Tag: Care


Former Windows chief Terry Myerson is building a health care data startup called Truveta

Terry Myerson smiling for the camera

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Terry Myerson

A Seattle-area startup called Truveta made its existence known for the first time on Thursday, describing an ambitious vision to use data to save lives through new innovations in patient care and therapies.

The company’s CEO is Terry Myerson, a former Microsoft executive who led the company’s Windows and Devices Group before departing in 2018 after a 21-year career at the tech giant.

Truveta has already hired nearly 20 people, including some of Myerson’s former colleagues from the Redmond company, and it has enough open positions to double the size of the team.


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The company joins a growing number of startups and tech giants seeking to use data to transform health care. It also follows a trend of tech industry veterans seeking to apply their technical expertise to big problems in health, often learning that the challenges are even bigger than they imagined.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our world, loved ones, and daily lives, the opportunity to apply data in the development of breakthrough health solutions has never been clearer,” Myerson wrote in a post introducing the company on Thursday morning. “We will pursue this vision in close collaboration with health systems, life science researchers, physicians, and others in the health community.”

He promised a strong focus on privacy: “We know health data is unlike other data. It is the very definition of personal. While we embark on our pursuit to generate knowledge and insights to improve diagnoses and treatments, we know we must do so with the utmost caution to protect the privacy of the people we ultimately seek to serve: patients.”

The company declined to go into detail about its plans, origins, ownership, or funding, but public records offer some hints about its collaborations.

A trademark filing links the startup’s name to Providence Health & Services, the large health care system based in Washington state, which has been spinning out a series of health care startups in recent years. Providence also runs a $300 million venture capital fund that invests in early-to-mid-stage healthcare companies.

Wasif Rasheed, the Providence senior vice president and head of corporate development, is listed as one of the governing members of Truveta in Washington state corporations records. Truveta’s address in its state filings is the same as Providence’s office in Renton, Wash.

Responding to an inquiry from GeekWire, a Providence spokesperson acknowledged that the health system is working with Truveta, without providing specifics on their relationship.

“At Providence, we are focused on accelerating transformation across health care, driving quality, affordability and a better experience for health care organizations, providers and patients,” the spokesperson said via email. “Truveta’s vision is to contribute meaningfully to breakthroughs in research, treatments, and therapies. We are in the early stages of collaborating and will share more information in the near future.”

Others listed as governing members of Truveta include Dr. Bobbie Byrne, chief information officer at AdvocateAuroraHealth, based in Illinois and Wisconsin; Marcus Shipley, senior vice president and

Outbreak At NH Long-Term Care Facility Ends; Another Death: Data

CONCORD, NH — State health officials announced Thursday that a coronavirus outbreak at a long-term case facility in Windham had officially ended.

The Warde Health Center Windham was moved out of outbreak status after the discovery of three residents and two staffers who had contracted COVID-19. There are three institutional associated outbreaks that are still active in New Hampshire: The Bedford Hills Center, where 15 have died as well as 61 residents and 24 staffers were infected, the Pine Rock Manor in Warner where two people have died, 44 residents, and nine staffers have contracted the virus, and St. Teresa Rehabilitation and Nursing Center Manchester, where 19 residents and five staffers caught the virus.

Officials also reported the 470th fatality due to or because of complications from COVID-19 in the Granite State — a man from who was 80 years of age or older and lived in a long-term care setting in Hillsborough County.

“We offer our sympathies to the family and friends,” the State Joint Information Center said. “In New Hampshire since the start of the pandemic, there have been a total of 9,994 cases of COVID-19 diagnosed with 765 (8 percent) of those having been hospitalized.”

Another 82 new positive test results were found by the state after collecting nearly 9,000 polymerase chain reaction specimens Wednesday with Thursday’s numbers upgraded slightly. A little more than 400 tests are pending for a daily positivity rate of 0.8 percent.

