Health News Roundup: Trump campaign sues New Jersey over mail-in ballots; NY teachers threaten job action if schools repoen and more
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
What you need to know about the coronavirus right now
New York teachers threaten job action if schools reopen without more COVID testing
New York City teachers on Wednesday threatened to strike or take other job or legal action unless the largest U.S. school district implements a more rigorous COVID-19 testing plan and other safety measures before the system’s scheduled reopening next month. The warning by the United Federation of Teachers, which represents the city’s 133,000 public school teachers, could delay Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to provide a mix of in-classroom and online learning beginning Sept 10.
On Facebook, health-misinformation ‘superspreaders’ rack up billions of views: report
Misleading health content has racked up an estimated 3.8 billion views on Facebook Inc over the past year, peaking during the COVID-19 pandemic, advocacy group Avaaz said in a new report https://secure.avaaz.org/campaign/en/facebook_threat_health on Wednesday. The report found that content from 10 “superspreader” sites sharing health misinformation had almost four times as many Facebook views in April 2020 as equivalent content from the sites of 10 leading health institutions, such as the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
COVID-19 link to type 1 diabetes probed; breathalyzer screening shows promise
The following is a roundup of some of the latest scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus. Study suggests possible coronavirus link to type 1 diabetes.
Germany and France want to give more money and power to the World Health Organisation after the COVID-19 pandemic underscored long-standing financial and legal weaknesses at the U.N. agency, an internal document seen by Reuters shows. The proposed reforms could already be discussed at the WHO in mid-September, three officials familiar with the talks told Reuters, in a fast timeline that would confirm the two European powers’ growing concerns about the organization, which they also see as excessively subject to external influences.
U.S. to let pharmacists vaccinate kids as lockdowns slash immunization levels
The U.S. government said on Wednesday pharmacists would be allowed to administer routine vaccines to children, calling a drop in immunization from lockdowns aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus a “public health threat.” The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the plan on Wednesday, as children across the country return to daycare, schools, and colleges.
J&J strikes $6.5 billion deal for autoimmune disease specialist Momenta
Johnson & Johnson agreed to buy Momenta Pharmaceuticals Inc for about $6.5 billion on Wednesday, to bolster its portfolio of drugs for hard-to-treat autoimmune diseases. The acquisition, latest in a recent spate of healthcare deals, comes just days after France’s Sanofi struck a $3.7 billion deal to buy Principia Biopharma Inc for its pipeline of autoimmune disease treatments.
Mexico tells Russia it is eager to have coronavirus vaccine
Mexico has told Moscow it is eager to have Russia’s coronavirus vaccine once phase three testing for the product is complete, Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Wednesday. After a meeting with Russia’s ambassador to Mexico, Viktor Koronelli, Ebrard said on Twitter that he had communicated Mexico’s interest that phase three should be carried out “so as to have the vaccine as soon as possible in Mexico.”
American Indians and Alaska Natives have been hit harder by COVID-19 than the U.S. white population and have been more likely to become infected by the novel coronavirus at a younger age, a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report showed on Wednesday. The incidence of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases among people identified as American Indians or Alaska Natives was 3.5 times that of non-Hispanic whites, making them one of the racial and ethnic minority groups at highest risk, according to the study based on data from 23 U.S. states from Jan. 22 to July 3.
U.S. CDC reports 171,012 deaths from coronavirus
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Wednesday said the number of deaths due to the new coronavirus had risen by 1,172 to 171,012 and reported 5,460,429 cases, an increase of 39,318 cases from its previous count. The CDC reported its tally of cases of the respiratory illness known as COVID-19, caused by a new coronavirus, as of 4 pm ET on Aug. 18 versus its previous report a day earlier.(https://bit.ly/2E5TG88)