatment.
3rd Apr 2020 - UK Government


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 8th Apr 2020

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How Doctors on the Front Lines Are Confronting the Uncertainties of COVID-19

"The group of friends talked about how best to manage a disease that five months ago had never been seen in a human being. So far, most of the world’s attention has been justifiably dedicated to stopping the transmission of the disease, whether by quarantines and social distancing or vaccines. But the doctors on the call needed answers to a different question: what to do when covid-19 showed up at their hospital doors. They needed to know whether it was unusual for patients to get better before they got worse, for instance (no, it seems to happen with some frequency), or whether hydroxychloroquine would exacerbate poor cardiac outcomes (possible, but not likely)."
8th Apr 2020 - The New Yorker

Coronavirus: "we have already had to stop treatment" of hydroxychloroquine-azithromycin at the CHU in Nice

Professor Émile Ferrari heads the cardiology department at the Pasteur hospital in Nice. He discussed the hydroxychloroquine-azithromycin treatment in relation to severe forms of Covid-19. The CHU in Nice, like other medical establishments, is testing the hydroxychloroquine-azithromycin combination in patients hospitalized with severe forms of Covid-19. How are these patients tracked from a cardiological point of view? "We have implemented a 7/7 and H24 monitoring method; all the Covid units of Nice University Hospital send us the patient's ECG [electrocardiogram, ed] recordings. We interpret them live and report anomalies which indicate a predisposition to toxicity. And which then require a cessation of treatment." Has this ever happened? "Yes, from the start of the trial. Thanks to this ECG follow-up, we highlighted the major risks of a very serious accident in a patient, and the treatment was immediately stopped."
7th Apr 2020 - Nice Matin

Low antibody levels raise questions about coronavirus reinfection risk

Scientists in Shanghai say some recovered patients show no signs of the neutralising proteins. Early-stage findings could have implications for vaccine development and herd immunity, they say
7th Apr 2020 - South China Morning Post

First Peer-Reviewed Coronavirus Vaccine Trial Shows Promising Results in Mice

"We had previous experience on SARS-CoV in 2003 and MERS-CoV in 2014," said Andrea Gambotto, co-senior author of the peer-reviewed paper published in the journal EBioMedicine, and associate professor of surgery at the Pittsburgh School of Medicine, in a statement. "These two viruses, which are closely related to SARS-CoV–2, teach us that a particular protein, called a spike protein, is important for inducing immunity against the virus," Gambotto explained. "We knew exactly where to fight this new virus."
7th Apr 2020 - ScienceAlert

The Quest for a Pandemic Pill

Cells and viruses both use proteases to do the slicing; for Chavez’s team, the challenge is to identify new compounds that will inhibit viral proteases without interfering with a human cell’s proteases. He’s planning to test about sixteen thousand drugs, taken mainly from three “libraries” of compounds, many of which have already been tested for safety in humans. “If you have some information on toxicity, it’s very helpful to advance the compound faster,” Chavez said, referring to the process of pharmaceutical development.
6th Apr 2020 - The New Yorker

Some Swedish Hospitals Have Stopped Using Chloroquine to Treat COVID-19 After Reports of Severe Side Effects

Several hospitals in Sweden have reportedly stopped administering chloroquine to coronavirus patients following reports the drug was causing adverse side effects. According to the national paper Expressen, hospitals in the Västra Götaland region are no longer offering the antimalarial medication, with side effects reported to include cramps and the loss of peripheral vision. One of the patients affected was Carl Sydenhag, a 40-year-old Stockholm resident. According to Expressen, Sydenhag was prescribed two tablets of chloroquine to take daily after he was diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 23.
6th Apr 2020 - Newsweek

Estimating the number of infections and the impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions on COVID-19 in 11 European countries

In this report, we use a semi-mechanistic Bayesian hierarchical model to attempt to infer the impact of these interventions across11 European countries.Our methods assume that changes in the reproductive number –a measure of transmission -areanimmediate response to these interventionsbeing implemented rather than broader gradual changes in behaviour. Our model estimates these changes by calculating backwards from thedeaths observed over time to estimate transmission that occurred several weeks prior, allowing forthe time lag between infection and death.
30th Mar 2020 - Imperial College

Clinical course and risk factors for mortality of adult inpatients with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China: a retrospective cohort study

The potential risk factors of older age, high SOFA score, and d-dimer greater than 1 μg/mL could help clinicians to identify patients with poor prognosis at an early stage. Prolonged viral shedding provides the rationale for a strategy of isolation of infected patients and optimal antiviral interventions in the future.
11th Mar 2020 - The Lancet


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The Health System Response Monitor (HSRM) has been designed in response to the COVID-19 outbreak to collect and organize up-to-date information on how countries are responding to the crisis.

