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Takeda Group Begins Manufacturing COVID-19 Plasma Treatment Ahead of Approval | Top News

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Takeda Pharmaceutical Co-led group that is developing a blood plasma treatment for COVID-19 has started manufacturing while the late-stage trial to determine whether it works is ongoing, Takeda Chief Executive Christophe Weber said on Monday.

The group, known as the CoVIg Plasma Alliance, enrolled its first patient in the Phase III trial on Friday after months of delays. It aims to enroll 500 adult patients from the United States, Mexico and 16 other countries and hope to have results by the end of the year.

“The likelihood it works is very high,” Weber said in an interview. “And that’s why we have launched a campaign in order to accelerate the donation of convalescent plasma to manufacture and produce this product.”

The alliance, which includes CSL Behring, Germany’s Biotest AG and other companies, is testing a hyperimmune globulin therapy, which is derived from blood plasma of people who have recovered from COVID-19. Hyperimmune globulin therapy offers a standardized dose of antibodies and does not need to be limited to patients with matching blood types.

That makes it more advanced and convenient than treatment with convalescent plasma drawn from recovered patients.

The manufacturing process is expensive.

Weber said the treatment could be slightly more costly to make than monoclonal antibody treatments like the ones Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc and Eli Lilly and Co have developed. The alliance does not intend to profit from the treatment, Weber said.

The Takeda CEO said he does not know how many doses of the treatment the group will be able to produce by the end of the year. That will depend on donations as well as the dosage size they decide to test in the clinical trial.

The trial will test the hyperimmune globulin therapy in combination with Gilead Sciences Inc’s antiviral drug remdesivir compared with patients who get remdesivir alone, he said.

(Reporting by Michael Erman; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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Amazon Slashes Prices of Garmin Smartwatches Ahead of Prime Day

As Prime Day approaches on October 13, you’re probably anticipating all the amazing Prime Day deals right around the corner. Once Prime Day arrives, we’ll be sharing some of the best Prime Day smartwatch deals and you can also expect some great Prime Day fitness deals to help you get motivated. In the meantime, if you’re looking for a new smartwatch, there are already some fantastic deals on Garmin smartwatches available right now. These deals are your opportunity to pick up a bargain on some of the best Garmin fitness trackers and smartwatches.

— $89, was $130

Picture shows the Garmin Vivosmart 4 smartwatch in black

If chunky smartwatches aren’t your thing, the slim, lightweight style of the Vivosmart 4 can be yours for $41 off right now. Available in Midnight with a black band, this sleek fitness tracker boasts a battery life of up to seven days, and you can wear it in the shower or while swimming. What it lacks in size it more than makes up for in features, with smart notifications, a wrist-based heart rate monitor, pulse oximeter sensor, and the ability to connect to your phone’s GPS for tracking your morning run or walk. You’ll also find a bunch of dedicated activity timers for specific activities like strength training or yoga.

— $89, was $130

Picture shows the Garmin Forerunner 35 smartwatch in black

Heavy on features, light on form, the slim, lightweight Garmin Forerunner 35 is ideal for runners. With $57 off the black version right now, it’s the perfect time to invest in a smartwatch that will up your running game this fall. There’s built-in GPS to track your runs, and you don’t need to pair this watch with your smartphone as it automatically uploads data to Garmin Connect, Garmin’s free online fitness community, where you can set goals and track your progress. It’s water-resistant and offers all-day activity tracking, counting steps and calories and monitoring your heart rate — as well as providing music controls so you’ll always have the perfect soundtrack to your run. The Forerunner is great for cyclists, too, as it can connect to ANT+ cadence sensors and heart rate monitoring chest straps.

