by Sandee LaMotte | CNN
The question hung in the air like a bad smell, silenced the small group of fully vaccinated and enlarged friends and family at my dinner table.
“Why not just get Omicron and eliminate it? It’s mild, isn’t it? And it can boost immunity?”
The fully vaccinated, enhanced, well-educated friend who asked was honest, echoing the opinions heard on multiple social platforms.
The idea of deliberately trying to capture Omicron is “all the rage,” said Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, with an exaggerated sigh.
“It has caught on like wildfire,” agreed Dr. Robert Murphy, executive director of the Heavy Institute for Global Health at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
“And it’s widespread, coming from all kinds of people, vaccinated and extended and anti-vaxxers,” he added with a caveat. “You’d go crazy trying to get infected with this. It’s like playing with dynamite.”
If the thought has popped into your mind, here are five reasons why you shouldn’t consciously try to capture Omicron.
1. It’s Not a ‘Bad Winter’
Significant fever, body aches, swollen lymph nodes, sore throat and heavy congestion are often reported even in minor cases of the Omicron variant, Murphy said, leaving people debilitated for days.
“People are talking about Omicron like it’s a bad winter. It’s not a bad winter,” Murphy said. “It’s a deadly disease.”
a Recent study of over a million people Published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the risk of a serious outcome from COVID-19 was higher in people who were 65 years of age or older, people with weakened immune systems, or people who had at least one of the following: Had at least one health condition: diabetes or chronic kidney, heart, pulmonary, neurological or liver disease.
However, even people with no underlying health condition can become seriously ill, Murphy said. “I just have a vaccinated, increased patient — over 65 with no underlying risk factors — who is in the hospital and doing poorly.”
It’s true that if you catch the Omicron version of COVID-19, unlike the Delta version, “you’re less likely to be hospitalized, less likely to go to the ICU (intensive care unit), less likely to The chances of dying further on a mechanical ventilator are less – and this is true for all age groups,” Offit said.
“But that doesn’t mean it can’t be a serious disease,” Offit said. “It’s just less serious. But you don’t have a 0% chance of dying. You should never get infected.”
2. You may have a long covid
losing your sense of smell (and hence your sense of taste) has become a more common symptom in mild cases of COVID-19. Studies show that about 80% of people recover the ability within a month or two, but others still cannot smell or taste after six months or more. The unfortunate few may never get those two senses back.
As unpleasant as it may be, it is only one of the many health concerns that may persist after a case of COVID-19. Called the “Long Covid”, the phenomenon is characterized as debilitating symptoms In the form of shortness of breath, severe tiredness, fever, dizziness, brain fog, diarrhea, heart palpitations, muscle and abdominal pain, mood changes, and sleeping difficulties.
Long-term severe forms of covid can damage the lungs, heart and kidneys as well as your mental health may qualify as a disability Under the Americans with Disabilities Act and other federal laws.
“We are still trying to understand the long Covid,” Offit said. “Since we don’t understand it, I wouldn’t be so quick to get the infection from a natural virus.
“A natural virus has always been called a wild-type virus, and there’s a good reason: It’s out of control,” Offit said. “Never take the risk of catching an infection from a natural virus.”
3. You are spreading disease to children
More than half (54%) of children aged 12 to 17 years have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 vaccines. Only 23% of children aged 5 to 11 have received their first dose, According to the CDC.
Because the booster dose – considered a key warrior in the fight against Omicron – just approved by cdc Last week for kids under 12, some kids got that third shot.
This means any risky behavior that could expose you to omicrons, such as not wearing a mask, not following social distancing guidelines, or gathering with crowds, especially indoors, Will potentially expose others who can later carry the virus to their children.
Data from the American Academy of Pediatrics shows the trend of infection among children is increasing, far beyond the “peak of previous waves of the epidemic.”
“For the week ending January 6, more than 580,000 child COVID-19 cases were reported,” According to the data released by AAP on Monday.
“This number is an increase of 78% as compared to the 325,000 added cases, which have been reported in the week ending December 30 and almost three times the number of cases two weeks ago,” the AAP said.
COVID-19 infection in children has generally been mild so far in the pandemic, but the enormity of cases caused by the very infectious Omicron variant is sending children under the age of 18 to hospitals in record numbers, according to statistics from CDC.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Valensky told Friday’s news conference, “I would say that the best way to keep children who are eligible is to surround them with siblings and parents who have been vaccinated themselves.” Has gone.”
4. You will stress the health care system
Murphy said, by intentionally catching any variant of SARS-CoV-2, which is the official name for the novel coronavirus, “you’re going to continue the pandemic and put pressure on the health care system.”
Over the weekend, nearly a quarter of the more than 5,000 hospitals reporting to the US Department of Health and Human Services said they were a victim “Critical staffing shortage.” The data suggests that this is a larger number than at any other time during the pandemic.
The staffing shortage is expected to grow even more as frontline health care workers are either infected or forced into quarantine after being exposed to COVID-19. The shortage of health care workers couldn’t have come at a worse time – over 138,000 COVID-19 patients were in american hospitals until Saturday, According to HHS.
In addition, HHS data found that ICUs across the country are over 80% full, with around 30% of beds being used to treat COVID-19 patients. Elective surgeries are being cut, and health care officials are concerned that the country’s health system will not be able to do its job.
“The health care system is not designed to only care for people with COVID. “It’s designed to care for children with appendicitis and people with heart attacks and those involved in car accidents,” Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health, told CNN on Sunday.
“And it’s all going to be a lot more difficult, because we have a huge portion of the population that hasn’t been vaccinated, a lot of high-risk people who haven’t been promoted,” he said.
5. Don’t mess with mother nature
Was it a good idea to intentionally catch a disease? People of a certain age will remember when parents used to host “chicken-pox parties” to expose their young children to an infected child. Because adult chicken pox cases tend to be more severe, the idea was to catch it early enough for your child to “get over it.”
“Oh, that was a bad idea too,” Offit said. He told a story about an educational film on vaccines made years earlier, and the cameraman revealed that he had a sister who took her child to a chicken pox party. Tragically, the child died of the infection.
“Don’t mess with Mother Nature,” he said. “She’s been trying to kill us ever since we crawled out to sea on land.”
™ and © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., WarnerMedia Co. All rights reserved.