The Health System Response Monitor (HSRM) has been designed in response to the COVID-19 outbreak to collect and organize up-to-date information on how countries are responding to the crisis. It focuses primarily on the responses of health systems but also captures wider public health initiatives. This is a joint undertaking of the WHO Regional Office for Europe, the European Commission, and the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies.
6th Apr 2020 - World Health Organization

WHO says coronavirus vaccine and treatment research has 'accelerated at incredible speed'

More than 70 countries have joined WHO’s trial to accelerate research on effective treatments, Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. He said about 20 institutions and companies “are racing to develop a vaccine.” Tedros said the WHO will be announcing an initiative soon for the accelerated development and equitable distribution of vaccines.
6th Apr 2020 - CNBC

Greece suggests EU buy patent rights for vaccines and coronavirus tests - FAZ

Greece has suggested EU member states jointly buy patent rights for vaccines against COVID-19 and rapid tests under development to help ensure that if they are effective they are quickly distributed to those in need across the bloc. In an article published in German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said finding a solution for a rapid distribution of vaccines, when they are available, is difficult but also urgent. At least 20 vaccines against COVID-19 are under development, many of which are subsidised by individual governments or charities, he told FAZ. "Ideally, once their efficacy has been proven, such vaccines should be distributed as quickly and fairly as possible, and at a reasonable cost," he said, according to a press release.
6th Apr 2020 - YAHOO!

GSK to collaborate with Chinese biotech on COVID-19 vaccine

GlaxoSmithKline has announced plans to collaborate with China’s Xiamen Innovex on a potential vaccine to treat the COVID-19 coronavirus. The companies are testing a recombinant protein-based coronavirus vaccine candidate, known as COVID-19 XWG-03, which is being developed by Innovax with Xiamen University. GSK will provide Innovax with the adjuvant need for a preclinical test of the vaccine which is based on a series of truncated S (spike) proteins from the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 that causes the respiratory disease known as COVID-19.
6th Apr 2020 - Pharmaphorum.com

Bill Gates to Spend Billions on Coronavirus Vaccine Development

Mr. Gates, a billionaire philanthropist who is one the richest people in the world, said the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will work with seven makers of a possible vaccine to build these factories. Mr. Gates, who announced the efforts in an appearance on “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah” Thursday, acknowledged that billions of dollars would be wasted on vaccines that won’t pan out. “Our early money can accelerate things,” Mr. Gates said. “Even though we’ll end up picking at most two of them, we’re going to fund factories for all seven, just so that we don’t waste time in serially saying which vaccine works and then building the factory.”
5th Apr 2020 - The Wall Street Journal

A potential coronavirus vaccine funded by Bill Gates is set to begin testing in people, with the first patient expected to get it today


6th Apr 2020 - msnNOW

Bill Gates to 'waste' billions for faster coronavirus vaccine


6th Apr 2020 - The Times

Clinical trials for Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine start September

Johnson & Johnson says it has selected a lead candidate vaccine for the new coronavirus that would move to human trials by September and could be ready for emergency use by early next year. The pharmaceutical company has signed an agreement with the US government’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority to invest $1 billion in the effort, it said in a statement. J&J began working on the vaccine under investigation, Ad26 SARS-CoV-2, in January using the same technology it used to develop a candidate vaccine for Ebola.
6th Apr 2020 - Samaa News

A 100-yr-old vaccine is being tested against the new coronavirus. Can it work?

