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Daily U.S. Coronavirus Cases Hit Highest Level Since Mid-August

New coronavirus cases in the U.S. continued to climb, driven by renewed outbreaks in several states, as the nation’s total number of cases topped 7.6 million.

The U.S. reported more than 56,000 new cases for Thursday, the highest daily total since mid-August, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The country’s death toll neared 213,000.

Virus Today

  • The U.S. added more than 56,000 coronavirus cases.
  • Total cases in the U.S. climbed past 7.6 million.
  • Wisconsin cases hit single-day record.

Wisconsin reported another record on Thursday, with more than 3,000 new cases confirmed. The state’s seven-day average stood at 2,381, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

Noting the single-day surge, Gov. Tony Evers urged people to get back to the basics of fighting the virus. “Please stay home, limit gatherings and travel, and wear a mask whenever you go out so we can flatten the curve and get back on track,” Mr. Evers wrote on Twitter.

Other states also saw increasing numbers of cases. Illinois reported more than 3,000 new cases Thursday for the first time in more than a month. In North Carolina, new cases rose by more than 2,400, similar to levels reached in July during the peak of the pandemic in the state, according to Johns Hopkins.

Daily reported Covid-19 deaths in the U.S.

Notes: For all 50 states and D.C., U.S. territories and cruises. Last updated

Source: Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering

Daily reported Covid-19 cases in the U.S.

Note: For all 50 states and D.C., U.S. territories and cruises. Last updated

Source: Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering

Several forecasts analyzed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, meanwhile, indicate there might be increases in hospitalizations across the U.S. over the next four weeks.

In New Jersey, coronavirus-related hospitalizations rose to 652, the highest level since Aug. 6, Gov. Phil Murphy said at a news conference Thursday. A total of 148 of those people were in intensive-care units and 52 of those patients were on ventilators.

New York: Schools and some businesses in parts of Brooklyn, Queens and two other counties have been shut in an attempt to curb a recent outbreak. Some community leaders say prevention efforts were insufficient and focused on the wrong neighborhoods.

Monitoring the U.S. Outbreak

Confirmed cases by state, ranked by latest full-day count

Daily confirmed cases per 100,000 residents

Note: Trend indicates whether a state had an increase or decrease in total number of cases in the past seven days compared with previous seven days. Last updated

Sources: Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering; the Lancet; Associated Press; U.S. Census

Average new daily Covid-19 cases for most recent week, per 100,000 people

Note: Last updated on Negative values are
due to revised figures.

Sources: Johns Hopkins University (cases); Census Bureau (population)

Understanding Coronavirus

Vaccines:

Moderna Inc.

said it wouldn’t enforce patents related to its experimental Covid-19 vaccine while the pandemic continues and is willing to license the patents

For Kids Who Hit Puberty Early, Risk of Self-Harm Rises | Health News

By Steven Reinberg, HealthDay Reporter

(HealthDay)

THURSDAY, Oct. 8, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Kids who reach puberty earlier than other kids are at an increased risk of harming themselves as teens, British researchers report.

“Our study is the first to investigate the relationship between the timing of puberty and self-harm using an objective measure of pubertal timing in boys,” said lead author Elystan Roberts, a researcher at the University of Bristol.

He said it’s important to find out why self-harm is on the rise among young people so that help can be provided to those who may be most at risk.

“We still don’t know a lot about the psychological effects of early puberty in boys because male pubertal timing is so hard to measure, so our results will be important for helping to reduce self-harm risk in boys as well as girls,” Roberts said in a university news release.

Co-author Becky Mars, from the University of Bristol’s Medical School, said biological factors such as brain development or hormone changes, or psychosocial factors such as bullying, substance use or depression may be involved.

“Once we have a better understanding of the reasons why early developers are more likely to self-harm, interventions can be designed and delivered to help reduce self-harm risk,” Mars said.

Data from more than 5,000 boys and girls showed that early puberty resulted in a higher risk for self-harm at age 16. For girls, the risk continued into adulthood.

Earlier studies have shown that those who experience earlier puberty are at greater risk of mental health problems such as depression and girls are at higher risk of self-harm. But these studies largely focused on girls or a combination of girls and boys.

The researchers looked at the time when boys and girls were growing in height the fastest — age 13.5 for boys and 11.8 for girls. They also looked at questionnaires participants filled out at age 16 and 21.

At 16, 10% of boys and 25% of girls reported harming themselves. By 21, 28% of men and 35% of women reported harming themselves.

