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Local doctor weighs in on new COVID variant omicron

DENVER (KDVR) – The United States has now restricted travel from South Africa and seven other countries in the region starting Monday due to a new COVID-19 variant. The new variant, omicron, caused a significant increase in the number of cases in South Africa and neighboring countries over a 10-day period.

“It looks like it was first collected in Botswana and South Africa 10 days ago. Michael Roshon, an emergency physician at Centura Health in Denver, said:

Rohson said it’s important for healthcare leaders to react quickly in these types of situations to prevent variants from spreading.

“That’s why we see travel bans. We’ll find out very quickly what this variant is going to do then we’ll decide if we need to worry,” Rohson said.

According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment:

“New variants of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) have been shown to spread globally over time. In Colorado, CDPHE Laboratories and several private laboratories conduct genetic sequencing on SARS-CoV-2-positive human samples from across the state. This allows us to track the variations that are circulating in our state. To date, the omicron variant has not been detected in Colorado. You can find current Colorado variation data at https://covid19.colorado.gov/data (scroll down below case data). ”

With some hospitals already operating at full capacity in the metro area, Rohson said, the new variant is what’s on the minds of healthcare workers.

“If we get a variant that spreads faster and causes more severe disease, especially in people who have been vaccinated, that’s what we’re worried about in emergency rooms and hospitals,” Rohson said. hospital.

On Friday, Pfizer and BioNTech announced that a COVID-19 vaccine could be adapted and manufactured within 100 days to fight a “vaccine-evading” variant.

“We can make a vaccine specifically for a variant if we understand what a particularly dangerous variant looks like. We can make a vaccine specifically for that spike protein,” says Rohson.

There’s no need to fear more than necessary, he said. He said vaccines and boosters are doing their job, and there is hope with the working antiviral pill Pfizers. Pfizer has submitted this pill to the Food and Drug Administration and it is still awaiting approval.

However, he said those who are more susceptible still need to play it smart and keep themselves safe.

“The reality is that these variations will rotate in circles. If you are a high-risk person, you need to take additional precautions,” says Rohson.

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https://kdvr.com/news/coronavirus/local-doctor-weighs-in-on-new-covid-variant-omicron/ Local doctor weighs in on new COVID variant omicron

Emma Bowman

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