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Should You Change Your Holiday Plans Because Omicron Variant Infections Are on the Rise? What Experts Have to Say

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Due to the new variant’s potential danger, we’re thinking about how we’ll celebrate the holiday season.

The season is for being joyful, However, the COVID-19 Omicron variant is doing all it can to lower our spirits and cause us to think about how we enjoy the holiday season responsibly.

On November 30th, just two weeks after it had been discovered in Botswana as well as South Africa, the US government declared Omicron (B.1.1.529) to be a Variant of Concern (VOC). On the 1st of December the first documented Omicron case Omicron found in the United States was discovered, and, as of the 14th of December Omicron was reported in 77 countries.

Based on the World Health Organization, it’s growing faster than COVID-19’s prior forms (WHO). This feature of Omicron causes a lot of anxiety in this season where people are most likely to be with family members.

“From the evidence we’ve gathered thus far, Omicron appears to be extremely contagious, even among people who have been treated for COVID-19 or have been vaccinated” states Scott Weisenberg, MD, an infectious disease specialist within NYU Langone Health in New York City. “People need to consider reducing the risk of events in the event of holiday gatherings in order to ensure that they don’t transmit the disease to those who are vulnerable.”

In the absence of official guidance by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding altering or canceling holiday plans because of Omicron Here is some advice by experts about how you can enjoy holidays with your loved ones as the virus is spreading.

Do you need to have it examined prior to attending an event for the holidays?

It’s a great choice. As per Supriya Narasimhan MD the chief for infectious disease in the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose, California, “testing adds an additional layer of protection that goes beyond vaccination to ensure that the COVID-19’s symptomatic spread will not cause outbreaks.”

Dr. Narasimhan notes that testing is crucial when you’re meeting people who don’t belong to your normal circle, particularly those who might have travelled from a different nation. “We recommend that individuals evaluate the likelihood of contracting COVID-19 based on the conduct of everyone present at the event,” she explains.

If you’re unsure of how seriously people whom you’re meeting have complied with COVID safety precautions (such as wearing face coverings and keeping a distance) Be on the safe side and recommend that everyone test their COVID status prior to the meeting.

Within Orange County, California, Charles Bailey, MD, medical director of the prevention of infections in the Providence Mission and Providence St. Joseph Hospitals believes that testing could give security. However, he stresses that the absence of a positive test is not a sign of the absence of an infectious disease. COVID-19.

“A day following testing, the outcome may change from positive to negative,” Dr. Bailey tells Health. Positive results in someone who is not symptomatic could be an error.

It’s not to say that testing is time-wasting. Far from it. But, it should be conducted in conjunction with other security measures (more on that in the future).

Omicron's Impact on Holiday Plans

Can a test be conducted at home enough?

The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test that isn’t available to the public is the most precise kind of COVID-19 test.

The CDC On the contrary, suggests rapid antigen tests for people who are not at high risk of contracting the disease, for example, COVID-19 tests that can be done at home and are accepted by the FDA. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Multiple tests, as per Dr. Narasimhan, are the most effective method. “We suggest testing before gathering This could be an overnight PCR testing or possibly an antibody test on the day before the event,” she explains.

After the meeting Testing is also recommended following a meeting. “The California Department of Public Health recommends that you test when you get at home from a visit or meet with your friends, and 3 to 5 days after that,” adds Dr. Narasimhan.

If you’d like to have one test following a social gathering with your family or friends She suggests testing at least three to five days following the celebration. Within two weeks after social or travel events If you are experiencing symptoms that are compatible with COVID-19, be tested immediately.

Can vaccination be a viable alternative?

The primary defense against Omicron, as per researchers (and in the words of Dr. Narasimhan points out, the biggest problem for the United States remains the high transmission of COVID-19, the Delta variation of COVID-19 that has been causing an increase in the number of cases across areas of the Midwest).

“First first, I’d suggest all people who are gathering this time of year to be immunized and, if you are qualified, to get boosted,” she says. “We have now excellent evidence that the protection provided by the original series of vaccines expires over the course of six or nine months and boosters help restore immunity to both Delta and Omicron kinds,” says the author.

It’s up to you to decide whether to take a trip or not in the event that you are aware there will be people who aren’t vaccinated (and you aren’t able to persuade them to take their vaccines). Keep in mind that anyone not vaccinated is the risk of being a danger to others. “Someone who isn’t able to get the COVID-19 vaccine regardless of the booster (or who is deciding not to take the vaccine) could be better off not taking part,” Dr. Bailey clarifies. “If they decide to go to get the vaccine, they must wear a face mask and keep an appropriate distance from any who’s not wearing one.”

How do you throw the most secure party?

Doctor. Bailey advises keeping a physical distance between family members (but not within your family unit) as well as wearing masks while interacting with people from another unit in the event of a large event that involves a large number of family members.

“When planning Christmas and other holidays families must consider the risk for each individual member,” says Dr. Weisenberg. Masking separation from social contact and spending time outdoors or in air-conditioned indoor settings as well as thorough hand-washing are all proven methods of reducing the risk of transmission that is essential when there are elderly or others with a higher risk of being infected that could contract the disease.

Keep in mind that the coronavirus virus isn’t the only one currently in circulation. “Apart from COVID-19, we’re seeing an increase of respiratory viruses including flu, RSV, and rhinovirus and rhinovirus, which is quite different from last Christmas,” adds Dr. Narasimhan. “These respiratory diseases require lots of hospitalization and testing.” You could help guard against other respiratory diseases as well as COVID-19 applying a face mask keeping yourself from other people and observing hygiene guidelines for your hands.

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