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Jun 27, 2022

For our conversation today, we caught up with Dr. Jeffrey Feit, Valley Health's Population Health & Community Health Officer to talk about long COVID, Monkeypox, and the broad range of issues that affect community health.

Dr. Feit gave us an update on the current COVID situation in our communities. He talked about hospitalization numbers and vaccines. He explained that one of the far-reaching issues for those who have had COVID is something called "long COVID." Long COVID is when a patient exhibits symptoms well outside the typical term of the infection - for more than 30 days. Long COVID is also considered a factor for things such as heart attacks and heart issues in otherwise health COVID survivors. He talked about the current studies and the difficulty in trying to pinpoint some ongoing issues to having been infected with COVID. Though he did say that studies are showing that the Delta variant seems to have caused the most long-term damage and the current variants are less "long COVIDy."

We discussed the role vaccines are playing in treating some cases of long COVID and we talked about the vaccines in general, including boosters and now their availability for younger children. Dr. Feit pointed to greater availability of home tests as a way of keeping COVID spread to a minimum and encouraged listeners to be diligent in their testing methods - particularly when a result is negative initially.

After the break, we talked about Monkeypox: it's origins and how it is spread. There are still a relatively small number of cases in the US. We also learned a bit of history for "pox" illnesses as well.

Finally, we talked about community health. Dr. Feit explained what it is and the larger role Valley Health hopes to play in addressing many issues that aren't directly health related but impact the ability for members of our community to be healthier. We talked about grant writing and fundraising as well as issues such as food and housing insecurity, suicide and gun violence.