Virus Symptoms Doctors Warn About Now
While Omicron cases are declining in some states and restrictions have eased in a few places, the virus continues to rage across the U.S., infecting thousands of people daily. Dr. Janice Johnston, MD, Chief Medical Officer & Co-Founder of Redirect Health explains why the surge hasn't peaked nationwide just yet. "The speed at which Omicron is spreading has caused the largest surge we have seen since the pandemic started, so it's infecting a much larger part of the population all at once. It remains to be seen if this surge in herd immunity will help to flatten the curve of infections and slow the pandemic down to endemic levels." Dr. Johnston spoke with Eat This, Not That! Health about what COVID symptoms that patients should seek medical treatment for and how the virus is different from the flu. Read on to find out more—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs COVID is Hurting You—Even After a Negative Test.
Shortness of Breath
According to Dr. Johnston, "Shortness of breath can be an indication that your oxygen levels are low. Low oxygen levels can make you feel very tired and lethargic, but also puts a huge strain on your brain, heart, and other organs. It's good to monitor your oxygen levels with a small monitor that you can place on your finger. Normally oxygen runs in the upper 90's. If you see oxygen levels dip down into the low 90's or lower, you should be evaluated by a doctor for next steps as soon as possible."
"COVID has been associated with heart attacks and blood clots to the lungs which can be severe and life threatening," says Dr. Johnston. "If you experience these symptoms, you should be evaluated by a doctor as soon as possible.
Dr. Johnston states "Symptoms like weakness, numbness, slurred speech, or severe headaches can be signs of a stroke and should be evaluated by a doctor right away."
Why Omicron is More Serious than the Flu
Dr. Johnston explains, "Both diseases can cause serious harm. We have seen patients hospitalized and die from the flu every year. With COVID however, patients are not only getting respiratory issues, but also seeing serious effects on various systems of the body, like cardiovascular, neurological, and others. Omicron can also have lingering effects, similar to other forms of COVID, leaving patients with long haul symptoms to deal with for months or even longer."
Will Omicron Ever Go Away?
"That's yet to be determined, but with the speed of spread and contagiousness of this current variant, we may see that the available hosts or patients to infect dwindle down and could put a damper on new infections," says Dr. Johnston.
How to Stay Safe Out There
Follow the public health fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated or boosted ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, and to live your healthiest life, don't miss this life-saving advice I'm a Doctor and Here's the #1 Sign You Have Cancer.