More than 1,800 people have died.Aug 1, 2019 - Health
Everything's deadlier in the South.May 11, 2019 - Health
More men still die from infectious diseases than women.Updated Apr 5, 2018 - Health
The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.
The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,800 people and infected over 82,000 others in some 50 countries and territories. As Denmark and Estonia reported their first cases Thursday, Scott Morrison, prime minister of Australia — which has 23 confirmed infections — told a news conference, "The risk of a global pandemic is very much upon us."
Brazil's health ministry confirmed the first novel coronavirus case in Latin America Wednesday — a 61-year-old that tested positive after returning from a visit to northern Italy, the epicenter of Europe's outbreak.
Why it matters: The case comes in the midst of Carnival, a peak time for domestic travel that draws millions of revelers in major cities. Brazil is tracking 20 suspected cases of the virus in the country, according to health officials.
The fate of the Tokyo Olympics is expected to be decided within the next three months amid fears surrounding the spread of the novel coronavirus, International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound told the Associated Press in an interview on Tuesday.
The state of play: The games are on as of now, but the committee's final decision will depend on discussions with the World Health Organization, Pound said. The Olympics are set to bring roughly 11,000 athletes to Tokyo, with the event scheduled to begin on July 24. Another 4,400 athletes will arrive in Japan for the Paralympics set to start on Aug. 25.
The U.S. is still grappling with old diseases like measles — as well as enduring problems like addiction and heart disease — even as it tries to combat new threats like the coronavirus, the Washington Post reports with Kaiser Health News.
Why it matters: While we race for new treatments in the wake of new threats, we're also beset by plenty of problems we know how to solve. Declining vaccination rates, for example, are allowing once-vanquished diseases to come roaring back, and holes in addiction treatment keep people at risk.
The spread of the novel coronavirus outbreak is being matched, or even outrun, by the spread on social media of both unintentional misinformation about it and vociferous campaigns of malicious disinformation, experts tell Axios.
Why it matters: The tide of bad information is undermining trust in governments, global health organizations, nonprofits and scientists — the very institutions that many believe are needed to organize a global response to what may be turning into a pandemic.
It's unclear whether the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus will actually result in prescription drug shortages, but it has undoubtedly highlighted the potential vulnerabilities of having the supply chain for American drugs so dependent on China.
Driving the news: About 150 prescription drugs — including antibiotics, generics and some branded drugs without alternatives — are at risk of shortage if the coronavirus outbreak in China worsens, per two sources familiar with a list of at-risk drugs compiled by the Food and Drug Administration.
The Food and Drug Administration has approved a non-statin oral medication to combat high cholesterol, according to a press release from manufacturer Eserion Therapeutics.
Why it matters: Heart disease is the leading killer in the U.S. and globally. The drug, bempedoic acid, is the first of its kind to receive the FDA's stamp of approval in nearly two decades.
The official number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the U.S. just doubled — to 34 — but public health officials are pointing out that these are mostly people who've been repatriated.
Why it matters: As concerns grow about a global pandemic, officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention want to make sure the message gets out: "We are not seeing community spread here in the United States," Nancy Messonnier says.
105 children have reportedly died in the U.S. from the flu, the highest so far this season, per data released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The big picture: Health officials typically treat a high rate of seniors, a vulnerable population during flu season, but this year, children and young adults have been more susceptible.
The coronavirus outbreak may be "at the brink" of a global pandemic, Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, tells Axios.
What's new: Signs people are infecting each other in a more sustainable fashion in China, an uptick in confirmed cases in Japan and Singapore, and research showing people without symptoms may be able to infect each other are fueling concerns that COVID-19 will develop into a pandemic.