Since the coronavirus pandemic began, Dr. Frank McGeorge has been keeping viewers up-to-date and informed on all fronts. He’s been answering your questions about the vaccine, the vaccination process and more.
Read: More answers to questions about coronavirus
Why is the vaccine pushed so much while natural immunity is not taken into account?
Natural immunity is useful against COVID, but compared to getting a vaccine the level of protection is not as predictable. Current thinking is that people who have a milder infections have a less robust immune response compared to people who have severe infection.
Because we don’t know how much natural protection you might have, or how long it will last, it’s difficult to count on it to protect someone against developing more serious illness if they become reinfected.
When I received a COVID test from a hospital drive-thru they stuck the nasal q-tip past the back of my nasal passage. When I see the WDIV news coverage they appear to only use the nasal q-tip to swipe around the front of the nasal passage. Is it possible the test results are being skewed because of the difference in how the tests are being administered?
The location of the specimen will affect the chance of detecting the virus. The difference you are seeing is in home tests compared to the hospital performed PCR tests. Home tests only use a sample from the mid-nose area, in the hospital we generally collect samples from the area deeper inside and behind the nose.
At the beginning of the epidemic, there was a lot of talk about herd immunity helping to get rid of COVID. Now that the very contagious omicron is here, how come we don’t hear more about herd immunity being a process to end it?
Herd immunity involves having a large enough percentage of a population immune so an infection is unlikely to spread. Omicron changes two elements of what we need for herd immunity. One for the better and the other for worse. Because so many people are becoming infected, there will be wider spread immunity in general and depending on the quality and durability of that immunity it could be helpful.
However, because omicron is so much more contagious, you would need a higher proportion of people to be immune to provide herd immunity. In other words, it’s harder to get that level. The concept of herd immunity is still valid but with the changes that have occured in the past two years, it’s an impractically moving target.
I found out yesterday that I’m infected. What can a person do besides isolate? Are there over the counter drugs that will help defeat this virus?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. Over the counter medications can be used to control some of the symptoms like a cough or fever, but they won’t stop the virus. Depending on your risk factors, you may be eligible for medications that can stop the virus like monoclonal antibodies or the pills PAXLOVID and Molnupiravir. Your doctor can tell you if you qualify.
Read: Complete Michigan COVID coverage
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