COVID-19 can affect anyone, and the disease can cause symptoms ranging from mild to very severe. For some other illnesses caused by respiratory viruses (such as influenza), some people may be more likely to have severe illness than others because they have characteristics or medical conditions that increase their risk. These are commonly called “risk factors.” Examples include older age or having certain underlying medical conditions.
When selecting a mask, there are many choices. Here are some do’s and don’ts. Do choose masks that
Wear a gaiter with two layers, or fold it to make two layers
Find a mask that is made for children to help ensure proper fit. Check to be sure the mask fits snugly over the nose and mouth and under the chin and that there are no gaps around the sides. Do NOT put on children younger than 2 years old
Reusable masks should be washed regularly. Always remove masks correctly and wash your hands after handling or touching a used mask.
What you should know:
In mid-April, Ride United NC will begin connecting eligible individuals who already have a COVID-19 vaccine appointment to roundtrip transportation with the help of United Way of the Greater Triangle and @lyft, in partnership with @ncdotcom and others.
Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Approved for Teens. Keep them safe, in school and with friends.
The tested, safe and effective Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is now available for teens ages 12 and up. Young people are vulnerable to the virus, just like everyone else. Getting your teen vaccinated is the best way to protect them, prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect family members and others.
The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine will help keep teens safe during in-person classes and get them back to safely being with their family and friends.
Hanging out with friends, sports, choirs, camps, drama clubs and vacations — vaccinations for teens will bring back those special summer experiences that they’ve missed out on.
The NC Department of Health and Human Services is asking people to remember these three things as we stay strong and continue to slow the spread of COVID-19.
If you leave home, practice your Ws: Wear, Wait, Wash
These actions can protect our families and neighbors as the state works to ease restrictions while the virus is still circulating. All North Carolinians are encouraged to share this message in their businesses and through their organizations.
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
We are delighted to begin welcoming you back to in person worship and can’t wait to begin seeing you all!
We are continuing to follow CDC Guidelines as we return, so we will ask all attendees to sign in upon arrival, and your temperature will also be taken.
For your continued safety and protection, there are important guidelines and expectations that have been established that we would ask everyone to adhere to as we begin the process of coming back to in-person worship on Sunday, May 2nd.
“Everyone who gets a COVID-19 vaccination is a winner! They protect themselves, their loved ones and others from severe illness, hospitalization and death. Millions of people have already taken the vaccines. These summer cash drawings add another reward to the many that come with getting a COVID-19 vaccination.” —Dr. Mandy Cohen, Secretary of NCDHHS
Q&A (July 22, 2021 from multiple news outlets)
Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta
How variants of the COVID-19 virus continue to evolve. The delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has been making headlines as it has quickly become the most prevalent strain in America. But other variants of the virus are still out there, and more will form as the virus continues to spread.
For full article: Google the title of this article ©2021 The News & Observer. Visit at newsobserver.com. Distributed at Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Viruses mutate and form new variants "to try to survive better," according to David Wohl, a professor of medicine who specializes in infectious diseases at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.
Human immune systems create a lot of barriers for viruses to get through once they enter our bodies, Wohl said. Mutating is a matter of survival — the viruses that are able to get through those immune attacks, get out into the air, enter someone else's body and continue to spread will be the viruses that survive.
"Viruses are selected out for survival of the fittest," Wohl said. "And by fittest, that usually means more 'catchy.' Maybe it lasts longer in the nose and throat and can be spread to more people."
Viruses don't mutate to evade medicine and vaccines, but rather the human immune system, Wohl said.
"It's no surprise over the last year and a half, where we basically have done nothing to try to fight the virus except for vaccination, and most of the planet is far from being vaccinated, that the viruses are running amok and able to evade our immune systems more and more," Wohl said.
Wohl said the main changes in the SARS-CoV-2 variants are differences in the spike proteins, "the spiky part on the outside of the virus that attaches to receptors on our cells."
"The spike proteins can change in modest ways, but in ways that help evade a system that might have antibodies directed against the spike protein," Wohl said.
The variants can be "chameleon-like," he said. With different spike proteins, the antibodies from the vaccine or that the body makes against a previous version of SARS-CoV-2 won't recognize the virus and move on.
The four main variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, currently, are the alpha, beta, gamma and delta variants, but others exist.
The alpha variant was first detected in the United Kingdom in September 2020. It was first detected in the United States in December 2020. The beta variant was initially detected in South Africa in December 2020, and was found in the U.S. at the end of January. The gamma variant was initially identified in Brazil in early January, and was found in the U.S. that same month.
There are also other variants, such as the iota variant first identified in the United States and the lambda variant first seen in Peru, according to Wohl.
He stressed that the variants aren't necessarily from the places in which they're first identified.
Alpha became the dominant variant in the U.S. by April, and it remained that way through June. Now, the highly transmissible delta variant is the most common strain of the virus circulating through the country.
Wohl said there have been shifting variants of the virus since the beginning of the pandemic.
"We went from what we call the ancestral Wuhan variant to a variant that was somewhat different and might be a little more catchy," he said. "That just took a mutation to occur."
If the virus continues to spread, variants are going to keep popping up.
"As long as people are harboring the virus and replicating it, that's going to keep happening. That's the problem," he said. "Once you stop replication and spread, you're not going to have variants anymore."
You are more likely to be exposed to COVID-19 when you
You are less likely to be exposed to COVID-19 when you
If you want to spend time with people who don’t live with you, outdoors is the safer choice! You are less likely to be exposed to COVID-19 during outdoor activities, even without the use of masks.
COVID-19 spreads more easily indoors than outdoors. Studies show that people are more likely to be exposed to COVID-19 when they are closer than 6 feet apart from others for longer periods of time.