Health News Roundup: U.S. CDC reports 216,917 deaths from coronavirus; Sales of first big COVID-19 drug, remdesivir, may disappoint and more

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Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

U.S. CDC reports 216,917 deaths from coronavirus

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday reported 7,958,254 cases of the new coronavirus, an increase of 63,486 from its previous count, and said that the number of deaths had risen by 892 to 216,917. The CDC reported its tally of cases of the respiratory illness known as COVID-19, caused by a new coronavirus, as of 4 pm ET on Oct. 15 versus its previous report a day earlier.(

Analysis: Sales of first big COVID-19 drug, remdesivir, may disappoint

Investors betting on big profits from COVID-19 treatments may get an unwelcome surprise when Gilead Sciences Inc reports quarterly results this month. Its remdesivir, the first important coronavirus treatment, has not been used as much as first expected and faces complex insurance reimbursement issues. Its best hope may be that the United States and other Northern Hemisphere governments concerned about a winter spike in cases are beginning to stockpile the antiviral drug, which is also being tested in combination with experimental COVID-19 antibody therapies.

Pfizer says earliest U.S. filing for COVID-19 vaccine would be late November

Pfizer Inc said on Friday it could file in late November for U.S. authorization of the COVID-19 vaccine it is developing, suggesting that a vaccine could potentially be available in the United States by the end of the year. That timeline makes it unlikely, however, that a vaccine will be available before the U.S. election, as President Donald Trump has promised. Pfizer, which is developing the vaccine with German partner BioNTech, said that it may confirm if the vaccine is effective as soon as this month but that it also needs safety data from a 44,000-person clinical trial that will not be available until next month.

COVID-19 cases surge in Wisconsin ahead of Trump campaign rally

Two weeks ago, Mark Schultz was getting ready to go to work at the tavern he owns in the Wisconsin city of Oshkosh when he started to feel sweaty, achy and chilled. Within days, the 64-year-old was in an intensive care unit at a local hospital fighting for his life.

Row breaks out over WHO trial casting doubt on remdesivir as COVID-19 drug

A row broke out on Friday over a World Health Organization (WHO) clinical trial which concluded that the anti-viral drug remdesivir has little or no impact on a patient’s chances of surviving COVID-19. Gilead Sciences Inc., the U.S. company that developed the drug, said the findings appeared inconsistent with evidence from other studies validating the clinical benefit of remdesivir, which was used to treat U.S. President Donald Trump’s coronavirus infection.

Canadian city of Winnipeg to close bars, casinos as COVID-19 cases spike

Bars and casinos in the Canadian city of Winnipeg will close for two weeks and stores and restaurants will reduce their capacities to half, Manitoba health officials said on Friday, attempting to slow rising COVID-19 infections. Gatherings will be restricted to five people outside a household, down from 10. The restrictions will take effect on Monday in the city of nearly 800,000 residents.

WHO in dialogue with Russia on its second COVID-19 vaccine candidate

The World Health Organization said on Friday it had had very good dialogue with developers of a second Russian vaccine candidate against COVID-19. “We will only be able to have a position on a vaccine when we see results of the phase 3 clinical trials,” WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan told a news conference in Geneva.

Explainer: When will COVID-19 vaccines be generally available in the United States?

U.S. President Donald Trump and the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have disagreed about when a COVID-19 vaccine would become widely available. Trump has said enough vaccine would be available for every American by April, while the CDC director said vaccines were likely to reach the general public around mid-2021, an assessment more in line with most experts. Pfizer Inc said on Friday it could file for U.S. authorization of the COVID-19 vaccine it is developing with German partner BioNTech in late November, suggesting it is possible a vaccine could be available in the United States this year.

Young people in France: ‘Don’t make us scapegoats for COVID-19’

Solene Tissot, a 19-year-old student in Paris, will obey the curfew imposed to fight COVID-19, but she has one request for her country’s leaders: don’t blame young people for the second wave of the virus. “There’s been this kind of assigning guilt to young people,” she said on Friday, hours before the new curfew was to come into force in Paris and major French cities. “I reject that.”

Remdesivir questioned by WHO trial; women take virus more seriously than men

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. Large WHO trial casts doubt on remdesivir and other drugs

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