Monkeypox is a public health emergency in the US, China is ‘overreacting’, and COVID-19 is ‘perversely’ affecting the elderly

Good morning, this is Akash Arora with the SBS News morning briefing.

US urges all Americans to ‘take monkeypox seriously’

Monkeypox has been declared a public health emergency in the United States as the virus continues to spread around the world, including Western Australia, where the first case of monkeypox was reported on Thursday after a traveler returned from overseas. Xavier Becerra, US Secretary of Health and Human Services, urged Americans to take monkeypox seriously. “We are ready to take our response to the next level in the fight against this virus, and we call on every American to take monkeypox seriously and take responsibility to help us deal with this virus,” he said. , with a quarter of them only in the state of New York. Experts believe the real numbers could be much higher than reported.

Beijing fires 11 ballistic missiles around Taiwan

launching 11 ballistic missiles around the island nation, White House spokesman John Kirby said Thursday. “China has decided to overreact and use the speaker’s visit as an excuse to step up provocative military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait,” he said. According to state broadcaster CCTV, more than 100 aircraft, including fighters and bombers, and more than 10 warships were activated by Beijing in waters off Taiwan a day after Ms. Pelosi made a solidarity trip to the self-ruled island. “Collusion and provocation by the United States and Taiwan will only push Taiwan to the abyss of disaster, which will bring disaster to Taiwanese compatriots,” a spokesman for the Chinese Defense Ministry said.

The ‘twisted’ reason why the COVID-19 wave could be affecting the elderly

While the summer wave of Omicron earlier this year affected young Australians more than previous outbreaks, this winter outbreak seems to be hitting a very different age group, the elderly, more intensely. A graph of COVID-19 patients admitted to hospitals since March shows a clear spike in the number of people over 60 by mid to late May. Professor Peter Collinon 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 vaccination, may have provided them with “hybrid immunity”. “said Professor Colignon.
Percentage of people over the age of 60 who are hospitalized in New South Wales compared to those under 60.

The proportion of people over 60 hospitalized in New South Wales has risen since late April and May. Source: NSW State Health. Source: SBS news

ACT to remove financial barriers to people seeking abortion

ACT residents will be able to access free medical and surgical abortions up to 16 weeks of pregnancy from next year. Services will be available to residents with and without Medicare cards. Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Women’s Affairs Yvette Berry said the move aims to address any potential disparity faced by those who need access to abortion services. “This means that people will be supported in making the decision to have an abortion without being affected by financial barriers,” she said. “It also means that an abortion can be done urgently without delay due to inability to pay.”.

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