healthcare

Coronavirus drug remdesivir gets FDA emergency use authorization

Coronavirus drug remdesivir gets FDA emergency use authorization

Experimental drug remdesivir has been given authorization by the FDA for COVID-19 treatment in the US, following promising early results in Phase 3 trials last month. The drug, initially developed by Gilead for ebola and other infections, can now be prescribed in hospitals to shorten the recovery time from coronavirus, though the FDA makes no claims about the efficacy of the drug.

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NASA’s coronavirus ventilator has one huge advantage

NASA’s coronavirus ventilator has one huge advantage

It took NASA engineers 37 days to develop a prototype ventilator for COVID-19 treatment, but it's one fundamental aspect of the device's design ethos that could make it a hit in the pandemic months to come. Authorized this week by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the design for the device - known as VITAL, or Ventilator Intervention Technology Accessible Locally - is being offered up under a free license so that it can be produced more broadly.

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FDA issues coronavirus pet guidelines: What dog and cat owners should do

FDA issues coronavirus pet guidelines: What dog and cat owners should do

With the debate over "reopening the US" continuing to rage, COVID-19's potential impact on pets and other animals has led to new guidance from the FDA for those worried about possible infection. The number of cases worldwide of animals being infected by COVID-19 is still low - exponentially smaller, in fact, than human coronavirus cases, which now exceed 1 million in the US, and more than 60,000 deaths - though that hasn't prevented concerns that dogs and cats could be a risk vector.

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Toyota unveils custom COVID-19 ambulance and patent tech freeze

Toyota unveils custom COVID-19 ambulance and patent tech freeze

Toyota has designed a special vehicle specifically for COVID-19 patients, with the tailor-made transportation taking into account the highly-contagious nature of coronavirus. The special ambulance was developed for Showa University Hospital in Japan, based on requests from medical facilities in the country, and includes a number of unusual features.

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US Intelligence Community releases statement on origins of COVID-19

US Intelligence Community releases statement on origins of COVID-19

A statement was released today by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in the USA on the origins of COVID-19. In the statement it's written, "The entire Intelligence Community has been consistently providing critical support to U.S. policymakers and those responding to the COVID-19 virus, which originated in China." They go on to agree with "wide scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus was not manmade or genetically modified."

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Viral ‘nicotine coronavirus protection’ report spreads dangerous misinformation

Viral ‘nicotine coronavirus protection’ report spreads dangerous misinformation

Claims that smoking cigarettes with nicotine could protect against COVID-19 have been reported by several media outlets, despite a significant lack of lab testing. Smoking has, on the other hand, been the subject of extensive lab testing which confirms risks to human health. What's more, recent messaging from the National Institute of Drug Abuse warned against the use of tobacco, marijuana, and other smoking (and vaping) due to it's potential for increasing the likelihood that users could get sick and/or die from novel coronavirus/COVID-19.

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Gilead’s remdesivir coronavirus treatment trial reports positive results

Gilead’s remdesivir coronavirus treatment trial reports positive results

Drug-maker Gilead has reported the latest results of a study of its experimental drug remdesivir in treating severe COVID-19 cases, and it's tentative good news in the hunt for coronavirus treatment. Not yet licensed or approved for use in cases of COVID-19, remdesivir has been the subject of an ongoing Phase 3 clinical trial exploring whether 5- or 10-day treatment with the drug can help turn around infections.

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Apple and Google change coronavirus contact tracing after privacy pushback

Apple and Google change coronavirus contact tracing after privacy pushback

Apple and Google's coronavirus contact tracing system is getting some pre-launch tweaks, with the iOS and Android makers responding to privacy concerns about the new healthcare tool. Announced earlier this month, the collaboration will COVID-19 apps to trace back possible community spread incidents using anonymized Bluetooth logging.

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FDA issues blunt malaria drug warning after deaths in coronavirus trial

FDA issues blunt malaria drug warning after deaths in coronavirus trial

The FDA has warned that chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, medications praised by President Trump and others as being potentially beneficial in coronavirus treatment, could in fact lead to dangerous heart issues and possibly death. The medications, intended to treat or prevent malaria, made headlines after a well-criticized study suggested they could have a positive impact on COVID-19 cases.

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CDC chief sounds coronavirus alarm over second wave in flu season

CDC chief sounds coronavirus alarm over second wave in flu season

A second wave of coronavirus could coincide with flu season and have lead to an even greater death toll, the director of the CDC has warned, sounding an early alarm amid talk by some US states of reopening plans. Though there have been calls from state legislators and indeed the White House to call a halt to stay-at-home orders, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention chief has cautioned that doing so could send America head-first into a double epidemic.

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First at-home coronavirus test sampling kit gets FDA go-ahead

First at-home coronavirus test sampling kit gets FDA go-ahead

The first at-home coronavirus test which doesn't require visiting a lab or drive-thru testing location has been given authorization by the FDA, paving the way to easier diagnosis of COVID-19. The new decision means patients will be able to self-collect the required sample for coronavirus diagnostics, though the test process itself will still be carried out at a lab.

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FDA: Q-tip-style swab could cut coronavirus test risk

FDA: Q-tip-style swab could cut coronavirus test risk

A new type of Q-type style swab for coronavirus testing could be a breakthrough for COVID-19 diagnostics, and pave the way for at-home tests that might reduce the workload of stressed healthcare providers. A shortage of the special sample-taking swabs currently used in most COVID-19 tests is one of the key bottlenecks preventing more widespread testing.

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