Health News Roundup: N.Korea reports first COVID-19 death as fever spreads 'explosively'; Japan to offer up to $100 million in aid to help Indo-Pacific nations fight COVID and more

The FDA said Mounjaro, along with diet and exercise, improved blood sugar levels and was more effective than the other diabetes therapies with which it was compared in clinical studies. Biden says baby formula shortage to ease in weeks as U.S. imports more The U.S. baby formula shortage should improve dramatically in coming weeks, President Joe Biden and top officials said on Friday as the administration scrambled to reverse a shortfall that hits lower-income Americans particularly hard.


Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 14-05-2022 10:41 IST | Created: 14-05-2022 10:29 IST
Health News Roundup: N.Korea reports first COVID-19 death as fever spreads 'explosively'; Japan to offer up to $100 million in aid to help Indo-Pacific nations fight COVID and more
Representative image Image Credit: ANI

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

N.Korea reports first COVID-19 death as fever spreads 'explosively'

At least one person confirmed to have COVID-19 has died in North Korea and hundreds of thousands have shown fever symptoms, state media said on Friday, offering hints at the potentially dire scale of country's first confirmed outbreak of the pandemic. The data represents an unprecedented admission of an "explosive" outbreak in a country that had reported no previous confirmed cases since the pandemic began, and could mark a grave public health, economic and political crisis for the isolated regime.

Japan to offer up to $100 million in aid to help Indo-Pacific nations fight COVID

Japan plans to extend up to $100 million in aid to developing countries in the Indo-Pacific region to help them better battle the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said on Friday. Hayashi made the comment to reporters on the sidelines of a Group of Seven (G7) foreign ministers meeting in Germany, where discussion focused mostly on Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Britain delays ban on promotion of high-sugar foods

Britain will delay by a year new rules banning multi-buy deals on foods and drinks high in fat, salt, or sugar (HFSS), with the government saying on Saturday it needed more time given the cost of living crisis. The ban on the deals, including "buy one get one free" (BOGOF), "3 for 2", and restrictions on free refills for soft drinks, had been due to come into force in October.

Shanghai aims to defeat COVID over next week as Beijing hunkers down

Locked-down Shanghai aims to ringfence its COVID outbreak over the next week, officials said on Friday, while residents in China's capital Beijing largely heeded the advice of authorities to work from home to stem the virus' spread. Easing weeks of punishing restrictions in the commercial hub would bring relief to China's battered economy, although there is growing concern that Beijing may yet take a similar course of action if it fails to get a nascent outbreak under control.

U.S. FDA approves Eli Lilly's treatment for type 2 diabetes

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration said on Friday it had approved Eli Lilly's injected drug tirzepatide, which has the brand name Mounjaro, to help improve blood sugar control in adults with type 2 diabetes. The FDA said Mounjaro, along with diet and exercise, improved blood sugar levels and was more effective than the other diabetes therapies with which it was compared in clinical studies.

Biden says baby formula shortage to ease in weeks as U.S. imports more

The U.S. baby formula shortage should improve dramatically in coming weeks, President Joe Biden and top officials said on Friday as the administration scrambled to reverse a shortfall that hits lower-income Americans particularly hard. The United States is working with manufacturers to allow more importation of baby formula, Biden told reporters in the Rose Garden. "We're going to be, in a matter of weeks or less, getting significantly more formula on shelves," he said.

Pfizer, EU push back COVID vaccine delivery to help booster campaign

Pfizer Inc and its German partner BioNTech SE said on Friday they had agreed to push back deliveries of their COVID-19 vaccines to the European Union by three months as the bloc prepares for a potential booster campaign in the fall. The companies amended their supply agreement with the European Commission to push back delivery of doses scheduled for June through August until September through the fourth quarter of this year.

Abbott says shipped millions of cans of infant formula from Ireland

Abbott Laboratories said on Friday it has air shipped millions of cans of infant formula powder into the United States from its facility in Ireland to address shortages here as it tries to reopen its Michigan manufacturing plant. The company said in a blog https://www.abbott.com/corpnewsroom/nutrition-health-and-wellness/abbott-update-on-powder-formula-recall.html it was shipping infant formula produced at its Cootehill, Ireland facility to be used by consumers eligible for the U.S. government's Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition assistance program for low-income families.

Blood marker identified for babies at risk of SIDS hailed as 'breakthrough'

A team of Australian researchers have identified a biochemical marker in the blood that could help identify newborn babies at risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), a breakthrough they said creates an avenue to future tragedy-preventing interventions. In their study, babies who died of SIDS had lower levels of an enzyme called butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) shortly after birth, the researchers said. BChE plays a major role in the brain's arousal pathway, and low levels would reduce a sleeping infant's ability to wake up or respond to its environment.

North Korea's Kim says COVID 'great turmoil', 21 new deaths reported

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said on Saturday that the spread of COVID-19 had thrust his country into "great turmoil" and called for an all-out battle to overcome the outbreak, while 21 new daily deaths were reported among people with fever. North Korea made an unprecedented admission of its first COVID outbreak this week and imposed a nationwide lockdown, after reporting no cases since the start of the pandemic two years ago. But there was no sign a rigorous testing or treatment campaign was under way.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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