As many of you know, the omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus is quickly beginning to spread throughout the US. While it does not appear to be more deadly than the Delta variant, it is much more contagious, and even people who have been fully vaccinated and boosted have been getting breakthrough infections. Fortunately the breakthrough infections are generally mild, and individuals recover well, but it is certainly possible if you have coexisting medical conditions that the infection may be more serious. Contrary to my recommendations from last month, with this new data about Omicron, I am recommending that ALL PATIENTS now get a COVID-19 booster vaccine. We carry both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines at the office but are giving them only certain days of the week, so if you want to receive a booster, give us a call.
What if you test positive for COVID-19?
Neither previous infections nor the COVID-19 vaccines provide you with 100% protection against getting COVID-19. Therefore, even if you’re vaccinated, if you have any symptoms (fever, cold symptoms, unexplained muscle pain, etc.) that could be due to COVID, I encourage you to get tested as soon as possible. You can do an at-home test or call the Scripps COVID nurse hotline at 858-261-8431 to schedule a drive-through test. Important things to remember if you do test positive:
Medicare genetic testing fraud alert
Recently, we’ve had several patients contact us about genetic testing. Apparently, there has been a known issue where patients are being targeted through telemarketing calls, booths at public events, health fairs, or door-to-door visits. The Office of the Inspector General had issued a report a couple of years ago, but it is only come to our attention recently. Essentially, fraudsters are telling individuals that these tests were ordered by us, or that they are completely covered by Medicare. Sometimes they have some of your medical information and make it appear that we were the ones that wanted you to have the test. If you receive this information, please do not agree to be tested. If you have questions about genetic testing, please contact our office for an appointment to discuss.
Lipid panel delays
Apparently, there is a shortage of reagents used to run lipid panels, so many of the tests are having to be sent out. Be aware that you may not receive the results of your lipid panel in the usual time frame, and that the results may look different than before because they may be run by a different lab.