Local expert reacts to new omicron variant

Published: Nov. 29, 2021 at 4:37 PM EST
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BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) - How many cases of omicron there are is unknown but cases have been confirmed in several countries in Europe and Africa. Dr. Anthony Fauci said as of Monday morning there are no confirmed cases in the U.S.

Countries around the world are slamming their doors shut again to keep omicron at bay.

In a matter of days, the new coronavirus variant has become recognized globally.

“...and I suspect every day or hours, there will be additional locations,” said Povroznik.

So what’s the difference between omicron and the delta variant?

Infectious Disease Expert at United Hospital Center Dr. Mark Povroznik says it took the delta variant months to become the dominant strain.

“Omicron is now the dominant strain in south Africa in less than two weeks after it was first detected,” said Povroznik.

With regard to whether omicron is more contagious than previous strains or severe...

“It will take a couple weeks to have a better understanding,” said Povroznik.

As far as who is more susceptible...

“Age, gender, socioeconomic status etc. there’s just two few cases known to make a real prediction globally at this point.”

Dr. Povroznik says omicron is a cause for concern but not panic.

“So after two years of this pandemic we have learned not to panic but to take the new information seriously,” said Povroznik.

Dr. Povroznik says to date, all of the previous variants we’ve had responded to vaccine booster shots. He says while it’s still early, the boosters do allow your immune system to have a wide range of capabilities against spiked proteins that allow these viruses to penetrate host cells and cause infection.

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