Scientists across the world are racing to develop vaccines and effective treatments against the coronavirus pandemic, which is already in the second wave.
Drug giant Pfizer and German biotechnology firm BioNTech had announced the development of an experimental coronavirus vaccine which prevented more than 90 per cent of infections in a study of tens of thousands of volunteers.
About a week later, US drugmaker, Moderna, announced that its coronavirus vaccine is 94.5 per cent effective, based on an early look at the results from its large, continuing study.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, welcomed the rapid progress towards a safe and effective vaccine but warned that there was a “long way to go” in getting the virus under control globally.
Amid the pandemic which has claimed over a million lives, Nigeria is still trying to combat the yellow fever outbreak.
A total of 1,558 suspected cases and 46 confirmed cases have been reported from 481 (62 per cent) local government areas (LGAs) across all the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in 2020.
Here are some of the health stories which made headlines last week.
Nigeria’s coronavirus infections surpass 66,000
About 246 more people tested positive for coronavirus in Nigeria on Saturday.
Nigeria’s coronavirus infections have exceeded 66,000 as the country records more cases and braces for a second wave of the pandemic.
About 246 more people tested positive for coronavirus in Nigeria, on Saturday, taking the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 66,228.
This is according to an update Saturday night by Nigeria’s Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
Yellow Fever: 1,558 suspected cases, 46 confirmed infections – NCDC
Nigeria is responding to a successive yearly outbreak of yellow fever since the return of the disease in September 2017.Since the beginning of the year 2020, a total of 1,558 suspected cases and 46 confirmed cases have been reported from 481 (62 percent) local government areas (LGAs) across all the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Coronavirus: US death toll surpasses 250,000
The number of deaths from the coronavirus in the U.S. has surpassed a quarter of a million, according to data logged Wednesday morning on worldometer.info.
Despite the news of vaccine development raising the hope of billions around the world, the death rate in the U.S. has been accelerating in recent weeks as cases surge across the country.
In the last four weeks, there has been a 42 per cent increase in fatalities, rising from a weekly average of 821 per day in early October to last week’s average of 1,167 per day, according to an NBC News analysis of data.
COVID cases surge – WHO chief
More cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the past four weeks than in the first six months of the pandemic, the UN health agency chief told journalists on Friday as he launched a new report on the threat posed by antimicrobial resistance.
“Across Europe and North America, hospitals and ICU units are filling up or are full”, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) said at a regular press briefing in Geneva.
Another COVID-19 vaccine shows nearly 95% protection
A U.S. drugmaker, Moderna, on Monday announced that its coronavirus vaccine is 94.5 per cent effective, based on an early look at the results from its large, continuing study.
The Chief Executive of Moderna, Stéphane Bancel, said the results had provided “the first clinical validation that our vaccine can prevent COVID-19 disease, including severe disease.”
The announcement is coming barely a week after drug giant Pfizer and German biotechnology firm BioNTech, announced the development of an experimental coronavirus vaccine which prevented more than 90 per cent of infections in a study of tens of thousands of volunteers.
Global coronavirus infections surpass 55 million
As the race to find a cure for the coronavirus increasingly gains momentum, so has the number of people infected with the virus globally.
Just seven days after the total coronavirus cases globally crossed the 50 million threshold, an additional five million infections have been added to the tally, indicating that the second wave of the pandemic is dangerously spreading.
Russia ready to provide other countries with coronavirus vaccine – Putin
Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, told G20 leaders on Saturday that Russia was ready to provide its Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine to other countries who need it.
Russia is also preparing its second and third vaccine, Putin said, adding that creation of a vaccine portfolio was “our common goal”.
Antibiotic use in babies linked to allergies, asthma
Children younger than two who are given antibiotics are more likely to have a number of ongoing illnesses or conditions later in life, a new study finds.
Babies and toddlers who received one dose of antibiotics were more likely to have asthma, eczema, hay fever, food allergies, celiac disease, problems with weight and obesity and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder later in childhood, according to the study published Monday in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
Global Fund: Nigeria to receive $143m to fight tuberculosis
Nigeria will receive a $143 million grant from the Global Fund to fight Tuberculosis (TB) over an implementation period of three years.
The senior disease coordinator at Global Fund, Eliud Wanerdwalo, made this known at the 33rd Stop TB Partnership virtual conference, on Friday.
The conference brought together ministers of health and dignitaries from 11 African countries.
Covid-19: Oxford vaccine shows ‘encouraging’ immune response
The Oxford coronavirus vaccine shows a strong immune response in adults in their 60s and 70s, raising hopes that it can protect age groups most at risk from the virus.
Researchers say the Lancet phase two findings, based on 560 healthy adult volunteers, are “encouraging”.
They are also testing whether the vaccine stops people developing Covid-19 in larger, phase three trials.