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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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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.

Go deeper

Sep 10, 2020 - Health

Young adults aren't all safe from the virus

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

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 Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

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

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."

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.