Ill

health

Utah officials say Halloween rave partygoers ‘absolutely will become ill’ with coronavirus

After attendees phoned for medical aid for the unnamed woman, who was taken to a nearby hospital, police in Utah County worked with organizers to break up the massive, unpermitted event, which may have drawn several thousand people, police estimated. Multiple people also crashed their cars trying to leave the area, and also requested official assistance, Sgt. Spencer Cannon, a spokesman for the Utah County Sheriff’s Office, told KSTU.

Drone footage of the party showed thousands of people packed together, dancing in front of a stage lit with purple lights where a DJ played music. In photos and videos posted to social media, young people in Halloween costumes clung to one another and danced, often touching one another, in the sand.

The Utah County Health Department, which includes the desert area where the party took place, said Sunday the county “has been experiencing record COVID-19 cases” in recent days.

“To see an event of this size is extremely disheartening, as Utah deals with its worst covid-19 outbreak yet,” said Aislynn Tolman-Hill, a spokeswoman for the health department, told KSTU Monday. “Individuals who attended this event absolutely will become ill, we will have positive cases.”

Tolman-Hill added she expects people who may have been infected at the rave to probably pass the virus to other community members who did not attend the party and have been making an effort to socially distance.

Coronavirus cases have been on the rise in Utah, increasing by nearly 10 percent in the past week. Hospitals in some parts of the state have been inundated with patients, taxing resources as doctors cope with a 17.7 percent increase in covid-19 patients over the past seven days. At least 614 people have died and more than 117,700 have tested positive in the state since the start of the pandemic.

The event on Saturday appeared to violate state guidelines for large gatherings, which requires organizers to fill out a form describing how they will ensure people wear masks and maintain social distancing. The state also requires event organizers to track attendees, with names and contact information, to facilitate contact tracing in case of an outbreak. Informal events that forego the form are limited to no more than 10 people in high-transmission areas like Utah County, according to state restrictions.

People who attended the party posted photos and videos on social media over the weekend, tagging Utah Tonight and the Tribe Utah, two event-planning groups who had advertised it on social media as an anti-restriction “Protest on Halloween.” Cannon told KSTU Saturday’s event was hosted by organizers from the Tribe Utah.

Although the Tribe Utah and Utah Tonight posted since-deleted photos and videos of the party to their Instagram stories, the organizations have since publicly denied any role in the party. Utah Tonight organizers claimed their “Protest on Halloween” event had been canceled and said Saturday’s party was put on by volunteers who advertised it through fliers sent in private messages to about 300 people on social media.

“Unfortunately, with

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health

Regeneron stops enrolling critically ill COVID-19 patients for antibody drug trial

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals has paused enrollment of critically ill COVID-19 patients in its trial studying the antibody cocktail treatment that was given to President Trump earlier this month. The decision is due to potential safety concerns. 

The drug maker on Friday said it was suspending the enrollment of hospitalized COVID-19 patients requiring high-flow oxygen or mechanical ventilation after an independent monitoring committee observed “a potential safety signal and an unfavorable risk/benefit profile at this time.” 


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The enrollment of patients in this category will be on hold pending the collection and analysis of additional data. 

Trials will continue to test the antibody cocktail in hospitalized patients requiring little or no extra oxygen. Other trials involving mild or moderately ill patients can also move forward. 

The drug has shown encouraging results. Regeneron on Wednesday said early data showed the therapy reduced COVID-19 related medical visits by 57 percent. 

Regeneron earlier this month asked the Food and Drug Administration for emergency approval and said it would make doses available to the American people at no cost. The drug maker said it could have enough doses for 300,000 people in the coming months. 

On Monday, a study of Eli Lilly’s monoclonal antibody in hospitalized patients was stopped after it was found the treatment did not provide any benefit to COVID-19 patients. 

Earlier this month, Trump was given a single 8 gram dose of Regeneron’s experimental treatment under a compassionate-use request and credited the drug for helping him overcome the illness. 


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health

Netherlands to Allow Doctors to Help End Lives of Terminally Ill Children

The Dutch government announced plans this week to allow doctors to end the lives of terminally ill children who are under 13 years old, a decision that is bound to inflame the debate over physician-assisted death.

The Netherlands already allows doctors to facilitate the deaths of people who are over 12 or less than a year old as long as parents have given their consent.

In a letter to parliament on Tuesday, the Dutch health minister, Hugo de Jonge, proposed expanding the law to include children between the ages of 1 and 12 who are dying and suffering.

“In a small number of cases, palliative care isn’t sufficient,” Mr. de Jonge wrote. “Because of that, some children suffer unnecessarily without any hope of improvement.”

He estimated that the measure would affect about five to 10 children every year.

Doctors in the Netherlands have expressed concern that they could be held criminally liable if they were to help end the lives of “incurably ill” children between 1 and 12, since the law had no provision for children that age who are expected to die imminently.

Under the current law, a doctor may end the life of a child younger than 1, with the consent of the child’s parents, if the child is experiencing “intolerable and hopeless suffering,” Mr. de Jonge wrote.

He said the new regulation would provide more transparency for doctors.

Three other European countries — Luxembourg, Belgium and Switzerland — allow physician-assisted death, though the laws differ in each country. Belgium allows children to die with the help of a doctor, but in Luxembourg, the law is restricted to adults with an incurable medical condition.

Canada, parts of Australia and Colombia have also legalized physician-assisted death for adults in certain cases.

In the Netherlands, parliament does not need to vote on the new regulation because it will be folded into the already existing law, Mr. de Jonge said in the letter.

Nevertheless, a parliamentary majority is expected to agree with the change, which will take a few months to finalize, a spokesman for Mr. de Jonge said.

“It’s an intensely complicated and sad issue,” Mr. de Jonge told the Dutch broadcaster NOS on Tuesday.

According to Dr. Ira Byock, a palliative care physician and director of the Providence Institute for Human Caring, the development in the Netherlands is a worrying example of the growing reliance on medically assisted death to address wrenching health cases, rather than finding compassionate ways of helping people cope with pain and suffering.

“We can always manage someone’s physical suffering,” he said. “We can always provide medication that approaches general anesthesia and allows someone to die gently — sleep through the end of their life.”

Dr. Byock said he was concerned about growing calls in the United States to use euthanasia to help adults with degenerative conditions to end their lives.

“When patients who are suffering are seen as problems to be fixed, rather than whole persons to be cared for, we have set ourselves

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