— $229, was $300

Photo shows the Garmin Instinct smartwatch in black

For outdoors enthusiasts we’ve got a great deal on the already affordable Garmin Instinct, with $71 off the Graphite version right now. This rugged watch is aimed at hikers, walkers, and runners, with support for GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo to keep you on the right track, as well as a built-in 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter. The 45mm watch casing and soft silicone band are comfortable to wear, and the watch is water-resistant to 100 meters. We love the Trackback feature, that makes it easy to navigate the same route back to where you started, along with the fact it offers superior battery life of up to 14 days in smartwatch mode, up to 16 hours in GPS mode, and up to 40 hours in UltraTrack battery saver mode. This is one of the best deals you’re going to find on an outdoor watch before Prime Day, so don’t miss

Newborn Tests Negative After First-Time Mother Gets COVID-19 Ahead of Due Date

A baby in California tested negative for COVID-19 after her mother contracted the disease ahead of the birth earlier this year.



The child’s mother, Rachel Collette, opened up about the “emotional rollercoaster” she endured after contracting the infectious respiratory illness roughly six months ago -- as coronavirus outbreak was spreading globally.


© Anastasiia Chepinska/Unsplash
The child’s mother, Rachel Collette, opened up about the “emotional rollercoaster” she endured after contracting the infectious respiratory illness roughly six months ago — as coronavirus outbreak was spreading globally.

The child’s first-time mom, Rachel Collette, has now opened up about the “emotional rollercoaster” she endured after contracting the infectious respiratory illness roughly six months ago—as the ongoing coronavirus outbreak was spreading rapidly.

Collette revealed her personal experience after taking part in a University of California San Francisco (UCSF) study that found COVID-19 symptoms for pregnant people can be prolonged, lasting two months or longer for some participants.

In the days before giving birth to her daughter, Collette said her symptoms consisted of a dry cough, a sore throat and a headache. Luckily, she said those eventually subsided and her child had tested negative after being born at hospital.

“Definitely that whole week leading up to giving birth was an emotional rollercoaster. Because it was the end of March, beginning of April, there still wasn’t that much information, there were still so many unknowns,” Collette told KRON4.

According to data compiled by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) there have been more than 25,300 cases of pregnant patients with COVID-19 in the U.C., logged between January 22 and October 6. Of that number, over 5,899 people were hospitalized. It is estimated at least 44 pregnant patients have died.

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The CDC noted one study suggested pregnant people with COVID-19 are more likely to be hospitalized or need mechanical ventilation than nonpregnant people, but it warned the “risk of death is similar for both groups [and] much remains unknown.”

Speaking to KRON, Collette said her daughter, who is six months old, is healthy. Collette was one of 594 women who shared her insights with the academic study this year, the largest to date analyzing COVID-19 among non-hospitalized pregnant women.

The findings, now published in Obstetrics & Gynecology, suggested the most common early symptoms for pregnant women were cough, sore throat, body aches and fever.

It said half of the participants still reported COVID-19 symptoms after three weeks and approximately 25 percent appeared to still show symptoms after eight weeks.

“We found that pregnant people [who have] COVID-19 can expect a prolonged time with symptoms,” senior author Vanessa Jacoby, UCSF vice chair of research in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, wrote in the report.

The project—officially known as the Pregnancy Coronavirus Outcomes Registry—is now ongoing in the U.S., where the virus is still circulating. It was launched March 22.

It has found a loss of taste or smell was the first symptom in six percent of the pregnant women, while 60 percent of women had no symptoms after four weeks of illness.

“The majority of participants in

Texas Health Care Workers Urged To Get Immunized Ahead Of Vaccine

AUSTIN, TX — Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday urged Texas health care providers to secure immunizations in order to be able to administer vaccines for the coronavirus once they are available.

To that end, health care providers are urged to enroll in the Texas Department of State Health Services’ Immunization Program. Hospitals, medical practices, pharmacies, and long-term care facilities that want to participate are required to enroll as vaccine providers at EnrollTexasIZ.dshs.texas.gov to administer COVID-19 immunizations in Texas, the governor noted.

