April 23, 2024

The Omicron variant of the Covid-19 tends to cause milder symptoms compared to the Delta variant, but it is still too early to conclude that it only causes mild disease and that it will not lead to long Covid. It is too early to say that it is not likely to cause damage to other parts of the body even if it has been shown that it has lesser tendency to affect the lungs.
Initial studies currently support the use of these therapies among non-hospitalized persons with mild to moderate Covid-19 at high risk of hospitalization, severe disease, or death due to the Omicron variant:
Nirmatrelvir/Ritonavir taken by mouth twice a day for five days. Started as soon as possible within five days of symptom onset in those ages 12 years old and above and weigh 40 kilograms and above. Significant drug to drug interaction can occur when used with other medications. Safe in pregnancy. Not studied yet as pre-exposure prophylaxis. Efficacy is 88 to 89 percent;
Monoclonal antibody Sotrovimab 500 mg given through intravenous infusion, single dose, given as soon as possible within 10 days of symptom onset in those aged 12 years old and above and weigh 40 kg and above, who live in areas with high prevalence of Omicron variant. No drug to drug interaction. Other monoclonal antibodies appear to have no effect on Omicron. Efficacy of Sotrovimab is 85 percent;
Remdesivir intravenous injection for three days, started ASAP within seven days of symptom onset in those ages 12 years old and above and weigh 40 kg and above. Safe in pregnancy. No drug to drug interaction. Efficacy is 87 percent; and
Molnupiravir 800 mg taken by mouth twice a day for five days. Started ASAP within five days of onset in those aged 18 years old and above. This is used only when the first three drugs cannot be used. Mutagenicity (risk for cancer) is a concern. It is not to be used in pregnancy. It has not been evaluated to prevent infection in vaccinated persons. Efficacy is 30 percent.
It is important to remember that these drugs are not for everyone. Consult a physician before using any of the drugs.

According to the World Health Organization, there is still no confirmed timeline on how long the virus can survive on surfaces. Some studies show that it can survive for a few hours to several days depending on the type of surface (a recent study showed that Omicron can survive longer on plastic surfaces but larger studies have to confirm the findings), temperature, and humidity.

Disinfection against Covid-19 includes the following:
Normal routine cleaning with soap and water. In most instances, cleaning with water and ordinary detergent is enough to reduce risk;
Disinfectants lower the risk further. The chemicals contained in the disinfectant kill germs. This is useful on high-touch surfaces like door knobs, chairs, tables, switches especially when someone is suspected or confirmed to be sick with Covid-19. Observe precautions because chemicals can trigger asthma, cause skin or eye irritation. Most chemicals are not to be handled with bare hands;
Fogging, fumigating, and wide area of electrostatic spraying. Disinfectants described in literatures include sodium hypochlorite (bleach), alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, soaps, and surfactants. Potential toxicity and environmental effects of these systems pause challenges so that these methods are not highly recommended and not to be used directly on the body. Spraying disinfectants outdoors and indoors can cause irritation of the eyes, skin, and lungs; and
Nanotechnology is a field being explored to develop new materials and systems that may provide antiviral activity, releasing chemical disinfectants slowly and with longer period of activity. Metallic (like titanium and silver) nanoparticles have been generated and have been shown to have action against viruses, bacteria, and other microbes. But further studies are needed on the use of nanotechnology for more efficient disinfectant and sanitizing systems. There is also the potential of toxic effects on the body and environmental effects.
No single disinfection process is complete or perfect in preventing spread, so that observing several layers of intervention is advised. The first layer starts with physical distancing.

Primary series vaccination and a booster dose do not prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection but can protect one from developing severe Covid-19.

Medical questions and suggestions may be emailed to [email protected] or [email protected].