On Monday, scientists in Melbourne, Australia, started administering the BCG vaccine or a placebo to thousands of physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists and other health care workers — the first of several randomized controlled trials intended to test the vaccine’s effectiveness against the coronavirus. “Nobody is saying this is a panacea,” said Dr. Nigel Curtis, head of infectious diseases at Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, who planned the trial. “What we want to do is reduce the time an infected health care worker is unwell, so they recover and can come back to work faster.” A clinical trial of 1,000 health care workers began 10 days ago in the Netherlands, said Dr. Mihai Netea, an infectious disease specialist at Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen. Eight hundred health care workers have already signed up. (As in Australia, half of the participants will receive a placebo.)
6th Apr 2020 - Economic Times

Coronavirus breakthrough as ‘Achilles heel’ may lead to vaccine

A new study compared samples between SARS and coronavirus attacking antibodies. The research may pave the way towards a possible vaccine. Scientists examined an antibody from a SARS patient and tracked how it latched on to a specific area of the SARS virus. The team then observed how the SARS antibody gripped on to the same spot on the coronavirus sample. The scientists observed this at a "near-atomic-scale resolution". The antibody that latched on in the coronavirus sample wasn’t identical to the SARS sample, but it did help identify a spot of weakness. The study was lead by Dr Ian Wilson, who told the San Diego Tribune of the potential breakthrough. He said: "The knowledge of conserved sites like this can aid in structure-based design of vaccines and therapeutics against SARS-CoV-2. “These would also protect against other coronaviruses—including those that may emerge in the future.” The discovery was published on Friday in the journal called Science.
6th Apr 2020 - Express.co.uk

Coronavirus vaccine patch shows promise in mice

When tested in mice, the vaccine—delivered through a fingertip-sized patch—produces antibodies specific to SARS-CoV-2 at quantities thought to be sufficient for neutralizing the virus. The paper appears in EBioMedicine and is the first study describing a candidate vaccine for COVID-19 to be published after critique from fellow scientists at outside institutions. The researchers were able to act quickly because they had already laid the groundwork during earlier coronavirus epidemics. “We had previous experience on SARS-CoV in 2003 and MERS-CoV in 2014. These two viruses, which are closely related to SARS-CoV-2, teach us that a particular protein, called a spike protein, is important for inducing immunity against the virus. We knew exactly where to fight this new virus,” says co-senior author Andrea Gambotto, associate professor of surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (UPMC).
6th Apr 2020 - Futurity

Coronavirus: Australian scientists begin tests of potential vaccines

Scientists in Australia have begun testing two potential coronavirus vaccines in "milestone" lab trials. The vaccines, made by Oxford University and US company Inovio Pharmaceutical, have been cleared for animal testing by the World Health Organization. Australia's national science agency will assess if the vaccines work, and if they would be safe for humans. The first human trial took place in the US last month, but skipped a stage of animal testing. There are several other vaccine developments occurring around the world at the moment at extraordinary speed. But Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) says its tests will be the first comprehensive pre-clinical trials of the vaccines to use an animal model.
2nd Apr 2020 - BBC News

UK scientists enrol volunteers for coronavirus vaccine trial

Oxford scientists are enrolling the first volunteers to test a UK coronavirus vaccine, in a dramatic acceleration of the typical pace of drug development. The trial will recruit up to 510 healthy adults, aged 18 to 55, to test the vaccine called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. The participants will not receive the vaccine for some weeks. While screening of participants takes place, the vaccine will continue to be assessed in animal trials at the Public Health England (PHE) laboratory at Porton Down, near Salisbury and, simultaneously, be manufactured to clinical grade standard at a University of Oxford facility.
27th Mar 2020 - The Guardian

St Thomas' researchers launch COVID-19 symptom-tracking app


1st Apr 2020 - London SE1

Coronavirus latest: Help slow Covid-19 spread by keeping an app health diary


24th Mar 2020 - inews


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 6th Apr 2020

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U.S. Hospitals Have a Ventilator Shortage. A Team of Rice Engineers Say They Have a Solution.

