Health News Roundup: Mystery illness affecting dogs across the United States; US FDA clears Vivos Therapeutics' oral device for sleep apnea and more
Mitigating that risk was top of his agenda, Jean Kaseya, the director general of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told Reuters as he headed to the COP28 climate summit in Dubai, which begins on Thursday. US FDA flags new problem with Philips machines, shares fall Philips shares fell more than 6% on Wednesday after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it is alerting patients of a new safety issue with machines made by the group that are used for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Mystery illness affecting dogs across the United States
A mystery respiratory illness has stricken dogs in at least 14 states, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, which is asking vets to report cases while laboratories race to isolate the pathogen. Researchers are still attempting to determine if the disease, which can be fatal, is viral or bacterial, and whether it could be a variant of the well-understood canine disease known as "kennel cough," the association said.
US FDA clears Vivos Therapeutics' oral device for sleep apnea
Vivos Therapeutics said on Wednesday the U.S. health regulator has cleared its oral device for severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), leading a massive rally in the company's shares before the bell. Shares of the medical device maker more than doubled to $9.12 in premarket trading.
Factbox-Consolidation in US health insurance industry
Health insurer Cigna is in merger talks with Humana, a source familiar with the matter said on Wednesday, potentially marking the latest in a long string of deals aimed at consolidation of the industry. The U.S. Department of Justice, citing the prospect of higher prices, in 2016 successfully sued to stop two proposed mega mergers: Anthem's - now Elevance Health - planned $54 billion purchase of Cigna and Aetna's proposed $34 billion acquisition of Humana.
US life expectancy climbs in 2022 after COVID retreat
U.S. babies born in 2022 gained roughly a year in life expectancy compared with babies born a year earlier, federal data showed on Wednesday, marking progress after two consecutive years of declines largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Life expectancy at birth for 2022 newborns was 77.5 years, up from 76.4 in 2021 but still lower than the 78.8 years expected for those born in 2019, data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests.
Taiwan urges elderly, young to avoid China visits due to respiratory illnesses
Taiwan's health ministry on Thursday urged the elderly, very young and those with poor immunity to avoid travel to China due to the recent increase in respiratory illnesses there. The World Health Organization (WHO) last week requested China provide detailed information on the spike, which a WHO official said was not as high as before the COVID-19 pandemic.
UK expands HIV screening programme as Elton John addresses lawmakers
Singer Elton John addressed British lawmakers on Wednesday as the government announced plans to expand an HIV testing programme as part of its aim to end new transmissions of the virus in England by 2030. John, 76, one of the biggest selling artists of all time, spoke at a private reception in the Houses of Parliament to honour his work in the fight against HIV and Aids as part of celebrations ahead of World Aids Day on Friday.
Climate change is the biggest human health risk, says Africa's disease boss
Climate change is the biggest threat to human health in Africa and the rest of the world, the head of the continent's public health agency said. Mitigating that risk was top of his agenda, Jean Kaseya, the director general of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told Reuters as he headed to the COP28 climate summit in Dubai, which begins on Thursday.
US FDA flags new problem with Philips machines, shares fall
Philips shares fell more than 6% on Wednesday after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it is alerting patients of a new safety issue with machines made by the group that are used for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. The Amsterdam-based healthcare technology company has been grappling with the fallout of a global recall in June 2021 of millions of respirators used to treat sleep apnea over worries that foam used in the machines could become toxic.
Disease could be bigger killer than bombs in Gaza - WHO
More people could die from disease than from bombings in the Gaza Strip if its health system is not repaired, a World Health Organization spokesperson said on Tuesday, warning of a surge in infectious diseases and diarrhoea in children. In figures deemed reliable by the United Nations, Gaza health authorities say more than 15,000 people have been confirmed killed in Israel's bombardment of the narrow enclave, around 40% of them children, with many more feared to be lost under rubble.
Return of bird flu brings test for French vaccination strategy
The first outbreak of bird flu this season on a farm in France has put the industry on watch to see if the country's strategy of vaccinating birds will prove effective, helping avoid a repeat of previous crises that killed millions of poultry. The farm ministry said on Tuesday a first case of the highly pathogenic bird flu was found among turkeys in Brittany, northwestern France, as a seasonal wave of infections spreads across Europe, the United States and Japan.
(With inputs from agencies.)