As Coronavirus cases and hospitalizations ascend across the US, numerous Americans might be thinking about how to best protect themselves and their friends and family.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s protocols and recommendations have been revised as new information and strategies have emerged over the years since the pandemic began.
ABC News spoke with experts in public health about the most recent information regarding vaccine availability, testing dates, who should receive treatment, and whether masking should be used in any circumstances.
Dr. Graham Snyder, medical director of infection prevention and hospital epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, stated, “COVID-19 has never really left us.” Throughout the pandemic, there have been ups and downs; however, with this uptick, we are once again experiencing that steady churn pattern, in which a variety of variants are present and the variants are constantly evolving and reemerging.”
He went on to say, “But the disease itself—and, for the most part, the impact that the virus has on us—is about the same as it has been for the better part of a year and a half.”
What are the available vaccines and boosters?
The U.S. Food and Medication Organization is before long expected to greenlight refreshed sponsors focusing on right now coursing Coronavirus subvariants.
The CDC director, Dr. Mandy Cohen, will then give her approval at a meeting of the advisory committee on September 12, when they will vote on whether or not to approve.
If there are no hiccups, this ought to make the supporters accessible by mid-to-late September.
Moderna data has shown that the new boosters provide additional protection against the two most common variants, EG.5 and FL.1.5.1, as well as the more recent variant, BA.2.86. Experts have said that most people should wait to get the new booster, but some groups who are not up to date might want to think about getting vaccinated sooner.
“I’ve been let individuals know who are restoratively powerless, more established individuals, in the event that they’re not cutting-edge on their immunizations now and quite possibly’s they could be presented to the in the middle among now and one week from now, it’s likely best that they get the antibody that they that they can get today,” Dr. Denis Nash, a teacher of disease transmission expert at the City College of New York School of General Wellbeing, told ABC News.
Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or Novavax are the three vaccines available to those who are not current and wish to receive a primary series first.
When should a test be taken?
If you are experiencing symptoms or were exposed to a person who has COVID, the CDC recommends that you take a COVID test.
Those who have symptoms should get tested right away, and those who have been exposed should get tested five days after their last contact with the person who is positive.
Experts advise staying at home and isolating rather than taking a confirmatory PCR test if a person tests positive. They should stay at home for five days before being released if they do not have any symptoms, if their symptoms improve, or if they do not have a fever for 24 hours without taking any medication.
Those who tested positive should wear a mask for 11 days when indoors and in public, as well as for 10 days when exposed.
According to Nash, a person should not assume they do not have COVID if they exhibit symptoms but receive a negative result from an at-home rapid test.
He stated, “It’s possible that it’s still COVID and you need to test again a day or two later, just to be sure if your symptoms are still present.” I would also add that even if it isn’t COVID, you might still have something you don’t want to pass on to your loved ones who might be at risk.
Who is qualified for treatment?
Not every person should be dealt with assuming that they test positive for Coronavirus.
According to Dr. Sarah Hochman, a hospital epidemiologist and infectious diseases physician at NYU Langone Health, those who are at a higher risk of severe illness, such as those who have underlying lung or heart disease, are immunocompromised, are very young, or are 65 years old or older, should receive treatment.
According to the CDC, there are currently three treatments available. Paxlovid and Lagevrio are two of them that can be taken orally at home. Velkury (remdesivir), the third, is administered intravenously for three days at a healthcare facility.
However, experts and the CDC emphasize that these medications ought to be taken as soon as symptoms begin.
Snyder stated, “We know these treatments are most effective if given earlier in the disease, so it’s important to ask your doctor about treatment as soon as you have symptoms that could be caused by a respiratory virus infection.”
Should I cover up?
At this time, the CDC only recommends wearing a high-quality mask or respirator if the COVID-19 hospital admission rate where a person lives is high, and it says that some high-risk groups should think about masking.
Hochman stated that although data indicate that masks reduce the likelihood of contracting COVID or spreading it to others, individuals should evaluate their own risk tolerance prior to wearing masks in public.
She stated, “I think it’s really up to the individual and how much of a comfort level they have with potentially either being exposed to COVID or exposing others to COVID.” A gamble benefit choice individuals can make.”
In high-risk settings, however, such as crowded indoor settings or areas with poor circulation, and healthcare settings, Snyder advised masking.
He stated, “Obviously, it’s very especially important for us to provide a safe setting for people to get care in the healthcare setting.” In healthcare settings, we also have a different threshold for masking, which is why we’re starting to hear reports again about hospitals adopting universal masking.”
Snyder added, “I couldn’t say whether there was one right way to deal with that. Continuously in medical services, we’ve made an appraisal and set up security, contingent upon the degree of hazard that our local area has seen. Therefore, it is understandable that hospitals may or may not have adopted that strategy in different ways.