At least 5 hospitals have been hit this week

Federal agents warned Wednesday that a major ransomware assault is underway against U.S. hospitals, some of which have already been attacked by a shadowy band of cybercriminals.



Ransomware alert


© nevarpp/Getty Images/iStockphoto
Ransomware alert

Ransomware is an increasing threat to U.S. healthcare and has already cost hospitals tens of millions in recent years. A typical attack encrypts important data — such as patient records and billing information — until the hospital agrees to pay an exorbitant sum for ransom, usually in the form of Bitcoin or other digital currency.

Wednesday’s alert came from a joint federal task force that includes the FBI, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). 

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At least five hospitals were hit with the ransomware attacks this week, the federal agencies said.

“CISA, FBI, and HHS have credible information of an increased and imminent cybercrime threat to U.S. hospitals and healthcare providers,” the advisory said. “CISA, FBI, and HHS are sharing this information to provide warning to healthcare providers to ensure that they take timely and reasonable precautions to protect their networks from these threats.”

‘Willing to pay’: Hospitals hit hardest by ransomware attacks, study says

The aggressive offensive by a Russian-speaking criminal gang coincides with the U.S. presidential election, though there was no immediate indication it was motivated by anything but profit.

“We are experiencing the most significant cyber security threat we’ve ever seen in the United States,” Charles Carmakal, chief technical officer of the cybersecurity firm Mandiant, said in a statement. He’s concerned that the group may deploy malware to hundreds of hospitals over the next few weeks.

Ransomware attempts jumped 50% in the last three months, over the first half of 2020, and hospitals and health care organizations were the hardest hit, according to a study earlier this year by Check Point research.

Typical attacks demand several hundred thousand dollars and some have demanded $5 million or more, the research group concluded. Hospitals are often targeted because criminals know they are more likely to pay than other businesses. That’s because hospitals can’t shut down for long without impacting patient care.

In June, the University of California San Francisco disclosed that it paid $1.14 million to ransomware attackers. In Germany, a woman died when a hospital under a ransomware attack couldn’t admit her. Universal Health Services, one of the nation’s largest health providers, was struck last week.

As a result, health care personnel reportedly began keeping records on paper as computer systems began failing over the weekend and some hospitals have sent incoming ambulances to other neighboring hospitals.

The percentage of healthcare organizations impacted by ransomware globally nearly doubled, from 2.3% in the second quarter to 4% in the third quarter. Healthcare was followed by manufacturing, software makers, government/military and insurance and legal firms.

The U.S. saw 313 attacks in the third quarter, compared to 158 in the previous quarter, very closely

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Interventional Cardiology & Peripheral Vascular Devices Market to hit $32.5 Bn by 2026: GMI

The interventional cardiology & peripheral vascular devices market demand from PTCA balloons segment is estimated to witness more than 8.6% growth rate through 2026 propelled by growing demand for minimally invasive interventional procedures.

Selbyville, Delaware, Oct. 27, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) —

According to latest report “Interventional Cardiology & Peripheral Vascular Devices Market by product (Interventional Catheters, Guidewires, Stents {, PTCA Balloons, Atherectomy Devices, Chronic Total Occlusion Devices, Synthetic Surgical Grafts, Embolic Protection Devices, Inferior Vena Cava Filters), Application (Congenital Heart Defect Correction, Coronary Thrombectomy, Angioplasty, Valvuloplasty, Percutaneous Valve Repair), End-use (Hospitals, Ambulatory Surgical Centers), Regional Outlook, Price Trends, Competitive Market Share & Forecast 2026”, by Global Market Insights, Inc., the market valuation of interventional cardiology & peripheral vascular devices will cross $32.5 billion by 2026. Technological advancements in peripheral vascular devices enabling effective treatment solutions will spur the market growth over the coming years.

