By RFA. Funeral homes in central China are working round the clock to cremate bodies during the coronavirus epidemic, while advertising to recruit manual workers to collect dead bodies from people’s homes by night, RFA has learned. . .
But there are indications that the true number of deaths in a city under quarantine may be far higher than the reported numbers indicate.
Social media users said there are 84 incinerators located at seven funeral homes across Wuhan, with a capacity to perform 2,016 cremations in any 24-hour period.
All of those funeral homes have been working around the clock in recent weeks, with dead bodies lying in rows waiting for cremation, social media reports said.
Wuhan voluntary worker Zhong Qiang, who recently carried out an unofficial survey of funeral homes and crematoria in Wuhan, said what he saw backed up the claims of 24-7 cremation in the city. (Read more from “Funeral Homes in China’s Wuhan ‘Working 24/7 to Cremate Bodies’” HERE)
CDC: US Test Kits “Flawed”
By Denise Grady. Some of the coronavirus testing kits sent to state laboratories around the country have flaws and do not work properly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday.
The kits were meant to enable states to conduct their own testing and have results faster than they would by shipping samples to the C.D.C. in Atlanta. But the failure of the kits means that states that encountered problems with the test should not use it, and would still have to depend on the C.D.C.’s central lab, which could cause several days’ delay in getting results.
“Obviously, a state wouldn’t want to be doing this test and using it to make clinical decisions if it isn’t working as well, as perfectly, at the state as it is at C.D.C.,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said at a news conference on Wednesday. (Read more HERE about how flawed US testing may result in more business for funeral homes)
Vaccine Discovered in U.S.?
By Evie Fordham. An American biotech company says it created a coronavirus vaccine three hours after getting access to the virus’ genetic sequence in mid-January, and now scientists are racing to get the vaccine on the market in record time.
Inovio Pharmaceuticals is based in Pennsylvania, but scientists in its laboratory in San Diego made the discovery.
“We were able to rapidly construct our vaccine in a matter of about three hours once we had the DNA sequence from the virus available because of the power of our DNA medicine platform,” Dr. J. Joseph Kim, Inovio’s president and CEO, told FOX Business. “Our goal is to start phase one human testing in the U.S. early this summer.” (Read more HERE how this vaccine may stop the run on funeral homes).
The New Coronavirus Disease Can Take a Deadly Turn
By NPR. More than 1,300 people, almost all in China, have now died from COVID-19 — the newly minted name for the coronavirus disease first identified in Wuhan, China, that has infected more than 55,000 people. . .
The first symptoms of COVID-19 are pretty common with respiratory illnesses — fever, a dry cough and shortness of breath, says Dr. Carlos del Rio, a professor of medicine and global health at Emory University who has consulted with colleagues treating coronavirus patients in China and Germany. “Some people also get a headache, sore throat,” he says. Fatigue has also been reported — and less commonly, diarrhea. It may feel as if you have a cold. Or you may feel that flu-like feeling of being hit by a train. . .
But Furuya says that this immune system response to this invader can also destroy lung tissue and cause inflammation. The end result can be pneumonia. That means the air sacs in the lungs become inflamed and filled with fluid, making it harder to breathe.
Del Rio says that these symptoms can also make it harder for the lungs to get oxygen to your blood, potentially triggering a cascade of problems. “The lack of oxygen leads to more inflammation, more problems in the body. Organs need oxygen to function, right? So when you don’t have oxygen there, then your liver dies and your kidney dies,” he says.
That’s what seems to be happening in the most severe cases. About 3% to 5% of patients end up in intensive care, according to the WHO. And many hospitalized patients require supplemental oxygen. In extreme cases, they need mechanical ventilation — including the use of a sophisticated technology known as ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation), which basically acts as the patient’s lungs, adding oxygen to their blood and removing carbon dioxide. The technology “allows us to save more severe patients,” Dr. Sylvie Briand, director of the WHO’s pandemic and epidemic diseases department, said at a press conference Monday. (Read more from “The New Coronavirus Disease Can Take a Deadly Turn” HERE)