Health News Roundup: U.S. Supreme Court takes no action on Bayer bid to nix weedkiller suits; EU agency sees risk of COVID deaths rising as Omicron subvariants spread and more

Bayer has asked the justices to take up its appeal of a lower court decision that upheld $25 million in damages awarded to California resident Edwin Hardeman, a Roundup user who blamed his cancer on the pharmaceutical and chemical giant's glyphosate-based weedkillers. Monkeypox DNA found in semen in handful of cases -researchers say Fragments of the monkeypox virus have been detected in semen in a handful of patients in Italy, raising questions over whether sexual transmission of the disease is a possibility, scientists said on Monday.


Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 14-06-2022 10:32 IST | Created: 14-06-2022 10:27 IST
Health News Roundup: U.S. Supreme Court takes no action on Bayer bid to nix weedkiller suits; EU agency sees risk of COVID deaths rising as Omicron subvariants spread and more
Representative image Image Credit: ANI

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

U.S. Supreme Court takes no action on Bayer bid to nix weedkiller suits

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday took no action on Bayer AG's bid to dismiss legal claims by customers who contend its Roundup weedkiller causes cancer as the German company seeks to avoid potentially billions of dollars in damages. The case was not mentioned on a list issued by the court on Monday as it decided on whether to hear pending appeals, raising at least the possibility that the justices are considering hearing it. Bayer has asked the justices to take up its appeal of a lower court decision that upheld $25 million in damages awarded to California resident Edwin Hardeman, a Roundup user who blamed his cancer on the pharmaceutical and chemical giant's glyphosate-based weedkillers.

EU agency sees risk of COVID deaths rising as Omicron subvariants spread

Two new subvariants of Omicron, BA.4 and BA.5, are spreading more quickly than other coronavirus variants in Europe, which could lead to more hospitalizations and deaths as they become dominant, the EU's disease prevention agency said on Monday. Most EU countries have so far detected low rates of the two subgroups. But in countries where the proportion has risen - such as Portugal, where BA.5 accounted for 87% of cases by May 30 - there have been surges in overall cases, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said on Monday.

Monkeypox DNA found in semen in a handful of cases -researchers say

Fragments of the monkeypox virus have been detected in semen in a handful of patients in Italy, raising questions over whether sexual transmission of the disease is a possibility, scientists said on Monday. The monkeypox virus is understood to spread through close contact with an infected person, who may shed the virus via its hallmark skin lesions or large respiratory droplets. Many of the monkeypox cases confirmed in the current outbreak are among sexual partners who have had such close contact.

Canada to end COVID vaccine mandate for domestic travel -CBC News

The Canadian government on Tuesday will announce an end to COVID-19 vaccine mandates for domestic travel on planes and trains and outgoing international travel, CBC News reported on Monday, citing unidentified sources familiar with the matter. The government, which has faced criticism over ongoing pandemic restrictions, may bring back the vaccine mandate if a new variant of the virus is discovered, the report https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/government-end-vax-mandates-1.6487585 added.

Indonesia launching nationwide vaccinations for foot and mouth disease

Indonesia will this week launch a nationwide livestock vaccination program, its agriculture ministry said on Monday, as the number of cattle infected with foot and mouth disease surged to more than 151,000. Some of the vaccines arrived on Sunday and 800,000 more doses will follow soon, said Kuntoro Boga Andri, the ministry spokesperson. He did not say how many vaccines had been received so far.

U.S. Supreme Court rebuffs opioid maker Insys founder's conviction appeal

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected bids by Insys Therapeutics Inc founder John Kapoor and another former executive of the drugmaker to overturn their convictions for conspiring to bribe doctors to prescribe addictive opioids and defraud insurers into paying for them. The justices turned away appeals by Kapoor, the former Insys executive chairman, and Sunrise Lee, a former regional sales director, of their 2019 convictions by a jury in federal court in Boston on the charge of racketeering conspiracy.

Pandemic stress may disrupt ovaries; blood tests may improve immunity assessment

The following is a summary of some recent studies on COVID-19. They include research that warrants further study to corroborate the findings and that has yet to be certified by peer review. Pandemic stress may subtly impact ovaries

Rune Labs gets FDA clearance to use Apple Watch to track Parkinson's symptoms

San Francisco-based startup Rune Labs on Monday said it received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfpmn/pmn.cfm?ID=K213519 to use the Apple Watch to monitor tremors and other common symptoms in patients with Parkinson's disease. The Rune Labs software uses motion sensors built into the Apple Watch, which can already be used to detect when a person falls. Rune Labs Chief Executive Brian Pepin said in an interview that Apple Watch data will be combined with data from other sources, including a Medtronic Inc implant that can measure brain signals.

Beijing tests millions to stem 'developing' COVID cluster at the 24-hour bar

Authorities in China's capital Beijing raced on Monday to contain a COVID-19 outbreak traced to a 24-hour bar known for cheap liquor and big crowds, with millions facing mandatory testing and thousands under targeted lockdowns. The outbreak of 228 cases linked to the Heaven Supermarket Bar, which had just reopened as restrictions in Beijing eased last week, highlights how hard it will be for China to make a success of its "zero COVID" policy as much of the rest of the world opts to learn how to live with the virus.

Planned Parenthood builds a staff network to help U.S. women navigate abortion hurdles

Planned Parenthood and other abortion-rights groups are expanding a network of staff to guide patients through what is expected to become an increasingly complex and expensive process to obtain abortions across much of the United States. Regional affiliates of Planned Parenthood said they are hiring more "patient navigators," a role dedicated to helping women find abortion appointments and secure money to cover medical, travel, and childcare costs.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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