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Health News Roundup: N.Korea reports 19,310 new fever cases amid COVID-19 outbreak; Early Omicron infection unlikely to protect against current variants and more

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

Macau to begin mass COVID testing on Sunday amid locally transmitted cases

Macau’s government said on Sunday it would begin mass COVID-19 testing for all residents after locally transmitted coronavirus cases were found overnight. Local media in the gambling hub said 12 locally transmitted COVID-19 cases were found.

N.Korea reports 19,310 new fever cases amid COVID-19 outbreak – KCNA

North Korea has recorded another 19,310 new fever cases amid its first official COVID-19 outbreak, state news agency KCNA reported on Sunday, without detailing how many of those patients had tested positive for the coronavirus. Overall more than 4.6 million have shown fever symptoms since an outbreak was first acknowledged in mid-May.

Factbox-Global baby formula makers send products to restock U.S. 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 U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for supplying baby formula to the United States.

Early Omicron infection unlikely to protect against current variants

People infected with the earliest version of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, first identified in South Africa in November, may be vulnerable to reinfection with later versions of Omicron even if they have been vaccinated and boosted, new findings suggest. Vaccinated patients with Omicron BA.1 breakthrough infections developed antibodies that could neutralize that virus plus the original SARS-CoV-2 virus, but the Omicron sublineages circulating now have mutations that allow them to evade those antibodies, researchers from China reported on Friday in Nature.

N.Korea deploys national medical teams to battle intestinal epidemic

North Korea has dispatched medical crews and epidemiological investigators to a province battling the outbreak of an intestinal disease, state media reported on Sunday. At least 800 families suffering from what North Korea has only called an “acute enteric epidemic” have received aid in South Hwanghae Province so far.

China reports 159 new COVID cases for June 18 vs 204 day earlier

Mainland China reported 159 new coronavirus cases for June 18, of which 36 were symptomatic and 123 were asymptomatic, the National Health Commission said on Sunday. That compared with 204 new cases a day earlier – 35 symptomatic and 169 asymptomatic infections, which China counts separately.

Bayer wins fourth Roundup weedkiller case in U.S

A U.S. jury found Bayer’s Roundup weedkiller did not cause an Oregon man’s cancer, the German agriculture and pharmaceuticals company said on Saturday, handing the firm its fourth consecutive trial victory over such claims. The verdict, reached on Friday by the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Oregon, is “consistent with the assessments of expert regulators worldwide as well as the overwhelming evidence from four decades of scientific studies concluding that Roundup can be used safely and is not carcinogenic”, Bayer said.

Chile reports first case of monkeypox

Chile confirmed on Friday the country’s first case of monkeypox, the health ministry said in a statement. The statement said the person was a young man from the Metropolitan Region who had traveled to Europe. It added that he is in good health with no complications, but presenting symptoms including lesions, scabs, skin spots and lymphadenopathy.

U.S. rolls out COVID vaccine for tots

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Saturday recommended COVID-19 vaccines for children as young as six months, allowing a nationwide rollout to start next week. The CDC’s move came after a panel of advisers to the institution voted earlier on Saturday to recommend COVID-19 vaccines for those children.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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