Of the new cases, 12 were children and 56 percent were female. The state is still investigating three of the new cases with 12 cases in total still being eyed by state officials. The new cases reside in Rockingham County, 28, with 14 who live in Hillsborough County outside of Manchester and Nashua, seven in Merrimack County, and eight in Nashua. Manchester currently has the most active cases in the state — 98, followed by Nashua (64), Bedford (55), Concord (43), and Warner (42). Portsmouth has 24, Salem has 21, Londonderry has 19, and Merrimack has 18 active cases. Windham has nine cases, Exeter and Hampton have eight, Milford has seven, North Hampton has five, and Amherst has between one and four cases.

In New Hampshire, 323,173 people have been tested via 561,032 PCR tests. Approximately 4,200 people are under public health monitoring.

Several K-12 schools have reported new COVID-19 cases. St. Paul’s School in Concord reported a second active new case; the Matthew Thornton Elementary School in Londonderry reported its second active case; and the Boscawen Elementary School and the Conway Elementary School reported their first cases Thursday. There are 65 positive test results connected to schools and school activities.


Stop The Spread Of COVID-19

The COVID-19 virus is spread through respiratory droplets, usually through coughing and sneezing, and exposure to others who are sick or might be showing symptoms.

Health officials emphasize residents should follow these recommendations:

  • Avoid any domestic and international travel, especially on public transportation such as buses, trains, and airplanes.

  • Practice social

Acute Care Measure Could Reduce Hospital Readmission Penalties

About one in four hospitals would see their penalty status change under the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP) if penalties were determined using “excess days in acute care” (EDAC), a more comprehensive measure of hospital use after discharge, instead of looking only at 30-day readmissions.

The EDAC measure captures all days spent in acute care settings within 30 days of discharge, including emergency department (ED) visits, observation stays, and unplanned readmissions.

In the study, published online October 13 in Annals of Internal Medicine, half of hospitals in the highest-performing group under the more blunt 30-day readmissions measure would fall to a lower-performing group if EDAC were used.

Conversely, a similar number of low-performing hospitals would jump to a higher stratum.

“We know that linking the 30-day readmission measure to penalties under the HRRP has led to intensified efforts to treat patients in the ED or as observation stays,” said lead author Rishi Wadhera, MD, MPP, MPhil Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston. “While this makes hospitals’ readmission rates look lower, it’s not clear that these shifts are actually good for patient care.”

Given the $3 billion in penalties assessed by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) under the HRRP since its implementation in 2012, a switch to EDAC could help pull some struggling hospitals back from the brink.

Of particular concern, said Wadhera, is evidence showing that small rural and less resourced hospitals might be taking the brunt of those penalties.

“Large hospitals have the capacity and infrastructure to treat patients in the ER or place them in observation status, such that these encounters won’t count as readmissions. Small rural hospitals don’t have that capacity and may be unfairly penalized,” he suggested.

This new study compared the impact of the standard 30-day readmissions measure with the EDAC measure in 3173 hospitals that participated in the HRRP in 2019.

Because of ongoing concerns regarding unintended consequences associated with the 30-day readmissions measure, including a possibility of increased mortality among patients admitted with heart failure and pneumonia, there have been numerous calls from the clinician and health policy communities, including a recent one in JAMA from Ashish K. Jha, MD, MPH, Brown University School of Public Health, Providence, Rhode Island, to replace the metric with a more comprehensive measure of hospital use.

EDAC was developed for CMS and has been publicly reported since 2017, but is not included in the HRRP. Like the 30-day readmissions measure, however, it does not fully adjust for risk factors like frailty and medical complexity.

The EDAC measure would diminish the perverse incentive to avoid readmitting patients who come back to the hospital.

“One advantage of the EDAC measure is that it’s comprehensive and less gameable, because it counts all hospital encounters after discharge, including ED visits, observation stays, and/or readmissions. The EDAC measure would diminish the perverse incentive to avoid readmitting patients who come back to the hospital and allow for fairer comparisons of hospital performance,” said Wadhera.

“But at best, switching from 30-day

Trump vs. Biden On Health Care: Compare Their Platforms : Shots

President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden have widely divergent views on health care issues.

Patrick Semansky/AP

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Patrick Semansky/AP

President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden have widely divergent views on health care issues.

