Connect with us

Coronavirus

Biden asks Congress to pass Ukraine aid, then COVID funding

Published

on


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden takes a question after announcing the release of 1 million barrels of oil per day for the next six months from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve, as part of administration efforts to lower gasoline prices, at the Wh

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden said on Monday he was willing to accept Congress passing separate bills to aid Ukraine and to provide funding for the nation’s COVID-19 response.

Biden, in a statement, called on Congress to move the Ukraine aid first, then move promptly to pass additional funding for the U.S. response to COVID. Biden had originally asked Congress to pass Ukraine aid and COVID funding in one bill.

Coronavirus

FDA declines to authorize common antidepressant as COVID treatment

Published

on


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen outside of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) headquarters in White Oak, Maryland, U.S., August 29, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

By Leroy Leo and Michael Erman

(Reuters) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has decided not to authorize the antidepressant fluvoxamine to treat COVID-19, saying that the data has not shown the drug to be an effective therapeutic for fighting the virus.

“Based on the review of available scientific evidence, the FDA has determined that the data are insufficient to conclude that fluvoxamine may be effective in the treatment of nonhospitalized patients with COVID-19 to prevent progression to severe disease and/or hospitalization,” the agency said in a document https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/nda/2020/EUA%20110%20Fluvoxamine%20Decisional%20Memo_Redacted.pdf published on Monday.

University of Minnesota professor Dr. David Boulware submitted the emergency use authorization request to the FDA that would have allowed doctors to prescribe fluvoxamine maleate to treat COVID-19 in non-hospitalized patients.

The generic drug belongs to an old, widely-used class of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs.

Boulware said that his request is less urgent with the availability of drugs like Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE)’s Paxlovid, but he still believes the data supports the drug’s use in some COVID patients.

“There are effective therapeutics that are available. But not everyone has access to them. Not everyone can tolerate them. Some people have contraindications,” Boulware said in an interview. “And if you go elsewhere in the world, low- and middle-income countries, they have access to no therapeutics.”

Boulware’s submission relied on data from three trials, especially a study of 1,497 non-hospitalized COVID patients in Brazil.

While the Brazilian study met its primary endpoint, showing a roughly 30% drop in hospitalizations in the group that received fluvoxamine, the FDA said there were uncertainties about the assessment, which measured reduction in emergency department visits lasting more than 6 hours.

Boulware said FDA had used a different measure to count hospitalizations in other drug trials, including only acute care that lasted at least 24 hours.

“The standard that they were holding for fluvoxamine was a different standard than the other big pharma trials, with Paxlovid and (Merck’s) molnupiravir and the monoclonals,” he said of other authorized COVID therapeutics.

“I was really quite disappointed that they did that,” he said.

Continue Reading

Coronavirus

Coronavirus may be linked to cases of severe hepatitis in children

Published

on


© Reuters. A firefighter from the Marins-Pompiers of Marseille (Marseille Naval Fire Battalion) administers a nasal swab to a child at a testing site for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Marseille, France, September 17, 2020. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

By Nancy Lapid

(Reuters) – 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.

SARS-CoV-2 could be at root of mysterious hepatitis in kids

A chain of events possibly triggered by unrecognized infection with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus could be causing the mysterious cases of severe hepatitis reported in hundreds of young children around the world, researchers suggest.

Children with COVID-19 are at significantly increased risk for liver dysfunction afterward, according to a report posted on Saturday on medRxiv ahead of peer review https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.05.10.22274866v1. But most of the children with acute hepatitis – which is generally rare in that age group – do not report a previous SARS-CoV-2 infection. Instead, the majority have been found to be infected with an adenovirus called 41F, which is not known to attack the liver. It is possible that the affected children, many of whom are too young to be vaccinated, may have had mild or asymptomatic COVID infections that went unnoticed, a separate team of researchers suggest in The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2468125322001662. If that were true, they theorize, then lingering particles of the coronavirus in the gastrointestinal tract in these children could be priming the immune system to over-react to adenovirus-41F with high amounts of inflammatory proteins that ultimately damage the liver.

“We suggest that children with acute hepatitis be investigated for SARS-CoV-2 persistence in stool” and for other signals that the liver damage is happening because the spike protein of the coronavirus is a “superantigen” that over-sensitizes the immune system, they said.

Face-down position unhelpful for awake patients

For hospitalized COVID-19 patients who are breathing on their own but with supplemental oxygen, lying face down might not help prevent them from eventually needing mechanical ventilation, according to a new study.

In the study, 400 patients were randomly assigned to usual care or to standard care plus intermittently lying on their stomach, a position known to improve the course of illness in sedated patients on mechanical ventilators. Over the next 30 days, 34.1% in the prone-positioning group and 40.5% in the usual-care group needed to be intubated and put on a ventilator, a difference that was not statistically significant. There might have been a reduction in the risk for intubation with prone positioning among some of the patients, researchers said on Monday in JAMA https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2792506, but they could not confirm it statistically from their data. The average duration of prone positioning per day was roughly five hours, less than the target of eight to 10 hours per day.

