How COVID-19 Experts Are Living Now
Most would say they're living 'cautiously'
In the past year, many Americans have stopped thinking about COVID-19, ditched their masks, skipped the latest coronavirus boosters and returned to living more normal lives. While cases of covid-related severe illness and hospitalization remain low, infection counts are spiking again, new variants are emerging and flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) loom as winter approaches.
There is a lot of news about the coronavirus and other respiratory viruses these days, some of it confusing. A new coronavirus variant — BA.2.86— is attracting the attention of infectious-disease specialists. But on the good news front, a key federal panel is meeting Sept. 12 to discuss the latest coronavirus booster, which should target the XBB variants of the virus; officials expect the booster to become available by the end of the month. A new flu shot and new vaccines to protect against RSV are already out.
Vaccination and awareness of virus transmission nationally and locally are important elements of the U.S. disease prevention "tool kit," said Demetre Daskalakis, the acting director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. "Pay attention to the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] website... pay close tabs to what's happening in the local health department [and] keep an eye on what they are saying" he added. Also "if you do get the infection, whether it's COVID or [the] flu, there are some treatments that you might qualify for."
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