Virus Expert Just Said How to Stay Alive Out There

Virus Expert Just Said How to Stay Alive Out There

The coronavirus surge is at a fever pitch, as Omicron and Delta cases rise worldwide. Omicron in particular may be as or more transmissible than even measles, says one expert, and we don’t know how severe it may be. (Any COVID infection is worse than none.) How can you stay safe? Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb—who sits on the board of Pfizer—appeared on Face the Nation yesterday. Read on for 5 life-saving tips—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.


Virus Expert Said This About Putting the Brakes on Your Return to Normal

Doctor in personal protective suit or PPE inject vaccine shot to stimulating immunity of woman patient at risk of coronavirus infection.

“I think people are really tired of living diminished lives from COVID generally,” said Gottlieb. “And you’re seeing that in terms of what people are doing. They’re reengaging activity that we know are gonna be conducive to spread of this virus. Omicron really has thrown a curve ball here. I think that this is a temporary  incident. I think Omicrom is going to blow its way through the population probably very quickly. When you look at what happened in South Africa and even what’s happening in the UK right now, where it’s moving very fast, but we do face a hard four to six weeks ahead of us as this moves to the population. I think it is prudent, especially for people who are gonna be around vulnerable individuals, to take added precautions heading into the holidays, try to use testing, make sure you booster. Take precautions within your settings, in your social settings as well. Use high quality masks when you go out. A lot of people don’t want to be  linked in a chain of transmission that could get to a vulnerable individual, either young child or an older individual, even if they themselves know that there is significantly less risk from a bad outcome from this virus. So we should be prudent over the next four to six weeks.”


Virus Expert Explained Whether Omicron is Looking More or Less Severe

Tired exhausted female scrub nurse

“There’s no indication that it causes more severe illness,” said Gottlieb. “What we’ve seen in South Africa in particular is a decoupling between the cases and hospitalization. So hospitalizations are down about 30% relative to cases, and we’re probably not measuring all the cases in South Africa. We’re probably picking up a small fraction, and more severe cases requiring ICU admissions are down 80% relative to past waves, in cases versus ICU admissions. So it does appear to be a less severe illness. Now, a lot of people believe—including myself—that the reason why it’s manifesting is a less severe illness is probably because we have baseline immunity in the population, probably around 80% of Americans and 90% of South Africans have some level of immunity either from prior infection or through vaccination. So even though we’re still getting infected, because this is spreading through immune invasion, it’s spreading by evading immunity that we’ve acquired. We have some baseline immunity that protects us from getting very sick. And that’s in fact, what you’re probably seeing in terms of these hospitalization statistics.”


Virus Expert Said These COVID Tests Work

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

Gottlieb says there’s “every indication is that the mass market tests that people are using should hold up with this new virus. They should be able to detect this. So I think most of the tests that individuals are using are gonna be just fine. It might be some of the smaller market tests that aren’t in wide use. That might be more suspect things like the BinaxNOW, which have been evaluated very carefully should be fine.”

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Virus Expert Said This About the Vaccine for Kids Under 5

Doctor vaccinating child at hospital.

The vaccine for kids under 5 has been delayed. When will we see it? “It depends on what the circumstances are that that base case is now getting pushed out to the second quarter of 2022. So what we’ve done, what Pfizer did was test a significantly lower dose in young children in the toddlers. It’s a three microgram dose compared to a 10 microgram dose that’s being used in children five to 12 and a 30 microgram dose in teenagers and adults. And the reason to go with a lower dose is you’re very focused on tolerability in young children. You don’t wanna have a, a vaccine related side effects like injection site reactions, pain, fevers. And so they tested very low doses to try to achieve a very tolerable vaccine. Now in six months to two years, that low dose produced a comparable effect in terms of the immune response when compared to 16 to 25 year olds, and what you’re measuring is antibody response.”

RELATED: Everyday Habits That Can Cause Lasting Damage to Your Body


Virus Expert Said if You Should Send Your Kid Back to School After Christmas

Cheerful Smiling Adolescent Patient Showing Vaccinated Arm With Sticking Patch On Her Shoulder After Getting Shot And Thumb Up Gesture.

“In most places of the country, the answer is yes, in some parts of the country where there’s a high prevalence of Delta right now, high flu prevalence like the Northeast, the Great Lakes region, and now Omicron later on top of that, where healthcare systems could get pressed, I think that you could see some districts make decisions to extend the breaks.”

RELATED: This Can Increase Your Chances of Dementia Bigtime, Says Study


How to Stay Safe Out There

Brunette woman wearing a KN95 FPP2 mask.

Follow the public health fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated or boosted ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, don’t travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don’t go indoors with people you’re not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don’t visit any of these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.


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