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Hope Kiwanis Hears COVID Program From Dr. Dale Goins

By Mark Keith, 07/13/22 3:08 AM

The Hope Kiwanis Club heard a program from Dr. Dale Goins Tuesday concerning COVID.  He noted there have been 560 million cases of COVID reported around the world with 6.3 million deaths worldwide.  90 million were reported in the US with about 1 million people in the US die.  Locally, 70 people in Hempstead County have lost their lives to COVID.

Dr. Goins noted there were currently about 3.5 million active cases in the U.S. this week with about 4,000 of those were in critical conditions in hospitals so the strain going around now is milder than the first strain two years ago.  In Arkansas, 878,000 cases of COVID have been reported over the past two years.  Of those, there have been 11,000 deaths in Arkansas in the past two years.  Currently in Arkansas there are about 14,000 active cases with 273 cases in the hospital.  15 people in Arkansas died from COVIC last week.  Closer to home, Dr. Goins said Hempstead County had 136 reported active COVID cases this week.  He suspects the actual number is double that but he said there have been no deaths recently in Hempstead County.  He noted the strains going around now are more contagious than the original strains.

Dr. Goins said the original virus got deep in people’s lungs and caused a swelling or thickening in the lungs preventing oxygen getting into the bloodstream.  These cases often ended up on ventilators;  however, he noted they often couldn’t wean these patients off the ventilators.  After this was seen, doctors started trying to keep people off ventilators with aggressive treatment with antibiotics and steroids.  Later, Plaquenil and Ivermectin were used.  These slowed down the replication of the virus and allowed the body to build immunity to fight the virus.

Dr. Goins noted the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are still being used while the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is not used anymore as it was not as effective.  Dr. Goins also talked about boosters and the fact that vaccine/booster protection begins to fade after about six months ; however, these vaccines and boosters have helped people have milder cases.

New strains Beta 4 and Beta 5 have caused a peak in early July.  He notes that peak is starting to come down.  Dr. Goins said these strains are very contagious but most cases are milder.

Dr. Goins talked about treatments such as antibody infusions and new antivirals such as Paxlovid.  He said he’s personally seen Paxlovid be very effective in some cases.

As far as isolation, Dr. Goins said most who get COVID are told to isolate for five days and if they’re symptoms appear to be subsiding, they can start getting out some wearing a mask.

Dr. Goins was asked about additional boosters after the two which have been suggested for fully vaccinated people.  He noted new boosters after the first two have not yet been recommended.  He also talked about natural immunity, especially for those who have had COVID before.  He also addressed masks noting the cloth masks gave the least protection with paper masks giving better protection and the N-95 masks being the most effective.

Dr. Goins noted the pandemic has gone much longer than was originally thought and will be around awhile longer.  He said work is continuing for a “super” vaccine to address multiple strains.