The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said COVID variants BQ.1/BQ.1.1 make up 44% of U.S. cases. The two variants, which are closely related to Omicron’s BA.5 sub-variant that drove COVID-19 cases in the United States earlier in the year, made up less than 10% of total cases in the country last month, but currently have surpassed Omicron’s BA.5. (Reuters)

The federal government pushed back against the DeSantis administration in its prescription drug importation case. U.S. Department of Justice attorneys filed a 27-page document that pushed back against a lawsuit the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration filed in August to try to spur a decision on the importation proposal and to obtain a series of records. (WGCU)

Public health experts are explaining why RSV is so dangerous for some young children but not others. The answer is likely to frustrate parents: There is no obvious reason some healthy babies get so sick with RSV that they must be hospitalized, on oxygen, while others do not. (NBC News)

Amid a market slump, some Big Pharma stocks are breaking out. Drug stocks are producing cash profits now with immediate cash flows that don’t lose as much value as rates rise and thus are less affected by the Fed. (Barron’s)

University of Missouri scientists found viral mutations that help monkeypox spread. Like the coronavirus, monkeypox evolves over time to become more hardy and infectious. Viruses can mutate through interactions with medications or the environment. (St. Louis Public Radio)