We have a great volunteer Covid team here in town they have worked so hard and diligently for all the months of Covid and circulated this good article today that I wanted to share…
BA.5 is bullying its way around the world and I’m as convinced as I can be that it is what has caused this huge surge the past few weeks in SMA.
It’s hit so hard and so fast, that I want to tell you some things I’m seeing anecdotally. Disclosure: This is a VERY new variant, so we don’t have concrete science yet. These are my opinions from what I’m experiencing locally.
BA.5 is no walk in the park (as one could argue the past few variants have been for most if you're vaxed and boosted).
BA.5 is genetically VERY different than the original SARS-CoV2, far different than any variant to date, and we’re feeling it. Here’s what it means to you.
If you’re vaccinated and up to date on boosters or if you’ve had a previous infection, you can still very easily get infected. This is because the blueprint of our vaccines is not a close enough match anymore, and not nearly close enough for BA.5. This variant sneaks right through our antibodies and begins to rapidly replicate in our body. I mean rapidly. Symptoms come on hard and fast and slug it out inside of you for a few days. Fortunately, our T-cells do kick in and start fighting, the train wreck symptoms begin to subside, most of us avoid severe disease and and what’s left is a really bad head cold.
I want to talk about when it hits, how hard it hits and what I’ve seen that is really important. I can’t stress enough, it comes on full force. High, high fevers, excruciating headaches, raw throats, thick, thick congestion, and total fatigue. For most (vaccinated and boosted or previously infected) the symptoms start, and it lasts for somewhere between 36-96 hours before they let up. And it’s during this time, that I want to give you a little bit of guidance about what’s important.
We don’t have any outpatient treatment in Mexico at this time, so it’s all about symptom management. It’s REALLY important that you manage your symptoms. I’ve talked with many, many people with fevers in the 102-103 range, around the clock for days.
Fevers are miserable, they gorge your energy and deplete your hydration and electrolytes. When they get to high, they can cause seizures and other neurological complications. Almost everyone has needed to take round the clock fever control meds, setting alarms in the middle of the night as to not miss a dose (this part is important....staying on top of vs reacting to it). Equally as important is hydration. You need to drink 2 – 2.5x as much fluids (juices, water, broths and electrolyte solutions) as you normally would when you have a high fever (if you have a condition that limits your intake, it’s VERY important to consult with your doctor at the onset of symptoms). With days of high fevers, it’s VERY easy to get dehydrated and if you get dehydrated, things will go downhill fast. It’s a complication you do not need. Stay on top of it. Check with your doctor about what fever meds are safe for you to take with your specific medical history.
If you are someone who gets the razor sore throat, you have to manage that with medicines that will give you relief. If you don’t, you won’t want to drink, and you won’t want to cough. And both of those things are bad, bad news for a respiratory virus. You need to stay hydrated to thin the mucus and you need to cough so that it doesn’t just sit in your chest and turn into pneumonia.
The congestion is no joke, and you may be someone that can’t even breath out of your nose it’s so thick. You need a decongestant/expectorant and maybe even an antihistamine if it’s in your sinuses to help break that up. You also need to stay very hydrated to keep it thin. Check with your doctor about what meds are safe for you to take with your specific medical history.
The cough can be tough as well, and you need to understand the difference between a dry cough and a wet cough because they should be treated differently. If you have a wet cough with lots of mucus, you want to take an expectorant to help get the mucus out. If you have a dry cough, a cough suppressant will help. Check with your doctor about what cough meds are safe for you to take with your specific medical history.
These are the main things you’ll likely need to manage and you do need to manage them to prevent further complications. You need LOTS of rest, and the managing of the symptoms will give you some relief in order to get what you need, Stay hydrated, I can’t say that enough. Drink like it’s your job….it is your job!
And after the hard hit is over, you'll likely have a nifty head cold for awhile. It's really important that once the worst is over, that you still rest. Your body just went to war, and you're healing. Let it happen. It can takes weeks. Be patient and be good to you during this time.
I never make specific recommendations for what someone should take for two important reasons: 1) I’m not licensed in Mexico, 2) I don’t know your personal health history and medicines are wholly dependent upon your needs and medical history.
I do however want to give you some examples of what could be taken by an ADULT, if your doctor says it’s OK. These are examples of what could be used to treat some of these tough symptoms, but again PLEASE CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR before starting anything new.
- First Choice for fever: Paracetamol (Tylenol) 500mg every 4-6 hours, do not exceed 3000mg/day. Make sure you're reading labels for anything else you're taking, because many gripa/flu products contain this ingredient.
- Second Choice: If Tylenol does not break the fever: Ibuprofeno (Advil, Motrin, etc)could be added. The recommended dose for a healthy adult is 200-400 mg by mouth every 4-6 hours as needed. The recommended maximum daily dose is 1200 mg for over-the-counter ibuprofen and 3200 mg for prescription-strength ibuprofen. AND ONLY TAKE IF WELL HYDRATED AND NORMAL RENAL FUNCTION.
- You can also take a luke-warm shower shower or bath, or use ice bags under your arms for 10 minutes at a time
- Drink TONS of fluids, including electrolyte solutions
- 200-400mg of Ibuprofen every 4-6 hours, The recommended maximum daily dose is 1200 mg for over-the-counter ibuprofen and 3200 mg for prescription-strength, AND ONLY TAKE IF WELL HYDRATED AND HAVE NORMAL RENAL FUNCTION
- Drink TONS of fluids including electrolyte solutions
Congestion (either chest or nose) with sore throat or cough:
- 10 mg tablet Loratadine 1x/day (especially if it’s headish..sinus/eyes/nose). This is a histamine and will relieve some of that fullness
- Oxolamina + Guaifenesina syrup (jarabe). This is a expectorant/decongestant + antitussive (but it does not interfere with ciliary movement) with a little analgesic property. Really important to take with congestion. This is good for a wet cough
- Dextrometorfano (jarabe) This is a cough suppressant and should only be taken for a dry cough.
- Vicks Vapor Rub (this can put it on your chest and under your nose, and can also use it in a steam pot to inhale for sinuses
- Drink TONS of fluids, including electrolyte solutions
- Steam/humidifiers are great
Extremely sore throat:
- Vantal Bucofaríngeo (available in either a solution to gargle with, or the spray). It will numb the throat. Follow package instructions.
- Graneodin F Flurbiprofeno (these are throat lozenges and can be taken every 4 hours)
- Generic cough drops
- You can suck on ice chips, popsicles, hot tea with honey will sooth
- You can gargle with warm salt water