“While potential COVID-19 vaccines continue to undergo clinical trials, the State of Texas is taking a proactive approach to ensure the vaccine is distributed as quickly as possible once available,” Abbott said in a prepared statement. “Providing Texans with access to a voluntary vaccine and efficiently administering the immunization will be essential to containing COVID-19 and protecting the health of our communities. I urge health care providers across the state to sign up for DSHS’ Immunization Program so they are prepared to administer the COVID-vaccine to Texans who choose to be immunized.”

While vaccine production ramps up, Abbott added, the supply will be limited and provided to critical populations such as health care workers or people at a higher risk of severe disease. As more doses become available, the governor said, more of the enrolled providers will begin to receive vaccine for the people they serve.

Doses of the voluntary COVID-19 vaccine and the supplies needed to administer the immunization will be provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and shipped directly to providers after they are allocated by DSHS.

Under federal guidelines, providers who choose to participate must agree to administer vaccine regardless of a recipient’s ability to pay, provide a vaccination record to each recipient, store doses of vaccine under the proper conditions, and report the number of doses received and used. Any vaccine must be authorized by the Food and Drug Administration before it can be distributed in the United States. DSHS will host opportunities for public comment and provide more information about vaccine distribution as it becomes available.

For more information on the DSHS Immunization Program, visit the Immunization Program Portal.

This article originally appeared on the Austin Patch

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Over 50 Salt Lake City officers under quarantine ahead of vice presidential debate

The city has seen a rise in new cases over the last month.

Salt Lake City’s latest rise in novel coronavirus cases has affected dozens of the city’s police officers, with at least 9% under quarantine ahead of Wednesday night’s vice presidential debate.

As of Tuesday evening, 17 officers tested positive for COVID-19, and 52 were in quarantine, Detective Michael Ruff told ABC News. On Monday, the department said 15 officers tested positive and 25 others were under quarantine.

A 2019 report by the Salt Lake City police department said the force had 542 uniformed officers, and Ruff could not say how much that number has changed over the year.

Ruff the department’s duties during the debate at the University of Utah shouldn’t be hindered because other agencies, including the university police, state police and federal authorities will be assisting.

“There are a lot of people who are working on this,” he said.

PHOTO: Salt Lake City police officers wear face masks to protect against the spread of the new coronavirus as they patrol in Salt Lake City, Utah, April 21, 2020.

Salt Lake City police officers wear face masks to protect against the spread of the new coronavirus as they patrol in Salt Lake City, Utah, April 21, 2020.

Salt Lake City police officers wear face masks to protect against the spread of the new coronavirus as they patrol in Salt Lake City, Utah, April 21, 2020.

As for the city’s day-to day police matters, Ruff said that the department has been shifting schedules and personnel to fill the gaps. The spokesman added that some of those quarantined officers were still working but only taking cases by phone for which in-person police work may not be required.

“You may have an incident where someone calls about fraud and doesn’t have a suspect ID. They’d be taking the call,” Ruff added.

The coronavirus situation that’s ensnared police is part of a larger trend of rising COVID-19 cases in Salt Lake City, according to data from the county’s Health Department. As of Tuesday evening, there were 34,087 total cases and 16 total deaths, with 136 people hospitalized due to the virus and 254 hospitalized since the pandemic began.

PHOTO: A car pulls into one of the first drive through testing facilities for Coronavirus (COVID-19) virus in a parking lot outside the University of Utah's Sugar House Health Clinic in Salt Lake City, Utah, March 16,  2020.

A car pulls into one of the first drive through testing facilities for Coronavirus (COVID-19) virus in a parking lot outside the University of Utah’s Sugar House Health Clinic in Salt Lake City, Utah, March 16, 2020.

A car pulls into one of the first drive through testing facilities for Coronavirus (COVID-19) virus in a parking lot outside the University of Utah’s Sugar House Health Clinic in Salt Lake City, Utah, March 16, 2020.

Since Sept. 8, 8,904 people contracted the virus, more than a quarter of the city’s total cases, according to health department data. The seven-day average of new daily cases went from 142 on Sept. 8 to 424 on Oct. 4.

