There’s still a lot we don’t know about the coming omicron wave, but there’s one thing we can be pretty sure about: A lot of people are going to get sick. Omicron is highly contagious, and people with previous immunity from a Covid-19 infection, or from vaccination, appear more vulnerable to omicron than to previous variants.
For vaccinated people, omicron cases are likely to be mild, but even a small fraction of cases resulting in hospitalization can overwhelm hospitals if enough people get sick at once — which looks likely to happen.
That means that as the wave sweeps the country, people will have an obvious if critical question: What treatments are available to me if I get sick with Covid-19?
The good news is that scientists have more answers to that question than they did two years ago when Covid-19 first hit. Most of the treatments that researchers have tested in large clinical trials haven’t panned out, but a few look promising, including some that are cheap and safe. If you get sick, it’s worth fully exploring your options. We asked experts how the best existing treatments are expected to stand up to omicron in particular, and what to look into if you get sick.
Promising treatments to talk to your doctor about
The official Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance on what to do if you get sick with Covid-19 advises you to wear a mask, wash your hands, and clean high-touch surfaces to avoid infecting those around you. If your breathing deteriorates or you show signs of severe illness like confusion or an inability to stay awake, the CDC advises you to go to the hospital.
All sound guidance — but advice on what treatments to
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