Rising prevalence of chronic cardiovascular diseases will significantly drive the number of interventional cardiology procedures in healthcare facilities. For instance, more than 400,000 percutaneous coronary interventions were performed in the U.S. Further, the American Heart Association reports that the incidence of cardiovascular conditions are more prevalent among the elderly population. Thus, growing geriatric population contribute to increasing disease burden. Therefore, increasing demand for vascular devices in interventional operations due to its applications in peripheral disease treatment will positively influence the industry growth.

Request for a sample of this research report @ https://www.gminsights.com/request-sample/detail/1964

Along with cardiovascular disease prevalence, technological advancements in interventional devices including stents and balloons are expected to boost interventional cardiology & peripheral vascular devices market revenue. The manufacturing firms are increasing their R&D efforts to achieve sustainable competitiveness through innovation and development in its offerings. This will result into exponential demand for advanced products to enhance patient experience. Integration of nanotechnology and drug-eluting stents improve treatment efficiency.

PTCA balloons segment in the interventional cardiology & peripheral vascular devices market to witness 8.6% CAGR till 2026 owing to growing demand for minimally invasive interventional procedures. Its advantages in coronary atrial disease treatment including reduced narrowing of artery that improves the blood flow, is leading to higher product preference. Moreover, the use of drug-eluting materials stimulates its growth potential.

Valvuloplasty application accounted for more than USD 1.5 billion in 2019. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 13% of population suffers through valvular heart disease. Valvuloplasty offers comprehensive applications in severe valve narrowing, narrowing of pulmonary valve and mitral valve among others. Hence, with rise in number of valvular diseases, the segment will observe substantial growth during the forecast timeline.  

Hospitals end-use segment dominated a interventional cardiology & peripheral vascular devices market share of around 86% in 2019 on account of increase in hospital admissions associated severe vascular conditions. This will create exponential demand for vascular devices during performed surgeries in facilities. Adoption of advanced devices with availability of highly skilled professionals in hospitals drives patient preference for these settings.

North America interventional cardiology & peripheral vascular devices market size

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Need Some Fitness Motivation? These 5 Bollywood Celebrities Will Inspire You to Hit the Gym Right Away



a group of people standing next to a person: Take fitness inspiration from these Bollywood celebrities


© Anjali Thakur | India.com Lifestyle Staff
Take fitness inspiration from these Bollywood celebrities


Don’t we all love to procrastinating workouts and these never-ending work from home schedule has taken a serious hit on our fitness routine. We all are winded by grocery shopping or household chores or long strenuous work from home schedules. Regular physical activity can improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance, according to much researches. Need some inspiration to hit the gym? Take a cue from Bollywood celebs who take fitness very seriously. Take inspiration from these Bollywood celebrities and kick start your week with a bang. 1. Milind Soman: Actor-fitness enthusiast Milind Soman’s boasts serious fitness motivation, and as anyone who follows him on Instagram can attest, you can’t escape his fitness inspiration. His posts will motivate you to burn those calories. Milind was seen hitting the grind to do some core exercise. d 2. Kriti Sanon: Actor Kriti Sanon loves fitness, she recently posted how brushed aside her mid-week blues. The actor treated her fans with quarantine workout. Kriti used various props including a resistance band, dumbbells, kettlebells to work her arms and glutes. Check out her video. 3. Shilpa Shetty: Actor Shilpa Shetty makes sure she never misses her fitness routine. Shilpa who is in Manali for her upcoming project gave a glimpse of her workout to her fans on social media. She wrote, ‘Start your day on a positive note with yoga.’ 4. Kangana Ranaut: After gaining 20 kgs for her film Thalaivi, actor Kangana Ranaut is now in a super fitness mode to shed those extra kilos. Kangana is determined to get back to her earlier size, agility, metabolism, and flexibility. 5. Katrina Kaif: Actor Katrina Kaif is not just gorgeous but has an amazing fit body. She is one of the fittest actors in the industry. Katrina’s routine consists of functional training, pilates, and cardio, which are boosted by exercises using TRX, Bosu, Powerplate, Kettlebells, Medicine, and Swiss Balls, revealed celebrity fitness trainer Yasmin Karachiwala in an interview with NDTV. Check out the workout routine in quarantine.