The device they’ve designed has piqued the interest of government officials and large manufacturers hoping to address the coronavirus crisis.
30th Mar 2020 - Texas Monthly

Sleep apnea machines could help less severe COVID-19 patients during ventilator shortage

Vanderbilt University doctors and engineers have created a DIY ventilator made of a windshield wiper motor and plywood which can be easily replicated. Another potential solution -for less severely ill patients- could be machines which help treat an ailment affecting millions of Americans; CPAP and BiPAP machines. Both machines create positive airway pressure which helps to prevent the collapse of airways.
2nd Apr 2020 - WZTV

Auburn University design adapts CPAP machines into emergency ventilators

A group of Auburn University engineers has developed a way to quickly and inexpensively convert CPAP machines into ventilators, one of the most important tools hospitals have for helping COVID-19 patients. Continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, machines are commonly used to help people with obstructive sleep apnea breathe more easily during sleep. The Auburn design, called RE-INVENT, is an accessory that would safely repurpose a CPAP into a functional ventilator. Ventilators are in short supply at hospitals across the nation as the number of patients requiring respiratory assistance due to COVID-19 rises.
2nd Apr 2020 - PR Newswire

Coronavirus: Bristol and Harrogate Nightingale hospitals announced

Two more Nightingale hospitals are to be opened to help deal with the rising number of coronavirus cases, the NHS has said. The new sites, in Bristol and Harrogate, will provide up to 1,500 extra beds for patients with Covid-19. Similar hospitals are also due to open at Birmingham's National Exhibition Centre and Manchester's Central Complex. A 4,000-bed facility at London's ExCel centre is due to open later. The new hospitals will be used to treat patients from around their respective regions.
3rd Apr 2020 - BBC News

Formula 1 comes up with a breathing machine for covid-19 patients

ne team, Mercedes-AMG, obtained approval for a device which it can quickly manufacture by the thousand. The machine is not a ventilator, but a breathing aid of a type known as a continuous-positive-airway-pressure (CPAP) device. These are typically used to assist people who have breathing problems to sleep more soundly. The machine delivers air at slightly above atmospheric pressure via a mask placed over the nose and mouth.
3rd Apr 2020 - The Economist


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 3rd Apr 2020

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Coronavirus: Pharmaceutical boss says two patients prepared for trials of vaccine

Hugo Fry, UK managing director for Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of the multinational pharmaceutical company Sanofi, said the firm has existing products which could help treat people with COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus. He added the firm was "working closely" with the UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency to get "things moving" in Britain and two people were currently being lined up for vaccine trials.
2nd Apr 2020 - Sky News

Scientists developing coronavirus vaccine delivered via fingertip-sized patch

A fingertip-sized patch could be a potential vaccine for coronavirus, researchers say. Scientists suggest that when tested in mice, it produced antibodies specific to Covid-19 in quantities thought to be sufficient for neutralising the virus.The vaccine is described in a paper published in EBioMedicine, which is published by The Lancet, and is thought to be the first to be reviewed by other scientists.
2nd Apr 2020 - The Northern Echo

Just breathing or talking may be enough to spread COVID-19 after all

Large droplets are still a means of infection, but researchers now say that tiny airborne particles may also carry infectious virus. “Currently available research supports the possibility that SARS-CoV-2 could be spread via bioaerosols generated directly by patients’ exhalation,” researchers from the U.S. National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine wrote in an April 1 report to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. If the coronavirus is airborne, that could help explain why it is so contagious, and can spread before people have symptoms
2nd Apr 2020 - Science News

Coronavirus: there two solid candidate molecules to prevent the virus from infecting cells

While no treatment has yet been developed against the Sars-CoV-2 virus, which is responsible for Covid-19, many clinical avenues have been explored, including that of focusing upon the receptors expressed by the target cells.
2nd Apr 2020 - SciencesetAvenir

Asymptomatic Carriers if We’re Going to Beat Coronavirus

ProPublica’s health reporter Caroline Chen explains what the conversation around asymptomatic coronavirus carriers is missing, and what we need to understand if we’re going to beat this nefarious virus together.
2nd Apr 2020 - ProPublica

The world is seeking an answer for Covid-19

More than 130 therapeutic trials are already underway around the world against the virus, some modest, others international. But what can we expect from this overflowing of scientific effort?
2nd Apr 2020 - Nouvel Observateur

