Health Highlights: April 2, 2020

U.S. Federal Inmates Confined to Cells Due to Coronavirus Seemingly Healthy People Can Spread Coronavirus, Study Confirms Dr. Anthony Fauci Threatened, Receives Security Boost

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

U.S. Federal Inmates Confined to Cells Due to Coronavirus

Federal inmates will be confined to their cells for 14 days in an attempt to reduce their risk of exposure to the new coronavirus, the U.S. Bureau of Prisons says.

There will be some exceptions. Smaller groups will be allowed for activities such as phone calls, laundry and showering, and educational programs and mental health treatment will continue "to the extent practicable," CBS News reported.

The quasi-lockdown is the latest in a series of measures taken by the bureau in response to the coronavirus pandemic, such as quarantining newly-admitted inmates and isolation of inmates who show symptoms.

The bureau holds 167,000 inmates in its facilities and in prisons operated by private contractors. Two inmates have died from the coronavirus at federal facilities, both at FCI Oakdale in Louisiana, CBS News reported.


Seemingly Healthy People Can Spread Coronavirus, Study Confirms

Further evidence that seemingly healthy people without symptoms can spread the new coronavirus is provided in a new study.

Researchers in Singapore concluded that about 10% of new infections may be caused by people who carry the coronavirus but don't have its flu-like symptoms. The study was published online by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Previous studies have made similar findings, leading the CDC to issue new guidance warning that anyone exposed to people with the coronavirus can be considered a carrier, even if they don't have symptoms, the Associated Press reported.

The findings reinforce the need for social distancing and other efforts meant to combat the spread of the coronavirus, according to experts.

"You have to really be proactive about reducing contacts between people who seem perfectly healthy," Lauren Ancel Meyers, a University of Texas at Austin researcher who's studied coronavirus transmission in various countries, told the AP.


Dr. Anthony Fauci Threatened, Receives Security Boost

Threats made again U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci have led federal officials to boost his level of protection.

The increase in security for Fauci was made at the request of the Health and Human Services Inspector General (HHS IG), Department of Justice officials told CBS News.

They said the Department of Justice approved the request that U.S. Marshals deputize a group of agents in the office of the HHS IG to protect Fauci, who appears regularly at the White House's daily Coronavirus Task Force briefings.

The Justice Department officials did not provide details about the threats against Fauci or the extent of protection he'll receive, CBS News reported.

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