Health experts say routine shots are critical

A new variant of COVID is being called a “variant of interest” by The World Health Organization.
Published: Aug. 10, 2023 at 10:27 PM CDT
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SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) - A new variant of COVID is being called a “variant of interest” by The World Health Organization.

The variant is behind about 17 percent of the spiking reports of COVID-19 cases. EG.5 has doubled its presence over the last month and has already been detected in 51 countries.

Health officals are tracking and studying this variant. Dr. Adi Shah, Infectious disease specialist with Mayo Clinic, says the reason for this is so they “can keep an eye on the data and make further determination as to whether this is more risky or leading to more hospitalizations,” although right now, it does not seem to be more of a threat than the other variants.

The extreme heat along with summer travel could be contributions o the rise of COVID-19 cases, health experts are saying people are indoors because of the temperature.

An updated COVID booster is expected by Fall.

With the summer vacation season coming to an end and the school season gearing up, health experts are urging people, especially children, to stay up to date with all of their shots, and not just COVID vaccines.

Dr. Neha Vyas, family medicine, Cleveland Clinic, says, “Immunizations protect against severe disease, illness, disability and even death.”

Vyas says routine shots are critical, and suggest they should begin at a young age, “children have a very strong immune response, so the younger they are the more they can develop a healthy immune response” she says.

Beyond vaccines, Vyas says there are proper hygiene habits that can help protect against viruses, “proper handwashing techniques, staying home when you’re sick and also don’t forget to wear masks if you’re around crowded areas and not feeling well.”