LONDON – The COVID-19 outbreak appears to be sliding toward pandemic status, with the virus spreading to four more countries and confirmed cases and deaths mounting in infection hotspots in Italy, Iran and South Korea.
PERTH, Australia – As of Feb. 12, Australia’s Department of Health confirmed 15 cases of novel coronavirus in Australia (five in Queensland, four in New South Wales, four in Victoria and two in South Australia). Of the confirmed 15 cases, five people have recovered and the others are in stable condition.
HONG KONG – The recent coronavirus (2019-nCov) scare has led to a rush of demand for masks that could soon strain pharmaceuticals and med-tech companies alike. In Hong Kong, queues for surgical masks now snake around the block.
LONDON – As the death toll passed 1,000 and the number of confirmed cases reached 42,000, the World Health Organization on Feb. 11 convened 400 scientists at a global research and innovation forum to draw up an R&D blueprint for “pathogen X,” now officially named COVID-19.
The drug screens prompted by the SARS and MERS outbreaks have been useful for quickly identifying drug candidates. But in terms of their epidemiology, “SARS and MERS were different from this coronavirus,” Allison McGeer explained at a Feb. 3 webinar by Evercore ISI.
With an eye toward expanding the reach of its Febridx rapid point-of-care (POC) test, Lumos Diagnostics has seen the closing of a $15 million series A round from Australia’s Planet Innovation. The funds will back a U.S. FDA pivotal clinical trial, as well as additional development and manufacturing resources for the company’s expanding full-service POC business.
At this very early point in the emerging 2019-nCoV outbreak, knowledge about the virus is insufficient to predict what shape that outbreak will ultimately take. But knowledge about the virus is accumulating at remarkable speed, and experience with other viruses is helping to shape the response to the newest coronavirus threat. 2019-nCoV, sometimes called Wuhan coronavirus after its source, is the third coronavirus after SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV with the potential to cause serious illness and death that has emerged since the beginning of the 21st century.
Now that U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar has declared a nationwide public health emergency due to the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), HHS is saying it may need more money to help it be as proactive and aggressive as possible in detecting the virus and containing an outbreak.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a "public health emergency of international concern" over the global outbreak of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), reversing a week-ago decision by its International Health Regulations Emergency Committee. The move comes "not because of what is happening in China, but because of what is happening in other countries," said WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, noting his confidence in China’s capacity to control the outbreak. "Our greatest concern is the potential for the virus to spread to countries with weaker health systems, and which are ill-prepared to deal with it," he said.
LONDON – It has gone from “pneumonia of unknown cause” affecting 44 patients in Wuhan, China, on Jan. 5, 2020, to spark a global health alert, with the World Health Organization (WHO) now looking likely to declare the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) less than four weeks later.