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Thousands of coronavirus cases recorded in hospital were caught on site, new research suggests

Photo by FrancisTyers

Thousands of coronavirus cases are thought to have been transmitted within UK hospitals, according to a new study.

Researchers at King’s College London looked at 10 different UK hospitals, and one in Italy, and found that at least one in eight coronavirus patients who were treated at hospital caught it on site. They analysed data on 1,500 cases at the virus’s peak in the UK on 28 April.

75-year-old Nottinghamshire woman may be first known British victim of coronavirus

Photo by mattbuck

A 75-year-old woman from Nottinghamshire is thought to be the first British case and victim of COVID-19.

She tested positive for the virus on 21 February, and was admitted to Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham and later died on 3 March. Her death came two days earlier than the first official death from the virus.

The first British case of COVID-19 was previously believed to be a man from Surrey who tested positive on 28 February.

Pharmafile.com's weekly COVID-19 news round-up

Photo by the CDC

In COVID-19 news this week, China is set to move ahead with human testing of a potential coronavirus vaccine that has been created using insect cells while Australia has signed its first deal to secure doses of a potential vaccine for its citizens, inking a partnership with AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.

Man in Hong Kong reinfected with COVID-19 four months after initially contracting the virus

Photo by Andrii Makukha

A man in Hong Kong has been reinfected with the coronavirus, stoking fears that immunity to the virus may be short-lived.

While there have been many speculated cases of reinfection, this is the first to be confirmed by a laboratory. Scientists at the University of Hong Kong carried out genetic sequencing to establish that it was a second episode of the virus which was caused by a slightly different strain. It had been previously hoped that an immune system that had fought the virus once could halt it upon second contact, even if the strain was slightly different.

AstraZeneca begins antibody COVID-19 treatment trial in the UK

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton

AstraZeneca has started a clinical trial of its antibody treatment designed to prevent and also treat symptoms of coronavirus.

The Phase 1 trial will include 48 volunteers without the virus who will be aged between 18 and 55. Like most first Phase 1 trials, the study will focus on the safety of the treatment and how the body reacts to it.

The treatment is being funded by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.

China’s ‘insect’ vaccine for COVID-19 approved for human testing

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cody R. Miller

China is set to move ahead with human testing of a potential coronavirus vaccine that has been created using insect cells.

The National Medical Products Administration has granted approval to the West China Hospital of Sichuan University in Chengdu to begin a clinical trial. It is hoped that using insect cells to grow proteins for the vaccine could speed up large-scale production.

It has already been tested on monkeys and was shown to prevent infection of the disease with no obvious side effects.

FDA grants emergency authorisation for coronavirus plasma treatment

The FDA has issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for convalescent plasma to treat patients with COVID-19.

The regulatory body has said that over 70,000 patients have already been given the treatment which uses the blood of people who have recovered from coronavirus.

At a White House press briefing on Sunday, President Donald Trump said: “Today I am pleased to make a truly historic announcement in our battle against the virus that will save countless lives. Today's action will dramatically increase access to this treatment.”

Top Ten most popular articles on Pharmafile.com this week

The top 10 news stories this week again focus on coronavirus vaccines and treatments, as professor Alexander Chuchalin has quit the Russian Health Ministry’s ethics council due to the quick approval process for the country’s coronavirus vaccine, while President Donald Trump reportedly wants to approve Phoenix Biotechnology’s oleandrin as a coronavirus treatment, despite a lack of evidence for its effectiveness.

Pharmafile.com's weekly COVID-19 news round-up

Potentially unsafe coronavirus treatments are in the headlines this week, as President Donald Trump reportedly wants to approve Phoenix Biotechnology’s oleandrin as a coronavirus treatment, despite a lack of evidence for its effectiveness, while at least 800 people have died around the world from COVID-19 misinformation in the first three months of 2020, according to researchers.

China’s drug regulator says vaccines must have 50 percent efficacy to be approved

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cody R. Miller

The Chinese Centre for Drug Evaluation (CCDE) has said that coronavirus vaccines must show 50 percent efficacy to be approved. 

The CCDE also said companies would have to prove their vaccines could provide immunity from the virus for a minimum of six months and be effective for 70 percent of the population. 

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