“Long hours of awake prone positioning are challenging and highly influenced by patient comfort and preference,” the researchers said. “The most common reason for interruption of prone positioning was patient request, which might have been related to overall subjective improvement or related to discomfort from prone positioning.”

Click for a Reuters graphic https://tmsnrt.rs/3c7R3Bl on vaccines in development.

Continue Reading

Coronavirus

Lacking vaccines, N.Korea battles COVID with antibiotics, home remedies

Published

on


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People wearing protective face masks walk amid concerns over the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Pyongyang, North Korea May 15, 2020, in this photo released by Kyodo. Mandatory credit Kyodo/via REUTERS/File Photo

By SungHyuk An and Heejung Jung

SEOUL (Reuters) – Standing tall in bright red hazmat suits, five North Korean health workers stride towards an ambulance to do battle with a COVID-19 outbreak that – in the presumed absence of vaccines – the country is using antibiotics and home remedies to treat.

The isolated state is one of only two countries yet to begin a vaccination campaign and, until last week, had insisted it was COVID-free.

Now it is mobilizing forces including the army and a public information campaign to combat what authorities have acknowledged is an “explosive” outbreak.

In an interview on state television on Monday, Vice Minister of Public Health Kim Hyong Hun said the country had switched from a quarantine to a treatment system to handle the hundreds of thousands of suspected “fever” cases reported each day.

The broadcaster showed footage of the hazmat team, and masked workers opening windows, cleaning desks and machines and spraying disinfectant.

To treat COVID and its symptoms, state media have encouraged patients to use painkillers and fever reducers such as ibuprofen, and amoxicillin and other antibiotics – which do not fight viruses but are sometimes prescribed for secondary bacterial infections.

While previously playing down vaccines as “no panacea”, media have also recommended gargling salt water, or drinking lonicera japonica tea or willow leaf tea three times a day.

“Traditional treatments are the best!” one woman told state broadcasters as her husband described having their children gargle with salted water every morning and night.

An elderly Pyongyang resident said she had been helped by ginger tea and ventilating her room.

“I was first scared by COVID, but after following the doctors’ advice and getting the proper treatments, it turned out not a big deal,” she said in a televised interview.

‘LACK OF UNDERSTANDING’

The country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, said on Sunday – when state news agency KCNA reported 392,920 more cases of fever and eight more deaths – that drugs reserves were not reaching people, and ordered the army medical corps to help stabilize supplies in Pyongyang, where the outbreak appears to be centred.

KCNA said the cumulative tally of the fever-stricken stood at 1,213,550, with 50 deaths. It did not say how many suspected infections had tested positive for COVID.

Authorities say a large proportion of the deaths have been due to people “careless in taking drugs due to the lack of knowledge and understanding” of the Omicron variant and the correct method for treating it.

The World Health Organization has shipped some health kits and other supplies to North Korea, but has not said what drugs they contain. Neighbours China and South Korea have offered to send aid if Pyongyang requests it.

While not claiming that antibiotics and home remedies will eliminate COVID, North Korea has a long history of developing scientifically unproven treatments, including an injection made from ginseng grown in rare earth elements it claimed could cure everything from AIDS to impotence.

Some have roots in traditional medicines, while others have been developed to offset a lack of modern drugs or as “made in North Korea” exports.

Despite a high number of trained doctors and experience mobilizing for health emergencies, North Korea’s medical system is woefully under-resourced, experts say.

In a March report, an independent U.N. human rights investigator said it was plagued by “under-investment in infrastructure, medical personnel, equipment and medicine, irregular power supplies and inadequate water and sanitation facilities”.

Kim Myeong-Hee, 40, who left the North for South Korea in 2003, said such shortcomings led many North Koreans to rely on home remedies.

“Even if we go to the hospital, there are actually no medicines. There was also no electricity so medical equipment could not be used,” she said.

When she contracted acute hepatitis, she said she was told to take minari – a water parsley made famous by the 2020 film of the same name – every day, and to eat earthworms when afflicted by another, unknown illness.

Home remedies had sometimes failed to prevent loss of life during epidemics in the 1990s, Kim added.

Continue Reading

News

Stock Markets16 mins ago

Tencent Music Reports Q1 Miss, Revenues Down 15.1%

© Reuters. Tencent Music (TME) Tencent Music Reports Q1 Miss, Revenues Down 15.1% Tencent Music Entertainment Group (NYSE:TME) reported its Q1...

Stock Markets16 mins ago

Rivian Automotive CEO Purchases $1 Million Worth of Stock

© Reuters Rivian Automotive CEO Purchases $1 Million Worth of Stock According to SEC Form 4, on May 16, Robert...

Stock Markets17 mins ago

Buffett-backed Nubank swings to profit on strong client base, loan volumes

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A banner for Nubank, the Brazilian FinTech startup, hangs on the facade at the New York...

World17 mins ago

Ukrainian force begins evacuating from last Mariupol stronghold

2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A local resident rides a bicycle past a charred armoured vehicle during Ukraine-Russia conflict in...

Cryptocurrency46 mins ago

Do Kwon proposes Terra hard fork to save ecosystem

Do Kwon proposes Terra hard fork to save ecosystem On Monday, Do Kwon, co-founder of the troubled Terra Luna blockchain,...

