Talking about the new omicron variant is a matter of uncertainty for health authorities worldwide, however, they keep investigating its origin and how to stop it. Omicron was reported to the world much faster compared to other predecessor variants, including Alpha and Delta, it is also too early to know exactly their behavior, according to experts. In this sense, Dr. Wesley Long, director of microbiology at Houston Methodist Hospital, revealed in a newsletter sent to NotiPress: “We must wait to observe its development and then have a clearer picture of the omicron variant.”
Long added that the level of transmission of the new virus or whether it causes a more serious illness compared to Delta is still unclear. Despite the cases confirmed by omicron, the specialist asks the population not to lose their calm and to wait for what the health authorities say.
He also indicated that the Delta variant is the predominant one so far and the culprit for the increase in serious cases due to COVID-19 in mid-2021. “The Delta strain continues to circulate around the world, therefore, we must pay special attention during this winter season.”, He specified.
Not vaccinated, at risk
Another important aspect that Lon highlighted was regarding people who have not yet been vaccinated or do not have their complete vaccination schedule. For them, it remains a serious situation and this sector of the population remains at high risk of contracting severe COVID-19 and spreading the disease, a great concern for the governments of the world.
The immediate response by the health authorities was a key point in identifying the variant omicron, now the intention of the specialists is to know what the effectiveness of the vaccines is. Given this, Dr. Long said that vaccines are safe, effective, and so far, they are the best answer to combat the SARS-CoV-2 virus regardless of its variants.
The importance of reinforcement
According to specialists at Houston Methodist Hospital, boosting the COVID-19 vaccine is considered a key factor in protection against the virus. In the United States and other countries they are already administering it and in the specific case of Mexico, the Federal Government announced that it will begin the application of reinforcements to the elderly population.
Houston Methodist Hospital sequenced the viral genome of samples obtained from each person who came in with a positive test for COVID-19. Until now, This massive, massive sequencing effort helps the medical institution keep track of the prevalence of the different variants in its community.. In addition, this monitoring is key to more quickly detect the presence of some of the variants of the coronavirus.
To take into account
Regardless of which variant is on the road, Long says the best way to stay safe from COVID-19 is to be very aware of your surroundings and practice all familiar precautions. In this sense, the following measures are essential to avoid getting sick and spreading the omicron variant or any other:
- Be fully vaccinated with both doses.
- Wear face masks in public places and around vulnerable people.
- Wash your hands frequently and use antibacterial gel after touching surfaces.
- Practice social distancing, especially in closed public spaces.
- Avoid crowds of people.
- In the case of older adults in Mexico, apply a reinforcement as soon as it is available. “It’s extremely important to get the flu vaccine as well, as flu cases are on the rise,” adds Dr. Long.
The immediate response by the health authorities was a key point to identify the omicron variant, now the intention of the specialists is to know what the effectiveness of the vaccines is.