Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
China sees fall in coronavirus deaths but WHO urges caution
China reported its fewest new infections of coronavirus since January and its fewest deaths for a week, but the World Health Organization said data suggesting the epidemic had slowed should still be viewed with caution. Apple Inc warned that its sales would suffer because of the epidemic, hurting both supply and demand, an announcement that cast a chill on global stock markets.
U.S. flies 338 Americans home from cruise ship, including 14 with coronavirus
More than 300 Americans who had been stuck on a cruise ship affected by the coronavirus were back in the United States on Monday, flown to U.S. military bases for two more weeks of quarantine after spending the previous 14 days docked in Japan. Among those repatriated on a pair of U.S.-chartered jets were 14 people who tested positive for the fast-spreading virus, seven on each plane. The Diamond Princess cruise ship held by far the largest cluster of cases outside China, with more than 400 people infected out of some 3,700 on board.
Fitness app Strava finds love-hate relationship with running
Only a fraction of people who run do so because they love it, and most are motivated by boosting their body image and improving their heart and mental health, according to a global survey by the fitness-tracking app Strava. Strava, which tracks the sports activity trends of some 50 million people in almost 200 countries, surveyed 25,000 runners and found that half of them say they either hate it or barely tolerate it, while only 8% love it.
Chinese doctors using plasma therapy on coronavirus, WHO says 'very valid' approach
Doctors in Shanghai are using infusions of blood plasma from people who have recovered from the coronavirus to treat those still battling the infection, reporting some encouraging preliminary results, a Chinese professor said on Monday. A top emergency expert at the World Health Organization (WHO) said later that using convalescent plasma was a "very valid" approach to test, but that it was important to get the timing right to maximize the boost to a patient's immunity.
Gyms in China livestream routines as coronavirus keeps patrons away
"Stand in front of a chair. Chest up, core tight and square your pelvis," said Heidi Liu, a pilates instructor at a studio in Shanghai, as she demonstrated a series of poses and stretches. But there were no students in the classroom at the Pilates ProWorks studio located in the middle of a central district in Shanghai. Instead, Liu was livestreaming using an iPad, broadcasting to hundreds of people working out with her at home.
'Cancer does not wait': Children's medicine shortage stokes anger in Mexico
Hermes Soto, who turned 5 on Monday, will not be celebrating his birthday with friends. Instead, he is bracing for his 15th chemotherapy session to tackle a rare but aggressive form of cancer that threatens to kill him. For his mother, Esperanza Paz, the ordeal is compounded by fears of another round of shortages in the supply of the life-saving vincristine drug needed to treat the soft-tissue cancer in her son's forearm.
Japan plans HIV drug trials to fight coronavirus as Diamond Princess cases rise
Japan plans to start trials of HIV medications to treat coronavirus patients as an increase in the number of cases poses a growing threat to the economy and public health, the government's top spokesman said on Tuesday. The government is making "preparations so that clinical trials using HIV medication on the novel coronavirus can start as soon as possible," Yoshihide Suga told a briefing, but added he could not say how long it might take to approve a drug's use.
Young cancer survivors have higher risk of severe health problems later
People who survive cancer during childhood and early adulthood are more likely to experience severe, life-threatening health problems and die prematurely, a recent study suggests. Researchers followed almost 12,000 young cancer survivors and roughly 5,000 of their healthy siblings for around two decades, until many of them were in their 40s. Even though all of the cancer survivors were tumor free for at least five years at the start of the study, they were still roughly six times more likely to die during follow-up than their siblings.
Nonprofit hospitals with healthiest finances offer little charity care
Among nonprofit hospitals, those with the highest net incomes tend to devote the smallest proportion of their earnings to providing free care to uninsured patients and low-income people who struggle to pay their bills, a U.S. study suggests. Overall in 2017, the study found, nonprofit hospitals nationwide generated $47.9 billion in net income, provided $9.7 billion in charity care to uninsured patients and spent another $4.5 billion in charity care for people with insurance who couldn't afford their bills.
Southeast Asia's tourist hubs court local market as coronavirus shuts Chinese out
Southeast Asia's holiday hotspots, hit by billions in lost business from Chinese tourists, are turning to markets closer to home to soften the blow from travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus epidemic. To make up for foregone revenues, firms in the region are dangling discounted airfares, hotel accommodation and tour add-ons in a bid to boost domestic travelers.