Scientist donates £1,000,000 to massively increase UK coronavirus testing

A British entrepreneur has donated £1,000,000 of his own money to establish a network of labs that could dramatically increase coronavirus testing. Mike Fischer CBE has launched the Covid-19 Volunteer Testing Network, which aims to use common pieces of equipment found in thousands of labs across the UK to test for the illness.
2nd Apr 2020 - Metro

Coronavirus antibody tests to identify immune people are crucial

New tests can identify people who have recovered from COVID-19 by searching for coronavirus antibodies in the blood. They could available in the US within weeks. Such tests can provide results in 15 minutes or less, after a single finger prick. They are also easier to produce than the diagnostic tests that check for active infections. Experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci have expressed confidence that recovered coronavirus patients will be immune, though further research is needed to be sure. That means identifying people who have recovered is critical in getting people back to work and school.
2nd Apr 2020 - Business Insider


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 2nd Apr 2020

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Hull coronavirus researcher says he has developed Covid-19 test that takes five minutes and costs just £2

Professor Maneesh Singh says the coronavirus test costs just £2 and could take as little as five minutes
1st Apr 2020 - Hull Daily Mail

Coronavirus: Chinese tests suggest nearly 80 per cent of cases are without symptoms

Dr Robert Lambkin-Williams, an independent virologist, said people who are asymptomatic can still be infectious
1st Apr 2020 - inews

Coronavirus: cardiac symptoms that aid in the transmission of Covid-19

Evidence so far indicates that the Covid-19 coronavirus can have fatal consequences for people with underlying cardiovascular disease. It is now also believed that it can cause heart damage, even in patients without underlying heart conditions, thanks to a study published in JAMA Cardiology by experts from the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston.
1st Apr 2020 - Redaccion Medica

Respiratory Pathogen Emission Dynamics

This newer understanding of respiratory emission dynamics has implications for mask and respiratory design, social distancing recommendations, and other public health interventions during and after the COVID-19 pandemic
26th Mar 2020 - JAMA

Coronavirus in the UK: The 'flat-pack' ventilator ready for mass production that could save thousands of lives

A joint team from Oxford University and King's College London is awaiting government approval to mass produce the OxVent
25th Mar 2020 - inews


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 1st Apr 2020

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Spanish researchers have managed to sequence the SARS-CoV-2 virus genome in two patients in Barcelona

Researchers from the Vall d'Hebron Hospital in Barcelona have successfully sequenced the complete genome of two strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus from two patients, which will allow the tracking of disease sequencing between different populations and countries to see how the virus changes as it progresses and spreads through a population. What should have been a year-long project has turned into a race against time to stop the pandemic and in just 15 days the research group in Liver Diseases of the Vall d'Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) and the Respiratory Virus Unit of the hospital's Microbiology Service have sequenced the complete genome of two strains of SARS-CoV-2 from two patients.
31st Mar 2020 - La Vanguardia

Four treatments being tested against the coronavirus: which labs will be able to produce them?

The four treatments tested on a large scale are the following molecules: remdesivir (antiviral initially designed for Ebola), lopinavir in combination with ritonavir (drug used against HIV), the same combination but associated with interferon beta to try to lower the inflammatory process and hydroxychloroquine (cousin of chloroquine , but with less risk of toxicity and adverse effects). The first patient assessments will begin after a fortnight of treatment, in about a week. In particular, we will be able to measure the improvement in their state of health, the evolution of the presence of the virus in their organism, and the possible adverse effects of treatment by comparing these results with those observed with patients who have taken a placebo, a drug. not containing any active substance. Pending these results, pharmaceutical companies able to produce these various drugs, in case their effectiveness on Covid-19 patients is proven, are on the warpath.
31st Mar 2020 - BMTV

“10,000 liters of hydroalcoholic solution per day”: in Paris, a pharmacy sets up a laboratory in the street to help stock pharmacies running low

A pharmacy in the 6th arrondissement has installed an open-air laboratory to manufacture hydroalcoholic products. An initiative authorized by the authorities, which allows many professionals to restock their pharmacies and avoid shortages in the face of the coronavirus epidemic
30th Mar 2020 - France3-Regions

