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Let’s Fight Omicron With Omicron Variant Reaching North Carolina, Doctors are Urging People To Get Their Covid Shots

Two days ago, North Carolina reported the first case of the Omicron variant in the state. Mecklenburg County health officials first reported the presence of the omicron variant on Friday, noting that the positive test came from a University of North Carolina at Charlotte student and had been discovered through the university’s sequencing program. According to the report, he had traveled outside the state for Thanksgiving. He was immediately isolated. Owing to the fact that he was fully vaccinated, he has now recovered.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recognized the Omicron variation as a variant of concern on November 26, 2021, and the United States categorized it as such on November 30, 2021. Many countries, including the United States, have detected it.

On Monday, state health officials verified the case of the UNC Charlotte student who tested positive for the omicron variety, but they found no more instances. Most instances do not undergo genetic sequencing, which is the only method to establish what variation someone has, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services. Only a limited percentage of positive COVID-19 specimens undergo such testing, and more than 95 percent of viral specimens sequenced in North Carolina have the delta version.

The state firmly believes that all the ‘existing variants of Covid ’ can be successfully treated with the existing Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

While most adults are focused on obtaining their booster shots, health officials are concerned about poor immunization rates among children. Only 6.5 percent of children aged 5 to 11 are completely immunized, according to the CDC. Doctors are asking parents to safeguard their children as families prepare to meet in the coming weeks.

Though new daily cases are increasing and hospitalizations are up more than 40% since Thanksgiving, the state’s case positive rate has remained relatively steady at approximately 7% over the past week.

The officials stated that though there is not much research around long-term covid impacts on kids, however, the existing data sets indicate that children can have a long-term cognitive covid impact even if they have mild symptoms. Further, considering the upcoming holiday season, children can become a hotbed of viruses irrespective of the fact that they are symptomatic or asymptomatic.

Doctors are urging that vaccination along with masks and other protocols are the only way to curb this menace.

Dr. David Wohl, the infectious disease specialist at UNC-Chapel Hill, said unvaccinated people are the primary concern as they overwhelmingly make up COVID hospitalizations in North Carolina, stressing hospital systems. And those not vaccinated are vulnerable to any variant. In laboratory studies, a third-dose booster of Pfizer’s vaccine was found to have a considerably greater antibody response against omicron than the two doses alone, according to Pfizer.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services continues to advocate immunization as the best COVID-19 preventative method. In comparison to those who are vaccinated, people who are unvaccinated are more than five times as likely to get COVID-19 and more than 25 times as likely to die from the illness as of Dec. 1, according to the most recently available statistics from DHHS.

East Cary Family Physicians urge you to get your Covid shot as soon as possible.


The Importance of Getting a DOT Physical

Driving a commercial motor vehicle can be tough. The Department of Transportation requires that employers who are professional truck drivers or bus drivers get a physical to test their vision, blood pressure, and their overall medical history. The test ensures that drivers are able to operate commercial motor vehicles for public safety.

  • Firstly, there’s a vision test which tests your eyesight and ability to identify colors. Since you’ll be driving, recognizing signs and signals is important, you want to make sure that you are able to do so. Next is a hearing test to see how someone can hear with or without hearing aids. “A driver must be able to hear a forced whisper from less than five feet away,” according to DOCS Medical. There’s also a urinalysis, a blood pressure/pulse rate test, and a physical exam. Overall DOT Physicals help everyone on the road stay safe.
  • Although the test does seem easy to pass, you can fail for both reasons in and out of your control. If you have high blood pressure, epilepsy, missing extremities, cardiovascular or respiratory diseases, diabetes, poor eyesight or hearing, or a psychiatric disease, you might be deemed unable to drive commercial motor vehicles. There are some things that can be improved, for example eyesight and hearing. If you do fail, ask your doctor why you failed. Once you are aware of the reason why, ask them if there is anything you can do to pass the next time. If the reason that you failed is out of your control, you might be able to receive an exemption through proving that you can operate a commercial motor vehicle.
  • East Cary Family Physicians offers a DOT physical exam for only $100 (not covered by insurance and will be collected before the appointment.) Schedule an appointment now at eastcaryfamilyphysicians.com or call at (919) – 200 – 6587.




    3 Reasons Why You Should Get the COVID-19 Vaccine

    As the COVID-19 vaccine continues to be approved for all age groups, there is a growing hesitancy to get vaccinated. At ECFP we care about our patients and would like to keep them safe through educating and providing the care they need. We are strong believers in the COVID-19 vaccine and here are a few reasons why:

    1. The vaccine can prevent you from getting sick since it works with your immune system to fight off any potential viruses. With all vaccines, the body is left with memory B and T cells to fight off the disease if they encounter it again. The Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are mRNA vaccines which mean that they contain information to create replica spike proteins from COVID-19 which our body learns to fight against. The memory cells remember this and can fight against the spike proteins if they are encountered again.
    1. If not for yourself, do it for others. Getting vaccinated can help others in your community feel safer since they will be less likely to catch the disease. According to the CDC, “early data show the vaccines do help keep people with no symptoms from spreading COVID-19.”
    1. Vaccinations can help us return to a sense of normalcy with increased immunity to the nasty virus. Everyone is growing tired of staying at home and we can help end quarantine by getting vaccinated! If you’re ready to get back to normal, get vaccinated now!

    Visit eastcaryfamilyphysicians.com or call (919) – 200 – 6587 to learn more!