World Health Organisation

WHO warns about China under-representing Covid deaths

The removal of most restrictions last month has led to a surge in cases.

But China has stopped publishing daily cases data, and has announced only 22 Covid deaths since December, using its own strict criteria.

"We believe that definition [of a Covid death] is too narrow," WHO emergencies director Dr Michael Ryan said.

Dr Ryan said China's figures "under-represent the true impact of the disease in terms of hospital admissions, in terms of ICU admissions, and particularly in terms of deaths".

WHO expert group recommends second Covid-19 booster for vulnerable groups

Experts appointed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) made the statement on Thursday. 

The recommendation comes in a statement issued by the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunisation, following a meeting held last week.  

Most Covid-19 vaccines consist of a primary series of two doses, with a first booster administered some four to six months after completion to improve immune response. 

80 cases Monkeypox confirmed in 11 countries, says WHO

The WHO says that another 50 suspected cases are being investigated, without naming any countries.

Earlier, infections were confirmed in Italy, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, the US, Canada and the UK - where the first European case was reported.

Monkeypox is most common in remote parts of Central and West Africa.

It is a rare viral infection which is usually mild and from which most people recover in a few weeks, according to the UK's National Health Service.

The virus does not spread easily between people and the risk to the wider public is said to be very low.

Covid-19 led to 15 million deaths globally, not the 5m reported - World Health Organisation

There were 14.9 million excess deaths associated with Covid-19 by the end of 2021, the UN body said on Thursday.

The official count of deaths directly attributable to Covid-19 and reported to WHO in that period, from January 2020 to the end of December 2021, is slightly more than 5.4m.

The WHO's excess mortality figures reflect people who died of Covid-19 as well as those who died as an indirect result of the outbreak, including people who could not access healthcare for other conditions when systems were overwhelmed during huge waves of infection.

Why India's real Covid toll may never be known

India's government has rejected the figure, saying the methodology is flawed. Will we ever know how many Indians died in the pandemic?

In November 2020, researchers at the World Mortality Dataset - a global repository that provides updated data on deaths from all causes - asked authorities in India to provide information.

Hepatitis detected in nearly 300 children worldwide

Health officials around the world are investigating a mysterious increase in cases of the liver condition which was first spotted in the UK.

A common virus called adenovirus, which has rebounded after the pandemic, could be causing the surge.

One death has been reported by the WHO.

As of 1 May, it said most cases of young children with hepatitis had been detected in Europe with small numbers also reported in the Americas, western Pacific and South East Asia.

WHO plans to end acute phase of pandemic, despite cases flaring in the Pacific

WHO's South Pacific representative Dr Mark Jacobs said the plan will help countries to move on from the emergency phase of Covid-19, to a phase of managing it "like an ongoing issue".

"In the Pacific, it's been about working with countries, and along with partners, to help build their capacity to manage Covid into the future," he said.

The plan talks about three different possible scenarios, one of those being the virus continues to evolve into new variants.

"The severity of it will go down over time, as immunity increases because of vaccination," Dr Jacobs said.

Covid-19: Nine new symptoms added to official list

The move comes more than two years into the pandemic, and just days after free testing ended in England.

However, the NHS cautions that many of the new symptoms "are very similar" to those for colds and flu.

The original signs of a Covid infection that were recognised in the UK were:

Deadly Omicron should not be called mild, warns WHO

Recent studies suggest that Omicron is less likely to make people seriously ill than previous Covid variants.

But the record number of people catching it has left health systems under severe pressure, said WHO chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

On Monday, the US recorded more than one million Covid cases in 24 hours.

The WHO - the UN's health agency - said the number of global cases has increased by 71% in the last week, and in the Americas by 100%. It said that among severe cases worldwide, 90% were unvaccinated.

WHO chief optimistic Covid will be beaten in 2022

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu warned against "narrow nationalism and vaccine hoarding" in a new year statement.

His comments come two years since the WHO was first notified of cases of an unknown pneumonia strain in China.

Global Covid cases now stand at 287m, while nearly 5.5m people have died.

Across the world people are marking the new year but celebrations are muted, with many countries wanting to discourage crowds gathering.