Phoebe encourages testing before visiting family

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Published: Dec. 24, 2021 at 7:59 PM EST
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - As more people are traveling this holiday season, doctors at Phoebe are wanting everyone to be safe and healthy. Even though you may not have symptoms of COVID-19, they say you could still have the virus.

If you’re vaccinated or unvaccinated, Dr. Kathy Hudson, the chief medical officer at Phoebe, is encouraging people to still get tested before traveling.

“Some people get COVID. They have very mild symptoms, they think they don’t have COVID but when they get tested it’s positive. They can still transmit that to someone who would be at risk of serious illness,” said Dr. Hudson.

She said numbers are low, but they have started to see an uptick in cases. She says they are still seeing the effects of the delta variant.

Dr. Kathy Hudson Chief Medical Officer At Phoebe
Dr. Kathy Hudson Chief Medical Officer At Phoebe(WALB)

“Omicron is spreading and everyone’s talking about it, but we aren’t able to test for it. I don’t know that we have it in our area, but the delta variant is really the one that’s causing serious illness requiring hospitalizations intensive care and possibly death,” said Dr. Hudson.

She said because the omicron has a significant number of mutations, it can bypass natural immunity, either from a vaccine or from having COVID-19 before.

“If you’ve had COVID-19 and you think that you’re safe. Omicron is more likely to cause you to be reinfected and a vaccine will help prevent that,” said Dr. Hudson.

If you are fully vaccinated, she said getting the booster will also help protect you from variants.

“It’s a personal decision. I’m not going to say that it’s not, but you really need to think about the risk of serious illness. Do you have comorbidities or a family member that does?” said Dr. Hudson.

Other than getting vaccinated, they encourage people to continue washing hands, wear a mask and social distancing.

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