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Avera Medical Minute: Traveling during the pandemic

Traveling during the pandemic
Published: Feb. 4, 2022 at 9:46 AM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Thor: Dr. Jawad Nazir, an Avera infectious disease specialist, joins us. Doctor where do we currently stand in the pandemic? Where are hospitalizations right now?

Dr. Nazir “I think we still have a significant number of hospitalizations and cases in our state, but we are kind of cautiously optimistic these have been dropping in the last week or so.”

Thor: We have vaccines and many safety measures in the place. What about travel plans? What advice do you give to people who want to travel right now?

Dr. Nazir “I think in the last two years we have learned a lot. We have highly effective vaccines available. And our best friend is our vaccines. But I think the key is you have to be up to date with the vaccination, meaning that you should’ve gotten your booster after finishing the primary series. I think travel is something which is part of life for many people. And we don’t want to discourage it. But I think it is important to recognize, that if you are not up to date on vaccinations, that does put you at a higher of risk of severe disease, as well as a higher risk at spreading the infection to others.”

Thor: If you have to go on an airplane, should you take a test prior to that trip?

Dr. Nazir: “Yes, I think if you are not up to date with your vaccinations you should get a test as close to your departure. And also I think if you are not up to date with your vaccinations, it is also recommended that you take a test, even after you get back from air travel. Maybe three to five days after you get back from the travel.”

Thor: What happens if you do test positive while you’re on that trip?

Dr. Nazir: “That’s a very important question that can certainly happen. And I think everyone should think about it. And I think the key here is to be flexible with your travel plans so that if you get sick, you may need medical attention. You may need to extend your stay. You may need to be isolated. And if you are traveling as a family, your close contacts many need to quarantine.”

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