What we discovered about COVID in 2022 and what to anticipate in 2023

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DENVER — One other 12 months is placing us farther from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, as 2022 supplied extra options. Chief medical officer Dr. Jaya Kumar at Denver’s Swedish Medical Middle has been on the forefront of this virus since its inception.

“We have seen an evolution, not only within the virus itself, however in the best way we predict of COVID-19 as an sickness and the best way we deal with it, the best way we diagnose it and the way we look ahead to the brand new 12 months,” Kumar stated. “Now we now have fast sequencing of viral genomes. So any virus you see, you can sequence it, duplicate it, make a therapy or a vaccine in opposition to it; that is big.”

She factors to a number of the largest advances made in 2022.

“We noticed a brand new antiretroviral drug are available like paxlovid, which is a capsule which you’ll give as an outpatient,” Kumar stated.

That’s one thing Dr. Scott Pleasure, the chief medical officer of HealthOne’s Doctor Providers Group, says has saved sufferers out of the hospital.

“On a weekly foundation, we’re doing, myself personally, about six to 10 prescriptions of paxlovid per week, and I actually have but to see a affected person whose been admitted actually within the final six months of 2022,” Pleasure stated.

The final 12 months has additionally expanded specialists’ information.

“So, for instance, so we’re seeing an RSV or Flu serge. Issues have turn into like a bit of cake for us. We all know what to do,” Kumar stated. “And we had our surge protocol prepared in half-hour whereas this might have taken us hours and hours of laborious work two years in the past.”

Nonetheless, whereas these successes are value celebrating, each medical doctors say it is important to acknowledge the hurdles.

“I feel one in all the challenges transferring ahead after the pandemic is sufferers’ belief within the vaccines,” Pleasure stated. “I am simply a bit involved that vaccines are the tip of the iceberg and are going to begin getting questions on knowledge round most cancers screenings and questioning about ldl cholesterol medicines to scale back threat of coronary heart assault and stroke and I feel we have opened up a bit little bit of a pandora’s field.”

Well being care staffing has turn into an concern too.

“I feel the largest problem we now have transferring ahead is actually the workforce. I feel that is going to be an enormous problem for us in the following 12 months or two,” Pleasure stated.

These specialists emphasize that individuals are nonetheless not caught up on needed medical exams and screenings, which may lead to extra vital well being issues.

“I do suppose we have held again, and we’re nonetheless seeing individuals are available with advance levels of diseases. We nonetheless see individuals within the hospitals who’ve postponed medical care,” Kumar stated. “I feel we’d like to do numerous catching up in the following few years.”

We should pinpoint the place we at the moment stand with COVID-19 to grasp what’s subsequent.

“The idea of by no means getting COVID is one thing that we’d like to recover from,” Pleasure stated.

“We may probably enter into an endemic stage, however that’ll take a while. An endemic stage is the place you see predictable surges like flu,” Kumar stated. “However for now, I feel individuals nonetheless should be on their watch and make sure that you’re getting your vaccines.”

The years to come back will permit us to be extra knowledgeable on the consequences of the COVID-19 virus.

“We’re nonetheless within the infancy levels of this pandemic. Even though it looks like it has been years however long-term results are nonetheless unknown,” Kumar stated. “So the following few years, we’ll be constructing upon the expertise, investing extra in primary science analysis, and be higher ready for any extra pandemics that we might even see in the long run.”

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