Salvadoran Daysi Hanis spent a day and a half in a Los Angeles hospital ill with covid-19 at the end of November.
“I started with chills, temperature. I was shivering with cold. Then I got a lot of headache and vomiting. The pills did nothing to control my headache. It only gave way when I fell asleep, but when I woke up it would come back immediately, ”she says.
And since she is a nurse who works in the care of people with Alzheimer’s, after taking the covid-19 test and coming out positive, fearful that the intense and constant headache could be a warning of something much more serious like a stroke, went to the hospital.
“There was no need for oxygen but they did a lot of tests, and then they released me,” he says.
Hanis, who is in her 40s, says that as a nurse she was one of the first to be vaccinated against covid-19, but also because she is also a Mexican film actress, she takes good care of herself and exercises. “So I didn’t think I was going to get sick with covid.”
However, he believes that he acquired the virus on a film set that he had gone to days before his symptoms began; or at a karaoke party at a restaurant that was very busy.
“I’m still at home. I haven’t even gone out to the supermarket. I am worried that I might infect others. And I feel very weak and dizzy. They tell me it’s normal. But this disease has made me more aware of taking care of myself because the virus does not discriminate.
“No one is exempt. People of all ages have died. I do not have chronic diseases and I consider myself healthy, but even so I did not escape, “she says worried that winter could cause a re-outbreak in cases of the coronavirus.
“I was already afraid to go to the events.”
The number of covid patients in Angels County hospitals increased over the weekend, raising concerns about a possible spike in infections during the winter season, especially in the face of the new Omicron variant in Los Angeles County. There has also been a slight spike in hospitalizations in San Diego.
But in the last two weeks, 30 states in the country have registered an upward trend in hospitalizations. The 6 states with the highest number of hospital admissions are Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, New York and Illinois.
And for the first time in two months, the United States has an average of 100,000 new cases of Covid-19 each day, an increase believed to have to do with the millions of people who traveled for Thanksgiving. In fact, the second case of the Omicron variant to show up in Los Angeles is from an already vaccinated student at the University of Southern California who traveled to the East Coast for Thanksgiving. Fortunately, her symptoms are mild.
Vaccination can save us
Dr. Héctor Flores, director of Family Medicine at Adventist Health White Memorial Hospital, affirms that the most important thing in the face of this rebound continues to be vaccination, maintaining social distance, the use of a mask and antibacterial gel, as well as hand washing.
“We do not know the impact of the Omicron variant in children and adults, so we must insist on vaccination.”
As reported by Los Angeles County Public Health, the average vaccination among Latinos is 60% in Los Angeles County versus 73% of white residents and 82% of Asians.
The African American population has the lowest vaccination rate with only 55% having received at least one dose.
Dr. Flores, also director of the Hispanic Health Center at Adventist Health White Memorial Hospital, explains that the resistance of Latinos to the vaccine has to do with the fact that they still do not have information or have a trusted person to share it with them.
“In the hospital, we have trained health promoters to explain to the community in the language they understand, with true information that are not myths and answer their questions.”
It also indicates that people are afraid of complications from the vaccine. “But it is very simple, if in a coliseum, we have 100,000 unvaccinated people, it is certain that at least 12,000 will go to the hospital and 2,000 will die. If they are vaccinated, almost nobody dies ”.
It shows that there is a third group, essential workers, who have not been vaccinated because they are so busy.
“What we are doing are mobile clinics to go to their jobs, churches and other places where we can find them.”
According to Dr. Flores, those who have been admitted the most to hospitals are the unvaccinated. “Many people are reluctant to get vaccinated and end up getting sick and in the hospital.”
He adds that those who oppose do not want to realize that the virus does not affect a single person but an entire family. “And they suffer when their loved one dies, who is often the one who earned a living for the whole house. So not only health is impacted but life and economically. ‘
And he recognizes that there is a lot of stress due to covid and the new variant makes us nervous, but he says that we will be more protected with the vaccine.
“I put my faith in Our Lord, but I also believe in science and I got vaccinated. My daughter, all my family and my colleagues were vaccinated. And the resistance of our Latino people to get vaccinated is due to lack of information and because we need to make vaccines even more accessible ”.
At Adventist Health White Memorial Hospital, no increase in hospitalizations has yet been reported.
On Monday, December 6, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed a third case of the Omicron strain.
This is an individual who traveled from West Africa and was fully vaccinated. So far he has mild symptoms and is isolated. At the same time it was revealed that his close contacts are fully vaccinated and tested negative for the virus.
“This latest case of the Omicron variant in Los Angeles County underscores how critical safety measures are when traveling,” says Dr. Bárbara Ferrer, Director of Public Health.
“These requirements include a negative test before boarding a flight, wearing a mask, and not traveling when sick. They should also consider delaying their travels until everyone who will be traveling is fully vaccinated. “
Since Friday, a free rapid covid test site has been operating at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), so that international travelers voluntarily take the antigen test and obtain the results before leaving.
Those who test positive will be given a home test kit within 3-5 days.
Dr. Ferrer says that those who have traveled during vacations should be tested, especially if they were abroad or in places in this country with high transmission rates, or if they participated in meetings and events with a large number of people.
There are free trial sites across the county and people can find them on the site:
https://covid19.lacounty.gov/testing/ for information on where to get tested.
And if they test positive for covid, they must be quarantined.
Los Angeles County has a cumulative 1.5 million cases of infections since the pandemic began, and 27,442 deaths.
Public Health insists that the vaccine and booster are critical in preparation for the holiday season.
They can go to any Public Health vaccination site or make an appointment at the hundreds of additional sites throughout the county. For more information, visit: VaccinateLACounty.com.