(Reuters) – Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:
‘We’re confident’ in vaccine, says Russia
Russia is so confident in its COVID-19 vaccine that it will shoulder some of the legal liability should anything go wrong, rather than requiring buyers to take on the full risk, the head of the state fund bankrolling the project told Reuters.
The decision leaves the vaccine’s state-backed developers open to potentially costly compensation claims should there be any unexpected side-effects. It is something many vaccine-makers have sought to avoid, by asking for full indemnity – complete protection from liability claims – from nations they sell to.
The approach is different from many places in the world. In the United States, for example, liability for COVID-19 vaccines has been shifted fully to the U.S. government. This shields the developers because widespread inoculation against the disease is considered a benefit to society.
New U.S. COVID-19 cases rise 17% in past week
The weekly number of new COVID-19 cases in the United States rose last week for the first time after falling for eight straight weeks, an increase that health experts attributed to schools reopening and parties over the Labor Day holiday.
New cases rose 17% to about 287,000 for the week ended Sept. 20, while deaths rose 5.5% to about 5,400 people after falling for the previous four weeks, according to a Reuters analysis of state and county reports.
(Open https://tmsnrt.rs/2WTOZDR in an external browser for a Reuters interactive graphic)
Thirteen states have seen weekly infections rise for at least two weeks, up from nine states the previous week, according to the Reuters tally. In Arizona, new cases doubled last week.
CDC takes down airborne transmission guidance
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday took down its guidance warning on possible airborne transmission of the novel coronavirus, saying that the draft recommendation was posted in error.
The now-withdrawn guidance, posted on the agency’s website on Friday, recommended that people use air purifiers to reduce airborne germs indoors to avoid the disease from spreading.
“CDC is currently updating its recommendations regarding airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Once this process has been completed, the update language will be posted,” the agency said.
Presently, the agency’s guidance says the virus mainly spreads from person-to-person through respiratory droplets, which can land in the mouth or nose of people nearby.
‘Work from home’ Johnson to tell UK
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will tell people on Tuesday to work from home where possible and will curb timings for bars and restaurants to tackle a fast-spreading second coronavirus wave, but the opposition accused him of losing control.
With millions across the UK already under some form of COVID-19 restriction, Johnson will tighten measures in England while stopping short of another full lockdown like he imposed in March, according to his office and ministers.
Just weeks after urging people to start returning to workplaces, Johnson will now advise them to stay at home if they can. He will also order all pubs, bars, restaurants and other hospitality sites across England to start closing at 10 p.m. from Thursday.
Could dengue provide some immunity?
A new study that analyzed the coronavirus outbreak in Brazil has found a link between the spread of the virus and past outbreaks of dengue fever that suggests exposure to the mosquito-transmitted illness may provide some level of immunity against COVID-19.
The not yet published study led by Miguel Nicolelis, a professor at Duke University, and shared exclusively with Reuters, compared the geographic distribution of coronavirus cases with the spread of dengue in 2019 and 2020.
Places with lower coronavirus infection rates and slower case growth were locations that had suffered intense dengue outbreaks this year or last, Nicolelis found.
“This striking finding raises the intriguing possibility of an immunological cross-reactivity between dengue’s Flavivirus serotypes and SARS-CoV-2,” the study said, referring to dengue virus antibodies and the novel coronavirus.
(Compiled by Linda Noakes; Editing by Alex Richardson)