Patrick Semansky/AP

Health care was going to be the defining issue of the 2020 election before a pandemic and economic upheaval eclipsed pretty much everything else. But of course, the pandemic has highlighted many health policy issues.

With a highly contagious virus spreading around the world, “you might be thinking more about the importance of health insurance, or you may be worried about losing your job, which is where you get your health insurance,” says Sabrina Corlette, co-director of the Center on Health Insurance Reforms at Georgetown University. “The COVID pandemic and health policy are intertwined.”

Meanwhile, the choice between the two major presidential candidates on health policy could not be more stark. Drawing from President Trump’s record on health care and former Vice President Joe Biden’s policy proposals, here’s a guide to where they stand.

The Affordable Care Act

The candidates’ visions differ radically on the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s signature health care law, which was enacted in 2010.

“President Trump has — from Day 1 — pushed for repealing or overturning the ACA, and Joe Biden is pushing to build and expand on it,” says Larry Levitt, executive vice president for health policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The Supreme Court is slated to hear arguments on the latest challenge to the ACA on Nov. 10. If the court does overturn the law, the president and Congress will have to work quickly to address the possibility of tens of millions becoming uninsured.

One of the ACA’s most popular provisions is protection for people with preexisting conditions from being denied coverage or charged higher premiums. Trump has promised to keep this part of the law but hasn’t offered specifics on how, and policy experts warn it’s harder than it sounds.

Medicare and Medicaid

When it comes to Medicare and Medicaid, the federal health programs that together provide coverage to 115 million people, Trump has promoted the private market and given states control, while Biden wants to expand eligibility to both programs.

Trump has sought to bring drug costs down and provide more private plan options for beneficiaries in Medicare — the federal program for people over 65 — while supporting spending caps and work requirements for Medicaid — the state-run program for low-income adults, children, pregnant women and people with disabilities.

Biden would allow people to enroll in Medicare at age 60 and would also try to create a new federal health program similar to Medicare, which he calls a public option.

COVID-19 pandemic

Biden has remarked often that he would “listen to science” in handling the pandemic, drawing a contrast with Trump, who has repeatedly contradicted his top health officials.

Biden’s proposals emphasize the role of the federal government leading the response, while Trump has delegated

Biden vs. Trump: ObamaCare, access to health care in rural US impacts voters’ decisions

Kathleen Wishnick left the hustle and bustle of Sacramento for a new life in the rural deserts of Arizona more than 15 years ago.

She said her family wanted a “place in the middle of nowhere” and they found it in the small town of Arivaca, which boasts a population of about 684 people.

The peaceful setting has its perks, Wishnick told Fox News, but when it comes to health care, access is almost nonexistent.

“The roads when it rains are iffy…sometimes ambulances can’t get in… people said to us, ‘Well you won’t have any health services,’ I said well it’s just a helicopter ride away, but when it happens to you, you tend to rethink that just a little bit,” she said.


Kathleen Wishnick lives in Arivaca, Arizona, home to around 684 people. She says access to health care can be a challenge, as the nearest hospital is over an hour away (Stephanie Bennett/Fox News).

Kathleen Wishnick lives in Arivaca, Arizona, home to around 684 people. She says access to health care can be a challenge, as the nearest hospital is over an hour away (Stephanie Bennett/Fox News).

Wishnick says the town does have a clinic, but it’s only open certain days a week and has just two doctors. For more advanced procedures or to see a specialist, it involves driving to the closest hospital about an hour away.

With only days until the 2020 presidential election, the topic of health care access, insurance and affordability is front and center in Wishnick’s mind — and she is not alone.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, about 2.8 million Arizonans live in areas that the federal government says has a health care shortage — ranking 9th in the country overall.

“I believe everyone in Arizona and across the United States should have access to care,” Dr. Daniel Derksen, associate vice president for health sciences at the University of Arizona and director of the Arizona Center for Rural Health, told Fox News. “We are certainly spending enough as a nation and spending enough as a state to cover every single person with the care that they need, so that they get it when they need it, such as during a COVID-19 pandemic.”

Arivaca, Arizona is about 60 miles south of Tucson (Stephanie Bennett/Fox News).

