Woman Plays Violin During Brain Surgery

A procedure one might expect to see only on an episode of popular television show Grey’s Anatomy actually occurred at a London hospital recently as a patient played the violin while undergoing surgery to remove a brain tumor. Dagmar Turner, 53, has had a passion for playing the violin since she was 10, and she is currently a member of the Isle of Wight Symphony Orchestra. So losing the ability to play because of a brain tumor was an especially frightening scenario for her. During a symphony performance in 2013, Turner suffered a seizure that brought to light the slow-growing brain tumor. Located on the right frontal lobe of her brain, it threatened to damage her left hand’s fine motor skills — the hand that controls the notes being played on the violin. According to King’s College Hospital, where Turner was treated, her first course of treatment was radiotherapy. But after that proved unsuccessful and the tumor continued to grow, surgery became the next best option. Surgery put her hand mobility and playing abilities at risk, though, and it was a possibility Turner could not ignore. It was neurosurgeon consultant Keyoumars Ashkan, a professor at the college, who understood firsthand Turner’s concerns about the surgery, since he is an accomplished pianist with a music degree. So they designed a plan specifically for Turner’s January 31 surgery. First, her brain was mapped, allowing doctors to recognize and identify sections  that were active while she played the violin, as well as sections that dictated movement and language. Then, halfway through surgery, Turner would be awakened to play her violin so surgeons could avoid the sections of her brain that were active as she moved her hands to play. With the brain having no pain receptors, Turner was able to be fully awake and performing as the tumor was removed. Turner’s surgery was a success, and she was released from the hospital and back home in just three days. She plans to resume playing soon in the orchestra. 

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Women Plays Violin During Brain Surgery

A procedure one might expect to see only on an episode of popular television show Grey’s Anatomy actually occurred at a London hospital recently as a patient played the violin while undergoing surgery to remove a brain tumor. Dagmar Turner, 53, has had a passion for playing the violin since she was 10, and she is currently a member of the Isle of Wight Symphony Orchestra. So losing the ability to play because of a brain tumor was an especially frightening scenario for her. During a symphony performance in 2013, Turner suffered a seizure that brought to light the slow-growing brain tumor. Located on the right frontal lobe of her brain, it threatened to damage her left hand’s fine motor skills — the hand that controls the notes being played on the violin. According to King’s College Hospital, where Turner was treated, her first course of treatment was radiotherapy. But after that proved unsuccessful and the tumor continued to grow, surgery became the next best option. Surgery put her hand mobility and playing abilities at risk, though, and it was a possibility Turner could not ignore. It was neurosurgeon consultant Keyoumars Ashkan, a professor at the college, who understood firsthand Turner’s concerns about the surgery, since he is an accomplished pianist with a music degree. So they designed a plan specifically for Turner’s January 31 surgery. First, her brain was mapped, allowing doctors to recognize and identify sections  that were active while she played the violin, as well as sections that dictated movement and language. Then, halfway through surgery, Turner would be awakened to play her violin so surgeons could avoid the sections of her brain that were active as she moved her hands to play. With the brain having no pain receptors, Turner was able to be fully awake and performing as the tumor was removed. Turner’s surgery was a success, and she was released from the hospital and back home in just three days. She plans to resume playing soon in the orchestra. 

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Weather and Protests Hamper Ukraine Quarantine Efforts

Ukraine’s effort to evacuate more than 70 people from China over the outbreak of a new virus faced setbacks Thursday as weather conditions delayed the return of the evacuees and protests broke out near a hospital where they are to be quarantined.
    
Dozens of local residents protested Thursday morning seeking to prevent the evacuees from being quarantined there because they fear being infected. People put up road blocks and burned tires, while Ukrainian media reported that there were clashes with police.
    
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy weighed in saying that those demonstration show “not the best side of our character” and sought to assure people that the quarantined evacuees wouldn’t pose any danger to local residents.
    
In a statement published on his Facebook page, Zelenskiy said the people evacuated from China are healthy and will live in a closed medical center run by the National Guard in the village of Novi Sanzhary as a precaution.
    
“In the next two weeks it will probably be the most guarded facility in the country,” Zelenskiy said.
    
In the early hours of Thursday, a plane with 45 Ukrainians and 27 other foreign nationals took off from Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak that has infected  more than 75,000 people worldwide and killed over 2,100.
    
