Health News Roundup: What you need to know about the coronavirus right now; World scrambles for vaccine deals as COVID infections near 60 million and more

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Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

U.S. surpasses 2,000 COVID deaths in a day with hospitals already full

Daily U.S. deaths from COVID-19 surpassed 2,000 for the first since May and with hospitals across the country already full, portending a surge in mortalities to come as the coronavirus pandemic casts a shadow over the holiday season. The death toll reached 2,157 on Tuesday – one person every 40 seconds – with another 170,000 people infected, numbers that experts say could grow with millions of Americans defying official warnings and traveling for Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday.

As COVID-19 cases soar, U.S. families weigh risks of welcoming college kids home

Nina Jain was regularly checking the nation’s COVID-19 data and holding out hope that her son Antonio, a sophomore who attends college in Iowa, could come home to Sacramento, California, for Thanksgiving this week. Jain, who works in a government office, had her hopes dashed when she saw U.S. COVID-19 cases rise by an average of more than 168,000 per day last week. Antonio canceled his flight on Friday, hours before it was scheduled to depart, heeding public health warnings that a nationwide dispersal of college students heading home for the holidays could fuel a deadly wave of infections.

What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now: White House considers lifting European travel restrictions Russia reports record 507 coronavirus deaths

Russia reported a record 507 coronavirus deaths in the last 24 hours on Wednesday, taking its national death toll to 37,538 since the pandemic began. Authorities also confirmed 23,675 new cases of the virus, including 4,685 in Moscow, pushing the total number of infections to 2,162,503 since the start of the outbreak.

World scrambles for vaccine deals as COVID infections near 60 million

Countries around the world are scrambling to finalise vaccine deals as the global number of coronavirus infections approached 60 million on Wednesday, scientists urged caution and U.S. officials pleaded with Americans to stay home over Thanksgiving. The holiday weekend is expected to fuel a surge of infections in the United States, which leads the world with soaring COVID-19 infections and the daily toll on Tuesday climbing above 2,000, the highest 24-hour tally since early May.

Mutations not making coronavirus able to spread more rapidly -study

The COVID-19-causing coronavirus is mutating as it spreads around the world in the pandemic, but none of the mutations currently documented appears to be making it able to spread more rapidly, scientists said on Wednesday. In a study using a global dataset of virus genomes from 46,723 people with COVID-19 from 99 countries, researchers identified more than 12,700 mutations, or changes, in the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

EU seeks to bypass patents in emergency measures to boost drugs access

The European Union is planning tough measures to boost its access to drugs, from sidestepping patents rights in emergencies to taking production to Europe, according to EU documents published on Wednesday. The possible moves are meant to tackle the chronic shortages of medicines that have dogged the bloc for years and have become more serious since the COVID-19 pandemic and associated trade disruption and drug export bans.

Special Report: To reopen or not to reopen – That is the fraught question for U.S. schools

After a two-week deluge of calls and messages from parents – and at least one death threat – the school board in Chandler, Arizona, called a special meeting this fall. The board would revisit its decision, prompted by the coronavirus, to temporarily close local campuses and offer all classes online.

‘We’re drowning’: COVID cases flood hospitals in America’s heartland

Dr. Drew Miller knew his patient had to be moved. The vital signs of the 30-year-old COVID-19 victim were crashing, and Kearny County Hospital in rural Lakin, Kansas, just wasn’t equipped to handle the case. Miller, Kearny’s chief medical officer – who doubles as the county health officer – called around to larger hospitals in search of an ICU bed. With coronavirus cases soaring throughout Kansas, he said, he couldn’t find a single one.

Explainer-When and how will COVID-19 vaccines become available?

Pfizer Inc with partner BioNTech SE and Moderna Inc have released trial data showing their COVID-19 vaccines to be about 95% effective at preventing the illness, while AstraZeneca Plc this week said its vaccine could be up to 90% effective. If regulators approve any of the vaccines in coming weeks, the companies have said distribution could begin almost immediately with governments around the world to decide who gets them and in what order. The following is an outline of the process:

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