Measures to Slow Spread of Omicron

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In a recent weekly Morbidity and mortality (MMWR) report coveting Dec 1-8, the US centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) writes the following measures to slow the spread of Omicron variant in US:

  • “CDC recommends prioritizing case investigation and contact tracing for confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the Omicron variant.
  • “This prioritization should be balanced with maintaining case investigation and contact tracing for outbreaks of confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection in high-risk congregate settings (e.g., long-term care facilities, correctional facilities, and homeless shelters) and for persons at increased risk for severe COVID-19–related health outcomes.
  • “Timely case investigation and contact tracing can help ensure compliance with isolation and quarantine guidance and link persons with positive SARS-CoV-2 test results and their close contacts to testing and supportive services.
Source: CDC

According to NPR reporting, though Omicron is gaining some traction in countries other than South Africa – where Delta variant still remains currently dominant and vaccination levels are relatively high too.

NPR New reports that the Omicron is spreading fast around the world reaching almost 60 countries as of Dec 10. Still “Omicron hasn’t yet triggered a global wave, but many scientists who are tracking its rapid spread believe it’s only a matter of time.”

The are reportedly worrisome signs in Europe, NPR reports. Matt Ferrari, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics and a professor of biology at Penn State University, told NPR News “Everybody in my industry is hopeful that we’re being alarmist, but more than at any other point in the course of the whole pandemic, we know how bad it could be”.

“Now we’re in a world where lots of people have immunity, either from previous infection or from vaccination, and we’re seeing a pretty rapid growth rate over and above delta,” told Ferrari.

Addressing the risks in US, John Moore, a professor of microbiology and immunology at Weill Cornell Medical School, told “It’s not just the transmissibility that matters, it’s the ability to outcompete. Earlier variants like beta and gamma created short term angst, but they just fizzled away.”

Wafaa El-Sadr, a professor of epidemiology and medicine at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, quoted saying “This in and of itself may very much influence the trajectory of omicron in a country like the United States versus in a country like South Africa. But ultimately it’s the more transmissible variants that takes over and circulates more widely, so that’s what can be anticipated.”

Coronavirus-19 vaccination watch

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID vaccination tracker page (as of Dec 12, 9 a.m.) 594,475,575 doses have been distributed and 484,190,896 doses administered. According MDH COVID-19 Response vaccine data (as of Dec 8) a total of 8,194,196 doses of Covid-19 (Pfizer & Moderna) vaccines have been administered in Minnesota. According to the MDH latest tally (as of Dec 10) the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota are 956,779 (out of 15,369,673 tested) with 9,872 deaths.