September 17 coronavirus news

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11:26 p.m. ET, September 17, 2020

More than a quarter of young adults with coronavirus developed pneumonia, study finds

From CNN’s Maggie Fox

More than a quarter of young adults infected with coronavirus have developed pneumonia, a study by South Korean researchers has found.

Their study of 315 patients aged 18 to 39 at six hospitals in February and March found 26% of them had pneumonia. In South Korea, everyone who tested positive for coronavirus, even those with no symptoms, were hospitalized early in the pandemic.  

“Severe pneumonia presented in 2% of cases, and one patient with no other medical history required mechanical ventilation. Young people should also be aware of the risk of pneumonia or severe pneumonia due to Covid-19,” the researchers wrote in a summary of their work prepared for presentation next week at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Conference on Coronavirus Disease.

Of the patients with pneumonia, 23% still had abnormal chest x-rays 10 days after their first diagnosis, the researchers said. And one patient who did not have symptoms at first later developed pneumonia.

While young adults are less likely than older people to develop severe coronavirus symptoms, the researchers said their findings show the infection can be serious even in healthy young adults.

10:57 p.m. ET, September 17, 2020

More than half of coronavirus patients have persistent fatigue, study finds

From CNN’s Maggie Fox

Medical staff at a Covid-19 testing center at Keadeen Hotel following the spate of outbreaks in Kildare, Ireland.
Medical staff at a Covid-19 testing center at Keadeen Hotel following the spate of outbreaks in Kildare, Ireland. Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images

More than half of coronavirus patients suffer persistent fatigue, no matter how sick they were, a team of researchers in Ireland has found.

According to their study of 128 former Covid-19 patients, 52% of respondents said they still suffered fatigue 10 weeks after they were clinically recovered.

It didn’t matter if the patients had been admitted to the hospital, needed oxygen or needed critical care treatment, the team at Trinity College in Dublin said in a summary written for next week’s meeting of the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Conference on Coronavirus Disease.

Just over half the patients studied were admitted to the hospital.

"Fatigue was found to occur independent of admission to hospital, affecting both groups equally," Dr. Liam Townsend, who led the team, said in a statement.
“This study highlights the importance of assessing those recovering from COVID-19 for symptoms of severe fatigue, irrespective of severity of initial illness, and may identify a group worthy of further study and early intervention,” Townsend’s team wrote in their summary.
10:24 p.m. ET, September 17, 2020

Crown Prince of Bahrain receives injection as part of phase 3 Covid-19 vaccine trials

From CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq

Bahrain's Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa stands at attention upon his arrival for a meeting with Italy's prime minister on February 3, in Rome.
Bahrain's Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa stands at attention upon his arrival for a meeting with Italy's prime minister on February 3, in Rome. Alberto Pizzoli/AFP via Getty Images

Bahrain's Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa has received a coronavirus vaccine injection as part of the phase 3 trials underway in the country, according to state media.

"The phase III clinical trials are being conducted in collaboration with Abu-Dhabi based G42 Healthcare using a vaccine developed by Sinopharm CNBG, the sixth-largest producer of vaccines in the world," Bahrain’s state-run news agency said on Wednesday.

Sinopharm, a Chinese state-owned pharmaceutical company, launched a phase 3 trial of its coronavirus vaccine in the United Arab Emirates in June in partnership with G42.

Al-Khalifa is among 6,000 volunteers participating in the trials "selected from those who meet the required medical criteria," according to the report.

"I was privileged to stand together with our vaccine volunteers, each one of them determined to play their part in working to protect others, not just at home in our Kingdom, but right across the globe," al-Khalifa was quoted as saying.

9:47 p.m. ET, September 17, 2020

"Women are bearing the brunt of the Covid crisis," UN official says

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of UNFPA, speaks during a news conference on April 10, in Berlin, Germany.
Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of UNFPA, speaks during a news conference on April 10, in Berlin, Germany. Thomas Koehler/Photothek via Getty Images

The United Nations estimates that millions of women and girls are "bearing the brunt" of the Covid-19 pandemic due to increases in cases of violence, disruptions in sexual and reproductive health services, income disruptions and stress faced by frontline workers.

"Covid could potentially turn back the clock on women's empowerment. Sexual and reproductive health services have had to be scaled back with all of the restrictions on movement," Dr. Natalia Kanem, executive director of the United Nations Population Fund, told reporters during a virtual meeting hosted by the UN Foundation on Thursday. 

At the beginning of the pandemic, UNPF projected that six months of interruptions in family planning supplies could lead to 47 million women in developing countries being unable to use modern contraceptives, "thereby leading to 7 million unintended pregnancies," Kanem said.

