The coronavirus (COVID-19) can affect people in many ways, and it is important to know the risks associated with the virus. In this episode of the Smile podcast, Dr. Babak Azizzadeh, a Harvard-trained and dual board-certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon, interviews clinician-scientist Dr. Florence Comite about COVID-19.
Dr. Comite is a precision medicine innovator and founder of the Center for Precision Medicine & Health in New York City, where she leverages a clinically proven, academic approach to deliver personalized healthcare. During her interview with Dr. Azizzadeh, Dr. Comite takes an in-depth look at the coronavirus, how genetics can impact a person’s response to COVID-19, the risk factors associated with the virus, and more.
How Does Genetics Impact the Body’s Response to COVID-19?
Genetics can play a role in how the body responds to COVID-19. For instance, people with a family history of diabetes or other diseases may be more prone than others to severe COVID-19 symptoms.
In addition to genetics, age can impact COVID-19 response. A COVID-19 infection can be fatal for older people, particularly if they are dealing with high blood pressure or other preexisting medical issues. Comparatively, Millennials may be asymptomatic if they experience a COVID-19 infection, especially if they frequently eat nutritious foods, exercise regularly, and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
There is randomness with COVID-19 as well. The coronavirus can cause mild and serious symptoms alike, and people who experience any COVID-19 symptoms should get tested immediately. That way, people can find out if they are dealing with COVID-19 and quarantine accordingly.
How Can People Protect Themselves Against the Coronavirus?
Wearing a mask is an effective way to slow the spread of the coronavirus. This is due to the fact that COVID-19 spreads via respiratory droplets produced when people sneeze, cough, or speak. Social distancing can lower the risk of a COVID-19 infection, too.
Meanwhile, COVID-19 testing ensures people can find out if they are dealing with a coronavirus infection. Although at-home coronavirus tests are not currently available, testing is becoming widespread across the United States. Thus, people who believe they may be dealing with a coronavirus infection can quickly get tested. It may also be beneficial to get a follow-up test following a positive test, as there have been instances in which people have received a “false-positive.”
People who test positive for COVID-19 are contagious, and they must quarantine for at least 14 days after their positive test. They may experience a wide range of symptoms at this time, and there is no telling how long any of these symptoms will persist.
If people experience a coronavirus infection, they may develop an immunity to COVID-19 as well. COVID-19 studies thus far indicate people who experience a COVID-19 infection may gain immunity to the virus for at least a few months. However, research is ongoing, and scientists are still uncertain if all people who experience a COVID-19 infection gain immunity or how long the immunity may last.
What Will the World Look Like After the COVID-19 Pandemic?
Cities and towns have implemented various safety measures to guard against the spread of COVID-19, but the coronavirus continues to have a major impact on communities around the world. But, a COVID-19 vaccine will eventually become generally available, which will lead to an end to the pandemic. At this time, the world may look very different from what it once was.
The pandemic has been a learning experience for people globally. Going forward, the pandemic will offer valuable insights that can help people stay healthy. People can also use these insights to uncover ways to continually improve their health, so they are better equipped than ever before to protect their bodies against disease.
In episode seven of the Smile podcast, Dr. Comite looks at different aspects of the coronavirus. Listen to the podcast to hear some of Dr. Comite’s key takeaways from the pandemic.