Health News Roundup: Israel confirms first monkeypox case; North Korea reports 'positive trend' in COVID fight as fever cases dip and more

As of Saturday, 92 confirmed cases and 28 suspected cases of monkeypox have been reported from 12 member states that are not endemic for the virus, the U.N. agency said, adding it will provide further guidance and recommendations in coming days for countries on how to mitigate the spread of monkeypox. Explainer-How concerned should we be about monkeypox? Global health officials have sounded the alarm over rising cases in Europe and elsewhere of monkeypox, a type of viral infection more common to west and central Africa.


Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 22-05-2022 10:35 IST | Created: 22-05-2022 10:27 IST
Health News Roundup: Israel confirms first monkeypox case; North Korea reports 'positive trend' in COVID fight as fever cases dip and more
Representative image Image Credit: Pixino

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

Israel confirms first monkeypox case

Israel on Saturday reported its first confirmed case of monkeypox, which officials expected would be contained. A case is a man in his 30s who had returned from a trip to western Europe, according to the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center - Ichilov, where he is quarantined and in mild condition.

North Korea reports 'positive trend' in COVID fight as fever cases dip

For the first time in nearly 10 days, North Korea's daily "fever" cases dropped below 200,000, state media said on Sunday, reporting "a positive trend" after measures were taken to control the country's first acknowledged COVID-19 outbreak. The COVID wave declared on May 12, has fuelled concerns over a lack of vaccines, inadequate medical infrastructure, and a potential food crisis in the country of 25 million. It has refused most outside help, kept its borders shut, and allows no independent confirmation of official data.

U.S. CDC says adenovirus leading hypothesis for severe hepatitis in children

Infection with adenovirus, a common childhood virus, is the leading hypothesis for recent cases of severe hepatitis of unknown origin in children that have led to at least six deaths, U.S. health officials said on Friday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said it is continuing to investigate whether 180 cases identified in 36 states and territories since last October represent an increase in the rate of pediatric hepatitis or whether an existing pattern has been revealed through improved detection.

Explainer-What to know about mysterious severe hepatitis cases in children

At least 600 children in at least 34 countries have developed cases of sudden severe liver inflammation, or acute hepatitis, for which doctors have no explanation. Here is what health officials know so far:

Shanghai reopens some public transport, still on high COVID alert

Shanghai reopened a small part of the world's longest subway system on Sunday after some lines had been closed for almost two months, as the city paves the way for a more complete lifting of its painful COVID-19 lockdown next week. With most residents not allowed to leave their homes and restrictions tightening in parts of China's most populous city, commuters early on Sunday needed strong reasons to travel.

The Cancer coalition aims to boost access to medicines in poorer countries

Pharmaceutical companies including Novartis and Roche have teamed up with global cancer organizations in an alliance aimed at getting more oncology medications to poorer countries.

Currently, fewer than 50% of the cancer drugs on the World Health Organization's (WHO) essential medicines list are available in low and middle-income countries, and the disease burden is growing. Without action, almost three in four cancer deaths are set to occur in these settings in the next decade.

Germany monkeypox infections rise to three after Berlin cases

At least two cases of monkeypox have been registered in Berlin, health authorities in the German capital said on Saturday, one day after the country registered its first case in Munich. The city of Berlin's health ministry said in a statement that more cases would likely emerge over the next few days, adding that the patients were in stable condition and that genetic sequencing would clarify the type of disease strain.

WHO expects more cases of monkeypox to emerge globally?

The World Health Organization said it expects to identify more cases of monkeypox as it expands surveillance in countries where the disease is not typically found. As of Saturday, 92 confirmed cases and 28 suspected cases of monkeypox have been reported from 12 member states that are not endemic to the virus, the U.N. agency said, adding it will provide further guidance and recommendations in the coming days for countries on how to mitigate the spread of monkeypox.

Explainer-How concerned should we be about monkeypox?

Global health officials have sounded the alarm over rising cases in Europe and elsewhere of monkeypox, a type of viral infection more common to the west and central Africa. As of Friday, some 80 monkeypox cases have been confirmed and an additional 50 are under investigation in 11 countries, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The following is what is known about the current outbreak and the relative risk of monkeypox:

Norway warns of possible monkeypox infections in Oslo

Norway has begun searching for possible cases of monkeypox in the capital Oslo, the country's Institute of Public Health (FHI) said on Saturday. "A foreigner who visited Oslo from May 6-10 has, after returning home, been confirmed to have been infected," FHI said.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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