“Every time we’ve seen a new version, it’s already spread around the world. So the fact that Omicron is in several countries in Europe, in the US, is not necessarily a bad sign. And I think that That’s an important point to keep in mind,” Dr. Peter Hotes, dean of Baylor College of Medicine’s School of Tropical Medicine, told CNN’s Jim Acosta on Saturday. “And also remember that we Seen no evidence that Omicron causes more severe disease than any other type.”
The omicron variant, which was first identified in South Africa, was declared a strain of concern by the World Health Organization on Friday – a global alarm over the state of the nearly two-year-old coronavirus pandemic. is playing
But Dr. Anthony Fauci told NBC on Saturday that he “wouldn’t be surprised” if the Omicron variant already exists in the United States.
“We haven’t figured it out yet, but when you have a virus that’s showing that much transmissibility and you have travel-related cases that they’ve already noted in other places. , when you have a virus like this, it’s almost always there. It’s going to go everywhere,” Fauci said.
Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, noted that the travel restrictions allow health experts to spend more time studying the variety and understanding it in a more critical capacity — including the current vaccine against Omicron. Are they effective or not?
“The vaccines we use may be able to control it. And then it won’t be as serious as some people are thinking it could be. A lot of unknowns,” Fauci told NBC. “You don’t want people to panic, but you want to know that we’re doing everything we can to stay ahead of it.”
U.S. federal health officials are working around the clock to learn more about Omicron, an official told CNN on Saturday, but it could be weeks before they know whether concerns about the highly mutated strain are justified. .
More contagious doesn’t always mean more dangerous, the expert says.
The Omicron strain of the coronavirus is of concern to scientists because the significant number of different mutations may make it more infectious than the original novel coronavirus strain.
But with so much still unknown, public health expert Dr. Saju Mathew told CNN on Saturday that the priority is to learn more about the variety and vaccination.
“I take the whole position that we shouldn’t panic right now. The most important thing is to study the virus. Just because the virus is more contagious, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s more dangerous,” Mathew said. Vaccinations are still very important, he said. “It’s time to come to your local pharmacy and get vaccinated.”
Vaccine maker Moderna said on Friday that…