Health News Roundup: Omicron BA.5 makes up 82% of COVID variants in U.S. - CDC; Biden's COVID symptoms are 'almost completely resolved', his physician says and more
The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) said it would give up to $375,000 to the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) to develop standard tools to assess the strength and duration of immune responses generated by current vaccines, and for tests used to detect monkeypox antibody levels. U.S. may require nearly $7 billion to combat monkeypox outbreak - WaPo The Biden administration estimates it may need nearly $7 billion to deal with the monkeypox outbreak in the United States, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
The BA.5 subvariant of Omicron was estimated to make up 81.9% of the circulating coronavirus variants in the United States for the week ended July 23, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Tuesday. This was higher than the 75.9% prevalence estimated in the preceding week.
Biden's COVID symptoms are 'almost completely resolved', his physician says
U.S. President Joe Biden's COVID-19 symptoms have now "almost completely resolved" and he now feels well enough to resume his physical exercise regimen, his physician said in a memo on Tuesday. Biden will continue to isolate, the physician, Dr. Kevin O'Connor, said.
COVID infections fall in New Zealand, worst case scenario likely avoided
New Zealand's government said on Wednesday that new COVID-19 cases were trending down and it looked likely the country would avoid a feared worst-case scenario of 20,000 infections daily. In the last seven days, there were on average 8,111 new cases daily of COVID, down from a seven-day rolling average of 9,367 new cases in the week prior, according to Health Ministry data released on Wednesday. Currently, 808 people were in the hospital with COVID, which was also a lower number than earlier, data showed.
Experimental chewing gum reduces Omicron in saliva; sexual dysfunction, hair loss among long COVID symptoms
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. Experimental chewing gum reduces Omicron particles in saliva
BioNTech, Pfizer sue CureVac in the U.S. over COVID-19 vaccine patent claims
COVID-19 vaccine maker BioNTech said on Tuesday that it and partner Pfizer have filed a complaint with the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts, seeking a judgment that they did not infringe U.S. patents held by rival CureVac. The lawsuit, filed Monday, said CureVac is trying to profit from the success of BioNTech and Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccines after CureVac's efforts to create its own vaccine failed.
British agencies win CEPI funds to develop standard monkeypox tools
British health agencies have secured funding to develop a standardized approach to test the performance of vaccines being used or in development against monkeypox, days after the World Health Organization (WHO) labeled the growing outbreak a global health emergency. The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) said it would give up to $375,000 to the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) to develop standard tools to assess the strength and duration of immune responses generated by current vaccines, and for tests used to detect monkeypox antibody levels.
U.S. may require nearly $7 billion to combat monkeypox outbreak - WaPo
The Biden administration estimates it may need nearly $7 billion to deal with the monkeypox outbreak in the United States, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday. The funding estimate was part of a memo marked to President Joe Biden outlining a series of options, as opposed to a formal funding request, the report said. (https://wapo.st/3oxXimZ)
Australia's COVID hospital admissions, and deaths rise as variant surges
Hospital admissions for COVID-19 in Australia have reached a new high for a second straight day, data showed on Tuesday, while the daily death toll rose to its second-highest as an outbreak fuelled by a coronavirus sub-variant sweeps the country. Nearly 5,600 patients infected with COVID are in hospital while 100 new deaths were reported, just short of a record 102 deaths on Saturday.
Teva reaches proposed $4.35 billion settlement of U.S. opioid lawsuits
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries on Tuesday announced a $4.35 billion proposed nationwide settlement that could resolve thousands of lawsuits over the drugmaker's alleged role in the U.S. opioid epidemic. The proposal calls for Teva to pay state and local governments up to $3.7 billion in cash over 13 years plus a contribution of $1.2 billion worth of the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone. Israel-based Teva also will pay approximately $100 million to Native American tribes and pay attorneys fees incurred by the states, local governments, and tribes.
Explainer-How worried should we be about the monkeypox global health emergency?
The rapidly spreading monkeypox outbreak constitutes a global health emergency, the World Health Organization's highest alert level, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus declared on Saturday. First identified in monkeys, the virus is transmitted chiefly through close contact with an infected person. Until this year, the viral disease has rarely spread outside Africa where it is endemic.
(With inputs from agencies.)