Doctors provide update on COVID across Louisiana

Published: Jul. 5, 2022 at 10:56 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Experts are weighing in on the current status of the COVID pandemic across Louisiana.

On Tuesday, July 5, the Louisiana Department of Health reported more than 4,500 new cases, and the number of hospitalized patients jumped to 481.

ONE-STOP-SHOP: Louisiana stats, links related to COVID-19

Doctors say two new sub-variants of the omicron variant is the reason why we’re seeing an increase in cases. However, doctors say overall numbers are down overall compared to other points of the pandemic.

“The majority of people that are getting infected with these new variants are not winding up in the hospital and dying in the hospital with the original COVID variants,” said Dr. Ralph Dauterive, Vice President of Medical Affairs at Ochsner in Baton Rouge.

In a matter of time, Dauterive said COVID will look like the common cold or flu, with regular infections and occasional spikes.

“We’re as much as in an endemic stage as I think we’re going to get. It’s just a question of someone calling it that,” said Dauterive. “Once it’s endemic, then you’re talking about a disease that you’re living with and that you’re managing. I think we’re a lot closer to that than calling it a pandemic.”

But as the virus continues to evolve, he said they have to stay prepared.

“That’s the concern is that one of these mutations is going to cause it to be more virulent again,” said Dauterive. “But that might not occur. It could mutate into something that can’t infect at all and it just goes away for a while, and we don’t see it again.”

Dauterive said they have to continue to do more research and get as many people as vaccinated as possible.

“We have to be aware of what we’re dealing with and how to prevent this,” said Dauterive.

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