Weekly update for Dunn County - things continue to hold steady. Transmission rates are still high, but fortunately hospitalizations are not. They're certainly not as low as they've been other times in the past, but our medical systems are not being overwhelmed. So the recommendation is the same - if you are medically low risk or are highly risk tolerant and don't have an upcoming event that you don't want to risk missing, you do not need to take precautions. (Read - you are likely to get infected, if you haven't already had an Omicron flavor, but as long as that's ok with you, then carry on.) There are a few new developments on the horizon. Variants BA.4 & 5 are gaining traction as expected, and so far do not seem to be more severe, although they do seem to be a bit more contagious still than BA.2. FDA is weighing evidence on vaccination for young children next week, so keep an eye out for that (remember, there are several steps - from FDA to ACIP to CDC to then medical offices developing protocols and systems, so it can take a while, even if it is approved). Vaccine makers are also creating "bivalent" vaccines that will contain elements that protect against both the OG and the Omicron variants - we shall see how those measure up in terms of efficacy - sometimes what seems like a really good idea in theory turns out to be meh when you actually look at the data. We shall see. And reported case numbers are still likely a significant undercount of what's actually happening on the ground, as has been the case for many weeks now and will likely be our new status quo. So, take precautions if you don't want to risk getting infected (keeping in mind that almost all infections now are *relatively* mild, i.e. don't require hospitalization, especially if you are vaccinated and boosted). (I felt rather lousy for a while and still am not back to 100% after 2.5 weeks, but I'm getting there.) Make sure you and your loved ones are boosted. And if you do test positive, please inform your physician's office so that they can add you to the official count as well as prescribe antivirals for you if you qualify.

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Alexandra Hall, MD

Alexandra Hall M.D. – Dr. Hall earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Science Education from New York University, taught high school in East Harlem, and then earned her M.D. from Mount Sinai School of Medicine. 

She then completed a residency in Family Practice and served as Chief Resident at the University of Vermont.  After practicing medicine for Dean Health System in Wisconsin and then at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, Dr. Hall moved to Menomonie, WI to work at UW Stout, where she currently teaches for the Biology department and serves as a physician at Student Health Services. 

Dr. Hall has a passion for educating people about health and science; she gives workshops regionally and nationally on various medical topics to both lay and professional audiences and has won several teaching awards for her work.


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