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The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. South Korea's confirmed cases jumped from 204 on Friday to 433 on Saturday.
The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,362 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.
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.
There are a dozen research projects underway to try to come up with a vaccine for the Chinese coronavirus, Biocentury reports.
What's new: Drug maker Sanofi Pasteur is entering the race to develop a vaccine by partnering with the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority — known as BARDA, the Department of Homeland Security announced Tuesday.
Rural communities at risk of HIV outbreaks tied to drug use often don't have working syringe exchanges, which help reduce the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C, NPR reports with Kaiser Health News.
Between the lines: Many of these rural communities have seen local opposition against syringe exchanges, which provide drug users with clean needles.
Another 14 passengers tested positive for the novel coronavirus during their evacuation from the Diamond Princess cruise ship before being flown in a "specialist containment" area of the plane to the United States, per a U.S. government statement early Monday.
Details: Over 40 Americans who had been on the ship had previously been confirmed as infected and will remain in Japanese hospitals for treatment, NIAID director Anthony Fauci told "Face the Nation" Sunday. The rest were evacuated, and these latest cases were among them. All evacuees will undergo a 14-day quarantine upon arrival Monday morning.
French Health Minister Agnès Buzyn confirmed on Saturday the death of a Chinese patient diagnosed with coronavirus in a Paris hospital, the first COVID-19 casualty outside of Asia.
The state of play: "I was informed last night of the death of an 80-year-old patient who was hospitalized ... since January 25 and who had a pulmonary infection from the coronavirus," Buzyn said.
Five public labs across the United States will work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to use its existing flu surveillance network to test individuals with flu-like symptoms for the novel coronavirus, the agency said Friday.
The big picture: The labs in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago and New York City will evaluate negative influenza tests for COVIS-19, in preparation for spread across the U.S. The agency plans to expand to more labs.
Full coverage: Coronavirus