The following is a summary of the current health news summaries.
Coronavirus spreads rapidly outside China, airports to increase scans
The new coronavirus now appears to be spreading much faster outside China than it does inside, and airports in the most affected countries are increasing the screening of travelers. The head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that almost eight times more cases were reported outside China and within the last 24 hours, adding that the risk of spreading coronavirus is now very high globally.
Pfizer has identified some antiviral compounds with potential as a treatment for coronavirus
Pharmaceutical company Pfizer said on Monday that it has identified certain antiviral compounds in development that have the potential to inhibit coronaviruses and is engaging with a third party to track the compounds. The company said it hopes to obtain the results of this screening by the end of March and, if any of the compounds are successful, it would expect to start testing them by the end of the year.
Colombian Constitutional Court rules against legalizing abortion in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy
The Colombian Constitutional Court ruled on Monday against legalizing abortion in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy and said the procedure will continue to be allowed in only three specific cases. The decision dashed the hopes of those who expected to see abortion legalized in Colombia. The Andean country is part of a region that has some of the strictest reproductive rights laws in the world.
Deadly coronavirus outbreak in Seattle causes change in response to public health
Seattle area health officials confronting the nation's first community coronavirus outbreak are planning new containment measures, ranging from possible school closures to temporary quarantined housing for slightly ill homeless patients. The change in strategy, with an emphasis on recruiting the general public to take a more active role in reducing the spread of the virus, occurred when health officials announced on Monday that 18 Washington state residents had tested positive, including six who died.
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Australia will use biosafety law to restrict movement of coronavirus patients
Australia will use a little-known biosafety law to restrict the movement of people suspected of having coronavirus, its attorney general said on Tuesday. Australia confirmed the first community transmission of coronavirus on Monday after a doctor contracted the virus. It is not known how the 50-year-old man was infected.
US Supreme Court accepts Democratic candidacy to defend Obamacare
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Monday to hear a politically explosive case about the legality of Obamacare, accepting a proposal by 20 Democratic-led states, including California and New York, to preserve the landmark health law. The impetus for the Supreme Court case was a 2018 decision by a Texas federal judge that Obamacare, currently structured in light of a major Republican change by Congress, violates the U.S. Constitution and is entirely invalid. The decision entered a legal challenge to the law by Texas and 17 other conservative states supported by the government of Republican President Donald Trump.
Unprecedented mental health problems are seen in Hong Kong amid virus fears
As Hong Kong tries to contain the coronavirus outbreak, medical experts say many in the Asian financial center are suffering from increased anxiety and an unprecedented level of mental health problems. The SARS-CoV-2 epidemic occurred after months of tumultuous protests against the government, which had already led to a sharp increase in depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), they said.
Coronavirus deaths increase to six in the Seattle area, while the U.S. presses for more testing
Six people in the Seattle area died of illnesses caused by the new coronavirus, health officials said on Monday, as officials in the United States tried to prepare for more infections, with an emphasis on increasing testing capacity. Dr. Jeff Duchin, a health officer at the Seattle and King County Public Health Agency, announced the increase in deaths over the previous two in Washington state.
Trump administration says drug makers will work together to fight coronavirus
The Trump administration said on Monday that it had pledged commitments from leading pharmaceutical companies to work together to develop a vaccine and treatments to fight the coronavirus. At a meeting with industry executives at the White House, President Donald Trump urged companies to collaborate to accelerate the process of obtaining vaccine and therapy for victims of the virus.
Special report: poor health – The medical crisis that aggravates Iraq's unrest
On the walls of the children's hospital in Basra, there are pictures of some of the young people who were treated there. Most are smiling. Some of the portraits have a black stripe in the upper left corner. These are pictures of children who died. Hesham Abdullah says he quit his office job to look after his 14-year-old son Mostafa and sold his home and all family valuables to pay for treatment. Without medical insurance, he estimates he spent at least $ 120,000 on black-market drugs and trips to clinics abroad. His family of five had to live with his brother.