The plane stopped off in Kazakhstan to drop off two Kazakh passengers. Later, it sought to land in Kharkiv, a city in northeastern Ukraine, but could not due to bad weather conditions.
    
Instead it flew to Kyiv to refuel, and eventually arrived in Kharkiv.
    
Also Thursday, the Russian Embassy in Japan said that two more Russians aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantined in Japan have been diagnosed with the virus, the Russian Embassy in Japan said. That raises to three the number of Russians on the ship confirmed to have the virus.
    
The two will be transferred to a hospital in Japan for treatment, according to the embassy.
    
The Diamond Princess has been docked in the Yokohama port near Tokyo since Feb. 4, when 10 people on board tested positive for the virus. So far 621 cases of the virus, which has been named COVID-19, have been confirmed among the the Diamond Princess’s original 3,711 people on board.
    
Russia so far has reported only two cases of the disease on its soil. Two Chinese nationals diagnosed with the virus and hospitalized in two different regions of Siberia in late January have recovered and have been released from hospitals.

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Can AI Flag Disease Outbreaks Faster Than Humans? Not Quite

Did an artificial-intelligence system beat human doctors in warning the world of a severe coronavirus outbreak in China?In a narrow sense, yes. But what the humans lacked in sheer speed, they more than made up in finesse.Early warnings of disease outbreaks can help people and governments save lives. In the final days of 2019, an AI system in Boston sent out the first global alert about a new viral outbreak in China. But it took human intelligence to recognize the significance of the outbreak and then awaken response from the public health community.What’s more, the mere mortals produced a similar alert only a half-hour behind the AI systems.For now, AI-powered disease-alert systems can still resemble car alarms — easily triggered and sometimes ignored. A network of medical experts and sleuths must still do the hard work of sifting through rumors to piece together the fuller picture. It’s difficult to say what future AI systems, powered by ever larger datasets on outbreaks, may be able to accomplish.The first public alert outside China about the novel coronavirus came on Dec. 30 from the automated HealthMap system at Boston Children’s Hospital. At 11:12 p.m. local time, HealthMap sent an alert about unidentified pneumonia cases in the Chinese city of Wuhan. The system, which scans online news and social media reports, ranked the alert’s seriousness as only 3 out of 5. It took days for HealthMap researchers to recognize its importance.Four hours before the HealthMap notice, New York epidemiologist Marjorie Pollack had already started working on her own public alert, spurred by a growing sense of dread after reading a personal email she received that evening.“This is being passed around the internet here,” wrote her contact, who linked to a post on the Chinese social media forum Pincong. The post discussed a Wuhan health agency notice and read in part: “Unexplained pneumonia???”Pollack, deputy editor of the volunteer-led Program for Monitoring Emerging Diseases, known as ProMed, quickly mobilized a team to look into it. ProMed’s more detailed report went out about 30 minutes after the terse HealthMap alert.Early warning systems that scan social media, online news articles and government reports for signs of infectious disease outbreaks help inform global agencies such as the World Health Organization — giving international experts a head start when local bureaucratic hurdles and language barriers might otherwise get in the way.Some systems, including ProMed, rely on human expertise. Others are partly or completely automated.And rather than competing with one another, they are often complementary — HealthMap is intertwined with ProMed and helps run its online infrastructure.“These tools can help hold feet to the fire for government agencies,” said John Brownstein, who runs the HealthMap system as chief innovation officer at Boston Children’s Hospital. “It forces people to be more open.”The last 48 hours of 2019 were a critical time for understanding the new virus and its significance. Earlier on Dec. 30, Wuhan Central Hospital doctor Li Wenliang warned his former classmates about the virus in a social media group — a move that led local authorities to summon him for questioning several hours later.Li, who died Feb. 7 after contracting the virus, told The New York Times that it would have been better if officials had disclosed information about the epidemic earlier. “There should be more openness and transparency,” he said.ProMed reports are often incorporated into other outbreak warning systems. including those run by the World Health Organization, the Canadian government and the Toronto startup BlueDot. WHO also pools data from HealthMap and other sources.Computer systems that scan online reports for information about disease outbreaks rely on natural language processing, the same branch of artificial intelligence that helps answer questions posed to a search engine or digital voice assistant.But the algorithms can only be as effective as the data they are scouring, said Nita Madhav, CEO of San Francisco-based disease monitoring firm Metabiota, which first notified its clients about the outbreak in early January.Madhav said that inconsistency in how different agencies report medical data can stymie algorithms. The text-scanning programs extract keywords from online text, but may fumble when organizations variously report new virus cases, cumulative virus cases, or new cases in a given time interval. The potential for confusion means there’s almost always still a person involved in reviewing the data.“There’s still a bit of human in the loop,” Madhav said.Andrew Beam, a Harvard University epidemiologist, said that scanning online reports for key words can help reveal trends, but the accuracy depends on the quality of the data. He also notes that these techniques aren’t so novel.“There is an art to intelligently scraping web sites,” Beam said. “But it’s also Google’s core technology since the 1990s.”Google itself started its own Flu Trends service to detect outbreaks in 2008 by looking for patterns in search queries about flu symptoms. Experts criticized it for overestimating flu prevalence. Google shut down the website in 2015 and handed its technology to nonprofit organizations such as HealthMap to use Google data to build their own models.Google is now working with Brownstein’s team on a similar web-based approach for tracking the geographical spread of tick-borne Lyme disease.Scientists are also using big data to model possible routes of early disease transmission.In early January, Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease physician and researcher at Toronto General Hospital, analyzed commercial flight data with BlueDot founder Kamran Khan to see which cities outside mainland China were most connected to Wuhan.Wuhan stopped outbound commercial air travel in late January — but not before an estimated 5 million people had fled the city, as the Wuhan mayor later told reporters.“We showed that the highest volume of flights from Wuhan were to Thailand, Japan, and Hong Kong,” Bogoch said. “Lo and behold, a few days later we started to see cases pop up in these places.”In 2016, the researchers used a similar approach to predict the spread of the Zika virus from Brazil to southern Florida.Now that many governments have launched aggressive measures to curb disease transmission, it’s harder to build algorithms to predict what’s next, Bogoch said.Artificial intelligence systems depend on vast amounts of prior data to train computers how to interpret new facts. But there are no close parallels to the way China is enforcing quarantine zones that impact hundreds of millions of people. 

