The BA.5 subvariant now accounts for more than 88% of COVID-19 cases in the US, scientists warn, making it the most dominant strain. “While it is difficult to predict which variants will arrive next, we scientists cannot rule out the possibility that some of these variants could lead to increased disease severity and higher rates of hospitalization,” he said. says Suresh V. Kuchipudi, PhD, Professor and President of Emerging Infectious Diseases, Penn State. “As the virus continues to evolve, most people will get COVID-19 multiple times, even if they are vaccinated and boosted.” Here are five ways you are more likely to contract COVID, according to experts. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Clear signs that you’ve had COVID.
don’t wear a mask
Not wearing a mask in crowded areas (especially indoors) can increase your risk of contracting COVID.
“If COVID-19 is spreading in your community, stay safe by taking some simple precautions like physical distancing, wearing a mask, keeping rooms well ventilated, avoiding crowds, cleaning your hands, and coughing with your elbow or folded tissue. . Check local advice where you live and work”, advises the World Health Organization. “Do it all! Make wearing a mask a normal part of being around other people. Proper use, storage, and cleaning or disposal of masks are essential to making them as effective as possible.”
While masks are still needed at airports, people aren’t wearing them – making airports a high-risk area for contracting COVID. Virologist Angela Rasmussen was alarmed to see so few people wearing masks at the airport during a recent trip to Southern California. “This is what happens when you don’t have politicians and leaders taking a strong stand on it.” she says.
Ignoring community infection rates
Tracking COVID cases in your community is crucial to adapting behavior to the level of risk, according to the CDC: “Many people in the United States have some protection or immunity against COVID-19 due to vaccination, previous infection, or both. This immunity, combined with the availability of tests and treatments, has greatly reduced the risk of serious illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19 for many people. At the same time, some people – such as those who are older, immunocompromised, with certain disabilities or with certain underlying health conditions – continue to be at increased risk of serious illness.”
You don’t social distance
“If there’s a lot of COVID in the environment – and there is in most of the United States right now – if you want to protect yourself against COVID, you’re going to need to wear a good mask in crowded indoor spaces,” he said. says Dr. Robert Wachter, Chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. “Those are the places where you’re most likely to get it. You need to pay a little attention to distancing. If you’re indoors, especially if you’re not wearing a mask, you need to think about ventilation and make sure the space is well ventilated. So none of these things are foolproof. But if you do all of them, there’s a good chance you’ll stay COVID-free.”
you are not vaccinated
While reinfections can happen, being fully up to date with vaccines and boosters is still the most effective way to protect yourself against serious complications from the virus. “This can be confusing and frustrating for some, and can contribute to vaccine hesitancy.” says Dr. kuchipudi. “So it’s essential to recognize that vaccines protect you from serious illness and death, not necessarily from getting infected.”
How to stay safe out there
Follow public health fundamentals and help end this pandemic no matter where you live – get vaccinated or strengthened as soon as possible; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, use an N95 face maskdo not travel, social distancing, avoid large crowds, do not go indoors with people you are not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene and to protect your life and the lives of others, do not visit none of those 35 Places Where You’re Most Likely to Get COVID.