UPMC Expert in Infectious Diseases Talks Variants, Vaccinations

WILLIAMSPORT – As the highly transmissible COVID-19 Delta variant surges, Medical Director of Infectious Diseases at UPMC Susquehanna Dr. Rutul Dalal says we may be at the other end of the curve, but that doesn’t mean we are completely out of the woods yet.

“Well, I think it’s very easy to forget bad things in our lives and this is probably like a forgettable dream, but at the same time, we need to be cognizant of the fact that whenever these big pandemics occur they linger on for three to four years.”

Dr. Dalal says there are things that we can do to help prevent the spread of the disease and include getting vaccinated as soon as possible, being aware of who we are gathering with and what their immunity level is, continued hand washing, and even mask-wearing, if appropriate.

“Itsy bitsy things, small things in the back of your mind just to think about, ‘okay, what can we do right now to prevent another surge in the fall,’ would definitely go a long way in stamping out this virus once and for all,” he said.

Dr. Dalal says the chance for vaccinated people to get the full-blown COVID infection in the lungs is still there, but it’s very miniscule, “The chances of you getting on to a ventilator or a breathing machine are almost none. I’ve seen around four or five patients who have been vaccinated of mine, who got exposed to COVID and actually got sick with it, but had super, super mild symptoms.”

He says the incubation period remains the same and the effectiveness of the vaccine is definitely seen when a vaccinated person is infected and only contracts mild symptoms. You can hear more from Dr. Dalal on the WKOK podcast page.

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