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China Reports Fewest New Cases of Coronavirus Patients Since January

China is reporting its biggest drop in new cases of the new coronavirus that has killed more than 2,000 people on the mainland since the outbreak began more than two months ago.The country’s National Health Commission said there were just 394 confirmed new cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) Wednesday, compared to the 1,749 cases the previous day, the biggest drop since last month. The death toll rose to 2,118 after another 114 people died from the virus, while the total number of confirmed cases rose to 74,576.Chinese authorities have struggled to contain the spread of the new coronavirus since it was first detected in December in Hubei province, in the city of Wuhan. The province was placed under lockdown, with nearly all transportation in and out of Wuhan and several other cities halted.Outside of mainland China, at least 11 people have reportedly died from the virus, including one in South Korea, two people in Iran and an elderly couple in their 80s who were passengers aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which been quarantined at the Japanese port city of Yokohama since its arrival on February 3.  Japanese health officials placed the ship and its 3,700 passengers and crew under quarantine after a passenger who disembarked in Hong Kong was diagnosed with the coronavirus.  But the attempt to contain the spread of the virus backfired, as 621 people became infected, making it the largest cluster of confirmed cases outside of China.About 600 passengers are expected to leave the ship Thursday, a day after 500 passengers disembarked Wednesday after testing negative for the virus and showing no symptoms.  Meanwhile, more than 150 Australian passengers arrived in Darwin early Thursday after being evacuated from Yokohama.  The group was immediately placed in another 14-day quarantine.  Canberra extended a ban on foreign nationals who have traveled mainland China from entering Australia until February 29.Russian passengers walk with their luggage after leaving the coronavirus-hit Diamond Princess cruise ship docked at Yokohama Port, south of Tokyo, Feb. 20, 2020.About 300 Americans were evacuated Monday and immediately placed in another 14-day quarantine. Several other governments, including Britain, Canada, Australia and Hong Kong, are also making plans to evacuate their citizens from Yokohama.Despite the drop in the daily number of confirmed cases, the World Health Organization cautioned people earlier this week against relaxing and believing the worst is over. The WHO said it is still too early to predict exactly which way the outbreak will go.

