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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
every-other-week variant estimates, KP.2 and another [SARS-CoV-2-Omicron] strain with the same FLiRT mutations, called KP.1.1, together make up a projected 35.3% of infections this week. This is up from 7.1% a month ago.

"That means that while KP.2 [FLiRT] is proportionally the most predominant variant, it is not causing an increase in infections as transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is low," a CDC spokesperson told CBS News in a statement. The strain also does not have large amounts of worrying changes, unlike some previously highly-mutated variants that have raised alarm in years past.


CDC Nowcast. Epidemic estimates in a range
by Cat on Thu May 16th, 2024 at 02:30:11 PM EST
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who.int | COVID-19 eliminated a decade of progress in global level of life expectancy, 24 May statistics 2024 report
[...]
Noncommunicable diseases remain the top killer
COVID-19 rapidly emerged as a leading cause of death, ranking as the third highest cause of mortality globally in 2020 and the second in 2021. Nearly 13 million lives were lost during this period. The latest estimates reveal that except in the African and Western Pacific regions, COVID-19 was among the top five causes of deaths, notably becoming the leading cause of death in the Americas for both years.
Cambodia, China, Laos, Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, Singapore, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, American Samoa, Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa and Tokelau, Solomon Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna, Viet Nam
The WHO report also highlights that noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as ischemic heart disease and stroke, cancers, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, and diabetes were the biggest killers before the pandemic, responsible for 74% of all deaths in 2019. Even during the pandemic, NCDs continued to account for 78% of non-COVID deaths.

Increasing obesity and malnutrition
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by Cat on Sat May 25th, 2024 at 02:15:05 AM EST
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NY Yella Cake | Countries Fail to Agree on Treaty to Prepare the World for the Next Pandemic, 24 May
"Those of us in public health recognize that another pandemic really could be around the corner," said Loyce Pace, an assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services, who oversees the negotiations in her role as the United States liaison to the World Health Organization.
[...]
"Donald Trump is in the room," said Lawrence Gostin, director of the W.H.O. Center on Global Health Law, who has helped to draft and negotiate the treaty. "If Trump is elected, he will likely torpedo the negotiations and even withdraw from W.H.O.," Mr. Gostin said.
archive Gostin 2019, Gostin 2020 in Trump's Failed Takeover Bid, global health law 2021, Gostin 2023
Among the biggest bones of contention in the draft treaty is a section called Pathogen Access and Benefits Sharing, under which countries would be required to swiftly share genetic sequences and samples of emerging pathogens. This information is crucial for rapid development of diagnostic tests, vaccines and treatments. Low-income nations, including those in Africa, want to be compensated for the information with quick and equitable access to the developed tests, vaccines and treatments.
whpa.org | WHA77 Constituency Statement (Agenda Item 13.4), 28 May
Of the issues still under negotiation, we are particularly concerned about Pathogen Access and Benefit Sharing.
The pandemic also deepened mistrust between wealthier nations and poorer ones. By the end of 2021, more than 90 percent of people in some high-income countries had received two doses of Covid vaccines, compared with less than 2 percent in low-income nations. The lack of access to vaccines is thought to have caused more than a million deaths in low-income nations.
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reuters | Western states push for deal on pandemic response rules at WHO, 28 May
led by the United States, France, and Germany pushed for a deal to bolster pandemic response rules at a major World Health Organization meeting on Tuesday after states failed to finalise a pandemic treaty. [...] However, a parallel deal on updates to existing legally-binding health rules known the International Health Regulations (IHR) that includes a new, tiered alerts system for global health emergencies, is seen as within reach.
state.gov | Release of 2024 U.S. Global Health Security Strategy, 16 Apr
The Department also supports the United States' efforts towards concluding a Pandemic Accord and amended International Health Regulations by the May 2024 deadline.
"My appeal here is let us focus on the IHR so we have this success as this is already providing much better protection for the world," Germany's Health Minister Karl Lauterbach told the annual meeting of the WHO's 194 member states. If we do this, "we would have all been part of an historic opportunity and we would have seized it," he said, urging the pandemic treaty talks to also be finalised within a year. France, Norway, Ireland, and the United States also called on Tuesday for an IHR deal.
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abcnews | World Health Assembly hopes to reinforce pandemic preparedness after bold treaty project stalls, 27 May
Issues remain over proposed "transfer of technology" and the creation of a new fund [uh oh] under WHO in 2030  that would [theoretically] help boost pandemic-fighting capacities "particularly in developing countries."
To counter what they saw as COVID-era hoarding, African countries are seeking a new system that would reserve at least 20% of tests, treatments and vaccines for poorer countries among other major reforms in the event of another pandemic. Lawrence Gostin, a professor at Georgetown Law in Washington D.C. involved in the negotiations said the IHR were being "leveraged in order for more gains on the pandemic treaty".
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by Cat on Wed May 29th, 2024 at 01:44:09 AM EST
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SURGING antisemitism in the front, BUSINESS in the back.

oversight.house.gov | Hearing Wrap Up: Dr. Fauci's Top Advisor Held Accountable for COVID-19 Federal Records Violations, Undermining NIH Operations

The Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic held a hearing titled "A Hearing with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Senior Scientific Advisor, Dr. David Morens." Evidence obtained by the Select Subcommittee prior to the hearing showed that Dr. Morens—a former top advisor to Dr. Anthony Fauci at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)—deliberately obstructed the Select Subcommittee's investigation into the origins of COVID-19 to protect Dr. Fauci, unlawfully deleted federal COVID-19 records, and shared nonpublic information about National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant processes with his "best-friend" EcoHealth Alliance President Dr. Peter Daszak.
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Science! Memos! Eco-ethics! Risky "virus" studies! help spark COVID-19 pandemic APLOGOGIES!
by Cat on Wed May 29th, 2024 at 02:37:22 PM EST
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