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1 in 4 worried about holiday COVID; Flu soars in 7 states; Cough medicine prototype struck down - Morning Medical Update


The top news stories in primary care today.

doctor morning desk © Alena Kryazheva - stock.adobe.com

doctor morning desk © Alena Kryazheva - stock.adobe.com

1 in 4 worried about holiday COVID

Only 1 in 4 Americans are worried about catching COVID this holiday season, a new survey shows. Similarly, 3 in 10 are worried about spreading COVID to their loved ones. Vaccine awareness is highest in those ages 65 and older.

Flu soars in 7 states

Flu rates have begun to rise most rapidly in Louisiana, followed by Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, New Mexico, and South Carolina according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Puerto Rico, officials have declared the flu an epidemic. The CDC estimates at least 780,000 cases this year with at least 8,000 hospitalizations and at least 490 flu-related deaths. “We’re off to the races,” Dr. William Schaffner, a Vanderbilt University infectious diseases expert said in a news release.

Cough medicine prototype struck down

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) panel voted against Merck’s new cough medicine gefapixant 12 to 1. Data shows 22% of patients discontinued use due to side effects such as loss of taste. Merck said there is currently no medicine for chronic cough which affects 5% to 10% of the global adult population.

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