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Chinese Study: New Coronavirus Spreads More Like Flu Than SARS

Scientists in China who studied the nose and throat swabs from 18 patients infected with the new coronavirus say it behaves much more like influenza than other closely related viruses, suggesting it may spread even more easily than previously believed.In at least in one case, the virus was present even though the patient had no symptoms, confirming concerns that asymptomatic patients could also spread the disease.Although preliminary, the findings published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, offer new evidence that this novel coronavirus, which has killed more than 2,000 people, mostly in China, is not like its closely related coronavirus cousins.“If confirmed, this is very important,” said Dr. Gregory Poland, a virologist and vaccine researcher with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, who was not involved with the study.Easily spreadUnlike severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which causes infections deep in the lower respiratory tract that can result in pneumonia, COVID-19 appears to inhabit both the upper and lower respiratory tracts. That would make it not only capable of causing severe pneumonia, but of spreading easily like flu or the common cold.Researchers in Guangdong province monitored the amount of coronavirus in the 18 patients. One of them, who had moderate levels of the virus in their nose and throat, never had any disease symptoms.Among the 17 symptomatic patients, the team found levels of the virus increased soon after symptoms first appeared, with higher amounts of virus present in the nose than in the throats, a pattern more similar to influenza than SARS.The level of virus in the asymptomatic patient was similar to what was present in patients with symptoms, such as fever.“What this says is clearly this virus can be shed out of the upper respiratory tract and that people are shedding it asymptomatically,” Poland said.Related to SARS, not behaving like SARSThe findings add to evidence that this new virus, though genetically similar, is not behaving like SARS, said Kristian Andersen, an immunologist at Scripps Research in La Jolla who uses gene sequencing tools to track disease outbreaks.“This virus is clearly much more capable of spreading between humans than any other novel coronavirus we’ve ever seen.“This is more akin to the spread of flu,” said Andersen, who was not involved with the study.The researchers said their findings add to reports that the virus can be transmitted early in the course of the infection and suggest that controlling the virus will require an approach different from what worked with SARS, which primarily involved controlling its spread in a hospital setting.

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2nd Person Dies Amid Dengue Epidemic in French Caribbean

A dengue epidemic in several French Caribbean islands has claimed its second victim, officials said Wednesday.A 75-year-old French woman who traveled regularly to St. Martin died this month after contracting the mosquito-borne virus and being evacuated to Paris, according to a statement from the Regional Health Agency for Guadeloupe, St. Martin and St. Barts.It is the second such death reported this month in the region. Officials in the nearby island of Martinique announced last week that one of three unidentified people who were recently hospitalized with dengue died.The viral infection usually causes a severe headache, rash and high fever and can become hemorrhagic, leading to death.
 

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Small Businesses Embrace Wellness to Help Retain Staffers

