Health News Roundup: In Texas, Biden highlights toxic health risks for veterans; Hong Kong leader urges suitable timing for mass testing effort and more
In announcing the move during press briefing convened by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, the state's surgeon general Dr. Joseph Lapado cited studies that showed few COVID fatalities among healthy children and elevated risk among young boys receiving the vaccine of side effects such as myocarditis. Attacks on Ukrainian hospitals, ambulances increasing rapidly, WHO warns Attacks on hospitals, ambulances and other health care facilities in Ukraine have increased rapidly in recent days and the country is running short of vital medical supplies, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
President Joe Biden visited Texas on Tuesday to highlight the exposure of U.S. service members to toxins in war zones that can lead to serious health problems like cancer that killed his son, which Biden blames on burn pits in Iraq. In remarks to a group of veterans in Fort Worth, Texas, Biden urged them to come forward to tell officials what they need in terms of treatment and assistance.
Hong Kong leader urges suitable timing for mass testing effort
Compulsory mass testing for coronavirus would be useful but needs to be done at a suitable time, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said on Wednesday, following anxiety among the 7.4 million residents of the financial hub bracing for a citywide lockdown.
Hong Kong to focus COVID resources on elderly, no date set for mass tests
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam announced a series of measures targeted at elderly residents on Wednesday as a surge of COVID-19 infections sweeps through care homes with deaths rapidly climbing among the city's mainly unvaccinated seniors. The government will strengthen medical treatment and resources and set up more isolation and temporary care facilities for elderly coronavirus patients, Lam told a media briefing.
'I am fine': Whispered words are a ray of hope on Ukraine children's ward
The doctor leaned over a small boy lying on a bed in a children's hospital in the northern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv and asked: "Little Vova, how are you?" "I am fine," came the barely audible reply. "Fine," the doctor repeated loudly, satisfied by what he heard.
Hong Kong's zero-COVID fight takes mental toll on society, experts say
Hong Kong resident Yeung waited for 13 hours outside a hospital in the city's eastern district in cold, rainy weather with his 3-year-old daughter, who had a high fever, before they could be admitted for COVID-19 treatment. By the time they could enter, her fever had gone down and she didn't require medical attention.
France's new COVID-19 infections start creeping up again
French health authorities reported 93,050 new COVID-19 infections on Tuesday, the highest daily total since Feb 22, and an increase of 16.6% versus a week ago. The number of new daily infections has now shown a week-one-week rise for the fourth consecutive day, reversing a declining trend that started end of January.
The BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron was estimated to be 11.6% of the coronavirus variants circulating in the United States as of March 5, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Tuesday. Scientists are tracking a rise in cases caused by BA.2, the dominant variant in South Africa, which is spreading rapidly in parts of Asia and Europe.
COVID-19 can cause brain shrinkage, memory loss - study
COVID-19 can cause the brain to shrink, reduce grey matter in the regions that control emotion and memory, and damage areas that control the sense of smell, an Oxford University study have found. The scientists said that the effects were even seen in people who had not been hospitalized with COVID and whether the impact could be partially reversed or if they would persist in the long term needed further investigation.
Florida breaks with CDC, recommends no COVID vaccine for healthy children
Florida's top health official said on Monday the state would recommend against the COVID-19 vaccine for healthy children, breaking with guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In announcing the move during a press briefing convened by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, the state's surgeon general Dr. Joseph Lapado cited studies that showed few COVID fatalities among healthy children and elevated risk among young boys receiving the vaccine of side effects such as myocarditis.
Attacks on Ukrainian hospitals, ambulances increasing rapidly, WHO warns
Attacks on hospitals, ambulances, and other health care facilities in Ukraine have increased rapidly in recent days and the country is running short of vital medical supplies, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday. The U.N. agency confirmed on Monday that at least nine people had died in 16 attacks on health care facilities since the start of a Russian invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24. It did not say who was responsible.
(With inputs from agencies.)