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Dr. Peter Hotez: Too soon to panic over Omicron variant – Riverside, California

Riverside, California 2021-11-26 22:10:43 –

Researchers are concerned that “Omicron” may be more contagious and have mutations that reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine.

Houston — A New COVID-19 variant dubbed Omicron By World Health Organization It has created a new wave of concern. Health officials say the number of cases is skyrocketing in South Africa.

Cases have also been reported in Israel, Belgium, Hong Kong and other African countries.

Dr. Peter Hotez, an expert at Baylor College of Medicine, believes that this new variant is not yet panicking.

“I haven’t seen strong evidence that it’s more contagious than Delta. The UK government may and may not,” Dr. Hotez said.

In addition to being potentially more contagious, another concern is that Omicron has mutations that can reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine. Dr. Hotez said this was a problem previously seen in other variants.

“A” beta version “has been released from South Africa. It has never really taken off. “Lambda” came out from South America. It never took off. This may not take off. The important thing is to know its transmissibility, “Dr. Hotez said. “In the worst-case scenario, studies show that it’s much more infectious than Delta and has a higher potential for antigenic escape, so you’ll have to go to Plan B to start designing boosters, but still far away. I think that there.”

The United States and other countries have issued travel bans to prevent variants from coming here. It applies to eight African countries from Monday, but does not include US citizens.

Dr. Hotez said he was not a fan of the travel ban. That’s because the new variant hasn’t been detected in the United States, but he’s supposed to be here already.

“I think they’re counterproductive,” Dr. Hotez said. “If you need to do that for the next few days until you know what we’re dealing with, I think it’s okay, but I don’t think it’s very effective in the long run.”

“I feel sick because I know they are influencing the travel industry. I hate hearing this because much of their economy is based on the travel industry,” 6 to South Africa. Rose Mary Mackintosh, who lived for years, said. Said.

She said the pandemic prevented her from returning home, but she knows other people who are affected by the new travel restrictions. But Mackintosh is pleased to see health officials doing what they can to stop the spread of Omicron.

“You have to be there, transparent, put it out, look at it, and praise them. We find a new variant there and let the world know. Let’s get over it, “said Mackintosh.

Health officials are paying attention to Omicron, but Dr. Hotez says the delta variant remains a very real concern. He expects it to cause another surge in incidents in Texas this winter.

Dr. Hotez said the best thing you can do to protect yourself is to get vaccinated and, if you qualify, get a booster shot.

This is Dr. Hotez’s Twitter thread on Omicron variants.

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