A leading health expert announced the more mild symptoms reported by vaccinated people against the coronavirus proves that inoculation is the most effective method to protect from COVID-19. The unvaccinated run the risk of getting extremely sick or dying from the disease. The health expert also announced that a surge in case numbers should no longer be the central metric by which to measure the pandemic.
“For two years, infections always preceded hospitalizations which preceded deaths, so you could look at infections and know what was coming,” Ashish K. Jha, dean of Brown University and a former Harvard health expert, announced this through an appearance on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. “Omicron changes that. This is the shift we’ve been waiting for in many ways.”
"Having a rapid antigen test at the end of those 5 days would make a difference," @ashishkjha says. "Hopefully over the next month, we're going to see a lot more tests come online, and at that point I hope it becomes part of the standard operating procedure for ending isolation." pic.twitter.com/y4WFkTTiRY— Benjy Renton (@bhrenton) December 28, 2021
Jha announced, “The nation has shifted to a place where people who are vaccinated and especially those who have received a booster shot are gonna bounce back if they become infected with the coronavirus.”
“That’s very different from what we have seen in the past,” he stated. “So I no longer think infections, generally, should be the major metric.”
Cases across the U.S. and globally have
reached record levels since the beginning of the pandemic and the Omicron variant now makes up a bulk of infections, including breakthroughs in wholly vaccinated and boosted people.
Jha announced it remains important that health officials track infections among unvaccinated individuals “because those people will end up in the hospital.”
“But we really need to focus on hospitalizations and deaths now,” he announced.
The average person who tests PCR+ today?— Ashish K. Jha, MD, MPH (@ashishkjha) December 26, 2021
Some will be contagious for 2 days
Others for 5 or (rarely) 10 days
But here’s the kicker
Some for zero days – because they tested + after no longer being contagious!
But thankfully, we have tools to figure this out
On Sunday, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy stated he is optimistic the nation is now in a better position to beat the pandemic than when the outbreak started, noting enhanced testing and vaccine capabilities.
Dr. Lisa Barrett, an infectious disease specialist at Dalhousie University in Halifax, told Yahoo! News that it’s not very simple to distinguish the Omicron variant symptoms from the common cold.
|•||The only COVID-19 symptom that doesn’t show up with a common cold is the loss of smell, Barrett announced, yet that’s not a “useful tool to differentiate between the two.”|
|•||That’s why self-diagnosis is not a safe possibility for finding out if you have COVID-19. Getting a COVID-19 test is the best way to discover if you’re infected with the Omicron variant.|
This from @Craig_A_Spencer is what you need to know— Ashish K. Jha, MD, MPH (@ashishkjha) December 27, 2021
How Omicron is affecting folks coming to ER
Boosted? A bad cold
Vaxxed/unboosted? Really bad cold
1 dose J&J? Miserable, not life threatening
Who is getting hospitalized for low oxygen, serious illness?
Unvaccinated folks https://t.co/MYjd0Ylj3o
According to Reuters, the Omicron variant will appear more like the common cold because it likely acquired a mutation — from a snippet of genetic material that is normally found in the common cold.
Researchers who published a study in early December on OSF Preprints about this idea discovered that the Omicron variant and the common cold have similar genetic makeups, making the symptoms also similar.