Health News Roundup: U.S. to allow temporary rise in impurities in anti-smoking drug; Delta COVID variant now dominant strain worldwide, U.S. deaths surge -officials and more
Pfizer in June halted distribution of Chantix and recalled a number of lots after finding elevated levels of nitrosamines in the pills. Delta COVID variant now dominant strain worldwide, U.S. deaths surge -officials The Delta variant of COVID-19 is now the dominant strain worldwide, accompanied by a surge of deaths around the United States almost entirely among unvaccinated people, U.S. officials said on Friday.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
U.S. to allow temporary rise in impurities in anti-smoking drug
The U.S. drug regulator said on Friday it will temporarily allow manufacturers to distribute the anti-smoking drug varenicline with elevated levels of an impurity that may cause cancer, to maintain availability after Pfizer Inc halted distribution of its Chantix branded varenicline. Pfizer in June halted distribution of Chantix and recalled a number of lots after finding elevated levels of nitrosamines in the pills.
The Delta variant of COVID-19 is now the dominant strain worldwide, accompanied by a surge of deaths around the United States almost entirely among unvaccinated people, U.S. officials said on Friday. U.S. cases of COVID-19 are up 70% over the previous week and deaths are up 26%, with outbreaks occurring in parts of the country with low vaccination rates, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky said during a press briefing.
U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday said social media platforms like Facebook "are killing people" for allowing misinformation about coronavirus vaccines to be posted on its platform, as the administration continued criticizing the company. "They're killing people. ... Look, the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated. And they're killing people," Biden told reporters at the White House when asked about misinformation and what his message was to social media platforms such as Facebook Inc's.
Ghana culls thousands of chickens, bans poultry movement amid avian flu outbreak
Ghana has destroyed 4,500 chickens and restricted the movement of poultry after nearly 6,000 birds were found to have died of the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian flu, the country's veterinary services director said on Saturday. The birds originated from seven farms in Ghana's greater Accra, Central and Volta regions, and poultry movement from those regions has been banned, veterinary director Patrick Abakeh told Reuters.
A COVID-19 vaccine developed by a unit of China's Chongqing Zhifei Biological Products largely retained its neutralising effect against the Delta variant but there was a slight reduction, Chinese researchers found in a laboratory study. Scientists and regulators are watching closely to see whether the Delta variant, which is significantly more contagious than the original variant of the new coronavirus, will render available vaccines and treatments insufficient.
Malaysia sees record 138 coronavirus deaths
Malaysia reported 138 coronavirus deaths on Saturday, a new daily record, amid a surge in infections. The health ministry also reported 12,528 new COVID-19 cases, below the record 13,215 infections seen on Thursday.
India's daily COVID-19 infections rise by 38,079
India on Saturday reported 38,079 new coronavirus cases over the last 24 hours, taking the nationwide tally to 31.06 million, health ministry data showed. The number of deaths rose by 560, taking the total to 413,091, according to ministry data.
FDA investigating how a known carcinogen wound up in J&J sunscreen
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is investigating how a cancer-causing chemical ended up in Johnson & Johnson sunscreens, after the company said it had done internal testing and found low levels of benzene in some, the regulator said on Friday. J&J, which issued a voluntarily recall of the five different Neutrogena and Aveeno brand products, began testing after Valisure - an online pharmacy that tests its products for contaminants - found benzene in dozens of suncare products and asked the FDA to look into it in May.
Germany's confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 1,608 - RKI
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 1,608 to 3,743,389, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Saturday. The reported death toll rose by 22 to 91,359, the tally showed.
Sydney tightens lockdown as Australia's COVID-19 cases rise
The Australian city of Sydney on Saturday ordered a shutdown of building sites, banned non-essential retail and threatened fines for employers who make staff come into the office as new COVID-19 cases kept rising three weeks into a citywide lockdown. Authorities in New South Wales state, of which Sydney is the capital, also banned hundreds of thousands of people in the city's western suburbs - the worst affected area - from leaving their immediate neighbourhoods for work, as they recorded 111 new cases in the prior 24 hours, up from 97 the day before.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)