Most of those had experienced early puberty, the researchers found. An early growth spurt was linked with a 15% increase in girls’ risk of self-harm at 16. For boys, it was linked with a 28% increase.

This might not show cause and effect, researchers noted, but they are large differences in risk.

The findings were published Oct. 6 in the journal Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences.

Copyright © 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Pregnancy rates hit new lows for women 24 and younger, new highs for women 35 and older: study

Pregnancy rates among women aged 24 or younger hit record lows in 2016, while rates for women aged 35 and older reached new highs, according to a new analysis published Thursday by Guttmacher, a sexual and reproductive health research organization.

Meanwhile, abortion rates have also declined for young people over the past 25 years, partially due to a decline in the number of people in that age group who became pregnant.

“Pregnancy rates for young people have reached their lowest recorded levels, and both birth and abortion rates among young people are continuing a longstanding decline over the past two-and-a-half decades,” said Guttmacher Senior Research Associate Isaac Maddow-Zimet.

“Conversely, pregnancy rates among older age groups have reached historic highs, with abortion rates remaining fairly constant.”

Guttmacher’s count of pregnancies includes ones that end in births, abortions, miscarriages and stillbirths.

In 2016, the latest year for which comprehensive data is available, there were 115 pregnancies per 1,000 women between the ages of 20 and 24, according to the report, the lowest levels recorded since the peak in 1990 of 202 pregnancies per 1,000 women in that age group.

Teen pregnancies have once again hit record lows, according to the analysis, with 15 pregnancies per 1,000 women aged 15-17, down from a peak of 75 per 1,000 women in that age group in 1989.

In 2016, there were 60 pregnancies per 1,000 women aged 18-19, from a peak of 175 women per 1,000 in that age group in 1991.

While state trends generally mirror national trends, pregnancy rates in 2016 were higher in young people in the South and Southwest, according to the analysis. For example, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and other states had higher than average pregnancy rates among teenagers.

Meanwhile, pregnancy rates for those aged 35-39 and 40 or older reached historic highs. In 2016, there were 73 pregnancies per 1,000 women between the ages of 35 and 39, and 18 per 1,000 women aged 40 or older. 

Pregnancy rates were higher for older age groups in the Northwest and Northeast states, including New York and New Jersey, according to the analysis.

The analysis also found that the abortion rate among young people is also declining, reaching 4 abortions per 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 17 in 2017; 14 abortions per 1,000 women aged 18 and 19; and 24 abortions per 1,000 women between the ages of 20 and 24.

Among women over age 30, the abortion rate has stayed relatively stable since the late 1970s, at about 14 abortions per 100,000 women between the ages of 30 and 34; 9 abortions per 100,000 women between the ages of 35 and 39; and less than 5 abortions per 100,000 women aged 40 and older. 

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UK’s COVID-19 Testing System Hit by Roche Supply Problems | World News

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s COVID-19 testing system, already struggling with a surge in new cases, was facing fresh disruption on Wednesday after Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche

said problems at a new warehouse had delayed the dispatch of some products.

Roche is one of the main suppliers of diagnostic tests to Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) Test and Trace programme, which only days ago was hit by a technical glitch that delayed the reporting of 15,000 positive results.

Roche said the delay in dispatching some of its diagnostic products to the NHS was caused by unforeseen problems that arose during a switch from an old warehouse to a new UK distribution centre in September.

“We deeply regret that there has been a delay in the dispatch of some products and apologise to any of our customers who have been impacted,” Roche said in a statement.

“We are prioritising the dispatch of COVID-19 PCR and antibody tests and doing everything we can to ensure there is no impact on the supply of these to the NHS,” the company added, without specifying whether other products were affected.

Allan Wilson, president of Britain’s Institute of Biomedical Science, said Roche was a major supplier of materials such as reagents needed for routine blood tests, coagulation tests and in cancer diagnostics, as well as COVID-related materials.

“So it’s fair to say that laboratories are already running into supply problems,” Wilson said during an interview on BBC Radio 4. “We’re being very innovative in what we do, and we’re moving stuff around between laboratories, within the NHS, to make sure that all critical tests are fulfilled.”

Wilson said materials would be rationed when appropriate and the NHS was working closely with Roche to try and plug any gaps in the testing pathway.

Roche said staff at the new facility were working day and night to resolve the issue as soon as possible, and that extra staff had been recruited to help.

The timing of Roche’s problems could hardly be worse for Britain, which has seen a surge in new coronavirus infections in September and the testing system struggling to meet demand.

