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Omicron: the new pandemic


Over Thanksgiving break, a new strain of COVID-19 was discovered in South Africa. According to USA Today, the World Health Organization announced that the new strain was found on Nov. 24, 2021 and could be a major concern to Americans. The strain is named Omicron, after the 15th letter in the Greek alphabet.

   The first case of the Omicron Variant was reported in California by a person who had just returned from South Africa. The strain is now in 50 countries, 19 U.S. states, and seems to be moving at a faster speed than the delta variant. 

Infographic by Brendan Burke

   Aljazeera.com said, “State health officials are urging people to get vaccinated and to wear masks in public settings to limit the spread of the coronavirus amid the fourth surge.”

   Though you can still get COVID-19 and the variants while being vaccinated, it has been said in confidence by scientists, drugmakers, and policymakers that being vaccinated prevents hospitalization and major symptoms. 

   The infection of this new variant in infants is a large concern. Fortune.com said, “Out of the 452 COVID-19 patients admitted in Tshwane between Nov. 14 and 28, 52 were infants—making them the most represented age group in hospitalizations.”

  The symptoms in adults seem to be mild compared to COVID-19. Symptoms to look out for can be confused with the flu. Watch out for dry coughs, fever, night sweats, and body aches. 

     Vaccines are available for ages five and up and the booster shots are not available to 16 and up. 

Brendan Burke, Podcast Editor

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Omicron: the new pandemic