Nicholas Rupp, a spokesman for the Salt Lake County Health Department, told ABC News in a statement that the greatest increase in numbers come from “younger people, high school and

Plan Ahead to Keep Halloween Safe for Kids With Asthma, Allergies | Health News

By Robert Preidt, HealthDay Reporter

(HealthDay)

TUESDAY, Oct. 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) — This Halloween may be especially challenging for parents of children with asthma and allergies, as they also have to guard against COVID-19.

“Every year we send out tips on how to keep your kids with allergies and asthma symptom-free as they celebrate one of their favorite holidays,” said allergist Dr. J. Allen Meadows, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).

“This year, along with our usual guidance, we want to point people to the [U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and their recommendations for avoiding COVID-19,” Meadows said in a college news release.

As you plan for the holiday, consider these tips from the ACAAI:

If kids are attending events, outdoor activities are always best. Children must wear a mask and maintain social distance. There are Halloween-themed cloth masks that help protect against COVID-19, so kids should be encouraged to choose a costume that works with a protective mask.

An ordinary costume mask is not a substitute for a mask meant to protect against the coronavirus. The CDC says a costume mask should not be worn over a cloth mask if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe.

Try to have Halloween activities around your home, where you can control the environment and the allergens. For example, you can make sure all treats are allergen-free if your child suffers from a food allergy.

Ideas for at-home fun include pumpkin carving, having a costume parade over Zoom, or a scavenger hunt in the house or yard with family members.

If your child does go trick-or-treating, the CDC recommends a one-way approach where individual goodie bags are lined up for families to grab at the end of a driveway or edge of a yard.

If you’re preparing goodie bags, make sure to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after preparing the bags. If your child goes trick-or-treating, check their bag for any candy that might contain food allergens.

If your child with allergies or asthma is attending a Halloween event or going one-way trick or treating, make sure they have their supplies with them.

Children with asthma should carry their inhaler because kicking up moldy leaves can cause asthma symptoms. If a child has a food allergy, they shouldn’t leave home without their epinephrine auto injector, in case they sneak a treat that contains a possible allergen.

Copyright © 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Is MS Dhoni Fit to Play Against Kings XI Punjab? Here’s Fitness Update of Chennai’s Skipper Ahead of KXIP vs CSK, Dream11 IPL 2020 Match

The Canadian Press

Trump said to be improving but next 48 hours ‘critical’

BETHESDA, Md. — President Donald Trump went through a “very concerning” period Friday and faces a “critical” next two days in his fight against COVID-19 at a military hospital, his chief of staff said Saturday — in contrast to a rosier assessment moments earlier by Trump doctors, who took pains not to reveal the president had received supplemental oxygen at the White House before his hospital admission.
Trump offered his own assessment Saturday evening in a video from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, saying he was beginning to feel better and hoped to “be back soon.”
Hours earlier, chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters outside the hospital, “We’re still not on a clear path yet to a full recovery.” In an update on the president Saturday night, his chief doctor expressed cautious optimism but added that the president was “not yet out of the woods.”
The changing, and at times contradictory, accounts created a credibility crisis for the White House at a crucial moment, with the president’s health and the nation’s leadership on the line. With Trump expected to remain hospitalized several more days and the presidential election looming, his condition is being anxiously watched by Americans.
Moreover, the president’s health represents a national security issue of paramount importance not only to the functions of the U.S. government but to countries around the world, friendly and otherwise.
Saturday’s briefing by Navy Commander Dr. Sean Conley and other doctors raised more questions than it answered. Conley repeatedly refused to say whether the president ever needed supplemental oxygen, despite repeated questioning, and declined to share key details including how high a fever Trump had been running before it came back down to a normal range. Conley also revealed that Trump had begun exhibiting “clinical indications” of COVID-19 on Thursday afternoon, earlier than previously known.
Conley spent much of the briefing dodging reporters’ questions, as he was pressed for details.
“Thursday no oxygen. None at this moment. And yesterday with the team, while we were all here, he was not on oxygen,” Conley said.
But according to a person familiar with Trump’s condition, Trump was administered oxygen at the White House on Friday morning, well before he was transported to the military hospital by helicopter that evening. The person was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke to The Associated Press only on condition of anonymity,
Conley said that Trump’s symptoms, including a mild cough, nasal congestion and fatigue “are now resolving and improving,” and said the president had been fever-free for 24 hours. But Trump also is taking aspirin, which lowers body temperature and could mask or mitigate that symptom.
“He’s in exceptionally good spirits,” said another doctor, Sean Dooley, who said Trump’s heart, kidney, and liver functions were normal and that he was not having trouble breathing or walking around.
In an evening health update, Conley said Trump had been up and moving around his medical

