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Health News Roundup: Explainer-What are the benefits and risks of Paxlovid to treat Biden’s COVID?; Oral vaccine shows promise; hypertension ups COVID hospitalization risk and more

Following is a summary of current health news briefs. Explainer-What are the benefits and risks of Paxlovid to treat Biden’s COVID? Here is a rundown of possible treatments U.S. President Joe Biden will receive for COVID-19 and the risks he faces, having been infected most likely with the fast-spreading but less severe BA.5 variant. TREATMENTS […]

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Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

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Explainer-What are the benefits and risks of Paxlovid to treat Biden’s COVID?

Here is a rundown of possible treatments U.S. President Joe Biden will receive for COVID-19 and the risks he faces, having been infected most likely with the fast-spreading but less severe BA.5 variant. TREATMENTS

Oral vaccine shows promise; hypertension ups COVID hospitalization 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. Experimental tablet vaccine shows early promise

New Zealand COVID-19 death rate at record levels

New Zealanders are dying from COVID-19 at record rates as the country battles a new wave of the Omicron strain that is particularly affecting the older population. Deaths from the virus reached 151 in the seven days to July 16, compared with 115 in the worst week of the previous wave, in March, according to Health Ministry data. In the latest 24 hours, 26 people died from COVID, all aged over 60, the ministry said in a statement on Friday.

Africa’s top public health body gets $100 million from World Bank

Africa’s main public health body, the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), will receive $100 million from the World Bank to help African countries prepare for, detect and respond to disease outbreaks. The Africa CDC has played a major role in advising African countries during the COVID-19 pandemic and is also providing guidance on diseases like monkeypox.

Bavarian Nordic monkeypox vaccine gets preliminary nod from EU drug regulator

Danish biotechnology company Bavarian Nordic said on Friday the European Union’s drug regulator had recommended its Imvanex vaccine be approved to also include protection against monkeypox on its label. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) had “adopted a positive opinion recommending that the marketing authorization for the company’s smallpox vaccine, IMVANEX, is extended to include protecting people from monkeypox disease,” Bavarian said.

China reports first case of highly pathogenic bird flu in 2022

China reported its first highly pathogenic bird flu case this year, following an outbreak of H5N1 bird flu found among wild birds in northwestern Qinghai province, the agriculture ministry said in a statement on Friday. Local authorities have culled and disposed of 273 infected birds and no infection has been found in poultries, it said.

Worried by Supreme Court, U.S. House votes to protect contraception

The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed a bill to protect access to contraception, responding to concerns that it could be threatened by a conservative Supreme Court that revoked the ruling that guaranteed a nationwide right to abortion. The bill passed the Democratic-controlled House on a vote of 228-195, with all 220 Democrats and eight of the chamber’s 211 Republicans supporting it. It faces uncertain odds in the evenly divided Senate.

Polio case found in New York City suburb, first in nearly a decade

An adult resident of suburban New York City was diagnosed with polio after experiencing paralysis a month ago, state and local health officials said on Thursday, marking the nation’s first confirmed case of the disease in nearly 10 years.

Testing suggested the Rockland County case of the highly contagious and long-dreaded virus may have originated outside of the United States, the New York State Health Department said in a statement.

HCA Healthcare profit beats on higher admission revenue

HCA Healthcare on Friday beat quarterly profit estimates on Friday as higher emergency room visits and revenue from admissions offset a rise in labor costs, sending the hospital operator’s shares up more than 14%. Upbeat earnings from the industry bellwether as well as rival Tenet Healthcare a day earlier are positive for hospital operators, which have seen profits under pressure due to higher labor costs on the back of an acute shortage of healthcare staff during the pandemic.

Factbox-Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus

Joe Biden, the oldest person ever to serve as president of the United States, has tested positive for COVID-19, is experiencing mild symptoms and will continue working but in isolation, the White House said on Thursday. DEATHS AND INFECTIONS

(With inputs from agencies.)

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