Updates on Omicron
New Information on the Omicron Variant
Presence and Symptoms
Omicron is sweeping the nation, with as many as 800,000 new cases per day. The variant accounts for around 99.5 percent of new cases in the United States. As the number of cases increases, so does our knowledge about the variant. The incubation period of the variant, or the period between when a person is first infected and starts to show symptoms, is three days. This is two days quicker than the original version of COVID. Thankfully, Omicron seems to be less severe. Symptoms of Omicron include:
Research has also found that unlike Delta which tends to affect your lungs, Omicron seems to replicate in the upper respiratory tract. This is another reason why the variant tends to be less severe. Another study showed that antibodies produced after an Omicron infection help protect against Delta, another variant of COVID.
Testing and Quarantine
Since Omicrons' incubation period is so short there is a much narrower window to catch the infection before it is transmitted. It is recommended to take a rapid test two to four days after exposure to test for infection. It is also recommended that if you are attending an event, try to take a rapid test as close as possible to the actual event.
Along with this, the new CDC guidelines allows infected people to leave isolation after five days if they are asymptomatic. After these five days you should still try to keep some distance and wear a well fitted mask. It is also recommended that you should take a rapid test towards the end of the five-day period.
Booster shots are essential in the fight against Omicron. Not only are they reducing the risk of people getting infected, but the boosters are keeping those who do get infected out of the hospital. Recent studies show the boosters are 90 percent effective in keeping people out of the hospital. The CDC recommends that everyone over the age of 12 years old receives their booster shot.
The COVID pandemic is always changing, and new research and information is being discovered continually. Health and Wellness has many resources and up to date information regarding COVID. Do your part to keep our community safe by wearing a mask, getting tested, and receiving your booster shot!