Health News Roundup: WHO says monkeypox 'containable' as more govts start limited vaccinations; Africa objects to U.S. push to reform health rules at WHO assembly and more
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
WHO says monkeypox 'containable' as more govts start limited vaccinations
The outbreak of monkeypox cases outside of Africa can be contained, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday, as more governments said they would launch limited vaccinations to combat rising infections of the virus. The moves came as authorities investigated 237 suspected and confirmed cases of the virus in 19 countries since early May.
Africa objects to U.S. push to reform health rules at WHO assembly
African countries raised an objection on Tuesday to a U.S.-led proposal to reform the International Health Regulations (IHR), a move delegates say might prevent passage at the World Health Organization's annual assembly. If Africa continues to withhold support, it could block one of the only concrete reforms expected from the meeting, fraying hopes that members will unite on reforms to strengthen the U.N. health agency's rules as it seeks a central role for itself in global health policy.
WHO donors agree to fix 'rotten' funding model
World Health Organization members formally agreed on Tuesday to a plan to overhaul its funding model which has been described as "fundamentally rotten" due to its over-reliance on the whims of donors. The plan, which members had already agreed to on a preliminary basis last month, is seen as one of the most important likely outcomes of the U.N. agency's ongoing annual World Health Assembly in Geneva this week, at which the body is seeking a central role in global health policy.
Exclusive-Brazil's Bolsonaro may backtrack, boost environmental fines to protect Amazon
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro could sign a decree as soon as Tuesday to step up fines for environmental crimes, two officials familiar with the matter told Reuters, a move that would allow more aggressive protection of the Amazon rainforest.
The government officials, who were not authorized to speak to the media, said that the decree was ready and would be sent to Bolsonaro's desk on Tuesday for his signature.
Bavarian Nordic in talks with many countries over monkeypox vaccine
Danish biotechnology company Bavarian Nordic, the only producer of a vaccine approved against monkeypox, has been approached by many countries keen on procuring vaccines against the disease which has spread to nearly 20 countries. "Many countries have approached us to buy vaccines," Bavarian Nordic investor relations official Rolf Sorensen told Reuters on Tuesday. He declined to identify the countries or say how many.
U.S. FTC launches inquiry into infant formula crisis
The Federal Trade Commission said on Tuesday it has launched an inquiry into the ongoing shortage for infant formula. The inquiry comes in the wake of a product recall by top baby formula maker Abbott Laboratories and the closing of its manufacturing plant in Sturgis, Michigan during a probe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that has created one of the biggest infant formula shortages in recent history for U.S. families.
U.S. CDC recommends re-isolation if COVID recurs after taking Pfizer's pill
Patients who experience recurrence of COVID-19 symptoms after completing treatment with Pfizer's drug Paxlovid should isolate again for five days, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in an advisory issued on Tuesday. Dozens of individuals have reported rebounding COVID symptoms on social media or to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration after taking Paxlovid, but Pfizer suggests the experience is rare. A recent rise in COVID cases has driven up use of therapeutics in the country.
Tedros re-elected as head of World Health Organization
The World Health Organization's (WHO) members re-elected Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as Director General by a strong majority for another five years, the president of the World Health Assembly said on Tuesday. The vote by secret ballot, announced by Ahmed Robleh Abdilleh from Djibouti at a major annual meeting, was seen as a formality since Tedros was the only candidate running.
Canada's Quebec confirms 15 cases of monkeypox
The Canadian province of Quebec has confirmed 15 cases of monkeypox as of Monday, the provincial health department said on Tuesday. Nearly 20 countries where monkeypox is not endemic have reported recent outbreaks of the viral disease, with more than 230 confirmed or suspected infections mostly in Europe.
Nigeria receives 4.4 million doses of J&J COVID vaccine from Spain
Nigeria has received 4.4 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine from Spain, a government official said on Tuesday. Nigeria has already received 2 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine from Finland, Greece and Slovenia with more expected from EU countries.
(With inputs from agencies.)