I’m A Doctor And I Have This Essential COVID Update For Everyone — Eat This Not That

While life “gets back to normal,” no one has told the COVID-19 pandemic is “over,” as the virus continues to rage in the United States. Thousands of people attended Burning Man, after which there were reports of people catching the virus. School is back in session and children are missing from school due to infection. What’s the Latest and How Can You Stay Safe? Dr. Michael Blavas is here with the essential update that everyone should know. Read on, and don’t forget to check out these to ensure your health and the health of others Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID,

Man Self Test for COVID-19 Home Test Kit.

The White House recently suspended its COVID-19 testing program that provides free testing kits to American families. The program has been put on hold due to a lack of federal funding after Congress replenished the nation’s stock of testing. With fall just around the corner, it is likely that we will face a surge in COVID infections and an increase in the need for reliable testing kits. To prepare for this response, it is best to continue testing despite a decline in programs, monitor extended expiration dates on test kits, remain vigilant in public settings, wear a mask and follow CDC guidelines when symptoms occur.

African American little boy with his mother during a PCR test for coronavirus in a medical lab

The following students return to school for the 2022–2023 academic year, most recently Chicago Public School information It turns out that the COVID cases during the first week in public schools are much higher this year than in previous years. In fact, cases in Chicago public schools are 3.3 times higher this year than cases in the first week of the 2021-2022 school year. One conclusion of this may be the highly infectious Omicron BA.5 variant that makes up 90% of cases in the Midwest according to the CDC, compared to the less infectious Delta variant circulating this time last year. However, another factor may be rapid testing more readily available than ever before and a public may be more inclined to test somewhat skewed numbers. Despite the contrary to CDC guidelines, it is important to continue to implement proper protocols – especially in schools where students are most susceptible to infections and outbreaks. Students should wash their hands frequently, cover their mouths when sneezing or coughing in classrooms, practice social distancing, take frequent tests and stay home if they do not feel well.

Officials use infrared forehead thermometer to check fever body temperature for virus symptoms

Recent studies have shown that the incubation period shifted to at least 3 days with BA.4 and 5 variants. Several components of early COVID variants are now progressing faster than newer variants from Omicron, factors including infection rates and recovery times. Despite the decline in the incubation period, even if you test positive, you are advised to quarantine for 5 days and wear a mask for the next 5 days.

COVID-19 swab collection kit in doctor's hands, nurse holding tube of coronavirus.

Test discrepancies are becoming more common with the Omron version. The FDA recommends doing 3 home tests to boost accuracy, as at-home test kits may not perform well, and may give inaccurate results. With more mutations comes significant performance challenges for antigen-based tests that were mostly created to target the original COVID strains, not all new mutations. If it is important to know for sure whether molecular or PCR COVID testing is the way to go to get a definitive answer.

Healthcare worker with protective equipment does a coronavirus swab on a woman.

Federal regulators have extended the expiration date of some COVID test kits. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration initially authorized a shelf life of only a few months, although manufacturers are testing beyond expiration dates and find that tests are good for longer. Don’t be in a rush to toss out those expired test kits, especially with the government’s suspension of free COVID tests. They are most likely still good for several months. To check extended expiration dates on some test kits, visit FDA website for more information.

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