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Health Highlights: Feb. 5, 2020


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

WHO Seeks $675 Million for Coronavirus Fight

The World Health Organization (WHO) is seeking $675 million to help countries deal with the expected spread of the new coronavirus that originated in China.

That's a large amount, but is "much less than the bill we will face if we do not invest in preparedness now," said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO's director-general, the Associated Press reported.

In the last 24 hours, WHO has recorded the largest increase in cases since the start of the epidemic, according to Tedros.

He also downplayed published comments by a WHO coronavirus emergency committee member who called China's initial response to the outbreak "reprehensible" and said that cases were reported too slowly.

"I don't think it helps now," to speculate about early mistakes in the epidemic, Tedros said, the AP reported. "Let's take the action we can take today to prevent this outbreak from spreading all over the world."

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Medical 'Yarn' Is Made From Human Skin

"Yarn" made from human skin that could be used in a number of medical procedures, including stitching up surgical incisions and repairing organs, scientists say.

The string-like "human textile" is developed from skin cells and would have the ability to "truly integrate into the host's body," according to the researchers at the University of Bordeaux in France, CNN reported.

"This novel strategy holds the promise of a next generation of medical textiles that will be mechanically strong without any foreign scaffolding," they reported in the journal Acta Biomaterialia.

"This material can be used as a simple suture to close a wound or can be assembled into fully biological, human" tissue, they noted.

The researchers said that unlike synthetic material currently used in most surgeries, this yarn wouldn't pose any risk of causing a reaction in patients' bodies, CNN reported.

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