We're now a few years removed from the COVID-19 pandemic that rocked the world and forced school and business closures in Louisiana, Texas, and the rest of the country. And while the virus is still around, we're finding the numbers from the virus nowhere near as imposing as they once were.

It seems like we finally have room to breathe, but the World Health Organization is out with another dire warning regarding the novel coronavirus that upended our lives in 2020.

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What Did the WHO Say?

In a new report, the WHO says that the world is still living through a pandemic and that we're not out of the woods yet.

“We don’t necessarily know how often we’re getting infected,” Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, head of WHO’s emerging diseases, said at a news briefing recently. “Five years, 10 years, 20 years from now, what are we going to see in terms of cardiac impairment, pulmonary impairment, neurologic impairment? It’s year five in the pandemic, but there’s still a lot we don’t know about it.”

The problem, according to the WHO, is asymptomatic cases.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon Visits Drop-In Covid Vaccination Centre
Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Because so many people may be carrying the virus, even if they aren't showing symptoms, there is still a chance that they can spread it to others. The international health community is worried that gatherings during the recent holiday season exposed a lot of people to the virus.

The dominant strain, the JN.1, has been spreading rapidly through the United States, according to health reports.

The CDC is backing this up, stating that "The continued growth of JN.1 suggests that it is either more transmissible or better at evading our immune systems." They also noted that "the rapid growth of JN.1 compared with other variants raises the question of whether this variant might drive an incremental increase in infections."

Are Louisiana and Texas at Risk?

One of the problems for states like Louisiana and Texas is the fact that a high number of people who are symptomatic aren't going to get tested. COVID fatigue - the lingering exhaustion of COVID-based protocols that forced social distancing and school/business closures - is keeping people from taking some of the COVID mitigation advice seriously.

And if symptomatic people aren't getting tested, there's little hope that asymptomatic people are aware they could have it. That reality makes the spread possible and, with it, an increase in hospitalizations and deaths.

Suggested Remedies for Flu and COVID Symptoms from Louisiana

Being sick is the worst! Not only do you feel gross, you have to miss work and pause your life to get better. There may not be a pill or potion that zaps you back to normal, but here are a few suggestions from Louisiana folks to help you through it.

Gallery Credit: TRACY WIRTZ

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