Every month, the 30 staffers at Chris Boehlke’s public relations firm each get $100 to pay for anything that contributes to their wellness. And not just for typical expenditures like gym memberships or yoga classes.“You can get nails done, anything you feel is helping your overall well being,” says Boehlke, co-owner of San Francisco-based Bospar. The company also has flex time and a generous time off policy including 17 paid holidays each year.As a result, Boehlke says, the 5-year-old company has lost only two staffers.Many small business owners are starting wellness programs to help employees be healthier, happier and more likely to stay. Wellness efforts encompass a wide range of benefits and services, including gym subsidies, stipends for classes and activities and apps that help motivate staffers to exercise and take care of themselves. n this Feb. 11, 2020, photo, Brent Frederick, founder of Jester Concepts, a restaurant group in Minneapolis poses at P.S. Steak.Owners are aware that many big companies have wellness programs, an advantage when it comes to recruiting and retaining staffers.Rob Wilson sees interest in wellness programs growing among his small business clients, and his company, human resources provider Employco, is focusing more on these programs.“A lot of it so far has been online classes and health coaching, also a lot of online tools right now that employees can access anywhere to help them keep track of what they’re doing,” says Wilson, whose company is based in Westmont, Illinois.“The companies doing it are really interested in keeping their employees,” he says.Work can take a tollThey also want to care for staffers who can be sacrificing good health habits by working long and hard hours. At MonetizeMore, an advertising technology company, CEO Kean Graham has sensed that the sedentary lifestyle of his more than 100 staffers has taken a toll. He’s seen extended absences and depression, and staffers have said that they’ve gained weight.“We came up with a steps program that measures everybody’s number of steps per month via their smart watches or apps on their phones,” says Graham, whose company is based in Victoria, British Columbia. After several months, he saw an improvement in absenteeism and spirits.The 100 employees at Birch Coffee get stipends toward a variety of wellness activities, and the company pays for monthly massages at its 14 New York stores. Birch is trying to offset the physical and mental stress staffers encounter, co-founder Jeremy Lyman says.“Each barista engages with hundreds of people every day,” Lyman says. “Mentally, it can take its toll, and you’re standing on your feet for seven hours.”Encourage good healthSome owners sign up with companies that run structured wellness programs. These can include encouraging staffers to take care of their health with weight-loss and smoking cessation aids, health screening and coaching and apps to track steps, calories and other metrics. Some businesses have point systems and competitions to reward staffers.Nearly all the 86 employees at Connor & Gallagher OneSource take part in its program created by a wellness software company, says Kayla Roeske, the director of client wellness at the Lisle, Illinois-based human resources and employee benefits firm. She finds that staffers are more likely to participate fully when the program is presented to them in a positive way, rather than the company coming across as “Big Brother” trying to control them. The company doesn’t get individual data but instead “we can see aggregate data from an organizational standpoint that tells us where we are year to year,” she says.Avoid cheerleading Owners need to steer clear of being overbearing and negative about employees’ health. While a boss might be happier if staffers didn’t smoke or if they lost weight, if the company comes across as intrusive, it could lose good employees.“If you start to push decision-making and judgment on these things, that’s where you may begin to cross the line,” says David Lewis, CEO of OperationsInc, an HR provider based in Norwalk, Connecticut. He advises that owners offer education and make tools available, but avoid too much cheerleading.“If you say, `we want you to live a better life,’ to some extent employees are going to take that, but they’ll be skeptical if it’s syrupy,” Lewis says. He suggests owners speak to staffers about realities, like the need to lower health insurance costs.Owners may need to be creative about funding their wellness efforts, especially when they include health insurance, a benefit many small businesses can’t afford. Brent Frederick, founder of Jester Concepts, a Minneapolis restaurant operator, includes a voluntary 3% surcharge on guest checks to pay for health and mental health insurance. ‘A better business’Frederick has 250 employees among his four establishments, which include restaurants, a food truck and a sports arena concession. Even the part-timers get coverage. That has made Jester Concepts a more competitive employer.“We’ve been able to retain employees and be a better business in the community,” Frederick says.The majority of Jester Concepts’ customers are willing to pay the 3% surcharge, which amounts to $3 on a $100 check. Some question it, but Frederick estimates that no more than once a month at each location does a guest ask to have it taken off their bill. Customers can look at the surcharge as proof that the company is concerned about its staffers’ well-being.Owners who want healthier employees may have to set a good example, and even make some changes to office routine and policies. A boss who likes to keep cola and other highly sugared beverages in the break room fridge may need to stop stocking it.  And at companies where the culture is for everyone to work through lunch at their desks, there may need to be a new normal — staffers have to break away.At Hoppier, an Ottawa, Ontario-based company that delivers snacks and supplies to businesses, “we don’t let anyone eat behind their computer screens. We think that everyone deserves a proper break, so we ask them to eat somewhere that doesn’t require any work,” CEO Cassy Aite says.Aite used to work at a consulting firm and eat at his desk; it’s what people did. His next job was at a German company, where he learned a very different approach — talking 90 minutes away from the office each day for lunch.“It’s an amazing way to break up the day,” says Aite.

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North Dakota Regulators Poised to Approve Pipeline Expansion

