Public health emergency in the US persists

Winter is approaching and COVID-19 is not the only circulating respiratory disease. As cases of respiratory syncytial virus rise nationwide and the US has already crossed the “epidemic threshold” with influenza, experts explain how to tell if your symptoms are due to the coronavirus, the flu or RSV, and what to do should if you know. In the Bay Area, UCSF Chair of Medicine Dr. Bob Wachter that it’s him again Avoiding indoor diningciting an increase in COVID-19 case and positive test rates.

Public health emergency in the US persists

The Biden administration plans to maintain the COVID-19 public health emergency through April, according to sources speaking to Reuters on Friday. The declaration gives Americans access to free tests, vaccines and treatments. Officials cited an expected spike in coronavirus cases over the winter and the need for more time to transition from the public health emergency as key factors behind the decision to uphold the order originally announced in January 2020. In August, administration officials had hinted that the order could expire in January, but that deadline passed on Friday. The US Department of Health and Human Services has said it will give states 60 days’ notice before the emergency expires.

Is there a link between COVID booster side effects and height?

A self-described petite reader, who was concerned about the side effects of booster shots after experiencing a severe reaction to the initial COVID shot, wrote to The Chronicle’s Pandemic Issues Advisory Team asking why the dosing wasn’t based on body weight deviates. Experts consulted for the column were adamant that your height doesn’t matter when it comes to dosing COVID vaccines – or any vaccines at all – and urged following booster guidelines to ensure that You stay protected from the coronavirus.

The medical explanation depends on how vaccines work in your body, unlike most drugs. “The vaccines are dosed based on the ‘weight’ of the immune system, not the ‘weight’ of the body, while having as few side effects as possible,” said Peter Chin-Hong, UCSF’s infectious disease expert. “This is how most vaccines are given, not just COVID shots.”

Read Kellie Hwang’s column from The Chronicle.

UCSF’s Wachter says he will no longer dine indoors in San Francisco

dr Bob Wachter, the UCSF Chair of Medicine, reversed his personal stance on indoor dining in San Francisco in a Twitter post on Friday, citing an increase in case and test positivity rates. Wachter announced in September that he felt ready to dine indoors and remove his mask, and calculated that he had about a 1 in 200,000 chance of dying from an indoor meal without a mask and about a 1 in 1,000 if he long to get COVID. Wachter said he would stop again if the risk increased significantly. “Unfortunately it has,” he wrote on Friday. Wachter noted that San Francisco has an average of 16 daily cases per 100,000 residents, up 122% from two weeks earlier, according to data from The New York Times. He also cited UCSF data showing an increase in the test positivity rate for asymptomatic cases and CDPH data showing an increase in SARS-CoV-2 levels in San Francisco’s wastewater since mid-October. “Still OK with small groups with testing (Poker Tonite) but no indoor dining until numbers go down,” Wachter wrote.