With the new COVID Omicron Variant, you may be alarmed upon hearing about the new strain. It also brings about several questions: What are the symptoms? Will I have more protection if I’ve been vaccinated? Do the vaccines still work?
Many of these questions are difficult to answer as it is a new virus and more research from public health officials needs to be completed. But teams of researchers, medical professionals, and public health officials are working hard to understand this variant better.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has advised it may take several weeks to fully understand how the variant may affect patients, including those who are already vaccinated against COVID-19. With time, we will have more information.
We are already seeing patients diagnosed with the variant in several countries worldwide. This motivates public health officials to monitor and study how easily it may spread.
What do we know about COVID-19 Omicron?
The first case was reported in South Africa by WHO on November 24th. Since then, several countries have put travel ban restrictions from going to or coming from South Africa.
The first case in the United States was reported in California in a fully vaccinated individual. The individual had been in South Africa and tested positive seven days after returning home.
Both in the United States and globally, experts are monitoring the path of this new variant to reduce infection rates.
In South Africa, there is a significant increase in the Omicron variant. It is particularly concerning because it mutates, which can impact both how contagious it is and the severity of symptoms.
How Contagious is Omicron?
Because the omicron variant is still so new, the WHO does not know whether it spreads more quickly than COVID-19. With the numbers increasing in South Africa, researchers are trying to determine if the rising number of patients testing positive is due to the new variant or if it may be due to other factors.
It is still unknown if Omicron is more serious than COVID-19. There have been increased hospitalizations in South Africa, but it is still unknown if it is due to high COVID-19 rates or infection with Omicron.
Regarding symptoms, they do not appear to be different from other COVID-19 variant symptoms. However, initial reports show that symptoms are generally milder than COVID-19.
What Can You do to Protect Yourself Against Omicron ?
Suggestions are similar to those to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The following prevention strategies from the CDC are recommended:
- Wear a mask in public or indoor settings where there is a high risk of transmission
- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Use hand sanitizer in between.
- Continue to practice social distancing
- It is recommended that every one five years and up receive a COVID-19 vaccination and a booster for all those who are eligible
Are you concerned about COVID-19 and any of its Variants? Visit our Urgent Care for COVID-19 testing in Palm Beach
If you have any symptoms, it is important to get an accurate diagnosis. This is especially important as medical professionals are researching COVID-19 and variant trends. For the protection of all, consider visiting our urgent care for rapid covid testing.
It may be appropriate for you to be seen via telemedicine urgent care if you need to be seen for other medical reasons. You can get a diagnosis and treatment plan through telemedicine without putting yourself or others at risk for COVID-19 infections.
If you do need medical attention in person, we offer urgent care services at several locations:
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, schedule an appointment today to get the proper diagnosis you need!
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.