Regular physical activity will help you in delivering enough oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and which will improve your cardiovascular system. And as proven, when your heart and lung health start to improve, you will eventually have more energy to tackle daily chores.

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US coronavirus cases hit highest 7-day average since the pandemic began

Health experts say the resurgence of cases they have warned would strike in the fall and winter months is here and that it could be worse than the US has seen so far. Surging numbers in the US — where there have been a total of more than 8.6 million infections and 225,230 people have died — show the nation is at a “dangerous tipping point,” former US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told CBS News on Sunday.

The seven-day average of new cases has been creeping closer to the previous peak of the pandemic of 67,200 cases on July 22. The past week saw a new record with an average of 68,767 new cases every day.

“We’re entering what’s going to be the steep slope of the curve, of the epidemic curve,” Gottlieb told CBS’s Margaret Brennan on “Face the Nation.”

Though cases are surging across the country, Gottlieb said things are going to start looking worse over the next two or three weeks. He said he doesn’t foresee the implementation of forceful policy intervention that could curb the spread.

“If we don’t do that, if we miss this window, this is going to continue to accelerate and it’s going to be more difficult to get under control,” he said.

A national mask mandate could be a necessary inconvenience

A national mask mandate could be a way of getting the virus under control, Gottlieb wrote in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal. The article’s headline is “Winter Is Coming: Time for a Mask Mandate.”

“A mandate can be expressly limited to the next two months,” Gottlieb wrote, adding that it’s easier to wear a mask in the winter than the summer. “The inconvenience would allow the country to preserve health-care capacity and keep more schools and businesses open.”

With deaths expected to rise this winter, policymakers will have to make moves to slow the spread, Gottlieb wrote. There already is no support for reinstating the stay-at-home orders from the spring.

US should consider national mask mandate for the winter, former USDA commissioner writes in op-ed

If 95% of Americans wore masks in public, more than 100,000 lives could be saved in the United States through February, according to data released Friday by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

“If people are not wearing masks, then maybe we should be mandating it,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN’s Erin Burnett on Friday.

Gottlieb wrote the concern about needing fines to enforce the mandate leading to confrontations with police isn’t necessarily true.

“States should be able to choose how to enforce a mandate, but the goal should be to make masks a social and cultural norm, not a political statement,” he wrote. “Mandating masks has become divisive only because it was framed that way by some politicians and commentators.”

State leaders back on guard

No state is currently reporting above a 10% improvement in coronavirus cases in the last week compared to the week before. And as the

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Daily Covid-19 cases will hit six digits soon, expert warns, as US reports one-day high of more than 83,000 infections

The US just marked a harrowing milestone: It recorded its highest one-day number of Covid-19 infections Friday at more than 83,000 — more than 6,000 higher than the country’s previous record set in July.



a person wearing a blue hat: An RN hands off a coronavirus sample to medical assistant Bettie Cleveland at a COVID-19 testing site set up by Harvard Street Neighborhood Health Center at Prince Hall Grand Lodge in Grove Hall in Boston's Dorchester on Oct. 22, 2020. (Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)


© Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
An RN hands off a coronavirus sample to medical assistant Bettie Cleveland at a COVID-19 testing site set up by Harvard Street Neighborhood Health Center at Prince Hall Grand Lodge in Grove Hall in Boston’s Dorchester on Oct. 22, 2020. (Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

And as the fall surge continues, the daily numbers will get worse, experts warn.

“We easily will hit six-figure numbers in terms of the number of cases,” Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told CNN Friday night. “And the deaths are going to go up precipitously in the next three to four weeks, following usually new cases by about two to three weeks.”

