Health News Roundup: Chile confirms new cases of bird flu in pelicans; Some bloodstream infection bacteria grew resistant to last-resort drugs in 2020 - WHO and more
The vaccine, branded QDENGA, is authorized for use in those aged 4 and older to prevent any of the four so-called serotypes of dengue. Some bloodstream infection bacteria grew resistant to last-resort drugs in 2020 - WHO Increased drug resistance in bacteria causing bloodstream infections, including against last-resort antibiotics, was seen in the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, a World Health Organization report based on data from 87 countries in 2020 showed.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Chile confirms new cases of bird flu in pelicans
Chile reported new cases of a highly pathogenic avian influenza virus in wild birds on Thursday as the disease spreads on the South American continent. The H5N1 variant was found in two pelicans, the Chilean Agriculture Ministry said on its website, one in the coastal region of Iquique and another in coastal Antofagasta.
Some bloodstream infection bacteria grew resistant to last-resort drugs in 2020 - WHO
Increased drug resistance in bacteria causing bloodstream infections, including against last-resort antibiotics, was seen in the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, a World Health Organization report based on data from 87 countries in 2020 showed. The overuse and/or misuse of antibiotics has helped microbes to become resistant to many treatments, while the pipeline of replacement therapies in development is alarmingly sparse.
Patient selection for AstraZeneca, Daiichi breast cancer drug needs improvement, experts say
The rush to use AstraZeneca and Daiichi-Sankyo's drug Enhertu to treat certain types of breast cancer has far outpaced doctors' ability to determine with certainty which patients might benefit, experts said this week at a meeting of breast cancer doctors. Enhertu, which won U.S. approval in late 2019, is used in patients with advanced breast, gastric and lung cancers whose tumor cells carry a protein called HER2.
'It's dead out here': China's slow exit from zero-COVID
Judging by Friday's quiet streets in China's capital Beijing and the reluctance of some businesses to drop COVID curbs, enduring anxieties about the coronavirus are likely to hamper a speedy return to health for the world's second-largest economy. Although the government on Wednesday loosened key parts of its strict "zero-COVID" policy that has kept the pandemic largely at bay for the past three years, many people appear wary of being too quick to shake off the shackles.
Japan's Takeda secures EU nod for its dengue vaccine
A dengue vaccine developed by Japanese drugmaker Takeda Pharmaceutical Co was authorized for use in the European Union on Thursday, making it the second approved inoculation against the mosquito-borne disease that causes millions of infections annually. The vaccine, branded QDENGA, is authorized for use in those aged 4 and older to prevent any of the four so-called serotypes of dengue.
FDA approves first oral treatment for cats with a type of diabetes
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday approved Elanco Animal Health Inc's drug for cats with a type of diabetes, making it the first oral drug to be approved for the disease in animals. Bexacat helps improve glycemic control in otherwise healthy cats with diabetes mellitus not previously treated with insulin.
Exclusive-EU to propose delay to medical device law amid supply worries
The EU Health Commissioner will on Friday propose extending the deadline for companies to comply with a new law regulating medical devices, she told Reuters on Thursday as doctors warn the legislation is causing shortages of lifesaving equipment. Stella Kyriakides told Reuters that challenges in implementing the law were threatening supplies of critical devices, such as catheters used for surgeries on newborns with heart conditions.
Spread of cholera threatens eastern Congo camps of displaced persons
In a cholera treatment centre in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, doctor Bishikwabo Irenge tries to coax a crying and struggling six-year-old boy to drink. The child's mother, Christine Nyiramahigwe, told Reuters she was forced to flee home during recent fighting between the Congolese army and the M23 rebel group in North Kivu province.
At start of WHO talks on pandemic pact, developing countries seek fairness
Developing nations are lobbying for fairer access to treatments than they got during COVID-19 as global talks begin on drafting new health rules for combating pandemics. But they worry that the odds of a favourable outcome from a scheduled 18 months of negotiations at the World Health Organization (WHO) are already stacked against them, as they lack the negotiating firepower of wealthier countries.
U.S. FDA authorizes bivalent COVID shots for kids as young as 6 months old
The U.S. health regulator has authorized COVID-19 shots from Moderna and Pfizer and its partner BioNTech that target both the original coronavirus and Omicron sub-variants for use in children as young as 6 months of age. The amended authorization on Thursday from the Food and Drug Administration allows use of Moderna's bivalent shot as a booster in children 6 months through 5 years of age, two months after their initial vaccination.
(With inputs from agencies.)