Health News Roundup: More English cities face tightest COVID lockdown rules; U.S. jails are outsourcing medical care and more

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Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

More English cities face tightest COVID lockdown rules

Britain announced wider coronavirus restrictions on Monday which will take the number of people under England’s highest category of alert to nearly 8 million, as the government battles a sharp rise in cases. The number of new COVID cases has risen by almost a quarter over the past week to 153,483, and new COVID deaths were 50% higher than the week before at 1,272, taking fatalities over the course of the pandemic to 44,998, the highest in Europe.

Special Report: U.S. jails are outsourcing medical care — and the death toll is rising

Matthew Loflin was coughing up blood, struggling to breathe and losing consciousness in his cell while awaiting trial on drug-possession charges in this historic Southern city. “I need to go to the hospital,” he told his mother in a jailhouse phone call. “I’m gonna die in here.”

Abortion rights protests block city streets across Poland

Tens of thousands of Poles blocked city streets in cars, on bicycles and on foot on Monday on the fifth day of protests against a Constitutional Court ruling that amounts to a near-total ban on abortion in the predominantly Catholic country. Carrying banners reading “Enough”, “I won’t be your martyr” and “I want choice, not terror”, protesters gathered in several dozen towns and cities in defiance of coronavirus restrictions.

Wave of new COVID-19 cases crashes across U.S. and Europe as winter looms

The United States, Russia, France and many other countries are setting records for coronavirus infections as a tidal wave of cases washes over parts of the Northern Hemisphere, forcing some countries to impose new curbs. The gloom weighed on global financial markets on Monday as surging infections clouded the economic outlook.

Vaccine hopes rise as Oxford jab prompts immune response among old as well as young adults

One of the world’s leading COVID-19 experimental vaccines produces a immune response in both old and young adults, raising hopes of a path out of the gloom and economic destruction wrought by the novel coronavirus. The vaccine, developed by the University of Oxford, also triggers lower adverse responses among the elderly, British drug maker AstraZeneca Plc, which is helping manufacture the vaccine, said on Monday.

Europe needs ‘serious acceleration’ in fight against coronavirus: WHO

Europe needs a “serious acceleration” in the fight against the coronavirus and a lack of contact-tracing capacity could drive the disease into the darkness, a top World Health Organization official said on Monday. In Europe the picture is unrelentingly grim as a string of countries reported record increases, led by France, which posted more than 50,000 daily cases for the first time on Sunday, while the continent passed the threshold of 250,000 deaths.

France sees highest number of COVID-19 patients going into hospital since April

French hospitals registered 1,307 new coronavirus patients on Monday in the highest one-day increase since April 2, which saw 1,607 new patients, as the health system comes under increasing stress from a runaway infection rate. French health ministry data showed that France now has a total of 17,784 coronavirus patients in its hospitals, compared with a record 32,292 on April 14, at the height of the March-May lockdown.

COVID-19 heart changes raise death risk; virus may be lead killer of young adults during surges

The following is a 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. Higher death risk found if COVID-19 causes changes to heart.

Weekly U.S. COVID-19 deaths up 15%, new cases rise 24%

The number of new COVID-19 cases in the United States last week rose 24% to more than 485,000 while the number of tests performed rose 5.5%, according to a Reuters analysis of state and county reports. Nationally, over 5,600 people died of the virus in the seven days ended Oct. 25, up 15% from the prior week. Deaths have risen for at least two weeks straight in 16 states, compared with nine states previously.

Super spooky: Halloween trick-or-treating amid COVID-19

On a typical Halloween, Sarah Schwimmer would answer her door and put candy in the outstretched hands of costumed trick-or-treaters, but this year she will be shooting their sweets through a 10-foot-long (3-meter-long) pipe rigged up as her COVID-19 socially distanced delivery system. “The kids – everything has changed for them, so anything we can do to keep that joy is important,” said Schwimmer, 54, of Lawrenceville, New Jersey.



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