September 30 coronavirus news

By Adam Renton, Steve George and Zamira Rahim, CNN

Updated 7:58 p.m. ET, October 6, 2020
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10:30 p.m. ET, September 29, 2020

Early data shows promising results from Regeneron's antibody cocktail for coronavirus

From CNN's Jen Christensen

Biotechnology company Regeneron released some early results of tests using its antibody cocktail in coronavirus patients Tuesday, and said it seemed to reduce levels of the virus and improve symptoms in patients.

The greatest improvements were seen in patients who hadn't already mounted a natural response to the infection, the company said.

The results only involve 275 patients of the 1,000 they have enrolled in this particular trial, but appear "very promising," Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo, the director of the division of infectious diseases at University of Alabama at Birmingham, told CNN.

The treatment also showed positive trends at reducing medical visits for the patients, none of whom were sick enough to be hospitalized at the start of the trial, the company said. The numbers in this early release of information were small and the data has not been peer reviewed yet. Only topline data was available in a news release from the company.

A company spokesperson said the data validates the treatment as a therapeutic substitute for a natural response to the virus.

Marrazzo said what stood out to her is that the study characterized patients by their immune responses prior to treatment and determined who did and did not benefit.

"What I think is fascinating is that it shows that antibodies really matter and the antibody to the spike protein was really helpful, particularly when people made the antibodies themselves," said Marrazzo. "Whether it's antibody therapy or vaccine that target these proteins, it sounds like we are on the right track. I think that's really encouraging."

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9:20 p.m. ET, September 29, 2020

Americans over 30 have been drinking more during the pandemic, research shows

From CNN's Lauren Mascarenhas

Americans over 30 have been drinking more during the coronavirus pandemic compared to this time last year, and there could be consequences to their physical and mental health, researchers reported Tuesday.

Overall frequency of alcohol consumption increased by about 14% from 2019, the researchers reported in the journal JAMA Network Open. That increase averages out to about one additional drinking day per month by 75% of adults.

RAND Corporation sociologist Michael Pollard and colleagues analyzed a nationally representative sample of 1,540 people ages 30 to 80. The participants completed a survey about their drinking habits between April 29 and June 9 of 2019 and then again between May 28 and June 16 of 2020.

The volunteers reported they drank alcohol on more days every week. They also reported increases in the number of drinks they had; the number of heavy drinking days; and the number of alcohol related problems over the last 30 days between 2019 and 2020.

Frequency of drinking increased by 17% among women, 19% among people aged 30 to 59 and by 10% among White people.

Heavy drinking among women increased by 41% -- about one additional day of heavy drinking for one in every five women. Nearly one in 10 women, or 39%, reported an increase in alcohol-related problems, the researchers found.

"At times of lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, alcohol consumption can exacerbate health vulnerability, risk-taking behaviors, mental health issues and violence," the World Health Organization said in April.

The researchers say it's important to watch for whether the increases in alcohol consumption persist over the pandemic, and whether there will be physical and mental health consequences as a result.

10:31 p.m. ET, September 29, 2020

India's vice president tests positive for Covid-19

From CNN's Luke Henderson

Vice President of India M. Venkaiah Naidu seen in a file photo from October 30, 2018.
Vice President of India M. Venkaiah Naidu seen in a file photo from October 30, 2018. Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times/Getty Images

India's Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has tested positive for Covid-19, according to a tweet posted on his official Twitter account.

The tweet went on to say that Naidu is asymptomatic and in good health after undergoing a routine Covid-19 test on Tuesday morning. He has been advised to quarantine at home.

His wife, Usha Naidu, tested negative and is in self-isolation.