Health News Roundup: US CDC reports 204,328 COVID deaths; Official COVID death toll probably underestimates true total and more

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Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

U.S. CDC reports 204,328 coronavirus deaths

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday reported 7,095,422 cases of the new coronavirus, an increase of 36,335 cases from its previous count, and said that the number of deaths had risen by 295 to 204,328. The CDC reported its tally of cases of the respiratory illness known as COVID-19, caused by a new coronavirus, as of 4 p.m. ET on Sept. 27, compared with its previous report a day earlier. (

Official COVID-19 death toll probably underestimates true total: WHO

The official global toll of deaths from COVID-19 probably underestimates the true total – suggesting it could be over a million already, a World Health Organization official said on Monday. “If anything, the numbers currently reported probably represent an underestimate of those individuals who have either contracted COVID-19 or died as a cause of it,” Mike Ryan, the WHO’s top emergencies expert, told a briefing in Geneva.

New York’s positive COVID-19 test rate inches up as cases climb in other states

The percentage of COVID-19 tests taken in New York state that have come back positive has inched up to 1.5%, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Monday, a worrisome trend for the former epicenter of the U.S. coronavirus epidemic. The rise in positivity in New York above the 1% target comes as 27 other states recorded increases in the number of cases for two straight weeks.

Texas county on alert over brain-eating amoeba after death of six-year-old

Texas has stepped up efforts to counter the threat posed by a brain-eating amoeba detected in the water supply of a coastal county that led to the death of a 6-year-old boy earlier this month. Governor Greg Abbott on Sunday issued a disaster declaration for Brazoria County after Naegleria fowleri, a microscopic amoeba, was found in the water supply of the city of Lake Jackson in the greater Houston metropolitan area.

Positive COVID-19 test rates top 25% in some U.S. Midwest states

The number of tests coming back positive for COVID-19 is topping 25% in several states in the U.S. Midwest as cases and hospitalization also surge in the region, according to a Reuters analysis. North Dakota’s positive test rate has averaged 30% over the past seven days compared with the prior week. The positivity rate has risen to 26% in South Dakota, up from 17% the previous week, according to the analysis using testing data from The COVID Tracking Project.

CDC director on pandemic: ‘We’re nowhere near the end’ – NBC

The head of a top U.S. government health agency contradicted President Donald Trump upbeat assessment of the coronavirus pandemic, saying “We’re nowhere near the end,” NBC News reported on Monday. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), who has been rebuked by Trump for statements on the value of masks and vaccine availability, also expressed concern that Dr. Scott Atlas – a late addition to the coronavirus task force – is sharing inaccurate information with the president.

Trump, pressured over pandemic, says states to receive 150 million tests

President Donald Trump, under pressure over his handling of the coronavirus outbreak, announced on Monday the federal government would ship 150 million rapid tests to U.S. states for opening schools and ensuring safety at centers for senior citizens. “This will be more than double the number of tests already performed,” he said, announcing the plan in the White House Rose Garden.

Trump’s Operation Warp Speed document shows big military involvement: Stat News

The Trump administration’s Operation Warp Seed vaccine programme is a highly structured organization in which military personnel vastly outnumber civilian scientists, health news website Stat News reported on Monday citing an organizational chart from July 30. The document shows that roughly 60 military officials, including at least four generals, are involved in the leadership, the report added, saying that many of them have never worked in healthcare or vaccine development.

Poorer countries to get 120 million $5 coronavirus tests, WHO says

Some 120 million rapid diagnostic tests for coronavirus will be made available to low- and middle-income countries at a maximum of $5 each, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday. The wider availability of quick, reliable, and inexpensive testing will help 133 countries to track infections and contain the spread, closing the gap with wealthy ones, it said.

New U.S. COVID-19 cases rise in 27 states for two straight weeks

The number of new COVID-19 cases in the United States has risen for two weeks in a row in 27 out of 50 states, with North Carolina and New Mexico both reporting increases above 50% last week, according to a Reuters analysis. The United States recorded 316,000 new cases in the week ended Sept. 27, up 10% from the previous seven days and the highest in six weeks, according to the analysis of state and county data.

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