Major General Paul Friedrichs, MD, appointed to head the new Office of Pandemic Preparedness; CDC advises the public about the potential resurgence of respiratory viruses in the fall and winter; concerns grow over appeal of e-cigarettes to young adults.
The White House has established the Office of Pandemic Preparedness and Response Policy, led by Paul Friedrichs, MD, a retired Air Force major general and military combat surgeon who played a key role in the Pentagon's COVID-19 response, according to Reuters. The new office will take over the responsibilities of President Joe Biden's existing COVID-19 and mpox response teams and will be tasked with coordinating actions to prepare for and respond to potential pandemics and other biological threats.
Mandy Cohen, MD, director of the CDC, warned of the potential triple threat of COVID-19, flu, and respiratory syncytial virus during the upcoming winter season, according to NBC News. The emergence of the Omicron XBB EG.5 variant of SARS-CoV-2 adds to concerns, although there is no evidence of increased severity or vaccine resistance so far. Health officials anticipate challenges in administering 3 different vaccines and urge the public to understand and protect against the resurgence of respiratory viruses.
A new CDC report reveals that over 1 in 10 young adults in the United States regularly use e-cigarettes, with usage declining as family income increases, according to CNN. Furthermore, young adults between 18 and 24 years reported the highest rates of e-cigarette use. Concerns are raised about the appeal of these products to nonsmokers, particularly young people, prompting calls for further research on the long-term health effects of e-cigarettes.