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What do we know about the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron?

Published: Nov. 29, 2021 at 10:40 PM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Researchers still don’t know much about the knew COVID-19 variant Omicron, but, it is quickly becoming the dominant strain in many countries across the globe. Researchers fear it’s only a matter of time for the United States.

Most infectious disease experts are convinced that if this new variant isn’t already in the U.S., it will be very soon.

By the way, lab technology can’t detect the variant yet. ADPH District Medical Officer, Wes Stubblefield says this new variant will be easy to test and detect.

Stubblefield says the clinical laboratory has the machinery and capability for testing Omicron. But, a software update on the current machinery is mandatory to detect the strain. Those changes will be made later this week or early next week.

Stubblefield says it is unclear whether the vaccine will protect against the strain.

“So far there have only been a few hundred cases that have been described. Really not much is known. We hope that the vaccine covers and the antibodies will cover it. I think part of the concern is the mutations they saw in this particular virus might make it less susceptible to be taken out by those either natural or vaccine induces antibodies. Also, it might be more transmissible,” said Stubblefield.

Stubblefield says Delta is still the dominant strain here in Alabama. He also urged the importance of the flu shot because they have seen many cases so far this year.

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