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Reuters Health News Summary

Populations' vulnerability to infection remains high, with data suggesting immunity levels at less than 15% in most areas and the overall death rate rising for over a month, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said in an updated risk assessment.

Reuters | Updated: 23-10-2020 18:31 IST | Created: 23-10-2020 18:31 IST
Reuters Health News Summary

Following is a summary of current health news briefs. What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

Here's what you need to know about the coronavirus right now: INFECTIONS RISING FASTER THAN IN SPRING IN FRANCE, BELGIUM TIGHTENS RESTRICTIONS, SPANISH REGIONS CLAMOUR FOR CURFEW The pandemic shopping list: Dolls, detergent and campers

Consumers have been snapping up everything from disinfectant wipes and robot vacuum cleaners to Barbie dolls and motorhomes over the last few months as the COVID-19 pandemic drags on and radically changes shopping habits. Quarterly results from consumer products giants Procter & Gamble Co and Reckitt Benkiser this week showed demand for cleaning products, detergents and soaps remained robust, helping the companies beat sales expectations and lift their annual forecasts. France extends curfew as COVID second wave surges in Europe

France extended curfews to around two thirds of its population on Thursday and Belgium's foreign minister was taken into intensive care with COVID-19, as the second wave of the pandemic surged across Europe. French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced a curfew imposed last week on Paris and eight other cities would be extended to 38 more departments, confining 46 million out of the country's 67 million population to their homes from 9 pm to 6 am. Act now to curb spiralling COVID-19, EU agency says

European governments must take immediate, targeted public health action to stop healthcare systems being overwhelmed by increasing COVID-19 infections, the European Union's health and disease agency said on Friday. Populations' vulnerability to infection remains high, with data suggesting immunity levels at less than 15% in most areas and the overall death rate rising for over a month, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said in an updated risk assessment. German health minister expects COVID-19 vaccine in early 2021: Spiegel

A COVID-19 vaccine could be available for the German population early next year, Health Minister Jens Spahn was quoted as saying on Friday, adding that Germany would be prepared to pass on surplus amounts of the shot to other countries. Spahn told Der Spiegel that as soon as enough vaccine was available it would be possible to vaccinate a large proportion of the population that wanted the shot in six to seven months. As COVID-19 cases spike, pneumonia vaccine demand rockets and Europe runs low

As COVID-19 infections rise, people seeking to avoid one lung disease compounding another are queuing up to get inoculated against bacterial pneumonia, causing shortages of a Merck & Co vaccine in parts of Europe. Demand for Merck's Pneumovax 23, which is used to prevent pneumococcal lung infections, has hit record highs across the world, the company said. Gilead shares rise after United States approves remdesivir as COVID-19 drug

Shares of Gilead Sciences Inc rose 6% on Friday after its antiviral drug, remdesivir, became the first and only approved treatment for COVID-19 in the United States. The U.S. health regulator's approval on Thursday for its use in hospitalized patients came despite the World Health Organization last week saying the drug did not have a substantial effect on patients' length of hospital stay or chances of survival in a global trial. South Korea presses on with flu vaccination programme amid concerns about deaths

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said on Friday it would not halt a wide flu vaccination programme aimed at heading off complications from the coronavirus, after reviewing more than two dozen cases of deaths that have raised public concern. A review had shown no direct link between the vaccination and 26 deaths that were investigated, the KDCA said in a statement, adding it planned to meet on Saturday to review additional analysis. Don't give up on COVID-19 plasma, experts say, after study finds no benefit

Researchers called on Friday for more research into using blood from recovered COVID-19 patients - or so-called convalescent plasma - as a potential treatment, after a small trial of hospitalised patients in India found it was of no benefit The Indian results, published in the BMJ British Medical Journal, found that the plasma, which delivers antibodies from COVID-19 survivors to infected people, did not help hospitalised patients fight off the infection, and failed to reduce death rates or halt progression to severe disease. Positive pre-clinical data for CureVac's COVID-19 vaccine

German biotech company CureVac said on Friday its potential vaccine against the coronavirus triggered an immune response in pre-clinical animal studies. The Tuebingen-based company, which is backed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said the potential vaccine, known as CVnCoV, produced neutralising antibodies and activated T-cells in hamsters and mice.



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