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42% of primary care doctors unsure of biologics to treat asthma; Toothpaste for peanut allergy; First vaccine for chikungunya virus - Morning Medical Update

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The top news stories in primary care today.

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

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

42% of primary care doctors unsure of biologics to treat asthma

Almost half of primary care doctors are unsure about using biologics to treat asthma, a new survey reveals. Physicians surveyed were unsure when to start using biologics and often waited until a patient had two or more asthma attacks in a year before referring them to a specialist. ““The results of the survey point to the need to improve the communication between primary care physicians and asthma care specialists,” Juan Carlos Cardet, MD, MPH, ACAAI member and senior author of the study said in a statement.

Toothpaste for peanut allergy

Peanut allergies may soon be treated with a specialized toothpaste, according to a new study. Researchers gave 32 participants with peanut allergies toothpaste with trace amounts of peanut allergens over a 48-week trial. “We were able to see that the treatment is safe based on a small group of people,” Dr. Purvi Parikh, an allergist and spokesperson with the Allergy & Asthma Network said in a news release. She was not involved in the study. “Now it needs to be tested on a larger scale to see if it works.”

First vaccine for chikungunya virus

The first chikungunya vaccine, Ixchiq, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration today. It is approved for ages 18 and up who are at in increased risk for catching the virus. Chikungunya is an emerging threat with 5 million cases reported in the last 15 years. It is primarily passed through the bite of an infected mosquito.

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© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
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© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
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© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health