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What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

Health


Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:


Restrictions reimposed across Asia-Pacific region


From Melbourne to Manila, Hong Kong and India’s tech capital Bengaluru, lockdowns and strict social distancing restrictions are being reimposed across the Asia-Pacific after a surge in novel coronavirus cases fanned fears of a second wave of infections.

Many parts of Asia, the region first hit by the coronavirus that emerged in central China late last year, are finding cause to pause the reopening of their economies, some after winning praise for their initial responses to the coronavirus outbreak.

The number of coronavirus infections around the world hit 13 million on Monday, according to a Reuters tally, climbing by a million in just five days. Reuters’ global tally, which is based on government reports, shows the disease accelerating fastest in Latin America, the number of deaths there exceeding the figure for North America for the first time on Monday.


U.S. vaccine manufacturing said to start by end of summer


Drugmakers partnered with the U.S. government are on track to begin actively manufacturing a vaccine for COVID-19 by the end of the summer, a senior U.S. administration official said.

The Trump administration has helped finance the development of four COVID-19 vaccines through its Operation Warp Speed Program, which aims to produce 300 million vaccine doses by the end of 2021.

Clinical trials for therapeutics can produce results in a matter of weeks, making it possible to produce hundreds of thousands of doses by fall, the senior administration official said.


Inflammatory syndrome now seen in adults


A rare and life-threatening condition seen in some children and young adults after exposure to the novel coronavirus is being reported in older adults as well. The condition, known as Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), can attack multiple organs, impair heart function and weaken heart arteries.

Doctors at New York University, in a report on Saturday in the Lancet medical journal, reported a similar case in a 45-year-old man. Doctors at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn reported last month in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine a case in a 36-year-old woman.

While both research teams cautioned against drawing conclusions from these isolated cases, they said they want to “heighten awareness” of the possibility that the syndrome can occur in adults.


Milder infections generate fewer antibodies


Any immunity to coronavirus reinfection among people who already have had COVID-19 might wane after a few months, particularly if their infection was mild, two studies suggest.

Researchers at Kings College London tracked 65 COVID-19 patients for up to 94 days. In people with milder infections, who developed fewer neutralizing antibodies, those antibodies started to disappear after two to three months, similar to what is seen in patients who recover from seasonal coronaviruses that cause common colds, the researchers reported on Saturday on the website medRxiv in advance of peer review.

Antibodies are protective proteins generated by the immune system in response to an invading pathogen.

“We are not trying to say that immunity is gone after three months. There are still many unknowns that need to be addressed, especially the level of antibody that would be needed for protection from infection,” study leader Katie Doores told Reuters.


Mask, camera, action!


Film crews are beginning to tentatively return to set in California, after a hiatus forced on the industry by the coronavirus.

State-designated safety protocols - such as wearing masks, taking temperature checks, and crew members staying at least six feet away from each other - are in place.

One of the first productions given the green light by acting union SAG-AFTRA is “7th & Union,” a story about a Mexican ex-boxer and his unlikely friendship with a disgruntled African-American man.