Category: COVID-19

COVID-19 and Cold/Flu Season 2021

The change of the seasons is in full swing throughout the country, and the United States is heading towards another cold and flu season in the midst of an ongoing pandemic. Children returning to school amid the dangerous politicization of public health attempts to increase vaccination and promote mitigation measures such as masks and social distancing has created a risk-filled environment for many across the country.

We’ve previously covered the differences between asthma, allergies, and COVID infection. It is even more vital to know the difference between symptoms for viral conditions such as a cold, the flu, and COVID-19. All three are spread in similar ways and share symptoms, but have varied incubation time and severity.

  • COVID-19 (coronavirus SARS-CoV-2) most common symptoms are a fever, cough and tiredness; other symptoms include muscle aches, sneezing, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, nausea, diarrhea, and loss of smell/taste. Symptoms can appear anywhere between 2-14 days after exposure, during which time an infected individual can spread the coronavirus even if asymptomatic (not presenting symptoms). Complications can include blood clots and multisystem inflammatory syndrome. Most hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 can be prevented with a vaccine. Many symptoms of COVID-19 can be lessened with antiviral medications.
  • Colds (rhinoviruses) have similar symptoms to the novel coronavirus, but do not include diarrhea or nausea. Symptoms of a common cold usually appear one to three days after exposure. Colds are only transmissible while a person is symptomatic. There is no vaccine or cure for the common cold. Treatment may include pain relievers and over-the-counter cold remedies such as decongestants. Unlike COVID-19, a cold is usually harmless; most people recover from a common cold in 3-10 days.
  • The flu (influenza) has the same symptoms as COVID-19, but rarely causes loss of smell/taste. Flu symptoms usually appear about one to four days after exposure to an influenza virus. The flu is generally only transmissible while symptomatic and does not pose the same risk of severe illness as COVID-19. There are several antiviral treatments available to treat the flu, and an annual vaccine reduces the risk of infection and/or severe illness. The flu vaccine can be given as an injection or as a nasal spray.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or a confirmed exposure, it’s important that you contact a healthcare provider right away for medical advice. Tests are available to confirm diagnosis of COVID-19 and/or the flu. Stay home from work or school if you are sick.

Even if you have been fully vaccinated, wearing a mask and practicing social distancing reduces the

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COVID Vaccine Booster: Controversy or Necessary?

This article originally appeared on BeMedWise. An up-to-date version can be found here.

In the United States, the COVID vaccine is available to anyone over 12 years old for protection against severe COVID disease and death. Many have not taken advantage of this, either by not getting fully vaccinated or not getting vaccinated at all. Most of these people, aside from those who will be getting them due to vaccine mandates, are unlikely to get the vaccine any time soon.

In the meantime, Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson are still producing vaccines and more companies are working on them and hope to get approval soon. So what are we going to do with all this vaccine?

Clearly, some of it will be used for anyone 12 years old and older who want to be vaccinated, for the second shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine to complete the series, for any who will need it to comply with vaccine mandates, and children less than 12 years old once they’ve been approved for them.

The recent FDA and CDC discussions and decision was about who to begin giving booster shots to, not whether or

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I’m Running Out of Sympathy

Every day I read stories on the Internet and in the newspaper of the deaths of previously healthy people who died of COVID-19. They were good people, caring parents, working people who seemed like responsible citizens. What they all shared was not being immunized against COVID-19. 

Maybe they were just “vaccine hesitant” — one of those who wasn’t convinced of the value and safety of the vaccines. Maybe they didn’t understand the true implications, or perhaps it’s more accurate to say the lack of implications, of an “emergency use authorization” by the FDA rather than a full approval. 

Perhaps they believed they were healthy enough that they didn’t need the vaccination. They harbored the belief that their immune system was functioning well. After all, they felt they were healthy, exercised regularly, and took supplements.

Maybe the possible side effects of the vaccine were what discouraged the vaccine-hesitant. Most people who receive the vaccine have no

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No End In Sight for COVID

It looks like COVID-19 will be with us for a while longer, probably many years if we continue the way we are going. 

Nationwide there is significant variation in both the COVID vaccination rate and the number of new COVID-19 cases. A recent increase in the number of cases, doubling or tripling in some areas, occurred in unvaccinated individuals due to the Delta variant. The Delta variant is currently the most contagious form and makes up 98.8% of new COVID cases. In response to this vaccinations have increased in some, though not all, areas. While the COVID infection rate is decreasing in areas with higher vaccination rates and the rate continues to increase in areas with lower vaccination rates, the overall rate may be leveling off for the moment.

When comparing COVID vaccination and infection rates, there seem to be two different Americas

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Debunking Myths About COVID Vaccines

This article originally appeared on BeMedWise. An up-to-date version can be found here.

The number of new COVID-19 cases in our country is increasing again. This is occurring almost entirely in unvaccinated individuals. Despite this, the vaccination rates are declining. One of the major deterrents to vaccination is the misinformation being spread by social media and some news outlets. This blog will identify and attempt to dispel some of the common myths about COVID-19 vaccines.

Myth #1 They are dangerous because we don’t know enough about the side effects. 

When it comes to vaccinations, over a century of experience has shown that side effects are almost always seen within the first two weeks after the immunization, and definitely by two months. Since there have been over 365,800,000 doses of the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines given over the last 8½ months in the U.S alone, there is little likelihood that there are any unknown short or long-term side effects.

As far as being dangerous

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About Us

Welcome to the NeedyMeds Voice! We look forward to presenting you with timely, provocative pieces on healthcare reform, patient advocacy, medication and healthcare access, and other health-related news. Our goals are to educate, enlighten, and elucidate; together, we will try to make sense of the myriad and ongoing healthcare-related changes in the U.S. today.