KKU doctor states that Covid-19, XBB.1.16 variant is a sub-variant of Omicron. Initially, it has been found that this variant is easily contagious; however, the symptom is not more severe than the former variant. The doctor suggests regular surveillance and following the news about the situation. Risk groups are recommended to assess themselves and receive Bivalent vaccination as quickly as possible. Walk-in for the vaccine is accepted at Srinagarind Hospital from April 19 to 30, 2023.
Friday April 21, 2023, after the Songkran Festival when people had a lot of fun, the news about Covid-19 return spread out. One newly infected person said that after Songkran, one of his acquaintances was infected with Covid-19. He therefore became cautious and checked himself. The test was negative on the first day, but on the second day he became weak and tired. On the third day, he was weaker and the temperature was 38.5 Celcius. He had an ATK test again and it was positive.
“After I felt aches all over the body and the temperatures were continuously high, I took fever pills on my own and called a doctor at the hospital to receive instruction.”
The person infected said that he had 2 Sinovac shots and one Astra Zeneka shot, but still infected. It was his first time. He was worrying about the Covid-19 situation, for a closed one had been infected and then he himself. Meanwhile, there were reports about the new Covid-19 variant. It can be anticipated that after Songkran infections will spread until there are many people tested positive.
Asst. Prof. Wantin Sribenjaluck, M.D., a medical doctor specialized in infectious diseases of Srinagarind Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University said that the new variant is still the sub-variant of Omicron. The one being talked about mostly no is XBB.1.16, which has varied slightly at the point called spike protein. This may contribute to its rapid property of spreading. However, initially there is no data that the symptom is more severe than other strains.
Nevertheless, after Songkran, the number of Covid-19 infected people has risen at 158 folds in Thailand. It should be repeated that before Songkran, the disease was kind of declining. Therefore, 158 times during the past week means hundreds of infected people.
“Primarily, the new Covid spreads easily, but with equal severity. If asked whether we should worry, the answer is to be cautious and to follow the news of the situation.”
Asst. Prof. Dr. Wantin said that the symptom of Covid-19 may not be easily differentiated from the Flu, for it may be the same: with fever, running nose, sore throat, aching all over the body. For the XBB.1.16 variant, there have been reports that infected patients have developed red eyes, but this may not occur with all patients. ATK tests still are able to confirm infection, notwithstanding which variant it is.
Checking! Who should receive Bivalent:
For those catching Covid-19 within 3 months, or had received more vaccination until the immune is high, then the chance of infection is low. But if the vaccination was done long ago, then recurring of the disease or new infection is possible.
Prevention is by receiving Bivalent vaccine, which is a mixture between two variants. The side effects are not different from the former vaccine, and the vaccine can lessen the severity.
Asst. Prof. Dr. Wantin repeated that those with good immune can make decision on their own. But the risk group such as the elderly, those with congenital diseases or those with immunodeficiency including the frontline medical professionals, caregivers of elderly and patients and bedridden patients should assess their own risks and receive vaccination as soon as possible.
If the tendency of the new pandemic is high, people should adjust their behaviors in order to prevent infection. Masks should be worn in public areas. Hands should be frequently washed. Avoid going to crowded areas. The measures taken depend on the situation.
If you think that you are the risk group, you can receive the new Bivalent vaccine by Pfizer at the Social Medicine Section, 2nd Floor, Lecture Building, Srinagarind Hospital. (There is no need for pre-registration.) The service is open from April 19 until April 30, 2023 in the afternoon of working days.
News: Phanit Katanak