WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

The World Health Organization will resume its hydroxychloroquine trial after its safety committee found "there are no reasons to modify the trial protocol," WHO's director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press briefing Wednesday.

The big picture: The organization temporarily suspended its trial for the antimalarial drug last week after an analysis published in The Lancet showed coronavirus patients who took hydroxychloroquine or its related drug chloroquine were more likely to die or develop an irregular heart rhythm.

  • The medical journal said Wednesday an independent audit was issued after scientific questions were raised Tuesday by the New England Journal of Medicine regarding how the data was collected and reported in the paper.
  • The database of nearly 100,000 patients from Chicago company Surgisphere was used in two studies published in The Lancet and the NEJM.

By the numbers: More than 3,500 patients worldwide have been recruited for the WHO trial, which is reviewing four medicines as potential treatments for COVID-19.

"The Data Safety and Monitoring Committee will continue to closely monitor the safety of all therapeutics being tested in the Solidarity Trial. ... WHO is committed to accelerating the development of effective therapeutics, vaccines and diagnostics as part of our commitment to serving the world with science, solutions and solidarity."
— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Still, Tedros stressed the health organization is only studying the drug and is in no way endorsing its usage beyond clinical trials.

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Young adults, especially those with pre-existing conditions, can still have very serious cases of the coronavirus, a new study published yesterday in JAMA Internal Medicine confirms.

Why it matters: As thousands of college students around the country catch the virus, some of them are bound to require hospitalization and, tragically, perhaps even die in the coming weeks.

Updated Sep 18, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Though health workers represent less than 3% of the population in many countries, they account for around 14% of the coronavirus cases reported to the World Health Organization, WHO announced Thursday.

Why it matters: The WHO called on governments and health care leaders to address threats facing the health and safety of these workers, adding that the pandemic has highlighted how protecting them is needed to ensure a functioning health care system.

OSHA fines South Dakota meat packing plant for 'failing to protect employees' from coronavirus

The Smithfield Foods pork processing plant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in April. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images)

The Department of Labor this week issued its first coronavirus-related citation at a meat packing plant, fining the Smithfield Packaged Meats Corp. nearly $13,500 for "for failing to protect employees from exposure" to the virus.

Why it matters: The meatpacking plant, located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, became an early coronavirus hotspot in April after hundreds of positive cases were traced to the facility. At the time, the company's sick employees made up about 44% of South Dakota's COVID-19 cases, per the NY Times.