This comes as the country’s seven-day average of new daily cases surpassed 63,000 Friday — an 84% increase since the average started ticking back up in mid-September, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Health officials say the steep inclines follow the reopening of schools and colleges across the US and have been largely driven by small gatherings — often family events — that are increasingly moving indoors, where the virus is likely to spread.

In Maryland, the governor said this week family gatherings were the No. 1 source of transmission in the state, followed by house parties. In North Carolina, health officials reported its highest daily case count Friday and said they continue to see clusters “from social and religious gatherings.”

Unlike many European countries that are also experiencing spikes, the US never lowered its daily case baseline very far, meaning the compounding of cases could be worse, experts say.

And that’s ahead of several popular holidays, when health officials worry more Americans could let their guard down and opt to visit family and friends and further drive surges.

In North Dakota, with the highest per capita new case rate in the country, Gov. Doug Burgum called for a “Thanksgiving challenge,” urging residents to follow mitigation guidance like masks and social distancing to bring numbers down by the holiday.

“It would be really great to be sharing with all of you at Thanksgiving that our numbers are going down as we head into the holiday period,” he said Friday. “That we’ve got increasing amounts of hospital capacity. That our schools have remained open, that our businesses are open during that holiday season.”

34 states report rise in cases

The President has said in recent days the country is rounding the corner when it comes to the pandemic. But alarming patterns across the country tell a different story.

At least 34 states reported more new Covid-19 cases in the last week than the week prior, according to Johns Hopkins data. In Georgia, health officials reported

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Total U.S. COVID-19 deaths could hit 500,000 by February, researchers say

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 could surpass 500,000 by February unless nearly all Americans wear face masks, researchers said on Friday, as 14 states set new records for one-day increases in infections.

The latest estimate by the widely cited University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation reflects fears that cold winter weather will drive Americans indoors, where the virus is more likely to spread.

Nationwide, 76,195 new cases were reported on Thursday, according to a Reuters analysis, just shy of the single-day record high of 77,299 reported on July 16. Only India has reported more cases in a single day: 97,894, on Sept. 17.

“We are heading into a very substantial fall/winter surge,” said IHME director Chris Murray, who co-led the research.

The number of possible deaths could drop by 130,000 if 95% of Americans would cover their faces, the IHME said, echoing a recommendation by Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

U.S. Health Secretary Alex Azar attributed the increase in cases nationwide to the behavior of individuals, saying household gatherings have become a “major vector of disease spread.”

Asked about an assertion by President Donald Trump during Thursday night’s presidential debate that the United States is “rounding the turn” on the pandemic, Azar told CNN that Trump was trying to provide hope to Americans waiting for a vaccine.

FILE PHOTO: Certified nursing assistant (CNA) Shameka Johnson, wearing NFL Green Bay Packers apparel, processes a nasal swab at a drive-thru testing site outside the Southside Health Center as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak continues in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S., October 21, 2020. REUTERS/Bing Guan

Pennsylvania, a swing state which is expected to play a crucial role in the Nov. 3 presidential election, reported its largest single-day increase in cases since the pandemic began.

“Daily increases are now comparable with what we saw in April 2020,” the Pennsylvania Department of Health said in a statement issued on Friday.

Also reporting record one-day increases were the states of Alaska, Arkansas, Illinois, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

HOSPITALIZATIONS CLIMB

On Thursday, there were 916 reported fatalities in the United States, a day after the country recorded over 1,200 new deaths for the first time since August.

Also on Thursday, the number of COVID-19 patients in U.S. hospitals climbed to a two-month high. There are now more than 41,000 hospitalized patients with coronavirus across the country, up 34% from Oct. 1, according to a Reuters analysis.

North Dakota, with 887 new cases on both Thursday and Friday, remains the hardest-hit state, based on new cases per capita, followed by South Dakota, Montana and Wisconsin, according to a Reuters tally.

Eight states reported record numbers of COVID-19 patients in the hospital on Friday: Alaska, Kentucky, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Wyoming.

