Health News Roundup: U.S. CDC reports 8,387,047 coronavirus cases; Europe braces for lengthy battle with COVID and more

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Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

U.S. CDC reports 8,387,047 coronavirus cases

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday reported 8,387,047 cases of new coronavirus, an increase of 74,380 cases from its previous count, and said that the number of deaths had risen by 1,009 to 222,447. 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. 22 versus its previous report a day earlier.(

‘It is terrifying’: Europe braces for lengthy battle with COVID

Europe faces a lengthy battle against the coronavirus at least until mid-2021, France warned on Friday, as anxious governments introduced ever more restrictions to curb the disease once again accelerating through the continent. Europe’s daily infections have more than doubled in the last 10 days, reaching a total of 7.8 million cases and about 247,000 deaths, as a second wave right before winter has crushed economic revival hopes.

France becomes seventh country with more than 1 million COVID-19 cases

The number of confirmed novel coronavirus infections jumped over one million on Friday, making France the seventh country to reach that milestone. Over the past 24 hours, France registered a record 42,032 new cases, taking the total to 1,041,075, government data showed.

WHO: Nations mulling Gilead’s COVID drug should consider trial flop, too

Health officials reviewing Gilead Science Inc’s remdesivir against COVID-19 should consider all evidence, including a trial in which the medicine failed, before giving it the green light, the top WHO scientist said on Friday. U.S. regulators appeared not to have done so when approving the drug this week, Soumya Swaminathan told a news conference.

U.S. COVID-19 deaths could hit half million by February as surge continues

The COVID-19 death toll could reach a half million in the United States by February unless nearly all Americans wear face masks, researchers said on Friday, a day after the number of new infections reported across the country approached a record high. A study by the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation estimated that the pandemic could claim a total of more than 500,000 lives by February, up from the current death toll of over 221,000. The projection reflects fears that colder winter weather will drive Americans indoors, where the virus is more likely to spread, and concerns that not enough people are wearing masks, experts said.

Canada to invest up to C$214 million for research into domestic-made vaccines: PM Trudeau

Canada will invest up to C$214 million ($162.8 million) to help develop a domestically made COVID-19 vaccine, and it has secured up to 76 million doses of Quebec City-based Medicago’s potential vaccine, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday. The government will also invest up to C$18.2 million in Vancouver-based biotechnology company Precision NanoSystems Incorporated (PNI) to support a project for pre-clinical and clinical trials for a vaccine.

Wildfire smoke may help virus spread, mouthwash helps curb it

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. Wildfire smoke likely helped to spread COVID-19.

Biden says he would if elected mandate masks in interstate transportation

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Friday said he would mandate masks in all interstate U.S. transportation if elected after the Trump administration rejected requirements. “As president I will mandate mask wearing in all federal buildings and all interstate transportation because masks save lives – period,” Biden said in a speech in Delaware. “Wearing masks is not a political statement, it is a scientific imperative.”

WHO’s Tedros says countries on ‘dangerous track’ in pandemic

The world is now at a critical juncture in the COVID-19 pandemic and some countries are on a dangerous path, facing the prospect of health services collapsing under the strain, the head of the World Health Organization said on Friday. “We are at a critical juncture in the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in the Northern hemisphere,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference. “The next few months are going to be very tough and some countries are on a dangerous track.”

AstraZeneca resumes U.S. COVID-19 vaccine trial and J&J prepares to do same

AstraZeneca Plc has resumed the U.S. trial of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine after approval by U.S. regulators, and an oversight panel has recommended that Johnson & Johnson resume its trial as well, the companies said on Friday. AstraZeneca’s U.S. trial was paused on Sept. 6 after a report of a serious neurological illness, believed to be transverse myelitis, in a participant in the company’s UK trial.

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