Arivaca, Arizona is about 60 miles south of Tucson (Stephanie Bennett/Fox News).


Derksen said the Affordable Care Act – or ObamaCare – which former Vice President Joe Biden wants to protect and expand, is a good thing and would be harmful to rural residents to lose.

“We need to make sure that coverage is built upon not torn away … we need to build on the gains made, not throw things away and especially during a time where people really need the health care and access,” he added. “The Affordable Care Act does protect individuals from being charged more or being denied coverage or dropped from coverage once they exceed a certain amount.”

He said that about 20 million Americans could lose their health care – and more than half a million Arizonians – if provisions in the health care act went away.

A Manatt Health Report Analyzing Effective Strategies from Medicaid Managed Care States

Comprehensive review of state managed care contracts and 1115 waivers detail effective SDOH integration strategies

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, a multidisciplinary, integrated professional services firm, announced today the release of its latest survey, which provides a comprehensive review of states’ social determinants of health (SDOH) initiatives through Medicaid managed care contracts and 1115 waivers. The report, titled “In Pursuit of Whole Person Health: A Review of Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) Initiatives in Medicaid Managed Care Contracts and 1115 Waivers,” was conducted by Manatt Health, the firm’s healthcare legal and consulting group. With Medicaid being the largest payer of healthcare for the low-income populations that are disproportionately impacted by social and economic challenges, this report takes a deep dive into the ways states can effectively integrate SDOH into the Medicaid delivery system and leverage 1115 waivers to foster innovation.

“This pandemic—and its disproportionate impact on low-income communities and communities of color—has brought the need to address SDOH into sharp focus,” said Melinda Dutton, partner with Manatt Health, who coauthored the report alongside director Naomi Newman, manager Mandy Ferguson and partner Cindy Mann. Newman added: “Our report serves as a resource for states, health plans, provider organizations and other stakeholders looking to improve overall health for their most vulnerable populations.”

This report details how states are using their Medicaid managed care contracts and 1115 waivers to address unmet social needs and drive innovation in this space. Through an in-depth review of the contracts of each state and territory with Medicaid managed care (41 in total), Manatt identified the provisions and subsequent intervention methods related to SDOH, and categorized them by type of service or intervention (e.g., screening and referral requirements, quality metrics); targeted populations (e.g., pregnant women, children, people experiencing homelessness); and targeted domains (e.g., housing, food/nutrition, employment).

An infographic to help illustrate the findings can be found here. The full report, including detailed state profiles with contract language, can be located through a subscription to [email protected] Health, an original content information service providing a wide range of premium analysis and data on breaking industry news and trends; in-depth evaluation of state and federal health policy changes; detailed summaries of Medicaid, Medicare and Marketplace regulatory and sub-regulatory guidance; and 50-state surveys on critical industry issues.

This report was compiled through an analysis of the contracts and 1115 waivers of each of the 41 states and territories with Medicaid managed care conducted between October 2019 and June 2020. In certain instances when states’ managed care organization (MCO) model was not released, Manatt utilized the state’s MCO “request for proposals” to understand the scope of SDOH-related requirements on plans. Of the 41 states and territories, two requested that their profiles be withheld from this publication due to ongoing MCO procurements and contract amendments.

About Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, is a leading professional services firm, providing integrated legal and consulting services to a global client base. With offices strategically located in California (Los Angeles, Orange

New Survey Reveals Physicians Support a Hybrid Health Care System

New Survey Reveals Physicians Support a Hybrid Health Care System

PR Newswire

BOSTON, Oct. 22, 2020

The Physicians Foundation Releases New Survey on the Future of the Health Care System

BOSTON, Oct. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The Physicians Foundation, a national nonprofit advancing the work of practicing physicians to support the delivery of high-quality patient care, today released the results of a national survey of 1,270 physicians on the future of the health care system. When asked to rank their preferences for the future direction of the U.S. health care system, physicians ranked a two-tiered system featuring a single payer option plus private pay as the best direction. As part of the same question, physicians overwhelmingly ranked a government funded and administered single payer/Medicare for All system lowest among four potential options. The survey, COVID-19 And The Future Of The Health Care System, is the third in the Foundation’s three-part series, 2020 Survey of America’s Physicians, examining how COVID-19 is affecting and is perceived by the nation’s physicians.

