Health News Roundup: China reports 34,980 new COVID cases for Dec 1 vs 36,061 a day earlier; Beijing reports 942 symptomatic, and 3,026 asymptomatic COVID cases for Dec 1 and more
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
China reports 34,980 new COVID cases for Dec 1 vs 36,061 a day earlier
China reported a slight dip in new daily COVID-19 cases on Dec. 1 with 34,980 infections, of which 4,278 were symptomatic and 30,702 were asymptomatic, the National Health Commission said on Friday. That is compared with 36,061 new cases a day earlier – 4,150 symptomatic and 31,911 asymptomatic infections, which China counts separately.
Beijing reports 942 symptomatic, and 3,026 asymptomatic COVID cases for Dec 1
China's capital Beijing reported 942 symptomatic new locally transmitted COVID-19 infections and 3,026 asymptomatic cases for Dec. 1, the National Health Commission said on Friday.
This is compared with 1,023 symptomatic and 4,020 asymptomatic cases the day before.
U.S. urges 15-year sentence for ex-Theranos president Balwani
U.S. prosecutors have asked a judge to sentence former Theranos Inc President Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani to 15 years in prison for defrauding investors and patients in the blood-testing startup once led by Elizabeth Holmes. Balwani countered that probation, meaning no prison time, is sufficient, citing his own investment losses in a company once valued at $9 billion, and saying he never sought the "fame or media attention" that Holmes attracted as Theranos' public face.
Roivant, Pfizer team up on inflammatory disease drug
Biotech firm Roivant Sciences on Thursday launched a company with Pfizer Inc focused on an experimental bowel disease treatment, as the drugmakers seek to tap into a multibillion dollar market. The drug, RVT-3101, was originally developed by Pfizer, which will hold a 25% stake in the new business, with Roivant holding the majority interest.
Elon Musk expects Neuralink's brain chip to begin human trials in 6 months
Elon Musk said on Wednesday he expects a wireless brain chip developed by his company Neuralink to begin human clinical trials in six months, after the company missed earlier timelines set by him. The company is developing brain chip interfaces that it says could help disabled patients to move and communicate again, with Musk adding on Wednesday it will also target restoring vision.
U.S. FDA declines to approve Y-mAbs's pediatric cancer drug
The U.S. health regulator on Thursday declined to approve a treatment from Y-mAbs Therapeutics for a rare form of nerve cancer in pediatric patients, dragging the company's shares down 16% in extended trading. Y-mAbs said it is assessing the implications of the Food and Drug Administration's complete response letter (CRL) and the company's plans for the drug's development program.
Thousands of Minnesota nurses threaten to strike amid contract negotiations
Thousands of nurses seeking a new contract with hospitals in Minnesota are threatening to walk off the job later in December, the Minnesota Nurses Association announced on Thursday, less than three months after staging a three-day strike over working conditions. Nurses plan to go on strike on Dec. 11 in the absence of an agreement, according to a press release. The union of 15,000 nurses said many members have worked without a contract since the end of May. They voted on Tuesday to authorize an unfair labor practices strike that could last at least through year end.
Reckitt expects U.S. infant formula shortage until spring
The near year-long infant formula shortage in the United States that prompted the intervention of the White House is likely to "persist" until spring, according to Reckitt Benckiser, the maker of what is now the biggest brand in the market, Enfamil. Panicked parents had earlier this year emptied the baby formula aisles at supermarkets after former top U.S. manufacturer Abbott Laboratories in February recalled dozens of types of its Similac, Alimentum and EleCare formulas. The products, made at a plant in Michigan, were pulled after complaints of bacterial infections. Supermarkets like Target and Walgreens Boots Alliance were forced to limit its sales, putting pressure on the Biden administration to address the crisis.
Scattered easing of COVID curbs across China after week of unrest
Some communities in Chinese cities where COVID-19 is still spreading are easing off on testing requirements and quarantine rules in a marked shift in virus policies after widespread protests across the country. China is set to announce an easing of its COVID quarantine rules in coming days and a reduction in mass testing, sources told Reuters, even as cases nationwide remain near record highs.
Pharmacy owner in deadly 2012 U.S. meningitis outbreak gets 1 year in prison
A co-owner of a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy whose mold-tainted drugs sparked a deadly fungal meningitis outbreak in 2012 was sentenced on Thursday to one year in prison for deceiving regulators to avoid federal oversight before the tragedy. Gregory Conigliaro was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard Stearns in Boston after a federal appeals court last year revived his conviction for conspiring to defraud the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ahead of the outbreak.
(With inputs from agencies.)