Health News Roundup: Switzerland experiencing medicine shortages says pharmacists association; China reports fourth straight daily record of new COVID cases and more

Below is a summary of current health news.

There is a shortage of medicines in Switzerland, according to the Pharmacists Association

Switzerland is experiencing drug shortages due to supply chain problems linked to the Covid lockdown in China and the war in Europe, according to the country’s pharmacists association. “The biggest problem we have is with children’s medicines, especially antipyretic syrups,” Enia Martinelli of PharmaSwiss told Swiss broadcaster SRF.

China reports fourth daily record of new Covid cases

China recorded its fourth daily daily tally of 39,791 new COVID-19 infections on Nov. 26, of which 3,709 were symptomatic and 36,082 were asymptomatic, the National Health Commission said on Sunday. That compared with 35,183 new cases a day earlier — 3,474 symptomatic and 31,709 asymptomatic infections, which China counted separately.

The US FDA has refused to approve spectrum lung cancer drugs

Spectrum Pharmaceuticals Inc said on Friday that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has refused to approve its experimental lung cancer drug due to insufficient data, prompting the drugmaker to cut jobs. The company said it would no longer focus on developing a drug called pogiotinib to treat non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with a rare genetic mutation that affects 2%-4% of cancer patients. It will instead explore strategic options for it, such as partnerships with other drugmakers.

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In Britain, nurses prepare for unprecedented strike over pay

A nurse in the south of England, Chukwudubem Ifezuna, loves her job, but will walk out for two days next month as part of the biggest strike by British nurses, which she says is necessary for the welfare of staff and patients alike. The industrial action on December 15 and 20 is unprecedented in the 106-year history of the British Nursing Union, and comes as braces for one of its toughest winters for the state-run National Health Service (NHS).

Shanghai has been hit by Covid protests as anger spreads across China

Protests against China’s heavy-handed COVID-19 restrictions spread to more cities on Sunday, including the financial hub of Shanghai, nearly three years into the pandemic, as a deadly fire broke out in the country’s far west, sparking a new wave of anger. A fire at a high-rise in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang region, killed 10 people on Thursday, sparking widespread public anger. Many internet users speculated that the residents were unable to escape in time because the building was partially locked, which city officials denied.

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British nurses to strike first on December 15, 20

Thousands of British nurses will go on strike on December 15 and 20 to demand more pay, their union said on Friday, adding to a winter of industrial action and further pressure on the state-run health system. The strikes are the first of what is likely to be several walkouts by National Health Service (NHS) nurses, which come after the government refused to meet demands for a 5% pay rise above inflation.

UK open to talks on nurses’ strike, but stands by previous pay offer – minister

British Health Secretary Steve Barclay said on Friday he was open to talks with the nurses’ union RCN but highlighted the merits of a pay rise set by the government in July.

Reacting to news that nurses are set to stage their biggest ever strike action, Barclay insisted that the previously announced pay rise of at least 1,400 pounds ($1,695.26) would mean a newly qualified nurse would typically earn more than 31,000 pounds a year.

China reports third consecutive daily record for new Covid cases

China reported 35,183 new Covid-19 infections on Nov. 25, including 3,474 symptomatic and 31,709 asymptomatic, the National Health Commission said Saturday, setting a new high for the third straight day. That compares with 32,943 new cases a day earlier — 3,103 symptomatic and 29,840 asymptomatic infections, which China counted separately.

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Researchers test mRNA technology for universal flu vaccine

An experimental vaccine provides broad protection against 20 known influenza A and B virus subtypes in preliminary tests in mice and ferrets, potentially paving the way for a universal flu shot that could help prevent future pandemics, according to a US study published Thursday. The two-dose vaccine uses the same messenger RNA (mRNA) technology used in the COVID-19 shots made by BioNTech and Moderna by Pfizer. It provides tiny lipid particles containing mRNA instructions for cells to replicate the so-called hemagglutinin protein present on the influenza virus surface.

Vaginal reconstruction offers hope for Kenyan women after childhood mutilation

Imagine having no sensation in a body part for most of your life and then finally being able to feel it. This was the transformation sought by about 60 Kenyan women who underwent female genital mutilation, or FGM, during childhood and who came forward for genital reconstructive surgery during a recent humanitarian operation in Nairobi.

(With input from agencies.)

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