Teachers push for return to remote learning as COVID surges across U.S.
Schools across the country are struggling with whether to return to remote learning as COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths increase. Many teachers who once pushed for in-person learning are now urging state lawmakers and school districts to offer remote options. CEO of Braintrust Tutors Mara Koffmann joined CBSN's Lana Zak to discuss the impact this has on children.news.yahoo.com
WHO: Record weekly jump in COVID-19 cases but fewer deaths
The World Health Organization says a record 9.5 million cases of COVID-19 were tallied around the world over the last week, noting a 71% surge in the weekly count of infections amounting to a “tsunami” as the new omicron variant sweeps worldwidewashingtonpost.com
WHO: Omicron detected in 89 countries, cases doubling fast
The World Health Organization says the number of COVID-19 cases involving omicron is doubling every 1.5 to three days in countries where there is community transmission of the variant and not just people who were infected abroadwashingtonpost.com
WHO approves Novavax vaccine for emergency use against COVID
The World Health Organization has given emergency approval to a coronavirus vaccine made by U.S.-based Novavax, paving the way for its inclusion into the U.N.-backed program to get such vaccines to poorer countries around the worldwashingtonpost.com
WATCH LIVE: WHO gives briefing on study to find the origins of COVID-19
COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. | Illustration by Henry Keller(Update: The briefing is over. The World Health Organization on Tuesday is giving a briefing on their report on the Wuhan field visit to find the origins of the novel coronavirus. A draft of the report obtained by the AP states that the joint WHO-China study says that transmission of the virus from bats to humans through another animal is the most likely scenario. Read more: WHO report: COVID likely 1st jumped into humans from animals
Q&A: Medical director for University Health gives insight on COVID-19 vaccine and pregnancy
Dr. Patrick Ramsey, Medical Director for Inpatient OB services at University Health answered commonly asked questions for women that are pregnant and want to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The WHO recently reversed their recommendation that pregnant women not get the Moderna vaccine, and took a similar position on the Pfizer vaccine. “We have no evidence that the vaccine causes any problems for women to be able to get pregnant,” said Dr. Ramsey. Read the University Health FAQ page on topics about appointments, preparing for your vaccination and how to receive notifications about vaccine availability. AdKSAT Community operates in partnership with University Health, Energy Transfer and Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union.
Countries urge drug companies to share vaccine know-how
But that knowledge belongs to the large pharmaceutical companies who have produced the first three vaccines authorized by countries including Britain, the European Union and the U.S. — Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca. AdThe deal-by-deal approach also means that some poorer countries end up paying more for the same vaccine than richer countries. AstraZeneca said the price of the vaccine will differ depending on local production costs and how much countries order. Pharmaceutical companies say instead of lifting IP restrictions, rich countries should simply give more vaccines to poorer countries through COVAX, the public-private initiative WHO helped create for more equitable vaccine distribution. “People are literally dying because we cannot agree on intellectual property rights,” said Mustaqeem De Gama, a South African diplomat involved in the WTO discussions.
EXPLAINER: Scientists trying to understand new virus variant
Scientists say there is reason for concern and more to learn but that the new variants should not cause alarm. Worry has been growing since before Christmas, when Britain’s prime minister said the coronavirus variant seemed to spread more easily than earlier ones and was moving rapidly through England. A: New variants have been seen almost since the virus was first detected in China nearly a year ago. Scientists are still working to confirm whether the variant in England spreads more easily, but they are finding some evidence that it does. A: Scientists believe current vaccines will still be effective against the variant, but they are working to confirm that.
World Health Organization creates ‘Commit to Quit’ initiative to help people quit smoking
The World Health Organization says more people around the world have been trying to quit tobacco products this year because smoking increases the chance of serious illness or death from COVID-19. The “Commit to Quit” initiative started Dec. 8 and will go through next year. The organization recognizes that quitting tobacco products is challenging, especially with added social and economic stresses during the pandemic. The WHO is publishing a list of 100 reasons to quit smoking. The World Health Organization also started a way to chat with someone on WhatsApp.