Covid-19 patients treated with the blood of recovered patients

In the United States, doctors have been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration, in certain cases, to use blood infusions of antibody-laden blood from patients who can be shown to have recovered from the COVID-19 infection to promote healing in the most serious cases. Researchers believe that this method could even be used to create an immunity in people at risk, even if its effectiveness is less reliable than a peventative drug or vaccine in itself.
30th Mar 2020 - Sante Magazine

Century-Old Vaccine Investigated as a Weapon Against Coronavirus

A vaccine that’s been used to prevent tuberculosis is being given to health-care workers in Melbourne to see if it will protect them against the coronavirus. With an immunization specifically targeted against the pandemic-causing Covid-19 disease at least a year away, the World Health Organization says it’s important to know whether the BCG vaccine can reduce disease in those infected with the coronavirus, and is encouraging international groups to collaborate with a study led by Nigel Curtis, head of infectious diseases research, at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne.
30th Mar 2020 - Bloomberg


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 31st Mar 2020

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Sanofi and Regeneron expand trials of potential treatment for Covid-19

Sanofi and the American company Regeneron are extending the scope of their program for clinical trials of the drug Kevzara in the treatment of Covid-19. The French laboratory announced on March 30 the treatment of a first patient outside the United States.
30th Mar 2020 - L'Usine Nouvelle

Ford to produce 50,000 ventilators in Michigan in next 100 days; partnering with GE Healthcare will help coronavirus patients

Ford Motor Company, in collaboration with GE Healthcare, announced today it will begin producing in Michigan a third-party ventilator with the goal to produce 50,000 of the vitally needed units within 100 days and up to 30,000 a month thereafter as needed. Ford will provide its manufacturing capabilities to quickly scale production, and GE Healthcare will provide its clinical expertise and will license the current ventilator design from Airon Corp. – a small, privately held company specializing in high-tech pneumatic life support products
30th Mar 2020 - Ford Motor

Formula One's united front to fight ventilator shortage could be the sport's finest hour

What might be perceived as a lost season for Formula One could yet emerge as one of the sport’s finest hours. Such is the warp speed of its response to the Covid-19 pandemic that world champions Mercedes, one of seven teams working to redress the country’s ventilator shortages, have already unveiled a breathing aid to keep coronavirus patients out of intensive care. This type of feat – involving prototyping, regulatory approval and mass production – is one that would usually take years. But in extraordinary circumstances, it has been accomplished in just seven days. For Mark Gillan, the co-ordinator of “Project Pitlane”, as F1’s reaction to the emergency is known, it is an unprecedented display of solidarity.
30th Mar 2020 - The Daily Telegraph

NHS developing coronavirus contact-tracing app after successful use in Singapore

A coronavirus contact-tracing app, which alerts people if they have been near an infected person within 21 days, could be developed in the UK after the success of a similar model in Singapore. The city state has deployed an app called TraceTogether to help contain the spread of the virus by automatically recording who people have come into contact with via their smartphones. The app uses Bluetooth connections to log other phones in close proximity – so, when a user tests positive for Covid-19, the data can be used to tell those they have been in contact with to self-isolate.
30th Mar 2020 - The Daily Telegraph

Debate flares over using AI to detect Covid-19 in lung scans

A series of studies, starting as a steady drip and quickening to a deluge, has reported the same core finding amid the global spread of Covid-19: Artificial intelligence could analyze chest images to accurately detect the disease in legions of untested patients. The results promised a ready solution to the shortage of diagnostic testing in the U.S. and some other countries and triggered splashy press releases and a cascade of hopeful headlines. But in recent days, the initial burst of optimism has given way to an intensifying debate over the plausibility of building AI systems during an unprecedented public health emergency.
30th Mar 2020 - STAT

Engineers gather to produce ‘battlefield’ ventilator in war on Covid-19

A team of engineers and specialists in medical devices gathered in Galway are finalising the prototype of an emergency ventilator for use in treating critically-ill Covid-19 patients. They hope the “battlefield” ventilator will help ease a likely surge in demand for these life-saving devices in Ireland, and yet be capable of manufacture all over the world. They are being supported by a number of multinationals, including medical devices company Boston Scientific which are based in the city – and by medical experts, notably anaesthetists who deploy the technology.
30th Mar 2020 - The Irish Times