North Dakota regulators were expected to take action Wednesday on a proposal to expand the capacity of the Dakota Access Pipeline.The three-member, all-Republican Public Utilities Commission signaled last month that it would approve a permit to expand the capacity of the pipeline, despite objections from opponents who said it would increase the probability of a disastrous oil spill.Texas-based Energy Transfer proposed doubling the capacity of the pipeline last year to meet growing demand for oil shipments from North Dakota, without the need for additional pipelines or rail shipments.The company wants to build a $40 million pump station on a 23-acre (9-hectare) site near Linton in south-central North Dakota. The new station is necessary to increase the volume of oil the pipeline can move.The company also plans additional pumping stations in South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois. Commissioners in a South Dakota county last year approved a conditional use permit needed for a station there. Permits in the other states are pending. Iowa regulators want Energy Transfer to provide expert analysis to back up the company’s claim that doubling the line’s capacity won’t increase the likelihood of a spill.FILE – In this Nov. 20, 2016 photo, provided by Morton County Sheriff’s Department, law enforcement and protesters clash near the site of the Dakota Access Pipeline in Cannon Ball, N.D.The $3.8 billion, 1,172-mile (1,886 kilometer) underground pipeline was subject to prolonged protests and hundreds of arrests during its construction in North Dakota in late 2016 and early 2017 because it crosses beneath the Missouri River, just north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. The tribe draws its water from the river and fears pollution. Energy Transfer insisted the pipeline would be safe, and said the expansion would be, too.The pipeline has been moving North Dakota oil through South Dakota and Iowa to a shipping point in Illinois since June 2017. Since some of the land in North Dakota falls outside of the pipeline corridor, permission was needed from the commission to build the pump station.Opponents argued the commission should have considered affects all along the line and not solely at the pump station location. If the North Dakota commission approves the permit, the Standing Rock Sioux tribe will review its legal options, including a possible appeal in state court, attorney Tim Purdon said.Energy Transfer argued the commission could only consider a permit application for its pump site and commissioners agreed, saying the state would not impose conditions beyond those required by the federal government, which has jurisdiction on the pipeline.The company said in court filings that its pump station would produce only “minimal adverse effects on the environment and the citizens of North Dakota.”The company has said it hoped to start construction this spring, and finish within 10 months.
 

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Ebola Drug Being Tested in Wuhan as Treatment for Coronavirus

An American biotech company says it is working with Chinese authorities to determine whether the antiviral drug remdesivir may provide an effective treatment for victims of the fast-spreading coronavirus known as COVID-19. The company hopes to have the answer by May 1.Officials of Gilead Sciences, which invented remdesivir as a treatment for Ebola and another disease, told VOA the company has already initiated two clinical trials among infected patients “to determine the safety and efficacy of remdesivir as a potential treatment for the coronavirus.”The trials have been warmly welcomed in China, where the FILE – A medical worker calls his colleague inside an isolated ward at Jinyintan Hospital in Wuhan, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak, in Hubei province, China, Feb. 13, 2020.The first trial began enrolling patients on Feb. 6, said a written statement from Gilead, which says it has provided China with “enough doses of remdesivir to treat up to 500 trial participants.” A Shanghai-based media outlet reported having seen a customs clearance form showing that 2,843 boxes of remdesivir arrived in Beijing on February 4.The next day, a conference dedicated to the official launch of clinical trials took place at the Jinyintan Hospital in Wuhan, led by Dr. Bin Cao and his colleague Dr. Chen Wang, both top scientists practicing at the China-Japan Friendship Hospital in Beijing. Jinyintan Hospital has been treating some of the most critical COVID-19 cases since the outbreak began.Gilead confirmed the trials are “being coordinated by the China-Japan Friendship Hospital in Beijing.” A filing registered with the U.S. National Library of Medicine lists the Beijing-based Capital Medical University as the trial’s main sponsor and Cao, a specialist in pulmonary critical care at the China-Japan Friendship Hospital, as the “responsible party.”Research shows promiseIn a scientific paper based on animal studies and published last week, scientists found remdesivir to be effective both for the prevention and treatment of the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV,) which is known to bear resemblances to COVID-19. “Remdesivir prevented disease when administered before infection and improved the condition of macaques [monkeys] when given after the animals already were infected,” said scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton, Montana.Dr. Emmie de Wit, Chief of the Molecular Pathogenesis Unit in the Laboratory of Virology at the Montana facility, told VOA that she and her colleagues conducted their studies and submitted their results for review “well before the world knew of the outbreak in Wuhan.” De Wit said she and her colleagues learned about the coronavirus outbreak on Dec. 31.Wuhan trialsIn the Wuhan study, participants are divided into two groups — those “who have developed more severe clinical manifestations” such as requiring oxygen, and those who do not require oxygen.”Patients will receive 10 days of intravenously administered remdesivir. The primary endpoint of both studies involves clinical improvement 28 days after treatment,” according to Gilead. Cao reported that 200 mg of remdesivir would be given to a group of patients on day one, followed by 100 mg once-daily “maintenance doses” for nine additional days.Patients in a control group were to be given placebos. To ensure objectivity, the identities of the patients receiving the placebos are masked from the participants, care providers, researchers and outcome assessors.The researchers say they aim to complete the trials by April 3 and evaluate the results by May 1.
 

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