Science

Pharma Giant Abbott Launches 5-Minute Virus Test

Bloomberg News reports: Abbott Laboratories is unveiling a coronavirus test that can tell if someone is infected in as little as 5 minutes, and is so small and portable it can be used in almost any health-care setting. The medical-device maker plans to supply 50,000 tests a day starting April 1, said John Frels, vice president of research and development …

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REPORT: How The CDC Botched Early Virus Response

ProPublica reports: On Feb. 13, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent out an email with what the author described as an “URGENT” call for help. The agency was struggling with one of its most important duties: keeping track of Americans suspected of having the novel coronavirus. It had “an ongoing issue” with organizing — and sometimes flat-out …

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FDA Approves Rapid 45-Minute Coronavirus Test

The Washington Post reports: The FDA late Friday approved the first coronavirus test that can be conducted entirely at the point of care for a patient — and deliver results in 45 minutes. The FDA granted “emergency use authorization” to Cepheid, a California company that makes a rapid molecular test for the coronavirus. Getting results in 45 minutes would be …

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Inside The Race For An Effective Coronavirus Treatment

The New York Times reports: Working at a breakneck pace, a team of hundreds of scientists has identified 50 drugs that may be effective treatments for people infected with the coronavirus. Many scientists are seeking drugs that attack the virus itself. But the Quantitative Biosciences Institute Coronavirus Research Group, based at the University of California, San Francisco, is testing an …

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EU Offers €80 Million Loan To German Vaccine Pharma

Politico Europe reports: Brussels has entered into an ill-tempered diplomatic skirmish between Germany and the U.S. over a company that is developing a vaccine against coronavirus. CureVac, a company based in the German town of Tübingen, hit the headlines over the weekend when Germany’s Welt am Sonntag newspaper reported that U.S. President Donald Trump was attempting to snatch up exclusive …

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Associated Press: NIH Vaccine Trial Starts Tomorrow

The Associated Press reports: A clinical trial evaluating a vaccine designed to protect against the new coronavirus will begin Monday, according to a government official. The first participant in the trial will receive the experimental vaccine on Monday, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the trial has not been publicly announced yet. The National Institutes of …

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FDA Gives Emergency Approval To 10X Faster Virus Test

Bloomberg News reports: Roche Holding AG won emergency approval from the U.S. government for a highly automated coronavirus test, potentially speeding up tenfold the ability to test patients. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted an “emergency use authorization” to the test, which runs on Roche’s cobas 6800/8800 systems. The tool also is available in Europe and countries that accept …

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WHO Officials Raise Coronavirus Mortality Rate To 3.4%

CNBC reports: World health officials said Tuesday the case fatality rate for COVID-19 is 3.4% globally, higher than previous estimates of about 2%. “Globally, about 3.4% of reported COVID-19 cases have died,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a press briefing at the agency’s headquarters in Geneva. In comparison, seasonal flu generally kills far fewer than 1% of those …

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US Sees First Virus Deaths, Cases In NY, FL [VIDEO]

The New York Times reports: Health officials across the United States were scrambling on Monday to trace all those who had come into contact with infected patients, even as they struggled to get a handle on how far the virus had spread in the country. To date, the American authorities have reported a total of 88 cases nationwide, with two …

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Gene Study: Virus May Have Spread In US For Weeks

The New York Times reports: Researchers who have examined the genomes of two coronavirus infections in Washington State say the similarities between the cases suggest that the virus may have been spreading in the state for weeks. Washington had the United States’ first confirmed case of coronavirus, announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Jan. 20. Based …

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Brazil Sees First Virus Case, 57 US Cases, Ship Diverted

The Insider reports: The coronavirus has now reached every continent on earth except for Antarctica after Brazil confirmed its first case. On Tuesday, Brazil’s ministry of health confirmed that a man in São Paulo had tested positive for COVID-19, according to Reuters. The 61-year-old male returned to São Paulo from Lombardy, Italy, on February 21, the ministry said. He had …

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CDC Escalates Virus Warning: US Outbreak Inevitable

The Washington Post reports: Health officials are warning that the spread of coronavirus in the United States appears inevitable. The comments were made in separate briefings to lawmakers and reporters on Tuesday, marking an escalation in tone and urgency. “Ultimately we expect we will see community spread in the United States,” Nancy Messonnier, a top official at the Centers for …

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Trump’s Downplays Concerns On Coronavirus Outbreak

CNBC reports: The White House said Tuesday that President Donald Trump was referring to Ebola — not the deadly coronavirus — when he claimed that “we’re very close to a vaccine,” Dow Jones reported. Trump discussed the fast-spreading virus, which has killed more than 2,700 people and infected tens of thousands more, at a press conference during a state visit …

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Trump To Seek Emergency Funding Over Coronavirus

Politico reports: The White House will soon ask Congress for emergency funds to fight the coronavirus outbreak, after weeks of hesitation by the administration to press for additional funding, said four individuals with knowledge of the pending request. However, the amount could be significantly lower than some public health officials have argued is necessary — potentially as little as $1 …

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Flat Earth Advocate Dies In Homemade Rocket Launch

The BBC reports: A US daredevil pilot has been killed during an attempted launch of a homemade rocket in the Californian desert. “Mad” Mike Hughes, 64, crash-landed his steam-powered rocket shortly after take-off near Barstow on Saturday. A video on social media shows a rocket being fired into the sky before plummeting to the ground nearby. Hughes was well-known for …

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Virologist Shuts Down Steve Bannon On “Engineered” Coronavirus Claims: “What A Load Of Crap” [VIDEO]

“OK, I’m going to address this one last time. Viruses, a lot of viruses have what are called hyper variable regions. This helps the virus find a new host, it’s a survival advantage. Everybody’s looked at these sequences. “If there was something definitely there, there’d be a rash of scientists speaking out about it. There’s not a rash of scientists …

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Just In Case: Pentagon Readies Plan For Virus Pandemic

The Military Times reports: U.S. Northern Command is executing plans to prepare for a potential pandemic of the novel coronavirus, now called COVID19, according to Navy and Marine Corps service-wide messages issued this week. An executive order issued by the Joint Staff and approved by Defense Secretary Mark Esper this month directed Northern Command and geographic combatant commanders to initiate …

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NOAA: January Was Hottest Ever In Recorded History

From the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: In the span of 141 years of climate records, there has never been a warmer January than last month, according to scientists at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information. What’s more, the temperature departure from average was the highest monthly departure ever recorded without an El Niño present in the tropical Pacific Ocean. …

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Virus Deaths Spike, Cases Soar With New Protocol

NBC News reports: China’s Hubei province, the center of the coronavirus outbreak, reported a stark rise in the number of new cases Thursday, dashing hopes that the epidemic may have been slowing down. Health officials in Hubei reported 14,840 new cases, most of them in Wuhan. The province also said another 242 people had died from the coronavirus Wednesday, bringing …

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Virus Update: WHO Formally Names It “COVID-19”

NBC News reports: The new coronavirus that’s sickened more than 42,000 people in China now has an official name: COVID-19. It stands for the coronavirus disease that was discovered in 2019. The World Health Organization announced the name Tuesday, saying it was careful to find a name without stigma. “We had to find a name that did not refer to …

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