In Tennessee, hospitals in Nashville said they have experienced a 40% increase in

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‘It Has Hit Us With a Vengeance’: Coronavirus Surges Again Across the United States

“We were hoping we had escaped the Covid-19,” Mayor Tim Mahoney of Fargo, a practicing surgeon, said in an interview. “Now we’re just like everybody else in the country. It has hit us with a vengeance.

“We kind of thought we’d outsmart it, and you can’t outsmart this virus.”

In other parts of the country, officials are also returning to another tried-and-true method of containing the virus: stay-at-home orders. On Tuesday, local health officials ordered students at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor to stay in their residences except for essential activities effective immediately, in an effort to control an escalating community outbreak.

Since Oct. 12, cases associated with the university have made up about 61 percent of confirmed and probable local infections, said Jimena Loveluck, the health officer for Washtenaw County, who warned that many cases have been tied to parties and other big gatherings.

“During the day, on campus, everyone’s fine and following the rules,” said Emma Stein, a senior news editor at The Michigan Daily, the student paper, who is now confined at home with her eight roommates. “But at night, on weekends, they don’t.”

The order could leave the campus unusually quiet ahead of Oct. 31, when the university is expected to play its first home football game of the season against its biggest in-state rival, Michigan State. For added deterrence, health officials are considering an extra kick: Within the week, officials said, the health department may start fining people who violate the order to stay at home.

In a sign of how quickly the virus is spreading in many parts of the Midwest and the Great Plains, infections recently overtook a private nursing home in northern Kansas.

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Coronavirus case increases hit record highs in at least 7 states

At least seven states have set new records for single-day increases in coronavirus cases, prompting some to set new restrictions as concerns mount over possible “superspreader events” during the upcoming holiday season.

Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota and West Virginia all set records Friday in the number of new cases of the virus, NBC News’ tally shows.

Colorado recorded 1,312 cases Friday, the same day Denver’s mayor announced both a tougher mask mandate that requires residents to wear face coverings outdoors and a limit on gatherings in “unregulated settings” to no more than five people.

“Over the past several weeks, we have worked hard to reduce our caseloads and keep hospitalizations from increasing,” Mayor Michael Hancock said in a press release. “But we need to do more. With the holidays on the horizon, we must take these additional steps over the next 30 days and knuckle down together to do the hard work that needs to be done so we can all enjoy this upcoming holiday season.”

Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak

The mask mandate remains in effect until further notice, while the limit on gatherings is through Nov. 16.

Idaho recorded 1,094 new cases Friday, while Indiana and Minnesota each reported more than 2,200 cases, according to NBC’s data.

The governor of Idaho, Brad Little, said Thursday that the state was going to stay in stage 4 of his reopening plan after having failed to meet the criteria for a full reopening for the ninth time in a row, the Idaho Statesman reported.

Little urged residents to continue wearing masks and practicing social distancing.

“Our personal actions work better to slow the spread of coronavirus than anything else,” the governor said, according to the outlet. “This is about personal responsibility, something Idaho is all about.”

Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said she was “very saddened” about the rise in cases, although she said some of it can be attributed to more testing.

“Some of the things that we maybe thought was O.K. to do a month or so ago is much, much riskier today just given this level of viral spread around our state,” she told MinnPost.

North Dakota and New Mexico also broke daily records Friday with 859 cases and 812, respectively. West Virginia and Wyoming each reported just under 500 new cases that day.

A spokeswoman for the New Mexico governor’s office called the increase in that state a “Covid-19 wildfire,” the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

“The virus spreads when people give it the opportunity to spread, and New Mexicans are doing just that,” spokeswoman Nora Meyers Sackett said.

In Wisconsin, health officials urged residents not to gather with anyone outside of their immediate families.

“I think people should think about all of the things that they’re doing outside of the confines of their immediate families as a potential place that they could be coming into contact with Covid-19,” said Andrea Palm, with the state’s Department of Health Services. “Now

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