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The Delta Variant: Tips to Help You Navigate the Fall Season


written by Dr. Christine Bishara, MD - Aug 9, 2021

Photo Credit: by Kelly Sikkema, Unsplash.com
Photo Credit: by Kelly Sikkema, Unsplash.com

The CDC recently released new guidelines on Covid restrictions and masking, citing a recent uptick in Covid related infections with the Delta variant. The Delta variant slightly differs in certain aspects from the alpha strain. While both can cause fever, headache and sore throat, loss of smell and cough are less likely with the Delta variant.

The Delta variant also appears to be more contagious, but with symptoms overall appearing to be milder. While the hospitalization rate for the alpha variant was higher in the over 65 population, current hospitalizations are seeing slightly higher numbers in the 18-49 range. Vaccination status is higher in the over 65 population and may explain the decreased rate of hospitalization, however, the younger population currently being hospitalized still seem to be in the same group of vulnerable young patients hospitalized with the alpha variant-- those with a high BMI, inflammatory conditions and compromised immune function.

This new surge has led the CDC to reverse its recommendation and ad-vise that vaccinated individuals start remasking indoors once again. This recent recommendation comes from CDC Director Wolensky and states “In areas with substantial and high transmission, CDC recommends fully vaccinated people wear masks in public, indoor settings to help prevent the spread of the delta variant, and protect others. The CDC recommends that everyone in grade schools wear masks indoors, “including teachers, staff, students and visitors, regardless of vaccination status.” This is currently only a recommendation and not a requirement for any of the 50 states.

Are there other things one can do to protect themselves as we head into the fall season?

Vaccination

While I recommend the Covid vaccine to many of my patients, especially those with identifiable risk factors and anyone who wants to vaccinate, other precautions can also help:

● Social distancing: Because the Delta variant is more contagious, social distancing while indoors may be a wise choice.

● Wash hands: Washing hands can help prevent the spread of the virus, especially since the Delta variant is more contagious.

Optimize Diet and lifestyle

The goal here is to reduce inflammation--something we know plays an important role in the severity of Covid infections. Here are some dietary and lifestyle factors you can incorporate to decrease your risk of severe infections:

● Optimize Vitamin D levels: Vitamin D targets different immune supporting functions including acute response to infection. You can get vitamin D from sun exposure, or from a supplement. Buy Nutrazul Online – Vitamins and Minerals Canada

● Eat the rainbow: Several studies now highlight the importance of eating antioxidant rich foods that help our body fight off infections but also improve gut health. Since a large part of our immune system is housed in our gut, it is vital to eat fruits and vegetables which are high in antioxidants. Deficiencies in antioxidants such as Glutathione have been implicated in more severe Covid related infections. Endogenous Deficiency of Glutathione as the Most Likely Cause of Serious Manifestations and Death in COVID-19 Patients

● Improve gut health: A study my colleagues and I published in May 2020 highlights the importance of gut health and also shows that certain gut microbial deficiencies may be what is putting some people at increased risk of Covid severity. It also might explain why children have been spared from more severe Covid related illness. Is Gut Health the Cause of More Severe Covid Infections?

● Additional supplements: Other supplements that have been found to help with Covid related symptoms include:

Vitamin C: Vitamin C is critical to the proper functioning of immune cells. Buy Emergen C Online – Vitamins C Canada

Quercetin: Similar to vitamin C, Quercetin has antioxidant properties and has been shown to bind to the spike protein of the virus, reducing its ability to infect cells. You can find quercetin here Buy Cysta-Q Online – Quercetin 500mg Canada

Zinc: Another essential supplement for immune cell development. Some studies have found it can significantly reduce the severity of respiratory vi-ruses including Corona viruses. Buy Zinc Online – Canada

Melatonin: Stress and sleep can affect our immune system. Melatonin helps with both of these by blocking inflammasome activity, thereby reducing inflammation. Buy Melatonin Online – Melatonin Canada

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