Doctors discuss current COVID status in Mississippi

Published: Apr. 29, 2022 at 7:51 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A reminder from the state health officer Friday morning that COVID isn’t gone.

In fact, there’s a slight uptick in the cases. Dr. Thomas Dobbs’ tweet references that the BA.2 sub variant is to blame.

We are in a much better place when it comes to COVID, but doctors caution that the reported case numbers likely don’t tell the whole story.

“There are still infections, we’re just not having them reported to the health departments because people are doing their home tests,” noted Dr. Steve Threlkeld, Baptist Memorial Health Care Medical Director of Infectious Disease. “So, I think increasingly it’s more difficult to sort of get and interpret the case numbers.”

TrustCare Kids pediatrician Dr. Catherine Phillippi says her office is seeing the domino effect of the new cases with more children coming in for tests because of known-exposures.

The office also gets calls each week asking about when vaccines will be available for younger children. Still, they’re giving fewer vaccines these days.

“I think that’s partially because it’s out of sight, out of mind, and people are busy recouping their life and trying to get back to normal,” noted Phillippi. “Some of that has picked up a little with these new cases.”

Another marker that we are at a different place in the pandemic is the availability of treatments.

Dr. Jennifer Bryan says that while they are available, the general public may still be in the mindset that there’s not really anything that can be done once you get COVID. And that’s just not true.

“Antivirals are a big piece, just like we see the doctor to get Tamiflu for flu,” noted Dr. Jennifer Bryan, chairman of the Mississippi Delegation to the American Medical Association. “It’s the time of now with medications being developed and such that if you think you have COVID, and you see the doctor, it may be that you get a prescription for it now. They’re wonderful, very effective antivirals that we’re prescribing for the right patients.”

And doctors say there’s still good reason to avoid getting it altogether.

“Some people are gonna have some long-term downstream problems from COVID that we don’t fully understand yet,” added Threlkeld.

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