This Monday more than half a million students return to classes in the Los Angeles district, at the same time that an increase in infections of the disease is reported
This Monday with the return to school of the students of the Unified School District of Los Angeles (LAUSD), many parents are concerned about the health and well-being of their children.
At the beginning of the year, the Los Angeles County Health Department reported a slight increase in Covid-19 infections, as well as influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), mainly in young children.
Parents of students from different schools in Los Angeles that belong to the Our Voice/Nuestra Voz group, met via Zoom on Friday with two doctors from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), who offered them updated information and some recommendations to follow. to minimize the risk of infection.
One of the main concerns is that there is no mandate from the school authorities for the use of the mask and they are leaving it to the individual option. Covid-19 tests are not being carried out in schools either, making it more difficult to know when a child is infected, especially when they are asymptomatic.
UCLA family medicine doctor Yelba Castrejón-López said Covid-19 levels rose significantly due to the holiday gatherings. At the school level, the use of masks and tests changed once the coronavirus vaccines became available. Flu vaccines have been around for a long time, but every year they are recommended to the population.
“Now we have tools to protect our families, prepare our immune system to recognize the virus and block it from our body,” said the doctor, who recommended that children who have symptoms of Covid, it is better to leave them at home to prevent them from infecting others. their classmates in the classroom.
means of protection
The doctor explained that this is one of the reasons why she continues to recommend masks, mainly for those who might be infected. The mask prevents droplets of water from the mouth and nose from splashing onto other people.
“That is where viruses can spread and transmit, most of them are spread by droplets that we release when we talk and breathe,” Castrejón-López said.
She also explained that there are different types of masks, but she still recommends the KN95 since it has five layers.
Other steps that should not go unnoticed is hygiene, starting with hand washing, said the doctor, who explained that at gas stations and supermarkets there are surfaces that have been previously touched by many people.
“We have to teach our children to wash their hands and keep their distance,” said the doctor. “The problem is that there is still Covid-19 and the other diseases that can be spread,” said Castrejón-López.
Boosters of vital vaccines
Rocío Elorza, mother of a family, said that her main confusion regarding the reinforcement of the vaccine against Covid-19 is that they only asked her “Pfizer or Moderna”, when in reality she wanted the latest, most up-to-date dose, known as bivalent, but I didn’t understand the difference.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) indicated that the booster vaccines identified as bivalent are from both companies, Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech.
The doctor explained that if a person received their Moderna vaccine, they can receive their booster from Pfizer or vice versa.
Castrejón-López assured that the first booster of the Covid-19 vaccine helps, but not in the same way that this new bivalent booster does, which is made to combat the new Ómicron variant and other additional strains.
People who are at risk of getting seriously ill from Covid-19 have treatments they can take to keep them out of the hospital. The resources are free and you can get them from your primary care doctor or any doctor in Los Angeles County.
“The important thing about Covid-19 treatments is that they have to be taken within the first five days of symptoms so that they are most effective and can prevent symptoms from becoming more severe,” said the doctor.
María Baño, another mother, questioned how important home tests are to detect Covid-19.
Dr. Marie Ann Hernández, from the UCLA hospital, explained that they are very true and the only problem is that sometimes people take the test before it is positive.
She added that if someone has symptoms such as a sore throat, they take the test and it comes out negative, she recommends that they take the test again on the third day to make sure of the diagnosis.
Pedro Tot, a parent of a high school student, said he is concerned that there are still many people who refuse to get vaccinated.
Castrejón-López recommended that the most important thing is to set an example and share experiences.
“There are many people who share a negative experience, but we need more people who share the positive experience. There will always be people who are not ready or who need more information”, explained the doctor.
To learn more about where to get your vaccine, booster or medication to fight Covid-19 visit: VaccinateLA