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COVID is catching
Boosters are your best bet
coronavirus cdc

The virus that causes COVID-19 is still with us, as we saw last week when the Great Bend City Office and Front Door facilities closed their doors because of COVID. The City also issued a warning that anyone who attended the July 18 Great Bend City Council meeting may have been exposed to the virus.

The BA.5 Omicron subvariant, “B-A-Five,” is highly contagious and is sweeping across the United States. 

One Great Bend resident who was not at the July 18 City Council meeting said she and her husband have COVID.

“It started out with allergy symptoms. Then I developed a sore throat on the second day, but I tested negative.” On Day Three she had chills. Although she described her symptoms as mild, she had a headache, cough and chest pains, along with a fever that never got above 100.7. Eventually, she did test positive.

“Doc says people are having symptoms up to five days before they test positive. She thinks it’s because we are all vaccinated.”

So BA.5 is also sneaky. And its symptoms do sometimes send people to the hospital. Sometimes COVID-19 causes death.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment tells us that 63% of Barton County residents age 18 years and older have been vaccinated with at least one dose and 58% have completed a vaccine series.

“More than 70% of adults age 50 and older haven’t received a second COVID-19 booster shot, and if you’re part of the pack, U.S. health officials say now is the time to roll up your sleeve,” according to AARP. “Data shows that ... adults 50 and older who had been vaccinated and boosted twice were 42 times less likely to die from COVID-19 than unvaccinated individuals in the same age group.”

Anyone over 50 who hasn’t gotten a shot this year should get one. “It’s gonna save your life,” said Ashish Jha, M.D., the White House COVID-19 response coordinator, in a July 12 press briefing. “The data on this is very clear, if you’re over 50, that extra booster dramatically lowers your risk of getting into the hospital, going to the ICU, and dying.” 

Everyone 6 months and older is eligible for a primary vaccine series; people 5 and older can get a first booster; and adults 50 and older can get two,  as can people with certain health conditions.

It’s the smart thing to do.