Florida forges ahead in lifting curbs amid virus concerns

MIAMI — As the summer coronavirus spike in Sunbelt states subsides, Florida has gone the furthest in lifting restrictions, especially on restaurants where the burden of ensuring safety has shifted to business owners and residents — raising concerns of a resurgence.

In his drive to return the state to normalcy, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis lifted limits on indoor seating at restaurants, saying they can operate at 100% in cities and counties with no restrictions and that other local governments with some restrictions can’t limit indoor seating by more than 50%.

In some of Florida’s touristy neighborhoods, patrons have since been flocking to bars and restaurants, filling terraces, defying mask orders — drawing mixed reactions from business owners and other customers.

“We’re generally concerned that we’re going to find ourselves on the other side of an inverted curve and erasing all the progress we’ve made,” said Albert Garcia, chairman of the Wynwood Business improvement district, which represents 50 blocks of restaurants and bars in Miami’s trendy arts district.

Other Sunbelt states that have been COVID-19 hot spots over the summer haven’t gone as far. In Texas, bars have been closed since June under Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s orders, and restaurants can hold up to 75% of their capacity, while face covers are required throughout the state. And in Arizona, restaurants and bars must run at half-capacity.

Though Florida’s governor generally wears a mask when arriving at public appearances and has allowed municipalities to impose mask rules, he has declined to impose a statewide mandate. And on Sept. 25, as the state entered a Phase 3 reopening, he barred municipalities from collecting fines for mask violations.

DeSantis says contact tracing has not shown restaurants to be substantial sources of spread.

“I am confident that these restaurants want to have safe environments,” he said earlier this week. “And I’m also confident that as a consumer, if you don’t go and you don’t think they’re taking precautions, then obviously you’re going to take your business elsewhere.”

Craig O’Keefe, managing partner for Johnnie Brown’s and Lionfish in Delray Beach, said they’re now accommodating as many people as they did before the pandemic began and he’s hired eight people in the past few days. Demand surged last weekend.

“It was like someone turned the light on,” O’Keefe said. “It was great to see people out smiling, having fun getting to see each other. It’s been a really nice thing to get people back to work.”

Shutdowns and restrictions have battered Florida’s economy, leaving hundreds of thousands unemployed in the tourist-dependent state.

Earlier this week, The Walt Disney Co. announced it would lay off 28,000 workers in its theme parks division even after the Florida parks were allowed to reopen this summer.

Florida has had more than 14,500 deaths from the pandemic, ranking 12th per capita among states. Its outbreak peaked in the summer, seeing as many as 12,000-15,000 cases added per day. New cases, positivity rates, hospitalizations and deaths have been on a downward trend for

After mixed messages from White House, Trump says ‘real test’ ahead in his COVID fight

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump said from his hospital room on Saturday that he felt “much better” but the next few days will be “the real test” of his treatment for COVID-19, capping a day of contradictory messages from the White House about his condition.

In a four-minute video posted on Twitter, Trump, looking tired and wearing a jacket and open-necked shirt, said he “wasn’t feeling so well” when he first arrived at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Friday.

“Over the next period of a few days, I guess that’s the real test, so we’ll be seeing what happens over those next couple of days,” Trump said, seated at a round table in front of an American flag.

The remarks came hours after differing assessments of his health from administration officials left it unclear how ill the president had become since he tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday night, a matter of enormous public concern.

