L.A. Preceded Wuhan? Teacher Deaths Spark Concern; Convalescent Plasma for Kids

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Data from a Los Angeles clinic (and published in an obscure journal) suggest COVID-19 might have circulated in the United States before China reported cases in Wuhan. (Los Angeles Times)

As of 8:00 a.m. ET Friday, the unofficial estimated COVID-19 toll in the United States included 6,397,547 cases and 191,802 deaths, increases of 34,247 and 917, respectively, since the same time Thursday.

Health experts expressed skepticism about a British plan to perform millions of coronavirus tests on a daily basis to help citizens resume normal activities in the absence of a vaccine. (AP News)

President Trump is considering executive actions to provide additional economic relief related to the pandemic in the midst of congressional impasse over the issue. (Fox News)

Almost 80 medical researchers and clinicians at Stanford University Medical Center in California signed a letter criticizing former colleague and current White House coronavirus adviser Steven Atlas, MD, for “falsehoods and misrepresentation of science.” (CNBC)

A study of coronavirus survivors in Italy showed that half of them reported long-term effects of the infection. (Washington Post)

Several European countries have reported increased community transmission of coronavirus infection. (Newsweek)

Faced with an unprecedented surge in coronavirus cases, France faces the prospect of another nationwide lockdown. (Reuters)

Teachers in at least three states have died of COVID-19 since schools reopened. (ABC News)

A small clinical study provided preliminary evidence that convalescent plasma is safe for pediatric patients with COVID-19. (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia)

Calling it the “mission of the century,” the International Air Transport Association said 8,000 Boeing 747 cargo planes will be required to meet global demand for COVID-19 vaccine. (CNN)

Ohio’s attorney general indicated he would support a lawsuit by Ohio State University against the Big Ten over the conference’s decision to postpone the 2020 football season. (USA Today)

OSHA fined Smithfield Foods a whopping $13,494 for failure to protect meat processing workers from coronavirus infection; four died and more than a thousand fell ill. (Reuters)

What happened to the “instant hospitals” that China built in Wuhan province in response to COVID-19? (NPR)

People who reported dining out recently were twice as likely to have COVID-19 as compared with people who had not eaten at a restaurant, according to a CDC study of symptomatic patients.

In other news:

  • Levodopa, the Parkinson’s disease drug, showed promise for slowing progression of the most common type of age-related macular degeneration. (American Journal of Medicine)
  • The FDA issued warning letters to 17 owners of websites for selling unapproved and misbranded opioids to consumers.
  • Despite publicity surrounding opposition to vaccinations, the proportion of Americans who consider vaccines “safe, important, and effective” increased over the past five years. (Newsweek)
  • The drug industry has launched a counterattack, both publicly and in a stealthy PR campaign, against a nonprofit foundation that claims to have extracted price reductions for more than 100 drugs. (Reuters)
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    Charles Bankhead is senior editor for oncology and also covers urology, dermatology, and ophthalmology. He joined MedPage Today in 2007. Follow