Health News Roundup: Biden to name FEMA, CDC officials to lead U.S. monkeypox response -AP; 'The government didn't do anything': Mexican, Brazilian monkeypox responses draw concern and more
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
U.S. President Joe Biden is set to name top officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to head the response to monkeypox, the Associated Press reported on Monday.
Robert Fenton, acting administrator at FEMA who helped lead the mass vaccination effort for COVID-19 in February 2021, will serve as the White House coordinator to head the monkeypox response.
'The government didn't do anything': Mexican, Brazilian monkeypox responses draw concern
Francisco's lesions started after returning home to Mexico City from California in late June: First, two spots on his buttocks. Then, a week later, lesions all over his body, his mouth so full of sores that he could barely talk or drink water.
"The pain was indescribable, catastrophic," said Francisco, 44, who asked Reuters to conceal his real name.
Polio found in New York wastewater as state urges vaccinations
The polio virus was present in wastewater in a New York City suburb a month before health officials there announced a confirmed case of the disease last month, state health officials said on Monday, urging residents to be sure they have been vaccinated. The discovery of the disease from wastewater samples collected in June means the virus was present in the community before the Rockland County adult's diagnosis was made public on July 21.
Apple drops mask requirements for most of its corporate workers - The Verge
Apple Inc is dropping its mask mandate for corporate employees at most locations, the Verge reported on Monday, citing an internal memo. (https://bit.ly/3oJ3EQN) This comes even as COVID-19 infections in the United States have been on the rise with the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of the Omicron variant accounting for more than 90% of infections, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
West Virginia cities reach $400 million opioid distributor settlement
West Virginia's cities and counties reached a $400 million settlement on Monday with drug distributors McKesson Corp, AmerisourceBergen Corp and Cardinal Health Inc, resolving the local governments' allegations that the three companies fueled an opioid crisis in the state. More than 100 local governments had sued the drug distributors, alleging they recklessly oversupplied West Virginia with prescription pain medication. The settlement ends those lawsuits and builds on the companies' previous settlements with the state Attorney General's office.
'Living with COVID': Where the pandemic could go next
As the third winter of the coronavirus pandemic looms in the northern hemisphere, scientists are warning weary governments and populations alike to brace for more waves of COVID-19. In the United States alone, there could be up to a million infections a day this winter, Chris Murray, head of the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), an independent modeling group at the University of Washington that has been tracking the pandemic, told Reuters. That would be around double the current daily tally.
Macau to reopen city as no COVID infections detected for 9 days
Macau will reopen public services and entertainment facilities, and allow dining-in at restaurants from Tuesday, authorities said, as the world's biggest gambling hub seeks a return to normalcy after finding no COVID-19 cases for nine straight days. Beauty salons, fitness centers, and bars too will be allowed to resume operations, the government said in a statement on Monday. The announcement came as authorities also reported on Monday that July monthly casino revenues dropped 95% year on year to 0.4 billion patacas ($49.5 million), the lowest on record.
California governor declares monkeypox emergency
California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency over monkeypox on Monday in a move aimed at bolstering vaccination efforts to slow the spread of an outbreak that has infected more than 5,800 Americans. California, the nation's most populous state, has confirmed 827 monkeypox cases as of Monday, the second-largest state tally after the 1,390 infections documented in New York, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
S.Korea develops nanotech tattoo as a health monitoring device
South Koreans may soon be able to carry a device inside their own bodies in the form of a bespoke tattoo that automatically alerts them to potential health problems if a science team's project bears fruit. Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in the city of Daejeon southwest of Seoul have developed an electronic tattoo ink made of liquid metal and carbon nanotubes that functions as a bioelectrode.
India confirms Asia's first monkeypox death
India confirmed its first monkeypox death on Monday, a young man in the southern state of Kerala, in what is only the fourth known fatality from the disease in the current outbreak. Last week, Spain reported two monkeypox-related deaths, and Brazil it's first. Death in India is also the first in Asia. The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a global health emergency on July 23.
(With inputs from agencies.)