Focus at Four: Expert discusses COVID-19, variants, and end of year illness
BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - The fall season is upon us, and with that comes illnesses like colds, flu, even COVID-19. Hospitalizations because of COVID-19 are up 70% in the state of Texas this month. Only 1/4 of adults say they’re planning to get their COVID-19 shot, while 33% say they definitely won’t get it. The federal government is providing COVID-19 tests for free, which Dr. Rebecca Fischer, a professor at A&M School of Public Health and researcher for epidemic investigations, says is a response to case numbers.
“We are seeing still about 20,000 hospitalizations a week, which is a lot, about 1,500 of those are Texas. And while some states are seeing a plateau or decline in cases right now, it’s really important to curb those numbers so we can relieve strain on our healthcare systems,” said Fischer.
Wihle Fischer says precautions should still be taken, she says the variants are not more severe, and not extremely varied.
“The vaccine that has been just recommended by the CDC is for Omicron variants. So that should still be offering us some protection even as these new variants are circulating,” Fischer continues.
She recommends getting updated vaccines as well as taking precautions for prevention in your routine, like washing your hands.
“It’s sort of a disservice to our health to think that we can just push through a mild case of COVID. The reason for that is those long term effects and those late effects of COVID which can come even with mild infections. By keeping up with our vaccines and our boosters, we’re protecting ourselves from those long term effects,” said Fischer.
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