Health News Roundup: Biden administration prepares to end mpox emergency declaration -Politico; Chinese vice premier urges improvements in COVID measures as pathogenicity weakens and more
The joint World Health Organization (WHO) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) report said that in 2021 a quarter fewer HIV diagnoses were recorded compared to pre-pandemic levels in the WHO's European region. Moderna exec says COVID trials improved diversity recruiting Moderna Inc's top scientist said on Tuesday that the vaccine maker has learned how to better recruit from diverse populations for its clinical trials from running its COVID-19 vaccine studies.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Biden administration prepares to end mpox emergency declaration -Politico
President Joe Biden's administration is preparing an end to its public health emergency declaration for mpox, Politico reported on Wednesday, adding that a final decision had yet to be made. Health officials are likely to issue a 60-day notice later this week for winding down the declaration, Politico said, citing two people with knowledge of the matter. The move would lead the declaration to officially expire by Jan. 31.
Chinese vice premier urges improvements in COVID measures as pathogenicity weakens
Chinese Vice Premier Sun Chunlan called for further efforts to improve COVID-19 prevention and control measures, urging "optimization" of testing, treatment and quarantine policies, as the virus weakens in pathogenicity, according to state media. Her remarks come as cities across China take a more targeted approach to tackle outbreaks, fine-tuning 20 new measures released by the government almost three weeks ago.
Driving simulator helps teens with ADHD keep eyes on the road - study
A computer simulation program for teen drivers with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) helped them learn to keep their eyes on the road and resulted in fewer accidents or near collisions for a group at particularly high risk when behind the wheel, according to a study published on Wednesday. By providing feedback when teens looked away from the road for two seconds or more, the training reduced the frequency of these long glances and lessened variations in lane position, researchers reported in The New England Journal of Medicine.
COVID hit HIV detection in Europe, threatens eradication progress
The number of people in Europe with undiagnosed HIV has risen as testing rates fell during the COVID-19 pandemic, threatening a global goal of ending the disease by 2030, a report said. The joint World Health Organization (WHO) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) report said that in 2021 a quarter fewer HIV diagnoses were recorded compared to pre-pandemic levels in the WHO's European region.
Moderna exec says COVID trials improved diversity recruiting
Moderna Inc's top scientist said on Tuesday that the vaccine maker has learned how to better recruit from diverse populations for its clinical trials from running its COVID-19 vaccine studies. Moderna Chief Medical Officer Paul Burton, speaking at the Reuters NEXT conference in New York, said that in 2020 the company needed to slow enrollment in its initial COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial in order to include more people in communities of color.
China softens tone on COVID severity after protests
China is softening its tone on the severity of COVID-19 and easing some coronavirus restrictions even as its daily case toll hovers near records, after anger over the world's toughest curbs morphed into protests across the country. Several cities in the world's second-largest economy, while still reporting infections, are breaking with past practice by lifting district lockdowns and allowing businesses to reopen.
U.S. FDA gives first-ever approval to fecal transplant therapy
The U.S. health regulator on Wednesday approved Switzerland-based Ferring Pharmaceuticals' fecal transplant-based therapy to reduce the recurrence of a bacterial infection, making it the first therapy of its kind to be cleared in the United States. The therapy, Rebyota, targets Clostridium difficile, or C. difficile – a superbug responsible for infections that can cause serious and life-threatening diarrhea. In the United States, the infection is associated with 15,000-30,000 deaths annually.
Eisai, Biogen Alzheimer's drug could be available to some next year
Japan's Eisai Co plans to seek full approval of its experimental Alzheimer's drug lecanemab in the United States, Europe and Japan armed with data showing it can slow the brain-wasting disease for people with early symptoms, potentially getting the treatment to patients next year. It remains unclear how widely the drug developed with U.S. biotech Biogen Inc will be used due to uncertainty over insurance coverage, including the U.S. government's Medicare plan for people age 65 and over, potential side effects and cost.
FDA pulls U.S. authorization for Eli Lilly's COVID drug bebtelovimab
Eli Lilly and Co's COVID-19 drug bebtelovimab is not currently authorized for emergency use in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration said, citing it is not expected to neutralize the dominant BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 subvariants of Omicron. Wednesday's announcement takes away authorization from the last COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatment, leaving Pfizer Inc's antiviral drug Paxlovid, Merck's Lagevrio and Gilead Sciences' Veklury as treatments for the disease, besides convalescent plasma for some patients.
U.S. CDC to expand wastewater testing for poliovirus in some communities
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Wednesday it will expand wastewater testing for poliovirus in areas with low vaccination coverage or counties that are linked to a case in New York reported in July. Detection of poliovirus in sewage or wastewater indicates someone in the community is shedding the virus.
(With inputs from agencies.)