(WDVM) — On Capitol Review with Tasmin Mahfuz, DC Department of Health’s State Epidemiologist Dr. Anil Mangla discusses the spike in COVID-19 infections in Washington DC.

“In DC, our case rates have skyrocketed by nine-fold compared to a month ago, which was just about after Thanksgiving. So right now, our daily case rate a month ago was 50 cases per 100,000 population. At the moment,  it is now hitting 141 daily case rates per 100,000 population,” Dr. Mangla explained.

Now with the availability of rapid tests, Dr. Mangla said if you have symptoms, take advantage of the availability of an at-home test before leaving your home. He says the five symptoms are similar to the common cold and include fatigue, headache, sore throat, runny nose and sneezing.

When asked about the effectiveness of a booster shot for a vaccinated vs. unvaccinated individual, Dr Mangla stressed that if you have a booster, you’re 20 times less likely of dying from COVID than those who are completely unvaccinated.

“The booster is very important, even if you are vaccinated. So individuals that are fully vaccinated are 10 times less likely to get infected if they already have a booster, this is compared to individuals that are not vaccinated. Also, if you get your booster, you are 2.5% less likely to get infected compared to individuals that are fully vaccinated. So think about it, fully vaccinated and you get a booster, your chances of getting infected is 2.5 times less likely.”

Dr. Mangla adds, “the reason behind all this is once you get that third dose, or a booster, what happens in your immune system is your antibodies increase by 25-to-37-fold. That means that is your body’s protection and this protection is going to help. So if you get COVID, you have enough antibodies to actually react and neutralize the virus within your system. So this is very important when it comes to boosters and also, been fully vaccinated. If you’re eligible for a booster, get a booster.”

Watch their full conversation in the video above.