Reuters Health News Summary

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

How many Americans have coronavirus? New Reuters poll might offer a hint

The official count of coronavirus infections in the United States sits at about 70,000 cases, but a chronic shortage of tests means only a fraction of the people infected are being counted. So how can we know how many Americans actually might have the disease? A Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted in the past several days could offer what one behavioral health expert called a "fascinating" hint of the possible numbers.

Solo childbirth, halted fertility treatments: women's healthcare takes hit from coronavirus

In New York, a mother-to-be faces childbirth without her husband. In Texas, hundreds of women seeking abortions are turned away. Across the country, women are facing postponed mammograms and suspended fertility treatments. The global coronavirus pandemic has infected at least 73,000 people and killed more than 1,000 in the United States as of Thursday afternoon. As U.S. authorities have told residents to remain at home and limited all but essential healthcare, the directives aimed at saving lives have hit women particularly hard, healthcare providers and patients said.

Mainland China reports first local coronavirus transmission in three days

Mainland China reported its first locally transmitted coronavirus infection in three days, although cases involving travelers from overseas continued to dominate the total number of new cases. China's National Health Commission said on Friday that 55 new coronavirus cases were reported on the mainland on Thursday, with all but 1 case involving so-called imported cases. There were 67 new cases a day earlier.

Speak, then clean: U.S. House guidelines for coronavirus debate

With several lawmakers already sick with the coronavirus and many under self-quarantine, members of the U.S. Congress will do their best not to spread the infection on Friday when they debate a $2.2 trillion relief package to combat the pandemic. The House of Representatives plans to fast-track the mammoth legislation that passed unanimously in the Senate by approving it on a simple voice vote and sending it to President Donald Trump for his signature.

Thailand reports 91 new coronavirus cases and one death

Thailand reported 91 new coronavirus cases and 1 fatality, bringing the total to 1,136 cases and 5 deaths, a health official said on Friday. The latest death was of a patient in Narathiwat province bordering Malaysia, the health official said.

U.S. has most coronavirus cases in world, next wave aimed at Louisiana

The number of U.S. coronavirus infections climbed above 82,000 on Thursday, surpassing the national tallies of China and Italy, as New York, New Orleans and other hot spots faced a surge in hospitalizations and looming shortages of supplies, staff and sick beds. With medical facilities running low on ventilators and protective masks and hampered by limited diagnostic testing capacity, the U.S. death toll from COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus, rose beyond 1,200.

One ventilator, two patients: New York hospitals shift to crisis mode

At least one New York hospital has begun putting two patients on a single ventilator machine, an experimental crisis-mode protocol some doctors worry is too risky but others deemed necessary as the coronavirus outbreak strains medical resources. The coronavirus causes a respiratory illness called COVID-19 that in severe cases can ravage the lungs. It has killed at least 281 people over a few weeks in New York City, which is struggling with one of the largest caseloads in the world at nearly 22,000 confirmed cases.

Taiwan's carrot-and-stick approach to virus fight wins praise, but strains showing

Health worker Huang Ching-yuan knows exactly what to do the moment her mobile phone sounds an alert that someone in home quarantine as part of Taiwan's stringent coronavirus prevention methods has stepped somewhere she shouldn't. Huang, a government employee in the industrial northern city of Taoyuan, immediately calls the 27-year-old woman to tell her the police are coming to check on her whereabouts.

Detroit mayor sounds statewide alarm as coronavirus cases surge

A surge in coronavirus cases in Detroit has put Michigan on track to be one of the U.S. states hardest hit by the pandemic, the city's mayor said on Thursday, adding that hospitals were scrambling to increase capacity. As the U.S. death toll from the virus passed 1,000 people, hospitals and government authorities in New York, New Orleans and other hot spots have grappled with a rush of cases and a shortage of supplies, staff and sick beds.

Coronavirus could kill 81,000 in U.S., subside in June - Washington University analysis

The coronavirus pandemic could kill more than 81,000 people in the United States in the next four months and may not subside until June, according to a data analysis done by University of Washington School of Medicine. The number of hospitalized patients is expected to peak nationally by the second week of April, though the peak may come later in some states. Some people could continue to die of the virus as late as July, although deaths should be below epidemic levels of 10 per day by June at the latest, according to the analysis.