- Globally, there have been more than 6.3 million confirmed cases and more than 377,000 associated deaths, according to Johns Hopkins.
- The United States currently has the highest reported number of confirmed cases, with more than 1.8 million. However, due to a lack of testing, the number of actual cases may be far higher.
- More than 105,000 people in the United States have died from the disease.
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A vaccine for COVID-19 is still months to years away, but a new poll finds that a significant number of Americans aren’t planning on getting the vaccine if it’s made available.
A new poll from ABC News and the Washington Post found that 27 percent of Americans said they would definitely or probably not get the vaccine when it’s made available.
For people who aren’t inclined to get the vaccine, about 50 percent said they don’t believe in vaccines and another 27 percent said they don’t believe a vaccine is necessary in this case.
People in areas like the northeast that were hard hit by the pandemic were much more likely to say they would get vaccinated.
The poll found that 78 percent of people in the northeast and in urban areas were likely to get the vaccine. Comparatively, about 65 percent of people in the south and 63 percent of people in rural areas said they would definitely or probably get the vaccine.
Officials in Russia have reportedly approved a flu drug to treat the novel coronavirus after early tests found it may be an effective treatment.
Russia is preparing to ship the anti-flu drug called Avifavir to hospitals, according to Bloomberg News. The drug is a generic version of a Japanese drug already approved in that country to treat the flu.
However, tests looking at the drug’s effectiveness in fighting COVID-19 are still ongoing. This includes a final stage trial with 330 patients.
Earlier trials reportedly showed signs the drug could help decrease the amount of time a person was hospitalized or had a high fever. However, these findings haven’t been verified in large studies or printed in a peer-reviewed journal.
Other treatments, notably the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine, haven’t proven to be an effective treatment against COVID-19 in early studies.
A major study published Thursday, May 28 found a 13 percent fatality rate for people with cancer who contract COVID-19.
The study published in the medical journal The Lancet found people with advanced cancer were nearly 5 times as likely to die after contracting COVID-19 than people without cancer, according to CNN.
Even for people whose cancer was relatively stable had double the risk of death if they contracted the disease.
“The death rate for this group of patients as a whole was 13 [percent] more than twice that reported for all patients with COVID-19… Certain subgroups, such as patients with active (measurable) cancer and those with an impaired performance status, fared much, much worse,” said Dr. Jeremy Warner, MS, associate professor of medicine and biomedical informatics at Vanderbilt University, the study’s corresponding author in a statement.
However, the team didn’t find that undergoing treatment for cancer, including chemotherapy or having surgery, impacted the risk of dying by COVID-19.
They advised that these treatments shouldn’t be delayed due to the pandemic since it can cause worse outcomes for patients.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released new guidelinesTrusted Source on how to safely reopen offices amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among their recommendations, the CDC advises companies to assess the building itself to make sure it has enough ventilation to prevent the virus from recirculating. Additionally, they advise separating workspaces and desks so people can maintain 6 feet of separation at all times.
They point out that staggered start times, temperature checks, and disinfecting common space areas can also cut down on risk of transmission.
Even with all these safeguards, the CDC recommends all workers wear face masks to protect themselves and others from aerosolized viral particles.
A new report finds that COVID-19 was not being sustainably transmitted in the United States until weeks after the first case was detected. This means that cases weren’t spreading widely until mid-February.
The report was released in a pre-print article and hasn’t been peer reviewed. But it shows how delayed action by government officials may have worsened the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States.
The first known U.S. case of COVID-19 was found to have occurred on Jan. 15. But that person was quarantined and their contacts also asked to quarantine.
The study authors found that the start of sustained transmission of COVID-19 started in Washington state in mid-February after President Donald Trump had issued the travel ban for China.
In less than 4 months, COVID-19-related deaths went from the single digits in the United States to over 100,000.
The first known COVID-19-related death occurred on February 6 in northern California. By mid-April daily deaths peaked at over 2,300.
While deaths have slowly been decreasing, there are over 1,000 deaths a day from COVID-19, according to a model from the University of Washington.
The United States stands out globally for having the most number of reported cases and deaths related to the virus. U.S. fatalities account for nearly a third of global deaths from COVID-19.
While infections and deaths from COVID-19 have been trending downward, experts worry that there could be a second peak of infections and deaths as states reopen.
The news of over 100,000 deaths from COVID-19 comes as virtually all states are loosening restrictions around shelter-in-place orders.
The COVID-19 pandemic is taking a serious toll on American’s mental health, according to a new report from the U.S. Census BureauTrusted Source.
People were screened with questions usually used by medical providers to identify signs of depression or anxiety. They found over 24 percent of people had symptoms of a depressive disorder.
Over 30 percent of people had symptoms of an anxiety disorder. Over 42,000 households responded to researcher’s requests for information.
According to the Washington Post, these rates have increased greatly in the United States from 2014 when people reported half the rate of depression and anxiety symptoms.
President Donald Trump said he has stopped taking the drug hydroxychloroquine, which he had touted as a potential game-changer in the fight against COVID-19.
He said in an interview that he finished a two-week course of the drug, although it has not been proven to help treat or prevent COVID-19.
The news came after the World Health Organization (WHO) temporarily paused a study of hydroxychloroquine as a COVID-19 treatment over health concerns.
Multiple studies have found no sign that the drug can help treat COVID-19. And research from last week found people on the drug were more likely to have abnormal heart rhythms and even die.
The drug was originally designed as an antimalarial drug and has also been approved for use for autoimmune conditions such as lupus.
The drug has made headlines as researchers investigated whether it could help treat people with COVID-19, and after President Donald Trump said he was taking the drug — even though experts cautioned there was no proof it would decrease the risk of COVID-19.
Researchers, who published the study last week in The LancetTrusted Source medical journal, looked at more than 96,000 people hospitalized with COVID-19.
Nearly 15,000 patients were given some form of medication that included either hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine, a similar drug.
Not only did researchers not see evidence that the drug helped people with COVID-19, but patients on the medication were more likely to have abnormal heart rhythms and die.
While many countries are tentatively starting to reopen businesses and allow gatherings, the WHO warned that the “first wave” of the virus is ongoing, which increases the risk of a “second peak” of cases.
“We’re right in the middle of the first wave globally, if we look at the data from Central and South America… we’re still in the phase where the disease is on the way up,” said Mike Ryan, executive director, WHO Health Emergencies Programme.
Ryan said that the number of people in each country who have contracted the virus is relatively low which means the virus could easily come back for a “second peak” if physical distancing, testing, and contact tracing measures aren’t implemented.
This is different from a second wave which would mean the virus drops to very low levels for a number of months before returning with another surge later in the year.
“We need to be cognizant that the disease could jump up at any time,” Ryan said. “We may get a second peak in this wave. This happened in pandemics in the past, it certainly happened in the pandemic of 1919.”
In many countries, such as the United States, cases are declining but still at relatively high numbers, so there could be a second peak.