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New COVID variant may be less threatening than first feared; Obesity heart deaths have tripled; Naloxone could soon cost $10 - Morning Medical Update


The top news stories in primary care today.

© Alena Kryazheva - stock.adobe.com

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

New COVID variant may be less threatening than first feared

When the Pirola variant emerged in July, scientists feared its heavy mutation meant it would be dangerous. Now, ongoing research says this doesn’t seem to be the case. “This is not the second coming of Omicron. If it were, it is safe to say we would know by now,” Dr. Bill Hanage, an epidemiologist who is co-director of Harvard University’s Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics, said in a social media post. The Pirola variant is currently in the United States and 10 other countries.

Obesity heart deaths have tripled

Heart deaths related to obesity have tripled in the last 20 years according to a new study. About 42% of Americans are now considered obese, which is a 10% jump from the last decade alone. Experts say a greater emphasis on public health measures could help combat these numbers.

Naloxone could soon cost $10

Naloxone has recently become available over the counter at major pharmacies with two doses costing $45. California lawmaker Asm. Liz Ortega wants to take things a step further and sell it in the state for no more than $10.By keeping the cost of this life-saving drug at $10 or less, my bill will empower thousands of parents, families, and community members to protect their loved ones should the worst happen," Ortega said in a news release.

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