Health News Roundup: U.S. CDC reports 4,405,932 coronavirus cases; AstraZeneca to be exempt from COVID vaccine liability claims and more
In a statement, Governor Tony Evers said Wisconsin was seeing an increase in significant community spread and rise in COVID-19 cases which required he declare a new public health emergency and require face coverings statewide.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
U.S. CDC reports 4,405,932 coronavirus cases
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday reported 4,405,932 cases of the novel coronavirus, an increase of 65,935 cases from its previous count, and said that the number of deaths had risen by 1,417 to 150,283. The CDC reported its tally of cases of the respiratory illness known as COVID-19, caused by the new coronavirus, as of 4 p.m. ET on July 29 versus its previous report a day earlier.(https://bit.ly/2SGLijD)
AstraZeneca to be exempt from coronavirus vaccine liability claims in most countries
AstraZeneca has been granted protection from future product liability claims related to its COVID-19 vaccine hopeful by most of the countries with which it has struck supply agreements, a senior executive told Reuters. With 25 companies testing their vaccine candidates on humans and getting ready to immunize hundred millions of people once the products are shown to work, the question of who pays for any claims for damages in case of side effects has been a tricky point in supply negotiations.
Florida reported a record increase in new COVID-19 deaths for a third day in a row on Thursday, with 252 fatalities in the last 24 hours, according to the state health department. Arizona also reported a record increase with 172 fatalities on Thursday, bringing that state's death toll to 3,626. Both states had been hotspots with major outbreaks but new cases have recently slowed in both, according to a Reuters tally.
The coronavirus outbreak in the United States appears to be shifting to the Midwest as the surge in the South shows signs of abating, White House Coronavirus Task Force Coordinator Deborah Birx said on Thursday. Birx, in an interview on Fox News, said an uptick in coronavirus cases is appearing in Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Missouri, Kansas, and Nebraska, likely driven by Americans traveling in the summer season.
WHO urges countries to prioritize essential international travel
The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday said countries should gradually lift international travel measures based on a thorough risk assessment and must prioritize essential travel for emergencies. The WHO recommends that priority should be given to essential travel for emergencies, humanitarian actions, travel of essential personnel, and repatriation, it said in a statement.
After three decades, most polluted U.S. neighborhoods haven't changed
If your neighborhood was among the most polluted in 1981, it probably still is. Likewise, the least polluted areas are still faring the best, according to a study published on Thursday in the journal Science that analyzed concentrations of fine particulate matter over more than three decades in the United States.
Spain logs biggest daily rise in coronavirus cases since lockdown lifted
Spain on Thursday reported the biggest daily jump in new coronavirus cases since its lockdown ended, topping more than 1,000 infections for the second day running. Health ministry data showed 1,229 new infections diagnosed in the preceding 24 hours and 13,391 in the past week.
Wisconsin mandates masks declares public health emergency
Wisconsin's governor on Thursday ordered residents wear masks when indoors and not in a private residence, joining dozens of other U.S. state leaders mandating face coverings to slow the spread of coronavirus. In a statement, Governor Tony Evers said Wisconsin was seeing an increase in significant community spread and rise in COVID-19 cases which required he declare a new public health emergency and require face coverings statewide.
Exclusive: Chinese-backed hackers targeted COVID-19 vaccine firm Moderna
Chinese government-linked hackers targeted biotech company Moderna Inc, a leading U.S.-based coronavirus vaccine research developer, earlier this year in a bid to steal valuable data, according to a U.S. security official tracking Chinese hacking activity. Last week, the U.S. Justice Department made public an indictment of two Chinese nationals accused of spying on the United States, including three unnamed U.S.-based targets involved in medical research to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The indictment states the Chinese hackers "conducted reconnaissance" against the computer network of a Massachusetts biotech firm known to be working on a coronavirus vaccine in January.
WHO warns partying youngsters not to 'let down guard' on COVID-19
Young people letting down their guard to enjoy the summer holidays are partly driving a spike in new COVID-19 cases in some countries, the World Health Organization said on Thursday. A fresh jump in cases in parts of Europe, the United States, and Asia has fuelled fears of a second wave of new coronavirus infections and prompted some countries to impose new restrictions on travel.
(With inputs from agencies.)