Fighting Omicron and Preventing New Covid Variants
Vaccines remain the best public health measure to protect people from COVID-19, slow transmission, and reduce the likelihood of new Covid variants emerging. Current commonly available tests diagnose Covid-19 infection/virus without knowing specific variant.
This is the third blog in the series of articles by the same author on emerging Covid variants.
First part: SARS-CoV-2 VARIANTS and MUTATION
Second Part: Covid Variant OMICRON – How Serious is the Threat?
What We Know about Omicron – 2 weeks after statement from WHO:
- Omicron Spread – As suggested in the earlier blog, Omicron variant is likely to spread more easily than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus. Omicron spread compared to Delta variant is unknown so far.
- Omicron severity of illness – More data are needed to know the illness severity and pattern. It is expected to cause milder symptoms in vaccinated individuals.
- Will vaccines work against Omicron? The recent emergence of Omicron emphasizes the importance of vaccination and boosters.
- Will treatments work against Omicron? Scientists are working to determine how well existing treatments for COVID-19 work.
Preventing and Fighting Omicron
Vaccines remain the best public health measure to protect people from COVID-19, slow transmission, and reduce the likelihood of new Covid variants emerging. COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations, and death. CDC recommends that everyone 5 years and older protect themselves from COVID-19 by getting fully vaccinated. CDC recommends that everyone aged 18 years and older should get a booster shot at least two months after their initial J&J/Janssen vaccine or six months after completing their primary COVID-19 vaccination series of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna.
Make the most out of your healthcare practice
Masks offer protection against all infections transmitted by droplets. It is recommended to wearing a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high community transmission, regardless of vaccination status to contain the emergence of new Covid variants.
- Personal hygiene – hand sanitizers and hand washing.
- Personal space/distance – 6 feet or more.
- Extra caution around individuals more than 60 years of age.
Tests: Current commonly available tests diagnose Covid-19 infection/virus without knowing specific variant. Additional tests infection is caused by Omicron. Local health department website should have updated information.