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Dr. Fauci Says Do This Now to Avoid BA.5

Ways to stay healthy and protect yourself from the latest COVID variant.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

BA.5 is the newest dominant COVID variant and it's reinfecting people who've already had the virus, which is important to know because that means it's capable of evading immunity, according to new research published in the New England Journal of Medicine. That's alarming because anyone who gets COVID multiple times is at risk for long-term health issues such as stroke, lung damage, diabetes and more. Taking safety precautions is highly encouraged by experts who recommend the following to staying healthy. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


Get Vaccinated

Woman wearing face mask looking at camera showing thumbs up after getting the covid-19 vaccine.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious-disease expert and chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, said at a White House media briefing recently, "Vaccines remain our single-most important tool to protect people against serious illness, hospitalizations, and death.  And staying up to date is essential as we see BA.5 rise across the country. We encourage all Americans to get vaccinated if they haven't already.  Americans age five and above should get their first booster shot within — after five months after the initial vaccination.  And if you haven't, don't delay.  Do it now. Getting [a] vaccine — getting vaccinated now will not preclude you from getting a variant-specific vaccine later in this fall or winter."


Treatment Works

Woman getting vaccinated.

Dr. Fauci continued in the briefing, "My second message to all Americans is we have highly effective treatments that work against BA.5, including Paxlovid.  This is an oral antiviral that reduces the risk of hospitalizations and death by 90 percent.  We have worked very hard to acquire more of these pills than any other country in the world.  And we've moved quickly to make these treatments widely available at more than 41,000 locations across the country."


Get Tested

Man self tests for COVID-19 home test kit.

We've built up a large network of Test to Treat sites," Dr. Fauci said. "People can walk in, they can get tested.  If they're positive, they can speak with a medical provider.  And if they're eligible, they can get a prescription and have that prescription filled all in one convenient stop.  And if you test positive in the days and weeks ahead, please consult your healthcare provider about your eligibility for treatments or please visit to find a Test to Treat location where you can get tested and treated all in one place.  Treatments can save your life." 


Ways to Stay Healthy and Help Avoid COVID

older couple sleeping peacefully

Sunjya Schweig, MD Founder and Director, California Center for Functional Medicine and Founder and Executive Director, The Functional Medicine Research and Technology Center tells Eat This, Not That! Health, "In addition to vaccination, boosting and masking up, there are ways that people can potentially protect themselves from more severe illness through healthy lifestyle and dietary supplements. Some key recommendations include:

  • Eating a whole foods diet rich in nutrient dense proteins, with as many different vegetables as possible
  • Lowering or avoiding sugar and alcohol can help to lower the risk of inflammation in the body and optimize immune function 
  • Getting adequate sleep and adopting healthy exercise patterns can also help modulate inflammation and immune function
  • Adequate hydration is also important for optimal function and recovery from illness. Aim to drink at least ½ your body weight ounces of water daily. For example, if you weigh 150 lbs, aim for 75 ounces of water per day and more if you sweat while exercising or drink alcohol or caffeine, which can act as diuretics." 

Dr. Fauci Says Supplements Won't Protect You. Other Doctors Say it Can't Hurt to Boost Immunity

Young Woman Taking Yellow Fish Oil Pill.

Dr. Schweig states, "From a dietary supplement point of view, there are many supplements that can help modulate a variety of inflammatory pathways such as NRF2 and NF Kappa B, such as: 

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D (goal blood level around 50-60)
  • Vitamin A (cod liver oil is a good source of Vit D and Vit A)
  • Glutathione and its precursor NAC and or sulforaphane 
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid
  • Curcurmin (turmeric)
  • Zinc
  • Quercetin
  • Magnesium
  • Melatonin

Note that many of these can be obtained through dietary intake."And to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Heather Newgen
Heather Newgen has two decades of experience reporting and writing about health, fitness, entertainment and travel. Heather currently freelances for several publications. Read more about Heather