Rising domestic violence: Some shelters for women affected by violence also have been shuttered. UNFPA projections estimate 31 million additional cases of violence against women and girls during a period of six months. Rates of femicide -- the gender-based murder of a woman or girl by a man -- have doubled in certain countries, according to Kanem. 

"UNFPA sees gender-based violence as a crisis within the bigger crisis of the pandemic," Kanem said. "I'm sorry to tell you that in far too many places, those predictions have absolutely become a reality."

On the front lines: Additionally, "women are bearing the brunt of the Covid crisis in more ways than one because women are on the frontlines of the crisis. The heroes that we are celebrating, 70% of these human beings are female, and that's true across the health and social service workforce globally," Kanem said.

"These are the people who are more likely to lose their source of income and less likely to be covered by social protection measures," Kanem said, adding that the pandemic had laid bare "the very severe and systemic inequality that was under the tip of the iceberg."

9:27 p.m. ET, September 17, 2020

Covid-19 pandemic may have plunged 150 million children into poverty, report says

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. 
This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The Covid-19 pandemic appears to have led to a 15% increase in the number of children around the world living in poverty, according to a new report from UNICEF, the United Nations' Children's Fund, and the nonprofit Save the Children. 

The organizations noted on Thursday that this rise in poverty represents an additional 150 million children not having adequate access to education, housing, nutrition, health services, sanitation or water -- making the global number of children in poverty now nearly 1.2 billion. 

The report is based on data from almost 80 countries. 

"This pandemic has already caused the biggest global education emergency in history, and the increase in poverty will make it very hard for the most vulnerable children and their families to make up for the loss," Inger Ashing, CEO of Save the Children, said in a news release on Thursday.
"Children who lose out on education are more likely to be forced into child labour or early marriage and be trapped in a cycle of poverty for years to come. We cannot afford to let a whole generation of children become victims of this pandemic," Ashing said. "National governments and the international community must step up to soften the blow."

Safety concerns: Additionally, poverty can have a significant impact on the wellbeing and safety of women and children.

"We shouldn't rush to think that only poor people face gender-based violence. That has been disproven over and over. But what is true is the availability of services, and the availability of space," Dr. Natalia Kanem, executive director of the United Nations Population Fund, told reporters during a virtual meeting hosted by the UN Foundation on Thursday.

"Sometimes the situation turns volatile, because we're all cooped in there together," Kanem said. "The idea of a woman being in a stressful situation -- she may have lost her employment, her partner, whatever. The children too can be victimized by that type of a situation. That's the real worry."

9:52 p.m. ET, September 17, 2020

Global coronavirus cases surpass 30 million  

From CNN's Sugam Pokharel

A doctor from the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians in Saxony holds a corona virus test in her hands at Dresden International Airport in Germany on Thursday, September 17.
A doctor from the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians in Saxony holds a corona virus test in her hands at Dresden International Airport in Germany on Thursday, September 17. Robert Michael/picture alliance via Getty Images

At least 30,003,378 cases of Covid-19 have now been recorded globally, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases Thursday. 

The bleak milestone comes nine months after initial cases were first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan in mid-December, before continuing to spread across the globe.  

The world recorded 1 million cases more than three months later, on April 2. The tally hit 10 million cases on June 28 and took just twelve weeks to triple the figure. 

The global death toll stands at 943,203. 

Grim distinction: The United States leads with the most Covid-19 infections and deaths worldwide. There are at least 6,669,322 cases and 197,554 deaths from the disease in the country, according to the university's count.

The US, India and Brazil together account for over 50% of the world's coronavirus cases, the university's figures show. 

6:53 p.m. ET, September 17, 2020

Here's what the US Surgeon General says we have learned from the pandemic so far

From CNN’s Lauren Mascarenhas

Vice Admiral Jerome Adams, the U.S. Surgeon General, arrives to tour the new federally funded COVID-19 testing site at the Miami-Dade County Auditorium on July 23 in Miami.
Vice Admiral Jerome Adams, the U.S. Surgeon General, arrives to tour the new federally funded COVID-19 testing site at the Miami-Dade County Auditorium on July 23 in Miami. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

There have been more than 6 million cases of Covid-19 in the United States as states work to get infections under control and pharmaceutical companies race to find a vaccine.

But, US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said the country can aim to get the virus under control now — even before a vaccine is approved.

“We don't need to wait until we get a vaccine or some miracle drug to get this virus under control. We can do it right now,” Adams said on Thursday. “The tools to stop this virus are already in our communities."

“Look at New York City. They've gone from worst in the world to a less than 1% positivity rate for several weeks, ongoing," he said during an event hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

Adams said the country has seen more medical advances in the past eight months than in the last decade.

 “I'm hopeful that with what we've learned about the virus, with the resources we have in place, and with the prospect of a vaccine on the horizon, plus drugs like remdesivir, convalescent plasma already available, that we're getting a handle on this virus,” he said.

