The World Health Organization announced four new cases of the novel coronavirus that caused a great deal of worry just before the October hajj season. There have been four additional laboratory-confirmed cases. Out of these patients, one has died. Three of the new cases were in Qatar, and the other one was in Saudi Arabia.
A phase III clinical trial in Africa of the RTS,S/AS01 malaria vaccine has reported disappointing results. The vaccine failed to show substantial protection for infants who received their first shot between 6 and 12 weeks of age.
The world’s first vaccine against the hepatitis E virus began being deployed from China last week, promising to stop the propagation of a disease that infects 20 million people yearly and claims 70,000 lives. This vaccine is the result of an unusual public-private partnership in China’s biotechnology sector, and could help deliver other vaccines for diseases that have been overlooked.
A second steroid that has been manufactured by New England Compounding Center has been linked to another potential meningitis infection. The ongoing fungal meningitis outbreak has infected 231 people and killed 16.
Some of the scientists that helped fight the 2003 SARS epidemic are working on the new coronavirus, which seems to be related to SARS. Researchers reported that the genome sequence of the new coronavirus and the first diagnostic test to screen for it are available.
Back in February 2003, a 65-year-old physician living near Hong Kong checked into a hotel. Sometime during his stay, he encountered a dozen other people; most of them were hotel guests on the same floor. The physician contracted a disease that left him with flu-like symptoms for a week before it started to develop into pneumonia. The next day he checked himself into a hospital and died later that day.