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UVA Health COVID Update: The Bottom Line for February 3, 2022

weekly covid update from uva health

COVID at UVA Health: By the Numbers

What You Need to Know: Don't Give In to Pandemic Fatigue

As the pandemic approaches the two-year mark, we’re all ready for life to return to normal. Wearing masks and social distancing is a drag. And pandemic fatigue is real.

But don’t slack now:

COVID in Charlottesville: Seniors Need Boosters 

The highly contagious omicron variant is a big factor driving the COVID-19 surge. Protecting the most vulnerable in our population is critical. In an article published January 28 in The Conversation, Laurie Archbald-Pannone, MD, a geriatrician at UVA Health, urges adults age 65 and up to get a COVID booster shot.

In the article, Archbald-Pannone notes that:

If you have a loved one, consider helping them get access to the COVID vaccine and booster shot.

What We Don't Know: Is it Omicron or the Common Cold?

With colder weather, people are spending more time indoors. That means viruses, including COVID-19, are more likely to spread. How you know whether it omicron or the common cold?

As we’ve seen consistently throughout the pandemic, the omicron variant seems to affect the upper respiratory tract, says Bill Petri, MD, an infectious disease specialist at UVA Health. Other symptoms include:

“Any of those things would be a reason to go ahead and get a rapid test,” Petri says. He adds that if you get a negative result from a rapid antigen test, you should repeat the test a day or two later to be sure it’s not COVID.

“Don’t for a moment take this lightly with omicron,” Petri says. “It’s important to continue the social distancing and the mask-wearing. If you’ve been vaccinated, that’s wonderful. That’s going to keep you out of the hospital with omicron. If you get boosted, it’s going to prevent the sore throat and the milder symptoms and also help prevent transmitting it to someone else.”

COVID Fact of the Week: The new oral antivirals, Paxlovid and Lagevrio (molnupiravir), are now available by prescription for eligible UVA Health patients. This includes people with mild to moderate COVID-19 infection who also are at high risk for progression to severe disease and patients 65 and older with clinical risk factors. Ask your doctor if these drugs are right for you.

The Bottom Line: Stay Diligent in the Fight Against COVID

Don’t let pandemic fatigue get the best of you. Help our healthcare team beat COVID by:

Learn more about staying safe from COVID.

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