Health News Roundup: Fresenius taps pre-dialysis kidney care as drugs promise treatment change; Omicron BA.4.6 makes up nearly 13% of COVID variants circulating in U.S. - CDC and more
The latest data showed BA.4.6, which has been slowly rising in the last few weeks, made up nearly 22% of the cases in the region that includes the states of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. Biden, doctors say new abortion laws have chilling impact U.S. President Joe Biden and top White House officials announced new guidelines and grants to protect abortion and contraception rights on Tuesday, and said women's rights have already been curtailed since the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Fresenius taps pre-dialysis kidney care as drugs promise treatment change
The world's largest dialysis company is seeking out kidney disease patients long before they need the most acute form of care as it plans for growth of new drugs that attack the condition's causes early on. For decades, Germany's Fresenius Medical Care (FMC) has been the biggest player in the $50 billion U.S. market providing dialysis and related machines that help filter out blood toxins for people whose kidneys have failed to function.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday estimated that nearly 13% of the circulating coronavirus variants in the United States were of the BA.4.6 subvariant of Omicron, as of the week ended Oct. 1. The latest data showed BA.4.6, which has been slowly rising in the last few weeks, made up nearly 22% of the cases in the region that includes the states of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.
Rugby-Research shows huge spike in MND risk among former international players
A new study looking at the impact of concussion on a group of former Scottish international rugby players has found that they were 15 times more likely to develop motor neurone disease (MND) than the general population. The figure is likely to send shock waves through the sport, which is already embroiled in a legal fight over the link between concussion and early onset dementia and which is scrambling to find ways of reducing incidences of concussion in matches and training at all levels.
Factbox-New treatments hold the promise of slowing kidney damage
New breakthrough drugs that tackle obesity and kidney damage could make a dent in the $50 billion U.S. dialysis market. The following are facts about the new treatment options and what role they play in slowing the gradual progression of chronic kidney disease that can end in renal failure.
Biden, doctors say new abortion laws have chilling impact
U.S. President Joe Biden and top White House officials announced new guidelines and grants to protect abortion and contraception rights on Tuesday, and said women's rights have already been curtailed since the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade 100 days ago. Speaking at a meeting of the reproductive rights task force, with Vice President Kamala Harris, Biden said the decision that rescinded women's constitutional right to an abortion has had frightening ripple effects in some states, include restricting a teen's access to medicine she needed for arthritis. "We're not going to sit by and let Republicans throughout the country enact extreme policies," he said.
Arizona doctors sue to block 1901 near-total abortion ban
Arizona doctors have sued the state to try to block it from enforcing a 1901 ban on nearly all abortions, saying a law passed earlier this year allowing abortion up to 15 weeks of pregnancy should take precedence. In their complaint in Maricopa County Superior Court, the Arizona Medical Association and a Phoenix doctor who co-owns an abortion clinic, said doctors have halted all abortion services as they are unsure whether they could be prosecuted and jailed for providing them.
Michigan judge drops charges against 7 ex-state and city officials in Flint water crisis
A Michigan judge on Tuesday threw out felony charges against seven former state and local officials in connection with the Flint water scandal, ruling that the indictments brought against the individuals were invalid due to a procedural error. Under state-appointed managers, the government of Flint, a majority-Black city, switched its water supply from Lake Huron to the Flint River to cut costs in 2014. Corrosive river water caused lead to leach from the pipes, exposing thousands of children to lead poisoning and leading to an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease.
Doctors urge U.S. FDA to add miscarriage management to abortion pill label
Obstetricians, gynecologists, other medical professionals, and abortion rights advocates petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday to urge Danco Laboratories to seek approval of mifepristone, a pill used in terminating early pregnancies at home, for miscarriage management. Danco, one of two U.S. companies that make the medicine, said that right now it has no plans to do so.
A Japanese health ministry panel on Wednesday recommended approving Pfizer Inc's COVID-19 vaccine for children as young as six months old. Japan in January expanded use of the vaccine to those as young as five years old. Last month, health authorities started to dispensing Pfizer and Moderna Inc booster shots that target the Omicron variant of the virus.
President Joe Biden intends to nominate Surgeon General Vivek Murthy to be the U.S. representative on the World Health Organization's executive board, administration officials told Reuters on Tuesday. Murthy has served as the top U.S. doctor under Biden and under former President Barack Obama. He will continue in that role while taking on the WHO position if confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
(With inputs from agencies.)