The coronavirus has changed since it left Wuhan. Is it more infectious?

Ralph Vartabedian 2020-07-03 00:49:26 A version of the coronavirus first seen in Italy four months ago has overtaken the original strain from Wuhan and is now dominant around the world, scientists reported Thursday.The newer version has a mutation that alters the “spike” protein the virus uses to enter human cells. The team of scientists who found it say the change...

Gilead patent limits access to COVID-19 drug remdesivir

Vidya Krishnan 2020-07-02 06:16:47 The American pharmaceutical giant Gilead Sciences is coming under scrutiny for agreements that activists say will restrict global access to remdesivir, an experimental antiviral drug that has shown promise in treating COVID-19.The Foster City, Calif.-based company has signed confidential licensing deals with nine pharmaceutical manufacturers — including seven in India — that would prevent the generic...

COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. may be 28% over official count

Karen Kaplan 2020-07-02 00:01:45 As if the death toll of COVID-19 weren’t bad enough, a new study estimates that the true number of U.S. fatalities linked to the pandemic is up to 28% higher than the official tally.That means that for every 3.5 known victims of COVID-19, another American lost his or her life as a result of the coronavirus...

COVID-19 is disrupting life for the nation’s newest doctors

Julie Rovner 2020-07-01 17:30:49 July 1 is a big day in medical education. It’s traditionally the day newly minted doctors start their first year of residency. But this year is different. Making the transition from medical school to residency training programs has been complicated by the coronavirus.“We were all really freaking out,” said Dr. Christine Petrin, who just graduated from...

Can at-home tests reduce rates of cervical cancer?

Charlotte Huff 2020-06-30 18:30:43 U.S. health experts want to test a different way for women to fight cervical cancer from the comfort of their homes and move the country closer to eradicating a disease that kills more than 4,000 Americans each year.First, use a tiny brush to briefly swab the vagina and collect cells. Then slide the swab into a...

California Latinos, Black people hit harder by coronavirus

Rong-Gong Lin II 2020-06-27 19:30:57 With coronavirus cases surging, the toll on Latino and Black Californians keeps getting worse.The two groups now have double the mortality rate from the virus in Los Angeles County than white residents, the latest troubling sign of the deep health inequity that has come with COVID-19.Of every 100,000 Latino residents of L.A. County, 38 have...

Coronavirus infection rate spiking in California, a troubling sign of community spread

Sean Greene, Rong-Gong Lin II, Alex Wigglesworth 2020-06-27 17:30:34 Of the many coronavirus metrics rising in California, one of the most troubling is the rate in which coronavirus test results are now coming back positive.A Times data analysis found that as of Friday, 5.7% of coronavirus test results in California over the preceding seven days came back positive, a rate...

Who’s most at risk for severe COVID-19 cases?

Karen Kaplan 2020-06-27 01:33:28 The older you are, the greater your risk of suffering a severe case of COVID-19, according to new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.The CDC has previously warned that people over 65 were especially vulnerable to severe illness if they became infected by the coronavirus. And that is still true.But more recent data...

The coronavirus is even more sinister than we suspected

Melissa Healy 2020-06-26 20:30:22 The new coronavirus’ reputation for messing with scientists’ assumptions has taken a truly creepy turn.Researchers exploring the interaction between the coronavirus and its hosts have discovered that when the SARS-CoV-2 virus infects a human cell, it sets off a ghoulish transformation. Obeying instructions from the virus, the newly infected cell sprouts multi-pronged tentacles studded with viral...

Despite alarming California coronavirus spike, don’t expect stay-at-home orders to quickly return

Rong-Gong Lin II, Sean Greene 2020-06-26 17:30:51 Despite an alarming spike in both coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, California health officials appear to have little appetite at least right now for a widespread retreat from reopening of the economy.Over the last few weeks, California has seen itself go from coronavirus success story to cautionary tale as COVID-19 cases hit new record...