NELA health experts dismantle COVID-19 misconceptions

Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 8:32 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Health officials say 80 percent of COVID-19 cases in the United States are the Delta strand. It’s the same virus, just a different mutation with more dire consequences.

Experts say listening to bad information can be the difference between life and death.

“These are cases in Region 8, and they’re weekly. So this week was 1,300,” Louisiana Department of Health Region 8 Medical Director Dr. Jackie White explained.

COVID-19′s exponential rise in Louisiana is forcing new safety guidelines statewide. This week, the number of people in hospitals and on ventilators are increasing. Health officials say samples show the unpredictable Delta variant is to blame.

“It’s much more contagious. The viral load seems to be higher,” Dr. White said.

Dr. White said vaccines are more than 90 percent effective. She said people who are vaccinated. and even those who’ve contracted the virus before can get it again.

“Our flu shot’s a great example. We get it yearly because it varies enough, we need something a little different. But, we can still get the flu shot and still get the flu,” Dr. White explained.

There’s a major push for more people to roll up their sleeves because the majority of new cases are people who are not vaccinated.

“This tends to present more like an upper respiratory symptoms, like a cold, congestion. And I’ve had a couple of people who said they went to their provider and they were diagnosed with a sinus infection or just a cold or even seasonal allergies because it starts out runny nose, sneezing, sore throat is a common symptom. What’s unusual is you don’t hear as much. It’s still out there. You don’t hear as much. I lost my sense of smell, or all of a sudden, I can’t taste,” Dr. White illustrated.

Dr. White said the vaccines are more effective in making symptoms less severe and preventing death. She said there’s a lot of misinformation circulating about COVID-19 and the Delta variant. 

She advises, the best thing you can do is to inform and empower yourself: Make sure the info you get is from a credible source, and talk to your healthcare provider about the virus and available vaccines.

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