I’m an infectious disease specialist and I’d like you to know about COVID – Eat This Not That

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently updated their COVID-19 guidelines and eased many restrictions, including ending quarantine after someone is exposed to someone with the virus, but wearing a properly fitted mask is still recommended for 10 days after exposure. Eat this, not that! Health spoke to medical experts who share their thoughts on the new guidelines. Read on and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure signs you’ve already had COVID.

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Sunjya Schweig, MD Founder and Director, California Center for Functional Medicine Founder and Executive Director, The Functional Medicine Research and Technology Center says: “On August 11, the CDC relaxed many of the COVID-19 guidelines they had in place. Changes include stopping testing of asymptomatic people with no known exposures and tracing contacts only at facilities health care and high risk. He further states that those who have been exposed but do not feel sick themselves do not need to quarantine. Instead, they should test on day 5 of exposure. The easing of restrictions comes at the same time as the opening of schools across the country, and will help keep students in school, which is likely a key goal. Unfortunately, the CDC missed a opportunity to help protect the elderly and very vulnerable Americans.

Woman wearing medical protective mask receiving injection in arm vaccination.
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Ramzi Asfour, MD, Board Certified in Infectious Diseases and Internal Medicine Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner with California Center for Functional Medicine tells us, “Population-level immunity estimates, i.e. people who have a certain level of immunity based on prior infection with COVID-19, vaccination vary somewhat, but at least by midsummer, the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation estimates that 82% of people have been infected with COVID-19 at least once as of July 11, 2022, and 69% are fully vaccinated (but not necessarily boosted). COVID-19 Results Briefing United States of America July 18, 2022 Current situation This implies that a large majority of the US population has some level of immunity to COVID-19. The CDC press release states: “With so many tools available to us to reduce the severity of COVID-19, there is much less risk of serious illness, hospitalization and death compared to the start of the pandemic. .” CDC streamlines COVID-19 guidelines to help public better protect themselves and understand their risk. In other words, because we have treatments like Paxlovid, Remdesivir and others, we have vaccines and booster doses, and we have therapies to lessen the severity of COVID-19 for those who have been hospitalized like dexamethasone, there is a significantly decreased risk of death from COVID-19 infection. »

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Dr Asfour shares: “Having worked in public health myself (at the World Health Organization), we must also recognize that public fatigue with stricter guidelines is real, and authorities public health authorities are trying to take an approach that minimizes restrictions while protecting the health of the general public. There may yet be another wave of a more severe variant where stricter public health guidelines will be needed; the public must see that the current guidelines make sense, are logical and are not unnecessarily strict.”

woman in a hospital waiting room - wearing a face mask
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According to Dr Asfour, “The pandemic is not over, and we must remain vigilant and responsible. There will always be new variants and we must be careful of these as they may have the potential to cause more severe disease. , especially in the most vulnerable populations.”

Dr. Schweig adds, “The pandemic is not over and, in fact, CDC community transmission data shows high transmission in 94% of the country. According to Eric Topolfounder and director of Scripps Institute for Translational Research, focusing on the “community-level” metric is a deceptive way for the CDC to present a semblance of rose-colored glasses of lower risk. This, too, unnecessarily promotes the spread of Covid to others, especially vulnerable people, which he claims no less, further worsens the toll of the long Covid, a condition suffered by millions of Americans, due to the massive and unbridled spread of the virus throughout the pandemic. (The default setting on the link below is a problematic metric called “community level” and one must choose “community transmission” from the drop-down menu to see this data). As Topol points out, “We are in the middle of the BA.5 wave, the variant with the most immune evasion and transmissibility we have yet seen, now with more than 100,000 new confirmed cases per day (the actual number is unknown, but much higher), more than 40,000 people hospitalized and more than 500 deaths per day.”

Young sick woman lying in bed.
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Dr Asfour says: “We at CCMF, remain concerned about the lingering risk of long Covid which can be incredibly debilitating for some. Previous infection and vaccination only offer limited protection against Long Covid. Long-term COVID risk decreases only slightly after vaccination, large study finds. While this is a major concern for us, new CDC guidelines require masking in public for 10 days after a new infection. »

Close up of covid-19 infected patient in bed in hospital, coronavirus and ventilation.
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Dr Schweig says: “We are in the midst of the wave of BA5 variants and cases are at record highs. The new CDC guidelines are problematic for several reasons. On the one hand, continued vigilance with rapid antigen testing is important to prevent the spread. As Eric Topol wrote in a recent post“At the end of December 2021, with the onslaught of the Omicron BA 1 wave, the CDC proposed a five day isolation policy without any evidence that it would prevent the spread of infections to others and without advocating the need for a rapid antigen test. Indeed, several studies have shown that most people are still contagious after five days, with even rigorous evaluation showing that the virus can be grown of some people with Omicron infections at two weeks.

Additionally, the CDC guidelines do not take into account the most vulnerable populations such as the elderly and immunocompromised people. Finally, with the change in CDC guidelines, it does not take into account the continued risk of Covid in the long term. COVID cases and transmission are at an all-time high in the United States and abroad, as the current BA.5 variant is the most contagious variant we have seen in the pandemic so far. I will continue to recommend that people keep up to date with vaccinations and boosters and wear face coverings when indoors, especially at crowded events such as concerts, sporting events or the like. . We are also optimistic and hope that we can work to strengthen mucosal immunity, which is why Topol and Professor Iwasaki have called for Nasal Vaccine Operation. As Topol puts it, “We also need to continue with a universal, variant-proof coronavirus vaccine that would preempt potential disease-causing mutations in the virus rather than chase specific variants, the strategy untenable as the virus continues to adapt. faster than our response.” And to protect your life and the lives of others, do not visit any of these 35 places where you are most likely to catch COVID.

Heather Newgen

Heather Newgen has two decades of experience reporting and writing about health, fitness, entertainment and travel. Heather is currently a freelancer for several publications. Learn more about Heather

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