What You Need To Know About Covid-19

With Covid-19 and the Delta Variant spreading in Palm Beach County and across the nation, here is what you need to know about the virus and how to stay healthy.

– COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a new coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2 which was first identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.

– Coronaviruses, named for the crown-like spikes on their surfaces, are a large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. 

– COVID-19 is mostly a respiratory illness, but it can also affect other organs. It is spread primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

– COVID-19 is a new disease, caused by a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans.

While some infected are actually asymptomatic, the most common symptoms are:

  • Fever or chills
  • Dry cough
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Stuffy nose
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Diarrhea


Symptoms of severe COVID-19 disease include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Inability to stay awake
  • Confusion
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest

– Viruses constantly change overtime. These changes result in slightly different variants or types of the virus that can still cause the disease.

– Multiple variants of COVID-19 have been reported in the United States and globally.

– To monitor for COVID-19 variants within the US, the CDC has developed a program called the National SARS-CoV-2 Strain Surveillance.

– Identifies new and emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants

– Allows the genetic makeup of the virus to be studied to help scientists determine symptoms/spread

– CDC has classified variants as:

    • Variant of Interest (VOI)
    • Variant of Concern (VOC)
    • Variant of High Consequence (VOHC)

To understand how the vaccines work first, here’s how our body fights illness:

  • Our immune system protects our body from harmful substances and germs that can make us ill.
  • It uses several tools to fight infection known as:​
  • Macrophages, B-lymphocytes, and T-lymphocytes.​
  • It is activated by something that your body doesn’t recognize as its own
  • After the body comes in contact with a germ for the first time, it makes and uses the tools needed to get over the infection.
  • Information about the germ is stored​
  • When the body comes in contact with the germ again, it recognizes it and begins to fight it right away.

The COVID-19 vaccine helps your body develop immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19 without having to get the illness. ​

  • The vaccine introduces your body to a protein found on the virus that the body does not recognize.
  • The immune system is activated. 
  • Antibodies are made.    ​

It is very important to know that immunity does not happen right away.​

  • The possibility of getting infected before or right after exists.​
  • The necessity of the second shot.​

It is also still important to follow CDC recommendations of how to protect yourself and others after vaccination.

  • Considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after the second dose of mRNA vaccines and 2 weeks after single dose of Johnson and Johnson.
  • Except where required by law and/or workplace, fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing.​
  • Highly effective in preventing COVID-19 ​
  • Can help keep you from getting seriously ill if you do get COVID-19
  • May also protect the people around you, especially those at increased risk for severe illness​
  • May reduce the spread of the virus ​
  • Safer way to help build protection
  • No way to know how COVID-19 infection will affect you and spread from you
  • Covid-19 vaccines are important tools to help stop the pandemic.
  • Lack of health equity
  • Do not have equal access to resources
  • Strategies that have been used to slow the spread of the virus have resulted in negative outcomes for certain racial and ethnic groups
    • Unemployment/lost wages, loss of health insurance, housing and food instability, stress
    • Inequities in social determinants of health
    • Physical environment, healthcare, occupation, income and education

There is an overabundance of information both off and online related to the virus.

  • False information can be potentially harmful 
  • Inaccurate information can spread quickly

Misinformation costs lives as people lose trust in healthcare.

  • People refuse diagnostic tests
  • Vaccine hesitancy
  • Refuse to follow healthcare recommendations – masking, social distancing
  • World Health Organization (WHO)​
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)​
  • The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA)​
  • National Institute of Health (NIH)​
  • The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)​
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