Health News Roundup: Advance team from WHO left for China; COVID-19 vaccine candidate is expected to be ready and more
The Geneva-based World Health Organization acknowledged this week that the novel coronavirus can spread through tiny droplets floating in the air, a nod to more than 200 experts in aerosol science who publicly complained that the U.N. agency had failed to warn the public about this risk.Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 11-07-2020 02:56 IST | Created: 11-07-2020 02:31 IST
Following is a summary of current science news briefs.
An advance team from the World Health Organization (WHO) has left for China to organize an investigation into the origins of the novel coronavirus which sparked the global pandemic, a spokeswoman said on Friday. The virus is believed to have emerged in a wholesale market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year, since then closed, after jumping the species barrier from the animal kingdom to infect humans. Pfizer, BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine expected to be ready for approval by year end: WSJ
BioNTech SE and Pfizer Inc's COVID-19 vaccine candidate is expected to be ready to seek regulatory approval by the end of 2020, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing the German biotech firm's chief executive officer. The experimental vaccine, which showed promise against the fast-spreading respiratory illness in early stage human testing, is expected to move into a large trial involving 30,000 healthy participants later this month, pending regulatory nod. WHO says airborne COVID transmission a concern but droplets appear dominant
Maria Van Kerkhove, technical lead on the COVID-19 pandemic at the WHO, said on Friday that airborne transmission of the new coronavirus had always been a concern but that droplets appeared to be the most common infection route. "Aerosol transmission is one of the modes of transmission that we have been concerned about since the beginning, particularly in healthcare settings ... where we know these droplets can be aerosolised - which means can stay in the air longer," she told an online briefing from Geneva. Hong Kong to suspend all schools due to spike in coronavirus cases
Hong Kong's Education Bureau on Friday announced the suspension of all schools from Monday after a sharp rise in locally transmitted coronavirus cases fuelled fears of renewed community spread. Schools in the Asian financial hub have been mostly shut since January, with many having switched to online learning and lessons by conference call. Many international schools are already on summer break. Tuberculosis vaccine may be limiting COVID-19 deaths; dormitory screening urged
The following is a brief roundup of some of the latest scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus. Tuberculosis vaccine may limit COVID-19 deaths As Disney World prepares to reopen, Florida posts another daily surge in COVID-19 cases
Florida confirmed its place as an emerging epicenter of the COVID pandemic in the United States on Friday by reporting its second sharpest daily rise in cases, while Walt Disney Co. prepared to reopen its flagship theme park in Orlando to the chagrin of some employees. Florida recorded 11,433 new coronavirus cases, the state health department said, more evidence that the virus is still spreading largely unchecked throughout parts of the country. Exclusive: Lonza expects EPA approval 'very soon' to make COVID-killing claims for surface disinfectants
Lonza Group AG is in the "last step" of discussions with U.S. regulators for approval to claim that its formulation is effective in killing the novel Coronavirus on surfaces, an executive at the pharmaceutical and chemical giant told Reuters. Earlier this week, Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc became the first company to win the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's approval to market two of its Lysol disinfectant sprays as household COVID-19 killers. Tedros says COVID-19 review will not impede WHO work
World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday he was confident a review announced a day earlier of the WHO's handling of the coronavirus pandemic would not interfere with its response to the disease. Tedros said the decision to start the inquiry "gives the responsibility actually to me, which is very important, so that we can have a balancing act, so the evaluation doesn't affect the response". Pandemic exposes scientific rift over proving when germs are airborne
The coronavirus pandemic has exposed a clash among medical experts over disease transmission that stretches back nearly a century - to the very origins of germ theory. The Geneva-based World Health Organization acknowledged this week that the novel coronavirus can spread through tiny droplets floating in the air, a nod to more than 200 experts in aerosol science who publicly complained that the U.N. agency had failed to warn the public about this risk. HHS allocates Gilead's COVID-19 drug remdesivir to four hardest hit states
The U.S. government has allocated more than 11,000 courses of Gilead Sciences Inc's COVID-19 treatment remdesivir to the four states now being hardest hit by the fast-spreading outbreak in the United States. The remdesivir is being distributed to Texas, Florida, California and Arizona on Friday and Monday, according to a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) website https://www.phe.gov/emergency/events/COVID19/investigation-MCM/Pages/commercial-allocation-table.aspx.