Flu season looks like it’s gonna start early

And it could hit hard around the holidays, according to CDC tracking.

Check the chart. When the number of “influenza-like illness” reports cross the black line, it’s flu season:

Right now it looks like that’ll happen … well, this week nationally. Georgia looks like it’ll be on the earlier end of the trend this year, too.

CVS poised to buy Aetna

That’ll combine a health insurer, PBM, and nationwide pharmacy chain. The company says it’ll be great for consumers.

Bridge for sale

Brooklyn to Manhattan. Cheap. See Joe.

Potentially huge migraine breakthrough

Novartis’s erenumab looks like it has a major effect on migraine duration — it apparently blocks a particular calcitonin gene-related peptide path.

Phase three trial data on nearly 1,000 patients showed that it typically cut between three and four “migraine days” per month. In half the patients treated, migraine duration was reduced at least by half.

How little Porter Pharmacy went digital

“Going digital” in this case means letting patients use the Web to order and confirm refills. Here’s a piece — admittedly, from the company that provided those digital services — about how Porter Pharmacy in Cochran (pop. 5,150) leveled the playing field with the big boys.

This means that Porter Pharmacy & Gifts, which was previously only open between 8:30a.m. and 6p.m. on the weekdays, was now a 24 hour operation. Customers immediately responded to this higher level of convenience. [Owner Rob Dykes] estimates that upwards of 40% of digital prescriptions that come through are submitted after hours or on Sunday.

Could FluMist come back?

Maybe so. No one knew why it didn’t work, but now they may have figured it out: “a previously unnoticed genetic mutation” in the virus used to make it.

When the researchers reversed the mutation in one of the viruses, the virus became more active, making copies of itself – which is known as replicating – more quickly in cultured human nasal cells and inducing a stronger production of immune proteins [that protect against flu infection].

It was supposed to treat cancer…

but could Opdivo cure AIDS?

That’s one downside to coffee

It has the potential to cause hairy tongue. (Don’t click the link if you want to enjoy the rest of your day to its fullest.)