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Most People Get Omicron This Way, Experts Say

As Omicron continues to spread worldwide, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts "more than 65,000 additional people could die from COVID-19 over the next four weeks. This is the second week that deaths are predicted to have a stable or uncertain trend after predicted increases since late December. The CDC included projections that indicate the number of deaths will slowly rise for the first week and then decline for the remaining time," CNN reports. The CDC states, "This week's national ensemble predicts that the number of newly reported COVID-19 deaths will remain stable or have an uncertain trend over the next 4 weeks, with 7,600 to 23,700 new deaths likely reported in the week ending February 26, 2022. The national ensemble predicts that a total of 933,000 to 965,000 COVID-19 deaths will be reported by this date." As the surge rages on, staying healthy and taking precautions is key to help prevent catching the virus. Eat This. Not That! Health talked with doctors who explain how most people are getting Omicron and hot to help avoid it. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.

1

Close Encounters with People Outside of Your Household

young friends eating dinner together

Erica Susky, an Infection Control Practitioner (ICP) in hospital epidemiology, says, "People are getting Omicron by being amongst other people who are not from their household where people are unmasked and are in areas where ventilation may be decreased. For example, gyms are risky as people are exerting themselves and often do not wear masks when doing so. Having a meal with family or friends (as occurred over the holidays) was where many people acquired COVID-19. These gatherings occurred indoors and eating together are the riskiest times for a COVID-19 exposure as people are required to remove their masks. For the same reason as eating meals, bars are risky as they involve people indoors removing their masks to drink." 

RELATED: If You Have Omicron, Here's When Symptoms Start

2

Bars and Clubs

crowded bar seats

Dr. Kristina Hendija explains, "Bars and clubs are notorious COVID hotspots. Besides close proximity with strangers and the possibility of aerosol contamination of food and drink, bars and clubs serve alcohol. Alcohol lowers inhibitions and impairs decision making, further exposing one to transmissible infectious diseases."

RELATED: This Kind of Fat is Most Dangerous, Say Experts

3

Gyms

woman tying sneakers at gym

"With the advent of the new year and the increased health awareness due to the pandemic, everyone is racing to get healthy," Dr. Hendija states. "Unfortunately, gyms are closed areas where there are a lot of aerosols circulating. If you want to stay in shape, choose outdoor gyms or outdoor exercise activities that lowers the risk of transmission through effective ventilation."

RELATED: Expert Shares Tips For Reversing Your Arthritis

4

Daycare and Schools

Mother waving goodbye at her son before school.

According to Dr. Hendija, "Newer variants of COVID affect children as well. Therefore, children are at risk, can contract the virus and carry it which puts the rest of the household members at risk. Additionally, children tend to touch everything and have lesser awareness when it comes to personal hygiene/protective measures which greatly puts them at risk."

RELATED: This Common Habit Makes Your Dementia Risk Soar

5

Why Shouldn't We Put Ourselves at Risk and Get Omicron Over With?

Doctor and nurse are moving injured patient from an accident on a gurney to the emergency operating room.

Susky explains, "Currently, there are a large number of new infections with Omicron. Though even a small portion of those may require hospitalization, the numbers of people requiring hospitalization with Omicron is again putting large burdens on health care systems. Slowing down the rate of new infectious diseases will assist in preserving the quality of healthcare for all that may need it in the near future. Even with only two doses of vaccine, people are still requiring hospitalization as the immune escape from vaccination with Omicron is now known as common. One should not try to get Omicron intentionally as they may then have to consider the risk of them passing it on to someone who may not yet have received their final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine booster. One may never know how seriously a loved one they may inevitably expose will react to getting COVID-19."

RELATED: Most People Get Diabetes This Way, Experts Say

6

How to Stay Safe Out There

Nurse gives students a vaccination in school during coronavirus pandemic

Follow the public health fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated or boosted ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, 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.

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