Reuters Health News Summary

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

Bristol-Myers pulls Opdivo+Yervoy lung application in Europe

Drugmaker Bristol-Myers Squibb Co said on Friday it was pulling the application to have its immunotherapies Opdivo and Yervoy approved in Europe as an initial treatment for advanced lung cancer, after regulators there balked at changes to the design of its clinical trials. The drugmaker said it had no plans to refile the application in the European Union. Lung cancer is the most lucrative oncology market.

Cocktail of flu, HIV drugs appears to help fight coronavirus: Thai doctors

Thai doctors have seen success in treating severe cases of the new coronavirus with combination of medications for flu and HIV, with initial results showing vast improvement 48 hours after applying the treatment, they said on Sunday. The doctors from Rajavithi Hospital in Bangkok said a new approach in coronavirus treatment had improved the condition of several patients under their care, including one 70-year-old Chinese woman from Wuhan who tested positive for the coronavirus for 10 days.

U.S. universities set up front-line defenses to keep coronavirus at bay

On its sprawling campus in America's heartland, thousands of miles from China, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has taken aggressive steps to keep the fast-spreading coronavirus away from its classrooms and students. The school, with one of the highest percentages of Chinese students among U.S. universities, has suspended academic programs in China for the spring semester and banned students from traveling to the country for academic-related matters. It has advised faculty and staff to follow federal travel advisories that, as of Friday, warned against going to China.

China seeks to boost economy as first virus death reported outside its borders

The first death from the coronavirus outside of China was reported on Sunday and the Beijing government took steps to shore up an economy hit by travel curbs and business shut-downs because of the epidemic. A 44-year-old Chinese man from the city of Wuhan in Hubei province, the epicenter of the epidemic, traveled to the Philippines and died there on Saturday, the Philippines' Department of Health said.

Gilead working with China to test Ebola drug as new coronavirus treatment

Gilead Sciences Inc said on Friday it provided its experimental Ebola therapy for use in a small number of patients with the coronavirus that has killed over 200 so far in China and is working with the country's authorities to set up a study. The announcement comes a day after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus epidemic a public health emergency of international concern.

China not embracing U.S. help on coronavirus, Americans in next-door Kazakhstan

China has been more transparent about the coronavirus than it has been in previous crises but Beijing has not yet accepted a U.S. offer of help to contain the epidemic, White House national security adviser Robert O'Brien said on Sunday. "So far the Chinese have been more transparent certainly than in past crises and we appreciate that," O'Brien said in an interview with CBS' "Face the Nation."

Philippines detects first African swine fever outbreak in southern province

Blood samples taken from pigs in a southern province in the Philippines, the world's 10th-largest pork consumer, tested positive for the African swine fever virus, the Department of Agriculture said on Sunday. It was the first reported case of African swine fever infections in Davao Occidental province and elsewhere in Mindanao, the southern island of the Southeast Asian nation.

Biden slams Trump for cutting health programs before coronavirus outbreak

Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden on Friday criticized President Donald Trump for reducing U.S. oversight of global health issues before the coronavirus outbreak in China, which has spread rapidly to several countries including the United States. "We have, right now, a crisis with the coronavirus," said Biden, who is in Iowa campaigning before the Midwestern farm state holds Democrats' first nominating contest on Monday. "This is no time for Donald Trump's record of hysteria and xenophobia - hysterical xenophobia - and fearmongering to lead the way instead of science."