The Physicians Foundation Logo (PRNewsfoto/The Physicians Foundation)
The Physicians Foundation Logo (PRNewsfoto/The Physicians Foundation)

The survey also asked physicians to rank a series of policy steps that would ensure access to high-quality, cost-efficient care. Physicians overwhelmingly indicated that efforts to “simplify/streamline prior authorization for medical services and prescriptions” was the most important thing that could be done to ensure access to care. Reimbursing physicians for providing telemedicine services and simplifying access to integrated mental health services each were tied as the next most popular choices.

“As we’ve seen from our data over the past few months, COVID-19 has had a tremendous impact on physicians. We know that burnout continues to grow as a result of frustration with the pandemic and our current health care system, and you see that in this survey’s results,” said Gary Price, MD, president of The Physicians Foundation. “Physicians are fed up with being unable to practice medicine the way they were trained to do so. They are tired of fighting insurers and PBMs to get patients the treatments they need, and they want change. They want to be able to offer the services patients need and want.”

Direction of the Health Care System

While physicians’ overall preference is for a hybrid approach, their opinions on other options for organizing our system yielded significant insights. Most surprisingly, maintaining or improving the current Affordable Care Act (ACA) influenced program did not initially rank high, with only 19% selecting this as number one on the one to four scale. Instead, 30% of physicians (the second highest percentage) chose moving to a market-driven system with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and catastrophic policies as number one. It wasn’t until the next levels (two to four) were added that improving the current ACA system became more highly ranked (49%) than transitioning to a market-driven/HSA model (45%). The survey found significant polarity in support for HSAs: thirty percent of physicians rated it a number one, but 42% also rated it a four.

Support for a

The Latest: Belgian Foreign Minister in Intensive Care | World News

BRUSSELS — Belgian Foreign Minister and former Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes has been hospitalized in intensive care with the coronavirus.

Wilmes, who was in charge when the first wave of infections hit the country this spring, now serves in the new government led by Alexander De Croo.

Elke Pattyn, a spokesperson at the Foreign Ministry, told The Associated Press that Wilmes is in a stable condition and conscious. She said her condition “is not worrying.”

The 45-year-old Wilmes, who was admitted to the hospital on Wednesday evening, said last week she thought she got infected within her family circle.

Belgium, a country of 11.5 million inhabitants, has been severely hit by the coronavirus and is currently seeing a sharp rise in new cases. More than 10,000 people have died from coronavirus-related complications in Belgium


— Regulators, experts take up thorny vaccine study issues

— Despite pledges, Czechs face 2nd lockdown as system totters

— Virus spikes have officials looking to shore up hospitals

— Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has overruled his own health minister on the announced purchase of 46 million doses of a potential coronavirus vaccine being tested in Sao Paulo state.

— Ireland is already focused on Christmas. It’s a major national priority. Unless the country can get the COVID-19 epidemic under control, there won’t be much Christmas cheer this year in Galway, Cork or Dublin.

— Poland’s prime minister has signaled that the whole country faces being placed on the highest restriction level short of a full lockdown, as health authorities registered a record in new confirmed COVID-19 infections.

Follow all of AP’s coronavirus pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak


LONDON — U.K. Treasury chief Rishi Sunak is expected to announce increased help for bars, pubs and restaurants that have seen business collapse because of COVID-19 controls.

Hospitality businesses are under pressure because the measures severely limit social gatherings, even under the lower levels of restrictions imposed on areas with less severe outbreaks. That reduces the number of people who go out for dinner or to meet up with friends, reducing income and forcing employers to lay off workers.

But most can’t take advantage of current government aid programs, which are focused on businesses that are ordered to close under the highest level of restrictions.

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street told the BBC that the support programs were designed with the assumption that the pandemic would ease, reducing the need for government assistance. That didn’t happen and infection rates are now rising across the country.

