Health News Roundup: WHO warns of oxygen shortage with rising COVID cases; AstraZeneca eyes three-drug inhaler opportunity and more

WHO warns of oxygen shortage as COVID cases set to top 10 million The world faces a shortage of oxygen concentrators as the number of worldwide cases of coronavirus infection nears the 10 million mark, the World Health Organization head said on Wednesday.


Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 25-06-2020 02:47 IST | Created: 25-06-2020 02:28 IST
Health News Roundup: WHO warns of oxygen shortage with rising COVID cases; AstraZeneca eyes three-drug inhaler opportunity and more

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

WHO warns of oxygen shortage as COVID cases set to top 10 million

The world faces a shortage of oxygen concentrators as the number of worldwide cases of coronavirus infection nears the 10 million mark, the World Health Organization head said on Wednesday. "Many countries are now experiencing difficulties obtaining oxygen concentrators," WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference. "Demand is currently outstripping supply."

AstraZeneca eyes three-drug inhaler opportunity after trial results

AstraZeneca is eyeing the further growth of its respiratory treatments business as a three-drug inhaler was shown to prevent flare-ups and death in cases of smoker's lung. AstraZeneca said on Wednesday that the ETHOS trial of triple-drug therapy Breztri Aerosphere, formerly known as PT010, helped patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), as it seeks to catch up with the runaway success of rival Glaxosmithkline's Trelegy Ellipta drug.

Type of ultraviolet light kills airborne coronavirus; effect on platelets helps explain blood clot issues

The following is a brief roundup of some of the latest scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus. Safe form of ultraviolet light kills airborne coronavirus.

Study sees 'probable' higher heart risk for new Amgen osteoporosis drug

An observational study of Amgen Inc's new osteoporosis drug Evenity released on Wednesday appears to confirm the increased risk of serious heart problems detected in clinical trials and included in the medicine's prescribing information. The drug, chemically known as romosozumab, won U.S. and European approval in 2019 for postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. Both U.S. and European regulators required a warning in the label of the potential risk of cardiovascular complications, such as heart attacks. It is also approved in Japan.

WHO director for Americas says 226,000 have died of COVID-19 in region

Nearly half of all COVID-19 cases globally can be found in the Americas and the numbers continue to climb, the World Health Organization's regional director for the Americas, Carissa Etienne, said on Wednesday. As of June 23, there have been more than 4.5 million COVID-19 cases and 226,000 deaths reported in the Americas, she said in a virtual briefing from Washington.

U.S. sees second-largest rise in new coronavirus cases since crisis began

The United States has recorded the second-largest increase in coronavirus cases since the health crisis began, with a rise of 35,588 new infections on Tuesday as a dozen states see infections surge, according to a Reuters tally. Florida saw a record increase on Wednesday of over 5,500 new cases. On Tuesday, Arizona, California, Mississippi, and Nevada had record rises. Texas set a record on Monday.

Chinese military researchers move a new COVID vaccine candidate into human trial

A Chinese military research institute has been approved to test its second experimental coronavirus vaccine in humans, the eighth candidate in clinical trials for China as it emerges as a front-runner in the global fight against COVID-19. No vaccine has been approved for sale against the virus that has killed over 470,000 people, but more than a dozen candidates have entered different stages of human test globally.

Bayer to pay up to $10.9 billion to settle bulk of Roundup weedkiller cancer lawsuits

Bayer AG, after more than a year of talks, agreed to pay as much as $10.9 billion to settle close to 100,000 U.S. lawsuits claiming that its widely-used weed killer Roundup caused cancer, resolving litigation that has pummeled the company's share price. The German drugs and pesticides maker has come to terms with about 75% of the 125,000 filed and unfiled claims overall, it said in a statement on Wednesday of the deal to end legal disputes it inherited with its $63 billion takeover of Monsanto in 2018.

University of Washington forecasts 180,000 U.S. deaths from COVID-19 by October

New U.S. COVID-19 forecasts project nearly 180,000 deaths in the United States through the beginning of October, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington said on Wednesday.

Trump administration defends defunding COVID testing in Texas, four other states

The Trump administration said on Wednesday that it would no longer directly fund 13 of its original coronavirus testing sites in five states, saying states were allocated money for testing by the federal government last month. U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Brett Giroir said in a call with reporters that the 13 sites were those left among 41 sites the agency set up when the new coronavirus pandemic hit earlier this year, before moving on from the "antiquated" program to newer testing programs.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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