Omicron variant is causing worries of a 'viral blizzard' as cases double every few days

Posted at 1:57 PM, Dec 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-17 13:58:20-05

(WXYZ) — The term “viral blizzard” sounds frightening. Omicron is proving itself to be the most contagious COVID virus we’ve seen since the pandemic hit. Infection cases are doubling every two to three days in several countries around the world. Here in the US, we’re seeing a couple of markers that indicate a perfect storm is brewing. The seven-day average of new cases is now over 120,000, up 40% since last month. The number of people hospitalized is over 68,000 and up 40% since last month. It’s predicted that millions of Americans will be infected with Omicron in the next three to eight weeks.

Right now, we have high hospital rates because of Delta. If Omicron infects a large number of people in a short amount of time, our hospitals will end up overburdened.

Many of my patients are concerned and ask me what they can do. The obvious answer is to get vaccinated and then boosted. This lowers your risk of getting COVID and developing severe disease. But also, wear masks when out in public. Wear them properly - not under your nose or with gaps on the sides. According to studies tight fit matters and double masking can really limit COVID-19 spread. On top of that, wash or disinfect your hands often. When it comes to the holidays, really consider the risk to yourself and to your loved ones before gathering together.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.

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