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Avoid the mist of confusion over COVID-19 now | Local News Articles

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If you feel confused about COVID-19 now, don’t feel lonely. There is a lot of confusion not only from radicals and “fake news”, but also from serious healthcare professionals.

Sure, there are groups that make money from lies and false information, but healthcare providers and scientists are often fooled or overwhelmed by this new virus. The basic approaches to avoiding the “fog of war” surrounding this virus are:

Choose your source carefully. They must be up-to-date and reliable. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, major medical centers and universities, and state and county health departments are reliable sources of information. Make sure the information is up to date. Scientific knowledge about viruses is growing rapidly, and the viruses themselves are changing, so recommendations need to be applied.

Be aware of information from social media, sensational “news”, TV talk programs, celebrities who have done their own “surveys”, and unqualified health “guru”.

In general, professionals who can rely on advice and information during epidemics and pandemics directly refer to people such as epidemiologists and public health professionals who have a master’s degree in public health or a PhD after their name. A doctor who doesn’t care. .. Infectious disease physicians are noteworthy both in direct care of the patient and in understanding the spread of the disease.

Locally, I am fortunate to receive regular COVID-19 updates from San Mateo County. Here are some of the points that the county emphasized on January 6th:

Omicron is the name given to a variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 disease. The emergence of Omicron variants in late 2021 has stressed all healthcare systems, increasing urgent visits and hospitalizations. It appears to have fewer deaths and less lung and heart disease than the delta mutants that came before it, but it is more infectious and rapidly unvaccinated young populations returning to school. I’m cleaning up.

Symptoms of the Omicron variant are similar to the original coronavirus and delta variants: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, malaise, myalgia. It seems to have less effect on the senses of smell, taste and lungs (that is, less coughing and shortness of breath).

Many unknowns remain.

“We don’t know much about Omicron yet, but vaccines and boosters can help prevent serious illnesses and limit viral transmission,” said Dr. Scott Morrow, San Mateo County Health Officer. Mentioned in the prepared release. The method of tracking and treating cases of COVID-19 is by testing. “

Vaccination includes 2 shots of mRNA vaccine, or 1 shot of Johnson and Johnson, wearing boosters (mostly 3 injections) and masks in a public indoor environment, regardless of vaccination status. is needed. The mask should cover the nose and mouth with no gaps for air to pass through. Multi-layer cloth masks have minimal protection and N-95 or KN-95 masks are recommended.

Some of the terms related to viruses can be confusing. For example, consider the difference between quarantine and quarantine.

Quarantine is associated with behavior after the infection is confirmed. After 5 days of quarantine, wearing a mask minimizes the risk of the virus spreading to others. Persons with COVID-19 should be quarantined for 5 days. If you are asymptomatic or have no symptoms (no fever for 24 hours), wear a mask for 5 days while around others to minimize the risk of infecting the person you encounter. Suppress to.

Quarantine refers to the time after exposure to the virus or after close contact with a person known to be infected with COVID-19. The recommended quarantine period for the general public currently exposed to COVID-19 depends on the vaccination status.

For those who have not been vaccinated, or who have been boosted for at least 6 months (or at least 2 months after J & J vaccination) since the second mRNA dose, followed by 5 days of quarantine, another 5 Strict mask use for the day is done. Alternatively, if 5 days of quarantine is not possible, the exposed person should wear a mask for 10 days after exposure and whenever they are around others.

Individuals who receive a booster shot do not need to be quarantined after exposure, but must wear a mask for 10 days after exposure. Best practices for all exposed individuals also include testing for SARS-CoV-2 5 days after exposure. If symptoms occur, the individual should be quarantined immediately until a negative test confirms that the symptoms are not due to COVID-19.

Two types of tests, rapid antigen test and PCR test, are appropriate. Antibody testing is more useful in a research environment than in a diagnostic environment. Both require a nasal swab, which can be done by the person being tested and does not require the initially recommended “brain jab”.

The emergency department of the hospital is not a test center. Do not seek urgent care for the test.

The results of the PCR test may take several days. If you take the test, you will need to stay home from work or school and quarantine yourself while waiting for the results.

Dr. Vic Froelicher is a Stanford University Physician, Cardiology Specialist and Professor Emeritus, with expertise in sports cardiology and exercise physiology. He lives on the coast of San Mateo County.

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