Loss of smell as a COVID symptom, flu side effects, COVID injections – NBC Chicago

As new COVID subvariants emerge, experts question whether symptoms of the virus that have been seen in 2020 — such as loss of smell — are still indicative of COVID infection.

And, as the colder months approach and respiratory viruses begin to spread more widely, Chicago’s top doctor recaps the side effects of getting a COVID booster and a vaccine for flu at the same time.

Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic in Illinois today.

Is loss of smell still a COVID symptom? Chicago’s top doctor shares his thoughts

With each new subvariant of COVID, scientists said loss of smell has become less and less common, but Chicago’s top doctor says patients can still face problems if they catch the virus.

Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said during an availability Tuesday that loss of smell occurs in fewer than one in five cases involving omicron subvariants of COVID, but said cautioned that this is still a possible issue that patients may have to deal with.

“It’s not necessarily the most common symptom, but especially if someone has never had COVID, you can absolutely lose your sense of smell with omicron, just like you can with all the other variants that have come before” , she said.

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What are the side effects of a COVID and a flu shot at the same time?

Although side effects vary greatly from person to person, some people wonder if receiving both vaccines at the same time makes them more likely to experience certain side effects.

According to Chicago’s top doctor, Allison Arwady, the side effects you experience are likely related to your immune system.

For those experiencing more intense and robust side effects that don’t last long, it may be a sign of a robust immune system, according to Arwady.

Additionally, Arwady said those who have experienced strong side effects for previous vaccines should avoid getting flu and COVID shots at the same time.

However, those who have not noticed serious side effects in the past should have no trouble getting both injections at the same time.

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How to manage COVID comfort levels as the holidays approach

Now more than ever, people’s attitudes towards COVID-related comfort and risk are changing, experts say. That means it’s harder than ever to find two people with the same approach to the virus, and it’s making our relationships harder to manage.

The reason: Many people now focus more on their own risk than the risk they pose to others, says Virginia Tech epidemiologist Lisa Lee. Someone up to date on their COVID vaccines could be attending a big party these days, disregarding the risk of the virus potentially spreading to high-risk loved ones.

It’s an almost complete reversal from the start of the pandemic, when “we were all scared and much more willing to do things to protect ourselves from the new disease,” Lee told CNBC Make It.

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As cases rise, here are five common questions about COVID, vaccines and more

Coronavirus cases are slowly rising in Illinois and across the United States, and with that, residents are asking many questions about the disease.

Scientists and officials have anticipated an increase in cases due to new variants, which have shown some resistance to certain treatments, and due to colder weather pushing more people to spend time indoors.

Either way, there are frequently asked questions about COVID, and we’re here to provide answers from experts and scientists.

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As new COVID variants emerge at a faster rate, here’s what you need to know

During a coronavirus update on Friday, Chicago’s top doctor said new variants of COVID are emerging “faster right now,” potentially marking a turning point in the pandemic as it enters its third winter. .

Although none of the recent fast-growing sub-variants have reached the threshold of “variant of concern”, they are being watched closely as colder weather moves more activity indoors.

According to CDPH Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady, all rising variants remain under the omicron umbrella.

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Illinois sees ‘spike’ in COVID cases, health department says

Illinois has seen an “increase” in COVID cases over the past week, the state health department said Friday.

With the number of counties under “high” community level for the virus rising from three to five this week, and another 33 at a “medium” level, in accordance with guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Illinois Department of Public Health has urged residents to get new bivalent boosters alongside flu shots ahead of the holiday season. Residents of counties under a high alert level are urged to wear masks in public spaces.

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Masks recommended in 5 Illinois counties with ‘high’ COVID community level

Masks are recommended in five Illinois counties that have returned to “high” COVID community level status following an increase in weekly measures, according to the latest update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Residents of the five counties are advised to take precautions against the virus, including wearing masks in indoor spaces and staying away from large gatherings if they are immunocompromised or have other common risk factors for serious illness if they contract COVID.

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New COVID variants are emerging “faster” now. Here’s what it signals

New variants of COVID are emerging “faster right now,” Chicago’s top doctor said during a coronavirus update Friday, and it could signal a shift toward colder months.

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Chicago’s top doctor gives COVID update ahead of Halloween, holiday season

Chicago’s top doctor delivered a COVID-19 update Friday ahead of Halloween and the upcoming holiday season.

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady and other city health officials held a press conference to discuss the use of bivalent boosters, winter protection and vacations, etc.

‘Nightmare’ and ‘Scrabble’: How worried should you be about new COVID variants?

As new COVID variants emerge, such as XBB and BQ.1 and BQ.1.1, they also generate new names like the “nightmare variant” or “scrabble variants”. But what does it mean and how worried should you be?

While the BA.5 subvariant remains the dominant strain in the United States this week, several other new forms of the virus are gaining traction, and doctors are warning that some treatments for the disease may not be effective against them.

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DuPage County to permanently close COVID-19 testing site

The DuPage County Health Department announced it will close its COVID-19 testing facility at the Dupage County Fairgrounds later this week.

According to a press release, the department will close the site on Friday.

The department cites the widespread availability of other COVID home testing and testing sites, and says residents can find information at additional sites at this link.

More than 60,000 tests have been carried out on the fairgrounds.

BQ.1, BQ.1.1 variants resistant to some COVID treatments continue to gain ground in the United States

The BA.5 subvariant of COVID-19 remains the dominant strain in the United States this week, but several other new forms of the virus are gaining ground, and doctors are warning that some treatments for the disease may not be effective against them .

According to the latest data from the Centers for Disaster Control and PreventionBA.5 accounts for approximately 62.2% of COVID cases in the United States. This subvariant has been the dominant strain of COVID since early July, but is rapidly declining as other strains take hold.

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Chicago-area doctors predict ‘explosion’ of flu, RSV and COVID this fall and winter

As temperatures drop and restrictions such as vaccinations and mask mandates continue to ease, Chicago-area doctors are bracing for what they predict will be a “potentially scary cold and sore season.” flu”.

According to health experts, one of the main reasons is the delay in the number of eligible people who choose to receive the flu vaccine and the bivalent COVID booster.

Read more here.

I have COVID, now what should I do? Here are the latest tips

For those who contract COVID for the first time or test positive following updated guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this summer, there may be some uncertainty about what to do next.

If you have had COVID in the past and have followed the appropriate instructions, you will need to take note of this as the current recommendations are not the same as before. The CDC last changed its quarantine and isolation guidelines in August.

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The most common symptoms of COVID have changed, study finds. Here’s why and what they are

Although those who contract COVID-19 may experience any of more than 20 symptoms, not everyone does. Some people who test positive may develop multiple symptoms while others may experience none at all.

And if you come down with COVID after having had it another time before, the symptoms you have — and their severity — may be drastically different than the other time you were infected. As a recent study reveals, there may be a reason for this.

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How long can you continue to test positive for COVID-19?

As concerns about COVID-19 increase as the winter months approach, many are wondering how long they can expect to test positive should they contract COVID.

With the most recent periods, the incubation period, the time between when you are infected and when symptoms appear, has dropped to three days, said Dr Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Public Health Department of Chicago. Most of the items with the two aforementioned strains moved faster than the others, the doctor noted.

Read more here.

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