With omicron looming over the holidays, here's how to stay safe
Added 12-04-21 06:07:02am EST - “There's a lot we don't know about the new COVID variant, yet many people are wondering if they can fly, go to holiday parties and restaurants ?" or should just hide out. We asked doctors for answers.” - Npr.org
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Just when you thought it was safe to go back to almost normal times, a new, highly mutated variant of the coronavirus has reared its ugly head in the U.S.
Scientists say it's still too soon to know whether the omicron variant causes more or less severe disease, though early evidence does suggest it's better at evading the immune system than previous strains. And, omicron has raised several red flags that suggest it could be the most transmissible variant yet.
The good news is, you don't have to hibernate like it's 2020. Experts note we're in a much different place than we were last winter, with COVID-19 vaccines and boosters now widely available. There's good hope that the current vaccines offer protection against severe disease with omicron.
That said, if this pandemic has taught us anything, it's that when you don't know what you're dealing with, "we should invoke the precautionary principle," says Dr. Abraar Karan, an infectious disease physician at Stanford University.
We spoke to several infectious disease experts for advice on living in the age of omicron. But remember: Things are changing quickly, so stay alert. Public health advice may change as we learn more.
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