Health & Fitness News

Black Coronavirus Patients Land in Hospitals More Often, Study Finds

As the coronavirus spread across the United States, sweeping through low-income, densely populated communities, black and Hispanic patients have been dying at higher rates than white patients.

Crowded living conditions, poorer overall health and limited access to care have been blamed, among other factors. But a new study suggests that  the disparity is particularly acute for black patients.

The disparity remained even after researchers took into account differences in age, sex, income and the prevalence of chronic health problems that exacerbate Covid-19, like hypertension and Type 2 diabetes.

The finding suggests that black patients may have had limited access to medical care or that they postponed seeking help until later in the course of their illness, when the disease was more advanced.

Black patients were also far less likely than white, Hispanic or Asian patients to have been tested for the virus before going to the emergency room for care.

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Remdesivir Coronavirus Trial: Federal Scientists Finally Publish Data

Nearly a month after federal scientists claimed that an experimental drug had helped patients severely ill with the coronavirus, the research has been published.

The drug, remdesivir, was quickly authorized by the Food and Drug Administration for treatment of coronavirus patients, and hospitals rushed to obtain supplies.

But until now, researchers and physicians had not seen the actual data. And remdesivir, made by Gilead Sciences, has a spotty history. It was originally intended to treat hepatitis, but it failed to. It was tested against Ebola, but results were lackluster.

So far, remdesivir has not been officially approved for any purpose. The F.D.A.’s emergency use authorization was not a formal approval.

The long-awaited study, sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, appeared on The New England Journal of Medicine website on Friday evening. It confirms the essence of the government’s assertions: Remdesivir shortened recovery time from 15 days

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Coronavirus Vaccine Shows Promising Early Results in China

A vaccine developed in China appears to be safe and may protect people from the new coronavirus, researchers reported on Friday.

The early-stage trial, published in the Lancet, was conducted by researchers at several laboratories and included 108 participants aged 18 to 60. Those who received a single dose of the vaccine produced certain immune cells, called T cells, within two weeks. Antibodies needed for immunity peaked at 28 days after the inoculation.

“This is promising data, but it’s early data,” said Dr. Dan Barouch, director of vaccine research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, who was not involved in the work. “Over all, I would say this is good news.”

The trial is the first step in testing the vaccine and was intended mainly to verify its safety. Proof of its effectiveness will require trials in thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, more people.

A vaccine for

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Polio and Measles Could Surge After Disruption of Vaccine Programs

The widespread interruption of routine immunization programs around the world during the coronavirus pandemic is putting 80 million children under 1 year old at risk of contracting deadly, vaccine-preventable diseases, according to a report Friday by the World Health Organization, UNICEF and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

The groups surveyed 129 poor and middle-income countries and found that 68 had some degree of disruption of vaccine services through clinics and through large inoculation campaigns.

Measles initiatives, for example, have been suspended in 27 countries, including Chad and Ethiopia, and polio programs are on hold in 38, including Pakistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Many public health experts say they are worried that deaths from diseases including cholera, rotavirus and diphtheria could far outstrip those from Covid-19 itself.

The report highlighted warnings about polio, which had recently been all but eradicated, a hard-won victory that resulted from mass immunization programs that

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