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Doctor: Diminished COVID-19 could present potential 'summer wave of sickness'

Dr. Asha Shah, of Stamford Health, says as of now, there is no indication that the current variants are more severe than other recent strains, but they may spread more easily.

Gillian Neff and Rose Shannon

Jun 9, 2024, 2:29 PM

Updated 9 days ago

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An infectious disease doctor tells News 12 that although the COVID-19 virus is not the threat it once was, it does remain dangerous for people who are considered high risk.
Dr. Asha Shah, of Stamford Health, says that people continue to be hospitalized for the disease.
"Usually the folks that are getting hospitalized, get the viral illness, they feel weak, they're falling, coming in with those types of symptoms," says Shah.
The Food and Drug Administration recently voted to ask drug manufactures to update the COVID-19 vaccine formula to address the JN.1 variants that are currently circulating. Those vaccines are expected to be ready by this fall.
Shah says as of now, there is no indication that the current variants are more severe than other recent strains, but they may spread more easily. She warns that could potentially lead to what she calls a summer wave of sickness.
"If you're traveling this summer or going to be away for a period of time, take some home COVID tests with you," says Shah.
Shah says even though the threat of COVID-19 has decreased, the goal of testing remains the same – to keep from infecting people with compromised immune systems.
"If you are high risk for severe disease, then take even extra precautions, if you're going into a crowded space take a mask with you. Make sure you're aware of what the ventilation status is. What's nice about the summer is we can do things outdoors. The outdoors is safe," says Shah.


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