By Dr. James Partyka | PHARMATIVE via PrideNation
August 26, 2022
Unfortunately, according to the CDC daily COVID-19 cases are increasing in the United States largely due to the the spread of the highly contagious COVID-19 Omicron variant. Currently, the average seven day COVID-19 case rate is increasing and is 89,758 cases. On August 26th of this year, the number of daily new cases was 100,346. These case numbers are an underestimate in the U. S., since many patients self test at home with the availability of FDA approved rapid antigen tests and are not likely to self report their positive disease to their physician or the CDC. To date, a cumulative total of 1.04 million people have died since early 2020 due to COVID-19 disease. However, since the availabilty of COVID-19 vaccines the average seven day death rate has dramatically decreased to 477 deaths per day.
Here are few key points for you and your family members to remember:
1. Get vaccinated to prevent severe disease, hospitalization and death, and get your booster shots according to CDC.gov on average COVID-19 vaccines provide immunological protection for approx. 4 to 6 months. Moderna and Pfizer BioNtech are planning to release a new bivalent Omicron vaccine in September of this year which should provide better protection against the COVID-19 mutant variants Omicron BA.4/BA.5, in addition to providing protection against the original SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.
2. Even if you have had COVID-19 disease in the past, you still need to get vaccinated as natural immunity only provides immunological protection for approximately 3 to 4 months.
3. Currently, I reccomend for you to keep wearing a KN95 or N95 mask indoors and at large outdoor gatherings as the COVID-19 virus, especially the Omicron variants are highly contagious and are still rapidly spreading throughout the United States. Wear your masks on planes, trains and bus trips, epecially if you are immuocompromised or considered as part of the vulnerable patient population by CDC guidelines.
4. If you have had COVID-19 disease and once you have recovered, then self quarantine for at least 5 days according to CDC guidelines and next practice social distancing and cover your mouth and nose with a mask when traveling outside your home.
5. If you’re positive for COVID-19 whether or not your symptomatic, self quarantine for at least 5 days according to CDC guidelines.
6. Once your test is COVID-19 positive with a rapid antigen test, retesting is hard to interpret as dead virus may still be in your nasal cavity and might produce false positive results.
7. Call your Physician or Pharmacist to see if you have risk factors which qualify you for Paxlovid which is an anti-viral drug available for National Emergency Use and should be taken within 5 days of testing positive; most pharmacists can now prescribe Paxlovid under certain criteria.
8. If you have difficulty in breathing and your oxygen level is dropping (pulseoximeter oxygen < 90 %) call your doctor and consider going to the hospital for oxygen suppport under your physician’s advice.
9. Supportive medicatations which I recommend for COVID-19 symptomatic relief include: Mucinex Sore throat and cough relief lozenge (Dextromethorphan and Hexylresorcinl); Mucinex Fast-Max which contains (Tylenol (fever), Dextromethorphan (cough), Guafenesin (expectorant) and phenylephrine (decongestant).
10. Drink plenty of water and keep yourself well hydrated; chicken soup is always a favorite of mine and provide some nutrition, and is also quite soothing for your COVID-19 symptoms.
Please remember to stay healthy by getting vaccinated including booster shots according to the schedule set forth by the CDC guidelines, and continue to minimize the spread of COVID-19 disease by wearing your mask and practicing social distancing.