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Health Highlights: Oct. 15, 2020

Last Updated: October 15, 2020.

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

Kamala Harris' Travel Paused Due to Coronavirus Concerns

Kamala Harris' travel has been paused after two people linked to her campaign as Joe Biden's running mate tested positive for the new coronavirus.

The California senator was not in what the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines as close contact with either person -- a flight crew member and Harris' communications director, Liz Allen -- according to Biden campaign manager Jen O'Malley Dillon, CNN reported.

Even so, Harris' planned trip to North Carolina on Thursday was cancelled, and she won't travel again until at least Monday, O'Malley Dillon said.

"Neither of these people have had contact with Vice President Biden, Senator Harris or any other staffers since testing positive or in the 48 hours prior to their positive test results," she said, CNN reported.


Most Americans Critical of Trump's Handling of Pandemic: Survey

The majority of Americans disapprove of President Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic and how he dealt with his own COVID-19 illness, a new poll shows.

In the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research survey, 65% of respondents said Trump hasn't taken the pandemic seriously enough, and 54% said they didn't like the way the White House managed Trump's case.

Initial information about the president's condition were unclear, and the White House still won't reveal when Trump last tested negative for COVID-19 before his infection became public, the AP reported.

So far, the coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 216,000 people in the United States.


Concept of COVID Herd Immunity Rescuing Americans is 'Nonsense,' Fauci Says

The concept of herd immunity in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic is "nonsense," Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, says.

Herd immunity -- the theory that a disease will stop spreading once nearly everybody has contracted it -- is being pushed by the Trump administration as a way to reopen schools and businesses, the Associated Press reported.

A group of scientists released a declaration that supports herd immunity, but Fauci warned against it.

"If you talk to anybody who has any experience in epidemiology and infectious diseases, they will tell you that that is risky and you'll wind up with many more infections of vulnerable people, which will lead to hospitalizations and death," he said on Good Morning America on Thursday, the AP reported.

"So I think that we've just got to look that square in the eye and say it's nonsense," Fauci said.


Ebola Drug Approved by FDA

A new drug to treat Ebola was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday.

Inmazeb (atoltivimab, maftivimab, and odesivimab-ebgn) is a mixture of three monoclonal antibodies, and the first FDA-approved treatment for Ebola virus infection in adults and children.

The drug was tested in one clinical trial that included 382 adults and children with Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo during an Ebola virus outbreak in 2018-2019.

The death rate after 28 days was 33.8% among the 154 patients who received Inmazeb, compared to 51% of those who received an experimental control drug.


Trump's Teen Son Had Coronavirus Infection

In a personal essay about her COVID-19 illness, U.S. First Lady Melania Trump revealed on Wednesday that her 14-year-old son Barron, also contracted the new coronavirus.

She tested positive about two weeks ago, but doctors say she has now tested negative for the virus, CNN reported.

Barron Trump initially tested negative after the first lady and the President contracted COVID-19. But the teen had a positive result when he was tested again. Trump said her son had "no symptoms" from the infection.

Melania Trump said her symptoms were minimal and included body aches, cough, headaches and extreme tiredness. She wrote that the symptoms "hit me all at once and it seemed to be a roller coaster of symptoms in the days after."

Unlike her husband, she didn't require hospitalization and said she relied on "vitamins and healthy food" instead of medications for treatment, CNN reported.

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