New York's Central Park and harbor are now home to makeshift hospitals

New York transformed a grassy meadow in Central Park into a makeshift hospital and welcomed a Navy hospital ship as officials scrambled to bolster a medical system becoming overwhelmed by coronavirus. Central Park's East Meadow on the Upper East Side, normally a spot for picnickers and sunbathers, was converted Sunday into a 68-bed field hospital designed as a respiratory care unit. And on Monday morning, the USNS Comfort navigated past the Statue of Liberty into New York Harbor, where it will provide another 1,000 hospital beds. "This is like an additional hospital just floated right up to our shores, and now it's going to help to save lives," New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
30th Mar 2020 - CNN

The U.S. Just Signed A $450 Million Coronavirus Vaccine Contract With Johnson & Johnson

The Trump administration is spending nearly half a billion dollars on one company in the race to find a coronavirus vaccine. That’s according to a $456 million order with Johnson & Johnson’s Pharmaceuticals arm Janssen, which specified a “new vaccine asset for 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19),” Forbes found. It’s the largest reported amount spent on a vaccine project to date, even though the pharma giant hasn’t yet started any clinical trials as other firms have.
30th Mar 2020 - Forbes

Devon college uses 3D printers to make Personal Protective Equipment for local hospitals

A college in Devon is using its own technology to help staff at Torbay Hospital tackle the coronavirus. The team at South Devon College are making face shields and other protective gear to help keep doctors and nurses safe on the front line. 3D printers are being used to produce the headbands by staff at the college's Hi Tech & Digital Centre in Paignton.The college is working with Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, which urgently need more protective medical equipment to keep staff and patients safe.
30th Mar 2020 - ITV News


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 30th Mar 2020

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Ventilator Challenge UK to start production in Covid-19 fight

Ventilator Challenge UK, a consortium of 14 firms including Airbus and Rolls-Royce, is expected to say that it has secured a formal order for two types of machine. The government has 8,175 ventilators but has turned to British industry to help produce 30,000 in a matter of weeks, to combat an expected surge in new cases.
29th Mar 2020 - The Guardian

Royal Mint to make 4000 visors a day for NHS staff battling Covid-19

The Royal Mint has started mass manufacturing medical visors to protect frontline NHS staff battling the coronavirus pandemic. Engineers at the organisation created a successful prototype within just 48 hours, with moves now underway to produce 4,000 units a day. Since news of the visor production emerged, the Royal Mint has received requests to supply hospitals across the UK.
29th Mar 2020 - Evening Standard

MIT Will Post Free Plans Online for an Emergency Ventilator That Can Be Built for $100

The team, called MIT E-Vent (for emergency ventilator), was formed on March 12, 2020, in response to the rapid spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Its members were brought together by the exhortations of doctors, friends, and a sudden flood of mail referencing a project done a decade ago in the MIT class 2.75 (Medical Device Design). Students working in consultation with local physicians designed a simple ventilator device that could be built with about $100 worth of parts. They published a paper detailing their design and testing, but the work ended at that point. Now, with a significant global need looming, a new team, linked to that course, has resumed the project at a highly accelerated pace.
28th Mar 2020 - SciTechDaily

Italian medics convert snorkelling masks into 'homemade' ventilators during coronavirus crisis

Italian medics are converting snorkelling masks into makeshift ventilator masks in order to plug the shortage of medical equipment during the coronavirus outbreak. As hospitals face an overload of COVID-19 patients struggling to breathe, innovative medical staff have used 3D printed valves to adapt ordinary full face snorkelling masks from sports stores such as Decathlon into live saving equipment.
29th Mar 2020 - Daily Mail

How the COVID-19 pandemic is 'driving innovation' in Canada and around the world

"Without innovation, we'd still be living in the dark ages." Jason Kindrachuk, an associate professor at the University of Manitoba and Canada research chair in emerging viruses, says the pandemic is bringing people from different fields together — and that's a good thing. "What we have is a crisis that's driving the merger of different disciplines to come up with really quick solutions to very complex problems," he said.
29th Mar 2020 - YAHOO!