The government “didn’t expect us to be in a position through the autumn where we were having a rising level of the virus to this extent, so if you look at the design of the winter economy package, at the time that seemed rational but clearly events have moved very quickly.”

BUDAPEST — The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in Hungary has risen above 2,000 for the

Utah heart attack victim competes for medical care amid surge in Covid-19 cases

The virus now had the ability to potentially kill a patient — his patient — even if she wasn’t infected.

Hours before, Terry, a 47-year-old mother and wife, had suffered a heart attack in her Herriman, Utah, home. According to her sister, she had to be revived four times in the ambulance on the way to the nearest hospital.

Once there, the medical staff and her doctor quickly determined Terry would likely die if she didn’t get the more sophisticated life-saving treatment found in an intensive care unit of a larger hospital.

“He (the doctor) told us right away, we’re doing everything we can to try and find a hospital that can take Laurie, and we can’t find one,” Stephanie Deer, Terry’s sister, said.

“If you would have seen the look on that doctor’s face, he was incredulous. He couldn’t believe he was telling us this.”

The coronavirus pandemic will get better next year but first we're going to have a 'horrible winter,' top doctor says

Deer and her sister are not alone.

The state is experiencing “one of the worst (coronavirus) outbreaks in the country,” Utah Gov. Garry Herbert said Tuesday.

As a result, patients suffering other life-threatening medical events — non-Covid related — are in a dangerous competition for limited specialized medical care.

Utah is in the middle of the worst period for new Covid-19 cases since the pandemic began. The state is among the 14 that reported their peak Covid-19 hospitalizations in the past week, according to the Covid Tracking Project.

The state’s total ICU usage was at almost 70%, Herbert said Tuesday, and almost 16% of the state’s ICU beds are used to treat Covid-19 patients.

On Friday, the University of Utah hospital’s ICU was at 104% capacity.

Covid surge taking a toll on Utah doctors

Dr. Emily Spivak, among the doctors helping treat Covid patients in Utah, feels frustrated and upset by the surge in cases — because she said she knows this shouldn’t be happening. Coronavirus is preventable by hand washing, social distancing and mask wearing.

She reached her breaking point in a parking lot outside the level one trauma center where she works in Salt Lake City.

“Well I was trying so hard not to,” she said, referring to her tears. “I mean honestly this is just super frustrating.”

Spivak said she sees many people in public no longer following US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines — and believes they’ve just grown complacent.

“I don’t see an end. No one’s doing anything to stop what’s happening,” she said. “It’s kind of like people just are going out and living their lives not realizing that they are exhausting our healthcare system.”

Deer said she witnessed the frustration of doctors firsthand.

“I watched those nurses call for hours, trying other systems, doing everything they could, I mean desperate.” she said.

“I don’t know how the doctors and nurses and things are going to be able to keep this up when your whole life, your whole profession is dedicated to saving people’s lives and you can’t access medical care for a patient.”

And she

Survey: Alabama child care enrollment down by 23,000 kids

Enrollment in child care centers across Alabama has dropped by more than 23,000 children since the coronavirus pandemic began even though most facilities have reopened, a new state report showed Wednesday.

While 85% of the 2,381 facilities surveyed by the Department of Human Resources have reopened since the initial lockdown period that forced businesses to close in March, centers are operating at only 66% of capacity compared to 88% in January, a news release said Wednesday.

Overall October enrollment in licensed centers, licensed family child care homes and exempt facilities was down by 23,241 kids, the agency said.

“The providers that have been able to reopen are providing a much-needed service to the people of Alabama. As the survey reveals, however, not all children have returned to their child care providers,” Human Resources Commissioner Nancy Buckner said.

The department didn’t say what was behind the decline, but Alabama’s unemployment rate is up from a year ago and many people are still working from home, possibly reducing the need for child care.

More than 2,800 people have died from COVID-19 in the state, which ranks 20th highest in the nation for fatalities on a per-person basis, and almost 175,000 have tested positive, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

Health officials say key pandemic statistics are worsening in Alabama as cases also rise across much of the nation.

While most people who contract the coronavirus recover after suffering only mild to moderate symptoms, it can be deadly for older patients and those with other health problems.


Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak.

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