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Public Health: COVID-19 Isn’t The Common Flu

Shasta County Public Health Officer Doctor Karen Ramstrom says she’s heard a lot of people who have the impression that COVID-19 is like the flu, and if they get it and recover they’ll gain immunity and be fine. She points out that it is not Influenza and nobody should want to get it. Coronavirus is more systemic and affects multiple organs with a variety of serious side effects, including blood clotting in the lungs, brain, and other vital organs. It can damage the liver and kidneys and can even lead to Encephalitis, which is brain swelling. She says up to 80% of patients experience cardiac inflammation. Doctor Ramstrom says the only way to gain immunity is with a vaccine, which we don’t have yet.

22,785 tests have shown negative results in Shasta County. Those numbers don’t include people who have been tested for antibodies, as Vitalant has been doing with all blood donors. Anyone can get tested for free, whether showing symptoms or not. The best option for testing can be determined by going to and clicking on “get tested”.

A technical problem has caused a lag in California’s tally of Coronavirus test results, casting doubt on the accuracy of recent data showing improvements in the infection rate and hindering efforts to track the spread. Any Shasta County resident who has tested positive but has not been contacted by public health is asked to call 225-5591.

New guidance has been issued by the state for reopening schools. Students and parents can find the guidelines by going to , clicking on “latest news” and scrolling down to “schools”. Team sports will not be an option for school kids in California this Fall.