The WHO said there is a possibility of further mutations in the virus which can “jeopardize the effectiveness” of current tools available to fight it
Omicron Can Cause Severe Disease, Death, WHO Epidemiologist Warns
As the Omicron variant of the coronavirus sweeps the world like wildfire, people are getting worried about how it will affect them. But they are also learning to live with it. However, some have begun to take the variant a little less seriously after a few studies suggested that the infection does not cause severe symptoms and even lesser hospitalisation when compared to other variants, such as the delta. Now, the World Health Organization (WHO) has shared an Instagram post, saying every variant of the Covid-19 virus, including Omicron, is dangerous and can cause severe disease and death.
It also said there is a possibility of further mutations in the virus which can “jeopardize the effectiveness of the tools” we have to fight it. The WHO post also accompanied a video that featured Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, an infectious disease epidemiologist and WHO Covid-19 technical Lead. She said, “Please, do what you can to avoid infection.” Dr Maria said that she comes across a lot of people who say “why bother?” They say, “Omicron is everywhere and I may as well just get infected now.”
Dr Maria said this is a very dangerous question and one worth answering. She outlined reasons why we should avoid catching this virus. They are:
– The chance of developing severe disease is real.
– If you are of older age, have an underlying condition, or if you have not been vaccinated against it, you could die. “And, that’s what we want to prevent and we can prevent that,” she said.
– You can also pass the virus to somebody else, who is more vulnerable.
– We are just learning about post-Covid conditions, long Covid, and we don’t know the implications of Omicron, which replicates in the upper respiratory tract.
Dr Maria has advised people to do what they can do to avoid Covid infection as it may cause longer-term effects.
The video suggested six ways to protect ourselves – get vaccinated, keep a safe distance, wear a mask, cough or sneeze into your elbow, open windows, and frequently clean your hands.
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