Cryptocurrency46 mins ago

Brazilian Stock Exchange set to launch Bitcoin and Ethereum futures

Brazilian Stock Exchange set to launch Bitcoin and Ethereum futures The Brazilian Stock Exchange, B3, is set to launch its...

Stock Markets46 mins ago

Abbott, FDA enter deal over reopening of baby formula facility in Michigan

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Abbott Laboratories logo is displayed on a screen at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in...

World47 mins ago

California law requiring women on company boards struck down

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A view of the skyline of downtown Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 22, 2022. REUTERS/Mike Blake...

Stock Markets47 mins ago

Take-Two Shares Gain 3% Following Q4 Earnings Beat

© Reuters. Take-Two Shares Gain 3% Following Q4 Earnings Beat Take-Two Interactive Software (NASDAQ:TTWO) shares were trading around 3% higher...

Stock Markets47 mins ago

Retail Sales, Walmart Earnings, Home Depot: 3 Things to Watch

© Reuters. By Liz Moyer Investing.com — Stocks wobbled on Monday ahead of a key economic data report and amid...

Commodities47 mins ago

After fires and floods, climate-conscious independents could determine Australian election

3/3 © Reuters. Local residents Fiona and Ian Stuart stand near blackened trees on their property, burnt during the bushfires...

World1 hour ago

California church shooter was motivated by hate, politics

4/4 © Reuters. The Geneva Presbyterian Church is seen after a deadly shooting, in Laguna Woods, California, U.S. May 15,...

Stock Markets1 hour ago

Tencent Music quarterly revenue falls as competition heats up

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of China’s Tencent Music Entertainment Group is seen next to an earphone in this...

Stock Markets1 hour ago

S&P 500 ends lower as Tesla falls, while energy rallies

© Reuters. Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., May...

World1 hour ago

Steelworks defenders appear to signal end of Mariupol siege

2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A local resident rides a bicycle past a charred armoured vehicle during Ukraine-Russia conflict in...

Stock Markets1 hour ago

Musk tells conference a lower price for Twitter might be appropriate

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A 3D-printed Twitter logo on non-3D printed Twitter logos is seen in this picture illustration taken...

Stock Markets1 hour ago

FDA to soon authorize Pfizer’s COVID booster shot for younger kids – NYT

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Empty vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine are seen at The Michener Institute, in...

Cryptocurrency1 hour ago

Price analysis 5/16: BTC, ETH, BNB, XRP, ADA, SOL, DOGE, DOT, AVAX, SHIB

Price analysis 5/16: BTC, ETH, BNB, XRP, ADA, SOL, DOGE, DOT, AVAX, SHIB The selling in Bitcoin (BTC) is showing...

World2 hours ago

New York congressional map deals blow to Democrats’ midterm hopes

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A “Vote” sign is pictured on election day in the Manhattan borough of New York City,...

Coronavirus2 hours ago

FDA declines to authorize common antidepressant as COVID treatment

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen outside of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) headquarters in White Oak, Maryland,...

Stock Markets2 hours ago

Wall Street ends lower as Tesla falls, while energy rallies

© Reuters. Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., May...

Coronavirus2 hours ago

Coronavirus may be linked to cases of severe hepatitis in children

© Reuters. A firefighter from the Marins-Pompiers of Marseille (Marseille Naval Fire Battalion) administers a nasal swab to a child...

Stock Markets2 hours ago

Take-Two Earnings Miss, Revenue Beats In Q4

© Reuters. Take-Two Earnings Miss, Revenue Beats In Q4 Investing.com – Take-Two (NASDAQ:TTWO) reported on Monday fourth quarter earnings that...

World2 hours ago

Biden approves redeployment of under 500 ground troops to Somalia

© Reuters. U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks at the annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service at the U.S. Capitol...

World2 hours ago

Factbox-Buffalo shooting victims included deacon, retired cop, grocery worker

© Reuters. Roberta Drury, who was among those who lost their lives in the TOPS supermarket shooting in Buffalo, New...

Stock Markets2 hours ago

Explainer-What happened with Abbott baby formula that worsened a U.S. shortage?

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Abbott Laboratories logo is displayed on a screen at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in...

Cryptocurrency2 hours ago

Top 5 cryptocurrencies to watch this week: BTC, MANA, MKR, ZEC, KCS

Top 5 cryptocurrencies to watch this week: BTC, MANA, MKR, ZEC, KCS Bitcoin (BTC) has been relatively calm during the...

Politics2 hours ago

U.S. Supreme Court backs Ted Cruz, dumps campaign finance curb

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks during a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations to examine U.S.-Russia...

Stock Markets2 hours ago

Musk Says Twitter Deal at Lower Price ‘Not Out of the Question’

© Reuters By Yasin Ebrahim  Investing.com — Elon Musk said Monday that a cut-price deal for Twitter wouldn’t be “out...

Sports & General2 hours ago

Amber Heard says she feared she would not survive Johnny Depp marriage

3/3 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Actor Johnny Depp reacts as he leaves for a recess during a defamation trial against...

Trending