In Florida about 3,565,981 confirmed COVID cases and more than 54,000 deaths since the pandemic began.

The seven-day statewide average this week added 311 deaths and about 5,532 cases per day, the Centers for Disease Control reported.

COVID-19 is still real in Florida and filling beds at local hospitals.

The Daily Sun asked Dr. Jaclyn Nadler of CoastalMED some questions about younger COVID-19 patients, masks and booster shots. Nadler is a board-certified physician who trained at University of Miami School of Medicine and completed internal medicine residency at Wake Forest University in North Carolina. Now she has a practice in Englewood.

JaclynNadler

Dr. Jaclyn S. Nadler

Are you seeing younger patients with COVID-19 symptoms or who tested positive?

I don’t see children in my practice and haven’t necessarily seen more younger patients testing positive with COVID-19. What I have seen is younger people becoming more ill with the delta variant. The original COVID-19 strain seemed to have less severe illness in younger people and many times no symptoms at all, but delta in my experience is causing younger individuals to be much sicker.

You have said masks work. Is it important to have children wear masks in school regardless of mask mandates? If so why?

The overwhelming data supports that masks prevent spread of COVID-19, it helps to protect both the wearer, as well as others in close proximity. Masks are a basic hygiene measure that health care workers have used on a daily basis even before COVID-19 to help prevent spread of infection. This basic measure, along with hand washing and social distancing, is particularly important since younger children at the current time cannot be vaccinated.

What about bacteria buildup or a child sneezing in a mask and it being dirty so it doesn’t work?

Cloth masks should be laundered daily, and disposable masks replaced at least daily or when they become soiled. Parents should ensure their children have a few backup masks to use if their mask was to get dirty.

Are the monoclonals good to get if you have been exposed or test positive for COVID-19?

Definitely, when used within the first few days of symptoms, (it) can significantly lower the severity and duration of COVID-19 illness. Patients tell me they typically feel better within 24 to 48 hours after receiving this treatment.

People are saying the vaccine isn’t working against the delta variant and other new variants, so why even get the vaccine?

While it is true, we’ve seen breakthrough cases of delta in fully vaccinated individuals, the vaccines have been very effective in preventing many from severe illness, hospitalization, and death. I’ve been seeing this exact trend in my practice.

Is it true people who had COVID-19 now have enough of their own antibodies in their system that they don’t need to get the vaccine?

This is still not fully known, while ‘natural immunity’ from prior infection may provide some advantages over vaccination, it can vary on how ill the person was when they had COVID-19 and we don’t know how long that immunity may last. There have been documented reports of reinfections where a person had a prior COVID-19 infection and months later was reinfected, so prior infection does not guarantee long-term immunity.

People are suggesting the use of Ivermectin to treat COVID-19. Is it a good idea to use it without notifying a doctor?

With the current data I’ve researched, I don’t believe we have enough information to support Ivermectin use. Ivermectin is typically used for parasite infections in people, but is not a true antiviral. Some early anecdotal studies showed potential benefit, but further studies have not supported this. I recommend prevention and treatment strategies that have shown proof of benefit which includes vaccines and monoclonal antibodies. For patients who require hospitalization, there are other therapies available.

If one is thinking about using Ivermectin, what are some of the side effects they can expect or look out for and is there any long-term studies done on damage it can do to internal organs or hasn’t that been considered?

Gastrointestinal side effects are the most common, as well as liver injury, particularly if high doses are used. These side effects may be self-limited, or could persist. No one should use veterinary grade Ivermectin and discuss the pros and cons of this medication with their individual doctor before use.”

What misinformation is preventing people from getting the vaccine or that is just incorrect regarding COVID-19?

There is a lot of misinformation circulating about the vaccine, the one I hear the most is that it was rushed. While it is true most vaccines take years for development, all the critical steps were performed and the fact we were in a pandemic required extraordinary measures. We don’t necessarily have long-term data for the vaccine, but it has been given to millions worldwide and shows to be extremely safe and effective. Ours and other countries have a long history of vaccine development and experience with other coronaviruses which aided the vaccine to be developed more quickly.

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