What to know about the covid-19 treatment molnupiravir

Molnupiravir is a twice-daily pill that has been shown to reduce the risk of hospitalization and death among people infected with the coronavirus. (Merck/Reuters)

The world could soon be armed with another tool to fight the coronavirus pandemic: a twice-daily pill that has been shown to reduce the risk of hospitalization and death among people infected with the coronavirus.

The drug, molnupiravir, offers another tool alongside vaccines for countries to manage the coronavirus pandemic. Here’s what you need to know about it:

Coronavirus: What you need to know

Vaccines: The CDC recommends that everyone age 5 and older get an updated covid booster shot designed to target both the original virus and the omicron variant. Here’s some guidance on when you should get the omicron booster and how vaccine efficacy could be affected by your prior infections.

Variants: Instead of a single new Greek letter variant, a group of immune-evading omicron spinoffs are popping up all over the world. Any dominant variant will probably challenge a key line of treatment for people with compromised immune systems — the drugs known as monoclonal antibodies.

Tripledemic: Hospitals are overwhelmed by a combination of respiratory illnesses, staffing shortages and nursing home closures. And experts believe the problem will deteriorate further in coming months. Here’s how to tell the difference between RSV, the flu and covid-19.

Guidance: CDC guidelines have been confusing — if you get covid, here’s how to tell when you’re no longer contagious. We’ve also created a guide to help you decide when to keep wearing face coverings.

Where do things stand? See the latest coronavirus numbers in the U.S. and across the world. In the U.S., pandemic trends have shifted and now White people are more likely to die from covid than Black people.

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