Health News Roundup: First case of monkeypox confirmed in Ireland; U.S. CDC publishes guidelines on monkeypox vaccine and more
That compares with 362 new cases a day earlier - 96 symptomatic and 266 asymptomatic infections, which China counts separately. First steps in reforming global health emergency rules adopted at WHO meeting - U.S Countries around the world on Saturday adopted an initial U.S.-led reform of the rules around disease outbreaks, known as the International Health Regulations (IHR), the United States said.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
First case of monkeypox confirmed in Ireland
Ireland has confirmed its first case of monkeypox, the country's health agency said on Saturday. A separate suspected case is also being investigated and test results are awaited, the Health Service Executive (HSE) said in a statement.
U.S. CDC publishes guidelines on monkeypox vaccine
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday published recommendations by its group of independent experts on a smallpox vaccine that limit its use to only people who work closely with viruses such as monkeypox. The Jynneos vaccine, made by Bavarian Nordic, will be available for certain healthcare workers and laboratory personnel at a time when monkeypox infections have spread in Europe, the United States, and beyond.
N.Korea discusses revising COVID curbs, outbreak 'improving'
Top North Korean officials discussed revising anti-epidemic restrictions on Sunday as they assessed the situation over the country's first acknowledged COVID-19 outbreak was "improving", state media reported. A politburo meeting guided by leader Kim Jong Un "made a positive evaluation of the pandemic situation being controlled and improved across the country and discussed the issues of continuously stabilizing and improving the overall anti-epidemic situation," said KCNA news agency.
Disease experts call on WHO, and governments for more action on monkeypox
Some prominent infectious disease experts are pushing for faster action from global health authorities to contain a growing monkeypox outbreak that has spread to at least 20 countries. They are arguing that governments and the World Health Organization should not repeat the early missteps of the COVID-19 pandemic that delayed the detection of cases, helping the virus spread.
Use of Pfizer Inc's COVID-19 antiviral Paxlovid spiked this week, but some doctors are reconsidering the pills for lower-risk patients after a U.S. public health agency warned that symptoms can recur after people complete a course of the drug, and that they should then isolate a second time. More quarantine time "is not a crowd-pleaser," Dr. Sandra Kemmerly, an infectious disease specialist at Ochsner Health in New Orleans, told Reuters. "For those people who really aren't at risk ... I would recommend that they not take it."
China reports 293 new COVID cases for May 28 vs 362 a day earlier
Mainland China reported 293 new coronavirus cases on May 28, of which 82 were symptomatic and 211 were asymptomatic, the National Health Commission said on Sunday. That compares with 362 new cases a day earlier - 96 symptomatic and 266 asymptomatic infections, which China counts separately.
First steps in reforming global health emergency rules adopted at WHO meeting - U.S
Countries around the world on Saturday adopted an initial U.S.-led reform of the rules around disease outbreaks, known as the International Health Regulations (IHR), the United States said. The amendments, adopted at the World Health Organization (WHO) assembly, were agreed at a meeting seen as a once-in-a-generation chance for the U.N. health agency to strengthen its role after some 15 million deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Shanghai to ease some COVID testing requirements from June 1
Shanghai will ease COVID-19 testing requirements from June 1 for people who want to enter public areas or use public transport to encourage work resumption and a return to normal life, a city official said on Sunday. From June 1, people entering public venues or taking public transportation will need to show a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours, versus 48 hours previously, said Yin Xin, a government spokeswoman for Shanghai in a press briefing.
EU in talks for common purchase of vaccine, antiviral against monkeypox
The European Union is working on a common purchasing agreement for vaccines and antivirals against monkeypox, as cases of the viral disease, usually endemic to Africa gather steam in Europe and beyond. A broad consensus was reached in principle with member states for the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA) to acquire medical countermeasures on their behalf as soon as possible, a European Commission spokesperson told Reuters, confirming a report by Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter.
Mexico confirms the first case of monkeypox - health official
Mexico on Saturday reported the first confirmed case of monkeypox in the country, according to deputy health secretary Hugo Lopez-Gatell. The patient was a 50-year-old permanent resident of New York who is being treated in Mexico City, Lopez-Gatell said on Twitter.
(With inputs from agencies.)