Lesson not learned: Europe unprepared as 2nd virus wave hits
Europes second wave of coronavirus infections has struck well before flu season even started. Spain this week declared a state of emergency for Madrid amid increasing tensions between local and national authorities over virus containment measures. “I have to say clearly that the situation is not good," the Czech interior minister, Jan Hamacek, acknowledged this week. “We are in the fall wave without having resolved the summer wave,” she told an online forum this week. Half of Campania’s 100 ICU virus beds are now in use.
WHO chief scientist sees no herd immunity to COVID-19 yet
LONDON The chief scientist at the World Health Organization estimates that about 50% to 60% of the population will need to be immune to the coronavirus for there to be any protective herd immunity effect. Herd immunity is usually achieved through vaccination and occurs when most of a population is immune to a disease, blocking its continued spread. In the pandemics earlier stages, countries including Britain proposed achieving herd immunity as an outbreak response strategy. But Swaminathan pointed out that achieving this effect with a vaccine is much safer than letting the virus rip through the population. She says that to achieve herd immunity through natural infection, you need to have several waves and you will see the morbidity and mortality that we see now.
WHO experts to visit China as part of COVID-19 investigation
BEIJING Two World Health Organization experts will spend the next two days in the Chinese capital to lay the groundwork for a larger mission to investigate the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 120 nations called for an investigation into the origins of the virus at the World Health Assembly in May. China has insisted that WHO lead the investigation and for it to wait until the pandemic is brought under control. The last WHO coronavirus-specific mission to China was in February, after which the teams leader, Canadian doctor Bruce Aylward, praised Chinas containment efforts and information-sharing. An Associated Press investigation showed that In January, WHO officials were privately frustrated over the lack of transparency and access in China, according to internal audio recordings.
Scientists urge WHO to acknowledge virus can spread in air
LONDON More than 200 scientists have called for the World Health Organization and others to acknowledge that the coronavirus can spread in the air a change that could alter some of the current measures being taken to stop the pandemic. The WHO has long maintained that COVID-19 is spread via larger respiratory droplets, most often when people cough or sneeze, that fall to the ground. It has dismissed the possibility of airborne transmission, except for certain high-risk medical procedures, like when patients are first put on breathing machines. The authors cited previous studies suggesting that germs closely related to the new virus were spread via airborne transmission. We are concerned that the lack of recognition of the risk of airborne transmission of COVID-19 and the lack of clear recommendations on the control measures against the airborne virus will have significant consequences, the scientists wrote.
WHO clarifies comments on asymptomatic spread of coronavirus: Theres much unknown
The World Health Organization tried on Tuesday to clear up confusing comments about how often people can spread the coronavirus when they do not have symptoms. On Monday, Van Kerkhove had said that what appear to be asymptomatic cases of Covid-19 often turn out to be cases of mild disease. Van Kerkhove added that she was referring to reports from WHO member states when she made her comments on Monday. He said it "was not correct" to describe asymptomatic spread of the coronavirus as rare. The best scientific studies to date suggest that up to half of cases became infected from asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic people.
World Health Organization weighs in on facts, myths about COVID-19
There is a lot of information coming out each day about the novel coronavirus COVID-19, but amid the pandemic, there are also a lot of myths. The World Health Organization is setting straight some invalid things you might have seen or heard about COVID-19. There are no specific medicines to prevent or treat the COVID-19 virus. COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in hot and humid climates. This specific virus, because it’s so new and different, will need its own vaccine.
What does COVID-19 stand for, anyway? A complete coronavirus glossary
Does anyone else feel like we’re in the midst of some pretty unsettling times? Even if you’re trying to keep a level head about where things stand with the coronavirus pandemic, it’s easy to turn on the TV or open social media and start to feel pretty overwhelmed, pretty quickly. For some, you can’t go out to eat, you’re now working from home and your kids aren’t even going to school. And with that, we thought we’d provide the following playbook. Yes, there is some science jargon involved here, but we tried to break it down for you in a way that’s easy to read and digestible.