Wilson said a significant drop in Roche’s capacity could potentially have a major impact on NHS Test and Trace.

“The key to this, we’re not sure the duration of this, we’re hearing days or weeks. If it’s days, it will probably have minimal impact, but if it’s weeks, then yes, that could have a considerable impact on our ability to deliver tests across the whole gambit of diagnostic tests in the UK,” he said.

Trade minister Liz Truss said the problem did not appear to be causing delays in the Test and Trace programme at this point.

“There’s no evidence that those tests have been delayed,” Truss told Sky News.

However, British media reported the problem was already causing disruption, with hospital managers unsure whether expected deliveries of swabs and reagents would materialise.

The BBC quoted Tom Lewis, lead clinician for pathology at North Devon District

Pfizer, BioNTech, Regeneron Hit With Patent Lawsuits Over COVID-19 Drugs And Vaccines

Three top names in the fight against the coronavirus and the COVID-19 disease that can result from it have been sued for patent infringement. The trio includes Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:REGN), Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), and BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX). The plaintiff is privately held Allele Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals.

Allele alleges that the three all used its mNeonGreen fluorescent protein to develop their COVID-19 products without paying royalties for the substance. Medical researchers inject fluorescent proteins into cells to track reactions within those bodies. This tracking is used to help determine the effect of medicines and vaccines on the body.

Regeneron is currently developing REGN-COV2, an experimental cocktail of two antibodies to treat COVID-19. The company became a hot topic last week when it was revealed President Donald Trump was administered REGN-COV2 as part of his treatment for COVID-19.

Pfizer and BioNTech have teamed up to develop a coronavirus vaccine; their candidate, BNT162b2, is considered one of the front-runners in the race to bring a vaccine to market.

mNeonGreen was allegedly used in both programs. Allele said in its complaint, filed in a California federal court, that “only through the use of mNeonGreen” were the companies able to develop their products with relative speed.

This, in turn, allowed them to be awarded “an immediate $400 million in grants and over $4 billion in sales of the vaccine to date,” although BNT162b2 has, like other candidates, not yet been approved for use by any major pharmaceutical regulator. Allele is seeking to recover the royalties for its product, although it wasn’t immediately clear how much it is requesting.

Regeneron said it disagreed with Allele’s complaint and would “vigorously defend” its position in court. Neither Pfizer nor BioNTech has formally reacted to the lawsuit.

This article originally appeared in the Motley Fool.

Eric Volkman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

The Pfizer company logo is seen in front of Pfizer's headquarters in New York The Pfizer company logo is seen in front of Pfizer’s headquarters in New York Photo: AFP / Don EMMERT

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UK hit by new virus test failing, finds 16,000 extra cases

LONDON (AP) — The British government has launched an investigation into how nearly 16,000 new coronavirus infections went unreported as a result of a technical glitch, a failing that could have given fresh impetus to an outbreak that critics say is already out of control.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock told lawmakers in the House of Commons that 51% of those previously missed cases have now been contacted by contact tracers. Hancock’s statement came after the weekend disclosure that 15,841 virus cases weren’t tabulated from Sept. 25 to Oct. 2.

Those testing positive were told of their status, but their contacts were not traced, Public Health England said, a failing that could have allowed the virus to flourish.


“This is a serious issues which is being investigated fully,” Hancock said. “Now it is critical we work together to put it right and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

The “technical issue” is thought to have stemmed from file limitations on the Excel spreadsheets that the government used for its test-and-trace program.

An opposition Labour lawmaker said the failing showed how “shambolic” the Conservative government’s plan to fight the pandemic was.

The unreported cases were added to the government’s daily new infections total over the weekend, boosting Saturday’s number to 12,872 cases and Sunday’s to 22,961. That compared to an average of 7,000 new cases a day the four days before.

The number of new cases reported Monday fell to 12,594, but given the adjustments related to the missing cases, it was impossible to figure out a trend.

For the test-and-trace program to work well, contacts should be notified as soon as possible. So authorities’ failure to inform people potentially exposed to the virus could lead to many more positive cases and the need for the government to impose further unwanted restrictions on everyday life.

Jonathan Ashworth, Labour’s spokesman on health issues, slammed the government for its latest failing on testing “at one of the most crucial points in the pandemic.”

As a result, he said around 48,000 contacts of infected people may have been “blissfully unaware they’ve been exposed to COVID, potentially spreading this deadly virus at a time when hospital admissions are increasing and we are in the second wave.”

