Omicron is now the dominant pressure in the US. We check out the way it compares to earlier variants.
DENVER — The push is on. Not for presents to place beneath a tree, however for COVID exams earlier than family members collect for the vacations.
“The testing strains out the door are undoubtedly a mix of issues. The omicron virus has folks frightened. And I believe that everyone touring and getting examined beforehand is a superb factor,” Nationwide Jewish Well being Chief Medical Officer Dr. Carrie Horn stated.
The omicron variant now accounts for greater than 70% of U.S. coronavirus circumstances.
Horn stated omicron is extra infectious than any earlier variant, together with alpha and delta.
“You’ll be able to see that alpha was extra infectious than the unique virus. And so that you noticed that take over from the unique virus when it comes to the variety of circumstances pretty rapidly. After which when delta got here alongside you possibly can see that delta simply very clearly outpacing alpha in a short time,” Horn stated.
Now, omicron is outpacing delta, though it has but to be detected in all 50 states.
“As soon as it acquired right here, clearly, it’s taken off like wildfire,” stated Dr. Michelle Barron, UC Well being Senior Medical Director of An infection Prevention.
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Well being officers stated this spreading leaves them involved about what’s subsequent.
“As flu begins to choose up and a number of the different respiratory viruses are going round, the hospitals are actually stretched skinny and the healthcare system is struggling. If omicron goes to trigger extra circumstances, and if extra of these folks find yourself hospitalized, then that’s going to be a good greater pressure on an already pressured system,” Horn stated.
They’re additionally involved in regards to the potential for extra mutations, since omicron spreads so quick.
“What we’re frightened about is that if omicron is actually spreading into lots of people in a short time and replicating in a short time, the possibility of getting a mutation that makes it extra dangerous or extra evasive to the vaccine could be very actual. And whereas we now have not seen that but, it might occur,” Horn stated.
Whereas the testing strains take a look at your endurance, Horn hopes the vaccination strains are simply as lengthy.
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