Health

After Coronavirus, Office Workers Might Face Unexpected Health Threats

When you finally return to work after the lockdown, coronavirus might not be the only illness you need to worry about contracting at the office.

Office buildings once filled with employees emptied out in many cities and states as shelter-in-place orders were issued. These structures, normally in constant use, have been closed off and shut down, and health risks might be accumulating in unseen ways.

“The buildings aren’t designed to be left alone for months,” said Andrew Whelton, an associate professor of civil, environmental and ecological engineering at Purdue University.

Dr. Whelton, other researchers and public health authorities have issued warnings about the plumbing in these buildings, where water may have gone stagnant in the pipes or even in individual taps and toilets. As lockdowns are lifted, bacteria that build up internally may cause health problems for returning workers if the problem is not properly addressed by facilities managers. Employees

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U.S.-China Feud Over Coronavirus Erupts at World Health Assembly

A meeting of the World Health Organization that was supposed to chart a path for the world to combat the coronavirus pandemic instead on Monday turned into a showcase for the escalating tensions between China and the United States over the virus.

President Xi Jinping of China announced at the start of the forum that Beijing would donate $2 billion toward fighting the coronavirus and dispatch doctors and medical supplies to Africa and other countries in the developing world.

The contribution, to be spent over two years, amounts to more than twice what the United States had been giving the global health agency before President Trump cut off American funding last month, and it could catapult China to the forefront of international efforts to contain a disease that has claimed at least 315,000 lives.

But it was also seen — particularly by American officials — as an attempt by China

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Top Science and Health Officials Offer Sobering View of Reopening Readiness

The scientists and public health officials who are leading the federal government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday painted a sobering picture of a country ill-prepared to reopen and contain the spread of the virus in the coming months.

At a Senate hearing, the officials cautioned that a vaccine would almost certainly not come in time to protect students for the return to school in the fall, that a recently authorized treatment was not a game-changing advance and that states must rebuild their depleted public health systems by hiring enough people before they could effectively track the spread of the virus and contain it.

The nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, warned that if parts of the country reopen too quickly, “there is a real risk that you will trigger an outbreak that you may not be able to control, which, in fact, paradoxically, will set

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The Coronavirus Still Is a Global Health Emergency, W.H.O. Warns

The World Health Organization extended its declaration of a global health emergency on Friday amid increasing criticism from the Trump Administration about its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

The move comes exactly three months after the organization’s original decision to announce a “public health emergency of international concern” on Jan. 30. At the time, only 98 of the nearly 10,000 confirmed cases had occurred outside China’s borders.

But the pandemic continues to grow. More than 3.2 million people around the world are known to have been infected, and nearly a quarter million have died, according to official counts. There is evidence on six continents of sustained transmission of the virus.

All of this has led experts in the W.H.O.’s emergency committee to reconvene to assess the course of the outbreak, and to advise on updated recommendations, said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the organization’s director-general.

“The pandemic remains a public health

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