ICU Eyewear and Contour Optik Heed the Call and Expand Production Capacity to Hundreds of Millions of PPE and COVID-19 Test Kits

"We are working with our partner companies in China to assist them in going through the FDA regulatory process. This ensures that our products meet U.S standards so they can be imported and placed into the hands of the providers who need them," says ICU CEO Kirk Hobbs. ICU is able to produce and ship the following in mass quantities: - N95 face masks - KN95 (Emergency Use authorization from the FDA for the KN95 is underway) - ASTM Levels 1, 2, and 3 face masks - Goggles, face shields, gloves and other protective equipment
29th Mar 2020 - YAHOO!

3D Printing Firms Join Fight Against Coronavirus-Led Disaster

The rising demand for 3D-printed materials to combat the global pandemic is also setting the stage for wider use of additive manufacturing in the medical field in the post-coronavirus era. The medical emergency is giving rise to more research and experimental productions with 3D printers. The importance of 3D-printed materials in the medical field is being realized on a larger scale. Rapid production of materials is making 3D-printed protection gears a necessity in these difficult times.
27th Mar 2020 - YAHOO!

Carmakers churn out machines, masks to help fight coronavirus

Auto companies and suppliers around the world are ramping up production of critical healthcare products and machines - everything from cloth face masks to sophisticated ventilator systems - to meet a critical shortage of those items at hospitals and care facilities in North America, Europe and Asia. Here is a look at what some companies have announced.
27th Mar 2020 - YAHOO!

Abbott Launches 5-Minute Virus Test for Use Almost Anywhere

Abbott Laboratories is unveiling a coronavirus test that can tell if someone is infected in as little as five minutes, and is so small and portable it can be used in almost any health-care setting.
27th Mar 2020 - Bloomberg

Hockey equipment company Bauer begins making face shields for medical workers

With a factory that was already equipped to manufacture plastic visors at their disposal, Bauer simply had to run some trial-and-error tests to produce a working prototype for the masks. "Our specialists designed molds to create the prototypes, which we presented to a doctor who is the father of one of our employees," Bourgeois said. "We wanted to test the safety and comfort levels of our visor, which resembles a mask normally used to perform welding work. We have refined our visor and arrived with the model that we are ready to produce."
25th Mar 2020 - YAHOO!

"I don't think I've ever seen anything like this": what it's like to be working on a Covid-19 vaccine

At the family dinner table, viruses were "shop talk." Now my dad is working on a coronavirus vaccine—and talks social distancing, what keeps him going, and unprecedented global collaboration
24th Mar 2020 - Prospect

Emergency Use Authorization for COVID-19 test

French in vitro diagnostics company bioMérieux announced that its subsidiary, BioFire Defense, has received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration of its BioFire COVID-19 test for use in CLIA moderate and high complexity clinical laboratories to detect the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.
24th Mar 2020 - Healthcare In Europe

An open-source respirator for 40 Euros - from a 3D printer

Ventilaid is an unusual project straight out of Poland and just in time for the COVID crisis19: a team of engineers has developed and made available free of charge on the Internet a breathing apparatus that can be printed with a 3D printer for the modest sum of 40 euros. The project uses inexpensive and widely available components – it could save the lives of thousands of people in places where access to such devices is difficult. The beta version of the device is ready to be deployed, while work on a second prototype is almost complete. At this stage, the support of specialists like doctors and engineers is necessary. Those who want to help can apply directly via the project’s website.
23rd Mar 2020 - The European Scientist


Healthcare Innovations - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 27th Mar 2020

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Summer heat unlikely to halt coronavirus, EU body says

The European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) cited research which it said suggests that the virus does not become less dangerous in hot and humid conditions, reducing hope that the northern hemisphere could get a respite when the summer arrives. “There is no evidence to date that SARS-CoV-2 will display a marked winter seasonality, such as other human coronaviruses in the northern hemisphere,” the ECDC said in a report, using the name for the novel virus that causes the COVID-19 disease. The document cited preliminary analyses from the outbreak in China which found the virus was able to maintain high levels of reproduction in tropical places with high humidity, such as Guangxi and Singapore.
26th Mar 2020 - Reuters

Coronavirus from Rimini, one of the researchers hunting for the vaccine. "We are going to defeat this"