Monkeypox a public health emergency in US, China ‘overreacts’ and COVID-19 ‘perversely’ affects older people

Good morning, it’s Akash Arora here with SBS News’ Morning Briefing.

US urges all Americans to ‘take monkeypox seriously’

Monkeypox has been declared as a public health emergency in the United States, as the virus continues to spread all over the world, including Western Australia, where the first monkeypox case was reported on Thursday after a traveller returned from overseas. Xavier Becerra — the US Secretary of Health and Human Services — urged Americans to take monkeypox seriously. “We’re prepared to take our response to the next level in addressing this virus, and we urge every American to take monkeypox seriously and to take responsibility to help us tackle this virus,” he said. , with a quarter of them in New York state alone. Experts believe the real numbers could be much higher than what’s been reported.

Beijing fired 11 ballistic missiles around Taiwan

by launching 11 ballistic missiles around the island nation, White House spokesman John Kirby said on Thursday. “China has chosen to overreact and use the speaker’s visit as a pretext to increase provocative military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait,” he said. According to state broadcaster CCTV, more than 100 planes, including fighter jets and bombers, and over 10 warships, were activated by Beijing in waters off Taiwan a day after Ms Pelosi made a solidarity trip to the self-ruled island. “The US-Taiwan collusion and provocation will only push Taiwan towards the abyss of disaster, bringing catastrophe to Taiwan compatriots,” said a Chinese defence ministry spokesperson.

‘Perverse’ reason COVID-19 wave may be impacting older people

If the summer wave of Omicron earlier this year affected young Australians more severely than previous outbreaks, then the current winter outbreak seems to have a more intense effect on a completely different age group – the older people. A graph of COVID-19 patients admitted to hospitals since March shows a clear spike in the number of those older than 60 towards mid-to-late-May. Professor Peter Collignon of the Australian National University said COVID-19 gave a natural immunity boost to young people who contracted the disease earlier this year, which combined with vaccinations, may have provided them with “hybrid immunity”. “,” Professor Collignon said.
Percentage of people hospitalised in NSW who were aged over 60, compared to those under 60.

The proportion of people aged over 60 years old admitted to hospital in NSW has grown since late April and May. Source: NSW Health Source: SBS News

ACT to remove financial barriers for people seeking abortions

People in the ACT will be able to access free medical and surgical abortions up to 16 weeks’ gestation from next year. The services will be available for residents with and without Medicare cards. Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Women Yvette Berry said the move was aimed at addressing any potential inequity faced by those needing to access abortion services. “This means that individuals will be supported to make a choice about having an abortion without being influenced by financial barriers,” she said. “It also means that having an abortion can occur in a time-sensitive manner without being delayed due to an inability to pay.”.

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