Health & Fitness News

U.S. Coronavirus Cases Are Rising Sharply, but Deaths Are Still Down

Numerous states recently began reopening their economies, which might be driving some of the youthful bias, said Natalie Dean, an infectious disease epidemiologist in Florida, where new cases are hitting record highs. People in their 20s and 30s have returned to bars and beaches; working-age employees have resumed jobs that cannot be done from home.

“We know that’s high-risk,” Dr. Dean said. “We’re hearing a lot of reports of clusters being linked to these places” as they open back up.

At the same time, elderly individuals, as well as those with underlying health conditions thought to exacerbate Covid-19, may be warier of exposure, said C. Brandon Ogbunu, a computational biologist and disease ecologist at Yale University. “Early on, this disease ripped through older populations with such aggression,” he said. “It’s possible that’s where the message was felt the most strongly.”

Moreover, nursing homes and other facilities that harbor vulnerable populations

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Federal Officials Turn to a New Testing Strategy as Infections Surge

In the absence of federal guidance, some health officials have forged ahead on their own.

In mid-March, as the number of infections in Nebraska climbed, the state was running out of supplies needed for coronavirus tests. The state lab had for years screened pooled samples of donated blood for pathogens and from pregnant women for sexually transmitted diseases.

Peter Iwen, the lab’s director, estimated that pooling coronavirus samples could conserve supplies and increase testing capacity by at least 70 percent. He tried to persuade officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to allow its assay to be used for pooled testing.

“They told me it’s an interesting concept, that’s as far as it went,” he said.

Dr. Iwen also appealed to the Food and Drug Administration. Officials said the agency could not comment on pending applications for emergency use authorizations.

But Gov. Pete Ricketts of Nebraska had declared

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Daily Coronavirus Cases in the U.S. Soar Past 50,000 for the First Time

“It has been suggested by scientists that, really to get an accurate idea of case fatality rates, you should divide by the number of cases two weeks ago, not the number of cases today,” Dr. Swaminathan said.

The death rate in the United States is about 5 percent. But according to recent data from the C.D.C., there are likely 10 times more infections than are reported. The so-called infection fatality rate — which includes all cases, not just identified cases — may be about 0.6 percent globally, Dr. Swaminathan said.

Reporting was contributed by Rachel Abrams, Livia Albeck-Ripka, Aliza Aufrichtig, Julie Bosman, Alexander Burns, Benedict Carey, Ben Casselman, Stephen Castle, Emily Cochrane, Michael Cooper, Jill Cowan, Steven Erlanger, Richard Fausset, Luis Ferré-Sadurní, Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura, Thomas Fuller, Jenny Gross, Maggie Haberman, Jack Healy, Makiko Inoue, Annie Karni, Isabella Kwai, Ernesto Londoño, Jonathan Martin, Patricia Mazzei, Mark Mazzetti, Giulia McDonnell Nieto

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Researchers Debate Infecting People With Coronavirus to Test Vaccines

They would be quarantined and monitored closely, and if they became ill would receive the best known treatment — possibly the antiviral drug remdesivir, or convalescent plasma from people who had recovered from the illness. But so far, remdesivir’s benefits have been described as “modest,” and studies of convalescent plasma are still underway. The steroid dexamethasone lowered the death rate in one study, but is recommended only for those who become severely ill.

The article by Dr. Eyal’s group struck a chord with Josh Morrison, 34. Eight years ago, he donated a kidney to a stranger, and now runs an advocacy group for kidney donors. The opportunity to save someone else’s life meant a great deal to him, and he sees challenge trials as a chance to do it again.

“If it could lead to a speedier creation of a vaccine for the disease Covid-19, we are willing — without

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