Dr. Mallika is offering her best advice, but as always, consult your personal doctor before making any decisions about your personal health.
"I purchased a 50 pack of KN95 masks on Amazon. It has the GB 2626-2019 on it but not on the masks themselves. Are they fake?" -Alan
My understanding is if the numbers "GB 2626-2019" or "GB2626-2006" are engraved on the actual masks, not just the packaging, they should be legitimate. You can go visit these two websites: USA Today and Project N95.
"If four people in my house have COVID at the same time and two turn negative before the other two, is it possible that the two who now test negative will get reinfected?" -Robin
If four people in the home test positive, and two of them end up testing negative on a rapid home antigen test sooner than the other two, they are not going to get re-infected with the virus while waiting for the other two to eventually test negative. They presumably were all infected with the Omicron variant and have built up some immunity and are unlikely to get Omicron again, at least for several months.
"Seems like all we hear of is Omicron. Has Delta disappeared? Does individual testing differentiate between the two variants?" -Cynthia from Ipswich
Routine PCR or antigen testing will not tell you which variant you have. That can only be done in specialized labs. However, virtually all new infections in the United States right now are from the Omicron variant.
Mary has a question about the flu vaccine: "When the flu hits and it turns out that the current flu vaccine doesn't provide as much protection as hoped, why don't they just make a flu vaccine booster like they're doing for COVID?"
The flu virus mutates frequently and over the summer scientists look at the flu strains that are circulating in other parts of the world and do their best to design a vaccine that will attack those strains. Some years it's a good match, some years not as much. But it takes time to determine how well the flu vaccine is working and it can take six months to manufacture and mass-produce another flu vaccine which would be too late to provide any benefit during a given flu season.
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