Dr. Fauci Just Said How to Stay Your Safest Against Omicron

Better safe than sorry: That's the advice virus experts are giving about Omicron, the new COVID variant that seems to be quite transmissible, and may or may not be more dangerous than Delta. Until we know how bad it is, use precaution. Exactly what do you need to do, and what do you need to know about Omicron? Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, revealed all at yesterday's COVID press conference. Read on for all 5 essential pieces of advice—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.

1

Dr. Fauci Said This is What Makes Omicron So Different

Doctor with blood sample of Covid-19 Omicron B.1.1.529 Variant and general data of covid-19 Coronavirus Mutations.

What makes Omicron so different? "This is a very unusual constellation of changes across the SARS-CoV-2 genome with greater than 30 of them in the important spike protein, which is the business end of the virus, particularly in its receptor binding domain, where there were about 10 mutations there," said Dr. Fauci. "This mutational profile is very different from other variants of interest and concern. And although some mutations are also found in Delta, this is not Delta—it's something different. And these mutations have been associated with increased transmissibility and immune innovation. Whereas other of the mutations have not yet been characterized as to their functional capability."

2

Dr. Fauci Said It Would Take Weeks Before We Know How Dangerous the Mutation is

Virus experts are working using microscope in laboratory with protective suit, gloves glasses and mask

Fauci said the mutation was being monitored. "We have now ongoing communication, multiple times and information sharing between our scientists and public health officials and the South African government and kudos to them—they have been extraordinary, helpful, and transparent in sharing information with us." How long will we know anything meaningful? "It's going to be two to four weeks, possibly a bit sooner, depending upon when the specimens by specimens. I mean, the virus gets to individual investigators at the CDC at the NIH, and even in other countries for them to prepare that, to be able to make a determination and pending these data, the effect of this variant on transmission, severity of disease and how well current vaccines treatments work remains speculative, regardless of what we're hearing in the press."

3

Dr. Fauci Said This About Vaccine Effectiveness Against Omicron

Nurse with face mask sitting at home with senior woman and injecting covid 19 vaccine.

"Let's look at what we know and what we don't know first with regard to transmission," said Dr. Fauci. "Obviously, when you look at the molecular configuration of those particular variants, it suggests strongly that there's increased transmission compared with the original pandemic virus, but it is difficult to infer what the relationship between this transmissibility is and Delta, although you can suggest that might be more, we do not know until we see the dynamics of how this evolves."

"What about vaccine effectiveness?" he continued. "Now, obviously there's significant reductions in that neutralizing titers are possible. And we say that because the mutations suggest immune evasion. But remember as with other variants, although partial immune escape may occur vaccines and particularly boosters give a level of antibody that even with variants, like Delta, give you a degree of prose protection, particularly against severe disease. So there's every reason to believe as we talk about boosters, when you get a level high enough that you were going to get at least some degree of cross protection, particularly against severe disease."

4

Dr. Fauci Said This About Omicron's Disease Severity

Healthcare worker at home visit

"And what about disease severity? Again, these are estimates and with the small number of cases, it is very difficult to know whether or not this particular variant is going to result in severe disease. Well, some preliminary information from South Africa suggests no unusual symptoms associated with the variant. We do not know, and it is too early to tell."

5

Dr. Fauci Said How to Stay Your Safest Against Omicron

Doctor holding syringe, medical injection in hand with glove.

"How do we address Omicron?" said Dr. Fauci. "We've said it over and over again. And we, and it deserves repeating. If you're not vaccinated, get vaccinated, get boosted. If you are vaccinated, continue to use the mitigation methods, namely masks, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces choose outdoors rather than indoors. Keep your distance, wash your hands, test and isolate if appropriate. Those are the things we have been doing. We need to keep doing them." So keep doing them, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

The post Dr. Fauci Just Said How to Stay Your Safest Against Omicron appeared first on Eat This Not That.


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