The surgeon general noted that he hopes the country can drive down hospitalizations and deaths through basic public health measures.

Here's what else he said the virus has taught us:

This flu season is going to be important: A surge in flu and Covid-19 cases at once could overwhelm health care system capacity, Adams said, adding that this period of time provides an opportunity to instill vaccine education and confidence in communities.

“We need to understand that, number one, the biggest predictor of who's going to get the Covid vaccine is going to be, I think, who gets the flu vaccine,” Adams said. “It's an opportunity to prime the pump and have that conversation.”

Adams noted that flu symptoms are similar to Covid-19 symptoms, making it hard to tell the two apart. 

“Every flu positive that is a Covid false alarm has the potential to disrupt your workplace,” he said.

Adams said employers can make sure people have access to the flu vaccine and encourage them to get it.

The pandemic has "exploited" health disparities: Adams said people of color have been hit harder by the Covid-19 pandemic, pointing to higher hospitalization rates for Hispanic people, American Indians and Alaskan Natives, and African Americans compared to people who are White.

“Simply put, this virus is exploiting and exacerbating preexisting health disparities," he said.

Adams said structural conditions contribute to the disparities.

“Social distancing and teleworking are critical to preventing spread of coronavirus, yet only one in five African Americans and one in six Hispanic Americans have a job that allows him to work from home,” said Adams. 

“We know people of color are more likely to live in densely packed urban areas, and in multi-generational homes. They're also more likely to use public transportation. Combined, these and other factors create a greater risk for spread of a highly contagious disease like COVID-19,” he added.

5:58 p.m. ET, September 17, 2020

Trump and CDC director are not in "substantial" disagreement over vaccine timeline, Fauci says

From CNN's Shelby Lin Erdman

There’s no substantial disagreement between President Trump and the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over the timeline for a coronavirus vaccine, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Thursday.

Fauci said Trump and CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield were “essentially” right Wednesday when they each gave what seemed like a different timeline for a potential coronavirus vaccine said Fauci, who is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Redfield told a Senate hearing that it would likely be the second or third quarter of next year – that means late spring or summer – before widespread vaccination could be underway in the US. Asked about this during a news conference later in the day, Trump said Redfield “made a mistake” and was “confused.” He said a vaccine will be available soon, possibly as early as next month.

Fauci did not see a big conflict.

“The apparent, and I say apparent because I don't think it really is a substantial disagreement regarding the President and the director of the CDC, is in the difference between the availability of vaccine doses and when they will, in practicality, be fully administered to everybody in the country,” Fauci said in an interview Thursday with Washington, DC, radio station WTOP.

Fauci also addressed Trump’s claim that a Covid-19 vaccine would be available next month.

“What the President was saying is that it is entirely conceivable that we will have an answer by October,” he said. “My projection is that it would likely be November or December. We don't know. We're just going to have to wait to see.”

Read the latest on the race for a coronavirus vaccine here.

5:38 p.m. ET, September 17, 2020

Could you get more stimulus money? Here's the latest on the debate over a second round of federal aid.

Will Lanzoni/CNN
Will Lanzoni/CNN

Congress has been trying to agree on a new federal stimulus plan to help Americans during the pandemic.

Here's what we know and where things stand:

  • House Democrats passed a sweeping new Covid-19 stimulus bill in May with a price tag expected to be more than $3 trillion. The legislation would provide funding for state and local governments, coronavirus testing, and a new round of direct payments.
  • Senate Republicans – not wanting to spend that much – announced a $1 trillion proposal in July, which included a $400 cut in enhanced unemployment benefits. That plan never came to the floor for a vote following opposition within the GOP. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and GOP senators spent the month of August in private discussions trying to find unity behind a plan roughly half the size of their last proposal.
  • Since then, Democrats have offered to drop their top-line demand to $2.2 trillion, but the White House and Senate Republicans have rejected that. Instead, Senate Republicans attempted unsuccessfully to pass a scaled-back, roughly $500 billion proposal last week, a measure that Democrats blocked. The narrower Senate bill offered $300 per week in federal unemployment insurance through December 27, and did not include money for a second round of direct stimulus checks to Americans. The Senate legislation would've allowed some small businesses to apply for a second loan under the Paycheck Protection Program.
  • This week a bipartisan group of House members on Tuesday announced a $2 trillion proposal. It is meant to jump-start talks between leaders of both parties and the White House.

The timeline: With fewer than two months until the election, the odds for a massive stimulus compromise sooner than that is very unlikely.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell put it this way: "I wish I could tell you we were going to get another package but it doesn't look that good right now."

With reporting from CNN's Alex Rogers, Phil Mattingly, Clare Foran and Manu Raju