“This isn’t just a shambles — it’s so much worse than this — and it gives me no comfort to say this, but it’s putting lives at risk,” Ashworth added.

The reporting error is just the latest problem with Britain’s test-and-trace system, which is seen as crucial to slowing the spread of COVID-19 and reducing the need for further limits on social interaction. Lawmakers from all parties have previously criticized Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government for a shortage of testing capacity and delays in notifying people of their test results.

Paul Hunter, a professor in medicine at the University of East Anglia, called the glitch “very disappointing.”

“For the test, track and trace system to have a real impact on reducing transmission of COVID-19, it is essential that test results

Those hit hardest by COVID should get vaccine priority

On Sept. 1, the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine released a Discussion Draft of the Preliminary Framework for Equitable Allocation of COVID-19 Vaccine. This robust 114-page framework proposes a commonsense phased approach for the eventual distribution of safe COVID-19 vaccines.

The necessity for a phased approach to safe vaccinations is based on the likelihood of an initial limited vaccine capacity. While the authors note the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has had on Black, Latino, American Indian, and Native Alaskan populations, we hope the final framework clearly prioritizes access for residents in multigenerational housing from geographic areas hardest hit by the pandemic. In Santa Clara County, many of these residents are people of color.

Here in Santa Clara County, Latino residents account for 25% of our population but are over half of our COVID-19 cases and over 30% of COVID-19 deaths. In addition to the devastating impact on health, more than one in five Black, Latino, and immigrant women in California have lost their jobs due to the economic fallout caused by the pandemic. Due to pandemic-related job loss, the number of employed Black women has dropped by 23% and the number of employed Latina women has dropped by 22%. This is three times the rate of job loss experienced by white men.

Many residents within our county live in multigenerational households, either by cultural preference, economic necessity, or a combination of the two. Particularly in small living quarters, COVID-19 can then ravage entire families, especially if family members are essential workers without the ability to work from home. The same members of our community who are at the greatest risk for COVID-19 and the pandemic-related job loss are often those that live within multigenerational households. This means that many families are facing a compound loss that could take generations to recover, if they do ever recover.

We were both honored to participate in the Health and Racial Equity Task Force led by San Jose Councilwoman Magdalena Carrasco earlier this year. During our time on the task force, we advocated for the health, safety, and well-being of those most impacted by COVID-19 within our county. The task force developed more than 30 recommendations that were unanimously approved by Mayor Sam Liccardo and the City Council, covering everything from testing and tracing to worker safety and eviction protection. We believe these recommendations will equitably help our county by ensuring that those who need the most will receive the most assistance. Today we are advocating for the same equity lens to be applied to vaccine distribution.

We wholeheartedly believe that high-risk health care workers and first responders should receive priority for the COVID-19 vaccine in Phase 1a, as recommended by the National Academies. Our country has already lost hundreds of health care workers to COVID-19. Notably, healthcare workers of color are twice as likely to acquire COVID-19 as their white peers.

In considering Phase 1b, we believe the vaccine recommendations should be expanded to include residents in multigenerational housing in the geographic

Health tech firm testing coronavirus treatments hit by ransomware attack

 A ransomware attack on a health tech firm has slowed some clinical trials, including some involving treatments and vaccines for the coronavirus.

The target was a Philadelphia company that sells software used in hundreds of clinical trials, according to the New York Times.

No patients were affected.

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The attack on eResearchTechnology (ERT) began two weeks ago when employees discovered they were locked out of their data by ransomware.

The companies hit were IQVIA, a contract research organization helping to manage AstraZeneca’s Covid vaccine trial, and Bristol Myers Squibb, which is leading a consortium of companies to develop a quick test for the virus.

ERT has not said how many clinical trials were affected.

TRUMP’S SYMPTOMS LEFT AIDES ‘REAL CONCERNED’ AT FIRST BUT CONDITION HAS IMPROVED, MEADOWS SAYS

The company was involved in three-quarters of trials that led to drug approvals by the Food and Drug Administration last year, according to its website.


On Friday, Drew Bustos, ERT’s vice president of marketing, confirmed that ransomware had seized its systems Sept. 20.

TRUMP’S CORONAVIRUS INFECTION EPITOMIZES ‘OCTOBER SURPRISE,’ BUT IMPACT REMAINS ENIGMA

As a precaution, Bustos said, the company took its systems offline that day and notified outside cybersecurity experts as well as the FBI.

