Latest on the Wuhan Coronavirus


As about half of U.S. states and European nations begin to ease their coronavirus lockdowns, AP reports health authorities are increasingly worried about a second wave of cases and deaths that could force governments to shut things down again. They believe there will be one, and it's just a matter of when and how bad it will be. In the U.S., many states haven't put in place the kind of extensive testing needed to detect new outbreaks and contain them, and many are reopening without having a 14-day decline in new illnesses and infections, which was one of the key benchmarks in the Trump administration's guidelines for reopening. As of last night (May 6th), there were more than 73,200 deaths in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University's count, and more than 1,228,000 confirmed cases.

After reports Tuesday that the White House was going to be winding down its coronavirus task force by the end of the month led to a backlash,President Trumpreversed those plans yesterday and said it would continue, but would shift focus toward restarting the economy and the development of a vaccine. Trump said, "I thought we could wind it down sooner, I had no idea how popular the task force is." Trump also said that he'd still seek the counsel of its medical experts,Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx, no matter what happens with the task force. Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi criticized Trump's push for states to reopen, saying in an MSNBC interview, "Death is not an economic motivator, stimulus. So why are we going down that path?" She continued, "To unlock the lockdown is to test, trace, treat as well as isolate social distancing."

New York officials said Wednesday that there have been 64 suspected cases in the state of a puzzling inflammatory illness in children that medical experts believe may be connected to the coronavirus. None have died from it. The illness is similar to a rare blood vessel disorder called Kawasaki syndrome." New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot said symptoms include days of high fever, eye inflammation, abdominal pain, vomiting, rash and swollen lymph nodes. She said cases have also been identified in the U.K., Philadelphia and Boston.

In other developments:

WHO: Positive Cases in Recovered Patients Not Reinfections:The World Health Organization told AFP yesterday (May 6th) that coronavirus patients who've recovered and tested negative and then later tested positive for the disease aren't cases of reinfection. Instead, the tests are coming back positive because the patients are still expelling dead lung cells as part of their healing and recovery. South Korean health officials reported more than 100 of the cases in April, raising concerns that patients who had recovered could be reinfected. It's still not clear, however, if having produced antibodies provides immunity, and if so, how long it lasts. 

Could Llama Help Find a Treatment?:Llamas could potentially be key in developing a treatment for the coronavirus, scientists suggested in a study in the journal Cell. Llamas are known for having antibodies that can neutralize viruses, and when they were tested against the coronavirus, they worked against it too. Unlike humans, they produce two types of antibodies, not one, and the type humans don't have is the one that works against viruses. Scientists are suggesting linking two llama antibodies together and that using them in humans could possibly treat the coronavirus.