Millions of Children Are at Risk for Measles as Coronavirus Fears Halt Vaccines

“There are virtually no registers for vaccinations in West Africa other than parent-held records,” she said, adding that an entire “birth cohort of infants could miss out on vaccinations altogether with serious consequences.”

Before the coronavirus pandemic, measles was already making a resurgence in some places. In 2017, there were 7,585,900 estimated measles cases and 124,000 estimated deaths, according to the World Health Organization. By 2018, the last year for which international figures have been compiled, there were 9,769,400 estimated measles cases and 142,300 related deaths.

In 2019, the United States reported 1,282 measles cases, its highest in more than 25 years. The measles vaccine has been available for more than 50 years.

Countries including Brazil, Bangladesh, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Nigeria, Ukraine and Kazakhstan are currently fighting outbreaks of measles. Among the countries that have postponed their vaccination programs are Bolivia, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Djibouti,

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Small Chloroquine Study Halted Over Risk of Fatal Heart Complications

A small study in Brazil was halted early for safety reasons after coronavirus patients taking a higher dose of chloroquine developed irregular heart rates that increased their risk of a potentially fatal heart arrhythmia.

Chloroquine is closely related to the more widely used drug hydroxychloroquine. President Trump has enthusiastically promoted them as a potential treatment for the novel coronavirus despite little evidence that they work, and despite concerns from some of his top health officials. Last month, the Food and Drug Administration granted emergency approval to allow hospitals to use chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine from the national stockpile if clinical trials were not feasible. Companies that manufacture both drugs are ramping up production.

The Brazilian study involved 81 hospitalized patients in the city of Manaus and was sponsored by the Brazilian state of Amazonas. It was posted on Saturday at medRxiv, an online server for medical articles, before undergoing peer review

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Just What Older People Didn’t Need: More Isolation

When the committee looked for promising solutions, it found studies showing that attending exercise programs helped reduce isolation — not a useful approach at the moment. The evidence for much-heralded technological approaches, from robotic pets and Zoom to voice-activated assistants, remains thin thus far.

How, then, to help older people maintain their social connections when they’re supposed to be socially, or at least physically, distanced? Individuals and organizations around the country are proposing and trying a variety of tactics.

Dr. Covinsky, particularly concerned about restrictions on visitors to older people at home or in senior facilities, has suggested that as coronavirus testing becomes more broadly available, family members or friends who repeatedly test negative could become “designated visitors,” permitted to spend time with their quarantined loved ones.

“We have restricted something that’s pretty essential,” he said. “We need to move away from thinking of visitors to old people as optional.”

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Why Are Some People So Much More Infectious Than Others?

As the coronavirus tears through the country, scientists are asking: Are some people more infectious than others? Are there superspreaders, people who seem to just spew out virus, making them especially likely to infect others?

It seems that the answer is yes. There do seem to be superspreaders, a loosely defined term for people who infect a disproportionate number of others, whether as a consequence of genetics, social habits or simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But those virus carriers at the heart of what are being called superspreading events can drive and have driven epidemics, researchers say, making it crucial to figure out ways to identify spreading events or to prevent situations, like crowded rooms, where superspreading can occur.

Just as important are those at the other end of the spectrum — people who are infected but unlikely to spread the infection.

Distinguishing between those

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