The company said it was too early to say who was behind the attack.

A spokesman declined to say whether the company paid its extortionists.

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The incidents followed more than 1,000 ransomware attacks on U.S. cities, counties and hospitals over the past 18 months, according to the Times.

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Clinical Trials Hit by Ransomware Attack on Health Tech Firm

The incidents also follow more than a thousand ransomware attacks on American cities, counties and hospitals over the past 18 months. The attacks, once treated as a nuisance, have taken on greater urgency in recent weeks as American officials worry they may interfere, directly or indirectly, with the November election.

A ransomware attack in Germany resulted in the first known death from a cyberattack in recent weeks, after Russian hackers seized 30 servers at University Hospital Düsseldorf, crashing systems and forcing the hospital to turn away emergency patients. As a result, the German authorities said, a woman in a life-threatening condition was sent to a hospital 20 miles away in Wuppertal and died from treatment delays.

ERT’s clients at IQVIA and Bristol Myers Squibb said they had been able to limit problems because they had backed up their data, but the attack forced many clinical trial investigators to move to pen and paper.

In a statement, IQVIA said that the attack had “had limited impact on our clinical trials operations,” and added, “We are not aware of any confidential data or patient information, related to our clinical trial activities, that have been removed, compromised or stolen.”

Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, two companies working on a coronavirus vaccine, said their coronavirus vaccine trials had not been affected.

“ERT is not a technology provider for or otherwise involved in Pfizer’s Phase 1/2/3 Covid-19 vaccine clinical trials,” Amy Rose, a spokeswoman for Pfizer, said.

Companies and research labs on the front lines of the pandemic have been repeat targets for foreign hackers over the past seven months, as countries around the world try to gauge one another’s responses and progress in addressing the virus. In May, the F.B.I. and the Department of Homeland Security warned that Chinese government spies were actively trying to steal American clinical research through cybertheft.

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Midwest Latest Region to be Hit Hard by COVID Spread | Health News

By Robin Foster and E.J. Mundell
HealthDay Reporters

(HealthDay)

THURSDAY, Oct. 1, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Coronavirus infections are surging in the American heartland, with Wisconsin bearing the brunt of COVID-19’s relentless spread.

Many Midwestern states are seeing some of the nation’s highest per capita rates of infection, and while federal health officials have again urged some governors in the region to require masks statewide, some Republican governors have resisted, the Associated Press reported.

Wisconsin appeared to be in the worst shape: A record number of people with COVID-19 were hospitalized in that state as of Wednesday. Of 737 patients, 205 were in intensive care, with spikes in cases in northern parts of the state driving up the numbers, the AP reported. Wisconsin health officials reported 2,319 new infections, bringing the total number to 122,274.

The state also reported its highest single-day number of deaths — 27 — pushing the overall death toll to 1,327.

“Over the course of the past two to three weeks we have noticed a marked rise in COVID patients coming into our hospitals in Green Bay,” said Dr. Paul Casey, medical director of the emergency department at Bellin Hospital in Wisconsin, told CNN. “And this comes in the wake of what we thought we were doing well.”

“For the first time in 17 years that I’ve been here, we’ve had to put patients in hallway beds,” Casey told CNN. “I never envisioned having to do that in a small community like Green Bay, but we’ve done it not twice, but three times, in the last 10 days.”

In North Dakota, hospitals are adding extra space amid worries about capacity, the AP reported. Nearly 678 COVID-19 infections per 100,000 people have been diagnosed over the past two weeks, leading the country for new cases per capita, according to the COVID Tracking Project. Overall, there have been 21,846 infections and 247 deaths.

The surge has been seen throughout the Midwest. Iowa also reported a spike in people hospitalized with the virus, to 390, the AP reported. Last week, the state had the nation’s sixth-highest rate of coronavirus infections per 100,000 people, according to a recent White House coronavirus task force report. It again recommended Iowa require masks statewide, which Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds has said is unnecessary.

Similarly, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican, has said he won’t impose such a requirement. The task force report found his state is among the worst in the United States for positive coronavirus tests per 100,000 people, up 15% from a week ago.

The Midwest has now overtaken the South for the country’s highest seven-day average of new daily cases per 1 million residents, CNN reported. The Midwest averaged 156 cases per 1 million people, against 124 in the South, 88 in the West and 51 in the Northeast, Johns Hopkins data shows.

Globally, COVID death toll passes 1 million

The global coronavirus pandemic reached a grim new milestone this week: One million dead.

Americans made up more