A White House team of doctors said on Saturday morning that Trump’s condition was improving and that he was already talking about returning to the White House. One doctor said Trump told them “‘I feel like I could walk out of here today.’”

Within minutes, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows gave reporters a less rosy assessment, telling them, “The president’s vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care. We’re still not on a clear path to a full recovery.”

Meadows, whose initial comments were delivered on condition that he not be identified, altered his tone hours later, telling Reuters that Trump was doing “very well” and that “doctors are very pleased with his vital signs.”

Meadows did not clarify the discrepancy in his comments. A Trump adviser who spoke on condition of anonymity said the president was not happy to learn of Meadows’ initial remarks.

Trump was flown from the White House to Walter Reed, near Washington, about 17 hours after he announced his illness. Administration officials, who described the move as precautionary, said he would stay at the hospital for several days.

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Another source who was briefed on Trump’s condition said the president was given supplemental oxygen before he went to the hospital. The decision to hospitalize Trump came after he had experienced difficulty breathing and his oxygen level dropped, according to a source familiar with the situation.

White House doctor Sean P. Conley told reporters outside the hospital on Saturday that Trump had not had trouble breathing, and was not given oxygen at Walter Reed.

“The team and I are extremely happy with the progress the president has made,” Conley said.

He declined to give a timetable for Trump’s possible release from the hospital, and later had to issue a statement saying he misspoke after appearing to suggest Trump had been diagnosed as early as Wednesday.

“Today’s spectacle – doctors saying one thing, White House sources saying another thing,

After concerning early Covid symptoms, Trump faces critical days ahead, sources say

President Donald Trump is “doing very well” after his first night at Walter Reed Medical Center where he is being treated for the coronavirus, White House physician Dr. Sean Conley said Saturday.

But a White House aide, who refused to include their name, told members of the White House press pool that the president’s condition may been more serious than the physicians suggested. The pool is a small group of reporters who travel with the president on behalf of all the news outlets who cover the White House.

“The President’s vitals over last 24 hours were very concerning and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care,” the aide said in a statement to the press pool that but not directly to NBC News. “We are still not on a clear path to a full recovery.”

A source familiar with the President’s condition said some of the same to NBC News on Saturday: “Some the President’s vitals signs Friday morning were early indicators of the potential for progression beyond mild illness.”

The assessment was a stark contrast to Conley’s assessment.

The president has been fever free for 24 hours; is not currently receiving supplemental oxygen and has normal organ function, Conley said, adding he is “cautiously optimistic.”

It was unclear whether the aide or the president’s physician had more update information.

Trump broke an extended silence on Twitter on Saturday, writing to praise medical professionals, adding, “With their help, I am feeling well!”

Conley declined to predict when Trump might discharged. He will be on a five-day course of an experimental drug treatment, the doctors said.

The doctors said Trump had a cough, nasal congestion, and fatigue on Thursday, symptoms that have since begun improving and resolving. They also suggested he received an antibody treatment on Thursday morning.

Trump told his doctors, “I feel like I could walk out of here today,” the doctors said.

The White House also tried to clear up confusion set off from the briefing over when Trump became ill.

Standing outside Walter Reed, the president’s doctors said he was “72 hours into the diagnosis,” even though Trump had only announced his positive coronavirus test late Thursday evening, after attending a fundraiser in New Jersey. Another doctor treating the president, Dr. Brian Garibaldi, said had been treated “48 hours” ago — Thursday morning — with antibodies.

Download the NBC News app for breaking news about the president’s health

But a White House official later disputed the timeline, saying Trump had been diagnosed Thursday night and that the doctors meant Trump was on “day 3” not a full 72 hours in on his diagnosis.

The official also said that the antibody treatment was given later Thursday night, not a full 48 hours ago.

On Saturday afternoon, Conley issued a statement through the White House saying Trump had been diagnosed on Thursday night, and given the antibody treatment on Friday.

“I incorrectly used the term ‘seventy-two hours’ instead of ‘day three’ and