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
- Loss of taste or smell
- Stuffy nose
- Sore throat
Symptoms of severe COVID-19 disease include:
- Shortness of breath
- Inability to stay awake
- 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)