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Health News Roundup: Developing world should reap benefits of new monkeypox research, experts urge; France says the number of confirmed monkeypox cases has risen to 33 and more

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

Developing world should reap benefits of new monkeypox research, experts urge

As cases of monkeypox in wealthier Western nations spark a flurry of scientific research to combat the outbreak, scientists are urging the world to make sure lower-income nations benefit from the fruits of that labor as well. More than 550 confirmed cases of monkeypox have been reported by at least 30 countries outside of Africa, where the virus is typically found, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

France says the number of confirmed monkeypox cases has risen to 33

The number of confirmed monkeypox cases in France has risen to 33 from 17 earlier this week, health authorities said on Thursday. The Sante Publique France (SPF) health body said there were 33 cases as of June 1, of which 24 were in the Paris/Ile-de-France region. That compared to 17 confirmed cases as of May 30.

Pfizer’s Paxlovid reduces COVID risk in seniors regardless of vaccine status-study

Pfizer Inc’s antiviral treatment Paxlovid reduces COVID-19 hospitalization and death rates in vaccinated and unvaccinated patients 65 years and older, according to a new study in Israel conducted during the rise of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. The treatment, however, was not found to prevent severe illness among younger adults, according to research from Clalit Health Services, Israel’s largest healthcare provider.

Vaccination during pregnancy cuts infant infections; vaccines only modestly reduce long COVID risk

The following is a summary of some recent studies on COVID-19. They include research that warrants further study to corroborate the findings and that has yet to be certified by peer review. Vaccines in pregnancy reduce infants’ COVID-19 risk

Vaccinations of young children could begin ‘in earnest’ by June 21 -White House

The White House expects vaccinations of young children to begin in earnest as early as June 21, if federal authorities approve their use in the coming weeks, White House COVID response coordinator Ashish Jha said on Thursday. Jha told reporters that the US government had enough COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc to begin the program for young children if and when the vaccines are approved.

Bristol Myers, J&J drugs reduce COVID death rates in NIH study

A late-stage study of two rheumatoid arthritis drugs from Bristol Myers Squibb and Johnson & Johnson showed a significant drop in deaths among hospitalized COVID patients, a US health agency said on Thursday. However, both the drugs failed to meet the main goal of speeding up recovery compared with a placebo, the study of nearly 2,000 patients by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) showed.

S.Korea to lift quarantine requirement for non-vaccinated foreign arrivals

South Korea’s prime minister on Friday said the country will lift its quarantine requirement for foreign arrivals without vaccination from June 8 and also start lifting aviation regulations imposed on international flights. However, the government will maintain the requirement of a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test result prior to entry and a PCR test within 72 hours after arrival.

N.Korea reports 82,160 more people with fever symptoms amid COVID outbreak -KCNA

North Korea reported 82,160 more people showing fever symptoms amid its nationwide lockdown to stop the impoverished economy’s first confirmed COVID-19 outbreak, state media KCNA said on Friday. The media did not mention whether there were any new deaths.

Federal investigators to review FDA response to baby formula recall

Federal investigators have launched a review into whether the US Food and Drug Administration properly inspected Abbott Laboratories’ Michigan plant and how the agency oversaw the baby formula recall that led to severe US shortages. The review, which is expected to be completed in 2023, will be conducted by the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General (OIG), according to a notice posted on its website on Thursday.

Factbox-Global baby formula makers send products to restock US shelves

Global companies that make baby formula are bringing products into the United States after the country’s health regulator relaxed its import policy to address a nationwide shortage partly triggered by Abbott Laboratories’ manufacturing plant in Michigan recalling some products in February. Importers include Neocate maker Danone SA, while New Zealand’s dairy giants Fonterra and a2 Milk have submitted applications to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for supplying baby formula to the United States.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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