Reuters Health News Summary

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

U.S. appeals court allows Texas abortion curbs amid pandemic

A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday allowed Texas to enforce limits at least temporarily on the ability of women to obtain abortions as part of the state's policy requiring the postponement of non-urgent medical procedures during the coronavirus pandemic. A three-judge panel of the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 ruling, put on hold a federal judge's order issued on Monday that had blocked the state's action. The fast-moving litigation could reach the conservative-majority Supreme Court in short order.

Dutch 101-year-old coronavirus patient recovers

A 101-year-old woman who contracted coronavirus in the Netherlands has recovered, offering what her hospital said was "a spark of hope". The woman, whose name was not released, was admitted to the IJsselland Hospital near Rotterdam a week and a half ago with breathing difficulties and tested positive for coronavirus.

FDA takes no action against Novartis after gene therapy data inquiry

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it will not sanction Novartis over alleged data manipulation involving the Swiss drugmaker's gene therapy Zolgensma. Novartis, which updated policies meant to speed data integrity disclosures after the FDA's inquiry, said it was glad to have the matter resolved.

28 Texas spring-breakers test positive for coronavirus after Mexico beach trip

Twenty-eight U.S. spring break tourists who returned to Texas after vacationing with a large group in the Mexican beach resort of Cabo San Lucas have tested positive for coronavirus, drawing attention to possibly low detection of cases in Mexico. The 28 confirmed cases are self-isolating and dozens more are under quarantine while being monitored and tested, the city of Austin said in a statement on Tuesday.

U.S. Army Corps to build hundreds of temporary hospitals for coronavirus crisis

U.S. officials want to build hundreds of temporary hospitals across the country to cope with the thousands of new coronavirus cases being diagnosed daily after the United States endured its deadliest day yet on Monday with 575 fatalities. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which converted a New York convention center into a 1,000-bed hospital in the space of a week, is searching for hotels, dormitories, convention centers and large open space to build as many as 341 temporary hospitals, the chief of corps said on Tuesday.

U.S. court rules for Teva in migraine patent dispute with Eli Lilly

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd on Tuesday won a ruling from a U.S. administrative court that could help it fend off competition from Eli Lilly and Co in the market for migraine drugs. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) upheld the validity of three Teva patents on its migraine treatment Ajovy, rejecting arguments by Eli Lilly that they were invalid.

U.S. health officials consider face masks for Americans to slow coronavirus, but 'not there yet'

U.S. health officials said on Tuesday they are discussing whether to recommend that the general public wear face masks as a way to prevent transmission of the new coronavirus, but that it was too soon to take that step. The wide use of masks outside the healthcare setting, which has been employed in other countries with some success, is under active consideration by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the White House coronavirus task force will discuss it on Tuesday, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert.

Canada coronavirus deaths jump by 35%, Quebec says equipment running low

Canada's death toll from the coronavirus outbreak jumped by 35% to 89 in less than a day, officials said on Tuesday, and the major province of Quebec said it was running low on key medical equipment. Ottawa said it would spend C$2 billion to help buy supplies amid complaints from some doctors and nurses about shortages of personal protection gear.

U.S. CDC reports 163,539 coronavirus cases, 2,860 deaths

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday reported 163,539 cases of coronavirus, an increase of 22,635 cases from its previous count, and said the number of deaths had risen by 455 to 2,860. The CDC reported its tally of cases of the respiratory illness known as COVID-19, caused by a new coronavirus, as of 4 pm ET on March 30 compared to its count a day ago. (https://bit.ly/2IVY1JT).

'It's just impossible': tracing contacts takes backseat as virus spreads

Faced with more than 70 cases of the novel coronavirus and a deadly outbreak in an assisted living community in his town, Ed Briggs is overwhelmed. The health director for Ridgefield, Connecticut, says there is no way that he and his staff of two can identify and isolate all the people who have interacted with an infected patient, not at the rate cases are multiplying across the town.