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Find the latest information on the Coronavirus outbreak in Utah, including public health measures, contact information, news updates, and more.

Utah is preparing a distribution plan for anti-viral COVID-19 pills

Merck announced this week that it’s seeking emergency use authorization for its molnupiravir pill, which means the U.S. is one step closer to the first pill that will help treat COVID-19. Merck claims the pill can cut hospitalizations and deaths in half for people with mild to moderate coronavirus symptoms.Postdoctoral researcher Stepen Goldstein says the drug has been in development for several years in mice with other types of coronavirus. Goldstein says their findings indicate its best to take the pill shortly after testing positive because the virus replicates so quickly inside the body once it's been contracted. He says molnupiravir interferes with those mutations, stopping the virus in its tracks.

 

Utah health leaders estimate 17,000 of the 1.7 million doses the federal government has already purchased will initially make its way to the state.

 

Head of Utah’s health department preparedness and response team Kevin McCulley says the plans are in place to receive the pill, they would just need to be adapted for that specific treatment. He says the state is simply waiting for more guidance from the federal government.

Tyler Hewitt is the web/social media assistant at UPR. He writes stories every day, updates the website and manages the station's Twitter and Facebook pages. Tyler is a senior at Utah State University and is studying public relations, marketing, and psychology. He loves to write, listen to music, play video games, play tennis and hang out with his fiancé and cat, Juno. He is a great plant dad and recently started collecting vinyl records!