Health Highlights: May 18, 2020

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Pro Sports Should Plan to Resume Play: NY Governor

Professional sports teams should start planning to resume play without fans, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo said Monday.

"New York state will help those major sport franchises to do just that," Cuomo said, CBS News reported. "Hockey, basketball, baseball, football, whoever can reopen we're a ready, willing and able partner."

Even if there are no fans at games, they could be televised, Cuomo said.

He made the comments as the state continued to have declines in coronavirus-related hospitalizations, intubations and deaths, CBS News reported.

Major League Baseball is already making plans to start play.


Experimental Coronavirus Vaccine Appears Safe, Triggers Immune Response

An experimental vaccine against the new coronavirus appears to be safe and to trigger an immune response, according to results of the first human clinical trial of a coronavirus vaccine.

The findings from the early-stage trial that started in March included eight healthy people who each received two doses of the vaccine, The New York Times reported.

The volunteers made antibodies that were able to stop the coronavirus from replicating, and the levels of the antibodies were similar to those in people who've recovered after contracting the virus, according to vaccine maker Moderna.

The company said the next phase of the testing will involve 600 people and is scheduled to begin soon, but U.S. officials have cautioned that it could take a year to 18 months to produce a vaccine that would be widely available, The Times reported.


WHO's Response to Coronavirus Pandemic Should Be Evaluated: Member Nations

An independent evaluation of the World Health Organization's response to the coronavirus pandemic is needed to "to review experience gained and lessons learned," says a resolution backed by more than half of the WHO's member nations.

The evaluation should be launched "at the earliest appropriate moment" and should examine "the actions of WHO and their timelines pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic," along with other issues, according to the resolution, the Associated Press reported.

The resolution will be discussed virtually this week by the WHO's decision-making body.

WHO called the coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency on Jan. 30 but said transmission was limited. It declared the outbreak to be a pandemic on March 11 after large outbreaks had occurred in a number of countries and there had been thousands of deaths worldwide, the AP reported.


Coronavirus Tests Available to Anyone in LA

Demand for coronavirus tests surged in Los Angeles after it was announced that anyone with or without COVID-19 symptoms could get tested as often as they want.

After Mayor Eric Garcetti's recent announcement, people rushed to use a website to book a test, the Associated Press reported.

But even with that increased demand, the city has such a large supply of tests that thousands still go unused each week, according to figures from the mayor's office.

Los Angeles County is the epicenter of the virus outbreak in California, which is using expanded testing as the cornerstone of its plan to loosen its stay-at-home order, the AP reported.

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