By Robin Clutters

(CBS4)– As the delta variant continues to spread in Colorado, you may have questions about how to protect yourself. CBS4 Medical Editor Dr. Dave Hnida sat down with Jim Benemann on CBSN Denver to talk about some of the most pressing coronavirus topics.

(credit: CBS)

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The Biden administration is recommending a booster shot for those who received either the Pfizer or Moderna coronavirus vaccine. The recommendation is to get it eight months after your second dose.

“Six to eight months out, you begin to have a little waning of immune protection and therefore you are more prone to mild or moderate disease,” said Hnida. “Those with an immune system that is compromised, people undergoing cancer therapies, and those who have had organ transplants should be getting their third dose now.”

As kids head back to school, coronavirus is especially a concern as many children are too young to get vaccinated. Hnida recommends kids wear masks in school to prevent the spread of COVID.

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“What is going to happen to those who cannot be vaccinated, is they will be at risk, not just for getting ill, but also spreading illness at home and to others. Protecting kids should be the reason why you should not hesitate to wear a mask in schools.”

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Wildfire smoke is making it tricky to tell the difference between COVID symptoms and irritation from the bad air quality. Hnida says if you’re ever not sure, your best bet is to get a coronavirus test.

“COVID can cause everything and anything, whether it be a runny nose, congestion, sore throat, cough, or even diarrhea. If you are ill, if you don’t feel well, stay at home and get a COVID test. In my world these days, everything is COVID unless we prove it is not.”

Dr. Dave says he believes we will get a handle on this virus, but reminds everyone, it won’t ever go away.

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“Viruses continue to mutate. We always look back at that Spanish flu virus of 1918. You know that virus is still around today, it’s just mutated hundreds of times. We expect COVID will become part of our natural viral infections that we live with. Each year, we may be getting booster shots. It is going to be with us forever.”

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Robin Clutters